It's Almost Time for The Library’s Annual BookMania Event, 3/2/24

February 22, 2024

The Martin County Library System is excited to announce that the 2024 BookMania! annual event, sponsored by The Library Foundation of Martin County and Florida Humanities, will take place on Saturday March 2, 2024, at the Jensen Beach High School Performing Arts Center, 2875 NW Goldenrod Road in Jensen Beach, starting at 9:00 AM.

BookMania! is free and open to the public. Authors will participate in one of multiple panel discussions featuring emerging and prominent writers. Titles by guest authors are available through the library’s regular, Martin’s Most Wanted, and downloadable collections. Lunch from the Martin County Sheriff's Office BBQ team will be available for cash-only at the event. Barnes & Noble Booksellers will be onsite offering purchased coffee and light refreshments in addition to facilitating book sales.


Welcome 9:00 AM – Sue Whittington

Sue Whittington and her partners Rene Espinal and Jim Stern are wealth managers and financial advisors at Morgan Stanley. She is a community advocate and serves on several boards. She enjoys tennis, golf, travel, reading and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. She and her husband Tom are involved with Rotary International, Immanuel Lutheran Church, House of Hope, Tykes and Teens and several other non-profit organizations. Sue is a graduate of James Madison University in Virginia and did post-graduate work at New York University and Clemson University.

Sea Stories - Fact & Fiction | 9:15 AM - 10:00 AM | Moderator: Peggy Chittum

Peggy Chittum is a retired health information management professional with a background in teaching and software implementation. Originally from the Boston area, she relocated to Stuart when her husband obtained a position with the Martin County Health Department. She is an avid reader and turned her love of books to blogging about them. She hosts a monthly book club at her church open to the greater community and is a devotee of the library sponsored Book Gossip book club as well as eagerly anticipating its annual BookMania! event. For this transplanted Floridian, the “Happiest Place on Earth” is the library or any bookstore.

Kevin Sites: The Ocean Above Me

Kevin Sites is an award-winning journalist and author. He has worked as a reporter for more than thirty years, half of that covering war and disaster for ABC, NBC, CNN, Yahoo News, and Vice News. He was a 2010 Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University and a 2012 Dart Fellow in Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University. For a decade he lived and taught in Hong Kong as an associate professor of practice in journalism at the University of Hong Kong. He’s the author of three books on war, In the Hot Zone, The Things They Cannot Say, and Swimming with Warlords. The Ocean Above Me is his first novel. He lives in Oregon.

Earl Swift: Chesapeake Requiem - a year with the Watermen of vanishing Tangier Island

Earl Swift is the author of the New York Times bestseller Chesapeake Requiem, which was named to ten best-of-the-year lists. His other books include Across the Airless Wilds, Auto Biography, The Big Roads, and Where They Lay. A former reporter for the Virginian-Pilot and a contributor to Outside and other publications, he is a fellow of Virginia Humanities at the University of Virginia. He lives in the Blue Ridge mountains west of Charlottesville.

Thriller & Suspense | 10:30 AM - 11:45 PM | SIGNING 11:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Moderator: Amanda Brack

Amanda Brack is a career bookseller with over 20 years of bookstore experience. She retired from the physical bookstore world in 2021 and now spends her time reading, playing games with family and friends, and arguing with her 9-year-old daughter about whether there is adequate wind to fly a kite. While she enjoys all genre fiction, Amanda’s literary passion is firmly grounded in whodunit mysteries, forensic detective novels, and psychological thrillers. She currently lives in Port Saint Lucie with her husband, daughter, multiple cats, 18 fish, and one chubby hamster. Connect with Amanda through her new website, Instagram @brackbooks, or

Darby Kane: The Engagement Party

Darby Kane is a former trial attorney and #1 international bestseller of domestic suspense. Her debut book, Pretty Little Wife, was featured in numerous venues, including Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, Popsugar, Refinery29, Goodreads, The Skimm, and Huffington Post. A native of Pennsylvania, Darby now lives in California and runs from the cold. When she’s not writing suspense, she can be found watching suspense, thrillers, and mysteries. You can find out more at

Armando Lucas Correa: The Silence in her Eyes

Armando Lucas Correa is an award-winning journalist, editor, author, and the recipient of several awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the Society of Professional Journalism. He is the author of the international bestseller The German Girl, which is now being published in seventeen languages and has sold more than one million copies; The Daughter’s Tale; and The Night Traveler, for which he was awarded the Cintas Foundation Creative Writing Fellowship. He lives in New York City with his husband and their three children. Visit

Ana Reyes: The House in the Pines

Ana Reyes is the New York Times bestselling author of Reese's Book Club pick The House in the Pines. She has an MFA from Louisiana State University and teaches creative writing. She lives with her husband in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Megan Collins: Thicker Than Water

Megan Collins is the author of Thicker Than Water, The Family Plot, Behind the Red Door, and The Winter Sister. She taught creative writing for many years at both the high school and college level and is the managing editor of 3Elements Literary Review. She lives in Connecticut, where she obsesses over dogs, miniatures, and cake.

LUNCH 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM - Signing and Lunch

Love, Friendship, and Ever After's | 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM | SIGNING 1:45 PM - 2:15 PM | Moderator: Linda Weiksnar

Linda Weiksnar is a local attorney who is always on the verge of writing the next Great American Novel (any similarity in her characters to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, she assures you). She has 2 TBR (to be read) book piles in her house, and a LPA (loved it, pass along) pile right near the door. She also loves the Blue Devils and the Gators, especially when they are playing basketball. She has an Olympic Torch in her office and would love to be in Spain if she were not at BookMania!

Kristy Woodson Harvey: The Summer of Songbirds

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including The Wedding Veil, Under the Southern Sky, and The Peachtree Bluff series, which is in development for television with NBC. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism, her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications, including Southern Living, Traditional Home, USA TODAY, Domino, and O. Henry. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her books have received numerous accolades, including Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Beach Reads, Parade’s Big Fiction Reads, and Entertainment Weekly’s Spring Reading Picks. Kristy is the cocreator and cohost of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction. She blogs with her mom, Beth Woodson, on Design Chic, and loves connecting with fans on She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband and son where she is (always!) working on her next novel.

Melissa Rivero: Flores and Miss Paula

Melissa Rivero is the author of The Affairs of the Falcóns, which won the 2019 New American Voices Award and a 2020 International Latino Book Award. The book was also long-listed for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. Born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Brooklyn, she is a graduate of NYU and Brooklyn Law School. She still lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Historical Fiction | 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM | SIGNING 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM | Moderator: Paula Hundt

Paula Hundt moved to Martin County in 1996 to manage the Private Bank for Barnett Bank, aka Bank of America. She joined The Library Foundation Board in 1997, soon after co-chaired and named the annual gala Pearls of Wisdom, joined the Founders Society, and served as The Library Foundation of Martin County President in 2000. Paula has hosted and escorted BookMania! authors for many years and this is her fourth year as a moderator. Retiring the first time 17 years ago, her post-retirement jobs included Director of Development for the Lyric Theatre and Tykes & Teens, a local children’s mental health provider. She now volunteers her time in the community.

Talia Carner: The Boy with the Star Tattoo

Talia Carner is the former publisher of Savvy Woman magazine and a lecturer at international women’s economic forums. This is her sixth novel. "Talia Carner, long established as one of the strongest voices in Jewish historical fiction, returns with her finest work to date, The Boy With the Star Tattoo. Spanning World War II Europe to the struggling early state of Israel, Carner’s latest brings to light important history in a spellbinding and unforgettable human drama." -Pam Jenoff, NYT Bestselling Author of Code Name Sapphire

Patti Callahan Henry: The Secret Book of Flora Lea

Patti Callahan Henry is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of several novels, including Surviving Savannah and Becoming Mrs. Lewis. She is the recipient of the Christy Award, the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year Award, and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year. She is the cohost and cocreator of the popular weekly online live web show and podcast Friends and Fiction. A full-time author and mother of three, she lives in Alabama and South Carolina with her family. Find out more at

Katherine Reay: The Berlin Letters

Katherine Reay is a national bestselling and award-winning author who has enjoyed a lifelong affair with books. She publishes both fiction and nonfiction, holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and three children. You can meet her at; Facebook: @KatherineReayBooks; Twitter: @katherine_reay; Instagram: @katherinereay.

This popular program has received national recognition for its stellar authors, record attendance, and impressive Barnes & Noble book sales. For more information, visit and search for “BookMania!” or call 772-288-5702. Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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