Staff Report

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The South Florida Book Festival will celebrate “Book Life” with an exciting lineup of authors, journalists, speakers and presenters on Saturday, July 22 at the African-American Research Library & Cultural Center (AARLCC), 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. everything from writing and natural hair-care workshops to book signings, presentations and panel discussions will be featured at this year’s festival.

In addition, there will also be three ticketed events throughout the week.

The South Florida Book Festival Caribbean Food and Rum Taste the Islands party is an ‘over-21’ event being held on Tuesday, July 18 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Special guests include Chef Irie (Hugh A. Sinclair) and Cynthia “Chef Thia” Verna, cookbook authors and stars of the PBS “Taste the Islands” television program. Guests can meet the chefs and enjoy delicious island-inspired cuisine, tropical cocktails, dancing and live music.

On Friday, July 21, aspiring writers can join prominent author Angela Henry at her mystery-writing workshop at 1:30 p.m.

The Evening with the Literary Stars reception will also be held on July 21 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., during which guests can meet and mingle with festival authors and enjoy live music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Each guest will also receive a signed book of their choice from one of the festival’s authors.

Tickets are $10 for Taste the Islands and the mystery-writing workshop; and $30 online and $35 at the door for the Evening with the Literary Stars.

They can be purchased online through Eventbrite by searching South Florida Book Festival in Ft. Lauderdale. Guests can also visit Eventbrite to register for the free workshops held on Saturday, July 22. There will be ample, free parking for all South Florida Book Festival events.

The featured authors, guest speakers and presenters for this year’s fair come from an array of backgrounds.

Wesley Lowery is an award-winning reporter covering justice, race and politics for The Washington Post.

Bishop Henry B. Fernandez is an anointed speaker, accomplished author, successful entrepreneur and, with his wife Carol, the co-pastor of The Faith Center in Fort Lauderdale. He is the author of 12 books with his latest release, “Faith, Family & Finances,” reaching #1 on the Amazon Best Sellers List.

He’s the author of “They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement” and a CNN political contributor.

Angela Henry is the author of seven mystery-thriller books. She also wrote the middle-grade fantasy novel “Labyrinth Society” under the name Angie Kelly and, in 2011, launched the MystNoir website, which features African American mysteries and authors.

Kevin Belton is the star of the PBS cooking series “New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton,” author of “Big Flavors of New Orleans” and an instructor at the New Orleans School of Cooking. He was recently recognized by the American Culinary Federation as one of the top 30 chefs in Louisiana.

Miko Branch is the co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s products for curly hair. Miss Jessie’s hair products were developed after Miko and her sister Titi had difficulty finding products for their natural, curly hair. Named after their grandmother, the Miss Jessie’s line features award-winning, ground-breaking products that enhance textured, curly hair for people of every ethnic background.

Bishop Henry B. Fernandez is an anointed speaker, accomplished author, successful entrepreneur and, with his wife Carol, the co-pastor of The Faith Center in Fort Lauderdale. He is the author of 12 books with his latest release, “Faith, Family & Finances,” reaching #1 on the Amazon Best Sellers List.

King Kevin Dorival is a game-changing mentor, author and top marketing director for a multi-million dollar construction firm. His transformative memoir became a stage play and documentary, “The Courage To Believe: Never Give Up.” His new book, “7 Types of Queens, Kings Desire,” was released in June.

Yahrah St. John is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 20 novels and speaker who has been published by Harlequin since 2004. Her stores are crafted with true-to-life characters and filled with romance, passion and drama.

Lolita Files is a journalist/author whose most recent book, the non-fiction “Once Upon A Time in Compton,”

was co-written by two former Compton gang unit detectives. It explores the world of Compton, California, covering some of the biggest moments in pop culture – the early days of N.W.A, the L.A. Riots, the murders of Tupac and Biggie and the fall of the Compton Police Department.

ErinLowry is a millennial personal finance expert, author, speaker and the founder of Her book, “Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together,” is a step-by-step guide to go from flat-broke to financial boss.

Pamela Frederick Mair is an author, holistic cosmetologist, hair health coach, educator, nutritional consultant and the owner/CEO/creator/founder of Rxestoratives Hair and Skin Wellness, an all-natural hair and skin product line.

Simone Kelly is the author of the mystery-suspense novel, “Like a Fly on the Wall,” which brings together her passion for love, dating, mystery and the supernatural. A world traveler, media personality and certified Reiki-Master, Kelly’s life’s purpose is to teach, coach, uplift and inspire others.

Taymer Mason, the author of “Caribbean Vegan” cookbook, is a food scientist and organic cosmetic developer. She is also the author of “Caribbean Smoothies” and “Kink Alchemy,” a natural hair book. Her all-natural skin and hair product line will launch in Fall 2017.

Alison McMahan is equally at home writing fiction and non-fiction. Her historical mystery, “The Saffron Crocus,” won the Rosemary award for Best YA Historical and the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Award. In addition to authoring books, she writes screenplays and produces documentaries.

Queen Cezanne Taharqa is an author, workshop facilitator, inspirational speaker and award-winning visual/spoken word artist. Her self-help novel, “Journey of a Sister” and its sister book, “How to Get the Ring On Your Finger,” feature her original art and poetry.

Sheri Riley is a life strategist, empowerment speaker and author of “Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on Who You Are.” She works with high achievers to make choices that lead to less stress, more clarity and internal peace

Suzzette Turnbull is the CEO of Uncommon Marketing, the founder of Social Media for Entertainers-Social Media Trainings to Simplify Your Life and a social media speaker and trainer. Additionally, she is the author of “The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Getting Started with Social Media.”

Hugh A. Sinclair, better known as Chef Irie, is the cohost of the “Taste the Islands” television series. Currently a South Florida resident, Chef Irie is originally from Jamaica. He is a professionally certified personal chef and caterer who has worked at some of South Florida’s premier establishments.

Cynthia “Chef Thia” Verna is a culinary expert specializing in gourmet Caribbean-fusion cuisine, an accomplished author, a seasonal artist and co-host of “Taste the Islands” television series. Haitian born, Chef Thia has studied under Haitian top chef Reginald Koury, worked at numerous prestigious hotels and restaurants and currently operates her private catering service, Chef Thia’s Cuisine.

Josh Floyd will present “Self-Publishing Through Ingram Spark: Taking Your Business To the Next Level.” IngramSpark is an award-winning independent publishing platform that offers the same fully integrated print and digital products and global distribution services enjoyed by big-time publishers to the indiepublishing community through a single platform. Once you finish and format your book, IngramSpark makes it possible to share it with the world.