FORT LAUDERDALE,Fl. – The African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) will host “Book Life” at the 2018 South Florida Book Festival on July 20-21. The annual event kicks off with the Eat, Drink, Read: A Literary Culinary Experience on Friday, July 20, 6:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. with special guest author, comedian and radio show host Ricky Smiley.

Other featured guests include Kevin Belton, the New Orleans-based PBS television celebrity chef; Melba Wilson, Harlem restaurateur and soul food superstar; Taymer Mason, a Caribbean sensation specializing in vegan cuisine; and Jerrelle Guy, award-winning food photographer and baker extraordinaire.

Attendees will meet Smiley, the celebrity chefs and sample literary-inspired selections from their cookbooks. The culinary experience will be paired with cocktails courtesy of Victor George (first African-American vodka distributor) and Barefoot Wine.

The $40 ticket is all-inclusive for food, cocktails, live entertainment, gated parking and a complimentary book of your choice from any of the 2018 South Florida Book Festival authors. Proceeds benefit The Friends of AARLCC, which sponsors programs for children and adults. Tickets are available at the door or online.

On Saturday, July 21, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 a.m., there will be a full day of book presentations, panel discussions, book signings and presentations and workshops. The event is free, but register online to reserve a seat. Attendees can enjoy an array of topics including home design,
vegan cooking, cupcake baking, entrepreneur skill building, dating advice, publishing tips and much more.

Attendees can learn the secrets of becoming a successful fiction author from national and New York Times best-selling authors Mary Monroe, Kiki Swinson, and Zachery Tate The author of Like a Fly on the Wall, Simone Kelly, will moderate this workshop.

Want to change your lifestyle? Join Dr. Wardine Saunders and sex therapist, Jenifer for Great Sex at Any Age seminar. Author Ann Marie Sorrell will share tips with the ladies and fellas for successful dating during Chronicles of a Serial Dater, with Michelle Talbert as moderator. Philbert Lakes, Ezekial Williams, and Georgia Bryce will help to inspire and motivate you on the path to achievement during Inspirational Stories of Faith, Love and Spirituality.

Foodies can enjoy the official release of local phenomenon, Chef Chad’s first cookbook, alongside his wife Karen, as well as samples of their recipes. For vegans, Chef Taymer Mason will have a tasting from her cookbook, The Caribbean Vegan. For dessert, join author Jerrelle Guy and local sensation Lykeisha the Baker for great baking tips and cupcakes inspired by Guy’s cookbook, Black Girl Baking.

For those interested in increasing their business skills, national author and owner of Dobbins International, Randall Dobbins, will provide tools to create a blueprint to become a successful entrepreneur. Ash Cash will offer Living Your Best Financial Life: 8 Steps to Financial Freedom seminar and Melba Wilson of Melba’s Restaurant in New York, will show how to cook up a successful restaurant of your own.

Looking to spruce up your home? Design and Lifestyle Expert, Magazine Contributor and So Flo Home Project TV Host, Martin Amado, will show how to get the designer look for less in your home with tips from his new book

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