Amelia Island Book Festival is a Gift to the Community

Fernandina Beach, FL – Each year a cadre of volunteer board members, sponsors and donors help make the Amelia Island Book Festival’s (AIBF) award-winning “Authors in Schools” literacy program a reality. Through fundraising and sheer tenacity this small group manages not only to bring noted authors into every Nassau County School, but also to buy a book from the author for each student they meet.

This year, the Book Festival Board purchased 11,300 books for the students of Nassau County School District of the author they will meet. In addition, they offer several other educational opportunities for the students of Nassau County through the “Short-Story Writing Contest” and the “Tween/Teen Festival”, and a $2,000 college Scholarship. For adults, the “Steve Berry Writing Workshop: Lessons from a Bestseller” offers would-be authors a chance to learn the craft directly from the number-one international and New York Times bestselling author, who also serves as the festival’s Honorary Chairman.

The three-day festival culminates in a gift to the all of northeast Florida and southeast Georgia and all the visitors that visit Amelia Island from across the United States, Canada and even as far away as Australia.

The Saturday, February 17, Author Expo/Readers’ Extravaganza is jam-packed with excitement for all ages. Sponsored by CBC National Banks and Online Binding of Jacksonville, the day offers so much for everyone. The “Lee Child Breakout Session” is sponsored by Molina Healthcare, Inc.

“We are very grateful to our Expo Sponsors, as well as to the sponsors and ticket buyers of all our ticketed events that help make the book purchases for our students possible,” says Dr. John Ruis, this year’s volunteer President. “I’m proud of the work of this tireless group. We hope everyone in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia will come and take part in this celebration, which cements for our young people the value and excitement of books.

“We focus on lifelong learning, and that extends beyond our school years,” adds “Authors in Schools” co-chair Marie Fenn. “We are extremely grateful to our Honorary Chairman Steve Berry without whom we would not be able to attract the amazing headliners who will be at the 2018 Book Festival. And, we are grateful to all the celebrated authors who lend their time and talent to help us succeed.”

AIBF Expo participants will have the opportunity to engage with 100 noted authors, both New York Times bestselling and emerging authors of every genre. The Expo includes breakout sessions with celebrity authors, coffee with local authors and the opportunity for participants to make new discoveries, as well as to buy books and get them personalized. Those attending the Book Festival may take selfies with their favorite authors and celebrate all things literary.

Children at the Expo will get to revel in engaging activities, including arts and crafts, making a book and hearing some bestselling children’s authors. There will be food, fun, contests and music by the Laid-back Band. A children’s favorite character, Pete the Cat, will be roaming about.

Everyone attending the Expo is urged to pick up a Passport to Literary Discovery to get stamped when visiting authors and to be eligible for great prizes in hourly drawings.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS
All sessions, except where noted, last about 45 minutes,
All authors will come into gym for book signing after their presentation, where there are an additional 100 noted authors of every genre available.

10:00 am—2 pm— Kidz Zone–Classroom—1
Kidz Zone will feature lifelong educator and AIBF Director Terry Ramsay and her creations for age 3—10. In addition, and back by popular demand, OnlineBinding.com will turn the works of art into a personal book keepsakes. As always there will be glitter galore.

10:00 am-noon ~ Jacques Pépin – Signing His Bestselling Cookbooks—Gym
The award-winning and internationally renowned chef, television personality and author has appeared on French and American television and written an array of cookbooks that have become bestsellers. Pépin’s numerous accolades and accomplishments include co-starring in the PBS series “Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home with Julia Child,” Emmy Award winner, cooking for heads of state and restaurant owner.

10:00 a.m. Steve Berry, Festival Honorary Chairman—Media Center
Join New York Times and international #1 bestselling author, whose works have been translated into 40 languages with over 22 million copies circulated in 51 countries as he unveils how and why historic events and situations provide the cornerstone for his novels. Learn how his career path took a major turn from lawyering to writing and becoming the founder of History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation.

11:00 a.m. Sheri Rinker —Media Center—especially aimed at young children and families.
If you live a chaotic life filled with endless noise, mismatched socks, and crazy animals, you will want to hear from New York Times #1 bestselling children’s author, Sheri Rinker who began writing books to help kids go to sleep at night and to provide treasured memories for them and their families. Her belief that imagination is more important than knowledge shines throughout her amazingly illustrated children’s stories. Find out how she emerged from gardening, cooking, mothering and collecting old oil paintings to writing eight award winning books, including Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, and Steam Train, Dream Train.

12:00 p.m. Noted Nassau County Authors—Leader, Steve Berry – Classroom 2
Lead by Festival Honorary Chairman Steve Berry, Join a dozen noted Nassau County authors for an informal discussion. This is a wonderful time to discover all you ever wanted to know about writing and living in paradise at the same time. Bring your lunch, we’ll provide the beverages and cookies.

1:00 p.m. Jennifer Armentrout—Media Center
Hear how boredom in algebra class, fueled by watching bad zombie movies, propelled Jennifer Armentrout to become a world renown, New York Times #1 bestselling author of young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. Understand how she deals with retinitis pigmentosa which threatens her sight, yet continues to produce award-winning novels such as The Problem with Forever and Obsidian.

2:00 p.m. Karin Slaughter—Media Center
Be sure to visit one of the world’s most acclaimed storytellers, Karin Slaughter, who writes stories which “get under your skin.” With 35 million copies in publication, her works include Cop Town and All the Pretty Girls, which became instant New York Times bestsellers. Discover how her “run off into the mountains and write until I collapse” style leads to masterful tales of murder, intrigue and heart-pounding drama.

2:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony, Auditorium tickets needed, see below
Student Short-Story Contest winners/ The Book Island Literary Awards and The AIBF Awards will be presented at this short ceremony. Come cheer on these amazing young people and adult winners. Middle and high school student winners of the county-wide short story contest will get their awards at 2:30 p.m., and get to meet author Lee Child, international bestselling mega-star of the Jack Reacher series. The other awards will be presented by Honorary Chairman Steve Berry.

3:00 p.m. Lee Child– Auditorium, (Free, but limited space; go to AIBF site to get a ticket)
Be sure to join award-winning and bestselling author Lee Child whose “hardboiled” prose and adrenaline-pulsing thrillers have pushed sales to over 100 million books. Learn about his journey from working in theater and television to earning the Nero “Best Novel” award, and what it took to buy paper and pencils and write what turned out to be the first book in the Jack Reacher series. Hear about how those Jack Reacher novels emerge as revenge stories in which, “somebody does a very bad thing and Reacher takes revenge.” On paper, for sure, revenge is so sweet! This is a unique opportunity you will not want to miss.

Literary Giants Headline Book Festival

Steve Berry returns to the Amelia Island Book Festival as Honorary Chairman for the 3rd consecutive year. Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lost Order, The 14th Colony, The Patriot Threat, The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with 20 million copies in 51 countries. The Bishop’s Pawn, the Cotton Malone Series Book 13, The Bishop’s Pawn, is now available for pre-order. The story chronicles his protagonist’s first case, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., on that fateful day in Memphis.

History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It’s his passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, which led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009, Steve and Elizabeth have crisscrossed the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners and their popular workshops.

The duo will present “Lessons from a Bestseller: Steve Berry’s Writers’ Workshop,” on Fri., Feb. 16, 2018, for authors and would-be authors of every genre to support the AIS Literacy Program. For tickets and more information, visit www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org.

Lee Child
Lee Child is the New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers – sales at 100 million+ and counting. Reacher #22, The Midnight Line, released Nov. 7, 2017 worldwide is already on the NYT best seller. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and Barry awards for “Best First Mystery,” and The Enemy won both the Barry and Nero awards for “Best Novel.” Personal and Night School were #1 on the best-sellers lists simultaneously in all English language countries and sold more copies than any other hardcover, of any type, for the year 2014 and 2016 in the UK. Jack Reacher, the film based on Child’s 9th novel, One Shot, starred Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall. His book Never Go Back was also a 2016 feature film with an all-star cast with Tom Cruise back as Jack Reacher.

Lee was born in Coventry, England. He attended the same high school as J.R.R. Tolkien, and went to law school in Sheffield, England. After part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an 18-year career as a presentation director during British TV’s “golden age.” During his tenure, the company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect and Cracker. At the age of 40, he left due to corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to take a chance. Lee bought some paper and pencils, and wrote what turned out to be the first book in the Jack Reacher series.

Adriana Trigiani
The festival kicks off with this multitalented, New York Times bestselling author of 17 books in fiction and nonfiction. Adriana Trigiani is also a playwright, television writer/producer and an award-winning filmmaker. She wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. Her newest novel – complete with a new cast of characters – debuts in the fall of 2018.

Trigiani will be the keynote speaker at the annual kickoff luncheon, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at Walkers Landing. She will be introduced by her friend and NYT bestselling author David Baldacci, who was last year’s key note speaker, and this past year’s One Book/One Community Author.

Adriana is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her popular novels – The Shoemaker’s Wife, the Valentine trilogy and Lucia, Lucia – as well as her latest bestseller, Kiss Carlo. Her themes of love and work, emphasis upon craftsmanship and family life have attracted legions of fans. According to Adriana, “…if there is one thing I hope my books do always and forever, it’s that they honor working people.” Her books have been translated in 36 countries around the world. Due to schedule conflicts, the luncheon will be her only appearance at the Festival.

Karin Slaughter
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers, and is known for the “stories that get under your skin.” Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 16 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel, Pretty Girls. When asked about her writing schedule, Karin said, “Unfortunately, I’m not very disciplined. I’m more of a “run off into the mountains and write until I collapse” author. I wish I could be more structured, but it’s been working for me so far, so who am I to judge?”

Her Will Trent series, Grant County series and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta.

Jennifer Armentrout
Jennifer Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author, spends her time watching really bad zombie movies when she’s not hard at work writing young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and contemporary romance novels. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that eventually results in loss of vision among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Jennifer’s dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories. Her young adult contemporary The Problem with Forever is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction.

Sherri Rinker

In 2008, in the midst of hectically trying to manage the demands of being a working mom in an unfulfilling career, Sherri Rinker wrote Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. It was picked up by the first publisher to whom it was sent! She is now a #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight children’s books.

Sherri began college as a journalism major, but moved to visual communications which combined creating beautiful, compelling compositions with visuals and text. After a 25-year graphic design career, her journey took a turn as she started writing books about big trucks to help kids go to sleep at bedtime. Construction Site paved the way for Mighty, Mighty Construction Site; Steam Train, Dream Train; and Big Machines. Sherri has also penned Silly Wonderful You and The 12 Sleighs of Christmas. It’s Soo Quiet debuts in 2018.

Jacques Pépin
An award-winning and internationally renowned chef, television personality, author, columnist and artist, Jacques Pépin is one of AMERICA’S most loved French chefs. He was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, and first apprenticed in a kitchen at the age of 13. Monsieur Pépin worked as a chef for the French Navy and then served as personal chef to three heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.

Chef Pépin’s culinary background includes New York City’s Le Pavillon, La Potagerie and the French Culinary Institute/International Culinary Center. Working with Julia Child, they collaborated on a TV special for PBS, Cooking in Concert, at the Performance Center at Boston University, as well as a 22-episode series, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. In his latest cookbook, A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey, Jacques Pépin gives his granddaughter a short course on preparing “food that is plain, but elegant, and more than anything, fun.”

Chef Pépin will be talking and signing his books at the Author Expo/Reader’s Extravaganza on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 starting at 10 a.m. at the Fernandina Beach Middle School. This Author Expo event is free and runs till 5 p.m. with more than 100 noted authors of every genre and breakout sessions with NYT bestselling authors. There will be a kidz zone, food, fun, contests, prizes and books for purchase and signing for all ages.

In addition to our headliners, the Festival offers events and activities for teens and tweens, aspiring writers, fans and families…something for everyone!

Visit the Festival’s website www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org for more details on the Author Expo and other events and to buy tickets. The AIBF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, offering tax deductible opportunities. For more details on all festival events, and to purchase tickets and make donations, email info@ameliaislandbookfestival.org or call (904) 624-1665.

JustFoodForDogs recalls Three Dog Food Meals in All Sizes

JustFoodForDogs (JFFD) of Los Alamitos, CA, is voluntarily recalling its Beef & Russet Potato, Fish & Sweet Potato and Turducken dog food meals in all sizes. JFFD uses 100% USDA and other restaurant grade ingredients in all of its pet food, and because the green beans used in these meals may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the company is alerting the public. Listeria monocytogenes can affect animals eating the product and there is risk to humans if they were to intentionally or unintentionally ingest the dog food or come into contact with contaminated feces from a pet that has eaten the food.

Listeriosis is rare in dogs and when infected most dogs have mild symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, however, more serious symptoms are possible, such as fever, muscular and respiratory signs, abortion and even death. In addition to the possibility of becoming sick, such infected animals can shed Listeria monocytogenes through their feces and thus serve as a source of infection to humans, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands. If your dog has consumed the recalled products and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Healthy people infected with Listeria monocytogenes should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms if they believe they may have consumed any of the above recalled items intentionally or unintentionally, or may have come into contact with contaminated feces from a pet that has eaten the food: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, aches and fever. Rarely Listeria monocytogenes can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis and can be life threatening. Pregnant women are more susceptible to Listeria infection, which can result in abortion. The most common way that people are affected is by consumption of contaminated food. Consumers exhibiting these signs after consuming this product should contact their healthcare provider.
The recalled JFFD Beef & Russet Potato, Fish & Sweet Potato and Turducken was distributed only through 11 JFFD retail locations in Southern California, 3 Pet Food Express (PFE) locations in Southern California and 10 Northern California PFE locations.

While testing demonstrates that only several dates of production were affected, out of an abundance of caution, JFFD is recalling all of the above mentioned products made from the dates of November 1, 2017 through January 14, 2018. These represent Best By lot code dates on all three of the JustFoodForDogs’ recalled products of 11/01/18 through 01/14/19.

The products being recalled were sold refrigerated or frozen and include all sizes offered – 7 oz, 14 oz, 18 oz and 72 oz.

No confirmed Listeriosis has been reported but there have been reports of short-term symptoms in some dogs (diarrhea and vomiting).

There have been no reports of human illness to date.

The potential for contamination was discovered after a purchaser of JFFD products reported to JFFD veterinary medical staff that her dogs had become ill. Tests to date confirm that green beans purchased from a restaurant supply distributor were positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The restaurant supplier/distributor of these green beans has voluntarily put a “product hold” on the distribution of these green beans to restaurants and other human food retailers.

JFFD is currently making these recipes available without green beans until the matter is resolved.
JFFD notified and is working with FDA on this matter.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled JFFD products from a JFFD store should contact JFFD at 866-726-9509, from 9:00 AM – 7:00PM PST seven days a week, for a full credit or refund. Consumers who have purchased the recalled products from Pet Food Express should return them to any Pet Food Express for a full credit or refund.

Amelia Island Preps for 10th Annual Restaurant Week

AMELIA ISLAND, Florida – Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island will host its 10th annual Restaurant Week, Jan. 19-28, a 10-day culinary showcase featuring culinary events and fixed lunch and dinner menus at a wide selection of the island’s most popular and award-winning dining establishments. The lunch option is $12 per person and includes an entrée, side and a non-alcoholic beverage, while the dinner option (priced at either $21, $31 or $41 per person) includes three courses and a beverage. Menus, restaurant listings, special event information and discounted hotel packages can be found online at www.ameliaisland.com/yummy.

“Amelia Island is home to a growing number of incredibly talented chefs and award-winning local restaurants. Restaurant Week is the perfect time for hungry visitors and locals try some of the island’s new culinary hotspots and enjoy their old favorites,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Restaurant Week has become one of our most anticipated winter events, and this year we’’ve added even more to the menu.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island will whet appetites with the “Tribute to Coastal Treasures,” a Restaurant Week opening dinner (Jan. 17) at Coast Restaurant, celebrating fresh, coastal flavors and Florida fare. The epicurean experience begins with an hour-long wine reception at 6 p.m., followed by a tantalizing four course presentation of coastal treasures artfully designed by Executive Chef Sean Woods, Coast Chef d’ Cuisine Niko Anagnostou and Executive Pastry Chef Sheldon Millett. The menu includes Mayport Shrimp Cocktail and Cold Water Oysters on the Half Shell, Confit Duck Tortellini, Roasted Cobia, Florida Shellfish Bread Pudding, Blackberry Cremeux Tart and more. Tickets are available for $125 per person (plus gratuity). Call 904-277-1087 for reservations.

New this year, Amelia Island’s local distillery, Marlin & Barrel, will host a Cuban night (Jan. 18) featuring a distillery tour, Marlin & Barrel rum tastings perfectly paired with Cuban cuisine from Hola Cuban Café, and cigars from Waterwheel Cigars. The event begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and available by calling 904-330-5746 or visiting bit.ly/AmeliaCuban.

Throughout the event, aspiring chefs can attend demonstration and participation cooking classes hosted by the Amelia Island Culinary Academy. Themed to celebrate Florida’s foods, classes include Cooking with Florida Wine, Cooking with Florida Beer, Florida Appetizers, Amelia Island-inspired cuisine, Cooking with Florida Spirits, as well as a local Farmer’s Market tour and class. Tickets range from $40 to $75 per person. For information, call (904) 515-6863, or register for classes online at www.ameliacooking.com.

If you prefer to drink your calories, available again this year is a Cocktail Tour with Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours. With available dates throughout January, the two-hour evening tour includes stops at four local bars. At each stop, guests will learn about the bar’s history and enjoy a specially prepared cocktail. Tickets are available for $45 per person by calling 904-330-5746.

The 10th annual Restaurant Week will conclude with the “Barrel & Ashes” finale dinner (Jan. 27) at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, where Executive Chef Daven Wardynski and his culinary team will highlight the complexities behind smoked foods and coal roasted vegetables, incorporating various barrel aged ingredients for each of the four courses. All barrel aged ingredients are aged on site in the Barrel Room that is located at The Sprouting Project, which also has an organic garden, greenhouse, bee apiary and resident chickens. The event begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception, with dinner service beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person, which includes a $25 donation to Barnabas Food Pantry. To purchase tickets, visit https://forkmainevent.ticketbud.com/barrel-ashes-dinner or call 904-432-1467.

Nearly 30 of the island’s most popular restaurants are participating in the 2018 Amelia Island Restaurant Week, providing fixed menus for either lunch, dinner or both. The list of participating restaurants currently includes:

29 South Eats
Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen
SABBIA
Amelia Island Coffee*
Horizons*
Sliders Seaside Grill*
Bar Zin
Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro*
The 801 Kitchen & Bar*
Brett’s Waterway Café*
Le Clos of Amelia Island*
The Amelia Tavern*
Burlingame*
LuLu’s @ The Thompson House*
The Pub at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Cafe Karibo
Marina Seafood Restaurant*
The Salty Pelican Bar & Grill*
Crab Trap*
Oceanside*
The Sandbar & Kitchen*
Cucina South
Pepper’s Cocina Mexicana & Tequila Bar*
Verandah*
España Restaurant & Tapas*
Pi Infinite Combinations

*Barnabas donation collection point

For a complete listing of menus, participating restaurants, special event information and discounted hotel packages, visit www.ameliaisland.com/yummy.

The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau is partnering with Barnabas, Nassau County’s largest food pantry, to collect shelf-stable food items during Restaurant Week. Participating Amelia Island restaurants will have collection boxes, and diners are encouraged to drop off canned and dry food goods throughout the week to aid Barnabas’ efforts. Year round, Barnabas works to combat hunger in the community, and the non-profit organization’s staff and volunteers collect donated fresh, frozen, packaged, and canned food and distribute it throughout the county via Food and Mobile Food pantries.

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FOL Exhibits Posters from White Oak Conservation Center

mikhail-baryshnikov

Mikahil Baryshnikov, White Oak Dance Project (1992) Photo by Annie Leibowitz

Friends of the Library is pleased to announce the new exhibition of posters from White Oak Conservation Center which will be on display from January 10th – April 30th, 2018 in the library Community Room gallery.

White Oak Conservation was created in 1982 by Howard Gillman in Nassau County, FL to help preserve some of the world’s most endangered species. It remains today as one of the premier wildlife breeding, research and training facilities in the world.

Howard Gilman (1924-1987) became Chair and CEO of the Gilman Paper Company in 1983 after the death of his father and brother and created the Howard Gilman Foundation. The Foundation gave to organizations devoted to science, medicine, education, endangered animals, social justice, and the visual and performing arts. These were Howard Gilman’s philanthropic passions.

Posters on display represent Gilman’s love for music, opera, horses, endangered animals and dance. Gilman supported Mikhail Baryshnikov and created the White Oak Dance Studio for Baryshnikov and Mark Morris to explore new choreographic development in both ballet and modern dance. Several posters show his commitment to dance and music.

Highlights of the exhibition include a poster from the White Oak Dance Project, along with images of cheetah, baby rhino and giant eland, all part of the White Oak Conservation effort.

The exhibition is open during select hours and the Library is located at 25 North 4th Street in downtown Fernandina Beach. For viewing hours call the library at 904-530-6500, Ext 1. or visit FOL’s website at www.fernandinafol.org

Educational activities associated with the exhibition will be scheduled and announced separately. For more information on White Oak Conservation visit: www.whiteoakwildlife.org.

Jack Reacher, a billion dollar Literary Brand is coming to Amelia Island

Fernandina Beach, FL – The strongest brand in publishing (according to Forbes Magazine in March 2014) is coming to Amelia Island in February for the 17th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival. The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child is a $1 billion dollar brand published in 47 languages and 101 territories. With well over 100 million books sold, the series has commanded over a billion dollars in global sales.

Jack Reacher is the creation of British author Lee Child (now a New Yorker). Child heads up a blockbuster line-up of New York Times and international bestselling authors coming to the festival, including Karin Slaughter, Adriana Trigiani, Jennifer Armentrout, Sherri Rinker and Jacques Pépin. Steve Berry returns as Honorary Chairman.

The 17th Annual, 3-day long festival continues the tradition of bringing amazing authors to the community in support of its mission of Connecting students, authors and books for lifelong learning. All The ticketed events support the Festival’s award-winning Authors in Schools Literacy Program. The free activities for students and the community ensure there is something for everyone during this annual literary extravaganza.

The Festival’s signature event, the AUTHOR FACE-OFF DINNER GALA, is an annual event that helps buy books for students. You don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to mix, mingle up close and personal with the creator of Jack Reacher and witness our lineup of literary giants as they “face-off” with each other on their writing craft! The sparring panel includes NYT bestselling authors Lee Child, Jennifer Armentrout, Karin Slaughter and Sherry Rinker, led by chief instigator, Steve Berry. The “face-off” always delivers surprising and witty insights from our headliners in a multi-genre blockbuster panel.

This very special evening is set for Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 from 6 – 10 pm at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. The evening includes an open bar cocktail reception with the authors, a gourmet sit-down dinner (wine included), a limited live auction, where the winning bidder can live on forever in a Jack Reacher novel. This special prize is a generous donation by author Lee Child. Tickets are $175 per person. purchase tickets at www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org

See the complete festival program at www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org for details on all events and activities. Proceeds from all ticketed festival events benefit the Authors in Schools Literacy Program for students of Nassau County.

Authors in Schools… A book for every student
The AIBF is home to the award-winning Authors in Schools (AIS) Literacy Program. With the support of sponsors, members, donors and fundraising events, the AIBF rolls out this annual program, bringing authors into every public school in Nassau County and buying books for each student of the author they meet. This February, the Festival will purchase and gift more than 11,000 students with a book of the noted author they meet, in turn inspiring young people to achieve their goals.

“Authors in Schools has grown in the past few years especially, encouraging area students to read and write,” said Dr. John Ruis, AIBF President and former Nassau County Schools Superintendent. “Being exposed to this level of quality authors, spending time with them – hearing how they develop ideas and get inspired – and taking home the book of the author they met…it’s an invaluable opportunity to help our students develop important literary skills for their future.”

AIBF annually solicits applications and books from prospective author presenters. This year, close to 80 books from more than 70 authors were submitted for consideration for the AIS program. The books are reviewed by the AIBF Board, then scrutinized by the school media specialists, reading coaches and other educators to determine age appropriateness and applicability to the curriculum requirements. School representatives make the final decisions on all books.

“The Authors in Schools Literacy Program is a perfect example of community partnerships at their best,” Dr. Ruis said.

Donna Martin, School Board chair, added, “The Authors in Schools program is a tremendous gift to our students.” This year’s Authors in Schools Day is set for Fri., Feb. 16, 2018.

The Pillowman

In an interrogation room in an unnamed totalitarian dictatorship, Katurian Katurian, a writer, is being interrogated by two detectives. Next door, Katurian’s mentally disabled brother Michale waits. The detectives want to know why Katurian’s stories feature gruesome plots about child murder and torture, and in particular, why they seem to mirror a string of recent child murders in the area.

This intense thriller from Martin McDonagh, poses unanswerable questions: Can stories hold the power to cause atrocities? Where is the line between truth and fairy tale? Is a life of horror worth living at all? Drawing on inspiration as diverse as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Kafka, and Antonin Artaud, The Pillowman is a dark and twisty story from one of Ireland’s most treasured writers.

(Rated R)

Cast
Eric Yarham – Michal
Ron Price – Tupolski
Zach Martin – Ariel
James Shelton – Katurian
Ava Thompson – Little Girl

Directed by Tener Wade

Studio 209 Performances:
8:00 PM January 12-13, 18-20
2:00 PM January 14

Cummer Museum of Art Receives Awards

Press Release Jacksonville, Fla. — The Cummer Museum of Arts & Gardens is honored to announce that it has received two awards in the 2017 Museums Publications Design Competition of the American Alliance of Museums. The Museum received Second Prize in the Annual Report category, as well as an Honorable Mention in the Book category for “The Chef’s Canvas.”

The Museum’s annual report is a collection of stories and descriptions of events, exhibitions, and programs hosted by the Museum over the past year. It highlights the accomplishments and the impact of the Museum on the community, from exhibitions such as LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience to education programs like Cummer in the Classroom. The Museum utilizes the report as an opportunity for transparency and to spotlight the outcomes of the work it does for its constituents. The annual report was designed by Wingard Creative and printed by Agility Press, Inc. Photography for the report was done by local photographers Ingrid Damiani and Dennis Ho.

The Chef’s Canvas is a beautifully-designed coffee table cookbook celebrating the Museum’s diverse collection of art and the abundant talent of local chefs. Each dish was inspired by a work of art each chef selected from the Museum’s collection. The artwork chosen spans a wide range of artistic styles, and the paired food dishes are just as beautifully diverse. Each recipe includes a statement from the chef about the inspiration for their dish, the work of art chosen, and a beautiful image of the finished dish. The book is a way of connecting the art and culinary worlds of Northeast Florida in a unique and compelling way. “The Chef’s Canvas” project was managed by Cari Sanchez-Potter and Emily Moody, designed by Varick Rosete, photographed by Agnes Lopez, and printed by The Hartley Press.

The American Alliance of Museums and the Award
The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to gather members, share knowledge, and provide advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. The AAM represents more than 35,000 individual museum professionals, volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving museums. The AAM’s Museum Publications Design Competition is the only national juried competition of its kind. Winners are chosen for their overall design excellence, creativity, and ability to express the institution’s personality, mission, or special features. The judges have sole authority over all decisions, including whether or not to award prizes in each of the entry categories. The Cummer Museum is honored to have won such a prestigious prize for not one but two publications.

The Craft of Writing

Press release: On November 16, 2017, “Writers by the Sea Presents… The Craft of Writing”
Fresh from the 2017 Florida Writers Association, Annual Conference, four of our Writers by the Sea authors will share insights and highlights from featured speakers: David Morrell (First Blood, Rambo); Steve Berry (2017, FL Writer of the Year); Michael Tabb (Full Sail Professor); Anne Dalton (Trademark Attorney); Mark Gottlieb (Publisher); and more. Our FWA conference participants were introduced to the craft of writing honed by these esteemed authors, agents, and publishers, and want to share the wealth with you.

ABOUT THE PANELISTS:
Writers by the Sea Panelists include Florida award winning writers: Nadine Vaughan D’Ardenne (Screenwriter), and Donna Jennings (Novelist); plus WBTS small group leader of “The Writer Within”, Marla McDaniels and 2018 WBTS Planning Committee member, Linda Guecia.

As always, we meet the third Thursday of the month, at the Amelia Island Museum of History, at 6:00pm, in Fernandina Beach, FL.

Annual Fall Book Sale 2017

Press release: The Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library’s annual Fall Book Sale kicks off Thursday, November 16th, with a special FOL members-only preview and reception from 5-7 pm at Peck Center Gym, 516 South 10th Street. If you are not a member, you are invited to join at the door or online at our website before the sale and get first choice of thousands of books, vinyl records, CDs and DVDs for sale. Memberships are $15 for students, $35 dollars for individuals, $50 for a couple or $75 for a family.

Your membership dues help to off-set the cost of the many free events sponsored by the Friends over the course of the year, from classes on various subjects to lectures to art exhibits to children’s programs.

The doors will open to all on Friday, November 17th, from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, November 18th, from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Books are carefully organized for easy browsing in dozens of categories, including fiction, biographies, art, history, children’s books, sports, cooking, audio books and more. We also have a large selection of vinyl records, CDs and DVDs, including boxed sets, for this sale. We, of course, will once again have thousands of books for sale, with most priced at $3 or less. It is always the best book sale on the island!

All proceeds from the sale support the Fernandina Beach Library. For further information regarding this event, on joining Friends of the Library, or to donate, please visit the Friends of the Library website at www.fernandinaFOL.org.

Amelia Island Welcomes Pétanque Players and Spectators

Press Release: AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. Amelia Island’s surprising French flair will be showcased during the Pétanque Amelia Island Open (Nov. 10-12), the largest pétanque event in the Americas, where world champions join enthusiastic newcomers for competition and camaraderie. Free to spectators, the tournament draws world champions and players from across the 50 states and more than 19 countries, including Mongolia and New Zealand. The competition and related festivities unfold at the waterfront courts at Fernandina Harbor marina from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. Highlights of the weekend’s activities can be found at http://bit.ly/petanqueamelia.

“Amelia Island is perfect for pétanque, a social sport with international appeal,” said Kate Harris, the Amelia Island CVB’s director of digital and international, who is producing this year’s tournament. “With our French history, harborfront historic district, and beaches, the island is not unlike the Mediterranean coast where pétanque began. During the weekend, you’ll hear dozens of languages and meet people from all over the world. It’s a true celebration of ‘joie de vivre’ on this Florida island.”

The event is free to spectators and will feature food trucks, live music at lunchtime, pop-up French lessons presented by the Alliance Francaise of Jacksonville, and artisan cocktails from Amelia Island’s own distillery, Marlin & Barrel.

The game of pétanque (pronounced pay-tonk) is growing in popularity around the world and, integrated with similar games such as bocce, is currently under consideration to be played in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Teams of players compete and throw hollow steel balls across a hard-packed dirt course, aimed at a colorful wooden ball called the pig.

The 2017 event will feature a number of world champions, including 12-time champion Phillipe Quintais; Dylan Rocher, dubbed “The Crown Prince of Pétanque;” along with world champions Damien Hureau, Julien Lamour, Marco Foyot, Claudy Weibel, and seven-time champion, Bruno Le Bouriscaud.

Camille Durand, one of the up-and-coming stars of pétanque and the winner of France’s top national women’s title, will be making her first U.S. tournament appearance on Amelia Island. On Friday, Nov. 10, the finals of the Women’s Confederation Cup will take place at the harborfront courts. World Champions will be hosting training sessions and playing friendly matches against enthusiastic amateurs. At 4 p.m., two young talents (both aged 13) and their teams of veteran players will compete in a special Panam Confederation contest.

For more information, go to ameliapetanque.com.

Todd McGrain: The Lost Bird Project at Cummer Museum

Press Release Jacksonville, Fla.— The newest exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Todd McGrain: The Lost Bird Project, opens in the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Community Sculpture Garden & Plaza on Saturday, November 4, 2017. The exhibition will feature five large-scale sculptures and will be supplemented by the presentation of preparatory drawings in the Bank of America Concourse inside the Museum.

As a chronicle of humankind’s impact on our changing world — excessive hunting and fishing, commerce, deforestation — and a record of dwindling biodiversity, The Lost Bird Project memorializes North American birds that have been driven to extinction. The Great Auk, Labrador Duck, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen were birds that once filled unique niches in the North American landscape from the shores of Labrador and New York to the Midwestern plains. Moved by their stories, American artist Todd McGrain (b. 1961) set out to bring their vanished forms back into the world.

“Todd McGrain’s sculptures not only look majestic and beautiful,” states Cummer Museum Associate Curator Nelda Damiano, “they also prompt us to think about the role we play in protecting and preserving the world we live in.”

A bronze sculpture of each of the five birds has been permanently placed at a specific location related to their decline, from Newfoundland to Florida, Ohio to Martha’s Vineyard. The series on exhibit at the Museum is a set that is touring the country, in the hope of spreading awareness and evoking action. McGrain’s modern, elegant style captures the essence of each species, making it universal and approachable. More importantly, these sculptures ask us not to forget, and remind us of our duty to save fragile habitats and prevent further extinction.

For more than 50 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens, and education. A permanent collection of more than 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers more than 165,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities. For further information, including hours, visit www.cummermuseum.org.

Creative Fusion – Ways of Weaving Poetry and Art

Writers by the Sea Presents: CREATIVE FUSION: WAYS OF WEAVING POETRY AND ART TOGETHER

DATE: October 26, 2017 (DIFFERENT DATE FOR OCTOBER ONLY)
LOCATION: Amelia Island Museum of History, 233 S. 3rd St., Fernandina Beach, FL 3203
TIME: 6:00 Announcements followed by Presentation
PRESENTERS: Nola Perez, an Award winning poet and Linda Hart Green, Seasoned Artist and Shady Ladies Gallery owner

A creative soul opens life to a multitude of possibilities. She may chose to combine forms or mix genres in new ways. This month join two exceptionally creative souls and discover ways you might create even more beauty in your life. The meeting will open with Writers by the Sea Director, Nadine Vaughan D’Ardenne, recently returned from her adventures on a remote Native American Reservation in NM. The presentation will be facilitated by our new Executive Board Member, Jimmy Weinsier.

NOLA PEREZ’s entire persona gives voice to her poetry. This prizewinning poet grew up in historic Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, and lived away from the island for forty years, seven of those years abroad in Brussels, Belgium, and Paris, France. She returned to the U. S. in 1999 where she has been a participant author/panelist, in the Amelia Island Book Festival since 2001. She is widely published in literary journals and magazines.

LINDA HART GREEN retired to Fernandina Beach with her husband Harry Green in 2012 after decades serving in various positions in Christian ministry (New Jersey and Massachusetts). Linda is an exceptional artist who uses color the way a magician uses illusion. In 2016, with 3 artist/partners she opened Shady Ladies Art Studios and Gallery Look for them on South 8th St., under the ancient Oak. Writers by the Sea – Amelia Island, is a Chapter of Florida Writers Association. Visit us on Facebook and soon, at our web page (still under construction)!

Story and Song, Indie Bookstore, Opening in Fernandina

You’ll find the new bookstore located in the heart of the island at 1430 Park Avenue in Amelia Park’s commercial district (former home of Artistic Florist, and before that, KP’s Restaurant.)

A general interest indie bookstore, “Story & Song” will offer nearly 10,000 new books for all ages with a variety of interests, the best selection of unique greeting cards in Nassau County, fun toys, and gifts for the reading lifestyle.

You’ll discover books, music, art, wine, coffee, and fresh food in a lively, friendly space – making Story & Song a favorite destination for friends and neighbors, especially those who understand the importance of supporting locally-owned businesses.

The peaceful neighborhood setting offers a relaxing, refreshing escape from ‘screen fatigue’ and the busyness of our lives.

Upstairs, “The Second Story for Arts & Creativity” will showcase art books and art by local creators and will be a place to come for programs and performances, story time and discussions. Area book groups and non-profit community groups will now have a mid-island gathering space.

Find them on facebook for the latest details.

Amelia Island Named Top 10 U.S. Island by Condé Nast Traveler Readers

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. – Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island has placed among the Top 10 U.S. Islands in the 2017 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.  Amelia Island finished in the #3 spot and was the only Florida island included in a list comprised of destinations such as Maui, Nantucket and Oahu in the 30th annual competition.

“Amelia Island continues to enchant visitors, resulting in an ever-growing list of accolades and recognitions,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Readers have voted our island paradise into this elite group of global destinations eight of the last nine years. It’s a true testament to Amelia’s enduring appeal, and an invaluable endorsement from discerning travelers.”

Three of Amelia Island’s award-winning accommodators also placed among the Top 25 in the Resorts in Florida category – Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, a 25-room beachfront Inn (#12); the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, a 446-room beachfront resort (#22); and the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, a 404-room beachfront resort (#23).

Condé Nast Traveler announced the results of its 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards on October 17, ranking the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines, and cruise lines in the world. More than 300,000 dedicated readers took part in the 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey submitting millions of ratings and more than 100,000 comments, voting on a record-breaking thousands of hotels and resorts, hundreds of cities, islands, and cruise ships, and dozens of airlines and airports. The result? Condé Nast Traveler’s largest-ever list of Readers’ Choice Award winners, ranking the best travel experiences in the world.

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” Under Editor in Chief Pilar Guzmán, the Readers’ Choice Awards have become more selective and specific to the passions that inspire today’s travelers.

The Readers’ Choice Awards are announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 24, 2017. The full list is published exclusively online, at www.CNTraveler.com/rca.

About Condé Nast Traveler
As the most discerning, up-to-the-minute voice in all things travel, Condé Nast Traveler is the global citizen’s bible and muse, offering both inspiration and vital intel. Condé Nast Traveler is the most trusted and celebrated name in travel with six National Magazine Award wins and 26 nominations in its 28-year history. Advertising Age named Pilar Guzmán Editor of the Year in 2014 and CNTraveler.com attained four Webby Awards since 2015. www.cntraveler.com
 
 

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