M&M Special Guest Speakers

GRW Featured Speaker

USA Today Best Selling Author

Ciara Knight

Ciara Knight is a USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author who writes ‘A Little Edge and A Lot of Heart’ that spans the heat scales. Her popular sweet romance series, Sweetwater County (rated PG), takes readers into small town romance full of family trials, friendly competition, and community love.

The prequel novella of a brand new sister series, Riverbend, is now available, and the first four books will release in 2016.

Ciara’s teen books (Rated PG) are coming of age stories, set in fantastical worlds, with a little grit. Her bestselling series, The Neumarian Chronicles and Battle for Souls both received four and five star reviews and were nominated for prestigious awards.

For more sizzle, check out Ciara’s Shrouded Kingdoms. After a long wait, she is pleased to independently release this series, and after many reader requests, she is happy to announce that the second book, Secrets of Dargon, will release in January 2016.

For more information on her different genres and heat levels, to read excerpts, and learn more about the person behind the stories visit Ciara’s website at www.ciaraknight.com. You can also connect with Ciara on Twitter @ciaratknight, or “Like” her on Facebook (ciaraknightwrites), but the best way to win prizes and receive the most up to date information is to subscribe to her newsletter at: http://www.ciaraknight.com/newsletter

Craft Speaker

New York Times Best Selling Author

Virginia Kantra

New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra is the author of more than twenty-five books of contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. Her stories have earned numerous awards including Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award, eight RITA nominations, and two National Readers’ Choice Awards. Her work includes the popular Children of the Sea series and, in e-book format, the The MacNeills stories.

Carolina Dreaming, the fifth book in her Dare Island series, was named one of BookPage’s Top Ten Romance Novels of 2016; won New Jersey Romance Writer’s Golden Leaf Award; and is a Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist.

Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of three (mostly adult) children, Virginia lives in North Carolina. She is a firm believer in the strength of family, the importance of storytelling, and the power of love.

Her favorite thing to make for dinner? Reservations.

A popular speaker, Virginia regularly offers workshops to writers’ groups and has participated in Winston Salem’s Bookmarks Festival; the North Carolina Literary Festival; and Duke University’s “Unsuitable” event series hosted by the Forum for Scholar and Publics. She loves talking with readers.

Special Guest Speaker

James R. Tuck

Born and raised in Georgia, James grew up drawing and reading from a wee lad. A steady helping of Robert E. Howard stories, Golden Age comics, and books he was far too young to have been reading, combined with a very southern involvement in church and watching horror movies became the bedrock of his creativity. He grew up, became a tattoo artist, and now a writer of Dark Fantasy.

His first book was written in 2010 and went on to sell, unagented, to Kensington Books in a three-book deal. That book was Blood and Bullets, the first in the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series. The series came out of the gates swinging, becoming a hit among fans and winning a BOOKIE Award for the second book of the series, Blood and Silver.

After independently publishing several standalone collections of short fiction in a variety of genres, James joined with NYT Bestselling Author Debbie Viguie to try his hand at Fantasy with the Robin Hood:  Demon’s Bane series that will arrive this year from Titan Books.

James still tattoos three days a week at a shop near his home and has had his tattoo work published in national magazines. He recently taken up photography as another creative outlet and will see his first book of photos published this year.

He lives in Georgia with his lovely wife, teenage son, and four dogs (his daughter is off at college and making him proud).