‘Conner Calling’ host speaks at Millhopper Library Sept. 14

Also, a list of literary events and activities

Published: Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 12:21 p.m.

Hank Conner, host and producer of the radio program “Conner Calling,” discusses his work, 2:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St. Sponsored by the Writers Alliance of Gainesville, the event is free and open to the public.

“Conner Calling,” which airs 1-2 p.m. Fridays on WUFT-FM, is a radio talk show with literary guests. Conner taught courses in radio and journalism in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications until his retirement. Born and raised in Alabama, he graduated from Auburn University.

In addition to producing and hosting his radio program, Conner is active in the University of Florida Retired Faculty organization and is an avid photographer, staying busy creating images using Photoshop and other computer applications.


■ “The Black Rose”: Gainesville author Sam Berretti recently released his second novel, “The Black Rose.”

The romance thriller, which is set in Gainesville, revolves around an assistant state attorney named Meredith O’Brien, who finds herself the target of street thugs as she uncovers the truth about a serial rapist and killer intent on taunting police and embroiling her in a web of deceit. After years of being alone, O’Brien finds herself being pursued by her ex-boyfriend detective and a mysterious Atlanta billionaire.

The book is the first in the O’Brien’s Law Series and is available in paperback ($13.07) and Kindle format ($2.99) through Amazon (

Sam Berretti, the pen name for Dwight Bennett, is a long-time member of the community and University of Florida graduate. Berretti is retired and enjoys nature photography, graphic arts and writing. His first novel was “Double Mayhem.” For more information, visit

■ Debut Novel: Sandra Lambert has recently published her debut novel “The River’s Memory” (Twisted Road, $13.95).

“A woman born without legs spends her days swimming with manatees. Two artists, separated by centuries, guide each other’s hands. And a child of the Florida frontier sits on the graves of her siblings to think about race relations and the habits of caterpillars. These are some of the women who live along the banks of a river where water billows from caverns of silent lakes. None of them are famous. None have children.”

Lambert writes memoir and fiction, and her work has appeared in New Letters, Brevity, The Weekly Rumpus, the North American Review, Arts & Letters and a variety of anthologies.

Excerpts from “The River’s Memory” have won prizes from Big Fiction Magazine and the Saints and Sinners Short Fiction Contest. Lambert lives with her partner in Gainesville.

The book is available at Wild Iris Books, other independent bookstores and on in print and e-book versions.

For information on a launch party, send an email to

■ “The Age of Cain”: Frederick J. Long’s latest book takes on the question of what happened to the Bible character Cain after he killed his brother Abel.

“The Age of Cain” (, $2.99) is a work of historical fiction that follows the life of Cain and the family and legacy he creates. Drawing from Biblical, gnostic and historical resources, the Gainesville author gives the reader an unflinching look into an antediluvian world that is at once beautiful and brutal.

“The Age of Cain” takes on the world of giants and archangels, and attempts to answer the question of who Cain married.

Long is the author of “Tall Tales in Short Order” (; the apocalyptic, post-industrial Web comic and the comic’s tie-in book “Conscript Corps.”

■ “Snap Decision”: New York Times bestselling author Nathan Whitaker has experienced football life from both on and off the field. Now Whitaker, who has co-authored books with NFL greats Tony Dungy, James Brown and Tim Tebow on their real-life stories, tells the story of an eighth-grader with a talent for football in “Snap Decision” (Zonderkidz, $15.99), the first in his new Game Face fiction series for kids.

“In Snap Decision,” Chase Clark gets the opportunity to play on the high school varsity football team with his best friend, Tripp. But when a hard hit leaves Tripp with a concussion, Chase is the only one who knows what really happened. And telling could have serious consequences, including suspension from the team. Trying to do what he thinks is right turns out very wrong.

Whitaker gives young readers the important example of being both a good friend and a good teammate, even when faced with difficult situations and hard consequences. The book is targeted to middle-schoolers and takes place in North Central Florida.

Whitaker grew up in Gainesville, attending Eastside in the first IB class, and played football for Steve Spurrier at Duke University.

He practiced law in North Carolina, clerked for a U.S. district judge, worked in ministry and was a member of the Player Personnel Departments of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also holds post-graduate degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of Florida. For more information, visit

■ “Dreams of Perfection”: Gainesville resident and romance author Rebecca Heflin, the pen name for Dianne Farb, released her third novel, “Dreams of Perfection” (Soul Mate Publishing) recently.

The book will be available for purchase as an e-book on through the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program as a promotional offer before it is released through book retailers.

“Dreams of Perfection” is the first of three anticipated novels in Heflin’s “Dreams Come True” series.

Farb is the author of two previous romance novels: “The Promise of Change” and “Rescuing Lacey.” She is currently writing the second book in the Dreams Come True series, “Ship of Dreams.”

■ “Doc Frog’s Physical Training Manual, Navy SEAL Fitness for Kids”: David B. Rutherford, a former Navy SEAL medic, has published “Doc Frog’s Physical Training Manual, Navy SEAL Fitness for Kids” (Kindle, iTunes, $11.99 online, $19.95 paperback) a physical training manual introducing young people to the world of physical fitness.

The book outlines a simple and sensible training regime, and offers information about embracing ones fears, building comprehensive self-confidence and living the team life.

The illustrations by Brian Kalt, a local artist, depict the super hero, Doc Frog, in various exercise techniques.

For more information, visit


■ Talking service: A reading and discussion program for veterans, their family and friends meets 7-8:30 p.m. the third Monday of every month, Beltram Peace Center, 1236 NW 18th Ave. (376-0044 or

■ The Book Rack Book Club: Meets 3 p.m. the first Thursday of every month, The Book Rack, 4936 NW 39th Ave. (224-3945)

■ Gainesville Poets & Writers: Meets 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Books-A-Million, 2601 NW 13th St.

■ Weekly Poetry Jam: Gainesville’s longest-running open poetry reading, 9 p.m. Thursdays, Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main St. (373-0010 or

■ Writer’s Alliance of Gainesville: Anyone interested in the written word is welcome; see for exact dates, Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St. Free.

■ Tempting Reads Book Club: Group meets 6 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month. Newberry Branch Library, 110 S. Seaboard Drive, Newberry. Open to the public. (472-1135)

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