New York Times bestselling author Eileen Dreyer, Kathleen Korbel to her Silhouette readers, is a proud member of RWA Hall of Fame, and winner of half dozen RT Booklover Awards throughout her career. With forty books and ten short stories to her names, she is published in a plethora of subgenres in romance and suspense (in suspense, mostly medical. I mean, why waste all that frustration?), and now includes what she calls Historical Romantic Adventure (gentleman spies are involved) with her DRAKE'S RAKES series, the latest of which is TWICE TEMPTED. She is working now on Pip's story, THREE TIMES A LADY, and a surprise novella, MISS FELICITY'S DILEMMA (to be clear, the one surprised was the author. Those characters. You just can't control 'em).
A native of St. Louis, where she still lives with her large, noisy Irish family, Eileen is also an RN with sixteen years experience in trauma medicine, and training in death investigation and forensics. A seasoned speaker, she has taught in venues that range from Washington University in St. Louis to the Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy. She travels to research, and researches to travel, and has made a commitment to have the most adventures she can, which includes being on "Jeopardy!," attending the Tony Awards in New York and a Hindu wedding in India, and singing in some of the best Irish pubs on three continents. She has animals, but refuses to subject them to the limelight.
Luncheon Keynote Speaker
Nancy Herkness is the author of the award-winning Wager of Hearts and Whisper Horse series, published by Montlake Romance, as well as several other contemporary romance novels. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America RITA® award, and has received many other honors for her work, including the Book Buyers Best Top Pick, the New England Readers’ Choice award, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
Nancy graduated from Princeton University where she majored in English. In addition to her academic work in literature, she was accepted into Princeton's creative writing program, and her senior thesis was a volume of original poetry.
After graduating, Nancy had a varied career which included retail management and buying, COBOL programming, computer systems sales and marketing, and a brief stint as a receptionist at a dental office. Once her children were in school full-time, she sat down and wrote A Bridge to Love, her first romance novel to be published.
A native of West Virginia, Nancy now lives in suburban New Jersey with her husband and a goofy golden retriever. She cheers loudly for the New Jersey Devils hockey team. For more information about Nancy and her books, visit www.NancyHerkness.com.
Breakfast Keynote Speaker
Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, which have been translated into twenty-five languages. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, the New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a two-time recipient of Romance Writers of America RITA® Award and a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for best work of fiction.
Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, her greatly adored children, two overly frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.
Special Presentation Keynote Speaker
Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, THE RAVEN PRINCE. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Born in New Orleans, but raised in the frigid winters of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Elizabeth was fortunate to travel extensively when she was growing up and lived in St. Andrews, Scotland; Oxford England; and Kawasaki, Japan. She went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she not only earned a degree in anthropology but also met Mr. Hoyt. Some years later, after a short pause to birth and raise two children, Elizabeth realized that she really wasn't qualified to do anything but Make up Stories and started writing.
Elizabeth now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained canines, a garden in constant need of weeding, and, of course, Mr. Hoyt.
PUB Retreat Speaker
Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Having lived all over, he’s earned his crust as a model, a messenger, a promoter, a programmer, a sculptor, a singer, a stripper, a bookkeeper, a bartender, a techie, a teacher, a director… but writing has ever been his bread and butter. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been a full-time writer for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He has won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at DamonSuede.com.