Books In Bloom

Elizabeth Berg

BergElizabeth Berg is the author of twenty novels, including Open House, which was an Oprah's Book Club selection, Once Upon a Time, There Was You, The Last Time I Saw You, Home Safe, Dream When You're Feeling Blue, and The Year of Pleasures. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as American Library Association Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was shortlisted for the ABBY Award in 1996. The winner of the 1997 New England Booksellers Association Award for her body of work, Berg divides her time between California and Chicago.

Terry Brooks

BrooksA writer since the age of ten, published his first novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1977. It became the first work of fiction ever to appear on the New York Times Trade Paperback Bestseller List, where it remained for over five months. He has written over thirty bestselling novels, as well as movie adaptations of Hook and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and a memoir on his writing life titled Sometimes the Magic Works. He has sold over thirty million copies of his books domestically and is published worldwide. His Magic Kingdom series is currently under option at Warner Brothers with the actor Steve Carell attached to the project as producer and star. The Shannara series has been optioned by Sonar Entertainment and MTV will produce Elfstones of Shannara as a first season series later this year. His next novel, High Druid's Blade, will be published in July 2014. The author lives with his wife Judine in the Pacific Northwest.

Mark Christ

ChristMark Christ is community outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage He joined the AHPP in 1990 after eight years as a professional journalist. A 1982 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, he received his Master's degree in 2000 from the University of Oklahoma. The Civil War Trust awarded him the 2013 State Preservation Leadership Award. He is a member of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Arkansas Humanities Council and is a former member of the board of trustees of the Arkansas Historical Association. He has written and edited several books, including "Rugged and Sublime" The Civil War in Arkansas, Sentinels of History: Reflections on Arkansas Properties Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which won an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, "Getting Used To Being Shot At": The Spence Family Civil War Letters, "All Cut to Pieces and Gone to Hell": The Civil War, Race Relations and the Battle of Poison Spring, "The Earth Shook and Trees Trembled": Civil War Arkansas 1863-1864, "The Die is Cast: Arkansas Goes to War, 1861," and Civil War Arkansas, 1863: The Battle for a State, which won the 2010 Douglas Southall Freeman Award and the 2013 Booker Worthen Literary Prize, "This Day We Marched Again": A Union Soldier's Account of War in Arkansas and the Trans-Mississippi Region and "I Do Wish This Cruel War Was Over": First Person Accounts of Civil War Arkansas from the Arkansas Historical Quarterly.

Steven Foster

FosterSteven Foster is author and photographer of 18 books, most recently the 2014 third edition of a Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs (with James A. Duke; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) , plus National Geographic’s Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs (2010), and A Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine (2006, with Rebecca Johnson), awarded a 2007 New York Public Library “Best of Reference". For more information see his website:

(photo credit: John Rankine)

Susan Holmes

HolmesSusan Holmes fell under the spell of books during her first visit to the public library, and she's been enthralled ever since. By the fifth grade she'd progressed to reading Shakespeare, an experience that came in handy when stationed in England early in her military career. Years of writing military publications proved great training when she moved into academic publishing and then fiction. Today, she lives in northwest Arkansas where she works as a writer, editor, and college professor. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dog Writers Association of America.

Her third book, Deadly Ties is the first in the Waterside Kennels mystery series. Ozark folklore and traditions are recurring themes in the series, which is set against the backdrop of the Eureka Springs area. In pursuit of authentic material, she joined Search and Rescue exercises, ventured deep into caves, and followed the trail of Ozark legends. She works closely with dog trainers, kennel owners, and veterinarians to create an environment that dog lovers are sure to recognize and appreciate.

Dr. Judson N. Hout

HoutDr. Judson N. Hout was born and raised in Newport, Arkansas, and graduated from Newport High School in 1953. He attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville from 1953 until 1956 and the University of Arkansas School of Medicine from 1956 until 1960 graduating with an MD degree. His internship was at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 1960 until 1961. Then followed two years in the United States Air Force where he served as Base Medical Officer at Bossier Base, a nuclear weapons base in Shreveport, Louisiana, with the rank of Captain. Since August 1963, Dr. Hout have lived in Camden, Arkansas, where he practiced family medicine until partial retirement in 2011. He remains in part-time practice in Addiction Medicine as Medical Director of the Ouachita County Medical Center Chemical Dependency Unit. Married for the past 22 years to his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Lindsey Hout, and they have a blended family of six children and sixteen grandchildren and are members of the First United Methodist Church in Camden serving on many Lay committees. He is the author of four novels, including The Ghost of Bud Parrott (a national award winner), Sweet Hope, The Boys From Possum Grape and most recently, Miss Carrie, the touching story of an orphaned boy's relationship with the inhabitant of a small town's "haunted house."

(Photo credit: Mary Catherine of MC Photography)

John Hornor Jacobs

JacobsJohn Hornor Jacobs' first novel, Southern Gods, was published by Night Shade Books and shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award. His second novel, This Dark Earth, was published in July 2012, by Gallery/Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. His young adult series, The Incarcerado Trilogy comprised of The Twelve Fingered Boy, The Shibboleth, and The Conformity, is published by Carolrhoda Labs, an imprint of Lerner Books.

His first fantasy series, The Incorruptibles will be published in Spring 2014 by Gollancz/Hachette in the UK.

John is the co-founder of Needle: A Magazine of Noir and was the active creative director until fall 2012. He has a quartet of stories, Fierce As The Grave, available through

Denise Parkinson


Denise White Parkinson was born, raised and educated in Arkansas. The daughter of longtime Arkansas radio personality Sonny Martin, she attended college on scholarship and is a 1986 graduate of Hendrix College in Conway. Her career in journalism includes writing for the Arkansas Democrat, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Times, Mature Arkansas news monthly, Little Rock Free Press, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, Memphis Flyer and Cooper-Young Lamplighter. Since 2008, she has been the lead writer for Hot Springs Life and Home magazine. She resides in Hot Springs with her husband and children, where her proudest achievement is founding Hot Springs Area Community Gardens Network. Her first book, Daughter of the White River, is published by History Press of South Carolina.

Anne K. Ream

ReamAnne K. Ream is the author of "Lived Through This: Listening to the Stories of Sexual Violence Survivors," a narrative and photographic memoir of a multi-country, multi-year journey spent documenting the experiences of victims of gender-related violence. The recipient of numerous awards for her work on behalf of women and girls, Anne is the founder of The Voices and Faces Project (, a new-media storytelling project, and the co-creator and workshop facilitator for The Stories We Tell, North America's first testimonial-writing program for survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence, and trafficking. Her writing has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan, and numerous other publications.

(photo credit: Patricia Evans)

Kathy Reichs

ReichsKathy Reichs, like her character Temperance Brennan, is a forensic anthropologist, formerly for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and currently for the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale for the province of Quebec. Reichs's first book, Déjà Dead, catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her latest Temperance Brennan novel, Bones of the Lost, was an instant New York Times bestseller.

Kerry Reichs

Reichs-KerryKerry Reichs is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, where she learned the importance of "the lovely thank you note" and white meat only chicken salad. She is a graduate of Oberlin College, and Duke University School of Law and Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Kerry practiced law in Washington, D.C. for over six years prior to taking a sabbatical to write a novel. After discovering that sabbaticals agree with her, Kerry focused on writing full time. Mother to an active two-year old, Kerry has become adept at typing with one hand, or working so intently she will jump a mile if you sneak up behind her. Kerry lives in Washington, D.C., though she spends as much time as possible burying her toes in the sand near Charleston, South Carolina, and revisiting her old haunts of Los Angeles and London. Her books include The Best Day of Someone Else's Life, Leaving Unknown, and What You Wish For. She has also written for the television show Bones on FOX. She is currently working on her fourth book.

Kat Robinson

RobinsonKat Robinson is a passionate foodways and travel writer living in Little Rock with her daughter, Hunter. Her first book, Arkansas Pie: A Delicious Slice of the Natural State, covers great pie makers and restaurants; her second book, Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley, ties together transportation and the spread of regional cuisine throughout northern and western Arkansas.

Lothar SchÄfer

SchaferLothar Schäfer received his PhD in Chemistry in 1965 from the University of Munich. From 1965-1967 he was a NATO Fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway; from 1967-1968 he was a Research Associate at Indiana University; and from 1968 - 2011 he taught Physical Chemistry at the University of Arkansas, where he advanced to the rank of a Distinguished Professor. His research was in Electron Diffraction and Computational Chemistry. In the 1980s he was able to attract a team of scientists who succeeded in developing the first so-called 'Real-Time' Electron Diffraction Instrument, in which the electron diffraction data are recorded electronically and in real-time, replacing older photographic techniques. The new instrument allowed new types of experiments in time-resolved studies of laser-excited molecules.

Lothar Schäfer has published some 300 research papers or essays in professional journals or books, and he is the author of two books: In Search of Divine Reality - Science as a Source of Inspiration, (University of Arkansas Press, 1998); and Infinite Potential: What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live, (Random House, 2013).  Interest in his work has led to countless invitations to present lectures in Europe, the US, Canada, South America and Japan.

Michael Shelden

SheldenMichael Shelden is the author of five biographies, among them the best-selling Mark Twain: Man In White, which was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by the Library Journal and the Christian Science Monitor. His Orwell: the Authorized Biography was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Shelden was a features writer for the Daily Telegraph (London) and a fiction critic for The Baltimore Sun. His newest biography, Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill, is being made into a six-part series by Carnival Films, makers of Downton Abbey. Shelden is currently a professor at Indiana State University.

(Photo credit: Joseph C. Garza)

Brian Walter

WalterBrian Walter, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English and Director of Convocations at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. He is the director of the feature documentary Stay More: The World of Donald Harington (U. of Arkansas Press, 2013), and he has written articles, reviews, and fiction about the author's work. He also appears as an 'old coot' interviewer with a magical camera and tricky questions in the last chapter of Harington's last novel, Enduring. He lives a short walk from the St. Louis Zoo with his brilliant, loving wife Brenda and an elderly, beatifically spoiled feline familiar named Baucis, and he is currently working on the follow-up documentary, Farther Along: The World of Donald Harington, Pt. 2. (For updates on the work in progress, check out the documentary's Facebook page, Stay More: The World of Donald Harington