We are pleased to invite you to We Are Family: a Virtual Adventure with New York Times bestselling authors Shilpi Somaya Gowda and J. Ryan Stradal, debut novelist Alison Hammer, and PBS Genealogy Roadshow host and author Kenyatta Berry. Join us on Zoom* to “meet” these creative artists and experience the many complexities, contours, challenges, and unique nuances of family:
As you relax in the comfort of your own home, allow our featured authors to set the stage for their four family-themed books:
The Family Tree Toolkit – How do you navigate through the sometimes overwhelming and sometimes treacherous waters of tracing family ancestry, especially in areas like African American Genealogy and Enslaved Ancestral Research?
The Shape of Family – What does it mean to be a family and how do you move from a painful past into a hopeful future? How do you seek belonging—in our families, our communities and ultimately, within ourselves?
You and Me and Us – How do you struggle to be a family without the one person who holds you together?
The Lager Queen of Minnesota – What happens when a family is split after an inheritance splits you apart?
Following the presentation, don’t miss the exclusive opportunity offered by renowned professional genealogist Kenyatta Berry to tell your own family story through documentation you possess or discover thru research. As her presentation unveils the fascinating story of a public figure in African American history whom she uncovered in her own genealogical research, find out why every story matters, including your own!
This Virtual Adventure was designed not only to support creative artists whose book tours and events were cancelled due to COVID-19, but also to provide readers with our signature Adventures by the Book® multi-sensorial experience that brings literature to life in exciting and unique ways. Event admission is included with your purchase of any of the authors’ books, or purchase all and receive a special bundled discount.
Your Adventure includes your choice of any of the authors’ books, shipping within the US, signed bookplate(s), a virtual book discussion with bestselling authors, and an interactive genealogical storytelling session.
*Instructions to join the Zoom virtual Adventure will be emailed to you three days prior to the event. Please note that no technical assistance will be available during the event, so we highly recommend you practice using Zoom with friends and family prior to the event.
Kenyatta Berry is the television host on Genealogy Roadshow (PBS), which received over 1.5 million viewers per episode and has generated enormous buzz surrounding her insight, understanding and expertise by colleagues, genealogy organizations, experts, media and supporters alike. Kenyatta was featured on The Real (FOX), revealing the DNA results of the hosts in a segment entitled “Who Am I?” The videos of this segment has received over 9.5 million views on YouTube.
She has written several books for young adults, including Come Find Me, Fragments of the Lost, and The Safest Lies. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina. Her newest book, The Family Tree Toolkit, navigates you through the sometimes overwhelming and sometimes treacherous waters of tracing ancestry. From how and where to begin, to what to do once you find the information and so much more, The Family Tree Toolkit is the perfect guide for a methodical yet personal inquiry into your unique history!
Shilpi Somaya Gowda is the New York Times and international bestselling author of Secret Daughter and The Golden Son, whose work has been published in twenty countries and taught in universities, colleges and high schools across the world. Her debut, Secret Daughter, was translated into over 30 languages, was an IndieNext Great Read, a Target Book Club Pick, and an Amnesty International Book Club Pick. It was a finalist for the South African Boeke Literary Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her second book, The Golden Son is a Target Book Club Pick, a Costco Buyer’s Pick, and was awarded the French literary prize, Prix des Lyceens Folio. Her first two novels have sold over two million copies worldwide.
Shilpi holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Children’s Defense Fund, and is a Patron of Childhaven International, the organization for which she volunteered in India.
Her new book, The Shape of Family, has already earned a spot on the Canadian national bestseller list and debuted at #2 on the LA Times bestseller list. The Olander family embodies the modern American Dream in a globalized world. Jaya, the cultured daughter of an Indian diplomat and Keith, an ambitious banker from middle-class Philadelphia, meet in a London pub in 1988 and make a life together in suburban California. Their strong marriage is built on shared beliefs and love for their two children: headstrong teenager Karina and young son Prem, the light of their home. But love and prosperity cannot protect them from sudden, unspeakable tragedy, and the family’s foundation cracks as each member struggles to seek a way forward. How, then, does a family reconstruct itself when the contours of life have changed?
Alison Hammer has been spinning words to tell stories since she learned how to talk. A graduate of the University of Florida and the Creative Circus in Atlanta, she lived in nine cities before settling down in Chicago. During the day, Alison is a VP Creative Director at FCB Chicago, but on nights and weekends you can find her writing upmarket women’s fiction.
Her debut novel, You and Me and Us, is the heartbreaking, yet hopeful, story of a mother and daughter struggling to be a family without the one person who holds them together—a perfect summer read for fans of Jojo Moyes and Marisa de los Santos.
To schedule a book club visit with Alison or any of our authors on NovelNetwork:
J. Ryan Stradal is the New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest, which the American Booksellers Association voted as the Indies Choice Book of the Year Award: Adult Debut Winner. The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association awarded it the 2016 Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for the year’s top fiction book, and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association also named it as the year’s top novel.
The Lager Queen of Minnesota is a novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate, and the secrets of making a world-class beer. Edith Magnusson’s rhubarb pies are famous in the Twin Cities–they were named the third-best in the state of Minnesota and St. Anthony-Waterside Nursing Home has quickly becomes the hottest dinner ticket in town. Still, she lays awake wondering how her life might have been different if her father hadn’t left their family farm to her sister Helen, a decision that split their family in two.
In addition to writing, J. Ryan volunteers for & is on the advisory board of the educational non-profit 826LA and also co-produces, with Summer Block, the literary/culinary series “HOT DISH,” which. He has often worked in television, story editing or producing shows for VH-1, MTV, ABC, FOX, TLC, A&E, Discovery, and History. Working primarily for Original Productions from 2008 to 2014, he was the senior story producer on “Deadliest Catch” and “Ice Road Truckers” and a supervising producer on “IRT: Deadliest Roads,” “Storage Wars,” and “Storage Wars: Texas.” He likes books, wine, sports, root beer, craft beer, and peas.
Are you in a book club, or do you have a group of friends, colleagues, or other social group who are seeking fabulous authors who are excited and available to meet with you? Then you will be delighted to know that Wendy Walker and Michelle Cox are just two members of our wonderful community of over 125 NovelNetwork® authors, available to meet with book clubs via video chat, and you can even do so via Zoom (for free) from the safety and comfort of your own homes.
NovelNetwork is the nation’s first and only match(dot)com for authors and book clubs to find each other, so check it out today. Book clubs join for free and gain access to our database of dozens of authors, from NYT and international bestsellers, to debut authors, cookbook authors, mystery and non-fiction authors, and representing various regions of the United States, and even Alaska and Hawaii, all of whom want to meet with you!
To schedule a visit with Alison or any of our authors, join for free here.