Hi, Lakeland bibliophiles. 👋 We’re highlighting 5 books written by locals for you to sit down with over the weekend. The best part? All of these books are available right here in Lakeland at Pressed (213 E. Bay St.) between the hours of 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
5 local reads
“Goodnight Lakeland“ by Ida Mundell and Josh “Bump” Galletta | Release date: Nov. 11, 2020 | This local take on “Goodnight Moon” is a 42-page homage to Swan City featuring illustrations of Lakeland’s most iconic landmarks and small businesses.
“One Search For All“ by Derrick McBride | Release date: May 11, 2021 | Inspired by true events, this story follows Jack McBride on his search to find a missing woman, Willie Swanson Edwards. The suspenseful novel deals with themes of racial inequity, homelessness, and determination, and even received attention from John Travolta.
“Serena Williams: Tennis Champion, Sports Legend, and Cultural Heroine“ by Merlisa Lawrence Corbett | Release date: Feb. 2020 | Dubbed as “more than a biography,” Merlisa Lawrence Corbett shares the stories behind the legendary tennis player and female icon.
“Ease Into Aging“ by Dick Hartman | Release date: Jan. 30, 2021 | This book by Winter Haven native Dick Hartman shares tips for mitigating the effects of aging. From retirement readiness to continued self-improvement, Dick explores relevant topics for older adults of all ages. ‘
“Will You Be My Friend?“ By Hunter Blaise | Release date: March 2, 2021 | Written by 21-year old, legally blind Hunter Blaise, “Will You Be My Friend?” follows the story of a mermaid attempting to befriend a giant bunny who prefers to be alone. Hunter writes literature about children with different abilities and has over 23,000 followers on TikTok.
Looking for more local authors? Here’s a roundup of some authors that have produced their work locally. ⬇️
5+ local authors
Fred Koehler | Writer + illustrator of children’s books; Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award winner for illustrations in One Day, The End
📘 Koehler’s imagination and passion for nature flow into all of his works through his adventurous characters and creative storylines. Garbage Island (The Nearly Always Precarious Adventures of Archibald Shrew) follows a mouse and a shrew trying to navigate through polluted waters to find their way home.
Robert Crosby | Writer, conference speaker, former pastor + current professor of theology at Southeastern University
📚 The One Jesus Loves: Grace is Unconditionally Given, Intimacy Must be Relentlessly Pursued describes Crosby’s theory of circles of relationship with the Lord, while providing personal and reflective opportunities for readers to examine their position of faith.
Jamie Beckett | Sci-fi + adventure writer
📚 The Lifeboat Augustus Series, Beckett’s five-book series that revolves around Randy Tagget, involves a team member responsible for saving the entire human race by surviving the danger of space in order to eventually create a new civilization to repopulate the Earth.
Alison Nissen | Author + chair of the Lakeland Writers Association
📘 Resolve, Courage, Hope is a true account of what is considered the worst killing rampage in Polk County history. While this is a dark story, Nissen and co-author Scott Headley provide a message of hope to their readers.
Barbara Meyers | Romance + “screwball fantasy” author
📘 Meyers has published 18+ novels, a few of which are written under her “pen name,” AJ Tillock. One of her most romantic novels, A Forever Kind of Guy, tells the story of Hayley, whose life has fallen apart and the last thing she needs is a man to make it worse. She guards her heart until she meets Ray, who changes everything.
Other notable mentions from our readers:
📘 Tom Corcoran | Murder mystery author, magazine editor + freelance photographer
📘 Teresa Vázquez Martínez | Author of Success in Exile: Five Decades of Human Stories
📘 Deliza Elizee | Author of Millennial Marketing: Engage and Retain the Young Adult Consumer Market
📘 Joy V. Smith | Author of Strike Three, Sugar Time, Detour Trail, Cold New Planet, Pretty Pink Planet, Hot Yellow Planet, Hidebound, Crystal Quest, The Doorway and Other Stories, and Taboo Tech
Fun fact: John Green (author of The Fault in Our Stars) went to Winter Park high school. His book Paper Towns, set in Orlando, makes reference to Winter Park High School.
If you wrote a book set in Lakeland, what would it be about? Maybe a swan takeover? A coffee shop meet-cute? Share your ideas at [email protected].