Traditional Author Weekend


Meet these authors and industry professionals at Traditional Author Weekend!

Priscilla Oliveras, Keynote

Priscilla Oliveras Priscilla Oliveras is a USA Today bestselling author and 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. Her books have earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist along with praise from O, The Oprah Magazine, Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Frolic, and more. She earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University where she currently serves as adjunct faculty while also teaching the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. A long-time romance enthusiast, Priscilla’s also a sports fan, beach lover, and Zumba aficionado, who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.

Find out more and check out her events calendar at, and follow her on Facebook or Twitter and Instagram via @prisoliveras.

Sonali Dev

Sonali DevUSA Today best-selling author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that explore universal issues. Her novels have been named Best Books of the Year by Library Journal, NPR, the Washington Post, and Kirkus. She has won numerous accolades, including the American Library Association’s award for best romance, the RT Reviewer Choice Award for best contemporary romance, multiple RT Seals of Excellence, has been a RITA® finalist, and has been listed for the Dublin Literary Award. Shelf Awareness calls her, “Not only one of the best but one of the bravest romance novelists working today.” She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two visiting adult children, and the world’s most perfect dog.

Leticia Gomez, Editorial Director, Dafina Books (Kensington Publishing)

Leticia Gomez Leticia Gomez is the Editorial Director for Dafina Books, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp., which focuses on high-quality fiction and non-fiction that centers on race, identity, and its impact on our experiences. Dafina’s carefully curated list is a home for dynamic stories that innovate and amplify voices too long ignored through books that entertain, challenge, and inspire. Launched in 2000 as the first African American imprint, Dafina has led the market for more than twenty years in highlighting voices of color. Leticia is actively seeking to acquire multicultural fiction and nonfiction of all genres including literary fiction, commercial fiction, historical fiction, romance, mystery, and narrative nonfiction of all genres with a focus on authors of color (BIPOC) as well as specific nonfiction projects for marginalized communities. Leticia can be contacted at [email protected]

In addition to her role at Kensington, Leticia is a prominent literary/film/television agent who specializes in bringing culturally diverse voices to the forefront. She has helped her clients secure deals with the largest publishers in the world and has seen several of her projects successfully optioned for TV and film rights. As a literary agent, she has placed nearly 200 books with independent and mainstream traditional publishers. In January of 2007, Leticia launched Savvy Literary Services, becoming one of a highly select group of agencies in the world that specializes in the Latino book market. Savvy Literary is now an industry leader specializing in Self-help, Narrative Non-fiction, Memoir, True Crime, Spiritual/Inspirational, Political/Current Affairs, Suspense/Thriller, Family Drama, and the Young Adult market. Championing the work of minority writers continues to be a top priority for the agency.

Candace Havens

Candace HavensBest-selling author Candace Havens has published more than 27 books. Her novels have received many awards. She is the author of the biography “Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy” and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities, from George Clooney to Chris Pratt. Candace runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews with Hawkeye in the Morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association. Her new hardcover mystery series debuts April 4, with Crooked Lane.

Leah Hultenschmidt

Leah HultenschmidtLeah Hultenschmidt is the associate publisher of the Forever imprint at Grand Central Publishing and the editor for a number bestselling authors in romance and women’s fiction—such as Abby Jimenez, Natasha Lester, Farrah Rochon, and Kennedy Ryan­. When not reading, Leah is happiest travel planning, crafting handmade cards, or tending her terrace garden.

Peggy Jaeger

Peggy JaegerPeggy Jaeger writes contemporary romances and rom-coms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Michelle Klayman, Boroughs Publishing Group

Michelle KlaymanMichelle Klayman credits law school for her love of romance novels. The law library closed at midnight, and needing to stock her fridge, learned there was only one 24/7 supermarket in the area. She walked into the store and saw directly to the left of the entryway a rack filled with paperbacks, mostly romance novels. Falling asleep after studying all day, and most of the evening was problematic, and Michelle figured she’d read herself to sleep. As most dedicated readers know, that belief was disproved. She wound up reading most of the night, and found classmates who’d adopted the same addiction. Fast forward to the ebook era and Boroughs Publishing Group was born. We had our 11th anniversary in December 2022 and continue to publish romance novels in every subgenre except inspirational. Michelle remains dedicated to interesting, emotional, well-written stories that bring new light to tried and true tropes.

Thien-Kim Lam

Thien-Kim LamThien-Kim Lam writes stories about Vietnamese characters who smash stereotypes and find their happy endings. A recovering Type-Asian, she guzzles cà phê sữa đá, makes art, and bakes her feelings to stay sane.

Thien-Kim is also the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy romances with erotic toys. She’s been featured on Jezebel, NPR, BBC America, and Glamour. Her debut novel Happy Endings is now available, and her forthcoming book Full Exposure will be released February 2023.


LaQuetteLaQuette writes sexy, stylish, and sensational romance. That means she writes sentimental and steamy stories (like Hallmark movies, but with a lot of sex) featuring at least one main character who always keeps it cute.

This Brooklyn native writes unapologetically bold, character-driven stories. Her novels feature diverse ensemble casts who are confident in their right to appear on the page.

If she's not writing, she's probably trying on or looking for her next great makeup find. Contact her at

La Sheera Lee, Agent, SBR Media

La Sheera LeeAward winning blogger La Sheera Lee, M.Ed., is a wife, mother, educator, podcaster, literary agent, moderator, literary event planner, and magazine contributor. She is on a mission to help others to see the beauty of their own voices.

LaSheera served as production assistant on Iris Bolling’s production Heart Series. She was the casting director for Deadly Sexy, based on the Beverly Jenkins bestselling book. It was produced and directed by Iris Bolling.

La Sheera, is also known for her savvy as a social media strategist and influencer, loves to help people connect the dots. She utilizes the power of social media to inspire, inform, and educate on a global level.    

La Sheera has always loved two things: reading and helping others. Now, she can merge her two passions as a literary agent for SBR Media. She has secured several deals for authors during her time at the agency. 

Mia P. Manansala

Mia P. ManansalaMia P. Manansala (she/her) is a writer and certified book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She is the author of the multi-award-winning Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series, and uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture.
A lover of all things geeky, Mia spends her days procrasti-baking, playing JRPGs and dating sims, reading cozy mysteries and diverse romance, and cuddling her dogs Gumiho and Max Power.
Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @MPMtheWriter. Or check out her website:

Jodé Millman

Jode MillmanJodé Millman is the multi-award-winning author of HOOKER AVENUE and THE MIDNIGHT CALL, which are the first two installments in her “Queen City Crimes” Series. She’s an attorney, a reviewer for, the host/producer of The Backstage with the Bardavon podcast, and creator of The Writer’s Law School, which she has presented to international writers and arts organizations, trade groups and libraries. Jodé lives with her family in the Hudson Valley, where she is at work on her third legal thriller, THE EMPTY KAYAK, which is scheduled for release in May 2023. Discover more about Jodé, her work, and sign up for her newsletter at

Ella Quinn

Ella QuinnUSA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of almost forty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, a Great Dane and a cat. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. They cruised the Caribbean and North America and completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. They will be sailing the Med for the foreseeable future.

Reese Ryan

Reese RyanReese Ryan is the author of twenty published works of romantic fiction and counting. Her stories feature a cast of flawed, complex characters. She presents her characters with family and career drama, challenging love interests, and life-changing secrets while treating readers to an emotional love story with unexpected twists.
Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides in Central North Carolina. She treads the line carefully between being a Northerner and a damned Yankee, despite her insistence on calling soda pop. She gauges her progress by the number of “bless your lil’ hearts” she receives each week. She is currently down to two.

Reese, an advocate for the romance genre and diversity in fiction, is the past president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter, a panelist at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and the 2018 Donna Hill Breakout Author.

Naima Simone

Naima SimoneUSA Today bestselling author Naima Simone loves writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. Her books have been featured in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and described as balancing “crackling, electric love scenes with exquisitely rendered characters caught in emotional turmoil.”

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.

Morena Stamm

Morena StammMorena is an editor for The Wild Rose Press who specializes in editing steamy romance books. (The hotter the better!)