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Carrie Callaghan and Jenni Walsh: Historical Novelists in Conversation

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Join Carrie Callaghan, author of A Light of Her Own, and Jenni Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie, for a discussion of their books—historical fiction about ambitious women.

About A Light of Her Own:

Judith is a painter, dodging the law and whispers of murder to try to become the first woman admitted to the Haarlem painters guild. Maria is a Catholic in a country where the faith is banned, hoping to absolve her sins by recovering a lost saint’s relic. Both women’s destinies will be shaped by their ambitions, running counter to the city’s most powerful men, whose own plans spell disaster.

A vivid portrait of a remarkable artist, A Light of Her Own is a richly-woven story of an ambitious woman who fulfilled her name by becoming a true “leading star.”

In Holland 1633, a woman’s ambition has no place.

Judith is a painter, dodging the law and whispers of murder to try to become the first woman admitted to the Haarlem painters guild. Maria is a Catholic in a country where the faith is banned, hoping to absolve her sins by recovering a lost saint’s relic.

Both women’s destinies will be shaped by their ambitions, running counter to the city’s most powerful men, whose own plans spell disaster. A vivid portrait of a remarkable artist, A Light of Her Own is a richly-woven story of grit against the backdrop of Rembrandt and an uncompromising religion.

About Becoming Bonnie

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From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh comes the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family's poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas's newest speakeasy, Doc's.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn't know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.

600 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

This event is FREE and open to all.

Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave MagazineThe MacGuffinSilk RoadFloodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master's of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jenni L. Walsh has spent the past decade enticing readers as an award-winning advertising copywriter. Her passion lies in transporting readers to another world, be it in historical or contemporary settings. She is a proud graduate of Villanova University, and lives in the Philly 'burbs with her husband, daughter, son, and goldendoodle.