A Day with Santa Fe Authors
Memoir and Mystery

Meet eight women authors whose memoirs have enlightened you and whose mysteries have chilled you over the years.

Please Join Us

Saturday, September 7, 2024
9:00am to 5:00pm
Santa Fe Woman’s Club
1616 Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe, NM 87505

Lunch will be provided.

This fundraising event will be held in association with Partners in Education Foundation for the Santa Fe Public Schools. Your attendance/and or donations will support Reading Quest, a local non-profit organization whose mission is to "support children who are having trouble reading become strong, enthusiastic readers.”

The day will be comprised of two half-day sessions.

The morning will be devoted to memoir, the afternoon to mystery--each of which will include four authors, all women, reading from their works and sharing their thoughts and feelings about why they write, why they write what they write, their writing life, obstacles they have faced as authors, and many other thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

During each session, the audience will be encouraged to ask questions. Between the two sessions, the dialogue will continue as the audience and authors chat over gourmet box lunches. At designated times throughout the day, the authors will inscribe their books for you.

The Authors


Bettye Kearse is a retired pediatrician. According to eight generations of family oral history, she is a descendant of an enslaved cook and her enslaver, and half-brother, President James Madison. Bettye’s multiple award-winning book, The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family, chronicles a journey of discovery—of our nation, her ancestors, and herself. Her 2022 TEDxABQ talk is “The Power of a Name.”

Keynote Speaker

Anne Hillerman, the author of nine New York Times best-selling mystery novels, is the daughter of novelist Tony Hillerman. Following his death, she continued her father’s popular Joe Leaphorn-Jim Chee novels. To make it her own, Anne elevated Officer Bernadette Manuelito to full partner in solving crimes. Anne is an executive producer of AMC’s award-winning Dark Winds series based on the Hillerman stories. Her latest book is Lost Birds: A Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito Novel.

Memoir Presenters

Kim Fowler, a Leadership Coach, is the author of All Will Be Well: A Memoir of Love and Dementia, a finalist for the 2023 National Indie Excellence Awards. Kim’s book is about overcoming fear in order to live with acceptance, and still finding beauty and laughter in the midst of what is sometimes unbearably hard. It is about learning to forgive ourselves when we feel we should have done more for our loved ones.

Dr. Mary Beth Wilkas Janke is a former United States Service Agent, International Protection Agent, and private investigator. She holds advanced degrees in Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Criminal Justice and has authored The Protector: A Woman’s Journey from the Secret Service to Protecting VIPs in the World’s Most Dangerous Places, a tale of one woman’s indomitable spirit to protect, serve, and rise. Mary Beth’s 2022 TEDx Greensboro talk is “How to Be a Badass at Any Age.”

Deborah Jackson Taffa is the director of the MFA creative writing program at the IAIA and a citizen of the Quechan (Yuma) Nation and Laguna Pueblo. Her book, Whiskey Tender: A Memoir, traces how a mixed-tribe native girl, living on and off the reservation, comes to her own interpretation of identity as she navigates the frictions between mainstream America’s push and pull toward assimilation and Native America’s reverence for tradition and oral history.

Mystery Presenters

Amanda Allen wrote her first book at the age of sixteen - a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class. She's never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Santa Fe with two rescue dogs, a wonderful husband, and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections.

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovée is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined in her award-winning historical Annie Oakley Mystery series, Grace Michelle Mystery series, and Pryce of Murder series. In her past life, Bovée worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant.

Sonja Dewing was told by an agent that no one would read an adventure book with a main female character. In 2014, she quit her job and ventured off to the Amazon River. This 9-week journey took her on an exploration of Inca history, myths, sites, and culture that led to an award-winning series of thriller novels in the Idol Makers. Sonja was nominated for best author by the New Mexico Entertainment Awards 2023 and selected as one of the top five authors. She's also an award-winning publisher and founder of the Women's Thriller Writers Association.


We are seeking sponsors to assist us in hosting this event, which works to support the vital and inspiring work of Reading Quest. Sponsors will receive preferred seating at the event, and their names and logos (if desired) will be featured on the event website, promotional materials, and social media posts. You can also have business cards or postcards placed in the event book bags.

  • Edgar [Allan Poe] Sponsor ($500 to $749)
    Sponsors will receive one free admission and one signed book of their choice.
  • Booker Sponsor ($750 to $999)
    Sponsors will receive two free admissions and two signed books of their choice.
  • Pulitzer Sponsor ($1000 to $1499)
    Sponsors will receive three free admissions and three signed books of their choice.
  • Nobel Sponsor ($1500 and above)
    Sponsors will receive four free admissions and four signed books of their choice.

Register / Donate