Read a good book lately? 

This week, What’s Up Newp continues its authors series, videocasts, with three Rhode Island authors, each very different. Whether it’s tales of the sea, a thriller, or a true mafia story, you’ll find something to your liking.

On Monday at 2 p.m. we meet Don Deluca, whose fascination with boat building and sailing serves as the backdrop for his two novels. Best-selling author Jon Land, who has written more than 50 books and won an International Book Award, joins us at 11 a.m. on Wednesday; and Dr. Barbara Roberts, author of Doctor Broad, joins us on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

We believe we learn so much from books, whether non-fiction or fiction. Authors provide us with a window into their minds and perceptions, to the world’s they imagine or to the ones they have lived. 

Don DeLuca, according to his website, has been “messing around in boats on Narragansett Bay since age ten.” His fascination with boat building and sailing lead him to varsity sailing at Brown university, and design management for major corporations.

Some of his earliest memories are of pedaling his bicycle to boat yards to indulge his fascination with boat building, or sailing with his friends well beyond where he supposes their parents thought they’d gone.

He expanded his exploration of the New England coast through varsity sailing at Brown University, and made his first trip across the Atlantic at age 19. Graduate school at RISD launched him into industrial design and the inventing life. Ocean sailing remained a passion throughout years of design management for corporations including Hasbro and Bic.

These days, he enjoys solitary ocean rowing, creating in his shop, and writing. He expects he’ll always be messing about in boats, grateful for the independent spirit and appreciation of the ocean aesthetic instilled in him during those childhood summers in Newport.

His first novel, THE SHIPMATE, debuted in 2018, and the sequel, THE BELL BOAT, is due out in Fall 2020.

Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of 50 books, including ten titles in the critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series: Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense), Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller, and Strong Light of Day which won the 2016 International Book Award for Best Thriller-Adventure, the 2015 Books and Author Award for Best Mystery Thriller, and the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Mystery. 

Strong Cold Dead became the fourth title in the series in a row to win the International Book Award in 2017 and about which Booklist said, “Thrillers don’t get any better than this,” in a starred review. It was followed by Strong to the Bone, winner of the 2017 American Book Fest Best Book Award for Mystery Suspense and the 2018 International Book Award for best Mystery as well as Thriller. It was followed by Strong as Steel (April ’19) about which Suspense Magazine proclaimed, “Get ready to sink your teeth into what just might be the best novel of 2019.” The book went on to win the 2019 International Book Award for Best Thriller/Adventure.

Most recently, Jon has taken over the MURDER, SHE WROTE book series based on the hit CBS television show starring Angela Lansbury.  His fourth effort writing as “Jessica Fletcher,” A Time for Murder, will be published in November of 2019 and about which Suspense Magazine proclaimed, “In a word, this book is a ‘Masterpiece.’ Land captured the essence of a Murder, She Wrote TV episode, and placed it into a book format that fans want, offering much more in regards to Jessica’s own life. We call Land a thriller writer but with A Time for Murder he has put his name on the short list of the top mystery whodunit authors of today.” It will be followed by the Agatha Christie-inspired Murder of Twelve in May of 2020. Within the past year, he also took over writing duties of Margaret Truman’s New York Times bestselling series Capital Crimes.

Additionally, Jon has teamed with multiple New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham on a new bestselling sci-fi series, the first of which, The Rising, was published by Forge in January of 2017. It will be followed by Blood Moon in early 2020 which continues the story of two intrepid teenagers who are all that stands between the world and total annihilation. The Associated Press called The Rising, “An exciting and wonderful character-driven first book in an imaginative series. Elements of romance, young adult angst, old-style science fiction and action propel this story to unexpected places.”

Jon’s award-wining nonfiction titles include Betrayal (2011), winner of the 2011 International Book Award in True Crime and Takedown (2016) which won both 2016’s USA Best Books Award and the International Book Award in True Crime.  His latest nonfiction titles include No Surrender (July 2017) and 1st and Forever (August 2018), both of which won the American Book Fest Award in their respective nonfiction categories, along with Chasing the Dragon (February 2019) and Guardian (May 2019) 

He also wrote the film Dirty Deeds, a teen comedy that follows the exploits of a high school senior attempting to complete ten impossible dares in a single night. The film (starring Milo Ventimiglia, Zoe Saldana, and Charles Durning) opened in eight cities in October of 2005, followed by a DVD release in January of 2006. Since then it has been downloaded over 50 million times via various streaming services.

He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island and can be reached at or on Twitter @jondland.

Barbara Roberts, MD was the first woman to practice adult cardiology in the state of Rhode Island. She graduated from Barnard College and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine where she did her medical internship. As a resident at Yale New Haven Hospital, she became active in the pro-choice movement, before Roe v Wade made abortion legal. She helped found the Women’s National Abortion Action Coalition (WONAAC) and was the keynote speaker at the first national pro-choice demonstration in Washington DC in November 1971. She also was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and spoke at the last mass anti-war demonstration on the grounds of the Washington Monument on the day of Richard Nixon’s inauguration in 1973. She spent two years doing medical research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, then completed a cardiology fellowship at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, at teaching hospital of Harvard University.

She was a staff physician at Planned Parenthood for many years, and continues on the voluntary faculty at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where she is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine. She founded and directed the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI from 2002 to 2016. During those years she lectured in the United States and in many foreign countries on heart health and gender-specific aspects of heart disease. She is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians.
She is the recipient of many awards including the Rhode Island NAACP Ida Wells Barnett Award and the Rhode Island Urban League Recognition of Excellence Award. She was named a Top Doctor for Women three times by RI Monthly Magazine and was chosen by Ms. Magazine in their first group of Found Women. She was inducted into the RI Heritage Hall of Fame in 2006 and was named a Local Legend by the American Medical Women’s Association.

She is the author of How To Keep From Breaking Your Heart: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Cardiovascular Disease, (Jones & Bartlett, 2004, second edition, 2009 Chinese Edition, 2008), Treating and Beating Heart Disease: a consumer’s guide to cardiac medicines, (Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2009),The Truth About Statins: Risks and Alternatives to Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs (Simon & Schuster, 2012, Italian edition, La Verita Sul Colesterololo, 2013, Hebrew edition 2013, audio book 2013) and The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story (Heliotrope Books 2019).