LITTLE ROCK — The romance novels of Arkansas writer Laura Castoro, a Pine Bluff native, have been selected for the 2012 statewide reading program, "If All Arkansas Read the Same Book."

LITTLE ROCK — The romance novels of Arkansas writer Laura Castoro, a Pine Bluff native, have been selected for the 2012 statewide reading program, “If All Arkansas Read the Same Book.”

Arkansans are encouraged to read the books and participate in author events and book discussions at public libraries across the state.

Castoro will make an appearance at the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Public Library, 200 E. Eighth Ave., at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Castoro’s books were chosen because of the popularity of the romance genre with Arkansas library patrons, according to Zoe Butler, Arkansas Center for the Book coordinator.

“Laura writes about the modern woman’s life as she sees it. Over the past 32 years, she has written 39 published books in such genres as historical romance, contemporary romance, westerns, sagas and romantic suspense.”

Her current books, available in print or ebook format, are “Icing on the Cake” and “Love on the Line”. “A New Lu” and “Found: One Marriage” are available in ebook format only.

Castoro is a sought-after speaker and writing workshop leader. She is president-elect of Novelists Inc., a writers’ organization devoted exclusively to the needs of multi-published novelists. She is also a past president and remains on the board of the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, a working writers’ residence program at Eureka Springs.

“It’s exhilarating to be able to help provide a haven for beginning as well as established writers. The gift of uninterrupted time with one’s muse is priceless,” Castoro said.

Castoro was the 2005 inductee into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame, joining such writers as Dee Brown, Charles Portis and Paul Greenberg.

Castoro will also make appearances in other libraries across Arkansas beginning Monday through Oct. 15.

Schedule of Events

Monday at 2 p.m. – Faulkner-Van Buren Regional Library, 1900 Tyler St., Conway

Wednesday at noon – Garland County Library, 1427 Malvern Ave., Hot Springs

Thursday at 2 p.m. – Gentry Public Library, 105 E. Main, Gentry

Thursday at 5:30 p.m. – St. Paul Public Library, 145 Fifth St., St. Paul

Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. – Izard County Library – Melbourne branch, 915 E. Main, Melbourne

Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. – W.A. Billingsley Public Library, 213 Walnut St., Newport

Oct. 9 at 5:30 p.m. – Boone County Public Library, 221 W. Stephenson Ave., Harrison

Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. – Conway County Library, 101 W. Church St., Morrilton

“If All Arkansas Read the Same Book” is presented by the Arkansas Center for the Book at the Arkansas State Library and all programs are offered free-of-charge to the public. The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. Copies of “Icing on the Cake” are available at all 230 public libraries throughout the state.

The statewide reading program started in 2001 with author Terry Kay’s “To Dance With the White Dog”. Other past programs have featured books by Rick Bragg, Sandra Cisneros, Doug Kelly, Jennifer Paddock, Sid McMath, Jeff Shaara, Shirley Abbott and Kevin Brockmeier.

The Arkansas State Library provides the resources, services, and leadership necessary to meet the educational, informational and cultural needs of the citizens of Arkansas, and provides guidance and support for the development of local public libraries and library services.

For more information, visit www.library.arkansas.gov/centerforthebook/Pages/default.aspx or call 501-682-2874.