Archive for the ‘Book Signing News’ Category

Lauren Willig Booksigning

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Willig3Last week I attended a booksigning that was part of Lauren Willig’s tour for The Garden Intrigue, the latest in her Pink Carnation series. Because many of AAR’s readers are fans of the series, I decided to focus this column entirely on the event and will be back in a few weeks with my usual Upcoming Booksignings column.

While the event was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m., by 6:45 nearly all of the seats were full. Showing the broad appeal of the series, the audience – primarily women — ranged in age from teens to 99 years of age. The owner did a brief introduction of Lauren Willig and announced that there was a special guest of honor, the 99 year-old reader who came with her daughter. Ms. Willig thanked her for coming and commented that she is a wonderful role model.

Ms. Willig began by giving a brief introduction to the book. She noted that this is the 9th book in the Pink Carnation series. She said that she feels she’s come full circle with this one. Not only is the historical heroine an American, but the hero is like the Scarlet Pimpernel, a direct reflection of Sir Percy Blakeney.

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Romance Author Booksignings: January and Beyond

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Wow! It seems like forever since I’ve been to a booksigning. Fortunately, I have a couple coming up in the next few months to make up for the dearth of events the past few months. Over the next few months look for me to report on events with Lauren Willig and Julie Hyzy who are both coming to my home town.

I have managed to find a number of events around the country that AAR readers may be interested in. But, as always, I could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-February, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-February, please send them to us at aarbooksign  AT gmail.com and we’ll add them to our mid-February post.

Disclaimer: I found these signings by extensive searches of both author and bookseller Web sites. They all appear to be free, but please contact the bookstore before you attend an event for additional information. And please let us know if you do attend a booksigning, and how you liked it. A few of the authors on the list aren’t strictly romance authors, but have either been reviewed at AAR in the past, or have appeared in AAR forum discussions.

Upcoming Booksignings:

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Romance Author Booksignings: November and Beyond

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

With the holiday season in full-swing, things are looking a bit sparse for booksignings in the next month. Most of the usual sites I visit to sleuth out booksignings are featuring fewer author events than normal through the end of 2011. And many of the signings I’ve seen posted feature celebrities-turned-authors such as Food Network chefs (Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri), former athletes ( Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal),  and TV celebrities (Bethenny Frankel and Regis Philbin). Now I always see a lot of celebrity signings on the lists, but I guess during the holiday season they’re out in bigger numbers. Are these the types of books people give as gifts? Are people so busy during the holidays that they’ll only attend celebrity signings? Or are authors  busy doing holiday preparations as well, and don’t have time for signings. I’m not sure.

Fortunately, I did find a few upcoming events that AAR readers might find interesting. For me, I’m looking forward to events in the new year including visits to my town by Lauren Willig and Julie Hyzy.

As always, I could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-December, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-December, please send them to us at aarbooksign  AT gmail.com and we’ll add them to our mid-December post.

Disclaimer: I found these signings by extensive searches of both author and bookseller Web sites. They all appear to be free, but please contact the bookstore before you attend an event for additional information. And please let us know if you do attend a booksigning, and how you liked it. A few of the authors on the list aren’t strictly romance authors, but have either been reviewed at AAR in the past, or have appeared in AAR forum discussions.

Upcoming Booksignings: November and Beyond

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Historical Mystery Writers Panel

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Bookpanel-11-06-11I recently attended an event featuring three historical mystery writers at Aunt Agatha’s bookstore. Two of the authors – Jeanne M. Dams and D.E. Johnson – set their mystery series in the United States during the early 1900s. The third, Carrie Bebris, writes mysteries set in Regency England. And for AAR readers who like mysteries with a bit of romance, I can definitely recommend the books by Ms. Dams and Ms. Bebris.

Jeanne M. Dams, Murder in Burnt Orange, is the 7th in her Hilda Johansson series, set in early 1900s South Bend, Indiana. When the series began, Hilda was a maid to the Studebakers, the wealthy South Bend family who owned the Studebaker car company. Hilda quickly became involved with mysteries. A lot has changed for Hilda over the course of the series, and by the seventh book, she’s married and pregnant with her first child.  Ms. Dams also writes the Dorothy Martin series featuring an ex-pat American widow in her sixties who lives in England.

Carrie Bebris’ The Deception at Lyme, is the sixth in her Mr. and Mrs. Darcy series; yes, that Mr.  and Mrs. Darcy. Each book in the series is based loosely on the characters from a Jane Austen books. Ms. Bebris refers to them as the Nick and Nora Charles of Regency England, but they drink tea instead of alcohol. In her latest, Elizabeth and Darcy go to Lyme (setting for the seawall scene in Austen’s Persuasion).

D. E. Johnson’s latest book, his second, Motor City Shakedown is set in 1911 Detroit. His protagonist, Will Anderson, is the fictional son of a real Detroit car company owner. In his second book, Will walks into the first mob war in Detroit history.

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Romance Author Booksignings: October and Beyond

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

This past month I attended a booksigning for William Kent Krueger, who was promoting his latest Cork O’Connor mystery, Northwest Angle.  I haven’t read the series, and still am not sure if they will suit me. But I love listening to authors speak, so jumped at the chance to attend.

There was a large audience, and many had attended previous signings by the author.  As soon as the event began I knew why there were so many repeat attenders; he is one of the most engaging writers I’ve encountered. The time went by quickly as Mr. Krueger entertained us with stories about his writing process, his decisions about his characters, and future directions his writing might take.

Mr. Krueger commented that authors writing a series can either write a character that remains static over the series, or they can write a character that changes and ages over time. Mr. Krueger made the decision early on to have Cork O’Connor and his family age and change throughout the series. He noted that this has allowed him to bring some of his own experiences at different points in his life into the series.

Mr. Krueger writes every day in a local Minnesota coffee house. He said that he tried to write in his home office, but found it was both too quiet and too distracting. Until fairly recently he wrote in longhand, but has switched to a laptop. Cork O’Connor is part Irish and part Anishianaabe. Mr. Krueger did extensive research into the Anishianaabe culture before writing the first book in the series, Iron Lake, and continues to do research, and actually have most of his books vetted by Anishianaabe acquaintances.  In the end, I ended up buying one of his books; he was just that entertaining.

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Victorian Historical Mystery Panel

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Victorian Mystery PanelI recently wrote about my love of historical mysteries with a touch of romance. You can well imagine my delight to discover a local book festival that featured a panel of Victorian Era historical mystery writers: Tasha Alexander, Stefanie Pintoff, and Maureen Jennings.

Tasha Alexander is one of my very favorite mystery writers, and her series that began with And Only to Deceive has a strong romantic thread. I gave a DIK to it here at AAR.

I have only read Stefanie Pintoff’s first mystery, In the Shadow of Gotham which introduces NYPD officer Simon Ziele and early criminal profiler Alistair Sinclair. The books are set in early 1900s New York City. They have a more difficult, and as yet unrealized, potential for romance. Simon is an immigrant and comes out of the lower East side. Isabelle is Alistair Sinclair’s former daughter-in-law, and is decidedly upper class. Clearly there’s an interest between the two, but their differing social backgrounds are a major obstacle.

I haven’t yet read Maureen Jennings books although several are in my TBR pile. Based on the comments of the audience, I intend to begin reading her books soon. Ms. Jennings is best known for her Detective Murdoch series set in late 19th century Toronto, which begins with the book Except the Dying. Detective Murdoch is also the victim of prejudices. As a Catholic living in a Protestant-dominated society, there is only so far he can go in his position. In fact, the moderator made the mistake of calling him “Inspector Murdoch,” and Ms. Jennings was quick to point out that because of his religion, Murdoch couldn’t rise to the rank of Inspector. The Murdoch books were turned into a television series first in Canada and later in many other countries. She has a new series set in Shropshire, England during World War II.

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Romance Author Booksignings: September and Beyond

Monday, September 19th, 2011

I recently attended a wonderful talk – and signing – featuring Louise Penny, the author of the Chief Inspector Gamache mysteries set both in Montreal and the fictional small town of Three Pines just outside of Montreal. The event was part of the Kerrytown Book Fest in Ann Arbor, and Ms. Penny was interviewed by Robin Agnew, the owner of the local mystery bookstore Aunt Agatha’s.

This was the largest book event I’ve attended. Every seat in the open-air tent was filled, and many people (including myself) had to stand just outside the tent. While the crowd was enormous, everyone was quiet, completely enthralled by the conversation between Ms. Penny and Ms. Agnew.

As I recently wrote a post here about romance in mysteries, I’ll have to state right from the first that there’s technically no romance in the series. Chief Inspector Gamache has been married for years to his beloved Reine Marie. Several of the people in Three Pines are part of an existing couple, but I’ve seen no new romances develop, nor do I expect to.

Despite the lack of romance, the series has held my attention starting with Still Life through the next five books, and I expect to begin the latest, A Trick of the Light, soon. I think I enjoy them because the series focuses on emotions and people, rather than on the details of murders. While there isn’t romance, the relationships between friends and colleagues are an integral part of the books.

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Romance Author Booksignings: August and Beyond

Friday, August 19th, 2011

This is my first booksigning since the closing of Borders was announced. Over the past year I have consistently found more romance and mystery author events at Barnes and Nobles and independent bookstores around the country than at Borders. But in searching for events this month I’ve definitely seen a difference.

I have found numerous “event cancelled” notices on author’s Web sites. I’ve talked to two local independent book store owners about the impact of Borders’ closing on events at their stores.  They both commented that they are now able to attract authors to events at their stores who would previously have only done a signing at one of the local Borders. It’s hard to say how this will all play out over the coming months. I look forward to attending signings on a regular basis, and would hate to see them decline.

I’ve found a number of romance author booksignings in the coming months. As always, I could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-September, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-September, please send them to us at aarbooksign  AT gmail.com and we’ll add them to our mid-June post.

Disclaimer: I found these signings by extensive web searches of both author and bookseller Web sites. They all appear to be free, but please contact the bookstore before you attend an event for additional information. And please let us know if you do attend a booksigning, and how you liked it. A few of the authors on the list aren’t strictly romance authors, but have either been reviewed at AAR in the past, or have appeared in AAR forum discussions.

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Romance Author Booksignings: July and Beyond

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

In the last month there’s been a bit of media flurry about author booksignings. It all started with a New York Times report that some independent bookstores are now charging readers to attend booksignings in their stores. The story was picked up by numerous online sources, including blogs, tweets, and Facebook updates by various independent bookstore owners.

The article notes that in-person author events are something online retailers (Amazon) cannot do. Sure, you can chat with an author online, but you just can’t go to the huge Amazon store to meet an author in person; for that, you need a brick and mortar bookstore.

I attend a lot of booksignings – generally one or two a month – and so far have only read about one event that would cost money (aside from buying a book) to attend. A local independent store brought in Charlaine Harris this past winter. Instead of holding the event at the bookstore (where I’ve attended many signings), the event was held at a local theater. I had a work event scheduled for the same evening, so never really had to seriously consider whether or not I would pay money to see Ms. Harris. I also assumed that the charge was to recover part of the cost of renting the theatre. Now I’m not sure, and will be monitoring events at that bookstore to see if they charge for any future signings.

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Julia Spencer-Fleming Booksigning

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

JSFJulia Spencer-Fleming’s mystery series featuring Reverend Clare Fergusson and Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne is a favorite of a number of AAR staff and readers. The first in the series, In the Bleak Midwinter, received a DIK review here at AAR.

I’ll have to admit that I haven’t read the series; initially it didn’t sound interesting to me. But, I’m always up for a book signing. When I learned that Ms. Spencer-Fleming was going to be in town promoting her latest entry in the series, One Was a Soldier, I decided to learn more about the author and her latest book which also received a DIK at AAR.

The signing was hosted by my local mystery bookstore, but was held in an adjoining space as they expected a large crowd. In the minutes leading up to the event it became clear that even the larger space wasn’t adequate. The staff moved in extra chairs and benches but many still had to stand in the back of the room or sit on the floor. I discovered several people had driven from adjoining states, over 100 miles away, to hear Ms. Spencer-Fleming speak.

Ms. Spencer-Fleming was late for the signing, which apparently is typical. She started by saying, “I used to be late but now it’s an artistic temperament.” Several people who had attended previous signings referred to the lateness as “Julia time.”

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