Turn the Page...Again

By Sandy Coleman

(May 2003)

Sandy's Turn the Page report from 2002

Boy, do Nora Roberts and her husband, Bruce Wilder, know how to throw a booksigning!

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For the second year, my sister (and fellow romance reader) and I drove the approximate one hour distance from home base in Washington, D.C. to attend the annual booksigning held each year at Bruce Wilder's Turn the Page bookstore in Boonesboro, Maryland. The signing is held each year before Washington-area writers (and special guests) attend an RWA weekend retreat in nearby Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.

And when I say "special" guests, that's exactly what I mean with this year's roster including Barbara Samuels, Janet Evanovich, and Kinley MacGregor (Sherilyn Kenyon), along with Roberts herself and a stalwart group of area writers: Hope Tarr, Carole Bellacera, Rebecca York, Donna Kauffmann, Susan Donovan, Susan Mallery, Lauren Wittig, Elizabeth Holcombe, Michelle Monkou, Karen Lee, Judi McCoy, and Mary Blayney.

Clearly, the large crowd couldn't have been more delighted with the authors and I think it's fair to say the authors were pretty delighted with the crowd. With people attending from throughout Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and D.C. (and even further, I might add), the crowd seemed a bit stunned with the star-power of this year's line-up as they patiently waited to get to what were clearly the biggest draws - Roberts, Evanovich, and Samuels. Clutching copies of Hard Eight, In the Midnight Rain, and just about every book ever written by the prolific Roberts, those attending were treated to a minute or two (or more) with each author (all of them gracious in the extreme).

As for my impressions:

Nora Roberts has just about the most alert eyes of anyone I've ever met. Given the chance to watch her for a few hours, it was crystal clear that the woman doesn't miss anything.

Barbara Samuels should have been overwhelmed by the fact that everyone - and it did seem like literally everyone - who attended was knocked out by In the Midnight Rain.

Janet Evanovich has fans that range from what looked like teenagers to those of the shall-we-say more "mature" variety.

Sherilyn Kenyon was also a big draw. Clearly, that Dark Hunter thing she's got going seems to be catching on.

Hope Tarr really enjoyed pointing out the "mouthwash cover" (as she called it in this year's Cover Ballot contest) of her book My Lord Jack.

Donna Kauffmann's popularity seems to be growing expeditiously. The action at her table didn't let up all day.

I also picked up a few author tid-bits:

  • First-time author Susan Donovan said she was thrilled to be sitting next to Evanovich during the signing, citing her as a big influence. Donovan shared the fact that her next book (Take a Chance on Me coming out later in the year) is one of which she's particularly proud.

  • Rebecca York called her paranormal/romantic suspense novel Killing Moon "a book of the heart."

  • Carole Bellacera is excited and nervous about the June release of Understudy. Readers snatched up the teaser chapter she offered.

As for me, I enjoyed the sunshine, the people, and the chance to meet a few of my favorite writers. I also have to say that I hope everyone else who attended took the time - as my sister and I did - to browse at Turn the Page, an incredible resource for romance readers living around Boonesboro. My D.C.-area Borders and Barnes & Noble stores pale in comparison to Bruce Wilder's well-stocked and wide-ranging romance department.

Thanks once again to Nora and Bruce, to the authors, and to the helpful staff at Turn the Page.

Sandy's Turn the Page report from 2002

 




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