Category Archives: book signings and readings

Book Fair Nevins Library, Methuen

Methuen10Last Saturday, I had the good fortune to be part of the local author book fair at the beautiful Nevins Library in Methuen, MA.  This library is an elegant red brick building with gothic arches and lovely stained glass windows inside.  What good fortune to be able to spend an afternoon reading or doing research in such classic surroundings.  Methuen8







All the authors, about ten of us, Methuen7were set up in the Great Hall, an aptly named chamber with hard wood floors, tall arched windows topped with stained glass, and wood paneled walls. If you look carefully, I’m waaaay in the back right corner, contemplating how best to set up.  The line of chairs in the front of the picture faced a podium where the audience (they really did pack the seats later – honest!) sat while each of us authors gave a little chat about who we were and what we wrote.

As you can see, I was very proud of my little table and brought plenty of books and book marks! Methuen3 I did make some actual sales – and not just to people who were related to me! It was really fun to see people I hadn’t seen in years, since my brother lives in Methuen and his family and my sister-in-law have lots of connections there. Methuen4 I even met a wonderful woman whom I hadn’t seen in years who used to work with my sister-in-law!  Especially fun, at the table next to me was Liz Mugavero, who writes the entertaining Pawsitively Organic mysteries!  I had met her at a reading and signing she did at Annie’s Bookstop, and got a kick out of her novels that revolve around a woman who reinvents herself from  a high powered public relations sort to an organic pastry chef for pets – helping in animal rescue and solving murders along the way.  Highly recommended reading – right after you buy and finish reading Bait and Switch!

Finally,Methuen12 some of my family did show, including my brother.  Here’s a picture with my nephew Geoffrey’s wife Jessica;  daughter Noelle; my brother Leo; me; and the ever present, ever handsome Yang.  Quite the rogue’s gallery, wouldn’t you say? This time Yang and Leo didn’t wear the exact same shirt.  Really!  At my niece Shana’s mother’s day brunch, I realized their shirts were perfect matches!

My thanks to the vivacious Sarah Sullivan who organized this fun and exciting event. Several authors wrote about gritty crime fiction, mostly with a New England setting; some wrote historical mystery and romance; another man talked about his memoir of growing up an African-American trying to find his identity and dignity in a society that denied it; and another man wrote on growing up in the foster care system in Massachusetts.  The profits of this latter book by Jeff Ives and Larry Giordano will be donated to creating a bridge house for kids aging out of the foster system but still too young to be completely on their own.  I’m already planning some summer reading from this experience! Here’s a link to the list of authors who were there.

The Book Lover’s Gourmet: Reading and Signing

The Book Lover’s Gourmet is a little gem of a bookstore and cafe in Webster, MA.  I was fortunate to do a reading and signing there on March 19th!  There’s a lovely selection of books of all kinds, with an especially nice section of children’s books and another of local authors (including me!).  Agourmet8Ah, the excitement of seeing your name and book title, well, not in lights – but at least in magic marker on the white board!  There I am in turquoise, one of my favorite colors, third from the bottom.


So, let’s get started, in the cozy little room where people usually sit and enjoy scrumptious pastries – or quiche if they’re more in the mood for savory.  And don’t forget the coffee, chai, lattes, and cappuccino – mine’s right behind me in this picture.  Agourmet5I must have said something profound, because Bill Graves (one of my sharpest students) is smiling and pondering, while another sharp cookie, Joanne Evans, is exchanging deep thoughts on the writing and publishing processes with me.  You can tell it’s a profound conversation by the way we’re  raising our mitts to make our points.  I just wonder what brings that cat-that-ate-the-canary smile to Kathy Healey’s face.  She’s probably thinking about finally being finished editing the Gothic Landscapes book – well almost finally.

The conversation continues. Elizabeth Gaumond listens with rapt attention.  I look reflective.  So does Joanne – or has my reading put her to sleep?  No, not the adventures of Jessica, Elizabeth, James, and Dusty! Agourmet7


Meanwhile, across the room, Pam Graves, Barbara Ingrassia, and Kate Zebrowski seem to be enjoying the reading Agourmet4of Jessica Minton’s encounter with a mysterious stranger, his mysterious package, and a threatening chap who’s built along the “graceful” lines of a fireplug.  Note the display case of goodies behind them.

My husband Yang seems to be having a humorous time for himself with them and Cookie Gaumond (Elizabeth’s Mom). Agourmet2 Maybe it was the line about Jessica fearing she might have to slug a G.I. for his Hershey bar.  That’s not very patriotic of her! Barbara’s husband Tom gallantly rose to give up his seat for Cookie, so you don’t see him here.

Something that was particularly fun and informative about this session was that we had two other authors present.  Joanne has authored and illustrated a marvelously beautiful, creative, informative and fun children’s book Seashells, Treasures from the Northeast Coast  and graciously gifted me with a copy.  I want to buy copies for the little kids in my life, now.  Agourmet1Tom Ingrassia has written two  books, himself.  One, Reflections of a Love Supreme, is a wonderful book on the Motown story “through the eyes of the fans,” as the subheading explains.  It’s filled with unique pictures from the fans and fascinating, fun background stories of fans and artists that don’t bog you down in all the depressing scandals but still give you an intriguing insight into the bonds between the people on both sides of the stage.  One Door Closes is an enjoyable and helpful collection of essays by people who have dealt with disappointment and misfortune by redefining their lives creatively and joyously.  Then, there were also some neophyte writers with questions about writing, publishing, promoting – as well as legal aspects – so, we could talk about our experiences to help them with their questions on how to get their writing off their computers and into the hands of the public. Barbara had great advice on legal concerns.



So, why am I excitedly on my feet here?  I was delighted to find my friend and colleague, Jim Foley had come with his wife Lois and his son James.  Yay!  Fellow MST3K and Shakespeare and music fans!  How can things go wrong?!


Agourmet9The day draws to a close, and I get to sign books for my delighted fans – and, no, students attending did not  have to buy a book to pass my classes.



Bill certainly seems pleased with whatever I wrote.Agourmet11  Elizabeth looks pretty cheery, too!







Well, I don’t know what cracked me up, but it must have been  pretty good. Someone must have quoted a quip from those Smart-Talking Gals Jessica Minton and her sister Elizabeth Hennessey. Or maybe Agourmet10someone asked me if I was going to pick up the coffee and pastry tab for the whole crew?  Anyway, this was a lovely gathering:  old friends, new ones, all mixing together and either renewing old ties or forging new ones.  That might be what I love best about these signings.  They’re like parties where you catch up with people, meet new ones, and share dreams and ideas – and, of course, people buy my book.


And here’s one last look at that luscious array of comestibles that Debra Horan serves up with nifty book chasers in cozy surroundings.  Agourmet12The Book Lover’s Gourmet is a great reason to pass up Amazon so you can enjoy the warmth of a beautifully decorated store with real people.  And Bait and Switch is definitely on sale there, so hurry down, buy a copy, and sit down with something tasty and refreshing in a sunlit room to read! Save a spot in the sun for Dusty!Dusty reduced1