Last Thursday, Matthew Norman, author of Domestic Violets, paid yet another visit to my local indie bookstore, One More Page Books. This was Matt’s second visit; he stopped by the store before his book published to speak to a group of local bloggers & book lovers.
My boys joined me for the event, they played quietly in a corner while the event took place. They were so occupied, they tuned out to the events going on in the rest of the store.
This is probably a good thing, as Matthew read from my favorite part of the book, the “bravest” part of the book, the first 30 pages in which the character, Tom Violet, desperately attempts to “prepare” himself for an evening of lovemaking with his wife.
It was a pretty great event, overall!
Yesterday, I announced the third annual Thankfully Reading Weekend! If you’d rather skip the Black Friday shopping and instead curl up with a book, join us!
Overall, it was a pretty calm week and relaxed week on the blog. Here’s what took place:
Another action-packed week coming up. Jennifer Close, a author of Girls in White Dresses will be at One More Page this week. Really looking forward to that event. Now, if I can only remember who I lent my copy of the book…
Last Tuesday, One More Page Books welcomed Rebecca Rasmussen, author of The Bird Sisters, for a reading and signing. The weather was quite atrocious: we were in the midst of a thunderstorm.
As always, I arrived early as to avoid traffic. My boys & husband (who was celebrating his birthday that day) joined me for the event. We were all just hanging out in the store, waiting for Rebecca to arrive.
Then, a huge bolt of lightning blazed across the sky. Within minutes, the fire alarm system in the store started blaring. You know the sound: loud blips that cause your brain to ache? Yep, that’s it.
Rebecca arrived within minutes of the alarm going off. By this time, we were all outside in the horribly hot & muggy day. Two fire trucks arrived (one of the high points of the evening). After many minutes of waiting, we learned that the sensor for the fire alarm was under water and the firemen were unable to shut it off. We would have to wait for someone from the building management to turn off the alarm.
By this time, it was well past the start of Rebecca’s reading. The alarm was still blaring. She had several adoring fans (including me) who wanted the event to go on. So, we all eventually moved across the street to a delightful Italian cafe who had a room large enough to accommodate us all.
Rather than read a passage from the book, Rebecca decided to answer questions from the group. She discussed her motivation/inspiration for the book, her experience in writing and selling the book, etc.
All in all, I think this was one of my my favorite signings. All the unforeseen circumstances (rain, fire alarm, etc) served as an icebreaker, allowing us all to feel like we were old friends. Overall, a wonderful experience.
As you know, I pretty much spend all my free time at One More Page Books & More. With the activities planned this week, I’m contemplating camping out in the parking garage. Store-owner Eileen has joked about bunk beds in the back room and I tend to think that’s a great idea.
This week is a pretty exciting week at One More Page. Tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 6 p.m., join us for the (free!) monthly wine & chocolate tasting. Peruse the shelves of books while enjoying some pretty fantastic wine & chocolate!
Thursday night at 7 p.m,, Eleanor Brown (author of The Weird Sisters) and Sarah Pekkanen (author of Skipping a Beat) will be paying a visit to the store. Come by and meet this amazing pair of women. Get your books signed, chat with the authors. It’s an event you really don’t want to miss!
Skipping a Beat is also the book club pick of the month, so this is a wonderful chance to get to speak with the author directly!
If you are unable to attend this event (or any other author event) call up the store and reserve a copy of the book! The wonderful ladies of One More Page will ship to you as well!
In case you missed it, yesterday Publisher’s Weekly did an article on the Indie Bookstore and Book Blogger relationship. Great press for such a wonderful book store (I may be a little biased!)
So, I hope to see you at this, or another event, at One More Page Books!
One foggy night, two women both running from unhappy marriages, are quite literally brought together when their cars collide. April, mother of Sam, a severely asthmatic boy, is killed instantly. Sam escapes the accident by running into the nearby forest. While Isabelle is not held responsible for April’s death, she can’t seem to get over the guilt of killing another person.
As she recovers, Isabelle finds herself drawn to Sam and his father, Charlie. She walks down their street, she watches Sam at the playground. When Sam sees her, he recognizes her from the accident but believes she’s an angel, a messenger for his mother. He, in turn, follows her back to her home, ultimately forming the first of two very complicated relationships.
Isabelle introduces Sam to photography. Due to his asthma, Sam is unable to participate in any sports, have any pets, but photography is one thing he can do.
“Sometimes photographs show things that aren’t there. You have to learn to look deeper, to see what might be hidden.”
The second of the two complicated relationships is between Charlie and Isabelle. Drawn together by their shared feeling of loss and guilt, they struggle to find meaning and a place for this relationship. All three of the characters, Charlie, Isabelle, and Sam, struggle to find happiness. The true test is whether this happiness is found together, or apart.
Pictures of You is a beautiful and absorbing book of love, loss, and guilt. Each of the main characters uncover secrets or deal with painful pasts in order to seek the happiness they deserve. Leavitt does an outstanding job of capturing the loss, the grief, and recovery they suffer. Told in alternating points of view, while the reader gets to experience the accident in three different viewpoints, one can’t help but wonder which is the most accurate.
Admittedly, there were times in which I grew angry at the road the author was taking with the characters. I literally had to put the book down and take a break for a few hours, even a few days. Ultimately, however, I appreciated these choices & understood how integral they were for the overall storyline.
Pictures of You is the perfect book for a reading group discussion, as a matter of fact it was the May selection for the book club I lead at One More Page Books. There are so many aspects to be discussed, including how each of the characters deal with grief and recovery. Believe it or not, we went out on a tangent and compared this book with how the family in AMC’s The Killing deal with the loss of a loved one!
Last night, patrons of One More Page Books in Arlington, VA were blessed with the presence of Brad Parks, crime fiction writer extraordinare!
Brad Parks’ debut, Faces of the Gone, won the Nero Award for Best American Mystery and the Shamus Award for Best First Mystery. In doing so, Parks became the first author in the combined 60-year history of the Nero and the Shamus to win both awards for the same book. Library Journal called Faces of the Gone “the most hilariously funny and deadly serious mystery debut since Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money.” Yahoo.com called Brad “the literary love child of (Janet) Evanovich and (Harlan) Coben.” Brad’s second book featuring investigative reporter Carter Ross, Eyes of the Innocent, was released February 1, 2011. Michael Connelly cheered, “Eyes of the Innocent is the complete package. With wonderful prose, witty observations and a relentless drive, this book held me hostage until the last page.” The third and fourth books in the series are also written and awaiting publication. Parks is a Dartmouth College graduate who spent a dozen years as a reporter for The Washington Post and The Newark Star-Ledger and is now a full-time novelist. He lives with his wife and two small children in Virginia. (Taken from the author’s web site)
Brad started out with a reading of his second book, Eyes of the Innocent. Following is a sampling of that reading:
I apologize in advance for the quality of the recording. I went right to the event from work and I didn’t have my video camera on me. Instead, I used the movie feature on my digital camera.
Brad then answered questions from the audience. He spoke of his writing process (he writes at least 1,000 words a day, every day) and how different (or not!) life is in his new home in a small, Southern Town than what it was in New Jersey. He learned a lot from his writing process for his first book; it took over a year to complete. Without any looming deadlines, Parks was allowed to make excuses not to write. But when given a deadline for his second book (his wife was expecting their second child at the time and the book was due to his publisher within days of the due date), Parks was forced to be much more structured and dedicated to writing the book. His first book, he feels, suffered due to the lack of a structure in his schedule.
A visit from Brad Parks isn’t complete with a sampling of his outstanding singing voice. Brad actually sang twice, I was so enamored by his voice I completely forgot to tape the first round. Instead, following is the song Parks ended the event with, Somewhere Over the Rainbow:
After signing books, the evening came to a close with discussions on Brad’s next visit when his third book is released. There was talk of wine being served; by printing this it guarantees this will happen It was a wonderful evening, by far one of the best author events I have ever attended!
*Update: Brad saves the day! Click here to listen to Brad singing “Hey There” from The Pajama Game, the first song he sang to his adoring crowd.
Are you a fan of Brad Parks’ main character, the handsome & witty Carter Ross? He’s made it to Round Three of the World’s Favorite Amateur Sleuth Competition! Vote for him now!
Tomorrow night, from 7-8:30 PM, One More Page Books will be hosting a visit by Brad Parks, esteemed crime fiction author!
I’m currently listening to Brad’s debut novel, Faces of the Gone. I love how his sense of humor makes an appearance via the main character.
Fans of crime fiction & suspense, you can’t afford to miss this event! I’ll be there & I’m hoping record most of the event. To RSVP, please visit the event page.
Here’s a bit about the author:
Brad Parks’ debut novel, Faces of the Gone, made him the first author in history to win two of crime fiction’s most coveted awards—the Shamus and the Nero—for the same book. Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman and Dennis Lehane head the short list of writers who have won both over the course of their careers.
Besides the Star-Ledger, Parks has also written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and other outlets. The 36-year-old Dartmouth College graduate lives with his wife and two small children. More about his writing can be found at www.bradparksbooks.com