Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year End Wrap-Up - Part 2

Those who follow my blog regularly know my favorite work day of every month is the day of the brown bag luncheons, when we get together to discuss books.  And, I love my quarterly brown bag luncheons, when I get to share books with library patrons.  But, I also love Authors @ The Teague.  Thanks to the authors, and, quite often, thanks to Barbara Peters at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, I get to introduce authors to readers.  This year, I was lucky enough to host more than twenty authors at the library.  What better way to end the year by sharing those authors one more time with all of you?  So, here's 2010 Authors @ The Teague - the year in pictures.

We kicked off the year in January with Frederick Ramsay.  I love his Ike Schwartz mysteries, set in
Frederick Ramsay
Virginia, but he brought Botswana to the Velma Teague Library when he talked about his most recent book, Predators, a mystery set in that country.

Lou Berney

I loved Lou Berney's debut caper novel, Gutshot Straight, so it was fun to introduce him to library patrons.

Cara Black
Cara Black is a favorite, and she'll be back at the library on March 10 to discuss her new book.  But, in 2010, she talked about Paris, her character, Aimée Leduc, and the 2010 release, Murder in the Palais Royal.

I met Alan Bradley when he was at the Poisoned Pen on his tour for his first mystery, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  Barbara Peters was kind enough to invite a couple of us to go out for drinks with them after his appearance there.  He remembered that, and mentioned it in the acknowledgements of his second book.  I told people he was my birthday present this year, since he appeared at the library on my birthday.   Bradley told us all about Flavia de Luce, and his second book, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag.

Alan Bradley with me

Jacqueline Winspear
We had a full house when Jacqueline Winspear returned for her second visit to the library.  The Mapping of Love, the latest Maisie Dobbs mystery, attracted a number of men interested in Winspear's research as well as the book itself.

Peter May with me
Peter May brought us three books when he appeared at the library.  He discussed his standalone, Virtually Dead, as well as recent books, Snakehead and Freezeframe.  My only disappointment?  No kilt. 

Jenn McKinley
Jenn McKinley is not only a mystery author, but also a fellow librarian.  She's also one of the terrific authors who blogs at Mystery Lovers Kitchen, one of my favorite blogs.  In fact, I knew her as a blogger and author there before I knew she worked at a library here in Phoenix.  And, how can you resist a mystery about cupcakes?  I met her first at the Poisoned Pen.  When she appeared at Velma Teague to discuss Sprinkle with Murder, we provided an appropriate treat, cupcakes.  Now, I'm looking forward to her new series about a librarian.

I first met Kris Neri when she appeared in 2009 with Desert Sleuths.  She's a member of that Chapter of Sisters in Crime.  She's also the owner of the Sedona bookstore, The Well Red Coyote.  She brought two books, Revenge for Old Times' Sake and High Crimes on the Magical Plane.

Kris Neri and me

Larry Karp
Larry Karp returned to Velma Teague to discuss the concluding book in his series about Scott Joplin, The Ragtime Kid.  I'm sure he has something in mind for a new mystery, though. 

I can't tell you how much fun we had when we hosted Women Who Kill.  Debut mystery author Jeanne Matthews joined Juliet Blackwell, Sophie Littlefield, and Zoë Sharp.  They were all in town for a Poisoned Pen Conference, so we were lucky to snag them.   I'll always be grateful to Zoë Sharp.  She was our very first author for Authors @ The Teague.  And, she'll be returning with Cara Black and Libby Hellmann in March.  (Or maybe you can tell how much fun we had that day.)

Left to right - Authors in back - Zoe Sharp, Jeanne Matthews, Sophie Littllefield, Juliet Blackwell. I'm in front.

When I reviewed Beth Hoffman's Saving CeeCee Honeycutt for Library Journal, I had never met nor heard of the debut author.  Beth's book went on to hit The New York Times' Bestseller List, become the first pick for the Sam's Club book club, and a Costco pick of the month.  It's a favorite of book clubs.  And, Beth became a friend of mine, a friend who agreed to appear at the library when she came to visit.  In our audience that day was a college professor who told Beth she has her students study the book for characterization.  It's hard to forget Beth Hoffman's wonderful characters.  Beth even brought me a hat she made herself, typical of Savannah garden parties.

Beth Hoffman with me

Lisa Gardner
I never thought I'd get the chance to host bestselling author Lisa Gardner at the library.  She was in town on tour for Live to Tell, the fourth D.D. Warren book.  It was so nice of Poisoned Pen Bookstore  to share her with the west side of the Valley.

Although most of the authors who appear at Velma Teague are mystery authors, I do get the chance to host a few authors.  Beth Hoffman was the first one this year, but there were a few others.  Carrie Vaughn is the author of the Kitty series, about a DJ who is a werewolf.  She discussed fantasy, the latest in that series, Kitty Goes to War, and a fantastic standalone that I loved, Discord's Apple.

Carrie Vaughn

Kathy Cano-Murillo is another author who doesn't write mysteries.  She's a local author who writes nonfiction, and, now, women's fiction involving crafts.  Cano-Murillo had a popular craft column for years in The Arizona Republic as The Crafty Chica.  She brought her first novel, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter.  Since her second book features Glendale, I hope she comes back when it's released.

Kathy Cano-Murillo

Betty Webb always draws readers when she appears.  The author of the Lena Jones books also has a series set in a California zoo, a little lighter than the Lena Jones mysteries.  The Koala of Death was just as much fun as the first in the series.

Betty Webb

I love to bring Camille Kimball to the library.  So many of our readers like true crime, and Kimball's two books have been about crimes here in Maricopa County.  What She Always Wanted was an interesting book about a wealthy woman who killed her husband.

Camille Kimball

It's also a treat to bring the Desert Sleuths.  The authors, who are members of the Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, discussed and signed their second anthology, How Not to Survive a Vacation.  I don't know when I've heard so much laughter from the audience and the panel. 

Desert Sleuths

I loved a recent blog post by Ann Littlewood.  The author of the zoo mystery, Did Not Survive, posed on her blog with her Authors @ The Teague mug that we present to all of the authors.   These zoo mysteries are darker than Betty Webb's, but just as informative about zoos and animals.

Ann Littlewood

P.L. Gaus

P.L. Gaus' Ohio Amish-Country mysteries are being reprinted, beginning with Blood of the Prodigal.  He's been studying the Amish in Ohio for over thirty years, and the books are fascinating peeks into the Amish culture.  He had wonderful stories to tell about his experiences doing research.

Hilary Davidson isn't a debut author, but The Damage Done was a debut mystery.  Hilary writes Frommer guides and travel pieces.  But, after reading The Damage Done, and hearing her discussion at the library, I think she'll be better known eventually for her crime novels.  I enjoyed my time, and lunch, with this terrific author.

Hilary Davidson and me

Thank you to all of the authors who made Authors @ The Teague a successful series during 2010.   I had so much fun, and I hope you enjoyed your appearance at the library.

So, what can you expect in 2011?  Watch the sidebar on the blog for planned appearances.  At the moment, these authors are scheduled -

Susan Pohlman - Jan. 22 - 2 p.m.

Donis Casey - Feb. 26 - 2 p.m.

Cara Black, Libby Hellmann & Zoe Sharp - March 10 - 2 p.m.

Vicki Delany & R.J. Harlick - March 30 - 2 p.m.

I'm sure we'll be booking more authors.  And, I'm hoping we'll fit in the schedules for two authors I met this year.  Deborah Coonts and Robert Dugoni should both be in the area when their new books come out, and I've been corresponding with both of them about appearing for Authors @ The Teague.  Sneak peek pictures, in hopes they'll know I'd love to host them.

Deborah Coonts

Robert Dugoni and me

So, if you're an author, particularly a mystery author, who will be in the Phoenix area, and want to appear in a small venue, with no promise as to the size of the audience, contact me!  I'm at  Keep Authors @ The Teague in mind for your 2011 schedule!

And, thank you, again, to all of the authors who appeared for Authors @ The Teague in 2010.  You truly are treasures.  Thank you.


Jen Forbus said...

You just get to have so much fun with all these great authors, Lesa! Bob is wonderful and I hope you're able to work out a schedule that brings him to the library. You have to figure out a way to get Brad Parks out there as well! :-)

Dizzy C said...

What a year you have had with all these meetings with authors.


Beth Hoffman said...

I really enjoyed this recap, Lesa. And that pic of you in the hat on the table will forever remain an all-time favorite! LOL.

I loved meeting you this year and being invited to Authors At The Teague! I'm looking forward to seeing you (and your furbabies) again.

Happy New Year, my friend!

Lesa said...

I do have fun, Jen. I met Bob at the Poisoned Pen, and I think we'll be able to work it out for a visit here in June.

You're right. I want to meet Brad, so maybe he'll head to the PP someday, and also do Authors @ The Teague.

Lesa said...

Terrific year, Dizzy. And, I enjoyed all of it.

Lesa said...

Ah, Beth. That means you'll have to come back to Glendale in order to see the furbabies! You're welcome anytime!

Happy New Year, Beth! With all kinds of good wishes for you in the new year.

Anonymous said...

I think it is fabulous that you are able to host all these authors. I really wish that I was closer and could attend. Looking forward to reading your writeups for Donis Casey and Vicki Delaney's visits. I've already read both books that they will be promoting and loved them both.

Next visit to Phoenix and I am determined to get to the Velma Teague! LOL

Kaye Barley said...

This was just a whole bunch of fun - thanks for sharing all these wonderful photos and memories of your year, Lesa.

Lesa said...


One of my staff said out-of-state visitors were here on Monday night. She's a librarian & her husband is a fireman, and they hit libraries when they travel. He made a point of telling us Velma Teague was one of the liveliest libraries they'd been to! I hope you do get a chance to visit the next time you're here!

Lesa said...

And, yours if fun, Kaye! I loved to see the list of books you've read during the year. Brings back memories, doesn't it?

Bev Stephans said...

Great pictures! Thank you for sharing them with us.

Lesa said...

Loved doing it, Bev! And, I'm already talking to Jeri Westerson about next fall for Authors @ The Teague. I hope I have great pictures to share with you a year from now as well.

Gerrie Ferris Finger said...

Wow am I honored to be included in your list of debut books and authors!! (And I don't use exclamation points liberally - adverbs, either). Long before I was published, I read your reviews. Never disagreed. Have a wonderful New Year. My best, Gerrie Ferris Finger.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to come back,Lesa!
Right now drinking tea from my favorite
Mug Authors@theTeague
Happy,happy new year

Lesa said...

Thank you, Gerrie. I'm so glad you continue to read my blog. I hope it's just a short break, though, while you're writing another book!

Lesa said...

Tea! That sounds good, Cara, on the cold New Year's Eve morning we're having. I'm sure it's nothing like the cold elsewhere, though. I'm so glad you enjoy the mug. And, I'm looking forward to having you back at Velma Teague!