Morning Meanderings… The Wine and Words 2016 Line Up


Wednesday and I just keep adding to my “to do’s.”  It is for that reason, I am always excited when I check a big task off and I can d that now with the 2016 Author Line Up for Wine and Words.  It is our 4th year of doing this event and I enjoy the little details of making this work SO MUCH.

When it comes to finding the author mix I use several different methods to choose who to invite:

  1.  Watch best-selling book lists
  2. Watch sites like Goodreads and Amazon for reviews
  3. Recommendations from people in our community
  4. Our local Book Store.  I speak with the employees about what people are asking for.
  5. At least 2 of the authors we try to be Minnesota authors.
  6. YOU.  My trusted book loving friends who review some pretty sweet books.

Next I am looking for a diverse genre mix.  I want the authors to appeal to different people.  For instance, perhaps the North shore mysteries that William Kent Krueger and his protagonist Cork do not speak to you, but Kathleen McCleary’s women’s literature does.  In many of the cases, at the time of lining up the Wine and Words authors, I have not read them myself.  It is always fun to introduce even myself to new authors.

So…. here they are.  2016 Wine and Words:

brian freeman, book journey, author event, wine and words, brainerd mn

Brian Freeman is an international bestselling author of psychological suspense novels. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 20 languages and have appeared as Main Selections in the Literary Guild and the Book of the Month Club. His seventh novel SPILLED BLOOD won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the annual Thriller Awards presented by the International Thriller Writers organization, and his fifth novel THE BURYING PLACE was a finalist for the same award. His sixth novel THE BONE HOUSE was a finalist for Best Audiobook of the Year in Thriller/Suspense.

“This guy can tell a story,” says bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Helen Klein Ross, Helen, Book journey, wine and words, brainerd mn, author eventHelen Klein Ross is the author of What Was Mine, a novel published in January by Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books, a People magazine pick for “Best of 2016”. Her novel Making It: A Novel Of Madison Avenue (Gallery Books, 2013) is an e-book that experiments with digital epilogue. She is the creator and editor of The Traveler’s Vade Mecum, a crowd-sourced poetry anthology forthcoming in September from Red Hen Press. Her poetry, essays and fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and in The Iowa Review where she won the Iowa Review Award for Poetry in 2014. Helen spent decades as a writer/creative director at global ad agencies on both coasts. She graduated from Cornell University and received an MFA from The New School. She lives with her husband in Manhattan and Salisbury, CT. 


Joshilyn Jackson, book journey, brainerd mn, author event, wine and wordsNew York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of six novels: Someone Else’s Love Story , gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, three times been a #1 Book Sense Pick, twice won Georgia Author of the Year, and three times been shortlisted for the Townsend prize.

A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of her novels; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, was selected by AudioFile Magazine for their best of the year list, has made the 2012 Audible All-Star list for highest listener ranks/reviews, and garnered three Listen Up Awards from Publisher’s Weekly. In 2012 Jackson began reading the audio versions of books written by other novelists, beginning with Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer.

Allen Eskens, wine and words, brainerd, author event, book journeyAllen Eskens is the award-winning author of The Life We Bury, published in October of 2014. It was named one of the best books of the year by Suspense Magazine and MysteryPeople and was named a finalist for six different awards including the prestigious Edgar Award. His second novel, The Guise of Another is out in October of 2015.

Allen Eskens grew up in the wooded hills of Missouri and, after high school, migrated north to pursue his education. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota, and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law.

Gerri, Laura Childs, Book Journey, Wine and Words

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries.  Devonshire Scream, her 17th Tea Shop Mystery, releases March 1, 2016.  Little Girl Gone, the first book in her Afton Tangler Thriller Series written under her real name of Gerry Schmitt, releases July 5, 2016.  In her previous life she was CEO of Mission Critical Marketing (with offices in Minneapolis and Austin, TX), authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show.  She is married to Dr. Bob, a U of M professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

There they are!  Glad to have the line up in place!  Thanks to a great team and a great venue to work with, the rest of it comes fairly easy.

8 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings… The Wine and Words 2016 Line Up

  1. I am always so impressed by your Wine and Words events and the authors you are able to get! My library’s Friends group does a similar event on a much smaller scale called An Evening of Just Desserts and they have one author who speaks and does book signings and they serve wine and desserts and have a raffle. We could never bring in anyone big name though it would be awesome.

    Hope this year’s event is a big success! I want to read The Life We Bury with my book group sometime and I’ve already read one or two of Joshilyn Jackson’s books.

Hmmmm... what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s