Morning Meanderings… Book Friends Make Me Smile

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Busy whirlwind weekend… lots of business and while it was good things, I am glad to be in the week and keeping it a little less busy.  I didn’t pick up a book all weekend.  A little audio time as I was in the car – especially yesterday from Brainerd to St. Cloud and back to Brainerd and then to Pine River.

Over a weekend a nice gift came my way.  I received a package from Amazon and tried to think if I had ordered anything… nothing I could recall.  When I opened the box it was a book wrapped in a pretty blue paper and when I opened it, it instantly brought tears to my eyes.

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Thank you Patty for the beautiful journal for me to write in.  It is perfect.  I just keep touching it and you can bet I will be putting lots of thoughts in it.

Today we have an author at the library, Lin Enger author of The High Divide.  I am kind of excited about this one and interested in hearing about his book.  Hoping this afternoon will include quiet time on the deck with a book.  I feel like I am sparking a bit more, but prefer to stay as close to home as possible.  Hoping maybe this week I can get out and ride my bike too – something I have not done yet this year.

 

 

Morning Meanderings… Catching Up With Brown Bag Author Terri Peterson Smith

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Thursday!  It has been a beautiful week here in Central Minnesota.  It is my favorite time of year!  Today I am in the office and feeling energized.  Later I plan to mow the lawn and if you follow these posts… you know I love to mow the lawn!  (It’s true – I really do!)

 

Terri Peterson Smith, Off The Beaten Path, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal
Author Terri Peterson Smith and her book, Off The Beaten Path

 

Fun story.  Earlier this year Author Terri Peterson Smith contacted me about our event, Wine and Words.  Our event already had the authors lined up but I really liked the sound of her book and directed her to contact my Vice-Chair in The Friends Group about being a part of the Brown Bag Author Line Up.  I am thrilled to say that it worked out for her to come and speak, which she did a couple of Mondays ago.

Terri’s book is about grabbing your friends and taking a literary trip.  It really is a book for book lovers.  I loved that Terri mentioned in her talk that book groups are now seeking out that next level to reading the book… they want to taste the food that the characters have, they want to see and touch and feel – almost making the books three-dimensional.  Terri provides that in her book, Off The Beaten Page.

 

Inspired by “field trips” with the author’s own book club, Off The Beaten Page offers a literary look at fifteen U.S. destinations as seen through the works of famous writers.  No plodding tour of dead people’s homes; award-winning journalist Terri Peterson Smith takes readers on a lively tour of some of the  most fascinating places in the U.S., combining her love of literature and her quest for a good time with friends. Her inspired explorations and meticulous research combine to help readers not only extend the experience of a great book but also to gain a greater understanding of the people and culture in the places they travel.

Terri was a lot of fun to meet in person.  She has a fun bubbly personality which I felt made her perfect to write about bookish adventures such as where to find the house in St Paul Minnesota that F Scott Fitzgerald finished his book “This Side Of Paradise”.  Terri’s book cover 15 US locations for literary trips for you and your group.

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It was a real pleasure to hang out with Terri Peterson Smith.  I have been reading her book this week and love the ideas it sparks about literary trips.  I am hopeful she will write a follow-up book… I am hopeful she invites me along on these trips to help her with her research.  😉  Hey, a girl can dream.

How is your Thursday shaping up?  I need to get into the office soon, I already have a list of things building up in my head of the “to do’s” for today.  It is funny how that happens. 🙂

Morning Meanderings… New Normal – Official Day One and Brown Bag Author

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Good Morning!  Happy Wednesday!  (Is it crazy that I had to pause there and think what day it was?)  Yesterday was my first real full day of feeling like I was moving into my new role.  I have home space set up, and made a commitment to be in it.  I actually had time to open up a packet of papers that were given to me in mid June as research for my manuscript I am revising.  They have been sitting in the library since they were handed to me and are now in the office and I spent time yesterday reviewing them and making notes. It was a good feeling.

 

 

JOhnathan Friesen, Book JOurney, Sheila DeChantal
Author Johnathan Friesen

This past Monday we had an exciting author at the Brainerd Public Library.  Author Johnathan Friesen (pronounced “free-zen”) spoke at our library about his books, and read from his most recent book, Mayday (LOVE the cover!)

I had never read or listened to Johnathan Friesen before and I for one was excited to have him at the library as a YA author.  He started out with sharing a very powerful story about his childhood and Tourette’s syndrome.  I think most of the room was in tears – and then he turned it around into his passion for writing.  At this stage in my life, what he said really resonated with me.  He spoke with intelligence and I found myself scribbling on a napkin (I know, I know, you would think I would be more prepared!) to capture some of the things he said…

…and when she left my room, she took something with her.  Almost like a magnet it stuck to the back of her shirt…. when she left, the hate I had felt for myself left with her.  ~ Johnathan Friesen

 

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Johnathan was a delightful speaker!  He was animated and funny and can really channel his inner child! While he spoke about each of his books I found myself trying to choose which I wanted to read, they all in one way or another spoke to me.  His book Jerk California is about a boy with Tourette’s.  This Schneider Family Book Award winner changed the face of Tourette’s Syndrome for modern teens.

When the event was over, the crowd of 44 people gathered around to but his books.  I always wait to be last to make sure everyone has the opportunity to pick up the books that they want.  I left this event with:

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If you ever have the chance to hear Johnathan speak, I highly recommend you do.  I was very impressed with his style and look forward to digging into his books!

 

 

 

 

Brown Bag Author Event: Julie Kramer

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Every Monday in June and July at the Brainerd Public Library, we have a Minnesota Author come from noon to one to talk about their latest book, answer questions, and sign books.  It is a lot of fun, and being a part of the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library who sponsors these events gives me a front row seat when it comes to chatting it up with the authors.

Not a bad gig.  😉

Recently we had Julie Kramer at the library talking about her new book Delivering Death.  She was very engaging to the 70+ people in the room.

Julie kramer, Book Journey, Delivering Death

While talking about where she gets her ideas for writing thrillers, she passed out to the audience her Minnesota Book Award for Silencing Sam.  It passed from person to person, even I had to get in on that action!  When it had been “oohed and ahhhhed” over by everyone there, Julie said this:

Let’s say tomorrow I am going to book signing in Duluth.  And lets say on my way there I meet someone and I beat them to death with that Minnesota Book Award and leave the person and the award with all your fingerprints all over it.  That’s where ideas come from.  ~ Julie Kramer

 

We all laughed.  Some nervously.

Julie Kramer, Book Journey, Delivering Death

Julie was a wonderful speaker and we had a great time with her.  She left us a signed copy of her book Delivering Death, and a bottle of wine with the same book title on it for Wine and Words in August.

And I picked up a copy of her book as well:

Julie Kramer, Book Journey, Delivering Death, Sheila DeChantal, Shunning Sarah

Julie Kramer’s website

Brown Bag Author: Nathan Jorgenson “Writing a Book Is Like Getting Naked In Public”

Nathan Jorgenson, Brainerd Library, Book Journey

The Friends of The Brainerd Public Library sponsor each June and July our Brown Bag Author Series.  This is a series of Minnesota authors who come and speak each Monday from noon to one at our library.  This event is open to the public, and the authors are able to sell their books at the end of the hour.

Our first author for the 2014 line up was Nathan Jorngenson.  Nathan is the author of three books, Waiting For White Horses, The Mulligan, and A Crooked Number.  For Waiting For White Horses, Nathan was the winner of the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award, Best New Voice 2005 Foreward Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist 2005 Independent Publishers Book Award Finalist.  The Mulligan was 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist  and 2007 Independent Publisher Book Award Finalist for Book of the Year.

Nathan Jorgenson, Brainerd Library, Book Journey, Waiting For White Horses, Crooked Letter

Nathan is a delightful speaker.  He was able to capture the attention of the 70 people who showed up to listen to him talk about his books.  (An excellent count and kick off to this years events!)  Each cover, has a story, and I was thrilled to find out that the cover of Waiting For White Horses is actually a picture of Nathan and his dog.  The Mulligan, Nathan said was said to be “too dark a cover”.  “Too brown” he was told, yet, “The cover won an award.”  A Crooked Number, also has a story and the pictures on the back are actually some of Nathan’s own pictures.  I LOVE the personal touch he has put in his covers!

Nathan read a little out of both Waiting For White Horses and A Crooked Number.  He shared a funny story about book signings.  He was encouraged once to take his dog with him to a signing.  “Everyone loves dogs” he was told.  Nathan said that every time someone came up to sign a  book, they just reeked of a foul odor.  He had no idea what was going on, finally his wife said, “You have to get the dog out of here, he is farting every time someone approaches”.  Nathan said it was a sad day that he had to fire his dog from future signings. 😀

 

Nathan Jorgenson, Brainerd Library, Book Journey

 

Writing, is like getting naked in public.

 

Nathan spoke on writing.  You expose yourself to the world, for better of for worse.  “You must write from the heart, that is all you can do.”  He shared another funny instance where at a signing an elderly woman came up to him and said, “Why are your books so pornographic?”  (For the record here – they are not… not even close!)  A man standing behind the woman chimed in and said, “We love your books.  In fact our Pastor has recommended two of them from the Pulpit.”  It is all a matter of opinion.

Nathan enjoys reading Harlan Coben and Scott Turrow.  He admits to writing his first two books with a #2 pencil.  “I am pretty old school,” he chuckles.

I purchased copies of Waiting For White Horses and A Crooked Number.  The first being a book I have been told time and again that I must read, and the second a book I have wanted to read for a while now.  Nathan generously donated copies of all three of his books to our library, and another set to be auctioned off at our Fall event, Wine and Words.

 

 

Spring Book Sale and A Chance To Win One Of These Books!

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Good morning.  Sorry about the funky size of the top pic here… I woke up this morning and apparently WordPress has made a few changes and my ability to resize pics the way I want from within WordPress is no more.  Hmmmmm….

Anyhoo –

This past weekend was the spring book sale at our library and we had a BLAST not only working the sale but shopping the sale.  Here is what I came home with:

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I am pretty excited with my haul – there are some fun reads in here. So as always, my book sale gets to be your book sale too.  In the comments put the title on one of these books that you would love to have.  I will choose at the end of this week one random winner (using random.org). Then I will read that winners choice in April and then send it to them to keep.

I hope you can see the titles ok – this was a great sale and I am still drooling over these pretties 🙂

Have a super day!

 

Readers! I Need Your Help With A Blind Date! ;) w/ giveaway!

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Hi everyone!  For February at our local library we are putting up a Blind Date Display.  I am pretty excited about the concept, which is to take people out of their comfort reading zone and try a new genre or a new author.  We will have a whole display up of books wrapped in brown paper with only the scan code uncovered for check out.  Other than that you have no idea what you are checking out to read.  We will put a little “singles ad” on the outside of each book so they have a little idea about who they will be dating…. for instance:

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If this book were wrapped up and on the shelf the singles ad may read… “I am overly sweet and predictable, but people tend to love those qualities about me.”

I am VERY excited about this!

This afternoon I will be going in and setting up the window at the library to let people know about this and encourage them from February 1st – 15th to come in and check out a blind date.  🙂  Once they return the “date” they will have an opportunity to the end of February to fill out a little “Rate Your Date” survey with fun questions like, “Would you date this author again?”  “How was your date as a whole, did you find you had things in common? ”  Stuff like that.

Here is where YOU come in. 🙂

I am working on compiling a list of books for the library staff that would make for great dates.  As we will be pulling these books off the shelf we do not want to use the uber popular books that are hot right now, but instead books that may expand the reader.  You know, the favorites of your past.  A book that might make the reader, “Go wow! I have truly been missing out!”

My challenge to you that I hope you will accept is to leave in the comments titles of books that you think would fit this “blind date” event.   I will enter each person who responds with a book title between now and January 17th into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card.  IF you can also give me a fun singles ad to go with the book you suggest you will receive two entries. 😀  We want to have enough books to keep filling the shelf we set up as they are checked out.  I will be encouraging my book club to go in and give it a try as well.  🙂

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So there it is. I was working on ideas at home and then thought, who better than to ask the readers what books would make for great blind dates? 

Thanks in advance!  I so look forward to what books you will come up with!