A book club founded ten years ago in North Texas (and still going strong) invited me to their January meeting to discuss both of my novels. Many thanks to Elizabeth Tessler for selecting Johnnie Come Lately and The Final Salute for a two book discussion in the warm surroundings of La Madeleine in Arlington, TX. The group was genuinely interested in my writing process, and they seemed pleased that I’m working on a third novel. When I told them I have a tight deadline, they cheered me on with words of encouragement and asked lots of good questions that will help me as I complete Seven Wings to Glory.
Our cashier’s face lit up when she discovered I’m an author. Turns out she’s an aspiring writer with dreams to publish one day. I gave her my card and invited her to contact me. We writers need all the encouragement we can get. Thanks again to “Book Club” for investing your time and emotion in my stories.
Many thanks to members of the Colleyville Book Club for their warm welcome and lively discussion about my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately. As an author, it’s so gratifying to be invited to a serious book club where the members show up having read your book, some with notes in hand, and are eager to meet you and discuss a story that took six years to bring to life.
A big round of applause to hostess Tari Sanchez Bauer for selecting my novel for the December book club pick and a special thanks to her daughter and cohost, Mandie Bauer, for taking the photos. Deep into the discussion, Tari brought an element of magic to the evening when she shared a powerful and personal story about why cardinals are so meaningful in her life. The framed cardinal and centerpiece on her table is a gift from her daughter, Mandie.
Not only were the members eager to discuss my novel, they also wanted to learn more about how the city of Grapevine, TX influenced the setting for my fictional Portion, hometown to protagonist Johnnie Kitchen and her family.
Everyone is excited that I’m working on the sequel to Johnnie, titled Seven Wings to Glory. Thanks to this great group of readers, I came away from the evening with a renewed sense of faith in my work and a whole new set of friends.
Dr. Cindy Ryan, a minister at First United Methodist Church of Grapevine, TX, read about Johnnie Come Lately in the book section of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and ordered the novel. She was intrigued by the book’s description: “Johnnie Come Lately is set in historic Portion, a Metroplex suburb that is loosely based on Grapevine, and follows Johnnie Kitchen, a 43-year-old housewife with a secret.”
After Cindy read the novel, she contacted me through my website and told me she’d picked Johnnie for her book club’s March selection. She invited me to attend the “No Stress Book Club” which started in 2006. They’d never had an author visit before.
Last night, this warm and fun-loving group welcomed me with open arms.
“A beautifully crafted story about family secrets and second chances, Johnnie Come Latley is a guaranteed book club favorite.” Barbara Claypole White, award-winning author of The Unfinished Garden and The In-Between Hour
To learn more about Johnnie Come Lately, please visit my website.
Johnnie Come Lately and The Final Saluteare available at Barnes & Noble in Southlake, TX (located minutes from DFW Airport). Both titles are upstairs in the Fiction and Literature department.
Johnnie Come Lately is set in the fictional town of Portion, Texas, a North Texas suburb based loosely on Grapevine, TX. The Final Salute is set at fictional Beauregard Air Force Base, based on England Air Force Base which closed in December of 1992.
A few days after my February 7, 2015 book signing at Barnes & Noble in Southlake, TX, I received a surprise message from Dr. Cindy Ryan, a minister at First United Methodist Church of Grapevine, TX. Dr. Ryan read about my latest novel in the Sunday book section of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Feb. 1, 2015), ordered the book, then fell in love with the story. She is an active member of her church’s No Stress Book Club, and she’s picked Johnnie Come Lately for their March selection. On March 25th, I will have the honor of attending their meeting to discuss my novel.
Both books are also available in paperback and e-book at most online booksellers.
Claudia’s Book Talk, an online book club, selects Johnnie Come Latelyfor discussion on Monday, March 2, 2015 @ 8:30 pm EST (7:30 pm CST, 6:30 pm MST, 5:30 pm PST). Anyone can join in on the discussion. All you need to do is ask to join the group. No hurt feelings if you “unjoin” following tonight’s event. Hope to see you there. All you have to do is click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Claudiasbooktalk/
“Every once in a while I come across a book that moves me deeply at the core of my very being. Johnnie Come Lately falls into that category with ease. This beautiful character study of the Kitchen family in Portion, Texas touches on so many issues we all can relate to at some level.” Claudia Stephan, creator of Claudia’s Book Talk
The book is available in paperback and e-book atAmazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and many other online booksellers. If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, please visit the Southlake B & N to pick up your copy.