Monday, April 13, 2009


Saturday, I had the very good fortune of signing at PTense_2 cropped Present Tense Books & Gifts in Batavia, NY. This was a new venue for me, so I admit to being a little nervous. I needn't have been. I arrived about 15 minutes early, and was greeted by the store's owner, Erica Caldwell. She was with a customer, so I walked around the store for a few minutes.

What a terrific store! Housed in a gorgeous old Victorian home, the shop (inside and out) is painted in wonderful colors. There are several rooms filled with books, a selection of coffee and teas, children's toys (and books!), candles, hand-sewn purses (I was really tempted by those), pretty teacups, a gallery of original photographs, magnetic poetry kits, and lots of other marvelous things. I admit, I did succumb to temptation and bought a package of Who Dunn-Its sticky notes.

PTense_3 cropped There was a display of my books waiting for me on a neat table in the second room, and there were even copies of Dead In Red on the table, but my signing was held in a cozy parlor with a fireplace. This is were the genre fiction is displayed. And as a former vendor in an antiques co-op, I had to admire all the wonderful display pieces in that room (and throughout the store)--a lot of them antiques and/or repurposed.

Erica had prepared a nice spread of cookies, mini pecan tarts (yum!) and coffee. No sooner had I sat down, PTense_4cropped when a parade of readers came by to have me sign copies of Bookmarked for Death--and Murder is Binding. They asked loads of great questions, and I was delighted to talk to everyone.

During a lull, I took the opportunity to talk to Erica and her husband about the challenges facing an independent bookseller. I'm always happy to hear that I "got it right" in the Booktown mysteries.

I was just getting ready to leave, when my good buddy Jared Case arrived to wish me well (and buy a couple of books--what a pal!).

All too soon, it was over. I signed stock, Who Dunn-its left a bunch of signed bookmarks, and me and my Who-Dunn-Its were on our way back home.

I sure hope I'll be invited back to Present Tense Books & Gifts!