Copperfish Books and Maurice On Books at SIBA2018



I had the pleasure of attending the Southern  Independent Booksellers  Association conference in Tampa, Florida last week. We closed the bookstore for four days so we could all go north to be with the best group of book lovers and book sellers on earth!  The excitement in the weeks preceding the conference was palpable as we prepared for what was coming.

September is notorious for hurricanes here in the South.  And, of course, Florence appeared to shake up the coast along the Carolinas and beyond. It caused all sorts of havoc and prevented some of our favorite authors and publishers and bookstore owners from arriving. But onward we went. No stopping us.

Jean Lewis

Lisa Patton & Me

I was thrilled to get to meet and bond with Lisa Patton who recently published one of my favorite books of the season, RUSH.

Lisa Patton


She is lovely inside and out.  Sadly, most of her wonderful books did not arrive with her.  Weather issues. But she got to wow the crowds and tell her story.

Jean, Lisa (RUSH), Cathy, and Kathie Bennett of Magic Time Literary Publicity


Thursday was filled with informative hour long classes where we learned good stuff to help us bring more to the book table.  We met authors and publishers. We made connections.  We are better already from having attended.  We even got to hear wonderful authors tell the story behind their books. Made us want to read them all!

at lunch

Me, Mary Kay, and Cathy Graham

On Friday afternoon we got an amazing surprise. Mary Kay Andrews  arrived. She had very graciously agreed to stand in for an author not able to attend because of the storm. What a treat for us.  Cathy and I had the pleasure of speaking to her about coming to Copperfish. She would love to!! Happy.  And then they announced her new book cover would be revealed at the trade show later in the day!

Mary Kay Andrews

Sunset Beach

Here you have it! SUNSET BEACH is the title of Mary Kay’s novel coming out in May. Much jumping up and down and shouting.

Karen with John Grisham

Our own Karen was last seen making off with a poster of John Grisham’s upcoming blockbusting novel! You go girl. It will now live in our store.


Our group complete with Liz on a stick!!

I have to say one of the highlights of the conference for me was hearing Rick Bragg speak on Friday night.  We all laughed ourselves silly.  He made the night. Rick is the winner of the SIBA Conroy Legacy Award. He stole the show. This photo of him with Wanda Jewell speaks volumes.


Wanda Jewel with Rick Bragg

Wanda Jewell is the woman who IS SIBA.  She is the person mostly behind the scene that makes it all come together and happen. She is beloved by Indy booksellers everywhere. Wanda, you are loved. Thanks for all you do.


Trade show floor

To say a good time was had by all is way too trite.  It was overwhelming, totally over the top, filled with more books than you can imagine, and all-consuming. Was it worth it? Sure! You betcha.  And some of us will do it again next year. Until then, happy reading.




A New Winner!

Juliet Blackwell

The Lost Carousel of Provence

One copy of THE LOST CAROUSEL OF PROVENCE by Juliet Blackwell goes to Jo-ann Stadtmauer. Congratulations!! You are going to love this book. I will send out an email to collect your mailing address. Your book will come straight from Berkley a division of PenguinRandomHouse. I can’t thank them enough for their very generous contribution.

And many thanks go out to all of you who took the time to comment on my blog post. It means so much.

Giveaway! The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell

The Lost Carousel of Provence

Arles carousel

Just take a look at this cover! It is so alive I can almost smell the lavender.  You know I’m a sucker for anything French. And I’m a fan of Juliet Blackwell. Win/win.

It’s 1901, Provence, France. We briefly visit Château Clement where the excitement is palpable as the finishing touches are added to the newly built carousel that will grace the property.  The cats, dogs, pigs, and rabbits were carved, painted, and gilded in Bayol’s factory in Angers, but it has taken nine men to transport the pieces by rail, then by steam traction from the station to the château, and then to assemble the machine on site.  Yves Clement and his lovely much younger wife Josephine are beside themselves with joy. You see, they’re hoping for a household filled with the joyous voices of children. It hasn’t happened yet, but……

Who is Monsieur Bayol? He’s a famous French carousel carver: Gustave Bayol.  Until now, Bayol has always only employed men. Until now. This time a young woman carver has accompanied the men…. Could there be trouble?

Forward to present day, Oakland, California. Meet Cady Drake.  Cady has a very troubled past. But it’s the future that counts now. And she’s off to France  after being offered a contract to produce a photo book of Parisian carousels.  Cady has a special interest in carousels as she has an old carousel rabbit she’s named Gus and cherishes it.  Lately, it’s literally fallen apart and within it is a piece of history and a secret that is a pandora’s box in itself.

LETTERS FROM PARIS and THE PARIS KEY are two novels set in France and written by Juliet Blackwell. I loved them both.  Blackwell knows how to set the tone, whisper in your ear in the language of France, and bring you the sights and sounds of the region.  She does not disappoint with THE LOST CAROUSEL OF PROVENCE.

The research Blackwell has done is superb. I  found myself happily ensconced in the world of carousels while reading this novel. It brought to mind a special carousel that I visited with my children on the Island off the coast ofToronto.

Toronto Centreville Carousel.

This amazing carousel was lit up and we could hear its merry sounds across the water as we approached the island by ferry. Happy times.

THE LOST CAROUSEL OF PROVENCE is filled with secrets and family angst. It’s filled with good food and spirits.  But, mostly, it’s filled with a sparkling story and will sweep you away for a time to the French countryside. What could be better than that?

Cady’s adventure in and of the Château Clement will keep you enthralled. Her interaction with the old man who still lives in the château will give you pause. Who is this man?

Of course there is romance. But what I love is there is not too much romance. This book  has just the right amount of everything. And I love the reader’s guide at the end. Great for those of you with bookclubs.

I have one lovely copy of THE LOST CAROUSEL OF PROVENCE by Juliet Blackwell for giveaway. I am thrilled to be able to offer such an amazing book. Please leave a comment below and I will pick one winner on Monday, September 17. Only U.S. addresses, and no P.O. addresses, as per usual. Your gorgeous book will arrive from Berkley, a division of PenguinRandomHouse.  Many thanks go out to them for this!!

Good luck to all!


Vacation Elation! Camp Mom Mom 2018

Chocolate shop

Chocolate; the look of love! French Broad Chocolate Lounge

What would a trip to Asheville, North Carolina be without a trip to French Broad Chocolate Lounge? No trip at all if you ask my granddaughter Emerson! I have to agree and so do Alicia and Liam. The cute little white cups are filled with a little bit of liquid chocolate heaven. Then there was the mousse made with coconut milk and deep delicious chocolate. And not to be outdone, the chocolate creme brule.  Did we lick the plates clean? You betcha.

I returned to Asheville again this summer for my second round at Camp Mom Mom. I helped with the kids for one week while my son-in-law was away on business. We visited the pool, read books,


Liam reading on the deck.

ate lots of good food. I discovered a food delivery service called Hello Fresh. The day I arrived I asked what we would be doing for dinner. Alicia said dinner would arrive around 5:30. Oh. Sure enough, it did. Via Fed Ex and in a box.  How much fun did we have cooking dinner, and the food was exactly as promised; fresh, and delicious.


And one day Alicia picked up take out from  12 Bones the best BBQ joint ever. Another lick your chops meal.

Indy bookshop

Sassafras on Sutton

I was determined to visit Sassafras on Sutton. This quaint little Indy bookstore only opened on Black Mountain six months ago. What a sweet place complete with scrumptious coffee bar. Splurged and got a maple latte that was luscious and shareable.

Coffee bar




So many trinkets to peruse. So much fun. We supported the store and loved every minute of it.

We lunched at a cafe called The Veranda, a small place with good local food. Not like the very fancy spot in downtown Fort Myers.

The shops on Black Mountain have multiplied since my last visit. Even a gourmet pop corn shop.

shop Black Mt


mom and Liam and Emerson

Shopping on Black Mountain

Tea Party

One afternoon, Emerson and Alicia planned a tea party on the deck. With the view of the mountains as our backdrop, we feasted on Emerson’s homemade scones, petit fours, crustless egg salad sandwiches, fresh fruit and some of the most delicious tea on the face of this earth; Blue Lady tea I brought from Brambles Tea Room in Naples, Florida.

Emerson’s summer tea party





I tried to cram as much into a five day visit as I possibly could. And I think we crossed off most of our list. One evening we got pretty up close and personal to a BIG bear. Spotted him in the neighbor’s yard first. Then came across  him again just down the road while we were driving into town. Holy cow. He just kept walking toward us. Bigger and bigger he got.


View From Hemingway’s

Big bear

Bear sighting

The last night  my son-in-law returned home from his business trip. We ventured into Asheville proper to enjoy dinner way up on top of a hotel. Hemingway’s Restaurant and Bar has an open-air rooftop eatery with breathtaking views of the mountains and really great food as well. A great end to a really great week!

So what else have I been doing on my summer vacation? Well, I’ve been reading some pretty fabulous books!!That’s what. I am gearing up for fall and winter lecture season. It is almost upon me. Starting earlier than usual this year as I am now adding Charlotte County to my roster of events.  Now Maurice On Books is tri-county.

I can’t wait to see everyone this season!


A Big Winner!! Rush by Lisa Patton

Lisa Patton


The cover of RUSH reeks of Southern Architecture.  A sorority house in Mississippi on the grounds of Ole Miss. And just in time for all those incoming Freshman to begin their first year.

Most of you already know what rush is. But for those of you who may not know, it’s the time when young men and women bare their souls and try like hell to get into sororities and fraternities in Universities. It’s a very stressful time where the pressure is like that of an actual pressure cooker with the lid singing and threatening to blow sky high. Yes. no exaggeration. Those of you who have been there know I am right.  So this novel is about the desperation of trying to get accepted by your choice of sorority. But so much more.

This novel begins with Miss Pearl telling us about herself. Here’s the first paragraph.

“I work for four hundred and thirty-eight white ladies in a three-story mansion, not a one of them is over the age of twenty-two. When I took this job, nearly twenty-five years ago, I did it out of necessity. The things in my life had…well, let’s just say they had jumped the track. All of the women in my family, as far back as any of us knew, had worked as domestics. I had been determined to do something different-graduate from college and make a name for myself. Yet here I am following along in their footsteps.”

This little bit sets the tone for the story.  It’ll be no secret that Miss Pearl is my favorite character.

There is a whole cast of characters and Patton

has done a super job fleshing them out and giving their roles credence.  But I will only focus on the main characters here.

We already know Miss Rose is an integral person. What you don’t know yet is how beloved she has been for many years to all “her” girls. She’s truly been like a mother to them. And they all love her. And she has a secret. The new girls who will be joining Alpha Delt will be the luckiest of the lucky. Or will they?

Enter a woman named Liluth Whitmore who is often referred to by a special  name: Mrs. Shitmore. OMG!  But she is so deserving of that title. She’s the meanest of the mean and is filthy rich with a young daughter who is attending rush this year.  Her concern is to get her mean-spirited daughter Annie Laurie accepted into Alpha Delt no matter what it takes. And I do mean whatever it takes.  Liluth is the House Corp President of Alpha Delta Beta.  And she’s wrecking havoc from day one. And she’s got a secret.

Cali Watkins is over the moon about rush. She is hoping against hope that she gets an invite. But her chances are small. You see, Cali has family secrets, and, she’s got no pedigree… But she’s whip-smart and so lovable.  Of course Liluth does not like her…

Wilda is the mother of a young woman who is also rushing. And she’s keeping a secret from her husband.  Liluth has asked Wilda to be on the advisory board for rush. They haven’t seen each other since their college days… And were never close. And just wait til you hear about the dorm room debacle between Annie Laurie and Wilda’s daughter. It almost put me over the edge. I had not heard of hiring a person to “do” your dorm room.

This novel brought something to the surface for me. These young people give me hope for the future. They decide to help make a better life for the Staff of their house and what they do to achieve this is above and beyond and, quite simply, heartwarming!

I have to thank Meg at Tandem Literary for sending me this lovely book. She’s been such a peach this summer sending me some great books. And thanks to St. Martin’s for providing the giveaway book!! All this in exchange for an honest review. I think it’s just super and Patton has just moved into the position of one of the best southern writers today!



Now for the winner!! Diane Sutter you are my winner today. Girl, I had the most entries of any giveaway I’ve done yet.  Congratulations, Diane Sutta. I will send off an email to let you know.

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Rea Frey

Not Her Daughter

A quick spotlight of NOT HER DAUGHTER by Rea Frey. If you love a great thriller that you just can not put down, well, here’s your book. A little girl’s shoes, left without the little girl. Draws me right in. What has happened to the child?

“What does it mean to be a mother? How far would you go to keep a child safe? What happens when one woman kidnaps a little girl in order to protect her from her mother? These are all questions Rea Frey answers in her emotionally powerful and wire-taut debut novel.”


  • Emma is five years old. Missing since June.
  • Sarah is a successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Abandoned by her own mother. Kidnapper.
  • Amy is an unhappy wife, unfit mother, and unable to connect with her daughter and unsure she wants her back.

This story is so compelling that you might leave something burning on the stove and burn the house down. Seriously, make sure you don’t have another thing to do when you pick this novel up…

I love that it’s published in trade paper. My review copy came via St. Martin’s Press. I am doing what is called a spotlight.  I think you need to add this to your end of summer reading list!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We’ll be getting copies of the novel at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Fl. in about a week. I hope to see you soon!

Giveaway! Rush by Lisa Patton

Lisa Patton


Great cover! I’m going to do a little whetting of the appetite here. I’m only a few chapters into RUSH and already I know I’ve found a novel to sink my teeth into. Gotta love that.  Lisa Patton is one of the best Southern writers we have today.  I have one copy for giveaway. Tandem Literary and St. Martin’s Press are providing a copy of the book for one lucky winner! I do believe this book is going to be big. Please leave a comment below and you are entered to win. Only U.S. addresses, please, and as usual, no P.O. boxes.  I will choose my winner on Wednesday, August 29. Good luck! I will also post my full review along with the announcement of the winner.


Lisa Patton

“Set in modern day Oxford, Mississippi, on the Ole Miss campus, bestselling author Lisa Patton’s RUSH is a story about women—from both ends of the social ladder—discovering their voices and their empowerment. “

Word’s already circulating about this novel and it’s all real good!