Posted in Authors, Books, Monday Blog

Are Author Signings Worth Attending?

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The Mystic Author Signing Event Hosted by Abby P. Cook and Lisa Ravenscroft at Foxwoods Casino

This weekend, I attended MASE (Mystic Author Signing Event) with four other authors with my publisher, Limitless Publishing, and about 50 other authors both self-published or signed with other publishers. The event was hosted by Abby P. Cook and Lisa Ravenscroft of Abby & Lisa’s Book Blog. These two ladies did an awesome job arranging the event that took place in the Grand Pequot Ballroom at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

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Left to right. Limitless authors Alison Mello, Marianne Rice, Jennifer Allis Provost, and Debbie De Louise
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Limitless Publishing authors left to right: Jennifer Allis Provost; Alison Mello; Marianne Rice; Apryl Baker, and Debbie De Louise

This was my first signing with other authors and the first event to which I had to travel. I drove up with my husband who assisted me at the table I shared with Jennifer Allis Provost. Seated next to us were fellow authors, Marianne Rice and Alison Mello. Apryl Baker, NYTimes Bestselling author also with Limitless Publishing, attended the event and signed a copy of “The Ghost Files” for me.

It took us 4-hours with a stop to drive from our home on Long Island, New York to Mashantucket, Connecticut where we were booked at the Two Trees Inn at the group discount for the event.

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Me at my MASE Table.

Although the weather driving in was overcast with some drizzle, the day of the signing was sunny and warm. That might explain why attendance at the event wasn’t as high as expected. However, it was great seeing the eager readers who passed our tables and asked us to sign their tote bags or homemade autograph books. It was also wonderful to meet fellow authors, some of whom we’d only communicated with online and others whom we’d never heard of before. Following the signing, the authors gathered for a delicious buffet turkey dinner and got to know one another better.

There was also some time for entertainment, as those traveling to the signing and staying over, as we had, were able to participate in some casino gaming, visit the Pequot Indian museum, Pick up souvenirs or gifts at the Tanger Outlets or other Foxwood shops, and dine at the many fine or casual restaurants.

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Kitty Slot Machine that Meows
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My husband, Anthony, wearing his new hat from Native Nations

Since my husband and I are not gamblers but we still wanted to try our hand at casino betting, we opted to play the slots. We set limits and didn’t exceed them, but the machines seemed to be against us the first night. I also left my phone in the casino. Luckily, it was recovered by Security. My luck improved Saturday night when I found a cute cat slot machine that even meowed when I won. I was excited to cash out my big win of $20, but I spent much more in the gift shops. In the Native Nations shop, I purchased some special Totem stones, t-shirts, and Indian herbal tea for my daughter as well as an Indian doll for my daughter’s friend whose family she stayed with while we were away. My husband found a hat at the same shop. Another store sold adorable Pusheen items, and I couldn’t resist the cat slippers with a tail and the mug that I used to store raffle tickets from my giveaway at the author signing.

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Rainmaker Square

We also enjoyed our stay at Two Trees. The inn had a nice restaurant where we dined for breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday morning. The grounds are lovely with a gazebo, deck chairs, stone bunnies, and babbling waterfalls. Throughout Foxwoods, there are also beautiful statues. I particularly enjoyed the Rainmaker area as well as the Theater section of old-fashioned storefronts. I took a break from my dieting for a special treat at the Cake by Franck store where I ordered a strawberry custard pastry.

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Strawberry Custard Pastry from Cake by Franck. I hope my Jenny Craig Counselor doesn’t see this.

Regrettably, there wasn’t enough time to visit the Pequot Museum, and there weren’t any shows that weekend of interest to us. All in all, it was still a worthwhile experience. While I didn’t sell all the books I came with or break any jackpots in the casino, I met a lot of people, both authors and readers. I hope to attend many more signings in the future.

 

 

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Posted in Authors, blog challenge

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: A Day in My Life

blogchallengegraphicupdatedThis week’s blog challenge is about A Day in My Life. Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created this challenge (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

My day usually begins at 5 a.m. when I wake up, feed my cats, and make coffee for my husband in that order. Then I check my computer for emails, Facebook messages, and my handy Google calendar, so I know what else is on the agenda for that day. I spend the next hour writing and eating breakfast which is usually a high fiber cereal with bananas or blueberries and coffee with skim milk. At 6 a.m., after my husband is out of the shower, I wake up my 6th-grade daughter who takes an hour dressing and using the bathroom. While she is getting ready, I put one of my Leslie Sansone walk-at-home DVD’s into my computer and exercise for a half hour. I then make breakfast for my daughter who, like my husband, grabs something quick because they are both running late all the time.

hicksvillelibraryWhen everyone is gone, I shower and dress for work. I like to get there at 8:30 even though I start at 9. I work at my local library as a librarian. The best part of my job is ordering the new fiction and mystery books, but it’s also the hardest because I want to read them all and don’t have the time. I also enjoy helping people find new books and authors. I’ve been writing and editing the library’s monthly staff picks newsletter for the last three years.

2016-05-09 20.39.46I work at the library from 9 to 5 four days a week and from 1 to 9 once a week. I also work two Saturdays a month. When I work a Saturday, I usually get a Friday off. On my days off and on weekends, I try to catch up on household chores and social media/writing. But if my daughter is home, too, I try to spend time with her. She’s at the age where she’d rather be with her friends than her mother, so I usually take her out somewhere with a friend. Last weekend, we went to Old Westbury Gardens, a place she particularly likes, as she’s into nature. However, it was so hot that both she and her friend wanted to leave before we were there long. A week ago, my daughter unexpectedly asked me to read a book with her. We used to read together all the time when she was younger but, as she started getting more homework and I became involved in writing, there was less time for us to do so. The book she chose, The Bad Unicorn, is one of those pre-teen dramatic works with a mysterious ancient codex and a seventh-grade hero. I had to admit I found some of the parts funny, and she laughed through a lot of it, too. Despite its crazy plot, the book was written on a level that would help increase a middle-schooler’s vocabulary, and I was glad it was something we could share.

maseThis weekend, I’m headed to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut for MASE (Mystic Author Signing Event) where I’ll be meeting authors and readers and signing both of my books, A Stone’s Throw and Cloudy Rainbow. My husband is coming along, so we’ll also try to fit in some much-needed together time. Most of the time we’re both too busy with our jobs and daughter. The single exception is the one night a week, usually on a weekend I’m not working, that we watch a movie or TV show together on Netflix while our daughter plays virtual games on her computer with her friends.

There’s not much more to know about my days except that I try to fit in reading and some time with my cats.2016-02-24 10.18.29

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Authors, Limitless Publishing

Spreading the Word

debbiehicksvilleFollowing on the heels of my author talk at the Hicksville Public Library on Friday, January 22nd, winter snowstorm Jonas hit Long Island.

2016-01-24 14.22.02While my husband, daughter, and I were snowbound, after catching up on some housework, putting away the remainder of the Christmas items, and organizing my closet, I spent some time editing the sequel to my novel, A STONE’S THROW (November 2015 Limitless Publishing) and planning my calendar for 2016. I’ve also begun listing my upcoming events on an Eventbrite calendar I’ve added to this blog.

Although my calendar of events is a work-in-progress, it’s beginning to fill up. Here is my schedule of appearances so far through Summer 2016:

2016calendarTuesday, April 12th 7 pm-8pm Author Talk and Book Signing at Barnes and Noble, Carle Place, NY

Saturday, June 4th MASE (Mystic Author Signing Event) Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket CT

Tuesday, June 21st 7 pm-8pm Author and Publishing Talk at Farmingdale Public Library

Saturday, August 6th Indies in NY 2016 Author Signing, The Westin New York at Times Square

I hope some of you can attend these events. If you would like me to speak at your library or any author events, please contact me to schedule an appearance. Also, if anyone wants to purchase a copy of A STONE’S THROW for me to sign at any of my signing events, please let me know ahead so I can reserve a copy for you.