New Book Fest at Chestnut Hill!

Chestnut Hill, PA is on the outskirts of Philly…close enough to have an urban feel, with hip shops, restaurants, and a vibe of culture…far enough that it has massive leafy trees and truly incredible homes.  Seriously, they are stone castles.  The people of Chestnut Hill are also urban hip.  So when this town decides to throw its first book fair, you know it’s going to smoke!

The first ever Chestnut Hill Book Fair will kick off on Friday, July 10, and continue through Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12.  There will be panel discussions, activities, readings and book signings.  For the kiddies there are plenty of picture book authors doing their stuff, along with performances, and a green eggs and ham brunch!  I’m so proud to be a part of it. I’ll be there on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, July 11, from 2-4 p.m., visitors can catch me at the lovely Robertson’s Flowers, 8501 Germantown Ave in Chestnut Hill.  I’ll be hanging out, doing a reading,  and happy to chat about writing, my novel, life in general.  And I’ll be signing copies of my young adult novel What I Meant… Since part of my novel takes place in Philly, and in Doylestown, a suburb not too far away, I’m sure I’ll feel right at home. P.S.: It’s free!

On Sunday the 12th, from 2:30-4 p.m., I’ll be in the Bombay Room at the Chestnut Hill Hotel (8229 Germantown Ave, Chestnut Hill) on a panel talking about “Tips for Marketing Your Book.”  Among the other panelists who will be there is fellow Philly Liar’s Club author Kelly Simmons (who wrote the wonderful novel  StandingStill).  We’ll share how you can get your book noticed, revealing some unorthodox but completely doable ideas of our own. The panel is one of several aspiring writer workshops being sponsored throughout the weekend by Philadelphia Stories, a magazine that publishes great fiction, poetry and art from folks in the region. Each workshop costs $10.

A bit more about the Philly Liar’s Club: we are 13 professional writers who basically lie for a living. This is one talented as well as warm bunch of authors, and I am so proud to be their newest member.  Speaking of Liars, you can also catch some of my other Liar buds throughout the festival.  On Friday evening from 8:30-10 p.m. (Magarity Ford Site, 8200 Germantown Ave), there is a 100% Liars mystery panel featuring Ed Pettit (renowned Poe scholar), Jon McGoran (aka D.H. Dublin, Freezer Burn), Dennis Tafoya (Dope Thief), Kelly Simmons (Standing Still), and Merry Jones (The Borrowed and Blue Murders).  I wish I’d written a mystery so I could sit in on that one.  Kelly Simmons will also be signing at the Borders, 8705 Germantown Ave at noon.  And another warm and wonderful Liar, paranormal novelist L.A. Banks (author of the 12 book series on Minion: A Vampire Huntress Legend) will be signing on Saturday, 11:30 a.m., at the Magarity Showroom, 8200 Germantown.

Liars aside, there are also SO many wonderful authors coming. Authors that I adore as both writers and as friends.  Here’s a sampling: Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars), Nancy Viau (Samantha Hansen has Rocks in her Head), Linda Wisniewski (Off Kilter), and Elizabeth Mosier (My Life as a Girl).  There is so much going on, you’ll just have to check out the book fair’s site to get it all in.

Truly, this is going to be one rocking event.

Clinton Book Shop is one Cool Independent

We lie for a living...

We lie for a living...

I’m lucky enough to be a member of  the Philly Liar’s Club, a group of 13 professional writers who basically lie for a living. And together we are on a “Truth Tour,” which means we throw parties for independent bookstores, spreading the word about what makes each store so important to our communities.

The really great part about this is that I get to interview bookstore staff and hear all this cool stuff about the shops and what they’re doing. For example, our next stop is at Clinton Book Shop in Clinton, NJ, June 20th from 1-3 p.m.  The store is located at 33 Main Street in Clinton, NJ, and it is way cool. For starters, it is the only dog-friendly bookstore in the state! So anyone can bring in their pooch and browse. They even have dog treats at the counter. My evil poodle would love that. Too bad she gets car sick…

At our free event, “Liars Tell the Truth about Clinton Book Shop,” anyone (including dogs) can come in, nibble on free goodies (there will be stuff for humans, I promise), hang out with the authors, and play Truth or Lie trivia games for tons of prizes including book bags and signed books. There will even be a story time for kids, featuring an original picture book manuscript read by author Keith Strunk.

So who will you get to meet? There’s me, (signing my young adult novel What I Meant…, Random House), Bram Stoker award-winner Jonathan Maberry (Patient Zero, St. Martin’s),  debut crime novelist Dennis Tafoya (Dope Thief, St. Martin’s), mystery author Jon McGoran who writes as D.H. Dublin (Freezer Burn, Berkley), historical authorKeith Strunk (Prallsville Mills and Stockton, Arcadia Publishing Images of America Series),  and social media guru Donald Lafferty.

One thing I learned about Clinton Book Shop is that even though it is small and cozy, purchases there aren’t limited to its excellent collection on its shelves. You can get any book from them by stopping in, calling the store or going to www.clintonbookshop.com.  Special orders usually arrive within two days. Best of all, by ordering through them you are benefiting a local business, one that offers a unique shopping experience, and that showcases titles you won’t find in any of those megastores.

Clinton Book Shop manager Rob Dougherty agrees. “We understand that we’re a part of a small town and community. We understand the people that come here and we work hard to meet their needs.” That translates into carrying titles of special interest to patrons. Also, the staff prides itself on knowing its stock inside and out, and that’s why they are especially skilled at recommending books to customers looking for their next read. “I’ve never seen a single customer come back to complain that they didn’t enjoy a book that our staff had hand sold them,” Dougherty says. “That is saying something.” 

Other ways the staff caters to its customers includes a loyalty shopper’s discount card, hosting book clubs including “The Politically Incorrect Book Club,” and an array of exciting literary events, including the upcoming nationwide book launch of author Maryann McFadden’s newest novel So Happy Together (Hyperion) on July 7th.

The bookstore is so connected to the community because for owner Harvey Finkel, Clinton is home.  Finkel, a long-time area resident, has served as a board member of Habitat for Humanity, and, through the store, he has supported local and private schools and contributed to regional non-profits. He is also a founding member of “Hunterdon First,” a newly formed non-profit supporting independently owned and operated businesses throughout the county.  His own store’s entire philosophy is focused on benefiting his community. “That’s why it is so important to buy books from a local independent bookstore,” says Donald Lafferty, a social media guru who specializes in networking. “It’s like one big network. You spend your dollars at the Clinton Book Shop, and your money stays in this community. It’s all connected, and it truly makes a difference right where you live.”

Clinton Book Shop customers are understandably loyal – something that Dougherty especially appreciates. “It’s so cool when customers know what kind of coffee you drink and they bring it for you. And support from our customers during these tough economic times has been great. It means a lot.”

“This town’s unique architecture and independently owned stores are what give Clinton its authentic small-town charm,” says historic author Keith Strunk. “I can’t imagine a place like this filled with chain stores. We hope everyone feels the same and comes to our Liar’s Club party to show the Clinton Book Shop how strongly they support this local gem. It’s going to be a really fun celebration – honest!”

For more information, or to reserve a copy of an author’s book before the June 20th event, call the Clinton Book Shop at 908-735-8811.  I hope to see you there.  And if you don’t live in the area, you can still show your support by buying your next book from your local independent bookstore. Go ahead. Do it now!

Where I’m Gonna Be When: Author Appearance Schedule

Hey gang,

Well, since I’m STILL having some website issues, and haven’t been able to update my site for like 2 months (!), I thought I could at least post my appearance schedule here. If you are nearby one of these events, come and say hey!


Marie Lamba’s Upcoming Appearances:

May 9th,
morning appearance and signing with Girl Scouts in Lansdale, PA. Yeah teen scouts!

May 16th, 2-4 p.m. booksigning at The University of Pennsylvania Bookstore (Barnes and Noble), 3601 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Coincides with alumni day…and Marie’s 25th Penn reunion.  For more info call 215-898-7595.

June 4th, 3:30-5:30 p.m., booksigning at The Summer Library Fest, held at Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, 1001 Powell St., Norristown, PA.

June 14th, 1-5 p.m. Booksigning and chatting with 70 authors at Books in New Jersey literary festival, held at Paramus Public Library, E116 Century Road, Paramus, NJ. Sponsored by Bergen County Cooperative Library System and Paramus Public Library.

June 20th, 1-3 p.m. The fabulous Philly Liar’s Club will be throwing its second “Truth Tour” event, and you are invited. “Liars Tell the Truth about Clinton Books” is a party at Clinton Books, 33 Main St., Clinton, NJ, featuring fab giveaways, Truth or Lie games, and these Liars Club authors: Marie Lamba, Jonathan Maberry, Keith Strunk, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran (who writes as D.H. Dublin), Dennis Tafoya and Don Lafferty. There will be laughs, mayhem, booksignings, and this party is free! You can call the bookstore at 908-735-8811 for more info or to reserve a copy of an author’s book.

July  10th-12th, time TBA, Marie will be appearing at the Chestnut Hill Book Fest, in Chestnut Hill, PA, with a bunch of her wacky Philly Liars Club author buds. There’ll be yakking and booksignings. Stay tuned for details.

July 25th, 3-5 p.m., “Liars Tell the Truth about Between Books,” the Philly Liars Club throws another wild and wooly party for independent bookstores. This time we’ll be at Between Books, 2703 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, DE. This free party will have great giveaways, Truth or Lie games, and these wacky writers: Marie Lamba, Jonathan Maberry, Keith Strunk, Kelly Simmons, Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Dennis Tafoya, Don Lafferty.

July 30th, 7-8 p.m., South Brunswick Public Library, 110 Kingston Lane, Monmouth Junction, NJ. Marie will be giving a special talk, sharing how she makes her books come to life, and answering questions from you. This will be followed by a book sale and signing. The event is free and open to the public. For more info call the library at 732-329-4000.

August 14th, 6-8 p.m., “Liars Tell the Truth about Aaron’s Books.”  The Philly Liars Club “Truth Tour” continues!  This time we are throwing a party for wonderful indie bookstore Aaron’s Books43 S. Broad St., Lititz, PA. This exciting event, which is free and open to all, will have fab giveaways, “Truth or Lie” games and mayhem/booksignings with a host of Liars Club writers: Marie Lamba, Jon McGoran (aka D.H. Dublin), Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Jonathan Maberry, Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, and Dennis Tafoya. The par-tay occurs during the town’s Second Friday Celebration. Contact the store for details at 717-627-1990. Don’t miss the action…

October 9th, 7:30 p.m., “Meet the Authors,” night at Indian Valley Public Library, PA. Co-hosted by the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce and wonderful indie bookstore Harleysville Books. This free evening will include author talks and booksignings. Details, including other featured authors, coming soon.

October 18th, 1-3 p.m., Senior Scout Workshop and Booksigning, Cherry Hill, NJ.

November 7th, noon-3 p.m., The Philly Liars Club will be throwing a very special “Liars Tell the Truth about Womrath’s Bookstore” held at Womrath’s Bookstore, 12 Washington Street, Tenafly, NJ.  It’s in celebration of this store’s 60th anniversary. The festivities are free and everyone is welcome to come enjoy our “Truth or Lie” games, great giveaways, and chillin with the writers, who will be signing their books: Marie Lamba, Dennis Tafoya, Jon McGoran (aka D.H. Dublin), Ed Pettit, Keith Strunk, Gregory Frost, Jonathan Maberry, Merry Jones, Kelly Simmons, William Lashner, and Don Lafferty.

“Truth Tour” Celebrates Independent Bookstores

Philly Liars Club members Marie Lamba, Kelly Simmons, Dennis Tafoya, Jon McGoran (D.H. Dublin) and Jonathan Maberry

Philly Liars Club members Marie Lamba, Kelly Simmons, Dennis Tafoya, Jon McGoran (D.H. Dublin) and Jonathan Maberry

Something unusual is brewing at the Doylestown Bookshop, and it involves wacky games, a bunch of liars and one fuzzy dog.

The Philly Liar’s Club is hosting a party called “Liars Tell the Truth about the Doylestown Bookshop,” which will be held at the store, located on 16 South Main Street in Doylestown, on Saturday, May 2nd from 2-4 p.m. This event, which is free and open to the public, features free food, tons of authors, and chances to win prizes that include signed books and an appearance on the canine web comedy It’s Todd’s Show.

The Philly Liar’s Club is a group of professional writers that I now belong to. We basically lie for a living. It’s cool belonging to a group like this. They are all witty and talented, and working together we can really make things happen, like this bookshop party. My only objection is that they are also all really tall, and this is slightly embarrassing when it comes to group photos. Fortunately some of them will crouch beside me to make me feel less, er, fun-sized?

Anyways, the Doylestown event is our first stop on what we call our “Truth Tour.”  This is a series of parties that we are throwing for independent bookstores. It gives us all a chance to celebrate indies and spread the word about everything that is amazing about them — their personality, great selection, amazing service, and their support for local authors and artists. With the rise of online bookselling, and the dominance of big chain bookstores, independent bookstores have been really challenged to stay afloat.  But independents like the Doylestown Bookshop offer everything the competition does, plus more. And we never want to live without them!

Our Philly Liars Club members include:

New York Times best selling author L.A. Banks (The Thirteenth, St. Martin’s Griffin)
Bram Stoker award-winner Jonathan Maberry (Patient Zero, St. Martin’s)
young adult author Marie Lamba…er, me… (What I Meant…, Random House)
New York Times best selling thriller author William Lashner (Blood and Bone, Morrow)
debut crime novelist Dennis Tafoya (Dope Thief, St. Martin’s)
mystery author Jon McGoran who writes as D.H. Dublin (Freezer Burn, Berkley)
fantasy author Gregory Frost (Lord Tophet, Del Rey/Random House)
novelist Kelly Simmons (Standing Still, Washington Square Press)
mystery author Merry Jones (The Borrowed and Blue Murders, Minotaur Books),
historical author Keith Strunk (Prallsville Mills and Stockton, Arcadia Publishing Images of America Series)
Poe scholar Ed Pettit
social media guru Don Lafferty
Emmy Award winning producer Laura Schrock (shows include Alf, Golden Girls, and It’s Todd’s Show)

Visitors to the May 2nd celebration will get to shake paws with Todd, the It’s Todd’s Show’s four-legged star, they will play truth or lie games for prizes, and will enjoy hanging out with the Liars.

The Doylestown Bookshop is the largest independent bookstore in Bucks County. Still, if you think book orders are limited to what is found on its shelves, you’re mistaken. By going to http://www.doylestownbookshop.com, you can order any title quickly, whether the store stocks it or not. Shipping is free for all orders over $30, and there is no shipping at all on orders you pick up at the store. Best of all, by ordering through them you are benefiting a local business, one that offers a unique shopping experience, and that showcases titles you won’t find in any of those megastores.

Doylestown Bookshop owner Pat Gerney of Wrightstown agrees. “We have a hand-picked selection of books based on what our community wants and needs, unlike chain bookstores that order from a central location that services hundreds of stores.” This translates into a collection that truly caters to the community, including unusual fiction and non-fiction, school reading list titles, shelves dedicated to local authors, and many titles about Bucks County.

“Independent bookstores cater to independent minds,” says author Jonathan Maberry. “It’s more than just about selling books – the Indies cultivate a love and appreciation of books, literacy, learning, reading and intellectual growth in ways the big chain stores don’t – or can’t.” The Doylestown Bookshop has become a cultural hub and a gathering place of sorts. Readers can meet other booklovers by joining book clubs, including a mother/daughter group, one for sci fi/fantasy/horror fans, and a Smart Books for Smart Women group. They even have a book group for food lovers, which meets at the specialty food store Cote and Co. The bookstore also has frequent book signings, and supports local artists with exhibitions, and local musicians with live performances.

“The past ten years have been rough for Independents,” says bookshop manager Shilough Hopwood. “But we’ve prospered and flourished, thanks to our community. A dedicated community really makes a difference in preserving independent stores everywhere.”

We hope everyone comes out May 2nd to show their dedication, and to hang out with the Liars. It’s going to be a blast…and that’s no lie. For more information, or to reserve a copy of an author’s book before the event, call the Doylestown Bookshop at 215-230-7610.

Also, I’ll be sure to post more about our future Truth Tour events here, and on my website www.marielamba.com. In the meantime, go buy a book from an independent bookshop. Now!