A Tale of Two Bookstores: Farley’s and Canterbury Tales Forever

Farley’s Bookshop in New Hope, PA, and Canterbury Tales Forever in Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, PA are two cozy and amazing indie bookstores worth all of our attention and support.

For the past 7 months, my buds and I at the Philly Liars Club have been on our “Truth Tour,” throwing parties for independent bookstores, and spreading the word about why it’s important to shop at indie stores first. Our Truth Tour parties have been fun and festive, featuring most of our 13 Liars Club authors.  But what about cozy bookstores who can’t fit all of us at once? This calls for a Two-Timing Liars party, of course!

So, on Saturday, December 12th, a bunch of two-timing liars takes over Farley’s Bookshop and Canterbury Tales Forever. We’ll be simultaneously throwing a festive book signing party at the two bookstores in one day.  From 11 a.m. straight through to 7 p.m. on that day, visitors will find two of these low-down liars at both indies signing their novels, giving away holiday goodies, and spreading excitement about shopping in our local independent bookstores.

Liars shuttling between the two stores that day include: New York Times bestseller L.A. Banks (Thirteenth, St. Martin’s), Bram Stoker award winner Jonathan Maberry (Patient Zero, St. Martin’s), fantasy author Gregory Frost (Shadowbridge, and Lord Tophet, Del Rey/Random House), young adult author Marie Lamba…me…(What I Meant…, Random House), contemporary novelist Kelly Simmons (Standing Still, Washington Square Press/Simon and Schuster), debut crime novelist Dennis Tafoya (Dope Thief, St. Martin’s), historical author Keith Strunk (Prallsville Mills and Stockton, Arcadia Publishing Images of America Series), mystery author Merry Jones (The Borrowed and Blue Murders, Minotaur Books), and social media marketing consultant, writer and lecturer Don Lafferty.

Books by all of the authors will be on sale at both locations throughout the day, and for every three Philly Liars Club books purchased, customers will get a free Philly Liars Club book bag.

The Philly Liars Club authors have deep ties to the local area.  Besides living nearby, many of their books also take place in the vicinity.  My novel, What I Meant… takes place in Doylestown, as does Tafoya’s amazing debut Dope Thief. Strunk’s Prallsville Mills and Stockton taps into the history of the river town, and Jones’ The Borrowed and Blue Murders, as well as the other mysteries in her series, all take place in Philadelphia.

With so many authors shuttling between the two bookstores, breathlessly spreading holiday cheer and passing out goodies, the Two-Timing Liar’s event will definitely be zany and fun. But there is also a serious side to this event. “As authors with local connections, we want to make sure that people in the area connect with their local independent booksellers,” says author Keith Strunk. “The big chain bookstores and online retailers have been squeezing out all the wonderful indie bookstores across the country, forcing many out of business completely.  This year, we want to remind everyone to come to your indie first when you do your holiday shopping. You’ll be amazed at what you find there.”

“Booklovers take note,” says author Dennis Tafoya. “Folks who haven’t been to Canterbury Tales Forever in a while will be stunned by what they find.” The store, under new management since last February, now stocks three times as many books as they had before. “The shelves are loaded with local history, local ghost stories, and local travel books, along with a huge selection of great fiction and non-fiction in all categories,” Tafoya says. “Plus there are tons of new releases, many at discounts ranging from 20-40%. Truly this has become an amazing place for browsing and shopping.”

Canterbury Tales Forever is a big supporter of local authors. They are open to any author coming and doing a signing here, no matter who publishes them. Just try to get that sort of support at your big chain bookstore! This is truly the kind of bookstore that we all want to thrive.

Farley’s Bookshop in New Hope has been an important part of the surrounding community since it opened in the 1960s. The store is owned by book-lovers James and Nancy Farley, and folks who helped the store start up include Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers of PBS fame) and James Michener.  Today, Farley’s exudes the feel of an old-time bookshop.  “This store has everything,” says author Kelly Simmons. She points out that Farley’s has the title selections that those big box stores do, and that their children’s section is unrivaled.  “But Farley’s also has a charm that those big stores definitely do not.  Plus its staff is so approachable and knowledgeable about books. And then there’s the store cat, Butter. You have to love a bookstore with its own cat.”

Farley’s services also rival those found in those big chains.  Folks can order any book, including those that are out-of-print or from a small press, by phone or on-line, and these orders can be shipped, or picked up in the store. The bookshop provides gift certificates for undecided holiday shoppers, and there is even a frequent buyer club, rewarding participants with a $30 coupon for every $300 spent.

“This store is a gem,” says author Jonathan Maberry, who urges people to think of independent bookstores first before going to that online retailer or chain store. “By shopping at independents for your holiday purchases, you’ll help ensure that unique stores like Farley’s Bookshop and Canterbury Tales Forever will be here for us for years to come. We need them. We hope everyone feels the same and joins us at our Two-Timing Liars celebration. It’s going to be a great time – honest!”

For more information, or to reserve a copy of an author’s book before the event, call Farley’s at 215-862-2452, or Canterbury Tales Forever at 215-794-8719.

Wellington Square Bookshop: a touch of class, a dash of whimsy

Philly Liars Club authors!

Once again, the Philly Liars Club is throwing a Truth Tour party to raise awareness of independent bookstores, and this one is just in time for the holidays!  This bash, “Liars Tell the Truth about Wellington Square Bookshop,” is at the bookstore, located in the Eagleville development at 543 Wellington Square, in Exton on Saturday, December 5th from noon-2 p.m. The festivities are free and open to the public, and include goodies, our famed Truth or Lie trivia game, and prizes including autographed book bags and signed books.  Plus candy canes…

Here are the Liars who will be there: Bram Stoker award winner Jonathan Maberry (Patient Zero, St. Martin’s), fantasy author Gregory Frost (Shadowbridge, and Lord Tophet, Del Rey/Random House), young adult author Marie Lamba…me… (What I Meant…, Random House), contemporary novelist Kelly Simmons (Standing Still, Washington Square Press/Simon and Schuster), debut crime novelist Dennis Tafoya (Dope Thief, St. Martin’s), historical author Keith Strunk (Prallsville Mills and Stockton, Arcadia Publishing Images of America Series), mystery author Merry Jones (The Borrowed and Blue Murders, Minotaur Books), mystery author Jon McGoran who writes as D.H. Dublin (Freezer Burn, Berkley Books), and social media marketing consultant, writer and lecturer Don Lafferty.

And, once again, our mission is clear: Support indendent bookstores!  We hate seeing online retailers and big chain bookstores squeeze out indies all over the country.  Can you imagine your town without any bookstore at all? Well, it’s happening everywhere.  So this holiday season, we are asking everyone to do gift shopping at your wonderful local indie!   They are special and unique.

Cozy seating at Wellington Square Bookshop

As soon as you step into Wellington Square Bookshop, you know it’s unique.  Maybe it’s the fountain, or the tin ceilings, or the pillars that look like they’ve been taken from an ancient Indian palace. The store, which was originally located a few doors down in an 800 sq ft space, just relocated to its current location this past August. It now occupies a 3700 sq ft space, and includes an elegant gourmet coffee shop with goodies from Delightful Desserts of West Chester.

And of course there are the books: new titles, used titles, first editions and rare books. “We are definitely NOT a Barnes and Noble,” says Jolie Miao, who works at the store. The shop refuses to carry Oprah’s book club picks or Twilight, but here you will find many a treasured titled you won’t easily find elsewhere. They also offer free book appraisal services to anyone who asks. In addition, the store carries gift items including candles, book lights, notebooks and packaged coffees. And for the undecided holiday shopper, there are gift cards.

Great coffees and snacks...I taste-tested 'em to be sure

The differences from the chain bookstores run deeper than the store’s beautiful architecture and eclectic selection of books. “We are chill people and we like to have fun,” says Miao.  “We all read voraciously in our free time, and love to discuss books over a cup of coffee with a customer! As an independent bookstore, we really can get to know our customers.” This all translates into great service. They can personally recommend books to people, and have been known to call customers when that new book from a favorite author finally arrives or gets announced in a press release. “We love to meet bookies who share our passion,” Miao says.  “We’re truly in it for the books first.”

The community is starting to notice, and is taking part in events at the store including author signings, a weekly story time, and two book clubs.  The bookstore also welcomes outside book clubs to hold their meetings in the shop. And to sweeten the deal, Wellington Square Bookshop will even give these clubs free coffee and pastries, along with 20% off their club’s book purchases.

“This store is a gem,” says author Dennis Tafoya, who urges people to think of independent bookstores first before going to that online retailer or chain store. “By shopping at independents for your holiday purchases, you’ll help ensure that unique stores like Wellington Square Bookshop will be here for us for years to come.”

Remember, we all can make a huge difference here.  Browse at all of those little shops.  Visit their online sites and order that way.  Buy indie bookstore gift cards.  Make a difference!

Womrath’s: Celebrating 60 years of Indie Bookselling

***You are invited to come celebrate with us on Saturday, November 7th, noon-3 p.m., when we throw a huge 60th Anniversary Bash for Womrath’s Bookstore in Tenafly, NJ.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the Sgt. Harry Fund, helping disabled veterans achieve a better life…So you can start your holiday shopping, support a great indie bookstore, and help wounded vets! ***

On the final day of World War II, Sgt. Harry Kutik was shot 13 times and left on the battlefield.  But this wasn’t the end of his life, it was the beginning of new challenges, and of his remarkable independent bookstore: Womrath’s.  Sixty years later, Kutik’s family has a proud legacy of quality bookselling and service, all because one courageous man never let anything hold him back. And now, everyone is invited to celebrate when The Philly Liars Club throws its special 60th Anniversary Bash for Womrath’s Bookstore on Saturday, November 7th from noon-3 p.m. at the store located at 12 Washington Street in Tenafly.  The free party includes munchies, trivia games, a host of authors, and prizes and giveaways including signed books and book bags.

Sgt. Harry Kutik, 1942

Sgt. Harry Kutik, 1942

As some of you may already know, the Philly Liars Club, of which I’m a member, is a group of professional writers who basically lie for a living. The Womrath’s bash is part of our “Truth Tour,” a series of parties celebrating independent bookstores. At the Womrath’s party, you can hang out with Bram Stoker award-winner Jonathan Maberry (Patient Zero, St. Martin’s), fantasy author Gregory Frost (Shadowbridge, and Lord Tophet, Del Rey/Random House), young adult novelist Marie Lamba…that’s me… (What I Meant…, Random House), crime author Dennis Tafoya (Dope Thief, St. Martin’s), mystery writer Jon McGoran who writes as D.H. Dublin (Freezer Burn, Berkley), historical author Keith Strunk (Prallsville Mills and Stockton, Arcadia Publishing Images of America Series), novelist Kelly Simmons (Standing Still, Washington Square Press/Simon and Schuster), mystery author Merry Jones (The Borrowed and Blue Murders, Minotaur Books), renowned Poe scholar Ed Pettit, and social media marketing consultant, writer and lecturer Don Lafferty.

“There’s an alarming trend of independent bookstores being squeezed out by chains and online retailers,” says author Merry Jones.  “This is something we can reverse. If we love an indie, we have to show our support by going to them first when we want a gift card, or a holiday present, or visiting their online site when we want to order books that way.”

I completely agree. In a world that is increasingly generic, where chain bookstores are the same everywhere, and where nobody knows your name, independent bookstores are a haven for any book lover. They are filled with handpicked books, with a staff that knows their titles, and, above all, with personality. This is especially true at Womrath’s Bookstore, where the indomitable spirit of Sgt. Harry Kutik lives on.

Sgt. Harry Kutik, 1948

Sgt. Harry Kutik, 1948

Even though Sgt. Kutik’s war wounds kept him in the hospital for years, and his injuries left him a paraplegic, his will was strong, and his will to help even stronger. “My father was outgoing and optimistic,” says Bob Kutik, who, along with his wife Sheila, now owns the store. “He wouldn’t let anything stop him, and there wasn’t a mean bone in his body. Plus he would never say no to someone in need. He was quite an inspiration.”

Shortly after the war, Sgt. Kutik’s cheerful and independent spirit caught the attention of a disabled veterans group called the 52 Week Club. They selected him for a pilot program aimed at finding businesses that disabled vets could run themselves, a fairly revolutionary idea in the 1940’s.  The group approached Womrath’s, which at the time was a franchise with more than 37 branches. The company agreed to open a branch with Kutik at the helm. The store was designed with aisles wide enough for Harry’s wheelchair, and shelves low enough for him to reach.

For many years, Sgt. Kutik operated successfully, guided by his philosophy of exceeding a customer’s expectations. Twelve years ago, Sgt. Kutik passed away. The business, originally in Hackensack, relocated to Tenafly in 2001, but Sgt. Kutik’s legacy lives on, and to this day, Womrath’s continuously strives to exceed a customer’s expectations.

“Womrath’s Bookstore offers everything the competition does, plus more,” says author Gregory Frost.  He points out that by stopping in, calling the store or visiting http://www.womraths.com, you can order any title quickly, whether the store stocks it or not. They even will ship orders. For unsure gift-givers, the store sells gift certificates. And repeat customers can enjoy a preferred readers club, earning points toward a $10 coupon. “Best of all, by ordering through Womrath’s 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.”

“I went into the business because, like my father, I wanted to help people the best way I knew how,” says Kutik.  “The right book can change a life, and I can put that book in someone’s hand.”  Every title on their shelves is hand-selected by the staff, based on the tastes of its customers. In addition to general titles, the store has also carries plenty of local interest books, and greeting cards depicting local scenes by area artists and photographers. And for shoppers who aren’t sure which book to buy next, the knowledgeable staff has over 50 years of bookselling experience, plus they read over 300 books a year, meaning that they can personally recommend a vast array of books to their customers.

Womraths Bookstore in Tenafly...an amazing indie!

Womrath's Bookstore in Tenafly...an amazing indie!

After years of high quality service, this bookstore truly has a lot to celebrate. Imagining what Sgt. Kutik would think of Womrath’s 60th anniversary celebration, Bob Kutik says, “I think that my father would have a big smile on his face. He’d be so proud that the work he started has lived on, and that we tried to continue it his way, serving the community in a friendly and helpful manner. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”

“You can see that independent bookstores are so much more than shops,” says author Jon McGoran.  “They are the heart and soul of a community.  We members of the Philly Liars Club hope everyone feels the same and joins us at this bash to show how strongly we all support this local gem. It’s going to be a great party – no lie.”

For more information, or to reserve a copy of an author’s book before the event, call Womrath’s Bookstore at 201-568-8857.

Between Books in Claymont, DE: Another Unique Indie

As the Philly Liar’s Club (of which I’m a member) has been continuing it’s “Truth Tour,” throwing parties for independent bookstores throughout the region, I’m really learning a lot. Especially since I’m the one who contacts each owner to interview them about what makes their store special. I then write a feature story based on this info and send it out to the world.  What I keep noticing over and over again is just how unique each Indy store truly is.

Okay, we know what to expect when we walk into any Borders or Barnes & Noble, right? We know where each section is, what sort of books and magazines we’ll see. And where that cafe is.  But walk into an independent bookstore, and you are always experiencing something fresh and new.  Books you’ve never seen before.  Staff who have picked out every single title for that particular store. And there’s more…the store has it’s own quirky personality.

Between Books in Claymont, DE is the next stop on the Liar’s Truth Tour.  Between Books isn’t just a bookstore. Oh no. This store specializes in sci fi, fantasy and horror, making it a Mecca for genre fans throughout the area.  The shop also carries new comics, board games, role playing games and card games.  It holds incredible events for fans…like the time that Beef Cake and Techno Destructo from GWAR played the GWAR miniatures game there in full costume!  Plus Between Books offer 10% discounts on just about everything. They definitely deserve this Liar’s Club party and our support, don’t you think?

Shopping at a locally owned business like Between Books benefits the entire community. “We buy most of our supplies and services from local businesses,” says Greg Schauer, who co-owns the store with Richard Schauer. “And we help to promote local authors, artists and game designers.”  As part of this, Between Books offers advertising space for community activities, and helps promote events at Arden Guild Hall with posters and ticket sales. The bookstore also runs plenty of author events, bringing writers and the community together.  And, in at least one instance, the store brought two very important writers together as well. “Author Joseph Gangemi met the writer John Passarella at our store,” Schauer says. “They then collaborated on the novel Wither, which went on to win the Bram Stoker Award for best first novel.”

Great service, unique selections, and exciting events have sustained this independent bookstore for many years. In fact, Between Books will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in November. And the store will be bringing writers together yet again, this time in the form of an anthology they are publishing. “We will be releasing The Stories in Between,” says Schauer. “It’s an anthology honoring a few of the artists and writers that have appeared at our store over the last 30 years, and we’ll be celebrating its release on November 14th.”  The anthology will include work from Philly Liar’s Club members Jonathan Maberry, Jon McGoran

Independent Bookstores for Independent Minds

Independent Bookstores for Independent Minds

and Gregory Frost.

“It’s an honor to be included in their anthology,” says McGoran.  “And we Liars are all especially honored to be throwing our party for Between Books.  Independent bookstores are so much more than shops. They are the heart and soul of a community.”

The Liar’s Club will be at Between Books throwing a wild and crazy party July 25th from 3-5 p.m….free, fun, zany and lots of giveways, too…everyone is welcome! Visitors to the celebration will get to play Truth or Lie games for prizes, and can smooze with the following Liars: Bram Stoker award-winner Jonathan Maberry (Patient Zero, St. Martin’s), fantasy author Gregory Frost (Shadowbridge, and Lord Tophet (Del Rey/Random House), young adult author Marie Lamba (What I Meant…, Random House), debut crime novelist Dennis Tafoya (Dope Thief, St. Martin’s), historical author Keith Strunk (Prallsville Mills and Stockton, Arcadia Publishing Images of America Series), novelist Kelly Simmons (Standing Still, Washington Square Press), mystery author Merry Jones (The Borrowed and Blue Murders, Minotaur Books) and social media guru Donald Lafferty. For more information, or to reserve a copy of an author’s book before the event, call Between Books at 302-798-3378.

So join the fun, and support this local gem.  Have a special independent bookstore near you that you’d like to brag about?  Let me know. I’d love to hear what makes your Indy unique…

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!