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.

“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!