Sunday, September 22, 2013

Author Dinner in New Orleans

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to dinner in the French Quarter with some friends and two fabulous authors, Karen White and Susan Crandall.

Welllll, truth be told, I crashed the party.

Let me explain.

 A dear friend of mine belongs to a book club that was formed yeeeaaarrs ago, and she's mentioned it on occasion. (I'm still waiting for an invitation into this club, but that hasn't happened!) Anyway, about a year ago, Tish happened to mention to me that one of her book club members was a long time friend of author Karen White; in fact, they were college roommates. When the club chose to read a Karen White novel, they arranged for the author to come to Tish's house for a book club get-together. Now, my dear friend knows I will go all over the country to meet my favorite authors (I've been to Phoenix, AZ and NYC to meet Diana Gabaldon, Lauren Willig, Susanna Kearsley, Deanna Raybourn, etc...) and I was floored that she had Karen White at her house. At her house!!! And I am finding out about this after the fact!

So, I told my dear friend that if they EVER had another get together with an author that I admire, could I pretty please tag along? Duly chastised, she agreed to let me know. Fast forward to now, the club chose The Time Between and arranged another get together with Karen while she was in New Orleans attending a book convention. And this time, I  coerced -- I  mean, I was invited! So thank you to the club for letting me join in the fun!

The dinner was actually a two-for-one club meeting. Besides the beautiful Karen White, we were treated to the company of Susan Crandall, author of the acclaimed novel Whistling Past the Graveyard.
The Time Between and Whistling Past the Graveyard go well together; they are both charming and poignant novels with rich southern settings and stories that will tug at your heartstrings. Highly recommended!

Here's a bit about each book:

From an award-winning author comes a wise and tender coming-of-age story about a nine-year-old girl who runs away from her Mississippi home in 1963, befriends a lonely woman suffering loss and abuse, and embarks on a life-changing roadtrip. (from Goodreads)

A stunning new novel of betrayal and forgiveness from the New York Times bestselling author.

Thirty-four-year-old Eleanor Murray is consumed with guilt for causing the accident that paralyzed her sister—and for falling in love with her sister’s husband. But when her boss offers her a part-time job caring for his elderly aunt, Helena, Eleanor accepts, hoping this good deed will help atone for her mistakes.

On the barrier island of Edisto, Eleanor bonds with Helena over their mutual love of music. Drawing the older woman out of her depression, Eleanor learns of her life in Hungary, with her sister, before and during World War II. She hears tales of passion and heartache, defiance and dangerous deception. And when the truth of Helena and her sister’s actions comes to light, Eleanor may finally allow herself to move past guilt and to embrace the song that lies deep in her heart… (from Goodreads)

                                 The lovely and funny Karen White opening a gift bag of goodies.

                                                     And passing around books and inscribing them.

  Lovely and gracious Susan Crandall signing her books (as the waiters in the background were bringing in platters loaded with delicious southern cuisine).

                                                                        With Karen White........

                                                                           and Susan Crandall

I'd like to mention that if you are a fan of Karen White, she said she has several books coming out in 2014 and that some of her long out-of-print first novels are getting an update and a fresh new look! Many good things to come from Karen, including a new Tradd Street mystery!

P.S. If you are ever in New Orleans, stop by the La Petit Theatre in the French Quarter and have dinner and cocktails at The Tableau....the peach margarita with mint was to die for!


Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time, Joanne! I totally would have invited myself too :-) Now I'm going to have to try a book by Karen White since she is one of your favourite authors.

Joanne said...

Hi, Melissa! I recommend Karen White's "Sea Change" -- it is a dual time story that reminds me of Susanna Kearsley. (And that's a very good thing!) Thanks for stopping by!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Sounds like a blast, I wondered what you were up to?!

May for RT - we must figure out logistics!

Joanne said...

Hi, Julie! Yes, it was so nice in such a small group setting (there were only 6 of us plus the 2 authors, so we really got a chance to discuss a wide variety of topics, plus tried to get a little inside scoop). Karen is not happy about RWA eliminating the category of "novel with strong romantic elements" because that's the slot where her books fit in and have been nominated in the past (like Susanna Kearsley and Deanna Raybourn). So she said she's staying a member of RWA to hang out with her writing pals every year. (She belongs to a writers' group with Sarah McLean, Eloisa James, Lauren Willig, and a whole bunch of other romance writers that I can't remember but I recognized and I know you've read them all.)

Looking forward to seeing who's coming to RT in May -- so far some biggies for me would be Lisa Kleypas (love her books) and Heather Graham (I have her old Civil War trilogy that I can't wait to read). I do hope you can work it out and we can make a little mini vacation in the Quarter.

Judith Starkston said...

Hi Joanne, I can't find a way to contact you via your website, but I like your reviews and if you are open to submissions of historical fiction to review, please contact me.

Book of Secrets said...

How fun!!! I'm glad you were able to crash. ;-)

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »