Last week began with a bang. I had the honor and privilege to guest host the first anniversary of Lady Jane's Salon on Monday, February 1.
On February 5, the marvelous Barbara Vey published a report on her PW Book Blog, "Beyond the Book," written by Leanna Renee Hieber, whose unique writer's voice is moving copies of her debut novel, THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL CASE OF MISS PERCY PARKER off the shelves as though they were hotcakes at a firemens' breakfast.
See my reprint of the article here:
February 5, 2010
Author Leanna Renee Hieber here with birthday wishes to Lady Jane! Monday marked the one year anniversary of New York’s only reading series devoted to Romance Fiction; Lady Jane’s Salon. Lady Jane’s was founded in late 2008 by myself, fellow romance authors Hope Tarr, Maya Rodale and internet guru Ron Hogan over drinks one night discussing why New York, in all its literary splendor, didn’t have a reading series for Romance Fiction. So it was up to us to start one. And we did, in the red-velvet-drenched upstairs of Madame X, with our first authors Cara Elliot and Lauren Willig- who becauseof their partnership at Lady Jane’s are now teaching romance in the big leagues (Yale). While the night boasted champagne, corsages and cupcakes, the spirit of Lady Jane’s is always about great fiction and a good cause. Now New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig returned to our stage to help us celebrate this landmark year with her latest hit, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, along with guest emcee and fabulous Historical author Leslie Carroll and her Notorious Royal Marriages, and scintillating debut author Sara Lindsey with Promise Me Tonight.
Leslie Carroll (fittingly dressed as Tudor Queen Lady Jane Grey) with fellow history hoyden and NY Times Bestselling author Lauren Willig; [this photo courtesy of my husband, Scott]
And so a year later… thanks to the support of people like you, Barbara, and Romantic Times Magazine, our wonderful venue Madame X, a host of bloggers, newspaper articles, radio interviews, thanks to a slew of talented authors and an ardent crowd of loyal supporters, Lady Jane’s is one of the most vibrant forces in New York’s experience of fiction in real-time; a face to face opportunity for readers, authors, industry and fans to talk about and applaud (literally) the genre we love. And then, of course, to share the love, by donating money and gently used romance novels to women in need, as charity remains a core part of our Salon’s identity.
A ton has happened through the year, for the co-founders, our readers and authors. Our co-founders published new books, the year marked my dream-come-true with my debut; The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, we watched as our featured readers’ books hit lists and thrilled at the news of contracts for our some of our Lady Jane’s audience who will now be debut authors too, Ron Hogan got a cool new job ruling the interwebz for the very smart New York publishing house who snatched him up, and 2010 proves to be no less than spectacular.
With featured readers returning to the Lady Jane’s stage unveiling new names and new initiatives, we’ll also have a host of debut authors take the stage. We’ll continue our mission to promote every single sub-genre within Romance. We’ll be expanding our charity options, we’ll have a Salon at the Romantic Times convention (please come!), and most importantly, we’ll get to see you again, Barbara Vey, our supporter from the beginning, and we can’t wait for it all to unfold. Keep in touch at Lady Jane's Salon and come see us! Blessings, thanks and happy reading!
Thanks again to Barbara Vey for showcasing a very special program that benefits an equally important cause!
Then, on Saturday, February 6, I had a double-header in southern Vermont. First, the Royal High Tea at the picturesque 18th century Dorset Inn, was a splendiferous success. Hosting in the guise of Marie Antoinette, I chatted with readers as they enjoyed their afternoon repast, dishing the dirt on various renegade royals throughout the ages. I was tremendously impressed with our guests' erudition when it came to royal history.
It was also a treat to finally meet the talented Heather Rieseck, author of the very popular historical fiction blog, The Maidens' Court. We've been connecting in cyberspace for months, and I'm happy to say that she's just as much of a delight in person!
Dorset Inn owners Lauren and Steven Bryant and their wonderful Chef Thom really pulled out all the stops. The royal tea was a delicious and elegant event and such a success that we're already batting around ideas for the next themed tea. Jane Austen, anyone?
That evening , I was back in mufti for a reading, discussion, and signing of NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES at the marvelous Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT. I read from my chapter on the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, which gave me the chance to share with readers who have also seen the recent feature film "The Young Victoria" a taste of how the marriage really transpired and what went on within it. I must confess, I suddenly became very emotional and teary as I was reading Victoria's own words about the last moments of her beloved Albert and her vows to rule her kingdom the way he would have wanted her to do so. I noticed some moist eyes in the house as well. The courtship and marriage of Victoria and Albert is one of the rare love stories in royal history.
Thanks are due to Northshire events coordinator Zach Marcus and his assistant Kate, as well as to my fabulous publicist at NAL, Kathryn Tumen, for making it all happen!