Friday, February 15, 2013

Bestseller List!!

I'm thrilled to report that Mercy has landed on the Heartland Indie Bestseller List !!! That means, in all of the independent bookstores in the greater Midwest region, Mercy is the #3 top seller!  I am so grateful to the independent bookstores and all of their fantastic booksellers for recommending Mercy to their customers!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Launch Party for The Fate of Mercy Alban!

On Saturday, February 9, my dear friends Jane and Jeff Bertani opened their gorgeous, historic home in  Duluth to nearly 200 people, all there to celebrate the launch of Mercy!

Jane is such an elegant hostess. This lady can really throw a party. From the moment guests arrived at the glittering, 100-plus-year-old mansion, pulling their cars into the circular drive to waiting valets, people knew this was going to be THE event of the season. And it was.

The magnificent rooms were filled with a fun mix of people. The entire staff of Duluth Superior Magazine was there to support me (not ones to turn down free booze), as were friends from the arts community here in Duluth — writers, artists, dancers and more. Doctors and businesspeople mingled with innkeepers and potters. Local book groups came, even one called the Bad Girl Book Club (motto: Half of us don't read the book, the other half of doesn't show up.) But they bought 10 copies! Sally Anderson from The Bookstore at Fitger's  was kept busy selling books, and I was kept busy signing them.

Those of you who already have read Mercy know that a similar party took place at Alban House (a house not so very different from the Bertani Mansion) in the 1950s. Jane took a page from my book and served hors d'oeuvres and cocktails from the 50s that might have been served at that veryparty! She also researched a couple of floral arrangements I describe from Adele's funeral and had them recreated, even taking the book with her to the florist so they could read the descriptions and create the arrangements just as I had described. Who knew I had such a way with flowers? They're gorgeous! She even had glasses engraved with the book title and napkins printed as well.

It was a night of laughter, storytelling, elegance and fun — definitely the best party of the season here in Duluth. When it came time for me to do my reading, I stood on their grand staircase staring out over the sea of people and was so honored and grateful that so many came to celebrate my launch, and that Jane and Jeff opened their magnificent home. And the best part? My parents were there to experience it.

Here are a few photos from the event.

Who says women of a certain age can't rock? Here are Diane Winkler and Cheryl Husby of the Grrrl Band on their way to a gig, flanking pal Chevon Gallagher.

Here's the hostess with the mostest, Jane Bertani, with Daniel and Patricia Mullins.

My very proud parents Joan and Toby Webb with the handsomest young man in Duluth (or anywhere), my son Ben Lyso.

My dear friends Toni Piazza, Andy Alander and Sarah Fister Gale, with yours truly.

 Our county attorney Mark Rubin and his beautiful wife Nancy.

 Me sharing a laugh with Andres Gonzales.

 Deb and Matt Pawlak. Matt is the art director at Duluth Superior Magazine. Deb puts up with him.

Joseph Gallegos with Denise Lisdahl, a woman who is not his wife.

This woman is his wife, my dear friend Mary Gallegos, with another dear friend, Robert Gardner, director of the Minnesota Ballet.

Paul Duray, rock star and critical care nurse, Cheryl Husby, potter extraordinaire and rock star, and Amy Duray, who simply rocks at all times.

Leave it to Mary to get in a photo with the dashing Dean Bruss. Behind them lurking by the door is my husband Steve, who somehow avoided all the photos.

Peter Schmidt and David Gale, two excellent party guests.

Colleen Schmidt, Stan Augustine, and Suzanne Johnson, whose name I misspelled when I was signing her book and now she'll never let me forget it. Suzanne is the owner of the Red Mug, the hippest place in Superior, WI. So hip that Joe Biden stopped in when he was in town.

My very proud brother Jack Webb, and our dear friend Kathi Wright, who grew up across the street from us. Kathi and I have known each other since we were 3 months old. She's my old same.

 David Hileman, the publisher of Duluth Superior Magazine and my partner in crime, and Kim, his beautiful wife.

Sam Daml, Tom Marcouiller and his wife my dear friend Bobbi Voss, who I met in seventh grade French class. We've come a long way, Babette.

Justin Paul Hoivik, who is the only person on earth I trust with my hair, and his friend Valerie Adams.

 A rose between two thorns, as my grandma used to say. Ha! Me with Deb and Matt Pawlak.

 The lovely Monica Bertani, who helped hostess the event, with Marchia Lemay.

Asha Long, our web and calendar editor at DSM, with Deb Pawlak, who has gotten into 3/4 of the photos.
 The lovely Suzanne Avello with the equally lovely Lyn Mahnke

The lord of the manor, Dr. Jeff Bertani, with Mary Berry, whose family built the house so long ago.

 Where Jane was able to find tulips in Minnesota in winter, I don't know. But they were gorgeous.

People listening to me read. This is a fun shot for me to see, a perspective I don't ever get!

Me signing books. I was so grateful! People bought multiple copies each.

Here I was figuring out what I was going to read to the crowd.

And here's me reading. I was standing on the stairs overlooking their grand foyer, where everyone else was standing.

Isn't that plaster ceiling cool?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pub Day for The Fate of Mercy Alban!

The Fate of Mercy Alban hits the streets today! Or should I say "shelves"? I'm excited and nervous! I hope people like it!