The Third Annual Palo Alto American Association of University Women Authors’ Luncheon, What is it about Paris?

Forgive the delay in posting this blog, but directly after the AAUW Luncheon on Saturday, April 7th, I flew to New Orleans for a little research for the fourth book of my humorous Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, working title, DEAD, if only.
That doesn’t diminish in any way the memories of the exciting afternoon I had moderating What is it about Paris? for the American Association of University Women.
Who and what is AAUW? Check out their website and learn more about this worthy organization. This intelligent group of women do many good deeds throughout the year for their communities, wherever they may be. Saturday, April seventh, this band of women, four illustrious writers, and an independent bookstore, Books Inc. Palo Alto, combined in a benefit to send deserving seventh grade girls to a week-long math/science camp at Stanford University this July.
Lucky me, I got to moderate this event, asking questions about the latest books of these talented authors: Donia Bijan, Jacqueline E. Luckett, Ellen Sussman,and Cara Black.
These four fabulous femmes have written four terrific books and I should know. I’ve read each book, three novels and one memoir. Deciding to do that before I queried them at the luncheon was one of the best presents I could ever have given myself.
The books were wonderful! I laughed, I cried, I felt, I thought, I imagined, and I learned. Books don’t get much better than that.
While the main theme of the luncheon was why did the authors choose Paris, it segued into many other subjects. Besides, if you’ve been to Paris, you know why Paris. I mean, come on. As a writer of a humorous mystery series, and never having it touch Paris, I am rethinking that decision. Yowser! Traveling to Paris to research and write about it… and get a tax write-off?
Putting Uncle Sam aside, if you are wondering what the four recently published books are about, here’s a brief blurb on each one:
Donia Bijan – author of Maman, Homesick Pie
‘An eloquent, heartfelt memoir, interspersed with thirty inspired recipes taken from Bijan’s experiences: from her Iranian childhood (Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken and Eggplant, and Orange Cardamom Cookies), her French training (Ratatouille with Black Olives and Fried Bread, and Purple Plum Skillet Tart), and her cooking career (Roast Duck Legs with Dates and Warm Lentil Salad, and Rose Petal Ice Cream). Donia’s love for her mother and her home, as well as for adventure and the power of good food, sings from every page.’
Jacqueline E. Luckett
– author of Passing Love.
‘Moving back and forth in time between the sparkling Paris of today and the jazz-fueled city filled with expatriates in the 1950s, Passing Love is the story of two women dealing with lost love, secrets and betrayal, and how the City of light may hold all of the answers.’
Ellen Sussman – author of French Lessons.
‘A single day in Paris changes the lives of three Americans as they each set off to explore the city with a French tutor, learning about language, love and loss, as their lives intersect in surprising ways.’
Cara Black – author of Murder at the Lanterne Rouge
‘Templars, secret medieval guilds, Chinatown sweatshops, botched affairs of the heart–the 12th Aimée Leduc mystery is the most exciting one yet!’

If you are looking for a good read, let me recommend one or all of these books. So, hie thee to your nearest independent bookstore, such as Books Inc, Palo Alto and pick one up.
Yes, yes, I know. Something online, like Amazon is so easy, so quick but think for a moment. Your independent bookstore serves the community it lives in, cares about authors and its patrons. The world would be not quite so nice if they went away. Besides, the smell of books lovingly gathered together in one place is very special. Visit one today and see what I mean. It’s like a long-overdo visit with a favorite relative.
Another great independent bookstore is Copperfield’s Napa. They, like Books Inc., have a commitment to the community and local authors.

3 Comments:

  1. AAUW is a great organization! This sounds like a great project to fund raise for the seventh grade girls. The books sound great! Thanks for blogging about this event

  2. I'd wondered where you had wandered off to. Sounds like you were in some great company down there. I'm looking forward to the next Alvarez puzzler! PD

  3. Thanks Heather. You were a great moderator. Your questions were smart and different thought provokers. I look forward to the next time.
    All the best, Jacqueline

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