The aroma of coffee and pastry goods greets visitors when they enter the Book Cellar in Burgaw, North Carolina.
Book Cellar co-owner Nancy Alguire handed me a free cup of Courthouse Coffee’s steaming-hot house blend when I walked through the front entrance on Friday afternoon for my first book signing.
Nancy and her sister Sandy Fraley share the building on West Courthouse Avenue with Courthouse Coffee. It’s a courtship made in ‘bouquet’ heaven.
She set me up at a table in the front room among shelves of old paperbacks. The smell of those books complimented the aroma of the coffee as I set the cup on the table.
Soon I had the box containing my ten books on the table. Out came four copies of The Emperor’s Mistress, which I arranged along the edge of the table so people would see them when they walked in from the sidewalk. Near my books were two posters showing the front and back covers.
Those posters were fine ways to let potential purchasers learn the basic plot of The Emperor’s Mistress. The front cover shows a ponytailed tomboy garbed in medieval male clothing battling a dragon. The back cover contains a teaser blurb.
The book signing lasted two hours. I sold and signed three books. And I left two paperbacks with Nancy and Sandy to display and hopefully sell.
All in all it was a nice, relaxing way to spend a Friday afternoon. I chatted with Nancy and Sandy, and learned that at one time they had lived in Riverside, California. They were familiar with Rialto and Corona, towns where my family lived when I was in elementary school and junior high.
Their father is 97 years old and as sharp as men half his age. He doesn’t need a bookmark, but remembers the page where he left off. He taught himself to fly, and as a young man went in with others to purchase a Piper Cub. Nancy and Sandy remember flying with him. He’d tip the plane to give the girls a thrill.
I had a second cup of coffee of the house blend as I listened to them. They compared notes of Grand Canyon hiking trips, and related how much more developed the natural wonder is nowadays than back in the ‘70s. The coffee house hostess shared baked goods with us from the coffee bar, and soon it was time to pack up my remaining books for the trip back to the house.Nancy and Sandy invited me to participate in another book signing when the second book of the Larenia’s Shadow trilogy is published. Thief’s Coin is in final revision and hasn’t been submitted to the publisher yet, so that book signing will probably take place sometime in the second half of 2011.