Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Strangers to Temptation with Scott Gould, Tues., Nov. 21, 7 pm

Join us Tues., Nov. 21, 7 pm as Scott Gould discusses and signs his debut short-story collection Strangers to Temptation (Hub City Press, pb., 216 pp., $17). Scott will be in conversation with John Lane.

The debut collection from award-winning short-story writer Scott Gould, Strangers to Temptation takes us to the white sand banks of the Black River in South Carolina during the early 1970s, a place in time where religion and race provide the backdrop for an often uneasy coming-of-age. Linked by a common voice, these thirteen stories introduce us to a cast of uniquely Southern characters: a Vietnam vet father with half a stomach who plays a skinny Jesus in the annual Easter play; a mother/nurse attempting to heal the world, all the while sneaking sips of Smirnoff and Tang; a best friend whose reckless dive off a bridge earns him a fake eyeball and a new girlfriend; and our narrator, a baseball-playing, paper-delivering boy just hoping to navigate the crooked path out of adolescence. With the narrator’s eventual baptism into adulthood beneath the dark surface of the Black River, Strangers to Temptation reminds all of us what it felt like to be young, confused, and ultimately redeemed.

Scott Gould’s work has appeared in Kenyon ReviewCarolina QuarterlyBlack Warrior ReviewNew Madrid JournalNew Stories from the South, and New Southern Harmonies, among others. He is a past winner of the Literature Fellowship from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Fiction Fellowship from the South Carolina Academy of Authors.

Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival, Nov. 2-5

Most Americans are familiar with Charleston’s historic homes, nearby beaches and scenic attractions, diverse annual events, and great restaurants. Many are also familiar with the Charleston Library Society and its grand building located in the heart of the Historic District. The society is the oldest cultural organization in the South and the second-oldest circulation library in the United States. It is dedicated to supporting a culture of lifelong learning and is home to some of the most important historical documents in the South.
Too few Americans are familiar with another Charleston, in Sussex, England, now a unique museum which attracts worldwide visitors. There, another event has gained worldwide fame: the annual Charleston Festival at Charleston Farmhouse. In the rolling South Downs of Sussex, the farmhouse of cultural icons Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant became the rural sanctuary of the famed Bloomsbury Group of writers, artists, and intellectuals, including Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and E.M. Forster, among many, many others. The event has grown over its 28-year history and is noted as the top small literary festival in Europe.
This November, Charleston (England) will join creative forces with Charleston (South Carolina) in the first annual Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival. The festival will bring acclaimed U.S. and international authors to South Carolina for a series of events over several days to share ideas, books, and to meet readers and book lovers from the Lowcountry and across the nation.
In total, the festival will host nineteen diverse speakers, nine lectures, three private receptions in exclusive venues, and one premier film screening!
For more details about the festival please visit

YALLFest Nov. 10 and Nov. 11!

Blue Bicycle Books is the hub of YALLFest, the world’s largest Young Adult Book Festival, which will take over Upper King Street on Fri., Nov. 10 and Sat., Nov. 11.

More than 70 authors will sign books, participate in seminars and talks, and generally revel in the written word at YALLFest 2017. Keynote talks require tickets (click here). All other events are free and open to the public.

Find each author’s complete panel and signing schedule right here – just click on the name.

For more information about YALLFest in general, click here.

The Dream Keeper’s Daughter with Emily Colin, Fri., Oct 20, 4 pm

Join us Fri., Oct. 20, 4 pm as Emily Colin discusses and signs her new novel The Dream Keeper’s Daughter (Ballantine, pb., 480 pp., $16).

About the book: Isabel Griffin has done her best to move on since her boyfriend vanished without a trace eight years ago, leaving her heartbroken—and pregnant. Eerily enough, this isn’t the first time someone Isabel loves has gone missing. When she was sixteen, her mother disappeared, and her father became obsessed with finding his long-lost wife—at the expense of parenting Isabel.

Determined not to repeat her father’s mistakes, Isabel works hard to become a respected archaeologist and a loving mother to her daughter, Finn, a little girl with very unusual abilities. But as one mysterious event after another occurs, she can’t shake the feeling that, despite what everyone else believes, Finn’s father is alive—and he’s desperately trying to reach her.

About the author: Emily Colin’s debut novel, The Memory Thief, has been a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick. Her diverse life experience includes organizing a Coney Island tattoo and piercing show, hauling fish at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, roaming New York City as an itinerant teenage violinist, helping launch two small publishing companies, and serving as the associate director of DREAMS of Wilmington, a nonprofit dedicated to immersing youth in need in the arts. Originally from Brooklyn, she lives in Wilmington, NC with her family.

Author Luncheon with Natasha Boyd, The Indigo Girl, Fri., Oct. 6, 12 pm

Join us Fri., Oct. 6, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Natasha Boyd discusses her novel The Indigo Girl (Blackstone, hb., 240 pp., $27). Tickets are $31 for the three-course luncheon and talk, or $58 including a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

Based on historical documents, including Eliza Lucas’s own letters, The Indigo Girl gives a fictional account of how a teenage girl produced indigo dye, which became one of the largest exports out of South Carolina, an export that laid the foundation for the incredible wealth of several Southern families who still live on today. Although largely overlooked by historians, the accomplishments of Eliza Lucas influenced the course of U.S. history. When she passed away in 1793, President George Washington served as a pallbearer at her funeral.

This book is set between 1739 and 1744, with romance, intrigue, forbidden friendships, and political and financial threats weaving together to form the story of a remarkable young woman whose actions were before their time: the story of the indigo girl.

Natasha Boyd is an internationally bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and contemporary romantic Southern fiction. Her books have been translated into Italian, German, French, Turkish and Indonesian. She lives with her husband, two sons and the cast of characters in her head.


Real American with Julie Lythcott-Haims

Join us Sun., Oct. 8, 4 pm as Julie Lythcott-Haims discusses and signs her new memoir Real American (Henry Holt, hb., 288 pp., $27).

Real American is a fearless and powerful memoir. Bringing a brisk, poetic sensibility to her prose, Lythcott-Haims stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color.

The only child of an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called “micro” aggressions in addition to blunt-force insults can puncture a person’s inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American also expresses, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered “the other.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims is the bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult, which The New York Times called a “must-read for every parent who senses that there is a healthier and saner way to raise children.” She served as dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising at Stanford University, where she received the Dinkelspiel Award for her contributions to the undergraduate experience. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, their two teenagers, and her mother.

Author Luncheon with Arthur Ravenel, Jr., Pastor Stat, Fri., Sept. 15, 12 pm

Join us Fri., Sept. 15, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Arthur Ravenel, Jr. discusses his novel Pastor Stat (Evening Post Books, hb., 240 pp., $29). Tickets are $31 for the three-course luncheon and talk, or $60 including a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

About the book: A sermon to preach, a blockade to breach and an unlikely crew to get him there. Pastor Stat chronicles the journey of Vedder Oberstat, a Huguenot pastor en route to Charleston, ready to take his place at the pulpit. But nobody said it was going to be easy. Set at the start of the Civil War, the colorful cast of characters is taken on a death-defying ride as the budding tensions between North and South manifest.

About the author: Arthur Ravenel, Jr. was born in Charleston, S.C. in 1927. Raised in St. Andrews Parish, he attended schools there and then the College of Charleston on the GI bill after service in the Marine Corps. Graduating in 1950, he worked for WestVaco before starting a home improvement firm which led him into real estate, construction and agriculture.

Always interested in politics, he has served 32 years as an elected official including both houses of the S.C. General Assembly, the U.S. Congress and a term on the Charleston County School Board which, he claims, was his toughest job.

For many years, he has been active in the revitalization of the Huguenot Church. He wrote Pastor Stat in 1982 for his own amusement but never pursued its publication until now.

Invictus Release Party with Ryan Graudin, Tues., Sept. 26, 5 pm

Join us Tues., Sept. 26, 5 pm as we celebrate the release of Invictus, the latest novel by Ryan Graudin, a very popular young adult novelist and Charleston native.

Invictus introduces us to a time-travelling bandit named Farway Gaius McCarthy. The son of a time traveler from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in ancient Rome, Far’s very existence defies the laws of nature. All he’s ever wanted was to explore history for himself. But after failing his entrance exam into the government program, Far will have to settle for a position on the black market, captaining a crew to steal valuables from the past.
During a routine heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl named Eliot who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Eliot has secrets–big ones–that will affect Far’s life from beginning to end. Armed with the knowledge that history is not as steady as it seems, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to set things right before the clock runs out.

Click here to pre-order a signed copy of Invictus.

Ryan Graudin was born in Charleston, SC with a severe case of wanderlust. When she’s not traveling, she’s busy photographing weddings, writing, and spending time with her husband and wolf-dog. She is the author of The Walled City, Wolf by Wolf, Blood for Blood, and Invictus.

Bliss at Blue Bicycle Books, Thurs., Sept. 7, 5 pm

Coming up on Thurs., Sept. 7, at 5 pm we will be joined by two authors from the Bliss Spiritual Coop in Mount Pleasant.  Kristy Dominiak and Christina Ann Sullivan will be here to talk about and sign their books.

On the outside, Kristy Dominiak appeared to have a seemingly perfect life—a devoted husband, three healthy children, financial stability, recognition in the community, and a beautiful, lakeside home with the proverbial white picket fence. But inside, she was falling apart. Inside, she was waging war against personal demons that were looking to take everything she held precious away from her. When a decision of poor judgment shook her from her moral pedestal, Kristy began to question her entire existence and spiraled uncontrollably into the darkest parts of her psyche. The Shaken Snow Globe documents Kristy’s courageous journey to rediscover her life’s purpose, recognize her true identity, salvage her soul, and, ultimately, answer the question, “Who am I?”

Christina Ann Sullivan is passionate about being of service. She feels she has lived many lives within this one lifetime, and that those wide-ranging experiences—including childhood abuse, substance abuse, and dysfunctional relationships—allow her to be compassionate, relatable, and knowledgeable while remaining non-judgmental. Christina is a Denise Linn Certified Soul Coach, Reiki Master, Certified Medicinal Aromatherapist, Spiritual Mentor, Author, and Speaker. She believes her mission is to help her clients access their souls and deepen their relationship with God while exploring a relationship with Jesus through the awakening of their Christ Consciousness and transform their lives on all levels—mind, body, and spirit.

Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, film screening at Charleston Music Hall, Tues., Oct. 3, 6:30 pm

Tues., Oct. 3, at 6:30 pm, the Charleston Music Hall, Lowcountry Local First, Grow Food Carolina, Lowcountry Street Grocery & Blue Bicycle Books are excited to present a film screening of Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. Marcus Amaker, the City of Charleston’s first Poet Laureate, will open the evening with a spoken word performance. Tickets are only $5.

Get tickets here.

Wendell Berry, writer, poet, teacher, farmer, and outspoken citizen of an endangered world, gives us a compelling vision of the good and true life. Passionate, eloquent, and painfully articulate, in more than fifty works – novels, short stories, poems and essays — he celebrates a life lived in close communion with neighbors and the earth while addressing many of our most urgent cultural problems.

With Look & See, Berry tells the stories of several residents of Henry County, Kentucky who each face difficult choices that will dramatically reshape their relationship with the land and their community. Rather than train the lens on Berry himself, as would be an expected and more typical approach, Look & See allows Berry, in a sense, to point the camera toward the stories and landscapes he would have us regard: the stories of small generational farmers in Henry County as a way to better understand the struggles, hopes and vital importance of rural land-based communities.