Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Kristen Green, Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County — Tues., Sept. 1

Join us Tues., Sept. 1, 5 – 7 pm, as we welcome award-winning journalist Kristen Green, author of Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle (HarperCollins, 336 pp., hb., $26). Ms. Green will discuss her personal connection to this fascinating, painful history, and how it relates to the issue of school integration today.



In the wake of the Supreme Court’s unanimous Brown v. Board of Education decision, Virginia’s Prince Edward County refused to obey the law. Rather than desegregate, the county closed its public schools, locking and chaining the doors. The community’s white leaders quickly established a private academy, commandeering supplies from the shuttered public schools to use in their all-white classrooms. Meanwhile, black parents had few options: keep their kids at home, move across county lines, or send them to live with relatives in other states. For five years, the public schools remained closed.

Kristen Green, a longtime newspaper reporter, grew up in Farmville and attended the private Prince Edward Academy, which did not admit black students until 1986, when she was in the eighth grade. In her journey to uncover what happened in her hometown before she was born, Green tells the stories of families divided by the school closures and of 1,700 black children denied an education. As she peels back the layers of this haunting period in our nation’s past, her own family’s role—no less complex and painful—comes to light.



Kristen Green has worked for two decades as a journalist at newspapers including The San Diego Union-Tribune and the Boston Globe. She has been awarded the Best of Gannett Outstanding Achievement in Writing, and her work has been recognized by the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists and the National Headliner Awards. Kristen also received a fellowship from the Scripps Howard Institute on the Environment at University of Colorado at Boulder. Kristen has a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School. She and her husband, Jason Hamilton, and their two young daughters live in Richmond, Va. 


Johnathon Barrett, Rise and Shine! . Thurs., Sept. 3

Join us, Thurs., Sept. 3, 5 – 7  pm as Johnathon Barrett, signs copies of his book,  Rise and Shine! Light snacks will be provided.Book cover - revised 


Rise and Shine! is an engaging, funny, and poignant memoir about a Southern son and his life’s relationship with food. Johnathon Barrett takes you on a decades-long journey of culinary exploration where he tells—with good humor and reflection—stories about his family, and how food was the common denominator for all aspects of life in the South, especially in small towns and rural communities. And with several menus and 100 recipes, the author provides a wonderful array of delights for contemporary cooks. This culinary love letter to Barrett’s parents and other loved ones who raised him will make you laugh, maybe shed a tear, and fill your hearts with a renewed appreciation for the magic that can happen in a family’s kitchen. 


Johnathon Barrett’s Georgia roots date back to the late 1700s. For seven generations, fresh, farm-to-table food played a unifying role in his family, and as child he was introduced, first-hand, to the ingredients, practices, and nuances of Southern fare. This rich heritage of place continues to play center stage in Johnathon’s life, particularly in regards to food and dining. Successfully melding the classic menus of his birthplace with an expanded appreciation of other cuisines, the author is a renowned host and cook in culinary-rich Savannah, Georgia. JB, as he is called by his friends and associates, is also known as an avid fisherman -– he says he feels as if he were born with a rod and reel in his hand – and enjoys seeing the world, as well as collecting Southern art.

Harrison Scott Key, The World’s Largest Man. Wed., July 8.

Join us, Wed., July 8, 5  pm as Harrison Scott Key, signs copies of his memoir, The World’s Largest Man (HarperCollins, hb., 352 pp., $27). 



Harrison Scott Key was born in Memphis, but he grew up in Mississippi, among pious, Bible-reading women and men who either shot things or got women pregnant. At the center of his world was his larger-than-life father—a hunter, a fighter, a football coach, “a man better suited to living in a remote frontier wilderness of the nineteenth century than contemporary America, with all its progressive ideas, and paved roads, and lack of armed duels. He was a great man, and he taught me many things: How to fight, how to work, how to cheat, how to pray to Jesus about it, how to kill things with guns and knives and, if necessary, with hammers.”

Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World’s Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir—the story of a boy’s struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsized role model, a grown man’s reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.




Harrison Scott Key is a humor columnist for Oxford American magazine. His nonfiction has also appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, Outside Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere, and his work has been adapted for the stage by Chicago’s Neo-Futurists in their show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and other live shows. He teaches English and writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia, where he lives with his wife and children. 

Author Luncheon with Patti Callahan Henry, The Idea of Love, Mon., July 6

Join us Mon., July 6, 12 pm for a Blue Bicycle Books Author’s Luncheon featuring New York Times bestseller Patti Callahan Henry. The talk and lunch will be at Hall’s Chophouse, 434 King Street. Tickets are $30 for lunch only, or $58 for lunch and a signed copy of The Idea of Love (St. Martins Press, hb., 256 pp., $26).

Doors open at 11:30 am, and lunch is served at noon. A champagne and book signing at Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., will follow the event. Tickets may be purchased here or call the 24/7 ticket hotline at 800-838-3006.


The Idea of Love

About the book: Harper, a screenwriter, has had two flops in succession. He needs a hit and he needs it badly. Empty of any new ideas and crippled with writer’s block, he decides that he will “steal” a love story. He can’t do that in Hollywood, so he heads to a small South Carolina town for a change of scenery and that good love story he needs. Taking on a fake identity as a historian interested in local folklore, he interviews townsfolk under the guise of getting to know their family stories.

He meets Ella, a beautiful young woman who has lost her true love in a sailing accident. Harper believes he has finally found his story: a love big enough to sacrifice your life for. But the thing is, Ella isn’t telling the truth. Her husband left her, she has a job selling shoes, and she lost her best friend in the divorce. In desperate need of a love story herself, Ella tells Harper the story of the life she wishes she had, and in the process, starts acting like the woman she wishes she’d always been. Soon they are both too deep into the lies to get out. Add dysfunctional families, small town chaos, eccentric neighbors and exes on both sides, and the knot of lies looks too tight to undo.

Can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?

Patti Henry_Credit Naomi McColloch_300dpi

PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY is a full-time writer, wife, and mother. She is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels include And Then I Found You, Between the Tides, and Driftwood Summer. Patti lives with her husband and three children in Mountain Brook, Ala., where she is working on her next novel.

See Aziz Ansari at the Sottile Theatre, Sat., July 11!

Come see South Carolina’s own Aziz Ansari, Sat., July 11, 7:30 pm, at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St.), touring on his new book, Modern Romance (Penguin, hb., 288 pp., $29). Tickets are $52 and include a copy of Modern Romance (to be picked up at Blue Bicycle Books).  


Books must be picked up at Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., before 6 pm, Sat., July 11. Books will not be distributed at the event at the Sottile. Online ticket purchase is required before pick-up. 


About the book: For years, Aziz Ansari has aimed his comic insight at modern romance, but for the book Modern Romance, he decided he needed to take things to another level. Ansari teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg to design a massive research project, conducting interviews and focus groups everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. Enlisting some of the world’s leading social scientists to help analyze their findings, they produced a result unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before. In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new digitized romantic world.


Aziz Ansari is a writer, stand-up comedian and actor best known for his role as Tom Haverford on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. In 2014, he became the seventh comedian ever to sell out Madison Square Garden in New York. He has also appeared in several films, including This is the End, Funny People, and 30 Minutes or Less.

Southeast Summer Book Bash! Tues., June 23

Join us  Tues., June 23, 5 – 7 pm, as the Southeast Summer Book Bash tour makes a stop in Charleston. Lynne Matson (Nil & Nil Unlocked), Lindsay Cummings (The Death Code), Anne Blankman (Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke) and Robin Constantine (The Secrets of Attraction) will sign copies of  their Young Adult novels.


About Nil Unlocked: On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape–or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever. Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil–and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?



LYNNE MATSON grew up in Georgia in a house full of books and a backyard full of gnarly pines. She attended the University of Florida, where she met and married her husband, the cutest boy she’s ever seen. Now, Lynne is mother to four amazing boys. After a career as an attorney, Lynne is thrilled to be making her debut in YA fiction.


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About The Death Code: With short, fast-paced, alternating point-of-view chapters, The Death Code starts several weeks after The Murder Complex ends. Zephyr keeps the secret about Meadow close—that if she dies, The Murder Complex will be destroyed, too. Meadow, desperate to find her brother, father, and little sister, is determined to fight fearlessly to the end, even if it means sacrificing herself and her friends, new and old. The Death Code introduces a memorable cast of secondary characters and delivers a vivid and scary thrill ride read. For fans of La Femme Nikita, Legend, and Hanna.


Lindsay Cummings is the 23-year-old author of THE MURDER COMPLEX duology and BALANCE KEEPERS trilogy at HarperCollins. She lives in Celina, TX, with her Grumpy Husband Josh, a German Shepherd, a German Shephusky, a real Wolf Cub, a draft horse named Dan the Man, a hedgehog named Hedwig, a cat named Crookshanks, and 5 silly, egg-laying chickens. She’s still trying to convice her husband to let her get a teacup pig and name it Pigwidgeon. She is convinced her Hogwarts letter was just lost in the mail.


About Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke: In 1930s Oxford, the days are long and pleasant, the people simple and straight forward. Except for one. The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: she used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content. But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside down. When she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped—and return to her homeland.

AnneBlankmanauthorphotoAnne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn’t writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

SecretsofAttraction HC C

About The Secrets of Attraction: Madison Pryce thinks she’s got everything figured out—she’s working on a portfolio for a summer art program, trying to keep up her grades, and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. They’re casual by choice—getting serious with a guy only complicates things. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie’s life upside down and throws all her beliefs into question.


Robin Constantine is a born and bred Jersey girl who moved down South so she could wear flip-flops year round. She spends her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, well, eventually but not without a lot of peril, angst and the occasional kissing scene.



Dorothea Benton Frank, All The Single Ladies , Lunch and Talk, Wed., June 10

Join us Wed., June 10, 12  pm, for a special luncheon, talk and signing at Stars Restaurant (495 King St) with Dorothea Benton Frank. Dottie will sign copies of her latest novel, All the Single Ladies (William Morrow, hb., 432 pp., $27). Tickets are $60 for lunch, talk and a signed book — plus special treats and iced coffee from tour sponsor Krispy Kreme!

Tickets are available for purchase here.


Lunch menu:
Open-Faced Wood-Grilled Mushroom Sandwich & Kale Salad with Herb Aioli, Buffalo Milk Cheese, Honey-Sherry Vinaigrette
Crab Cake Sandwich with Kale Salad with Aioli, Lettuce and Tomato.



In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, Frank once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death. Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And ultimately, their own legacies? A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.




Dorothea Benton Frank is the author of thirteen New York Times bestselling novels. Born and raised on Sullivan’s Island, she now splits her time between Sullivan’s and New Jersey. 

Will Moredock, Living in Fear , Signing, Fri., June 12

Join us, Fri., June 12, 5 – 7  pm for a signing with Will Moredock. he will sign copies of his new book, Living in Fear


Living in Fear by Will Moredockr

From 2002 till 2012, Will Moredock wrote a weekly column on South Carolina politics and culture for Charleston City Paper.Living in Fear is a selection of 71 of those columns, with a focus on the way that racial fear has shaped the politics and the culture of this state. Also in this volume is “300 Years of Living in Fear,” Moredock’s 7,000-word essay on the origin and future of these ancient racial fears.


Will Moredock is a native son of South Carolina, with degrees in journalism from the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina. His journalism career includes a stint as staff writer at The State. He was founder, publisher and editor of Point newsweekly, in Columbia and news editor at Creative Loafing in Charlotte. Most recently, he wrote a weekly column about South Carolina politics and culture for ten years for Charleston City Paper.

Piccolo Fiction in the Courtyard — Sat., May 30, 5 pm

Join us for Piccolo Fiction in the CourtyardSat., May 30,  5 pm, Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St.

The festival’s longest-running event exclusively devoted to the craft of fiction, Piccolo Fiction invites three prominent writers to present 5 minute “short short” stories. The reading will be held in the lush courtyard of Blue Bicycle Books, and each story will begin with the words “I ducked into the alley…”

Since 2000, Piccolo Fiction has featured dozens of S.C. writers, with stories broadcast by S.C. Public Radio’s ‘Your Day’, and published in the Charleston City Paper.

Receptionto follow, with booksigning of James McTeer’s Minnow.

Blue Bike Books courtyard reading

The 2015 writers are:


James McTeer was born and raised in Beaufort, and is the winner of the 2015 South Carolina First Novel Prize for his new novel Minnow. A school librarian in Columbia, he is the grandson of the late J.E. McTeer, whose 37 years as High Sheriff of the Lowcountry (and local root doctor) served as inspiration for Minnow. He and his wife Jess are expecting their first baby boy in July. jamesmcteer


Corrie Wachob writes mystery-bent fiction for teenagers of all ages. She was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Work-in-Progress Award for Best Contemporary YA Novel. Corrie recently transplanted from Brooklyn to Charleston, where she and her fiancé just launched a food truck, Short Grain. 


William Belford lives with his wife in his hometown of Savannah, where he writes fiction and teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Armstrong State University. He has published his work in The Minus Times and The Virginia Quarterly Review and at the moment is revising his novel manuscript.williambeldford

Mary Alice Monroe, The Summer’s End. Sun., May 24.

Join us, Sun., May 24, 4  pm as Mary Alice Monroe, signs copies of the last installment of her Lowcountry Summer series, The Summer’s End. (Gallery Books, hb., 384 pp., $28). 


In the powerful and heartwarming conclusion to her bestselling Lowcountry Summer trilogy, New York Times author Mary Alice Monroe brings her readers back to the charm and sultry beauty of Sullivan’s Island, to reveal how the pull of family bonds and true love is as strong and steady as the tides.

It is summer’s end and Sea Breeze, the family’s beloved estate on Sullivan’s Island, must be sold. It is an emotional time of transition as Mamaw and the three sisters each must face loss and find a new place in the world.


mary alice monroe 2014 for web


Mary Alice Monroe is the author of nearly two dozen novels, several non-fiction titles, and children’s books. Her body of work reflects her commitment to the natural world through literature.  Monroe has served on the faculty of numerous writer’s conferences and retreats.  She is a featured speaker at events, both literary and conservation.  Known for her intimate portrayals of women’s lives, Mary Alice Monroe’s writing gained added purpose and depth with her books set in the Lowcountry.  An active environmentalist, Monroe draws themes for her novels from nature and the parallels with human nature, thus drawing attention to various endangered species and the human connection to the natural world.