Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Lee Robinson, Lawyer for the Dog . Mon., Sept. 21

Join us, Mon., Sept. 21, 5 – 7  pm as Lee Robinson, signs copies of her novel,  Lawyer for the Dog (Thomas Dunne Books, hb., 240 pp., $25). 


One of the sharpest attorneys in Charleston, S.C., Sally Baynard isn’t your typical southern belle. She’s certainly not what her mother hoped she’d grow up to be, especially since she divorced her husband, Family Court Judge Joe Baynard, and his historic family with their historic wealth and historic houses. Maybe Sally was never going to be a proper society lady, but her success as a public defender and family lawyer have been enough for her. She’s represented murderers, burglars, drug dealers and lately has taken on some of the thorniest divorces, all cases closed with her Sally Bright Baynard wit, charm and brains.Robinson,Lee_ (c) Jeffrey Truitt

Lee Robinson practiced law for over 20 years in Charleston, S.C., where she served as executive director of a legal services agency and later worked in private practice, concentrating on family law. She was elected the first female president of the Charleston Bar Association and received the Bar Association’s award for her work in public interest law. She lives on a small ranch in the Texas hill country.

Author Luncheon with Christopher Dickey, Our Man in Charleston , Thurs., Sept 17.

Join us Thurs., Sept., 17, 12 pm for a special Author’s Luncheon featuring Christopher Dickey. The talk and lunch will be at Hall’s Chophouse (434 King St.). Tickets are $30 for lunch only, or $59 for lunch and a signed copy of Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South (Crown, hb., 400 pp.). Following lunch, there will be a book signing at Blue Bicycle Books. Tickets may be purchased online here, or  through our 24/7 ticket hotline number 800.838.3006. For special handling call 843.303.1113.
All tickets include the champagne reception at Blue Bicycle Books follows the event. Doors open at 11:30 AM and lunch is served promptly at noon. Limited seating provides an intimate experience with the author.

About Our Man in CharlestonWhen Robert Bunch arrived in Charleston to take up the post of British consul in 1853, he was young and full of ambition, but even he couldn’t have imagined the incredible role he would play in the history-making events to unfold. In an age when diplomats often were spies, Bunch’s job included sending intelligence back to the British government in London. Yet as the United States threatened to erupt into Civil War, Bunch found himself plunged into a double life, settling into an amiable routine with his slavery-loving neighbors on the one hand, while working furiously to thwart their plans to achieve a new Confederacy. 


About the author: Award-winning author Christopher Dickey is the Paris Bureau Chief and Middle East Editor for The Daily Beast. Previously he worked for Newsweek Magazine in the same position, and before that for The Washington Post as Cairo Bureau Chief and Central America Bureau Chief. Chris’s books include the classic With the Contras: A Reporter in the Wilds of Nicaragua; Expats: Travels from Tripoli to Tehran; Innocent Blood, and Summer of Deliverance: A Memoir of Father and Son; Securing the City: Inside America’s Best Counterterror Force — the NYPD, published in 2009 and chosen by The New York Times as one of the notable books of the year. His history of intrigues on the eve of the American Civil War, The Charleston Consul, will be published by Crown in 2015.

Laura Lee Huttenbach, The Boy Is Gone: Conversations with a Mau Mau General. Sat., Sept. 12.

Join us, Sat., Sept. 12, 5 – 7  pm as Laura Lee Huttenbach signs copies of her book, The Boy Is Gone: Conversations with a Mau Mau General. (Ohio University Press, hb., 256 pp., $29).


A story with the power to change how people view the last years of colonialism in East Africa, The Boy Is Gone portrays the struggle for Kenyan independence in the words of a freedom fighter whose life spanned the twentieth century’s most dramatic transformations. Born into an impoverished farm family in the Meru Highlands, Japhlet Thambu grew up wearing goatskins and lived to stand before his community dressed for business in a pressed suit, crisp tie, and freshly polished shoes. For most of the last four decades, however, he dressed for work in the primary school classroom and on his lush tea farm.

The General, as he came to be called from his leadership of the Mau Mau uprising sixty years ago, narrates his life story in conversation with Laura Lee Huttenbach, a young American who met him while backpacking in Kenya in 2006. A gifted storyteller with a keen appreciation for language and a sense of responsibility as a repository of his people’s history, the General talks of his childhood in the voice of a young boy, his fight against the British in the voice of a soldier, and his long life in the voice of shrewd elder. While his life experiences are his alone, his story adds immeasurably to the long history of decolonization as it played out across Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

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Laura Lee Huttenbach is an Atlanta native and graduate of the University of Virginia, has written extensively about her travels in Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Her essay, “Stuck in Bulawayo,” appears in the 2010 Best Travel Writing Anthology. Laura Lee has presented her work at annual conferences for the International Oral Historians’ Association, the Oral History Association, and the 2013 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is the founder of The General History Project, which seeks to record the life stories of aging community leaders in their own words, promoting cultural awareness, creating historical documentation and enriching the lives of all people, young and old. Currently she lives in Miami Beach, where she is working on her next book, the biography of Robert “Raven” Kraft, a legendary streak runner in Miami who has jogged through the ruination and rebirth of a great American city.


Center for Birds of Prey welcomes Barry Lopez — Thurs., Sept. 10

Tickets are on sale now to hear author Barry Lopez  at the Charleston Museum, Thurs., Sept. 10, 7  pm  a special event of The Center for Birds of Prey. After the talk Lopez will sign copies of his story collection Outside with engravings by Barry Moser (Trinity University Press, hb., 120 pp., $19) as well as other titles including Arctic Dreams, Of Wolves and Men, About this Life and Vintage Lopez.outside

The program will run from 7 to 10 p.m at the Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St., and includes a reception. Admission is $20 per person, $10 for students. Space is limited and advanced ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets available here or by calling 843.971.7474.




Barry Lopez is best known as the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award. Among his other nonfiction books are About This Life and Of Wolves and Men, which was a National Book Award finalist. He is also the author of several award-winning works of fiction, including Field Notes, Winter Count, and a novella-length fable, Crow and Weasel. His most recent book is Outside, a short story collaboration with artist Barry Moser. All of his works reflect a life of travel and cultural inquiry that has taken him to nearly seventy countries. Barry Lopez has, in his own words, “an unquenchable desire to immerse myself in landscapes still owned by their resident animals.”

Priscilla Shumway & Chef Kimberly Brock-Brown, Real Women, Real Leaders . Thurs., Aug. 20.

Join us, Thurs., Aug. 20, 5 – 7  pm as Priscilla Shumway & Chef Kimberly Brock-Brown signs copies of the book,  Real Women, Real Leaders (Wiley, hb., 208 pp., $35). 


Real Women, Real Leaders profiles women thought leaders who provide personal, useful insights into their leadership journeys. Using the 16 leadership competencies developed by Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman , the women leaders describe their own experiences and offer guidance on topics such as building alliances, mentoring other women, balancing family and career, and overcoming obstacles in a man’s world.



Priscilla Shumway is president and principal of New Learning Presentation Systems, a consulting company specializing in learning and development. As a senior national trainer for The Bob Pike Group since 1996, she has trained thousands of people nationally and internationally. An award-winning presenter, Priscilla has worked in a number of industries and has had numerous opportunities to observe the challenges and opportunities facing women in business. A former public school teacher and corporate trainer, Priscilla has specialized in staff development and training in the education, publishing and software industries since 1991. She has also consulted on sales training, meeting facilitation, marketing initiatives, project management, and business development.Chef-Kimberly-Brock-Brown

Chef Kimberly Brock-Brown is a member of the American Academy of Chefs  (AAC), the Honor Society of the ACF, and founding member  of the ACF National Pastry and Baking Guild. Chef Kimberly is currently the Academy’s only African-American Female Chef inducted in its 30-plus year history and is the only African-American Female Certified Pastry Chef in South Carolina. In recognition of her dedication to her craft, the joy of teaching and helping others, and love of cooking, Chef Kimberly was awarded a Lifetime Professional Membership in the ACF in 2007. In her off time of running her own business and being a devoted mother, Kimberly has been a Culinary Arts adjunct teacher for Johnson & Wales University and The Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College. Is a participating chef with the White House’s First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative for Chefs Move to Schools program.


Author Luncheon with Kim Boykin, A Peach of a Pair, Thurs., Aug 20.

Join us Thurs., Aug., 20, 12 pm for a special Author’s Luncheon featuring Kim Boykin. The talk and lunch will be at Hall’s Chophouse, (434 King Street). Tickets are $30 for lunch only, or $46 for lunch and a signed copy of Kim’s newest book, A Peach of a Pair (Berkley, pb., 304 pp.). Following lunch, there will be a champagne toast and book signing at Blue Bicycle Books. Tickets may be purchased here or through our 24/7 ticket hotline number 800.838.3006. For special handling call 843.303.1113.
 Tickets are $30 for lunch plus tax and processing fee, or $46 for lunch and a signed copy of Kim Boykin’s book. All tickets include the champagne reception at Blue Bicycle Books follows the event. Doors open at 11:30 AM and lunch is served promptly at noon. Limited seating provides an intimate experience with the author.

About A Peach a Pear: It’s March, 1953. Nettie Gilbert has cherished her time studying to be a music teacher at Columbia College in South Carolina, though as graduation approaches, she can’t wait to return to her family and childhood sweetheart Brooks in Alabama. But, just days before her senior recital, she gets a letter from her mother telling her that Brooks is getting married… to her own sister. Devastated, Nettie drops out of school and takes a job as live-in help for two old-maid sisters, Emily and Lurleen Eldridge. Emily is fiercely protective of the ailing Lurleen, and their sisterhood has weathered many storms. As Nettie learns more about the sisters’ lives on a long trip to see a faith healer, she’ll discover that love and forgiveness will one day lead her home.


About the author: Kim Boykin was raised in New Allentown, South Carolina, which she lovingly refers to as “Crazy Town.” She is the author of A Peach of a Pair, Palmetto Moon and The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley/NAL/Penguin; Flirting with Forever, She’s the One, Just in Time for Christmas, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry, she lives in Charlotte.


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?

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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.