Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Author Luncheon with Michele Moore and The Cigar Factory, Fri., Mar. 18, 12 pm

the cigar factory

Blue Bicycle Books’ Author Luncheon Series continues, Friday, Mar. 18, 12 pm, Halls Chophouse, 434 King St., as author Michele Moore discusses her new novel The Cigar Factory (University of South Carolina Press, hb., $28).

Tickets are $30 for the author talk and three-course luncheon, or $58 for lunch plus a signed book. BUY TICKETS HERE

About the book: The sun leaned for down bringing shade to the waterfront,” begins Michele Moore’s entrancing debut novel, hearkening back to an era when the legendary fishermen of Charleston’s Mosquito Fleet rowed miles offshore for their daily catch. With evocative dialect and remarkable prose, The Cigar Factory tells the story of two entwined families, both devoutly Catholic — the white McGonegals and the African American Ravenels — in Charleston during the world wars. Moore’s novel follows the parallel lives of family matriarchs working on segregated floors of the massive Charleston cigar factory, where white and black workers remain divided and misinformed about the duties and treatment each group receives.

Cassie McGonegal and her niece Brigid work upstairs in the factory, rolling cigars by hand. Meliah Amey Ravenel works in the basement, where she stems the tobacco. While both white and black workers suffer in the harsh working conditions of the factory and both endure the sexual harassment of the foremen, segregation keeps them from recognizing their common plight until the Tobacco Workers Strike of 1945. Through the experience of a brutal picket line, two women come to realize how much they stand to gain by joining forces, creating a powerful moment in labor history that gives rise to the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

Moore’s extensive historical research included interviews with her own family members who worked at the cigar factory, adding a layer of nuance and authenticity to her empowering story of families and friendships forged through struggle, loss, and redemption. The Cigar Factory by Story River Books editor-at-large Pat Conroy.

About the Author: Michele Moore has served as a fellow in the English Department at Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga. She was a 2006 finalist for the Bellwether Prize for Literature. Her creative nonfiction has been broadcast on Georgia Public Radio and published in the Louisville Review and others.

Buy tickets online here. For special requests call 843.303.1113. Doors open at 11:30 am (please do not arrive before 11:30) and lunch is served promptly at noon. Limited seating provides an intimate experience with the author

Author Reading with Baird Hoffmire and Boris Crookedback and the Dragon of Wang-Dang-Baloo, Fri., Mar. 4, 4 pm

Boris Crookedback

Blue Bicycle Books’ welcomes author/illustrator Baird Hoffmire, Friday, Mar. 4, 4 pm, Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., as he debuts his children’s book Boris Crookedback and the Dragon of Wang-Dang-Baloo (pb., $10).

About the book: What happens when a big, bad, mean dragon comes to a little village and terrorizes all its inhabitants? Will anyone step up and be a hero? Can anyone defeat such a fearsome foe? Enter Boris Crookedback, the most unlikely hero you will ever meet.  Discarded at birth and deemed too ugly and pitiful by most of the villagers, Boris is far more than what meets the eye. With smarts on his side, a heart of gold, and the pluck to save his true love, Boris may just be more of a force than anyone has reckoned!

* An important footnote to this project, 2 of the major characters in this book suffer from birth defects (among other things). If and when the book gets printed a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these books will be donated to the following worthy causes:

HEART benefits adults with special needs. aids in the research and correction of this birth-defect.

The Scoliosis Research Society aids in the research and correction of spinal maladies.

Please feel free to check out these organizations and donate.

About the Author: When he’s not daydreaming of global peace, ending world hunger, or fighting crime as a caped crusader, Baird Hoffmire is an animator, illustrator, graphic designer and exhibiting artist.  He resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his beautiful wife, Jane, and his equally lovely daughters, Sadie and harper. With a BFA in Illustration from Western Carolina University and a BFA in Media Arts and Animation from the Art Institute of Atlatna, Baird has been making a living as an artist since 2003. 

Baird Hoffmire

Amber Tamblyn’s Dark Sparkler, Thurs., Feb. 25

DarkSparkler hc c

Join us Thurs., Feb. 25, 6 pm at Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., downtown Charleston, as author and actress Amber Tamblyn reads from her poetry collection Dark Sparkler (Harper Perennial, pb., $18).

About the book: A lifelong performer from a Hollywood family, actress Amber Tamblyn (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Two and a Half Men) is also an established poet who has studied with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Hirschman and others.

As a working actress, she is also deeply fascinated—and intimately familiar—with the costs of fame and the demands placed on young women in movies and on television. An initially casual interest in the lives and disappointments of actresses before her time—tragic stories of suicide, murder, obscurity, and other forms of death—inspired this collection of poetic portraits of thirty actresses famous and obscure. Featuring subjects like Brittany Murphy, Marilyn Monroe, and Jane Mansfield—and paired with original artwork by David Lynch, Adrian Tomine, Marilyn Manson, and Marcel Dzama—Dark Sparkler is a surprising and thought-provoking collection.

About the author: Amber Tamblyn recently wrapped up a successful stint on the hit CBS-TV series Two and a Half Men, and has been nominated for the Emmy, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit awards. She has published two previous books, Free Stallion (2005), which won the Borders Book Choice Award for Breakout Writing, and Bang Ditto (2009), an IndieNext bestseller. A contributor to the Poetry Foundation and Bust, Tamblyn’s work has been published in InterviewCosmopolitan, the San Francisco ChroniclePoets & Writers, Pank and elsewhere. She lives in New York with her husband, comedian David Cross.

“With a drummer’s approach to wording and a coroner’s attention to bodily detail, Amber Tamblyn’s tragicomic dead girl poems are a thoughtful, ghoulish kick.” —Sarah Vowell

“Ms. Tamblyn has a gift for words.” —Quentin Tarantino

Amber Tamblyn - credit Katie Jacobs

Blue Bicycle Books — Newsletter 2-18-16

In this issue:

*Amber Tamblyn — Thurs., Feb. 25

*2016 author luncheon series — Rescue Road, Fri. Feb. 19

*Wine + Food Pop-Up, Mar. 4 – 6

*Baird Hoffman Story Time, Fri. Mar. 4

*Nikky Finney at Ashley Hall, Wed. Mar. 9

*Writing Camp

*Signed David McCullough

*Praying for Pat


Thurs., Feb. 25, 6 pm, writer and actress Amber Tamblyn will read from her poetry collection Dark Sparkler (Harper Perennial, pb., $18).

A lifelong performer from a Hollywood family, Tamblyn (The Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsTwo and a Half Men) is also a poet who has studied with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Hirschman and others.

Each poem in Dark Sparkler is a portrait of an actress — Brittany Murphy, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield, more — who met troubling ends. The book features original artwork by David Lynch and Marilyn Manson and others.

It’s a wonderful book, and we are so thrilled to have Amber come and read. Hope you can join us and then catch her husband David Cross at the Gaillard at 7:30.

Not sold yet? Quentin Tarantino blurbs that Tamblyn “has a gift for words”and he rewrote the Old Testament.


Friday, Feb. 19New York Times best-selling author Peter Zheutlin talks about Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs and a Million Miles on the Lost Hope Highway (Sourcebooks, pb., $15), Hall’s Chophouse, 434 King St.

Tickets are $30 for the author talk and three-course luncheon, or $45 for lunch plus a signed book. Buy tickets here or through the 24/7 hotline 800-838-3006. For special requests call 843-303-1113. Doors open at 11:30 am and lunch is at noon.


We’re popping up a pop-up shop at Charleston Wine + Food FestivalMarch 4 – 6. Pop in to the W+F merch tent in Marion Square (near the fountain) for all the chef signings.


Fri., March 4, 4 pm, author and illustrator Baird Hoffmire will host a story hour for Boris Crookedback and the Dragon of Wang-Dang-Baloo. Juice boxes will be provided, bring your own child.


Wed., March 9, 7 pm, S.C. native and National Book Award winner Nikky Finney reads at Ashley Hall to kick off the school’s Spring Writers series.Admission is free, but please reserve a space here.


Write of Summer, Blue Bicycle Books’ Writing Camp — is back for our fourteenth (14th) year in Charleston. We have eight (ocho) sessions to choose from. Camp spots tend to fill up quickly, but they are not full now. Go to and ‘get your camp on’  (in the parlance of our times.)


Pulitzer and NBA-winning historian David McCullough (1776, The Great Bridge, The Wright Brothers) was kind enough to drop in recently. This means two things:

  1. We currently have signed copies of all his works.
  2. With Amber Tamblyn’s visit, the Blue Bike circle of John Adams/Traveling Pantsauthors/actors-who-starred-in-the-adaptation will finally be complete (Paul Giamatti and Ann Brashares, 2014). This is the book store equivalent of the EGOT.


You may have already heard the sad news that Pat Conroy has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pat has been extremely generous to Blue Bicycle Books in the last nine years — several marathon signings and many more kindnesses. He is a great spirit and man of letters. Sending all our love and prayers to Pat and Cassandra as they fight this.


Sheridan Hough’s Kierkegaard’s Dancing Tax Collector — Thurs., Feb. 11

Sheridan Hough - 1

Join us Thurs., Feb. 11, 5 – 7 pm, as College of Charleston professor Sheridan Hough discusses and signs copies of her most recent book, Kierkegaard’s Dancing Tax Collector (Oxford UP, hb., 208 pp, $40).

With a cover designed by local artist Duke Hagerty, her third book explores Kierkegaard’s conception of self and faith through the lens of a character proposed in Fear and Trembling. Hough embarks on a significant ‘existential/ phenomenological’ investigation into the abilities of the faithful life by analyzing Kierkegaard’s spheres of existence, each sphere revealing a specific kind of significance, and indeed a way of “being in the world.” Additionally, she touches on Kierkegaard’s reaching influence on existential philosophers including Heidegger and de Beauvoir.

A Bay Area native, Hough has been teaching at the College of Charleston since 1997.  In 2007 she became the first woman to reach the rank of full professor in the College’s Department of Philosophy. She and her husband now split their time between Charleston and Northern California.



Author Luncheon with Peter Zheutlin and Rescue Road, Fri., Feb. 19, 12 pm


"Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway" by Peter Zheutlin follows the story of Greg Mahle, who has rescued more than 30,000 dogs, taking them from Gulf Coast shelters and finding them homes in the Northeast. (Sourcebooks)

Blue Bicycle Books’ Author Luncheon Series kicks off the new year, Friday, Feb. 19, 12 pm, at Halls Chophouse, 434 King St., as New York Times best-selling author Peter Zheutlin talks about Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs and a Million Miles on the Lost Hope Highway (Sourcebooks, pb., $15).

Tickets are $30 for the author talk and three-course luncheon, or $45 for lunch plus a signed book.

About the book: Rescue Road is story of one man who has driven more than 1 million miles to rescue rescue thousands of dogs from hunger, abuse and neglect. For years, Greg Mahle struggled to keep the last of his family-run restaurants afloat in Ohio. When it finally closed, he was broke and unsure what to do next. Then a stranded van-load of puppies changed his life forever.

Author Peter Zheutlin travels with Greg from Ohio to the Gulf Coast on his Rescue Road Trips to bring hard-luck dogs to loving families. From Houston’s impoverished Fifth Ward, where thousands of strays roam the streets, and high-kill animal shelters in Louisiana, to joyous scenes of adopters embracing their new pets, Rescue Road is an inspiring story about the unique bond between dogs and humans.

About the Author: Peter Zheutlin is a freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared regularly in The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, AARP Magazine, Parade, and numerous other publications in the U.S. and abroad. He lives in Needham, Mass., with his wife, author Judith Gelman, and their rescue dogs, Albie and Salina.

To purchase tickets: Tickets can be purchased online here, or through the 24/7 ticket hotline number, 800.838.3006. For special requests call 843.303.1113. Doors open at 11:30 AM and lunch is served promptly at noon. Limited seating provides an intimate experience with the author

Release party for Brad Taylor’s The Forgotten Soldier, Tues., Dec. 29!

Join us Tues., Dec. 29, 6 pm at Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., downtown Charleston, to celebrate the release of the ninth installment in the Pike Logan series: The Forgotten Soldier (Dutton, hb., $27) by Brad Taylor.

A retired Delta Force operator, Brad Taylor served in the U.S. Army for over 20 years, retiring as a Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel. He has also served as the Asst. Professor of Military Science at The Citadel, and lives in Charleston with his family.

About the book: 

For years, the extralegal counterterrorist unit known as the Taskforce has worked in the shadows, anticipating and preventing attacks around the globe. Created to deal with a terrorist threat that shuns the civilized rule of law, it abandoned the same, operating outside of the US Constitution. Though wildly successful, it was rooted in a fear that the cure could be worse than the disease.

And now that fear has come home.

A Special Forces soldier is killed on an operation in Afghanistan, and complicit in the attack is a government official of an allied nation. While the US administration wants to forget the casualty, one Taskforce member will not. When he sets out to avenge his brother’s death, his actions threaten to not only expose the Taskforce’s activities, but also destroy a web of alliances against a greater evil. Pike Logan understands the desire, but also the danger. Brought in to eliminate the risk, he’s now forced to choose between his friend and the administration he’s sworn to protect, while unbeknownst to either of them, the soldier’s death is only the beginning….

Come meet Brad, have a beer (because Pike Logan doesn’t drink wine), and get a signed copy! 

Brad Taylor

Point Suite Art Book with Annika Connor, Wed. Dec. 30

annika connor book

Artist and Renaissance Weekend attendee Annika Connor hosts a special event, Wed., Dec. 30, 6 pm, for Point Suite: Contemporary Art  (Active Ideas Productions, 201 pp., pb., $35), featuring work and essays by dozens of young contemporary artists.

The evening’s discussion will start with a brief presentation, projecting some of the art featured in the book, and be followed by a communal chat with the audience exploring the new ideas and the DIY artists’ movement that is currently sweeping across the art world.

Annika Connor is a Contemporary Romantic painter. Connor has worked professionally as a painter in New York, London, Stockholm and participated in numerous national and international exhibitions. Annika is Swedish-American; she currently resides in Brooklyn where she maintains an active studio.


George Singleton’s Calloustown, Dec. 3


Thurs., Dec. 3, 5 – 7 pm, George Singleton will sign copies of his newest collection of short stories, Calloustown (Dzanc Books, pb., $15.95).

Calloustown, the seventh collection from the master raconteur of southern short fiction, who’s been praised by the Atlanta Journal Constitution as the “unchallenged king of the comic Southern short story,” finds the author at the top of his game as he traces the unlikely inhabitants of the fictional Calloustown in all their humanity. Whether exploring family, religion, politics, or the true meaning of home, these stories range from deeply affecting to wildly absurd and back again in the blink of an eye.

George Singleton has published seven collections of stories, two novels, and a book of non-fiction. He was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2015. He holds the John C. Cobb Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Wofford College, and lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Carolina Writers at Home, Dec. 4

carolina writers at home - ext

Fri., Dec. 4, 5 – 7, join us for the Lowcountry release party for Carolina Writers at Home, edited by Meg Reid, photos by Rob McDonald (Hub City, pb., $25), stories from twenty-five North Carolina and South Carolina writers about the places from which they pull their inspiration. Local authors Bret Lott, Josephine Humphreys, along with editor Meg Reid will be on hand to sign copies.

With spaces ranging from a classic bungalow to a mid-century modern ranch home to a church, a trailer, and a barely-inhabited barrier island, the book takes readers inside the homes of some of the most notable contemporary southern authors.

Carolina Writers at home - int