Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Author Luncheon with Cate Lineberry, Be Free or Die, Fri., June 23, 12 pm

Join us Fri., June 23, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Cate Lineberry discusses and signs her new book Be Free or Die (St. Martin’s, hb., 288 pp., $26). Cate will be in conversation with Michael Boulware Moore, who is the great, great grandson of Robert Smalls and the CEO of the International African American Museum.

Tickets are $31 for the three-course luncheon and talk, or $57 including a signed copy of the book. Get tickets here.

Be Free or Die is a compelling narrative that illuminates Robert Smalls’ amazing journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman. This captivating tale of a valuable figure in American history gives fascinating insight into the country’s first efforts to help newly freed slaves while also illustrating the many struggles and achievements of African Americans during the Civil War.

Be Free or Die is Cate’s second book. She is also the author of The Secret Rescue, a #1 Wall Street Journal e-book bestseller and a finalist for the Edgar and Anthony Awards. She was previously a staff writer and editor for National Geographic Magazine and the web editor for Smithsonian Magazine. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times.

Mercies in Disguise with Gina Kolata and Amanda Baxley Kalinsky, Thurs., June 22, 5 pm

Join us Thurs., June 22, 5 pm as New York Times reporter Gina Kolata discusses her new book Mercies in Disguise (St. Martin’s, hb., 272 pp., $26).

In Mercies in Disguise, Kolata tells the story of the Baxleys, an almost archetypal family in a small town in South Carolina. A proud and determined clan, many of them doctors, they are struck one by one with an inscrutable illness. They finally discover the cause of the disease after a remarkable sequence of events. Meanwhile, science, progressing for a half a century along a parallel track, had handed the Baxleys a resolution―not a cure, but a blood test that would reveal who had the gene for the disease and who did not. And science would offer another dilemma―fertility specialists had created a way to spare the children through an expensive process.

A work of narrative nonfiction, Mercies in Disguise is the story of a family that took matters into its own hands when the medical world abandoned them. It’s a story of a family that had to deal with unspeakable tragedy and yet did not allow it to tear them apart. And it is the story of a young woman―Amanda Baxley―who faced the future head on, determined to find a way to disrupt her family’s destiny.

Gina Kolata is a senior medical writer for the New York Times and the author of nine books and editor of three. She has won numerous prizes and was a Pulitzer finalist twice.

Perfect Strangers with Roseann Sdoia, Mon., June 5, 5 pm

Join us Mon., June 5, 5 pm as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia discusses her new book Perfect Strangers (PublicAffairs, hb., 256 pp., $26).

As Roseann Sdoia waited to watch her friend cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, she had no idea her life was about to change-that in a matter of minutes she would look up from the sidewalk, burned and deaf, staring at her detached foot, screaming for help amid the smoke and blood.

In the chaos that followed, three people would enter Roseann’s life and change it forever. The first was Shores Salter, a college student who instinctively ran into the smoke while his friends ran away. He found Roseann lying on the sidewalk and, using a belt as a tourniquet, literally saved her life that day. Then, Boston police officer Shana Cottone arrived on the scene and began screaming desperately at passing ambulances, all full, before finally commandeering an empty paddy wagon. Just then a giant appeared, in the form of Boston firefighter Mike Materia, who carried Roseann and held her burned hand all the way to the hospital. Since that day, he hasn’t left her side, and today they are planning their life together.

Perfect Strangers is about recovery, about choosing joy and human connection over anger and resentment, and most of all, it’s about an unlikely but enduring friendship that grew out of the tragedy of Boston’s worst day.


Author Luncheon with Lisa Wingate, Before We Were Yours, Thurs., June 8, 12 pm

Join us Thurs., June 8, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Lisa Wingate discusses and signs her new book Before We Were Yours (Ballantine Books, hb., 352 pp., $26). Tickets are $31 for the three-course luncheon and talk, or $57 including a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals–in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country–Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the bestselling author of more than twenty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. Wingate lives in the Ouachita Mountains of southwest Arkansas.

Author Luncheon with Dorothea Benton Frank, Same Beach, Next Year, Fri., May 19, 12 pm

Join us Fri., May 19, 12 pm for lunch at Stars Rooftop and Grill Room (495 King St.), as Dottie Frank will talk about and sign her new book Same Beach, Next Year (William Morrow, hb., 384pp., $28). Tickets are $62 for the buffet luncheon plus a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the intangible power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love.

The novel begins with a chance meeting on the Isle of Palms that brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy, while striking up a deep friendship and an unexpected attraction of their own. Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl grow closer over time, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak.

Dottie is the author of 18 novels placed in and around the Lowcountry of South Carolina. She was born and raised on Sullivan’s Island, attended Bishop England High School and graduated from General William Moultrie High School in 1969. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The College of Charleston and a Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bloomfield College. An avid cook who also enjoys fly-fishing, reading, and travel, Dottie now divides her time between South Carolina and New Jersey.


Events and Signings

Tues., Aug. 15 Nicole Seitz, The Cage-maker

Fri., Aug. 18 Kate Fagan, What Made Maddy Run

Thurs., Aug. 22 BevCon Author Reading Party

Wed., Sept. 6 Joyce Maynard, The Best of Us

Thurs., Sept. 7 — Bliss at Blue Bicycle Books

Sat., Sept. 9Scott Gould, Strangers to Temptation

Tues., Sept. 12 Dorothy St. James, Asking for Truffle

Sat., Sept. 16 Fam Jam

Tues., Sept. 26 Ryan Graudin, Invictus

Tues., Oct. 3 Look & See at Charleston Music Hall

Fri., Oct. 6 Natasha Boyd, Indigo Girls

Sun., Oct. 8 Julie Lythcott-Haims, Real American

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

Fri. & Sat., Nov. 10-11 YALLFest

Tues., Nov. 21 — John Lane and Scott Gould


Author Luncheon with Mary Alice Monroe, Beach House for Rent, Tue., June 20, 12 pm

Join us Tue., June 20, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Mary Alice Monroe discusses and signs her new book Beach House for Rent (Gallery Books, pb., 416 pp., $26). Tickets are $57 for the three-course luncheon and a signed copy of the book.

Get tickets here.

In Beach House for Rent, two women from different generations are bound together by a beloved beach house. Cara Rutledge, 50, rents her quaint beach house on Isle of Palms to Heather Wyatt, 26, for the summer. Heather’s anxiety keeps her indoors with her caged canaries until the shorebirds–and a man who rescues them–lure her out to the beach. As the summer progresses and Heather’s heart opens to the rhythms of the island, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy. When their worlds shift like the sand under their feet, these two very different women come together to discover their common bonds and unique strengths.

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. She has received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Book Award for Green Fiction. An active conservationist, she lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Messenger from Mystery with Deno Trakas, Sat., May 20, 1 pm

Join us Sat., May 20, 1 pm as Deno Trakas discusses and signs copies of his book Messenger from Mystery (Story River Books, pb., 240 pp., $20). 

Messenger from Mystery features English graduate student Jason “Jay” Nichols, a third-generation Greek American on the cusp of his transition into adulthood and from student to teacher. When the Iranian hostage crisis begins while Jay is teaching students from Iran, he realizes that his understanding of geopolitical conflict is naive and superficial.

Like the award-winning film Argo, Messenger from Mystery harks back to the difficult final years of the Carter administration and looks closely at the hostage crisis, which captured the attention of the world for 444 days, garnered its own news show, ensured the defeat of Carter and the victory of Reagan, and frayed any American confidence regained after Vietnam and Watergate. A story of love, politics, terrorism, and heroism, Messenger from Mystery mixes accurate, fascinating history with convincing, engaging imagination.

Deno Trakas is the Laura and Winston Hoy Professor of English and director of the writing center at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He has published fiction and poetry in journals and anthologies, two chapbooks of poems, and a memoir entitled Because Memory Isn’t Eternal: A Story of Greeks in Upstate South Carolina. Trakas is a five-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project Prize and a recipient of the South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellowship in Fiction. Messenger from Mystery is his first novel.

Author Luncheon with Patricia Altschul, The Art of Southern Charm, RESCHEDULED Thurs., May 18, 12 pm

NOTE: This event has been rescheduled for Thurs., May 18, 12 pm.

Join us Thurs., May 18, 12 pm for lunch at High Cotton (199 East Bay St.), as Patricia Altschul explains The Art of Southern Charm (Diversion, hb., 240 pp., $27). Tickets are $57 for the three-course luncheon, including a signed copy of the book, 0r $88 for two tickets with one book.

Get tickets here.

From the primetime show Southern Charm, Patricia Altschul finally brings fans her eagerly anticipated opus on etiquette and living a glamorous Southern lifestyle. Patricia provides advice on every situation, from hosting a memorable cocktail party, to decoding the dress code for any event, to handling a drunken boor at the dinner table, to delivering the perfectly phrased insult―like her now iconic “shameless strumpet.” The Art of Southern Charm takes readers inside the world of Charleston’s most captivating grande dame, who (with Michael the Butler) offers a blueblood’s blueprint for curating and celebrating life at its best.

Patricia Altschul has been featured in publications including Vogue, Town & Country, People, and Architectural DigestWise, cultivated, elegant, and funny, Patricia is a consummate hostess and a lifestyle icon whose unique combination of class and sass has endeared her to fans of all ages.

New Book Release Readings by College of Charleston Professors Lindsey Drager and Anthony Varallo, Thur., May 4, 5:30 pm


Join us Thurs., May 4, 5:30 pm as local authors, and College of Charleston professors, Lindsey Drager and Anthony Varallo will give readings from their new books.

Lindsey Drager is the author of The Sorrow Proper (Dzanc, 2015), winner of the 2016 Binghamton University / John Gardner Fiction Award. Originally from Michigan, she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the College of Charleston, where she teaches in the MFA program in fiction. Her work has been published in prominent venues including Web Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, West Branch Wired, Black Warrior Review, Cream City Review, Quarterly West, and Kenyon Review Online.

Her new novel, The Lost Daughter Collective (Dzanc, pb., 176 pp., $16), is a gothic fairy tale fusing the fabulism of Donald Barthelme and Ben Marcus with the language play of Rikki Ducornet and Jenny Offill.

Anthony Varallo is the author of three previous short-story collections: This Day in History (University of Iowa Press), winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award and Finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize; Out Loud (University of Pittsburgh Press), winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; and Think of Me and I’ll Know (TriQuarterly Books).

His latest, Everyone Was There (Elixir Press, pb., 164 pp., $19), will be released in May.

Anthony has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and his stories have appeared in over seventy literary magazines and journals. He joined the Department of English at the College of Charleston in 2005 and serves as Fiction Editor of Crazyhorse.