Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

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.

Author Luncheon with Karen White, The Sound of Glass, Wed., May 27.

Join us Wed., May 27, 12 pm for a Blue Bicycle Books Author’s Luncheon featuring New York Times bestseller Karen White. The talk, book signing and lunch will be at Hall’s Chophouse, 434 King Street. Tickets are $30 for lunch only, or $59 for lunch and a signed copy of Karen’s newest book, The Sound of Glass (New American Library, hb., 432 pp.).
Doors open at 11:30 am, and lunch is served promptly at noon. Limited seating of 40 participants provides an intimate experience with the author. A champagne and book signing at Blue Bicycle Books will follow the event. Tickets may be purchased online here or call the 24/7 ticket hotline at 800-838-3006.
About the author: Karen White is a New York Times bestselling author of what she refers to as ‘grit lit’ — Southern women’s fiction. Perhaps best known for a bestselling mystery series set in Charleston, Karen hails from a long line of Southerners. She spent most of her growing-up years in London and is a graduate of the American School in London. When not writing, she spends her time reading, scrapbooking, dancing, and avoiding cooking. She lives near Atlanta with her husband and two children, and a spoiled Havanese dog (who appears in several of her books), Quincy.

About The Sound of Glass: Two years after Merritt Heyward loses her husband Cal, she receives unexpected news: Cal’s family home in Beaufort, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to her. Charting the course of an uncertain life — and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death — Merritt travels from her home in Maine to South Carolina, where the secrets of Cal’s past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life — a life complicated by the arrival of her too-young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother. In this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Lowcountry.


John Lane, Fate Moreland’s Widow. Wed., May 27.

Join us Wed., May 27, 5 pm  for a special reception and book signing with John Lane. Lane will be signing copies of his new novel, Fate Moreland’s Widow, (USC Press, hb., 184 pp., $20). 

fate moreland widow

The son of mill workers in Carlton, South Carolina, Crocker is caught between competing loyalties to his family and future. Crocker wanted more than a rough-hewn life on a factory floor, so he studied accounting at the local textile institute and was hired as bookkeeper to the owner, George McCane, a man as burdened by his familial ties as Crocker and even less prepared for the authority of his mantle. McCane’s decision to renovate the Carlton Mill and lay off families connected to the Uprising of ’34, one of the largest labor strikes in U.S. history, puts Crocker in the ill-fitting position as his boss’s enforcer. Days after the evictions, the surprise indictment lands McCane in a North Carolina mountain jail and sinks Crocker even deeper into the escalating tensions between mill workers and the owners.johnlane

John Lane is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including My Paddle to the Sea; Begin with Rock, End with Water; and most recently Abandoned Quarry: New and Selected Poems, winner of the 2012 Southeastern Independent Booksellers Alliance Book Award for Poetry.  Lane is a 2014 inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors.

Pat Conroy and Catherine Seltzer Talk and Signing, Sat., May. 9

Join us, Sat., May. 9, 1 pm, as Pat Conroy and Catherine Seltzer discuss and sign copies of Seltzer’s book, Understanding Pat Conroy (USC Press, hb., 160 pp., $40). Tickets are $55 and include a hardback copy signed by Conroy and Seltzer.

Buy tickets here.

This fun and lively discussion of the autobiographical and creative impulses that drive Conroy’s writing life will take place at the Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St., downtown Charleston.  A book signing at nearby Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., will follow the talk. 

Can’t make it? Pre-order signed copies of Understanding Pat Conroy plus all of Pat’s books here.


About the book: A must-have for all Conroy collectors, this is the first book of criticism written on the leading figure of late-twentieth-century Southern literature. Understanding Pat Conroy editor Catherine Seltzer engages in an in-depth consideration of Conroy and his work, employing his biography to illuminate many of the themes and characters that define both his work and the Southern literary tradition he helped build. Conroy has written eleven books: novels, memoirs, an essay collection, a cookbook; but Seltzer’s is the first in-depth study of his life and work. 

“Pat Conroy is the only writer I know who is as passionate about rage as he is about tenderness, and that is what Catherine Seltzer’s profoundly insightful book tells us.”—Terry Kay

Understanding Pat Conroy is full of intelligence and insights that will deepen any reader’s comprehension and appreciation of Conroy’s works.”—Katherine Clark


Catherine Seltzer is an associate professor of English and women’s studies at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, is the author of Elizabeth Spencer’s Complicated Cartographies: Reimagining Home, the South, and Southern Literary Production.


How will the signing work?

Before the event, all ticket holders will also receive, via e-mail, a signing ticket with your group number on it. Groups will be determined based on order of purchase (i.e. tickets purchased in March are in first groups). Groups will be admitted to the signing every hour. You must have a ticket to atttend the signing.

Can I get my copy of Understanding Pat Conroy inscribed?


Can I buy other Conroy books to be signed?

Hardback copies of all of Conroy’s books as well as additional copies of Understanding Pat Conroy will be available for purchase.

Can I bring my own Pat Conroy book?

You may bring one (1) total outside book total for Pat to sign.

I don’t want to wait in line, can I still get a signed book?

Yes, you can pre-order signed copies here. We are unable to make personal inscriptions for pre-ordered books.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Yes, plus the email with your signing grouping.




Charleston Insider’s Weekend, Mary Alice Monroe & Margaret Thornton, Fri. May 1

Come meet Charleston authors Mary Alice Monroe (The Summer Girls) and Margaret Thornton (Charleston) at a special book signing and champagne and Holy City Beers tasting as a part of the Charleston Insider’s Weekend.charlestoninsiderweekend


Margaret Thornton -- author photoCharleston a novel by Thornton -- jacket cover

Margaret Bradham Thornton is the editor of Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, for which she received the Bronze ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award for Autobiography/Memoir and the C. Hugh Holman Prize for the best volume of southern literary scholarship, given by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Paris Review, World Literature Today, The Seattle Review, Theatre History Studies, and The Times Literary Supplement. She is a native of Charleston, a graduate of Princeton University, and currently resides in Florida.

mary alice monroe 2014 for webthesummersend

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.

Kwame Alexander, The Crossover. Newbery Medal Celebration, Tues., May 5.

Join us, Tues., May 5, at 5 pm as we celebrate Kwame Alexander, winner of the Newbery Medal for The Crossover (HMH, hb., 240 pp., $17).



“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering, ” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

Kwame Alexander is a poet and author of eighteen books. His other works include the award-winning children’s picture book Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, recently optioned as a children’s television show, and the Junior Library Selection, “He Said She Said,” a YA novel. Alexander believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his Book-in-a-Day literacy program which has created more than 3,000 student authors at 69 schools. Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded. 

James Scott, Target Tokyo, April 16th, pre-order now!

Pre-order your copy of local author James Scott’s Target Tokyo (WW Norton, hb, 672 pp, $35) now! 


Based on scores of never-before-published records drawn from archives across four continents as well as new interviews with survivors, Target Tokyo is World War II history of the highest order: a harrowing adventure story that also serves as a pivotal reexamination of one of America’s most daring military operations.

In December 1941, as American forces tallied the dead at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered with his senior military counselors to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo. Four months later, on April 18, 1942, sixteen U.S. Army bombers under the command of daredevil pilot Jimmy Doolittle lifted off from the deck of the USS Hornet on a one-way mission to pummel the enemy’s factories, refineries, and dockyardsand then escape to Free China. For Roosevelt, the raid was a propaganda victory, a potent salve to heal a wounded nation. In Japan, outraged over the deaths of innocent civilians—including children—military leaders launched an ill-fated attempt to seize Midway that would turn the tide of the war. But it was the Chinese who suffered the worst, victims of a retaliatory campaign by the Japanese Army that claimed an estimated 250,000 lives and saw families drowned in wells, entire towns burned, and communities devastated by bacteriological warfare.james_scott

James Scott is an award-winning writer and former reporter and investigative journalist with The Post and CourierScott is a recipient of the McClatchy Company President’s Award and was named the 2003 Journalist of the Year by the South Carolina Press Association. Wofford College honored Scott as its 2005 Young Alumnus of the Year. From 2006-2007 he was a Nieman Fellow for Journalism at Harvard University. In additon to Target Tokyo, Scott is the author of The Attack on the Liberty,  which won the prestigious 2010 Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Excellence in Naval Literature, and The War Below, both with Simon & Schuster. He is at work on a fourth book on the February 1945 Battle for Manila.  Scott lives with his wife and two children in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Clay Rice returns to BBB April 2!

Renowned silhouette artist Clay Rice will be back at Blue Bicycle Books Thurs., April. 2, 3–6 pm.  He will be cutting silhouettes and signing his books, The Lonely Shadow (hb., $17.95), The Stick (hb,. $16.95), Mama Let’s Make a Moon (hb, $16.95).

Clay Rice -- silhouette artist -- with Kid
Clay Rice with kid for rite aidTaught by his grandfather, Carew Rice, Clay is a 21st century folk artist and Lowcountry treasure. Just watching him cut a child’s silhouette in under five minutes is a performance in itself. You’ll be amazed when he captures a recognizable profile of your squirming two-year-old in less time than it takes to get her shoes on. His national touring schedule keeps him on the road often, cutting more than 10,000 children’s silhouettes a year, so events back home in Charleston are rare!

clayricesillPersonal silhouettes start at $42 for two copies. We expect slots to fill up quickly; to book an appointment, please call us at 843.722.2666. 

Bill Thompson, Art & Craft. Thurs., Apr. 23.

Join us, Thurs., Apr. 23, 5-7 p.m. as Bill Thompson, signs copies of his new book, Art and Craft. (USC, pb., 304 pp $25). 



Art and Craft presents the hand-picked fruit of Bill Thompson’s three decades covering writers and writing as book review editor of the Post and Courier. Beginning with a foreword by Charleston novelist Josephine Humphreys, this collection is a compendium of interviews featuring some of the most distinguished novelists and nonfiction writers in America and abroad, including Tom Wolfe, Pat Conroy, Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Bragg, and Anthony Bourdain, as well as many South Carolinians. With ten thematic sections ranging from the Southern Renaissance, literature, biography, and travel writing to crime fiction and Civil War history, Art and Craft also includes a sampling of Thompson’s reviews.


Bill Thompson was a book review editor, film critic and columnist, arts writer, and travel writer for the Post and Courier from 1980 to 2012. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a former sportswriter in Virginia and Florida, he has won numerous awards for his writing. In his retirement Thompson frequently reviews and writes for Kirkus Reviews, the Post and Courier, and Charleston Style and Design. He lives in Charleston.