Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Touring in St. Louis--Icing on the Red Velvet Cake

Working with Lydia's House, I arranged a group of signings here in St. Louis to help raise money for this worthy cause. Lydia's House is a shelter for victims of domestic violence. I first became aware of them when I noticed a little display at Jazzercise with a flock of really, really cute pins. I chose a haunted house with a tiny bat flying around it, paid my money, and read about Lydia's House and how it functioned as temporary shelter for battered women and their kids.

Since the theme of Make, Take, Murder is domestic violence, I emailed Lydia's House and asked how I could help them.

Yesterday we held a champagne and hors d'oevre signing at Mary Pillsbury Fine Jewelry, located on the bottom level of LeChateau. I mention the bottom level because you get to step into this neat wrought iron elevator to travel to the upper levels, the kind shown in the movie The King's Speech. And guess what? That particular elevator in LeChateau came from the 1904 World's Fair that was held in St. Louis. A lovely bit of history preserved and kept functional.

The crowd at Mary's was enthusiastic, and Mary is totally wonderful. That's me behind the big desk at Mary's. Isn't it divine? We sold a lot of books. In fact, we sold too many books. Later that night when I was signing at Pudd'nhead Books, Nikki Furrer told me we were really running low--and here I am on Sunday, dressed and ready for ANOTHER event, this one at the Dream House and Tea Room in Ballwin, MO. So we might have to pre-sell books, have people agree to pick their books up later, and have me sign bookplates that can be adhered in the books. That way people can both get a personalized book and help Lydia's House.

Tomorrow I go across the river to O'Fallon, for a lunchtime signing with my dear friend Ann Farnen at her store Scrapbook Factory. You see, this only LOOKS like a book tour. Actually it's a grand opportunity to spend time with old friends. Mary and I, her husband and mine, once spent her birthday in New York City. Nikki sold books for me when my mother died, and told me not to worry about a thing, that she'd coordinate everything--and bless her heart, she did. I've been visiting the Dream House and Tea Room for years as a patron, so it'll be "old home" for me to be there. Ann Farnen taught my son Michael to operate her die cut machine when he was eight years old and restless while on a road trip to visit my grandmother.

So all of these wonderful women have been an integral part of my life for years. Getting to sign books and raise money for a worthy charity is icing on my red velvet cake!


Sarita said...

This sounds like a wonderful trip. Nikki sounds like a sister rather than a friend. Thank God for women who hold us up when we need it most.

I hope you enjoy yourself. Love it that you're helping a worthy cause!

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, it sounds like your trip is a big success. It's great that it gives you a chance to see old friends.

Dru said...

I love that you can mix business with pleasure and you've outsold your books. Cool!
Enjoy your tour.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

We did another signing today, and we had to take orders for books. The best part is the sense that I'm helping a worthy cause. I met a lot of the Lydia's House volunteers today--neat, neat ladies.

Linda O. Johnston said...

What a delightful sounding book tour, Joanna--and for a wonderful cause!