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Posts Tagged ‘Flirting With Fifty’

Inquiring readers; Almost a week ago I attended an author’s gathering and book signing in Columbia, MD. The occasion was held at The King’s Contrivance Restaurant, a suitable setting for this lovely get together with Jane Porter and Denise Holcomb, who found the restaurant, invited guests, and kept tabs on RSVPs. I counted around 21 people. You might recognize Denise’s name, for she is a regular visitor to this blog and frequently leaves a comment.

masthead

Jane Porter’s masthead forjaneporter.com. Learn about this NY Times bestselling author’s accomplishments at this site.

I first thought this event was Jane Austen related. Jane Porter’s charming presence and the beauty of the location overcame my brief disappointment when I realized it was not. All the guests were authors, editors, or bloggers and book reviewers, so I was in good company. The event celebrated Jane’s recent release of her latest novel: Flirting With Fifty.

(Hover cursor over images for description.) I had only a short discussion with Ms Porter about her latest publication which deals with a late life romance for contemporary women. This book has been promoted by AARP, a membership organization for people 50 years and older. Her earlier novel in this series, Flirting With Forty, was turned into a successful cable movie. Our talk ranged over the dearth of novels of romance for women over a certain age and how her recent novels addressed the issue, and how women change in outlook and attitude as they mature. I agreed that there was a market and interest for women who had lived past their 20’s and 30’s and learned live’s lessons, both personally and career wise. Jane was gracious to spend a few minutes chatting with me, for there were others who wanted her attention.

denise

Denise Holcomb

I sat at a table with Denise and a friend of hers, who writes romance book reviews. We ordered our lunch. Mine was delicious, starting with a shellfish bisque, a main entree of fruit of the sea with shrimp, calamari and crabmeat, and ended with an English trifle. (I won’t describe the other choices :) When one lives in a mid-Atlantic state near the Chesapeake Bay, one must take advantage of the fresh seafood!}

After our delicious lunch (and a glass of pinot grigio in my case nursed over two hours), Jane Porter spoke to the group. She had already introduced the authors and the editor to her publishing house, Tule Publishing. Porter, among the many novels she has written and published, is also the founder & editorial director of Tule Publishing.

Whew! Where does she find the energy? She also plies homes between Sacramento, CA, and Hawaii, for her husband is a surfer. (Be still my romantic heart.)

menu

The menu with an edible orange and cardamon cookie

One thing I have learned attending Jane Austen related conferences and meetings, and Romance Writers Conferences of America is that getting one’s foot in the door as an author is an arduous ordeal. Once one is successfully published, the work of getting one’s book noticed through publicity and personal appearances starts. It’s a nonstop effort.

jane porter swag

Swag: Free book: Christmas Night; Pink Bag with ‘Read Jane;” “Flirting With Jane” signed book bought with substantial savings; Banana Bread Recipe; sticky note pad, round emery board, and at the top an orange cardamon “cookie” with a frosted image of Jane’s latest published book.

After lunch, Jane talked about her motivation as a writer, which began in her childhood when she wrote stories. Six-seven other authors discussed their passion for writing in various stages of their lives that compelled them to follow that arduous though satisfying road. None said it was easy (believe me, I know), but all sallied forth and found a home in Tule Publishing. 

I left so uplifted with the conversation afterwards and entered my car with gifts in hand. (I purchased Flirting With Fifty at an incredibly low price and had the book signed.) Leaving the meeting sated, I mused about the conversation on my way back over busy throughways and byways. When I arrived home, I realized that I had agreed to review one of my favorite new author’s books from Tule Publishing: Katherine Cowley’s The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception. My review of this mystery series based on the middle sister in the Bennet household — Mary — is scheduled for early September.

Small world.

 

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