This week I had my first experience with a book club. I've never belonged to a book club, never attended a meeting. To tell the truth, I was a little intimidated by the whole idea of a book club - especially one that had read my book!
Let me give you a little background: I got a call a few months back from a local lady named Marcy Taylor. Marcy, I have found, is a huge fan of books and writers, and something of a force of nautre. She told me she likes to support local writers, and buys books by every local writer, even if it isn't something she will read.
Marcy has a system for what she reads. "If you're under 50," she explained, "you have to give a book 50 pages. Over 50, you subtract your age from 100, and that's how many pages you have to give it. I'm 85," she said with a little chuckle, "so I only have to give a book 15 pages."
Apparently, she gave SINK TRAP 15 pages and then more, until she had finished the book. She liked it well enough to give several copies as gifts, and to suggest it to her book club as a monthly pick.
Then she invited me to join them for their monthly meeting.
I have to tell you, it was a strange feeling to walk into a group of strangers, and have every one of them carrying a copy of my book!
Some of the women I recognized. After all, in a town of 7,000 you see everybody at the grocery store or the coffee shop, or somewhere. But none of them were people I would say I knew, yet they all knew me, through my words and my characters and my stories.
Colleen, the esteemed first reader, went long as wingwoman (hey, if a guy has a wingman, can't a gal have a wingwoman?) and support system - for which I will be eternally grateful. (I really own you lunch for this one, C!) It made facing that room of strangers easier with a friend there to help me out.
Not that they weren't friendly. They were. They came armed with questions about how the books got written, how they got sold, why did I write mystery, what was my writing schedule like -- and they listened to the answers, laughed at my lame jokes, and generally made me feel like a real celebrity.
But that wasn't all. There was a SINK TRAP theme for the entire event, and our hostesses - Marcy, Pattee and Patty (I think, there were a lot of new people to sort out) - went above and beyond in the creative department. Everything, including our lunch, was an inside joke for fans of Georgie and her friends.
The morning started with cookies and coffee, but not just cookies - broach cookies! Cut in fanciful shapes, some with "windows" of melted hard candy, the cookies were decorated wtih miniature jelly beans to resemble tiny jewels. There were name tags, carefully printed with a little piece of art from the book cover (mine had the picture of Buddha - has to Buddha, Daisy wouldn't sit still long enough for a picture), and a font made up of pieces of pipe.
But that wasn't all. Lunch came in tidy Tupperware-like boxes, which had been neatly stacked in the refrigerator, though they swear Sandra hadn't been anywhere near the kitchen. Inside each box was a lovely combination of chips, fruit, vegetables, sandwiches - including egg salad! - and cookies. The napkin had been carefully rolled and slipped inside a napkin ring made of a short piece of PVC pipe.
The best part, though, was the toolbox.
And, bless their hearts, they all said they would read the next book.
A writer can't ask for better than that!!
Critical praise for Christy!
For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings
For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance, FreshFiction.com"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner, Bookreview.com
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" - CozyLibrary.com