This month I did my first Arts & Crafts Festival. Was it a success? Well, I did see people I haven’t seen since high school (I’m not saying how long ago that was, but it was decades). Back then my mom was a member of the Zonta Club and worked their Arts & Crafts Festival. Being originally from Pascagoula, I thought it would be the perfect blend of coming home as a not-quite-famous author.
First, I gathered everything I needed. I had a card table and the cloth my grandmother had hand-embroidered to cover it. Of course, I had a chair, candy to hand out, and of my latest book Crescent Moon, a romantic suspense set in New Orleans, which is just a hop, skip and jump from Pascagoula. I planned to give away a $15 gift card to Amazon. Copies of my book cover encased a Kleenex box, the perfect drop box for the registration forms. I had a stand for my book. I could make change since I only accepted cash. I had everything I needed, I thought.
The people on my left had two booths filled with painted wood pumpkins and witches. The people on my right had Alabama aprons. If you are from the South, you know Alabama has the most dedicated fans. These people eat, drink and sleep Alabama football.
And did I say they had tents? Oh yes, they had tents. Everyone had tents, so I was surrounded on all sides by pumpkins and Alabama. Did I tell you I didn’t have a tent? Well, I didn’t, so here I was at this tiny table between two overflowing, very popular tents. I looked like an ant hill between two mountains. Several of my Facebook friends who knew I was scheduled for a signing couldn’t find me.
And did I say the first week in October is like August in the South? It was probably in the 90’s and not a cloud in the sky for shade. I had a battery-operated fan, but to my dismay, the air it put out was very little and hot. I did have an LSU umbrella, which I eventually had to use to cover my sunburned feet.
That was the agony. The ecstasy made up for all the agony.
I sold my first book to a man, and one I didn’t know.
People stopped by even though I felt very pathetic with my little table. We talked about everything, including my book.
The few times I mentioned my real name, someone recognized it. I heard “Are you the Patricia who graduated from Pascagoula High?”
“Sssh. Don’t say that so loud.”
“Are you the Patricia who lived in that big white house?”
And then we would reminiscence. Several old friends and I made plans to meet in the next couple of months.
The pumpkins next to me were so cute, I had to buy the one with a pacifier in its mouth. It’s outside my house right now. I don’t cook, and they didn’t have a LSU apron, so that was a good thing.
And at the end of the day, I had sold 14 novels. Not my goal of 20, but I was very happy. And tired. And dirty. I couldn’t wait to go to Momma’s, take a shower and have a Bozo’s shrimp po’boy. All in all, it was worth every minute of it. I can’t wait until next year. I’ll have a tent by then.
Here’s the back blurb for Crescent Moon. I hope you find it “enticing and seductive.”
Sinner or saint?
When Celine St. Pierre is murdered under the canopy of oaks on St. Charles Avenue, questions arise about this New Orleans sainted woman, and Assistant District Attorney Claressa Dupré vows to find the answers. Top of her list of suspects is the sexy Texan, West Morgan, IV.
Wealthy oil baron Weston Morgan, IV arrived in New Orleans on a mission to return to Texas what Celine St. Pierre stole from him and his family. But the woman’s death throws a monkey wrench in the works and pins him as the top suspect in the murder investigation. Further complicating his life, is the beautiful but determined Clarissa Dupré, whom he can’t seem to get close enough to or far enough from.
As the investigation spirals out of control, Clarissa and Morgan find that nothing is easy in The Big Easy.