Terri-Lynne DeFino brings us The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses)

Join us Tuesday September 25th at 7:00pm for a very special night with Connecticut author Terri-Lynne DeFino as she discusses and signs her latest book, The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses). For more information, or to purchase the book, click HERE.

About the book:

After famous author Alfonse Carducci goes to a retirement home, he finds that he suffers from writer’s block, but he forms a friendship with a woman who was severely crippled in an accident and finds a muse who inspires him to write again.

“DeFino’s latest novel is a tale that emphasizes that second chances, artistic redemption and true love — in all its forms — can come at any time and any age. DeFino has a unique gift for language that captures the nostalgia and still-sharp wit of her aging artists perfectly.”– RT Book Reviews

“Rediscover the sheer joy of writing…intriguing characters help keep the reader engaged.”– Booklist

About the author: 

Terri-Lynne DeFino was born and raised in New Jersey, but escaped to the wilds of Connecticut, where she still lives with her husband and her cats. She spends most days in her loft, in her woodland cabin along the river, writing about people she’s never met. Other days, she can be found slaying monsters with her grandchildren. If you knock on her door, she’ll most likely be wearing a tiara. She’ll also invite you in and feed you, because you can take the Italian girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey Italian out of the girl.

Book signing with Anne O’Brien Carelli

We welcome Anne O’Brien Carelli to Byrd’s Books for a signing and discussion of her new book, Skylark and Wallcreeper on Saturday October 20th at 1:00pm. To pre-order a book for signing, click HERE.

About the book:

Carelli alternates contemporary and historical fiction in this novel about 12-year-old Lily and her 80-year-old, French-born maternal grandmother, Collette. The contemporary story, told by Lily, takes place in New York City over nine days in fall 2012, during Hurricane Sandy. The historical narrative offers a third-person retelling of Collette’s undertakings as a 12-year-old member of the French Resistance during WWII, lasting from winter through late summer 1944 in the South of France. Lily and Collette have always been close, and when Sandy forces evacuation of the Queens nursing home where Collette lives, Lily is by her side, helping to move and resettle residents. (Lily’s anxious mother, stuck in Manhattan, communicates worriedly via cellphone.) Interspersed with the sometimes frightening challenges of the relocation are stories of Collette’s dangerous wartime work with another young woman. When Lily loses Collette’s antique fountain pen, mysteriously precious to her grandmother, she embarks on a hunt for a replacement, which serendipitously takes Lily on an adventure in which she learns the details of her grandmother’s wartime history. While the novel doesn’t quite succeed in building suspense, and the heartwarming ending strains credibility, Carelli realistically depicts the warm, complex relationships between daughter, mother, and grandmother. Ages 8–12.

About the author:

Anne O’Brien Carelli is the author of adult nonfiction and the picture book Amina’s New Friends. She has always been fascinated by the French Resistance, and studied history at Case Western Reserve University. For her PhD, Anne researched psychology of the gifted. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Anne lives in the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York. This is her debut middle grade novel.

Review quotes:

Kirkus: “A quick-moving two-in-one success.”
“The wholesome contemporary survival tale combines surprisingly well with a spy thriller packed with invisible ink, an exploding cigarette case, and all kinds of secret gadgets.”
Publishers Weekly: Skylark and Wallcreeper takes 12-year-old Lily “on an adventure in which she learns the details of her grandmother’s wartime history”
“Realistically depicts the warm, complex relationships between daughter, mother, and grandmother.”

The Kiss of the Sweet Scottish Rain on Wednesday October 24th at 7pm

Join us for a very special author event with Robert McWilliams as he discusses his new book, The Kiss of the Sweet Scottish Rain: A Walk from Cape Wrath to the Solway Firth.

About the book;

From Cape Wrath in the lonely northwest to a muddy estuary overlooking England, The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain takes the reader on a walk across Scotland. For Rob McWilliams-Scots-born but exiled since childhood-the walk is an obstinate ambition, and the start of a new direction in life.

McWilliams crosses wild and beautiful landscapes, meets an ever-changing cast of companions, and passes through communities from remote hamlets to the smiling, but rough-edged, city of Glasgow. Around every corner, he explores Scotland’s turbulent history and unique cultural and natural heritage, from the Gaelic language, to the fearsome Highland midge, and how the Stone of Destiny-an ancient coronation symbol – could now reside in an unassuming Glasgow pub.

Struggling with terrain, injury, atrocious weather, and above all his own fragile confidence, McWilliams weaves into his narrative the threads of his life that led to the journey, and discovers that the rewards of adventure are rarely those that were anticipated.

The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain informs and entertains. As well as a ben or a castle, there is usually a joke just around the next turn in the trail.

About the author: 

Robert McWilliams was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but moved with his journalist father’s job to the south of England at the age of three. Rob graduated from Wadham College, Oxford, with a BA Hons. in Modern History. After university, he worked as a tour guide and English teacher in France and Spain, before joining Reuters news agency in London. Rob spent 16 years at Reuters as a business manager in Hong Kong, Japan, the US, Venezuela and Brazil.

For nearly 20 years, Rob has lived in Connecticut with his wife and daughters, and is now a US citizen. Tired of corporate life, he quit his job to fulfill a stubborn ambition to walk the length of Scotland. He has contributed the Taking a Hike column to local newspapers every month for five years. Taking a Hike placed second in the general column category of the 2017 Connecticut Press Club awards. Rob has also written for A.T. Journeys, the official magazine of the Appalachian Trail, and Ctvisit.com. The Kiss of Sweet Scottish Rain is his first book.

Rob enjoys hiking, and travel off the beaten track. He does consulting work on information privacy, and volunteers with the Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Trail and other outdoor causes.

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