It’s Spring… the time when a young girl’s thoughts turn to books. Okay, so I’m not a young girl. And my thoughts are always on books. But that doesn’t change the fact that I had an absolutely wonderful day at the annual Books in Bloom festival in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
For those of you not familiar with Books in Bloom, it is an event made possible by the Carroll and Madison Library System with the help of area sponsors. Held every May on the grounds of the historic Crescent Hotel—billed as “America’s most haunted hotel”—this event features some of America’s most popular authors, as well as newly discovered local talent.
Because there are so many authors in attendance, it is impossible to hear all of their presentations, but they are available to chat with visitors and sign books when not otherwise involved. Even so, I didn’t have a chance to engage with everyone.
The first new-to-me author I encountered this year is local talent from Arkansas, and she has already earned a place among my favorite authors. Amanda McKinney writes what she dubs “sexy mysteries”, and the emphasis is on mystery. I started with her book The Storm, and was immediately hooked and contemplating the rest of her books. Engaging characters and plots full of twists make this author one to watch.
Deborah Crombie, author of the British mysteries featuring Duncan Kincade and Gemma James, was also at this year’s event. As a lover of detective stories, I have no idea how I’ve overlooked her for so long, but I’m happy to report I had her autograph the first book in that series, A Share in Death, and look forward to following these two in their adventures. Who would have imagined a Texas gal would write British mysteries?
For those wanting nonfiction books, David Welky was among this year’s speakers. I picked up a copy of his latest book, A Wretched and Precarious Situation: In Search of the Last Arctic Frontier which chronicles an early 20th century Arctic expedition. Having recently finished In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides, I’m excited to get this book as a companion to that story.
My husband was especially excited to meet Marcus Sakey. Since I’ve apparently been living under a rock for the past several years, this is someone whose work I wasn’t familiar with. I’m told he has several award-winning books, and some movie deals. I really must pay more attention to the world around me. Maybe after I finish reading Afterlife. Which I’m told will also be a movie someday soon.
So if you have the chance next May, make the journey to Books in Bloom–I’ll be there, and there is no telling who we might meet!