Annie's Book Stop of Worcester

The little bookstore that's bigger on the inside

 

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on romance author Tessa Baily.  Tessa Bailey is a New York Times Bestselling writer of spicy and swoony contemporary romance. She lives on Long Island with her husband and daughter combatting her insomnia with true crime podcasts and browsing Airbnb’s she will never actually book.

 

Tessa, Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

 https://www.tessabailey.com please!

 

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

On Instagram: @tessabaileyisanauthor and on TikTok@authortessabailey

 

 

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from It Happened One Summer?

 

 I write blue collar heroes—you have to love men who work with their hands! I specialize in heroes that are trustworthy and devoted to the heroine upon meeting her. As far as the women I write, you want to be best friends with them. They have career goals, they’re loyal and have a good sense of humor. My favorite pairing in romance is opposites attract, like in It Happened One Summer with a sea captain and a pampered socialite.

 

 

What was the inspiration for It Happened One Summer? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

 

 It Happened One Summer was inspired by the television show Schitt’s Creek, specifically Alexis Rose. I loved her character and the way she overcame so many people having low expectations of her. My heroine in It Happened One Summer, Piper, has a similar issue and she’s also a fish out of water in a small town, stripped of money and fame, having to rely on her own grit for once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

 

I loved writing my hero Brendan because he’s so steadfast and dependable. He’s not a modern man. He’s very much a throwback to a past generation of men that worked on the sea and endured harsh living conditions as a matter of tradition. He does what’s expected of himself without complaint and when he meets Piper, he states his intentions and pursues her one hundred percent. No waffling. I think that’s something women readers can appreciate.

 

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

 

Write like your mother isn’t going to read it. That’s the advice I give to most romance writers. I think a lot of us tend to hold back worried we’ll offend someone, but art can’t be tempered or watered down. Write what you want to read—someone else will want to read it, too!

 

 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Tessa!

 

 

 

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on author Jordan Morris. I am going to let Jordan explain what it is he writes and does in my first question!

 

Hi, Jordan. Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?

 

Hello! I’m Jordan Morris, a writer and podcaster living in Los Angeles. I created and co-wrote the new sci-fi comedy graphic novel Bubble and the podcast on which it is based. I’m also the co-host of the comedy chat podcast Jordan Jesse Go!

 

 

Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

The Bubble graphic novel is available wherever you get books (for instance: Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester) and the podcasts are available at MaximumFun.org or via your podcast app of choice.

 

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

All my info and links to social media can be found at jordanmorris.net

 

 

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Bubble?

 

Bubble is a sci-fi comedy featuring monsters, robots, gore, sex jokes and friendship. It’s a satirical story set in a near-future where people live inside protective bubbles that keep them safe from carnivorous aliens. To make ends meet our main characters take part in a kind of life-or-death version of the gig economy. They’re a mis-matched group of friends who don’t always see eye-to-eye but love each other very much.

 

We wanted to create a funny sci-fi story where the humor came from the characters, not from lampooning sci-fi itself. We LOVE Spaceballs but our story is closer to something like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

 

Our chill-dude-bro character Van has always been simultaneously fun and frustrating. He’s a hyper-confident alpha male who loves yoga and hacky-sacking.  In the podcast version of the story he was just kind of a joke-bucket of bro-tropes without much inner life. Sarah Morgan (my co-writer) wanted to use the comic adaptation to explore him a little more. I won’t spoil it but she did a great job creating a backstory for him that explains why he is like he is.

 

 

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

 

Getting to create a graphic novel is literally a childhood dream come true. When I was a kid I devoured comics but never felt like they were something I could be a part of making. They seemed like something a magical wizard made! Luckily I got to work with an awesome team on this. Tony Cliff (our artist and adapter) is an amazing pro. I loved his Delilah Dirk series before we got paired up to work on Bubble. Natalie Reiss who did our colors brought so much life and pop to the story. I love this team and I’m so glad they were there to hold my hand through my first comics experience.

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions, Jordan!

 

 

 

 

This week’s new arrivals are again a great mixture of genres. We start with two James Patterson thrillers, DEADLY CROSS, an Alex Cross thriller by James Patterson and THE JAILHOUSE LAWYER by James Patterson and Nancy Allen. Add two biographies, WHERE TOMORROWS AREN’T PROMISED: A MEMOIR OF SURVIVAL AND HOPE by Carmelo Anthony and D. Watkins, and THE CONTRARIAN: PETER THIEL AND SILICON VALLEY’S PURSUIT OF POWER  by Max Chafkin. Follow with two Fiction books, BEWILDERMENT by Richard Powers, and THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by Ruth Ozeki. Mix in EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE, an Epic Fantasy by Jay Christoff, and top it off with DAUGHTER OF THE MORNING STAR by Craig Johnson, a Longmire Mystery, and you have a recipe for a great September of reading!

 

 

 

 

As always, thanks for making our shelves your destination.

 

 

 

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Children’s Book author Kate Messner. Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books for kids who wonder, too. Her titles include award-winning picture books like Over and Under the Snow, How to Read a Story, and New York Times bestseller Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor; novels like All the Answers, Breakout, and Chirp; engaging nonfiction like The Next President and Tracking Pythons;  the Fergus and Zeke easy reader series, the popular Ranger in Time chapter books, and the new History Smashers illustrated nonfiction series, aimed at unraveling historical myths and sharing hidden truths. Learn more at her website, www.katemessner.com

 

Kate, my first question to you is, where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

My books should be available at your favorite bookstore or library, and signed copies are always available at my local independent bookseller, The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, NY.

 

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

Readers can learn more about my books at my website, www.katemessner.com and follow me on Twitter @KateMessner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor?

 

I write a wide variety of books for young readers, from nature picture books to historical adventures to engaging novels and nonfiction for older readers, but the one thing all of my books have in common is a sense of curiosity. I love the way kids have so many questions about the world, and my goal is always to invite them to wonder. That’s highlighted in my new picture book biography, Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor (which illustrates how Dr. Fauci was once just a curious kid, too!) and my History Smashers series, which takes a closer looks at the myths we sometimes learn about history. Our newest book in the series, History Smashers: The American Revolution, also shares some great stories about heroes who got left out of history books.

 

 

What kind of research went into writing this book?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

 

When I was doing research for our picture book about Dr. Fauci, I started by reading everything I could find that was already available, online and in print – from news stories to interviews and speeches from Dr. Fauci himself. Then I reached out to Dr. Fauci’s office at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to request a Zoom interview, so I could ask him questions about the parts of his life that weren’t covered in those other materials. It was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in America, and I realized how busy he was, but I also know how important education is to public health, so I hoped he might find time to help me share his story – and some facts about vaccines – with kids. I was able to do two interviews with Dr. Fauci – one as research for the book and another to talk directly with kids about how vaccines work. Readers can watch that interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pyye1HtWdQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

 

My favorite thing about being a writer is the research and discovery that comes with writing books for young readers. I get to learn new things every single day, and then I get to share that sense of wonder and discovery with kids who are just as curious about the world as I am.

 

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

 

I always offer two pieces of advice to aspiring writers, no matter their age. The first is to read. And read and read and read. Nothing makes you a stronger writer like reading, because the more stories we read, the more we come to understand how stories work and appreciate the music of language. And my second piece of advice is to carry a notebook. I’d be lost without my writer’s notebook. It’s where I collect ideas for stories and tiny details that might find their way into books someday. Keeping a notebook teaches us to pay attention, which is not only important for writing but also a lovely way to go through life.

 

 

Thanks very much, Kate, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions!

 

 

 

 

There are several general (not sub) genres crossing my path this week as the New Arrivals come in. Speaking of Generals, two of the books deal with Generals in some ways – TAKING PARIS: THE EPIC BATTLE by Martin Dugard deals with military history, and TRAVELS WITH GEORGE: IN SEARCH OF WASHINGTON AND HIS LEGACY by Nathan Philbrick of course talks about a great General in U.S. History (Not to mention our first President!). What could be more thrilling than that? APPLES NEVER FALL by Liane Moriarty; DENIAL: A NOVEL by Beverley McLachin; and ENEMY AT THE GATES by Vince Flynn/Kyle Mills, our three new thrillers.  If you want a taste of something else, there’s I TAKE MY COFFEE BLACK  by Tyler Merritt  and Jimmy Kimmel, a biography; EDGEWATER ROAD by Shelley Shepard Gray, which is an Amish mystery/romance, (It’s only one genre, though, so I’ll call it religious fiction); and THE WISDOM OF CROWDS by Joe Abernathy, a fantasy.

 

 

 

 

As Always, thank you for making our shelves your destination.

 

 

 

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Suspense/Thriller author Chris Hauty. Chris, for readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Savage Road? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

 

My latest book, SAVAGE ROAD, is the second in the series. Like the first book, DEEP STATE, it follows the adventures of Hayley Chill, a young woman working in the White House during a crisis that involves escalating cyberattacks on the US. There are many twists and turns in the story and the less I reveal here the better. I spent three decades in Hollywood writing movie scripts and bring a lot of lessons learned in that arena to my book-writing. SAVAGE ROAD is a fast read, very cinematic in its telling, and a true thrill-ride. Hayley is unlike any character you’ve seen before, a young woman who is driven by very identifiable values. But she is not without her flaws and character issues. The bottom-line with my books is that they are fun! The third book in the series, STORM RISING, comes out in May, 2022.

 

 

What was the inspiration for Savage Road? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

 

All of my books draw from real-life news stories that are topical and provide a springboard for my imagination to draw those actual incidents to their most extreme conclusions. I hope to inspire my readers to think beyond what they see on television or read in their newspapers. Thus far, and probably for the foreseeable future, the Hayley Chill series will focus on threats that are domestic as opposed to the more predictable foreign actors found in other political or military thrillers. I chose this focus because I find it interesting and hope readers will, too. That not many other authors are pursuing these ideas just makes it all the more attractive to me!

 

 

 

 

 

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

 

As I mentioned above, the third book in the Hayley Chill series comes out in May, 2022. In the meantime, I’m talking with some awesome collaborators here in Los Angeles about adapting the third book, STORM RISING, for film. I’m also noodling with an idea for a whole new book series in the crime thriller genre.

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process? 

 

By far, the best time for me in the process of completing a novel is writing the first draft. Outlining is the hardest. Editing/polishing takes the longest and is probably the least interesting for me.

 

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

 

 If you don’t love writing, don’t do it. And I mean really love it. I literally don’t want to do anything else. Two weeks away from a project and I start to feel seriously out of sorts. It needs to be a passion. Other than that, I’d just advise a new writer to not get hung up on one project too long. Keep moving. Once the material feels stale to you, it’s time to move on.

 

 

What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?

 

 I swam the Alcatraz ‘Sharkfest’ Swim four times over the course of fifteen years and came in third place in my age group each time. This race draws hundreds of entrants. What are the odds?

 

 

What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?

 

Swim, read, ride my motorcycle, hike, movies, and begging for facetime with my two sons is about all I have time for outside of my work! I have a pretty strict 9-to-6 writing schedule, but when I’m not at my desk it’s definitely time to play.

 

 

What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

 

I’ve converted a bedroom in my house to a home office that has a lovely view of the Verdugo Mountain here in Chevy Chase Canyon, Glendale, California. Paintings by one of my good buddies and photographs of my two sons watch over me while I work. That’s pretty much all I need to work other than a cup of coffee or lime-flavored soda water. I consider myself to be pretty fortunate to have a setup like mine.

 

 

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

 

I almost always write to music streamed over my computer, either via Spotify or Tidal. More often than not, the songs I played have no or little vocal presence. Whenever I hear a track that I like, I add it to a “Writing” mix on Spotify. That mix has 190 songs currently, mostly “alternative” music from artists such as Chris Bear, LCD Soundsystem, Damien Jurado, Shigeto, Zoot Woman, Kikagaku Moyo, Jon Kennedy, Dntel, and, of course, Let’s Eat Grandma.

 

 

Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

Check Annie’s Book Stop first, always! Or support the local independent bookstore in your area; if any of my books aren’t in stock, they’ll be happy to order a copy for you. They can be found at Barnes & Noble, as well as Amazon. If you’d like a signed copy, they can often be found at Diesel Bookstore in Brentwood, CA.

 

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

My website is chrishauty.com. I am on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, in all three cases @chrishauty.

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions for us Chris!

 

 

 

If you see what’s coming across our new arrivals shelves this week you will see some very diverse biographies, fiction books, and historical literature. To start with, there are three biographies, BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY: A MEMOIR by Qian Julie Wang, an Asian American biography; HIS TRUTH IS MARCHING ON: JOHN LEWIS AND THE POWER OF HOPE by Jon Meacham, a biography about black Civil Rights activist and U.S. Representative John Lewis; and THE MAGICIAN by Colm Toibin, about the Author, Thomas Mann.  Then we have L.A. WEATHER: A NOVEL by María Amparo Escandón, Hispanic American fiction; THE MAD WOMEN’S BALL: A NOVEL by Victoria Mas , historic French Literature; and MATRIX by Lauren Groff, Historical Fiction. GREAT, GLORIOUS GODDAMN OF IT ALL by Josh Ritter and BEAUTIFUL WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU? By Sally Rooney are both fiction books, and THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED: A NOVEL by Lisa Jewell is a Thriller.

 

 

 

As always, thank you for making our shelves your destination.

 

Photo by Victoria Blewe

 

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on psychological thriller author Chris Bohjalian. Chris Bohjalian is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of twenty-two books, including The Red Lotus, Midwives, and The Flight Attendant, which is an HBO Max limited series starring Kaley Cuoco. His other books include The Guest Room; Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast; and The Double Bind. His novels Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers were made into movies, and his work has been translated into more than thirty-five languages. He is also a playwright (Wingspan and Midwives), and lives in Vermont.

 

Chris, how can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

I can be found at chrisbohjalian.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Litsy, and Goodreads, @chrisbohjalian.

 

 

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Hour Of the Witch?

 

My work walks a tightrope between heartbreak and dread.  A lot of dread.  My novels are character-driven slow burns.  Hour Of the Witch is a perfect example: in 1662 Boston, Mary Deerfield has to escape an abusive marriage – and try to avoid being hanged as witch.  It was inspired, in part, by the first divorce in North America for domestic violence.

 

 

What kind of research went into writing this book?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

 

The Puritans had atrocious table manners. They drank beer like it was Spring Break in Miami, they often used trenchers – mini-pig’s troughs two or three people could share – instead of plates, and they didn’t approve of forks: the utensil slowly gaining favor in Europe then had but three tines and resembled, in the opinion of some Puritans, the Devil’s pitchfork. (They were not incorrect: the first forks were terrifying to behold.) 

 

Also, they ate lobster like bologna: it was that common.

 

So, imagine it: no forks, no plates, lots of beer. . .and lobster.  It was a party.

 

 

 

 

 

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

 

Oh, I loved writing from the perspective of Mary Deerfield.  The novel is a third-person subjective novel.  What I enjoyed most was that Mary has one foot firmly in 1662, but another in our present.  She is a woman of her era, that is clear; but she also is a bit of a rebel by 17th century standards – as were all of the women who attempted to divorce their husbands.  And, of course, contemporary readers will recognize the reference when a doctrinaire pedant on Boston’s Court of Assistants calls her “a nasty woman.”

 

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

 

 

I watch so many movie and TV series trailers – two or three a day.  Those impeccably produced “commercials” instantly catapult me into a particular emotional place.  Sometimes, there are one or two trailers I will watch over and over for a specific book to get into the right head space.  They inspire me and rev my engine.

 

 

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

 

I write with absolute silence EXCEPT for the purring of Horton the cat in my lap, and the occasional yawn of my dog Jesse in her dog bed behind me.

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Chris!

 

 

 

 

With a hint of cooler air this week, we have some cool genre titles from some great authors, as well as some historical remembrances of horrific times past. New on our shelves is DARK SONG by Christine Feehan, along with MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW by Stephen Graham Jones, winner of the 2021 Shirley Jackson Award. A SLOW FIRE BURNING: A NOVEL by Paula Hawkins, a thriller, and FELONIOUS MONK by William Kotzwinkle, a crime drama come next in our lineup.  To round out the choices we have two Holocaust books, WE SHARE THE SAME SKY: A Memoir of Memory & Migration by Rachael Cerrotti, and THE SISTERS OF AUSCHWITZ: The true story of two Jewish sisters’ resistance in the heart of Nazi territory by Roxane van Iperen.

 

 

 

 

As always, Thank you for making our shelves your destination.

 

Greetings and salutations from Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, the little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside! We’ve been plugging along through some of the hottest weather of the summer, with signs of autumn approaching.  There’s been an uptick in customer traffic looking to finish their school summer reading, and an equal amount of people grabbing beach reads for their last vacation days. In addition, our office desk has been covered with catalogues for Fall 2021 releases, and there are some truly exciting titles on the horizon for September through December.

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Many thanks to everyone who came out and shopped with us for the Tax Free Weekend!  We saw lots of new faces and many old friends. We will be drawing the winners of our raffle for a $50.00 gift certificate later today.

Speaking of students and educators returning to the classroom, a few notes:

  • Our educator’s discount is an additional 10% off all used books, new books, and book titles for special orders. [We can’t offer the additional discount on non-book product, sorry!]  Please show your MTA card, your university employee ID, or a recent paystub to receive the discount at the register. If you are a state-certified day care owner or homeschooler, please show appropriate credentials.
  • We are happy to do bulk ordering for classroom use for paperbacks and hardcovers, either new or used when available from our publisher and wholesaler colleagues.  Unfortunately, that does not include textbooks.  We can on occasion order single copies of textbooks on a case-to-case basis; please contact us for details.
  • We offer a student discount of an additional 10% on new books and used books in-store to those currently enrolled in college or university for undergraduate and graduate studies; please show us an active student ID.

Area-Colleges

Next Monday, August 23rd, we will have a vendor table set up at Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 5pm to 8pm on the Quadrangle during their “Welcome To Worcester Block Party” event for the incoming Class of 2025.  If you’re a student, professor, or parent, come by and say hello!  We’ll have handouts and informational material to share.


As a matter of discussion regarding safety and capacity, we expect to slowly bring back some of our regular in-store events like Spinning Yarns and the Rainbow Readers book discussion group. Group meetings, craft sessions, and in-person author signings had been suspended since March of 2020. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page and our website for updates concerning events.

We can, however, offer you a teaser regarding some of the special events under discussion – we are hoping to host a Spooky Storytime close to Halloween, to offer our annual DOCTOR WHO all-day celebration just before Thanksgiving, and to plan a cluster of events for Small Business Saturday just after Thanksgiving, all of which will have virtual components as well as in-store participation.  Again, stayed tuned!


Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Shirley Jackson Awards, given out for the best in the genres of psychological suspense, horror, and dark fantasy, which were announced at this past weekend’s virtual Readercon.

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NOVEL

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (Saga Press, Gallery Books)

NOVELLA

Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones (Tordotcom Publishing)

NOVELETTE

The Attic Tragedy by J. Ashley-Smith (Meerkat Press)

SHORT FICTION

“Not the Man I Married” by R. A. Busby (Black Petals Issue #93 Autumn, 2020)

SINGLE-AUTHOR COLLECTION

Velocities: Stories by Kathe Koja (Meerkat Press)

EDITED ANTHOLOGY

Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, edited by Lee Murray & Geneve Flynn (Omnium Gatherum)


Have you checked out our YouTube channel?  Are you a subscriber?  You won’t want to miss our fresh content!

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Did you know we have dedicated playlists of our author interviews, readings, and Q & A sessions, organized by genre?  Take a stroll and give a listen to our many special guests!

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We are so grateful to the Worcester community as a whole for continuing to support us here at ABSW, and we are striving to continue to be Worcester’s full-service independent bookstore.  Thank you, as always, for making our shelves your destination.

—-Patty and the staff of Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester

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