After much, much ado -- which explains why I haven't posted here in more than a month -- I am proud to announce the itinerary for the upcoming BERMUDA SCHWARTZ Dark 'n Stormy Tour.
And I'm proud to announce that, in addition to my publisher, St. Martin's Minotaur, I've signed on a corporate sponsor for the tour: Goslings Rum. The Gosling family has been bottling and blending rum in Bermuda since the 1800s and its famed Black Seal rum is the backbone of a Dark 'n Stormy, the national cocktail of Bermuda. You gotta love a country with a national cocktail.
In any event, Gosling's is kindly donating rum for me to use in a judicious manner, and at several stops along the way I'll be making Dark 'n Stormies and serving them to one and all. The other primary ingredient in a Dark 'n Stormy is ginger beer, specifically Barritt's ginger beer, also made in Bermuda. I've got no idea how I'll be getting my hands on that, but something will work itself out. Always does. If not, hell, we'll drink it neat. Just like Zack Chasteen.
The itinerary below is still evolving, so check back to see if dates have been added. Also, double-check with the store about the specific time because I have a hard time keeping it all straight and may have screwed up. And if you have friends or family in the cities I'll be visiting, shoot me their contact information (by email, please, not here) and I'll send them an invitation to join me and drink a little rum.
THE DARK 'N STORMY ITINERARY
Tuesday, Feb. 6
Urban Think! bookstore
This is the Official Publication Day. And I'll be hanging out at this very cool downtown store with owners Bruce and Medea Harris, manager Jim Crescitelli and other Urban Thinkers. Also on board for the evening -- Orlando writer Tom Cavanagh, whose Central Florida-based mystery, HEAD GAMES, was just published by St. Martin's.
Thursday, Feb. 8
The lovely Carla Jiminez has invited me to return to her awesome store. Yes, Dark 'n Stormies will be served. Possible guest appearance by my pal and fellow St. Martin's author James Sheehan ("The Mayor of Lexington Avenue"), who practices law in St. Petersburg on the side.
Saturday, Feb. 10
No rum here, sorry, but I might be making conch fritters if Mimi Sandoval, the district marketing manager for Borders, gives me the go ahead.Stay tuned...
Sunday, Feb. 11
333 S. Park Ave.
Rich and Teresa Palmano have once again decided to throw good sense to the wind and let me hold my Official Publication Party in their wonderful courtyard. There'll be reggae by Kool Vibes, and if you buy a book, then I'll buy you a Dark 'n Stormy.
Thursday, Feb. 15
Bailey's Crossroads, VA
Friday, Feb. 16
Partners & Crime
New York City
Join me for Dark 'n Stormies at this mystery lovers institution on Greenwich Avenue. Earlier in the day, I'll be dropping in at Black Orchid Bookshop and The Mysterious Bookshop.
Sunday, Feb. 18
The Book Cellar
Join me for Dark 'n Stormies and possible sightings of JA Konrath and JD Gordon,
who have gallantly declined to drink rum until after they have finished driving me around town.
Monday, Feb. 19
Murder by the Book
One of the best things about visiting MBTB, in addition to the wonderful hospitality and manager David Thompson's enthusiasm for Florida mystery authors, is that it's right around the corner from Goode's Barbecue and Goode's Seafood. The real dilemman -- deciding which one to hit after the book signing.
Tuesday, Feb. 20
M is for Mystery
San Mateo, CA
Local chapters of the University of Florida Alumni Club and the Parrotheads have both threatened to show up, so this could get ugly. Owner and all-around-great-guy Ed Kaufman will try to keep things under control.
Wednesday, Feb. 21
Santa Barbara, CA
My former stompin' grounds (1996-1999.) I'll be hanging out with friends old and new, including some of the good folks I used to work with at the late, lamented Islands Publishing Co.
Thursday, Feb. 22
Mysteries to Die For
Thousand Oaks, CA
Jane, Deanne and Heidi -- the lovely trio behind Mysteries to Die For -- are so darn nice that I'd like to spend more time here. But sadly, it's just a quick drop-in since I'm catching the red-eye out of LAX in the evening, just after ...
The Mystery Bookstore
I promise that this year I am taking into account the late afternoon LA traffic and won't be an hour late for the signing. But it's worth fighting gridlock to join Bob McCue and crew and to sign the store's legendary booking sheet...I'm already trying to figure out a clever entry that will hold up against the hundreds of others from authors who've visited the store.
Fri.-Sat., Feb. 23-24
South Carolina Book Festival
I'll be on a Saturday panel at what is shaping up to be a great event. Some of my author buds in attendance include James "Zero" Born, Ad Hudler, Michelle Martinez, Mary Anna Evans, Charles Martin, James Sheehan and Matt and Ted Lee. OK, I don't really know Matt and Ted Lee, but I am a giant fan of their food columns in the New York Times Magazine and their cookbook and anyone who can come up with a recipe for boiled peanut soup is fine by me.
Tuesday, Feb. 27
Muse Book Shop
Owner Janet Bollum will have her hands full since James "Zero" Born ("Field of Fire") will also be there. And yes, Dark 'n Stormies are on the agenda...
Wednesday, Feb. 28
Vero Beach Book Center
Yes, another gig with Jim Born. Heck, folks are gonna think we're going steady... The always enchanting Cynthia Grabenhauer helps make this a welcome stop on the book tour.
Thursday, March 1
Murder on the Beach
The fabulous Joanne Sinchuk hosts the equally fabulous Christine Kling and me at her store, which is, of course, the center of the Florida mystery universe.
Friday, March 2
Stay tuned...I'm trying to set up something in Fort Lauderdale/Plantation...especially for all you friends of Randy Nutt and Aqua Moon Adventures.
Saturday, March 3
Books & Books
"Conch Fritter Fest" returns to Mitch Kaplan's most wonderful store. Beware of hot peanut oil!
Sunday, March 4
Well Read Books
1338 SE 17th St.
Owner Donna Mergenhagen's fine shop, near the cruise ship docks, stocks lots o' Florida authors and caters to the nautical crowd. A perfect fit for the likes of Zack Chasteen.
Tuesday, March 6
The Book Basket
108 Company Street
Owner Tammy Lynn has invited me to show up early to sign books and drink Dark 'n Stormies before speaking to the store's mystery book club -- Fowl Play -- and drinking more Dark 'n Stormies.
Wednesday, March 7
Page and Palette
I've heard so much about this great bookstore -- I'm delighted to finally pay a visit. I'll be signing books right before Cassandra King arrives to talk about her newest novel, "The Queen of Broken Hearts."
Thursday, March 8
Adding to the zoo -- the Florida legislature will be in session.
Friday, March 9
Those of you who've read JAMAICA ME DEAD can turn out to enjoy a guest appearance by the real life "Lanny Cumbaa," fictional foul-mouth DEA agent extraoridnaire.
Saturday, March 10
299 Atlantic Blvd.
Atlantic Beach, FL
I set off the smoke alarm at The Bookmark when I made conch fritters on the JAMAICA ME DEAD tour. So this time around, I've promised owner Ron Brinlee that I'll stick to rum drinks. Mainly because her husband, Buford, broke a stool trying to shut of the alarm. I'll be joined here by Christine Kling ("Wrecker's Key).
Sunday, March 11
Wednesday, March 14
Winter Park Historical Association
Winter Park, FL
Thursday, March 15
Leesburg Community Building, Venetian Gardens
"A Taste of the Tropics"
This is a kick off event for the Lake County Reading Festival. I'll be cooking some conch fritter appetizers. I'm delighted that BERMUDA SCHWARTZ has been selected as the 2007 adult selection for Lake County Reads (Caution: Keep it way from kids...) This means that all 237,000 residents of Lake County are required by law to buy a copy. I wish...
Saturday, March 17
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Lake County Reading Festival
A daylong spectacle with a variety of authors including Mary Anna Evans ("Effigies"), Charles Benoit ("Relative Danger"), Joe Moore and Lynn Sholes ("The Grail Conspiracy") and my pal and neighbor Pam Brandon ("Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas.")
Sunday, March 18
St. Armand's Circle
I'll be set up on the sidewalk outside of Deb Stowell's terrific shop with Christine Kling, making Dark 'n Stormies and signing books. It's always a lovely day in Sarasota. C'mon by...
Thursday, March 22
Murder on the Beach
Joanne Sinchuk has invited a book club to have lunch...and I'm their speaker.
Fri.-Sat., March 23-24
Virginia Festival of the Book
I'll be part of the "You're Killing Me ... With Laughter" Crime Wave panel at 4 p.m. on Saturday with JD Rhoades, Elaine Viets, Donna Andrews and
Linwood Barclay. Also appearing as part of the Crime Wave are Lee Child, George Pelecanos and Tess Gerritsen.
Sunday, March 25
Sometime in the afternoon
Mystery Loves Company
Baltimore and Oxford, Md.
I'll be dropping by the store's two locations to say hello and sign stock.
Monday, March 26
Creatures 'n Crooks Bookshoppe
I'll be speaking to the store's book club, but those darn Virginia laws prohibit serving Dark 'n Stormies...
Tuesday, March 26
All day -- Details to come
Raleigh and Southern Pines NC
The wonderful Molly Weston has volunteered to take me around to her favorite bookstores/libraries in the Raleigh area.
Thursday, April 12
Cape Coral Public Library
Cape Coral, FL
Friday, April 13
One for the Books
Cape Coral, FL
Don and his crew have invited me to serve cocktails and darn if I'm not going to oblige them.
Saturday, April 14
Susie Holly has invited Jim Born and me to drop by and hang out for awhile. Come see us...
Fri.-Sat., April 20-21
Much Ado About Books
This is always a great event with dozens of authors from all over Florida and the U.S.