Lady Jane’s Salon Book Tour de Force: Raleigh-Durham, NC

Romance author and Lady Jane's Salon co-founder Hope Tarr recently embarked on a tour the country to meet authors and booklovers from other Lady Jane's chapters around the nation and celebrate the release of her new book "Operation Cinderella". Hope's first stop was just outside of Chicago and her second was in San Diego. Next, she headed down South to Raleigh-Durham, NC, where Hope read excerpts of her latest romance with fellow authors, met fans and did some sightseeing. Today the author shares her experiences from the road:

I’m recently back from the Lady Jane’s Salon in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Whistle Stop 3 on my “Lady Jane’s Salon Book Tour de Force.”

Launched in August 2011 as a satellite of our Lady Jane’s Salon™ in NYC, Lady Jane’s Salon Raleigh-Durham meets on the last Wednesday of the month at Hibernian Restaurant and Pub in Cary, NC. Think hearty pub fare with an Irish flare, quaint oak-paneling, and trestle-type tables ideal for big groups. The readings are held in a spacious enclosed side porch that offers a separate entrance and a fireplace! The interior had just been repainted a rich red reminiscent of our NYC host venue, Madame X. No wonder I felt so immediately at home!

Arriving early, I met and mingled with Salon director Deb Marlowe as well as fellow guest readers, Cynthia Cooke and Heather McCollum. Despite high winds, a hurricane warning, and a brief power outage, the Salon sallied forth.

Fred Godsmark of Audio Realms, the audio book publisher for my Suddenly Cinderella series books as well as Tempting, kindly came out to support me. As a super secret surprise, he handed me a copy of the audio book for "Operation Cinderella." It was my first time seeing it.

I was also thrilled to meet a representative from the Salon’s new charitable recipient, SafeSpace, which provides a safe haven for former domestic violence victims and their children.

The Salon program began with a presentation of an enormous basket of books donated as a silent auction item for SafeSpace. Afterward, it was time for the readings. First up was Cynthia Cooke reading from Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies.

Next a plaid-draped Heather McCollum read from her Scottish historical, Captured Heart. The excerpt segued into a fascinating discussion and demonstration of herbal remedies — tinctures and poultices, of my! Heather concluded with a big surprise, or rather two big surprises: her kilt-clad husband and brother-in-law enlisted to be “treated” as patients.

Hope Tarr reading from "Operation Cinderella"

Last up was me, reading from "Operation Cinderella," the launch for my Suddenly Cinderella Series with Entangled Publishing. Afterward, we hung out chatting over food and drinks. Despite the impending weather doom and gloom, the audience was robust and in no rush to go home.

She-Crab Soup from The Big Easy in downtown Raleigh


The North Carolina State Capitol building in Raleigh


The North Carolina Museum of History


The historic Mordecai House in Raleigh, built in 1785

The next day I drove into downtown Raleigh to see the sites. Happily the City of Oaks did not disappoint. A hearty lunch of She-Crab soup at The Big Easy, one of several tavern-style downtown restaurants, provided the fuel I needed to forge through the bluster and hit the highlights — the Capitol and Executive Mansion, the North Carolina Museum of History, the historic Oakwood neighborhood with its grand 18th, 19th, and early 20th century homes, and the Mordecai House, the oldest Raleigh residence still standing on its original foundation, now a property of the National Park Service. The five dollar tour of the house and grounds was fascinating and informative.

Then it was back to NYC to prep for the fourth anniversary celebration of Lady Jane’s Salon™ in the city. Our readers for that event were Sarah MacLean, Ruth A. Casie, Jennifer Probst and Yours Truly. Champagne and cupcakes sponsored by Entangled Publishing added to the party spirit. Our annual donation award to Women in Need, our recipient charity, reminded us all that our Salons aren’t only about sharing great romance fiction — they’re also about bringing the hope of a real life Happily Ever After to those in our communities who have been less fortunate.

Later this month, I head to Brisbane, Australia to kick off the Australian Romance Readers Convention, ARRC 2013, with a very special Lady Jane’s Salon, the first ever off U.S. soil. The Salon will take place on Friday, March 1, 2013, 6-7 pm prior to the welcome reception with guest readers Cathy Maxwell, Keri Arthur, Amy Andrews, and Anna Campbell. You can read more about that here.

I’ll be reporting on my adventures in OZ for RT once I get back to the States as well as making my last tour whistle stop at the Lady Jane’s satellite in Denver. For now…

Wishing you a Valentine’s Month brimming with fairytale dreams come true!

- Hope Tarr

Interested in Lady Jane's Salon? Visit their website here. For more romance head over to RT's Everything Romance Page!