Welcome to my Book Tour Diary for THE BALANCE PROJECT. This is where I’ll be documenting all the wonderful events I will be participating in to launch my second novel THE BALANCE PROJECT.

BOOK TOUR DIARY: EVENT #1—Junior League of Richmond 70th Annual Book & Author Event



I am so thrilled to have been included in this event which is filled with history and tradition for the Junior League of Richmond, VA. Every year they invite a handful of writers to share their work. It’s a packed two days filled with interesting events, wonderful southern hospitality, and books! I was honored to be in such esteemed company of authors Marisa de los Santos (THE PRECIOUS ONE), Elizabeth Berg (THE DREAM LOVER), Kristen Miglore (FOOD 52 GENIUS RECIPES), and Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer (HISSING COUSINS).


What a great way to kick off Launch Day for THE BALANCE PROJECT. After a quick flight from La Guardia, I arrived in Richmond where I was met by Kathy Knollman who was my driver for the few days I was there. Kathy volunteers her time each year to do this and she said it has been interesting getting to know different authors over the years. She said I was her favorite. Not really. I mean not really that she said that. Not not really that I wasn’t her favorite. She dropped me at the Jefferson Hotel which is a truly beautiful hotel in downtown Richmond. I highly recommend it. I settled in and enjoyed my swag: delicious chocolates from Gearharts Fine Chocolates, flowers, a personalized cookie, and welcome information. Then I headed over to the Mayo-Carter House. The Junior League has its headquarters in this historic and beautiful house. I met a few of the volunteers and signed books and a poster for the sponsors.


“The Little Dinner”
Our first event was The Little Dinner, an intimate evening during which the authors got to know each other, the legendary Master of Ceremonies for the event, Bob Deans, and some of our hosts. It was held at the beautiful and historic home of Julie and Paul Weissend. Sorry, no pics 🙁



High School Talk
Our first stop of the day was at Community High School. There, I spoke to the senior class of this prestigious, application only, high school, which, established in 1977, is America’s first full-time, four-year, public high school for academically talented students primarily from minority and low-income families. The kids had great questions such as: Have you ever read The Fountainhead? Do I need a blog in order to become a published writer? How many books have you actually sold?

This fancy luncheon was held at The Country Club of Virginia. I was seated at a table with some wonderful women. We talked about, you guessed it, balance! Seems everyone struggles with it ;-). They also asked me interesting questions about being an author. The highlight of this event every year, I was told, was the part after lunch when the Master of Ceremonies for the event, Bob Deans, announces the lineup of speakers for the main event that night at the Convention Center. It’s always a surprise and he does fun introductions of each speaker. The moment he started talking, he made a bee-line toward me and, yep, told me I would be the first speaker. I was actually happy as that meant I could get my speech over with first and then enjoy the other speakers without being nervous. After lunch, I signed books and met more attendees.

Book & Author Dinner
The main event. First we got to take a look at the impressive stage and set-up for the presentations. Incredible. The long stage, which was adorned with tremendous banners of each of the five book covers, was flanked by two huge screens that rotated images of the authors, book covers, sponsor logos, etc. Then we went to the Sponsors Cocktail Party where I met Jay Strafford, the Richmond Times-Dispatch journalist who wrote a great review of THE BALANCE PROJECT. That was an honor and it was fun to speak to him live about his impression of the book. Then it was time to head into the packed ballroom and get on with the show. It was such a rush to speak to all of those people and I was so impressed with the other authors’ presentations. Each was so interesting and it was a perfect variety of different types of authors and books. And I must say that Bob Deans did a tremendous job of hosting the event! Then it was time to take a seat at the signing tables. I met such wonderful women and really enjoyed talking to them all about their impressions of the night and their own personal struggles with balance. After the lines had dwindled and the guests had all left the building, the authors and our hosts from JLR went back to the May0-Carter House for some much needed (and hastily devoured) pizza and home-baked desserts. There were rounds of thank-yous and it was incredible to see the support that the JLR volunteers and staff give each other. I am so impressed by this group of women and felt like I got to know many of them in such a short period of time. (Unfortunately, I only have the photos from my phone as of now so I don’t have the group photos with all the authors or any photos of my speech, but will post when I receive them.)

I will treasure this wonderful opportunity that I was given and forever be grateful to the Junior League of Richmond for inviting me to their magnificent event and treating me to such gracious hospitality!