Bookstore Fail

My most recent trip to the bookstore was a bit of a bust. The fun thing about being a published author is the chance to hop into a bookshop and see your books on the shelf.

Usually, my MO is to browse the online catalog (if there’s one) to make sure my books are actually carried in the store. This time, I winged it. I was already running errands and would be in the area anyway.

I went up to the info desk and asked if they had any of my books in the store. Nope. A little zing of disappointment reverberated down my spine. Well, they had them in their catalog in case they wanted to order a few copies, but no actual physical books were available. Whoops. (Remind me to follow standard operating procedure next time and double-check the inventory before arriving at a bookstore.)

On the bright side, I got to browse the shelves. I was happy to see my fellow authors’ works on display. The Mountains Sing by Nguy?n Phan Qu? Mai is literary fiction, and its book cover is so beautiful. The epic story within explores one family and their triumphs and sorrows across decades of turbulent history in Vietnam:

In the store, I was elated to find that they actually had a whole section devoted to cozy mysteries. (These books are typically thrown into the general mystery section.)

Of course, I had to take snaps of novels from my fellow Berkley publishing imprint sisters:  

Killer Content got enviable top shelf status right next to the section sign. It pays to have a last name at the beginning of the alphabet. The story revolves around a fish-out-of-water protagonist who moves from the Bayou to Brooklyn. But she gets more than she bargained for when she witnesses the murder of a YouTube star.

Body and Soul Food is the first in a new series featuring fraternal twins who run a bookstore and soul food café. The siblings, who’ve recently reunited, must solve a seemingly impossible crime.

There’s been plenty of buzz for Arsenic and Adobo. (Check out that handwritten sign underneath the book!) It’s the first cozy starring a Filipina main character. The story is a rom-com turned nastily upside down when the protagonist’s ex (an unsavory food critic) drops dead. (Don’t forget to check out the recipes at the back of the book!)

I don’t know if I would categorize Dial A for Aunties narrowly in the cozy mystery genre. It’s got a streak of women’s fiction in it, especially with the sparkling romance within the pages. Suspend your disbelief during this funny romp when a dead body is accidentally brought to a lavish wedding.

Somehow I feel like I’m meeting up with and cheering on my writing pals when I spot their books in the wild. Though I didn’t get to sign my own novels, it was still exciting. (And yes, I did get lured to do some retail therapy before I left the store.)  

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