An evil eye cake from Ohlin’s Bakery!

It was a busy weekend, celebrating BLUE VOYAGE’s launch! Many thanks to Porter Square Books in Cambridge for hosting the Evening Edition of my two-part release party!

And thank you to Ohlin’s Bakery in Belmont for a glorious and delicious cake! This cake represents a nazar, an evil eye charm to protect against the evil eye, so hopefully we all internalized a bit of good luck.

I know something was working for me on Friday because I got through the awful Friday traffic and found a parking spot right in front of the store!

I chose to have a nazar cake and to give out small evil eye beads for party favors because the evil eye protector is important in Turkish culture and very important to Zan in the book. (When she breaks a nazar bracelet, things start to get really tough for her!)

We had great turnout at the event, and I’m thrilled that many friends were able to make it — and also some people I did now know! (And some actual teens! Yay!)

I talked for a bit about some of the stories behind Blue Voyage, including the influence of a Nancy Drew novel about Turkey (The Mysterious Mannequin), my own travels in Turkey, a short story I wrote long ago called “Blue Voyage,” and the antiquities smuggling business. In between I read short snippets from the book to give a feel for the different plot lines. I answered some questions, and then we mingled and ate cake! Here are some snapshots!

Me with my YARN co-editors Kip Wilson Rechea and Kerri Majors
My Turkish friends/consultants! These folks helped me a lot!
Me apparently explaining something quite serious?!

Then the next day, Saturday, I headed down to Buttonwood Books in Cohasset, MA to be part of their bookish Oktoberfest. What a fun event! What a fun store! They had many authors rotating through for special events, fresh cider, cookies, and lots of folks coming in to check out great fall reads. I led a writing workshop for teens on Getting Ideas and felt so privileged to get to work with this smart, creative group of girls! (Photo used with permission from Buttonwood Books and participants).

Young writers to watch out for! “Getting Ideas” mini-workshop at Buttonwood Books.

So that was my busy week! Writing a book can be incredibly isolating, and I love emerging after months (or years) of work to connect with readers and writers, especially young ones. I’m very grateful to Porter Square Books, Buttonwood Books, and everyone who’s come out to support Blue Voyage! Thank you!!

Finally here’s a little round-up on recent Blue Voyage Blog Voyage stops and various giveaways in progress:

An interview at Adventures in YA Publishing

A glowing review, and a giveaway, from No More Grumpy Bookseller (great blog!!)

ICYMI: A guest post at Itching for Books and today is the last day of their giveaway.

Through October 31: enter for a chance to win Blue Voyage at

Just 4 days left of the Young Adults Book Central Blue Voyage giveaway.

Just 5 days left of the giveaway at I’d So Rather Be Reading.

Just 6 more days to enter the giveaway at BookingMama. (Nice review there too!)

Just 7 days left of the GoodReads giveaway.

More updates coming soon!

(Thank you Saichek Publicity!)