Founded by Maya Rodale, Leanna Renee Hieber, Ron Hogan, and Hope Tarr (yes, that’s me!) Lady Jane’s SalonÂ meets on the first Monday of every month, 7-9 PM, upper floor of Madame X (94 West Houston).Â See you there!
Lady Jane’s Salon, New York City’s first and so far only monthly romance reading series, turns one-year-old this February 1st and oh, my how our Girl has grown!
Helping us blow out the birthday candle are three fabulous guests: bestseller, Lauren Willig (The Betrayal of the Blood Lily), debut author, Sara Lindsey (Promise Me Tonight), and guest emcee, historical nonfiction author Leslie Carroll (Notorious Royal Marriages). Three very lovely ladies reading from three very different books, all of which will be available for purchase on Salon night. I’m just saying…
Now that we’ve come up on the one year mark, it seems a fitting time to both reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year ahead. When Maya, Leanna, Ron and I came up with the concept for Lady Jane’s, we anticipated having ten or so attendees each month. In a very short time, we found ourselves filling up the house to the point where many Salon nights are now standing room only. Feature articles in TIME OUT NEW YORK and THE NEW YORK POST swiftly followed along with tremendous support from the romance fiction community. RT BOOK Reviews, Barbara Vey at Publishers Weekly, Romance Novel TV, the chapter members of Romance Writers of America/NYC, and “Smart Bitch” Sarah Wendell are just a few of our wonderful friends who’ve given us both early and consistent loyalty and support. To them and all the individuals too numerous to name in a mere blog post, thank you!
A big sloppy birthday buss to Amy McCloskey, owner of our wonderful host venue, Madame X, and also to her manager, Karen and bartender, Alex. Without your support, the Salon couldn’t happen. It just couldn’t.
We started the series to provide a home for the books we love to both read and write. The four of us also felt strongly that in addition to the fun and frolic, it was important to broaden our mission to include a service component. Share the Love, Maya’s charitable organization co-founded with Ann Bleakley, has been the recipient of Salon proceeds for the past year, and we look forward to continuing our outreach to groups serving women in need in 2010.
As a Co-Founder, the time and energy I’ve expended have been returned to me tenfold–in the friendships both old and new, the collegiality with publishing professionals representing all aspects of the industry, and the opportunity to build, sustain and now grow something needed and yes, beautiful with three other amazing and creative individuals. Leanna, Maya and Ron, I heart you.
It’s both heartening and humbling to hear how the love we feel for our Brain Child/Baby is reciprocated by the romance community. Salon regular and February guest, Lauren Willig will teach a class on romance fiction this spring at Yale–yes, Y-A-L-E–along with fellow bestseller and Salon regular, Andrea Pickens also W/A Cara Elliott. A recent New Hampshire Register article covering the upcoming class had this to say:
Part of the impetus for the course also came from Willig’s membership in Lady Jane’s Salon, a Manhattan group of writers and readers which meets monthly for readings “and to hang out and drink. It’s become in a very short time an institution and a way for various people from various parts of the industry to share their love of romance novels,” says Willig.
Thank you, Lauren, and thanks to all of you whose unswerving commitment and enthusiasm, loyalty and yes, love have made Lady Jane’s Salon a rousing success.
Happy Birthday, Lady Jane
Monday, February 1st, 7-9 PM
Madame X (94 W Houston St)
Admission: $5 or one ppb romance novel
The upper room of Madame X was crammed with attendees. Even before the program began, seating was once again standing room only–and barely that.
PRISM award winner, special guest Isabo Kelly kicked off the program by telling the story of how she and Leanna Renee first met in a New York law office followed by a wonderful reading of her work.
Leanna Renee was pretty as the proverbial picture in an authentic Victorian gown and bonnet done up in what we’re fast coming to think of as “Strangely Beautiful” blue.
The Salon and signing ended at 9:00 PM but guests lingered afterward including we four founders who took time out to mug for the camera–and yes, congratulate ourselves on yet another successful salon night.
As little girls, lots of us played at dress-up, even imagined ourselves as fairytale princesses a la the Walt Disney storybook tales. I know I did.
Some of us took the fantasy well…a wee bit farther.
My dear friend, Lady Jane SalonÂ co-founder, and newly minted Dorchester author, Leanna Renee Hieber took the game up a notch, make that several notches. Parading about her parents’ living room in rural Ohio speaking in a British accent and quoting the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, it was clear Leanna Renee was doing more than playing a part.
She was living a dream and quite possibly a past life.
And so was born Percy Parker, the heroine of Leanna Renee’s Victorian set fantasy romance, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker.
Percy is a most unusual romance heroine just as Strangely Beautiful…, the first in a quartet series, is a most unusual romance-think Victorian Ghost Busters. Delicious!
ButÂ there’s more. Lady Jane’s Salon has joined forced with our friends at Romance Novel TV to bring you Lady Jane’s Book Club at RNTV. Now those of you who aren’t able to attend the physical salon (as well as those of you who do) can participate monthly. The book club offers videotaped interviews with theÂ featured salon authors as well as the ability to interact with the author and other readers via an online discussion of the book complete withÂ a list of suggested topics.
So much goodness…
Leanna Renee will be reading and signing at this Monday’s (September 7th)Â Lady Jane’s SalonÂ from 7-9 PM and yes, books will be available for purchase onsite at our beloved venue, Madame X. Special guest reader: award winning author,Â Isabo Kelly. A special Strangely Beautiful cocktail is being… concocted for the event for the recession busting price of $5.
As always, proceeds from the door ($5 or one gently-used romance novel) willÂ go to supportÂ Share the Love.
In the meantime, please do visitÂ RNTVÂ for the book club questions and a videotaped interview with Leanna Renee.
Happy Labor Day Weekend,
PS The third and final installment of Nekkid Truth: La Touche Finale will be posted hereÂ this week, so please check back for the final unveiling: before/after publicity photos of Yours Truly by the uber talented Biz Urban.
Last Monday’s Lady Jane’s Salon was a superior success, and I’m far from the only one to say so. I’m delighted and yes, humbled by the outpouring of not only congratulatory emails but also blog posts from so very many of you who attended.
If you find a post not listed above, please feel free to reply with the link, and I’ll add itÂ most merrily.
On Behalf of Lady Jane
(L-R) Guest authors Wendy Corsi Staub, Marjorie M. Liu, Diane Gaston & Amanda McCabe.
Yesterday’s Matthew Modine sighting turned out to be but the kick-off to a plethora of Real Live Celebrity sightings. (And the RL’s are ever so much perkier than the alternative). 😉
Thanks toÂ Regency historical author, and Lady Jane Salon co-founder, Maya Rodale who asked me along as her guest, I attended the twenty-fifth anniversary of “A Gala Evening of Readings” hosted by Literacy Partners. For the past thirty-five years, Literacy Partners has provided “hope and opportunity for adults who cannot read” in the form ofÂ free adult and family literacy programs reachingÂ more than 25,000 disadvantaged New Yorkers.
Held in the DavidÂ H. Koch Theater atÂ Lincoln CenterÂ for the Performing Arts,Â the evening wasÂ “gala” indeed, the guest list studded with stars, the plaza outside a veritable red carpetÂ Who’s Who ofÂ Manhattan socialites and celebrities from the news media and literary worlds, allÂ decked out in designer duds. Note: We didn’t look any too shabby ourselves but since shutter-bugging didn’t seem to be quite the thing, you’llÂ have to take my word for it).
At the pre-program cocktail reception, Yours Truly, along with Maya and our mutual friend, Scandalous Woman Elizabeth Kerri Mahon jostled for vino and noshes with celebrity attendees including Martha Stewart (she sat two rows behind us in the auditorium later), Tommy Tune (“Jenny, Jenny…”), Barbara Taylor Bradford, Barbara Walters, and Barbara Goldsmith to name but a few. (And yes, that’s a lot of Bab’s).
The main event featured readings by Barbara Walters (who read the prologueÂ from her recent memoir), Marie Brenner (author and writer-at-large for Vanity Fair), Christopher Buckley (son of the late William F), and David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle).
In like support of literacy and general feel-goodness, I hope anyone in the New York area, or in town for Book Expo America will join us for the June 1st Lady Jane’s Salon. We’ve just added a fourth fab author to our line up. Talented historical author, Diane GastonÂ will join Amanda McCabe in reading from their anthology, The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor, May ’09,Â a featured book for Harlequinâ€™s Diamond Anniversary.
As always, the proceeds support Maya’s charity, Share the Love, which reaches out to groups serving women-in-transition as they work to build hopeful, independent lives.
If you live in or near the Big Apple, or plan to be in town for Book Expo America, I hope you’ll join Maya Rodale, Leanna Renee Hieber, Ron Hogan, and Yours Truly as we hostÂ a very special Lady Jane’s Salon. Local NYC author J.S. Hawley will be reading, along with the authors of Operation L.O.VE.:Â Anne Elizabeth, Tara Nina, and C.H. Admirand.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each copyÂ of OPERATION: L.O.V.E.-theÂ Special Ops Anthology of Sweet RomanceÂ is donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, whichÂ provides full scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the surviving children of special operations people who die in operational or training missions and immediate financial assistance to severely wounded special operations people and their families. The book debuts the new military anthology line for Highland Press.
As always, admission is five dollars or a gently-used romance novel to benefit Share The Love. This month only we will be splitting the proceeds with Operation L.O.V.E.
WHEN: Monday, May 4th. 7:00-9:00 pm.Â
WHERE: Madame X, 94 Houston Street (btw LaGuardia and Thompson Streets), New York, NY 10012, 212.539.0808, www.madamex.com. Nearest subways: F,V,B,D at Lafayette, N, R at Prince Street.
So the classic rock song goes and likewise so went last night’s launch of Lady Jane’s Salon, Manhattan’s first (and so far only) reading series devoted to romance fiction. The series, founded by Ron Hogan,Â Maya Rodale, Leanna ReneeÂ Hieber,Â and MoiÂ benefits Share the Love, which reaches out to groups assisting women-in-transition build independent lives.
Forty or so attendees packed the elegant Victorian-inspired salon settingÂ of Madame X in Tribeca.Â Distinguished guests included Carol Stacy, PublisherÂ and Liz French, Managing EditorÂ of Romantic Times BOOKReviews; Maria Lokken and Marisa O’Neill of Romance Novel TV; and Barbara Vey of PW’s uber popular blog, Beyond Her Book. Also on hand to clink glasses was Scandalous Women blogger, Elizabeth Kerri Mahon.
After a cocktail meet-and-greet,Â Ron took the stage as emceeÂ to introduceÂ Share the Love and Lady Jane co-founder, Maya Rodale. MayaÂ spoke briefly and eloquently about her one-year-old organization’s mission toÂ distribute gently-used romance novels to groups assisting women-in-transition,Â such asÂ Women in Need (WIN), a domestic violence shelter located in Manhattan.
Award-winning author, Andrea Pickens got the party started by reading from The Scarlet Spy, the latest in herÂ Regency-set historical series about a plucky group of young women trained as espionage agents. After a short break, during which Andrea and I signed our books, I read from Every Breath You Take…,my latest Harlequin contemporary release.
Last but not least, we made moneyÂ for the cause as well as collected a cache of fabulous romance novels to be distributed to womenÂ working to achieveÂ their own Happily Ever After beginnings. If that’s not sharing the love, I don’t know what is.
Next month’s Lady Jane’s Salon will take place on Monday,Â March 2nd, 7-9 PM at Madame X with romance authors Lauren Willig and Jenna Petersen as our guest readers. If you’re in Manhattan or passing through, I hope you’ll consider putting Lady Jane’s on yourÂ calendar.
Our Lady Jane’s Salon, Manhattan’s first (and so far only) reading series devoted to romance fiction goes lives tonight. Featured authors are Andrea Pickens and yes, this Hope Tarr chick. In the spirit of ramping up for Valentine’s Day, we’llÂ be reading from our latest steamy romance releases and engaging in witty repartee during the Q&A.
I’m happy to report the buzz is well, buzzing. So far we’ve made TIME OUT NEW YORK, Yelp.com, and Eventful.com. Romance Novel TV will be on hand to cover the event as will Publishers’ Weekly’s own beloved romance Blog Mistress, Barbara Vey.
If you’re in the Big Apple Tonight and looking for a recession-buster outing to brighten the Monday Blues, join us at Madame X, 94 West Houston from 7-9 PM. $5 or one gently-used paperback romance novel gets you in, with proceeds to benefit Share The Love. Can you say “Oy vey and what a deal?”