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Write Stuff: Connecticut Authors Trail Wraps Up

Special To The Courant

The Ninth Annual Connecticut Authors Trail, a series of free author talks presented by a group of Eastern Connecticut libraries, will conclude with a free event on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 6:15 p.m., at Mohegan Sun Casino's Cabaret Theatre, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville.

The featured speaker will be Connecticut novelist Beatriz Williams, whose most recent book is "Cocoa Beach" (Morrow, $27.99) and many of the writers who gave talks will attend.

Williams, who lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore, has published eight novels, including "The Forgotten Room" in 2016 and "The Wicked City" and "Cocoa Beach" in 2017. connecticutauthorstrail.org or 888-226-7711.

Authors At R.J. Julia

Best-selling authors of books for adults and young readers will give free talks presented by R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison. All require reservations: 203-245-3959 or rjjulia.com.

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 6:30 p.m., Marie Lu, author of the futuristic fantasy novel, "Warcross" (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $18.99), will speak at the bookstore. Her book is about an online fantasy game that becomes a way of life for millions, and a teenage hacker who gets involved in uncovering a sinister plot. Lu, who was an artist before becoming a writer, is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling "The Young Elites" series and best-selling "Legend" series.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m., Connecticut author and former attorney Wendy Walker will discuss her novel, "Emma in the Night" (St. Martin's Press, $26), about the disappearance of two teenage sisters and the puzzling re-appearance of one of them.

Connecticut author and former librarian James R. Benn will give two talks about the 12th novel in his best-selling Billy Boyle World War II Mystery series, "The Devouring" (Soho Crime, $26.95). In it, the former Boston detective turned aide to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower is sent to investigate the murder of a Swiss banker that is related to the looting of gold from concentration camp victims by the Nazis. Benn will speak Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore, 413 Main St., Middletown. 860-685-3939 or books@wesleyan.edu. On Friday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m., he will speak at R.J. Julia in Madison.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. at Essex Library, 33 West Ave. Essex, David Handler will give a talk about his new mystery novel, "The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes" (William Morrow, $14.99), the latest featuring celebrity ghostwriter and amateur sleuth Stewart "Hoagy" Hoag and his basset hound Lulu. It involves a famous writer in hiding for 20 years, his estranged daughters and, of course, a murder. Handler, a former journalist, has published nine novels about Hoag and Lulu, including the Edgar and American Mystery Award-winning "The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald." Registration and information: 860-767-1560.

Bank Square Books

On Sunday, Sept. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m., Connecticut author Gail B. MacDonald will be at Bank Square Books, 53 W. Main St., Mystic, to sign copies of her nonfiction book, "Morton F. Plant and the Connecticut Shoreline: Philanthropy in the Gilded Age" (The History Press, $21.99). It is about the financier who helped found Connecticut College and developed the Shennecossett Golf Club. MacDonald is an associate professor in the UConn journalism department, a former New London Day reporter and a contributor to major newspapers and magazines.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Bank Square Books will present a talk and book signing by Celeste Ng at Wheeler Library, 101 Main St., North Stonington. Ng's latest book, "Little Fires Everywhere" (Penguin Press, $27), is set in a suburb of Cleveland, where the arrival of an enigmatic and rule-breaking artist at first enthralls and then alarms her play-by-the-rules friend. Ng's earlier novel, "Everything I Never Told You," was a New York Times best-seller and Notable Book of 2014, Amazon's #1 Best Book of 2014 and winner of many literary awards. banksquarebooks.com.

Riverwood Poetry Series

The Riverwood Poetry Series will begin its new season on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7:15 p.m. at Universalist Church of West Hartford, 433 Fern St., West Hartford, with a free reading of poetry of witness and resistance featuring members of the Connecticut Coalition of Poets Laureate, including State Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the reading will start at 7:15 p.m. An open mike will precede the reading; poems about witness and resistance are encouraged but not required. Donations will be gratefully appreciated. facebook.com/riverwoodpoetry.

Andrew Gross In Avon

Andrew Gross, who has written the Ty Hauk series and many best-selling thrillers, some in collaboration with James Patterson, will give a free talk on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon. Gross's latest novel is "The Saboteur" (Minotaur, $27.99). It is based on a true story and is a follow-up to his World War II historical thriller, "The One Man." 860-673-9712.

Mystery Book Discussions

Carole Shmurak, of Farmington, who writes the Susan Lombardi mystery novels, will lead a free discussion of "Too Late to Die" by Bill Crider at Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., on Monday, Sept. 11, at noon, for the Simsbury Mystery Group's series The Mysterious West, Part 1. 860-658-7663.

Shmurak also will lead a discussion of "Bootlegger's Daughter" by Margaret Maron on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 3 p.m. at Southington Public Library, 255 Main St., for the Southington Mystery Group's series: "And the Award Goes to . . .", Part 1. 860-628-0947.

Poetry By The Pond

Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, will sponsor outdoor pondside readings and classical guitar music on Sunday, Sept. 10 and Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. at the pond on Eaglewood Lane, which intersects with Library Lane and Hopmeadow Street.

The readings will focus on nature. Attendees should bring a blanket or a "tipless chair" for the sloping pondside terrain. Readers on Sunday, Sept. 10, will be Katharine Carle, Joan Kantor, Laura Mazza-Dixon, Rennie McQuilkin, Virginia Shreve, Kate Singleton, and Elizabeth Thomas. On Sept. 24 they will be Laura Altshul, Victor Altshul, Polly Brody, Catherine Hoyser, Marilyn Johnston, and Jim Mele. Classical guitarist Jaclyn Jones will play. If it rains, the program will be held in the library.

Registration is required: simsburylibrary.info or 860-658-7663.

Stowe Prize Book Discussion

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., Hartford, will hold a free Stowe Prize Book Club Discussion of "March: Book One" (Top Shelf Productions, $14.95) on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The award-winning memoir in the form of a graphic novel is by U.S. Rep. and civil rights activist from Georgia, John Lewis, written with Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell.

Reservations: HarrietBeecherStowe.org or 860-522-9258, ext. 317.

9/11 Anniversary Event

Connecticut State University history professor and author Matthew Warshauer will give a free talk open to all ages about how the memory of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will change over time and how that will affect history, at Avon Library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Warshauer, whose expertise includes American political and constitutional history and the Civil War, coordinates the Connecticut Commemorates the Civil War project. 860-673-9712 or avonctlibrary.info.

Pearl In Wilton

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m., Nancy Pearl, the NPR books commentator known as "America's librarian" will discuss her debut novel, "George & Lizzie" (Touchstone, $25) at Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Rd., Wilton. The book is about an imperfect marriage that faces a crossroads. Pearl is a regular commentator about books on NPR's Morning Edition.

Registration: 203-762-6334 or wiltonlibrary.org.

Central Authors

Central Authors, a free series of talks about books by CCSU faculty, staff members or alumni, will begin its 15th season on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 12:15 p.m., in the Student Center Bookstore, 1615 Stanley St., New Britain.

Katherine A. Hermes, chair of the CCSU History Department and one of the authors of "Explaining Suicide: Patterns, Motivations, and What Notes Reveal" (Academic Press, $59.99), will speak. 860-832-2759 or gigliotti@ccsu.edu.

Inspirational Pets

Connie Bombaci and Shawn Flynn will appear at Barnes & Noble, 235 Union St., Waterbury, on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.

Bombaci is the author of "Hogan's Hope: A Deaf Hero's Inspirational Quest for Love and Acceptance" (True Directions Publishing, $13.99), about a rescued deaf dog who learned to respond to American Sign Language. Flynn's book is "The Kitty Who Rescued Me After I Rescued Him" (ABBE Road Publishing, $9.95)" about the pet who helped him through personal difficulties. 203-759-7125.

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