The 6th Annual Connecticut Authors Trail, for which authors who live in the state or write about it give free talks at libraries in Eastern Connecticut, ends on Thursday, Sept. 4, when banker turned author and lifestyle expert Mar Jennings will answer audience questions beginning at 6:15 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theatre, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville.
Jennings, who lives in Westport, will sign copies of "Life On Mar's: Creating Casual Luxury" (S&J Multimedia LLC, $19.95) at the casino's Spin Street following his talk. He is a TV host and best-selling author who creates "sMARt" tips for gardening and interior design. He has made TV appearances on the "Today Show," Food Network and other channels and hosted such shows as "Dream Room Makeover," "Dream Wedding" and "Backyard Makeover."
Arsenault At R.J. Julia
Author Emily Arsenault, who grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Massachusetts, will visit R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, on Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. to give a free talk about her latest literary mystery, "What Strange Creatures" (Morrow, $14.99). In this clever tale, Theresa, a sister struggling to finish her dissertation while writing advertising copy for scented candles, gets caught up in proving her brilliant but quirky older brother's innocence when he is charged with his girlfriend's murder. Theresa must learn the secrets of the woman's life and risk her own to save her brother. Arsenault is also the author of "The Broken Teaglass," a New York Times Notable Mystery, "In Search of the Rose Notes" and "Miss Me When I'm Gone."
Reservations are required: 203-345-3959 or rjjulia.com.
Mark My "Wicked" Words
Tickets are now on sale for the annual fundraising event for the Mark Twain House & Museum. "Mark My Words 2014: A Wicked Cool Evening" will be held Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. at The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford, and will present an onstage conversation between the creators of the novel, "Wicked," and the hit Broadway musical based on it.
Gregory Maguire, who wrote "Wicked — The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" and Stephen Schwartz, the composer and lyricist of "Pippin" and "Godspell" who adapted Maguire's brilliant version of L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz" into a musical, will talk about writing, musical theater and the Oz tale, moderated by Courant theater critic Frank Rizzo. A production of "Wicked" will be performed at the Bushnell from Nov. 5 to 23.
Tickets are priced $25 to $40 for fmezzanine seats, from $25 to $40 to orchestra and box seats from $55 to $125 VIP seats that include a private reception with Maguire, Schwartz and Rizzo.
Tickets and information: Bushnell.org or 860-987-5900.
Essay Contest About Veterans
Connecticut students entering sixth to eighth grade may enter an essay contest expressing what the heroism and commitment of U.S. veterans means to them.
The essay topic is "I Want to Say THANK YOU to a Veteran Because…." Judges will select one top winner and two runners-up. The winner will ride in the 15th annual Connecticut Veterans Parade with one guest on Nov. 2, be honored and read the winning entries (with the runners-up) in the State Capitol's Hall of Flags on Oct. 29 and receive a U.S. flag that has flown over the Capitol and a certificate of appreciation from the Navy League of the U.S.–Hartford Council, co-sponsor of the contest with the state Department of Veterans Affairs..
Entrants must be legal residents of the state and may submit one essay each to the contest. Full rules and applications: ctveteransparade.org or ct.gov/ctva or 860-653-4484.
Nook Farm Book Talks
The free Nook Farm Book Talk series continues Wednesday, Sept. 3, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., Hartford.
A discussion of "Vanished Downtown Hartford'' (The History Press, $19.99) will be led by its author, Daniel Sterner. The book shows how Hartford has lost valuable buildings and whole neighborhoods in the name of progress.
Sterner has been a guide at the Stowe and Mark Twain Houses in Hartford and the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield. His website, Historic Buildings of Connecticut, and previous book, "A Guide to Historic Hartford, Connecticut," have won awards.
Refreshments will be served at 5 p.m. before the 5:30 p.m. discussion. Registration: 860-522-9258 ext. 317 or Info@StoweCenter.org
A Remarkable Horse
Janet Barrett, a horse riding expert and author of "They Called Her Reckless — A True Story of War, Love And One Extraordinary Horse" (Tall Cedar, $15.95), will give a free talk Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. at Cheshire Public Library, 104 Main St., Cheshire.
Barrett's book is about an extraordinary mare who aided a Marine rifle platoon during the Korean War and was given the rank of sergeant in recognition of its service to the American troops. Information: 203-272-2245.
Authors At Barnes & Noble
Connecticut authors Glenn Maynard and Linda Mullaly Hunt will sign books at the Barnes & Noble bookstore, 175 Glastonbury Blvd., Glastonbury, on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 2 p.m.
Maynard is the author of "Desert Son" (Black Rose, $15.95) and "Strapped Into An American Dream" (Strategic, $16.99).
Hunt is the author of "One For The Murphys" (Nancy Paulsen Books /Penguin Books for Young Readers, $16.99). The book won a Tassy Walden Awards for New Voices in Children's Literature, sponsored by the Shoreline Arts Alliance. Information: 860-657-1636.