The whole family and I just returned home from Roanoke after attending the Roanoke Valley Academy of Medicine Alliance Book and Author Dinner. Their group put together a stunning fundraiser for important local organizations including Ronald McDonald House, an animal welfare group, and scholarships for local youths.
The event was a marvelous affair with a a delicious dinner, a few short talks from visiting authors (including me!) and then a book signing session.
It was a bit intimidating being up on the stage with such illustrious fellow authors.
Our emcee was Andy Gross who has written thrillers with James Patterson, and has series of his independent books, the most recent of which, 15 Seconds, is a novel about a surgeon who finds himself trapped a victim of circumstances.
Next was Steve Berry, who has written a series of international novels of intrigue, many of which feature his recurring lead man, Cotton Malone. His new book is The Columbus Affair, which probes the significance of unknown details about the famous seafarer and discoverer of America for Spain.
And a true gem of the evening was Dottie Frank and her captivating stories of early experiences as a new bestselling novelist on the book tour. Her new novel Porch Lights adds to her oeuvre exploring the pace of life in the South Carolina Low Country.
During my turn to speak, I asked how many in the audience had served in the military or were veterans, as I often do when I'm invited to benefits. As usual, I was rewarded to see hands go up at every table. It makes me feel a part of a strong and noble tradition. It also makes me feel so thankful and appreciative to be part of a country with so many who have been willing to serve.
I was able to share details about Fisher House with the group and spread the news a little more about all the great work they do for injured veterans and their family.
It is a trip we will all remember with such great weather as we roamed Roanoke through the Market Square, the Transportation museum, and the Science Museum in the Tanglewood Mall. The foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains were a majestic and colorful landscape at dawn a we hurried back to Pennsylvania so B. could make it to the Prom in time!