Friday, February 17, 2012

Enjoy Jennifer Chiaverini at the Public Market, and Have Some Wine (Partially) on Us, Wednesday, February 22, 5:30 pm.

If you've been paying attention to our events with Jennifer Chiaverini, you've probably noticed that we've developed a very nice partnership with Patched Works in Elm Grove. Of course that didn't mean we weren't going to challenge ourselves with each event. Our first event was at Boswell, our second was at the Sunset Playhouse, and our third was at the Elm Grove Woman's Club. OK, I confess, it would be sort of lovely to have a formula.

But then I heard that Patched Works was having a retreat in early March, at the Olympia Resort and Spa (March 8-11, to be exact), and honestly, how could Chiaverini not appear at that? And being that the Olympia is so close to our friends Books & Company, it made sense for them to be the designated bookseller. It looks like tickets are still available, by the way. I have learned from Julie and Jennifer that retreats are a big deal for quilters. Who knew?

So that left us with yet another opportunity to break the event mold. I asked Ms. Chiaverini if she had any ideas about a good partnership, and she said to me, the new book, Sonoma Rose, has a wine theme. Can you do something with that? So we went to our friends at the Milwaukee Public Market and asked if they wanted to team up with Thief Wine to put together something different. So that's what we're doing next Wednesday, February 22, at 5:30 pm.

Thief Wine was started by Aimee Murphy and Phil Bilodeau (pictured). At each of their locations (they have another just north of us in Shorewood), they stock 600 wines, and have about 30-35 wines available by the glass in their wine bar. Just in the time that I was setting up this event, Phil had been to Europe and California searching for perfect wines for their operation.

Note the special time. This gives folks working downtown and the Third Ward (and Walker's Point, and the East Side, and the Marquette area, and even beyond, as you are travelling against rush hour traffic) a chance to have relax with Chiaverini before heading home. We're hoping that other attendees will get a sitter for a girls' night out. And then of course there are a good number of Chiaverini's fans who are retired. Her is as broad and diverse as a giant patchwork quilt, though of course, I have noticed that I haven't met too many of her fans who are anti-quilting.

Sonoma Rose is set on a Californa rye farm, during prohibition. Rosa Diaz Barclay has eight kids, but four have succumbed to a mysterious wasting disease. Rosa winds up fleeing the farm (and her volatile husband with her surviving kids, and in her new mess of a situation, is rescued by her first love. Hey, I'm not going to give the plot away to you--let's just note that Rosa winds up in wine country, where she becomes determined to learn the fine (but still outlawed) craft. And yes, she's a quilter.

If you or someone you know reads the series but have yet to meet Chiaverini, you're in for a treat. Her talks are warm and witty, and it's almost as if you're chatting with the gang about mutual friends. Here's more things you need to know.

--Chiaverini will be giving out the commemorative Sonoma Rose pin with every purchase of the new novel.

--We'll be offering a $3 coupon off any glass or bottle (so folks who are driving don't feel left out) of wine at Thief Wine in the Public Market with each purchase of Sonoma Rose, good only on Wednesday, March 22.

--The Public Market offers an hour of free parking with any purchase in their Water Street lot. Most meters in the area are $1.50 per hour, but only run until 6 pm, so that option might be even less expensive.

--The Public Market is located at 400 North Water Street, just under the 794 freeway downtown. For dinner, I don't think you can do better for a sit-down meal than the St. Paul Fish Market. Wednesday is the king crab dinner special! (OK, there are plenty of other great places to go, including the Cafe Benelux across the street. Pannekoeken really are pancakes on steroids.)

We'll have a nice assortment of backlist, but I have learned from these events that most fans have all the older titles. It's really all about the new book, Sonoma Rose, which goes on sales just the day before.

See you there!

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