The sandwich course
My Jane Austen Summer celebrated its launch over Afternoon Tea in the French Room of The Adolphus Hotel in Downtown Dallas. These photos are your virtual ticket to the event.
Getting to The French Room is half the fun. You don’t just walk in. From the lobby, a wood-paneled entryway offers a staircase to a spacious landing. A right turn on the landing and a further ascent create a sense of leaving the real world behind. When I entered The French Room, I knew two things: I had never been there before, and I would never forget being there now, so striking was the beauty of the marble floor, elegant appointments, and glorious painted ceiling. Hard to believe Downtown Dallas was only two floors below. Hard to believe I was launching my novel in that room.
A guest arrives
The Tea exceeded my expectations from the moment the waiter poured Lily Berry’s Pink Rose Tea, with its unusual lavender tint, into my white china cup. Three courses were served, featuring things like: Protagonistic Chicken Salad on Bookish Croissant, Vera’s Slightly Controlling Personal Selection of Miniature Pastries, and Nelson’s Assorted Bad News Tea Cookies, each menu item re-named to feature an aspect of My Jane Austen Summer. Of particular note was Willis Somerford’s Evasive Egg Salad on Cautiously Romantic Brioche.
As I enjoyed the ambience, the menu, and the impeccable service, it occurred to me that everything in The French Room was perfect. The only thing left was–my talk. Yikes! Just being in The French Room inspires awe and creates a certain pressure on a speaker to rise to its standard of beauty. I ate one of Sue’s Tricky Truffles. If I’d had a bottle of sherry, I would have spiked everyone’s tea at that moment, knowing my remarks are smarter, more articulate, and funnier, if my audience has imbibed spirits directly before my talk.
At the appropriate time, I stepped up to the podium to introduce my debut novel. Rather than indulge
The glorious French Room
the impulse to keep up with The French Room, adding a Baroque flourish I would have regretted forever, I stuck with my prepared remarks. As a result, my talk ended blessedly without incident, ensuring that my memories of launching My Jane Austen Summer in The French Room will always be as happy as the pictures.
- And finally, the book signing