Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon a Rousing Success!

Barbara Vey -- April 11th, 2012
Bags of swag ready for readers

Bags of swag ready for readers

All I can say is, if you missed the luncheon this year, you missed a lot.  But have no fear, there will be a second luncheon, April 27, 2013 with James Rollins as the keynote speaker.




Special author cupcakes (thanks Dee Schrader & team)

Special author cupcakes (thanks Dee Schrader & team)


But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Tuesday’s luncheon proved that the Milwaukee area can get pretty riled up when it comes to authors visiting.  About 250 readers started lining up at 9:30 a.m. for the 10:30 meet and greet at the Oak Creek Community Center including readers from Australia, Canada and many different states.  You could tell you were in Wisconsin when the food arrived with portions large enough to feed at least two (all delicious).  The crowning glory was the arrival of cupcakes for dessert, all flagged with the author’s book covers.


royal table with Victoria Alexander

royal table with Victoria Alexander


Each author had 7 avid readers at their tables and with all genres represented, everyone seemed to get what they wanted and more from their intimate encounters.  The authors attracted many new readers and the readers learned there were many more authors out there than they had been reading.  Conversations were lively as authors brought favors for their tables mates including crowns, book bags, books, note pads, booklights and candy.


A Packed Room

A Packed Room

There were a couple of tables devoted to young adult readers with 7 kids ages 12-17 hanging on every word of the authors.  Even editors came up and discussed books with the youngsters getting their take on what they enjoy reading.  Austin Maier, 14, was thrilled when YA author B.A. Binns offered to send her book to him.  “I can’t believe an author would want to send me her book.  I can’t wait to read it!”



The adults weren’t doing too bad either.  As they entered the event they were treated to a tote bag that included eight books, note pads, pens, bookmarks, trading cards, post cards, excerpts, calendars, and many discount coupons for businesses.  A special thanks to the authors who supplied the totes, Kristen Painter, Victoria Alexander, Roxanne St. Claire and Louisa Edwards.


Heather Graham

Heather Graham

The crowd was all warmed up by the time keynote speaker Heather Graham made her way to the stage.  We couldn’t have asked for a better inaugural speaker.  In her trademark style, Heather managed to entertain the group with stories of her beloved New Orleans, crazy men that sew their wives together after they are dead and mentions of her quirky home state of Florida.  Particularly entertaining was the electric chair story of the man who’s hair caught fire during his execution and having it called cruel and unusual punishment.  The next day paper’s headline was, “Electric Chair Deemed Unsafe.”  Heather also announced that her Writer’s for New Orleans Conference will be held December 14-16th.




A lucky winner...Jenny St. Germaine

A lucky winner...Jenny St. Germaine

Anticipation was building for the amazing door prizes that the author’s brought.  Lucky readers walked away with baskets of books, gift certificates, scarves, treasure chests and of course, chocolate.  Next up were the drawings for the raffle baskets donated by authors, author blog groups, publishers, local business, the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Admirals, Kindles, Nooks and a Kindle Fire.  In addition, an amazing acoustic guitar with all the accessories was donated by Blue Flame Music.  All proceeds go to local libraries.  People frantically checked their tickets and screams could be heard from the winners.  Congratulations to all!


Jacqui Sue-Ping said it best, “And apparently there are times that putting horseshoes up one’s a$$ really does work! I won a door prize and two raffle raffles including an arc from Suzanne Brockmann a gift basket from Virginia Kantra, 20th anniversary edition of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and so much more. Complete icing on a lovely cake of a day :-)


The finishing touch was an incredible book signing.  Not only were the authors able to sell and sign their books but programs (donated by COS Productions) were given out to everyone with author bios that were signed by the authors and kept as collectables by the readers.  I was more than a little surprised when I was asked to sign a few.

Getting ready for booksigning

Getting ready for booksigning


My sisters and me with a poster dedicating the luncheon to my mom.  Sally Lisiecki, Chris Mattice, Lori Basterash, Barbara Vey, Dee Schrader

My sisters and me with a poster dedicating the luncheon to my mom. Sally Lisiecki, Chris Mattice, Lori Basterash, Barbara Vey, Dee Schrader

It was an incredible event and punctuated even more by the throngs of readers who lined up to tell me how much they enjoyed the event, had no idea what to expect, were pleasantly surprised and wanting to know how to sign up for next year.


I can never adequately express my gratitude to the many people who gave them time and talents to help make this event so successful.  The list would be endless.  So, let me just say that I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart and I look forward to working with you all again next year.  Get some rest.


Bottom Line:  I have no doubt it will be a sold out event.

41 thoughts on “Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon a Rousing Success!

  1. Amy

    Had a great time and can not wait until next year! We already have it in our planners :-) Everything was fabulous, from the food to the authors to the new friends we made at our table. Thank you for putting on such a wonderful event and helping raise money for local libraries.

  2. Tracee

    Can’t wait until next year – hope to be able to help if you need it. I’ll keep watching so I can get tickets right away. Thanks for all you have done for the community, authors, and readers alike. It was a fabulous time!

  3. Dianna Love

    Great event and I’m already looking forward to next year. Pretty much every person in my signing line said they had never been to a reader luncheon before and we’re thrilled with this one. You and your volunteers did an amazing job and I had an awesome group at my table. Thank you everyone who made this such a success.

  4. Sheila Llanas

    Thank you, Barbara! This event was amazing! What a great way to connect with authors and celebrate reading and books. I’m already looking forward to next year.

  5. Joyce S

    Congratulations Barbara for what sounds like a wonderful event!! It sounds as though you and everyone involved had a wonderful time.

  6. Shari Anton

    Had a great time with a truly impressive group of attendees, from the authors to the volunteers to the readers. You did good, Barbara! Can’t wait to do it all again next spring.

  7. deelynn

    …and you were sooooo worried! lol

    It was an incredible day. What a feeling…lost in a fantasy world with so many wonderful people, food, gifts and prizes. To spend the entire day wrapped up in one room and forget about the world outside the community center was an experience that I’m looking forward to repeating next year!

    I’d like to take this moment to thank the sweet girls of Romance Bandits for making an appearance. Here I was chatting away with women I had never met and find out they are members of the group who so generously donated a treasure chest of goodies to Barbara Veys Anniversary Bash, that I was lucky enough to win. You gals are wonderful. It was a pleasure to meet each of you, and I look forward to the upcoming year.

  8. Debby Giusti

    Thanks for making the day so special, Barbara! I was thrilled to be included in the fun. Waving to all the wonderful ladies at my table (Jenny, Carrie, Leila, Carol, Estelle, Matty and Nadine) and to everyone I met at the Readers’ Luncheon.

    Hugs to all your sisters! They’re as sweet as you are, Barbara!

    Thanks to Laura Scott for picking me up at the airport, to Ann for driving me from my hotel to the event and to Heidi for taking me back to the airport. I felt like royalty! :)

    Went home with so many books that TSA searched my luggage! Books look like explosives in the x-ray machines, the TSA guy told me. Who knew?

    Looking forward to next year. I’ve got April 27, 2013 marked on my calendar!

  9. Jacqui Lyonelle aka Jacs

    Barbara, thank you again for finally putting on a reader’s luncheon. Just had a wonderful time. And this would be fact whether I had won all those prizes or not :-) .

    Also I should mention how terrific the locals were to us Canadians.

    Oh and loved, LOVED the cupcakes that your sister made. :-)

    I will be keeping the date of April 27 free next year.


  10. Debbie Kaufman

    Oh, yes, best cupcakes ever! After reading about Debby’s experience, I’m glad I packed all those books in the checked bag!

    Such a fun luncheon. Met so many wonderful ladies, both at my table and otherwise. Just a fantastic event.

  11. Susan Carlisle

    Sounds like you had an outstanding event. When I asked Debbie Kaufman about it she said, “Excellent!” It just shows that romance and reading is alive and well. I had no idea you had so many sisters. Holidays must be great fun.

  12. Terra


    I’m with everyone. It was absolutely fabulous!! I am so happy that I was able to be there and meet everyone. Was beyond amazing.

    LOVED!!!! The cupcakes and the Author’s book covers that adorned them were wonderful.

    I’ll be there next year … April 27th, 2013 is marked on my calendar.


    PS I’m bringing horsehoes next year … ;-)

  13. Cindi Streicher

    had a wonderful time at the luncheon and am glad to hear it will be happeingin again nest year. A big thank you to you and your wonderful helpers as well as those amazing authors!

  14. Mina Khan

    Congratulations on a fab event Barbara! Totally feeling miffed that I had to miss it. But one of these days I’ll make it…even if I have to sneak into someone’s luggage or gift basket!!!

  15. Sia Huff

    Congrats on the huge success of your first Reader’s Luncheon. It looks like so much fun and I love the concept. Here’s to many more.

  16. Marilyn Baron

    Sorry I wasn’t there, but it sounded like a fabulous event. It was neat that the 12-17 crowd showed up for the YA authors. Thanks for sharing the excitement of the event with us.

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