Betty and Linda's Top 10 picks for 2023 are on sale at 20% off through February 29th!



Thinking about a great read.

Hours: Tues. - Sat. 10 AM to 5:00+ PM

3645 C Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA, 94549

(925) 385-3026

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Reasonable Books is an independent bookstore in the East San Francisco Bay Area located in Lafayette, California. We are here to serve as a general bookstore with an emphasis on thoughtful and important subjects for the interested and discerning reader.

While we strive to make available illuminating materials you may not even realize you want to read, we also believe that the mind benefits from rest and healthy distractions. You will find books that can help you relax or escape for a well-deserved break here.


28 December 2023: Welcome to Laurie, Mary, Deborah and Johanna and their collection of poetry, Love's Meditation! In Love’s Meditation, four poets reveal their love for the world and their concerns for its future. Love’s Meditation is a book about families: mothers, grandmothers, fathers, grandfathers, and children, and how our families define us. The poems connect the poets to each other and to the world around them. As Laurie, Mary, Deborah, and Johanna conduct this poetic symphony, one voice emerges from their poetic meditations: a voice that calls for hope, and reminds us to pay attention to this world we share.
Book cover: Love's Meditation by Laurie Hailey, Mary Eichbauer, Deborah Bachels Schmidt, and Johanna Ely with image of stone labyrinth in a grove of trees.
Love's Meditation

Laurie Hailey
Laurie Hailey

26 December 2023: Soon after we opened in 2020 we had the pleasure to meet Jill Hedgecock and carry her books in our Local Authors bookcase, and we are very pleased to offer her congratulations on the third and final book in her Doberman-inspired Shadow the Doberman series, In Shadow's Reflection!

Sarah believes her life is back on track after a thwarted murder attempt ended with her attacker locked in jail. But when her boyfriend gifts her a DNA kit and genetic results awaken the ghosts of her past, questions arise about who she is. After a massive earthquake frees her psychopath assailant and her beloved Doberman goes missing, Sarah once again finds herself fighting to keep her ghost-seeing canine and herself safe.

Book cover: In Shadow's Reflection with image of a Doberman looking forward with perked ears, and blurred image of a girl's face behind him.
In Shadow's Reflection

4 December 2023: Please RSVP for our next in-store event this Saturday, December 9th, at 10:00 AM, where we will host a writing workshop with Sharon Sobotta! You can email your RSVP to

Stories are the part of us that can live on for generations to come. In this storytelling and writing workshop, Sharon will guide us through a series of fun exercises to engage us in the age-old tradition of storytelling. She’ll also explore the idea that with a pencil in hand, we can “write” ourselves into a better place and uncover invaluable life lessons that offer us perspective on our lives and communities and have the capacity to teach and inspire others. All are welcome regardless of writing experience. Join this free workshop and have fun strengthening your story telling muscles or simply taking in the stories of others.

Sharon K. Sobotta is a writer, a journalist, an advocate and an educator. She is a columnist for the East Bay Express based in Oakland, California, a producer for a monthly in- depth news program at Pacifica KPFA and a contributor for a number of other media outlets. Sharon has been recognized for her 2018 screenplay ‘Thank you God, Men and Oprah for Unanswered Prayers,’ her 2008 book The Journey of Life: 100 Lessons from Around the World and is in the process of finding a publisher for her memoir Sidetracked.

Stories Live On Forever, Saturday, December 9, 2023 10AM-12PM, Reasonable Books, 3645 Mt. Diablo Blvd Lafayette. How do we keep our stories alive for generations to come? How can we 'write' ourselves into a better place? Sharon Sobotta will explore this and read excerpts from her forthcoming book 'Sidetracked' at this interactive workshop. All are welcome! Sharon K. Sobotta is a writer, a journalist, a columnist, an educator and an advocate. She resides in the East Bay with her two daughters--Espi and Delilah.

21 November 2023: Congratulations to Melissa Giomi on the publication of her second book, Divine Appointments..., the follow-up to her first book, Divine Encounters...!

Melissa Giomi’s refreshing take on the contemporary Christian devotional combines gentle storytelling, hopeful anecdotes and prayerful poetry that will open your heart to the whispers of the divine. An oasis of peace in the midst of our worldly duties, Divine Appointments offers readers a spiritual signpost to God’s goodness. Every minute of every day.

Book cover: Divine Appointments by Melissa Giomi with view through window of sunrise in a wood behind a picnic table holding two cups of coffee.
Divine Appointments

Melissa Giomi
Melissa Giomi

And, thank you to everyone who attended last weekend's talk on Better Humans: What the Mental Health Pandemic Teaches Us about Humanity with Janeane Bernstein EdD and Kelechi Ubozoh!

Better Humans talk at Reasonable Books

13 November 2023: Mark your calendars! Please join us this Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 11:00 AM for a thought-provoking book talk and signing with mental health consultant and writer Kelechi Ubozoh and Jeaneane Bernstein, EdD, author of Better Humans: What the Mental Health Pandemic Teaches Us about Humanity:

The world was turned upside down March 2020 by a virus no one expected to turn into a global pandemic. While millions experienced loss and disruption of life, the pandemic put lives on pause, making the nation turn inward to question the life Americans were living pre-pandemic and examine who and what really mattered in this time of financial, emotional, and interpersonal upheaval. Depression, anxiety, violence, substance abuse, and mental health illnesses soared in what became a mental health pandemic. Children lost parents, millions lost jobs, and thousands of teachers and health and wellness professionals abandoned their fields.

This has been a tremendous time of reflection on how to be better to ourselves, and to humanity as a whole. What can we learn from this global disruption and how can we become better humans? To start, we can't look away anymore. The suffering is vast, and the stakes are high. The voices of the pandemic have insightful lessons to teach each and every one of us. It's time to silence our distractions, listen, and create transformative, sustainable strategies that prioritize the health and wellbeing of humanity.

Reasonable Books Presents: Better Humans: A thought-provoking book talk and signing, Saturday 11/18/23 11:00AM, Kelechi Ubozoh: Writer, Mental Health Advocate and Janeane Bernstein: Journalist, Mental Health Advocate, in a conversation about the mental health pandemic, being better to ourselves and to one another, 3645 C Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA 94549
Better Humans: A thought-provoking book talk and signing

11 November 2023: Our Local Authors bookcase is growing with Jack Champlin's debut work of historical fiction set on a Hawaii-bound ship in 1880, The Captain and the King!

The Captain & the King is a story based on real events blending an ordeal at sea, a cross-cultural love story of resolve, and an exploration of how men of logic confront the supernatural. Author Jack Champlin has infused a piece of late 1880s Hawaii history with canny storytelling filled with unforgettable characters and evocative details, taking the reader to another time in an unusual place. At the same time, the story portends what the Hawaiian Kingdom will someday become and why the first king’s mana, or soul, takes on such importance for present-day Hawaii.

Book cover: The Captain and the King by Jack Champlin with Hawaiian statue on board a masted ship in a rainstorm.
The Captain and the King

Jack Champlin
Jack Champlin

9 November 2023: Welcome to local educator and movement specialist Kay Hogan, who joins our Local Authors bookcase with Up Right: Changing Our Thinking about how we Stand Up and Move!

As a structural body worker (Hellerwork), movement specialist (Alexander Technique) and natural vision educator and Tomitis based practitioner over time I have developed a technique that I call “The Vestibular Sensing System”. It is based on the premise that we stand up and through our senses. The way that we use those senses determines our structure and how we move. For book interview and more information you can visit

Book cover: Up Right by Kay Hogan with before and after profile silhouettes, one slouched and one upright
Up Right

Kay Hogan
Kay Hogan

19 October 2023: Congratulations to local author Monica Voicu Denniston on her new children's book, Maggie the Military Rat! Monica is an active duty Air Force spouse and mom to three military brats. She has a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law, where she currently teaches legal writing.

Maggie P. Worthington is a military rat—at least, she wants to be. She tries to enlist, but falls short. She tries to serve the soldiers, but gets kicked out of the mess hall. Even her attempt to send letters to the troops misfires! Will Maggie find her own way to serve?

Book cover: Maggie the Military Rat by Monica Voicu Denniston, with rat in uniform marching with dandelion in front of a large United States flag.
Maggie the Military Rat

12 October 2023: The Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church is helping Bay Area Rescue Mission with a food drive this holiday season, and Rosalind and Jamie have kindly brought a barrel to the shop for your donations!

Members of the Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church with a Bay Area Rescue Mission food barrel at Reasonable Books.
Rosalind and Jamie

21 September 2023: Congratulations to Amy Landgraf on her second Rollie Pollie Pea book for children that will delight and inspire their best, Cool To Be You!

Experience the magic of of friendship and the courage to be yourself in this captivating must-read that will leave you inspired and uplifted. When Rollie’s new friend Jack invites him to school, Rollie is excited…until he wonders what the other kids will think of him. Can Rollie get over his fear of being different, or will he decide he’s better off in his garden? Discover the power of individuality in this tale of self-discovery that we can all relate to!

Book cover: Cool To Be You by Amy Landgraf, with a child pea waving from a swing with the bright sun shining behind butterflies, bees and flowers
Cool To Be You

Amy Landgraf with her book Cool To Be You
Amy Landgraf

And on a related note, Betty and I are doing our best to put together some Saturday events for children's and young reader authors, and hope to have some news soon :)

20 September 2023: We're very happy to welcome Elaine Kelliher to the Reasonable Books Local Authors bookcase with a tragic yet hopeful fictionalized memoir, Do You Think I Cried Too Long?

The fall of 1954: eight-year-old Lily and her two-year-old brother are playing on the porch of an isolated farmhouse in rural California. They suddenly hear the reverberating boom of a shotgun in the house. Lily rushes inside and watches in horror as she sees her mother, Ellen, bleeding from a shotgun wound to the abdomen.

The coroner rules the death a suicide without any real investigation, though suspicions linger that the jealous-hearted husband is guilty. Will the tragedy and the town gossip that follows tear the family apart? This story takes you down winding paths filled with in-depth perspectives from friends and relatives, trying to determine what really happened.

Book cover: Do You Think I Cried Too Long? by Elaine Kelliher with a girl in period dress standing in a field near farmhouses.
Do You Think I Cried Too Long?

Elaine Kelliher
Elaine Kelliher

19 September 2023: Thank you to everyone who attended our Mystery+ Writers Panel on Saturday! It was a beautiful day for a lively conversation, and please stay tuned for news about future events. We have copies of Jo's latest novel Incident in India available in the store or online!

View of Saturday's writers panel from the back of Reasonable Books
Saturday's Writers Panel

We are very pleased to have a number of new local authors joining our Local Authors Bookcase, including A. P. Wynn, who brings us three novels of post-war historical fiction that examine issues of memory and regret, deep secrets and love.

Book cover: Live Free or Die by A. P. Wynn with French Resistance Flag (FFI) from WWII
Live Free or Die by A. P. Wynn

This novel is a work of fiction, but it is based on one small true event. Living in Rome during the German occupation in 1944, the author as a young girl and the daughter of a minister came across a small valise abandoned in their home which often harbored those trying to escape or fight. This story is about the young woman who never returned.

Book cover: The Healer Anna Veneziano with image of rustice Italian house on cobblestone street
The Healer by Anna Veneziano

It is 1950 and Amato must travel to an isolated village in the mountains of southern Italy, untouched by a world at war yet poisoned by secrets, superstition and deceit. In the small town where all is known, a blind eye is turned to shameful truths. The young doctor Amato tries to unravel the mystery of what happened to a sixteen year old girl with psychic healing powers and discovers his own.

Book cover: The Sense of a Beginning by A. P. Wynn with image of man in profile wearing a bowler and raincoat
The Sense of a Beginning by A. P. Wynn

Regrets and sorrow abound at the Ashton Manor in Surrey. Philip Ashton’s life began when he was secretly delivered to the Manor’s butler in a brown leather bag by the woman who gave him life. Duty bound he followed in his father’s footsteps and became trapped as a junior partner in the London firm of Ashton and Wesley. In his sixties, married, father of a daughter, and grandfather to the joy of his life, Philip finally reconciles his regrets and the Manor’s past and finally allows himself to embark on a new beginning.

A. P. Wynn with her book Live Free or Die
A. P. Wynn

17 September 2023: Just in time for Halloween, "Octobert" by Stanley Middle School's own Robert Anke has arrived!

Octobert is put to work as a scarecrow only to find that birds love him. Forced to travel from farm to farm in hopes of keeping a job, Octobert's story is one of resilience, self-discovery, friendship, and... dominoes?

Book cover: Octobert by Robert Anke with two crows on a jack-o-lantern scarecrow.
Octobert by Robert Anke

13 September 2023: Our next great in-store author event is happening this Saturday, September 16th, beginning at 11:00 AM with FOUR wonderful local authors, including but not limited to the cozy mystery genre!

Camille Minichino
Camille Minichino

Camille Minichino is the author of 28 cozy mystery novels in 5 series, plus many short stories and articles. She teaches science at Golden Gate University in San Francisco and writing workshops around the SF Bay Area. You can learn more about Camille here.

Billie Hanson-Dupree
Billie Hanson-Dupree

Billie Hanson-Dupree completed her first manuscript, Some Greens for my Blues, set in the early 1950’s in Oakland, California. She co-authored a biography of her grandmother, A Little Piece of Leather Well Put Together, and had a poem published in Spectrum 18. Her essay on racism aired on Perspectives on KQED public radio and can be heard on her website She is currently completing her second novel Still Kicking but not High, set in post-WWII rural California.

Claire M. Johnson
Claire M. Johnson

Claire M. Johnson is an author of culinary mysteries, Jane Austen pastiches, a first-person POV memoir of Pauline Pfeiffer, Hemingway’s second wife, a young adult thriller, and a historical whodunit set in 1930s San Francisco. She is also president of the Northern California Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. Read more about Claire on her website.

Josephine Mele
Josephine Mele

Josephine (Jo) Mele is the author of: The Odd Grandmothers, a memoir of three generations of her Italian immigrant family, and The Travel Mystery Series including Bullets in Bolivia, Homicide in Havana, Mystery in Monte Carlo, Bandits in Brussels, Death on the Danube, Corpse in the Castle, Sicilian Sanctuary, and Incident in India. She co-authored with her grandson, “ABC’s of Asperger’s Syndrome,” for Parents Magazine. Jo is a member of Sisters in Crime and the California Writers Club.

Our friends Jo and Camille have visited before, and those who were here will remember the lively and illuminating discussion! So please arrive promptly for this free event and hear these writers read from their books, discuss their inspirations and strategy, and take your questions about their work and the craft of writing! Light refreshments will be served.

29 August 2023: Join us at the store this Saturday, September 2nd, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM for a talk including reading and Q&A with the author of the Joe Turner Mysteries, T.L. Bequette! In these mysteries, criminal defense attorney Joe Turner plies his craft in the East Bay with intelligence, biting humor and clear-eyed sarcasm in a series that has been described as “Oakland Noir”, and if you enjoy the mystery/thriller genre and would like to discuss how T.L. Bequette brings his real-world experience to the pages of this series, you won’t want to miss this free event!

Book cover: A Long Time Dead by T.L. Bequette with person in dark hoodie with face in shadow behind a single rose
A Long Time Dead: A Joe Turner Mystery

T.L. Bequette
T.L. Bequette

21 August 2023: We are very pleased to have AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia visit us this coming Saturday, August 26 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM to discuss and sign copies of her novel Drifters Realm. AnneMarie is a native Californian and Bay Area resident, a former tech executive and “geek at heart” who has written a lovely adventure suitable for young and young-at-heart readers. With charming fantasy and magical elements, Drifters Realm explores themes of friendship, family and love in this first book in the Drifters Realm Series, and AnneMarie will be happy to discuss her work and writing in general with you! Copies of Drifters Realm are available in the store, online here, and from her website.

AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia

Poster for Drifters Realm Book Signing Event, Middle-Grade & Young Adult, AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia, August 26th from 2pm to 4pm, Reasonable Books, 3645 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite C, Lafayette, CA 94549

5 July 2023: Martinez resident Hank Scheer joins our Local Authors bookcase with a thriller over two decades in the making, Fade to Blue!

Biotech researcher Sarah Brenalen is frustrated by her boss' s dismissal of her controversial theory, so she secretly injects lab mice with experimental Alzheimer's drugs of her own design. Sarah is stunned when one of her experiments goes horribly wrong. But Marcel and his international cabal are intrigued. Sarah's brain-destroying T-3 formulation could be just what they need. Fade to Blue is a high-tech, fast-paced, cat-and-mouse game played for keeps. What Marcel didn't count on is that two can play this game.

Book cover: Fade to Blue by Hank Scheer with montage of woman, laboratory rat, magnified neuron and syringe.

27 June 2023: Welcome to Pleasanton-based author Linda Drattell! Linda, despite being deafened in her 30's, has gone on to enjoy a successful second career as a writer and poet, and has just co-authored a children's book titled "Who Wants to be Friends with a Dragon?" It's the story of an unlikely friendship between a dragon and a young boy that encourages children to look past their differences and find kindness in others.

A dragon hides each day in the forest, watching as children and animals play together. He wants to join them but fears they will reject him because of the size of his wings, the sharpness of his nails, the power of his tail, and the fact he can blow fire. One day, a boy approaches the dragon, accepts their differences, and invites him to play. The dragon musters up the courage to attend the boy’s birthday party and, by trial and error, learns that his differences make him fit in! Who Wants to be Friends With a Dragon? is the story of a lonely dragon who overcomes his fear of rejection to find the true meaning of friendship when he meets a boy who appreciates him for who he is.

Book cover: Who Wants to be Friends with a Dragon by Linda Drattell with picture of a smiling boy sitting on a dragon's back.

Linda Drattell
Linda Drattell

21 June 2023: After years of creating stories for television, A.K. Karos decided to put pen to paper and write books that sow the seeds of curiosity and harvest imagination. It is a pleasure to welcome her to our Local Authors bookcase with "The Brave Coin"!

What's scarier... a dragon or the first day of school? For Sam, it is the first day of kindergarten that terrifies him, but could a wizard, a fire-breathing dragon, and a quest for a magic coin help him tackle his fears? As Sam learns the magical legend of The Brave Coin, he discovers what it truly means to be brave and how to find the courage to believe in yourself.

Book cover: The Brave Coin by A. K. Karos with picture of a smiling boy holding a coin in front of a wall with a dragon's shadow.

A. K. Karos
A. K. Karo

15 June 2023: Alfred Garotto's novel Inspector Javert at the Gates of Hell has been a part of our Local Authors books for some time, and it's a pleasure to congratulate him on his latest book, Living Your Art—Loving Your Life, a collection of reflections for professional and aspiring artists of all genres on the intimate relationship between your gifts and talents and your Creator-Spirit who inspires you to speak hope, love, and compassion to our needy, beauty-starved world.

Book cover: Living Your Art - Loving Your Life: 101 Reflections on Your Gift of Art by Alfred J. Garrotto

3 June 2023: This year's Pulitzer Prize for biography went to Hua Hsu for his '90s Berkeley memoir, Stay True, and another local author, Suki Jones, brings us a powerful memoir set in the '90s East Bay punk rock scene, Sea, Swallow Me. In this compelling and visceral work, Suki discusses with candor her experience in the world of modeling, music and addiction.

Set against the backdrop of the Bay Area in the early '90s, Jones balances motherhood and modeling with deft precision, but behind the scenes she was falling apart and roaming the night with punk rockers, metalheads, and sometimes even strangers, just looking for her next fix. Sea, Swallow Me is a powerful and redemptive tale of resilience and redemption.

Book cover: Sea, Swallow me by Suki Jones, with author in modelling pose against a background of poppy flowers.

Suki Jones
Suki Jones

There is also a Kindle edition of Sea, Swallow Me, and Suki is @suki_jones on Instagram.

1 June 2023: Phil Scimonelli is a retired teacher with over 30 years in education, and joins us with his first book, "Bridget's Rescue"! Phil's passion for teaching started in Child Development, where he specialized in reading to children from ages 3 - 6. Combining his educational experience with his love of dogs led him to write "Bridget's Rescue." He believes passionately in the pet rescue process as the best means to save an animal and acquire a best friend.

After Grandma Rose explains the importance of animal shelters to her granddaughter Bridget, the family decides she is old enough to help with a family pet. As Bridget prepares for a pet adoption, she learns how important it is to consider the entire family when choosing a dog. After a few disappointing introductions, she finds the one!

Book cover: Bridget's Rescue by Phil Scimonelli, with colorful drawing of family entering an animal rescue shelter.

Phil Scimonelli
Phil Scimonelli

20 May 2023: AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia "grew up with a library card in her pocket and a stack of books on her desk", and after a career in tech she joins our Local Authors bookcase with her debut novel Drifters Realm!

Life Giver Roe, Sorcerer Ori, and Tamer Theo are three siblings with ancient backpack powers living in a mystical world. Together with their friends, they travel through forests, deserts, caves, and swamps in order to fight against the Guardians, a Storm Catcher named Tora, and her father, First City Leader Quinlan, in a battle between good and evil.

Book cover: Drifters Realm by AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia with dreamlike image of a girl in a forest with tigers and lion and city in the distance.

AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia
AnneMarie Mazotti Gouveia

17 May 2023: In the nearly three years since we opened we've been very fortunate to have gotten advice from Linda Grana, the manager of the Lafayette Bookstore, one of our indie bookstore predecessors. Many of you will remember Linda and her signature book recommendations, and we are very pleased to announce that we now have a section for Linda's current book reviews in the store! You can find Linda's hand-written book reviews on "shelf talkers" in the area under the old Papyrus sign, and there will be something for (almost) everyone on the shelves there!

Linda Grana in front of shelves with books and Linda's reviews of them.
Linda Grana

16 May 2023: Kendell Haynes joins our Local Authors bookcase with a charming book for children who may sometimes find themselves scared of the dark, "Goodnight, Mira: Overcoming Fear of the Dark"!

Meet Mira, a young girl who struggles with fear at bedtime, on her way to overcoming her fears and emerging stronger and braver than ever before. With captivating illustrations and an engaging storyline, "Goodnight, Mira: Overcoming Fear of the Dark" is the perfect bedtime story for children ages 4-8.

Book cover: Goodnight Mira by Kendell Haynes, with young girl smiling as she prepares to go to sleep.

10 May 2023: Welcome, Melissa Giomi, to our Local Authors bookcase! Melissa joins us with her book, Divine Encounters...:

In this inspiring contemporary devotional, Melissa Giomi explores what it means to be truly present with God in surprisingly ordinary ways. Filled with rich imagery, gentle poetry and soulful reflections that are rooted in the Word, Divine Encounters… offers readers a meditative guide that will anchor them to the everyday wonders of God’s love. A celebration of mindful living, courageous surrender and deep gratitude, Divine Encounters... invites you not just to let Jesus in — but to realize He is already here.

Book cover with framed painting of a bench in a leaf covered park on a sunny day, hanging on a sunlit wall with flowers beneath.

Melissa Giomi
Melissa Giomi

29 April 2023: Our Local Authors bookcase is expanding with C.A. Gordon's page-turning first volume of the "TEEN JUSTICE" series, Justice Has a Curfew!

Five ordinary teenagers struggling to navigate the everyday perils of adolescence. Five ordinary teenagers living in a world recovering from a crisis born from one man’s act of revenge. Five ordinary teenagers. Also, they have superpowers . Meet Cameron, Taylor, Zack, Nova, and Max. As a team, these kids are the only hope for a bright tomorrow in a dark city full of genetically altered cops, crooks, and classmates. But first, they need to get together. And learn to get along.

TEEN JUSTICE is not about superheroes or supervillains. TEEN JUSTICE is not about costumes or gadgets or explosions or Good triumphing over Evil. At its core, TEEN JUSTICE is about a family that should not coexist yet cannot survive apart. No pressure, but the clock is ticking. After all . . . Justice has a curfew.

Book cover: TEEN JUSTICE: Justice Has A Curfew

C. A. Gordon
C.A. Gordon

29 March 2023: It was a great pleasure having Margaret Lucke visit us along with her fellow Mystery Author Panel members last Saturday, and here is a little more about a few of her books from the Local Authors bookcase. If you like mystery, suspense or the supernatural, there is something for you in these novels! Learn more about Margaret on her website.

Claire Scanlan is launching a new career in real estate and has a chance to sell a spectacular oceanview home designed by a world-renowned architect. But the home has a problem that frightens off buyers -- it was the site of a vicious mass murder. Claire experiences strange sensations, and as the unexplainable experiences continue, the idea that the place might be haunted both fascinates and repels her.

Book cover: House of Whispers by Margaret Lucke, with image of woman in evening dress superimposed over image of tiled-roof mansion.
House of Whispers

When a trip across time barriers leads to murder... At a gala fundraiser to save a grand San Francisco Victorian, reluctant psychic Claire Scanlan she encounters a mysterious young woman, Roxane, who is invisible to everyone but her. Roxane is a "soiled dove" plying her trade in the mansion in 1896. She has discovered a secret portal that lets her slip into what she calls the Future House to escape the most brutal of the men who buy her favors.

Book cover: House of Desire: A Claire Scanlan Haunted House Mystery by Margaret Lucke, showing top of Queen Anne style house with ghostly apparition in window.
House of Whispers

On the eve of a high-profile murder trial, a seven-year-old girl disappears — the daughter of the San Francisco cop who is the star witness. Artist/private detective Jess Randolph joins the frantic search for the girl she thinks of as a sister. Jess must risk her life and confront her darkest fears as she races time to find the child before it’s too late. The hunt takes her from San Francisco to the snowbound Sierra, and deep into the hearts of two shattered families.

Book cover: Snow Angel by Margaret Lucke, with image of snow angel with blood stains superimposed by reticle (crosshairs).
Snow Angel

27 March 2023: Welcome, Cyndi! Cal alumna Cyndi Spindell Berck joins our Local Authors bookcase with Pocahontas and Sacagawea: Interwoven Legacies in American History, during the research for which she canoed up the Missouri, walked along the silent ruts of the Oregon Trail, gazed over the Cumberland Gap, and visited the Jamestown settlement.

Berck weaves the stories of these two Native American heroines with those of their friends, kin, and contemporaries, tracing a slice of American migration from the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia, across the Appalachian Mountains, through the land of the Cherokees, to St. Louis, up the Missouri River, and finally to the Pacific.

Book cover: Images of Pocahontas and Sacagawea over painting of pioneers in mountains on horseback with wagon train.

Cyndi Spindell Berck
Cyndi Spindell Berck

21 March 2023: Welcome to Marc Paul Kaplan, who joins our Local Authors bookcase with two novels, Over the Edge, and Chasing Klondike Dreams! Marc is an avid outdoors man and successful businessman in the San Francisco Bay Area. His longtime interest in nature has led him to serve for many years on the Board of Directors of The Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, California.

Marc's debut thriller, Over the Edge, crackles with energy and conflict, vividly capturing the anything-goes atmosphere of a burgeoning ski resort in the modern wild west. Matthew Green, a physically and mentally scarred Vietnam Vet, prone to terrifying flashbacks, hopes for a respite in Jackson Hole from his brutal past. Franky Fiorini, an educated but corrupt junior member of a New York mob family, is sent to Jackson Hole in search of the informant who betrayed his father. Neither man knows the other, but their paths are about to cross in a most unexpected way.

Book cover: Over The Edge: A Novel by Marc Paul Kaplan, with weathered dogs tags, old and torn printed page and photograph of a skier in mid-jump.

In Chasing Klondike Dreams, a disillusioned Jared Monroe rebels against the life chosen for him by his father and leaves Yale Divinity School. After he is forcefully rejected by his family Jared embarks on a journey with his dog, Brutus, to forge a new life and to regain self-respect in the West. Maggie Saunders, a high-class prostitute, acts in self- defense against a wealthy and cruel customer. With no hope for justice, she escapes St. Louis in search of safety and a decent life.

Book cover: Chasing Klondike Dreams by Marc Paul Kaplan, with antique image of pioneer with outdoor clothing and gear.

17 March 2023: Come join us for a Mystery Authors Panel, this Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 2:00 PM, including the celebration of two new books from local authors! Our panelists will be: Claudia Hagadus Long, Janice Peacock and Margaret Lucke.

Claudia Hagadus Long was one our very first author speakers in the Fall of ’21, where she discussed her novel Nine Tenths of the Law, a mystery based on riveting family history. And now her sequel Our Lying Kin has arrived! In Our Lying Kin, Zara and Lilly are back to unravel a series of family mysteries in a story filled with humor, sibling rivalry and love. Claudia has also written about early 18th Century Mexico, the Roaring Twenties in San Francisco, and modern-day New York City. She lives in Northern California, with her husband and far too many animals.

Book cover: Our Lying Kin by Claudia Hagadus Long, with photo album and ring.

Janice Peacock is a cozy mystery author who specializes in craft and hobby mysteries. She loves to write about artists who find new ways to live their lives and perhaps catch a criminal or two in the process. The Ruby Shaw Mysteries, which are set in a small hillside mining town, were inspired by her trips to Jerome, Arizona, and Jacksonville, Oregon. While working in a glass studio with several colorful and quirky artists, she was inspired to write the Glass Bead Mystery Series, and her fifth Glass Bead mystery, Born to Bead Wild, was just released this January!

Book cover: Born to Bead Wild: A Glass Bead Mystery by Janice Peacock, with Basset Hound.

Margaret Lucke lives in the East Bay, in Hercules, where she writes tales of love, ghosts and murder, sometimes all three in one book. Her most recent novels are House of Desire, the second book in her paranormal suspense series that stars a Marin County real estate agent who specializes in haunted houses, and Snow Angel, in which artist/PI Jess Randolph finds himself in a search for a child who goes missing just as her father is about to be the star witness in a high-profile murder trial. A former president of the Northern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Margaret teaches fiction writing classes and has authored two how-to books on writing: Writing Mysteries and Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories. Her other publishing credits include more than 60 short stories, feature articles, and scripts for mystery weekends.

Book cover: House of Desire: A Claire Scanlan Haunted House Mystery by Margaret Lucke, showing top of Queen Anne style house with ghostly apparition in window.

If you are able to RSVP for this event, we will be able to plan seating as well as light snacks accordingly. Please feel free to reply to this invitation with your RSVP, or to email us at See you there!

8 March 2023: Mark your calendars!: Tickets are available for a conversation with Angela Harrelson, aunt of George Floyd, at the Town Hall Theatre on Monday, March 13th, at 7:00 PM.

Angela Harrelson has had a remarkable journey, starting life as the child of sharecroppers in North Carolina, being the first in her family to attend and be graduated from college, achieving officer rank in the military against formidable odds, and practicing a career as a professional nurse in Minnesota, where her nephew George Floyd moved in 2014 as part of rebuilding his life after struggles with crime and addiction. He died there in an incident with police that gained worldwide attention and was central to the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, and which resulted in a conviction for murder.

Angela has written a moving story of her life and experience after being thrust into the milieu of protests in 2020—against the backdrop of a pandemic and fraught political contests—and will be speaking about her book at the Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette on Monday evening, March 13th, at 7:00 PM. Angela will be signing copies of her book as well, and we will be taking preorders for copies of “Lift Your Voice: How My Nephew George Floyd's Murder Changed The World”. (Please mention your 10% pre-order discount.) This is a pay-what-you-can ticketed event, with an optional donation. You can reserve your tickets here.

2 March 2023: Just in time for the coronation of Charles III! Moraga resident Blair Hoffman joins our Local Authors bookcase with a fascinating and timely look at the heirs to the British throne who nearly, but never quite, ascended to the regency.

British kings and queens are famous today. But many heirs to the British throne never became the actual king or queen due to various quirks of fate. This is their story. The stories include: the White Ship disaster of 1120, the Black Prince, the Princes in the Tower, Mary, Queen of Scots, the Old Pretender, and many more.

Book cover with drawings of medieval British royalty and a Victorian-era British street scene.

Blair Hoffman
Blair Hoffman

16 February 2023: Did you know that children's book sales are nearly one third of all book sales in the United States? With that in mind, we're very happy to welcome Amy Landgraf to our local authors bookshelves with Good Night, Sweet Peas, a charming, humorous, and beautifully illustrated story about getting ready for bed.

Rollie Pollie Pea and his siblings are enjoying some fun in the garden when Grammy and Grampy Pea declare it’s time for bed. The five peas set about bathing, brushing, and climbing into their pod for a goodnight story. But putting five little peas to bed isn’t as easy as it sounds, and delaying tactics soon abound. Parents and children alike will laugh at the recognizable ways in which a little one tries to put off going to sleep, and the surprise ending will have them begging to read the book again!

Book cover with peas sleeping in a pod in front of a full moon, with a bird and three sleeping bumblebees nearby.

Amy Landgraf
Amy Landgraf

14 February 2023: Happy Valentine's Day to all who celebrate! 2023 is looking to be another exciting year for our local authors, and today we are pleased to welcome not one, but two new titles! First, congratulations to Elaine Gast Fawcett and Sue Schwartzman on the recent publication of Two Measly Spots!, an enchanting children's book lovingly illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell:

In the misty, mossy morning deep in a Redwood grove, Lulu woke up from her winter slumber. She stretched, looked around her ladybug log, and was dazzled by the sea of black spots. Some bugs had 8 spots, 10 spots, 12 spots, or more. Lulu looked back to count her own spots.

One...two... Two measly spots!

Book cover with ladybug girl looking with concern at her wings with two spots.

Sue Schwartzman
Sue Schwartzman
And, we are very happy to congratulate Claudia Hagadus Long, a longtime fixture in our local authors bookcase with Nine Tenths of the Law, on her sequel, Our Lying Kin!

Zara and Lilly are back, but their relationship has some cracks in it. Through the long pandemic isolation, Zara’s gone from straight-laced to rigid, while Lilly, true to form, has indulged in some dubious—and not-particularly-legal—adventures. But they’re still sisters, and sisters are special.

Book cover: Our Lying Kin by Claudia Hagadus Long, with photo album and ring.

3 February 2023: Welcome to Lafayette native and Meher School and Sonoma State alum Chris Pancoast! Chris joins our Local Authors bookcase with two books, Animal Tales ABCs and Why Play? Learning Through Play.

Chris Pancoast
Chris Pancoast

Animal Tales ABCs tells the story of a child and his beloved alien friend that comes to life taking him and his siblings on an “around the world” adventure learning about animal conservation, endangered species, and ways that youth in todays society can help protect animals.

Book cover with drawing of boy wearing glasses seated on giraffe with other animal nearby including a monkey, elephant and felines

Chris earned his Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University, and Why Play? Learning Through Play is the result of his research into the critical importance of play for children (and for adults!)

Book Cover with various children engaged in outdoor play.

4 January 2023: Congratulations to John McCormick on the publication of his book Chinese in Napa Valley: The Forgotten Community That Built Wine Country! Many of you know John and Colleen McCormick as the owners of Lafayette's own Lamorinda Music, and in his book John explores the little known history of Chinese laborers in Northen California during the late 19th century, a significant proportion of the total population of the young state at the time and critical contributors to the development of the economy of the Napa Valley region.

Vintage photo of Chinese family in traditional attire and painting of Chinese laborers with traditional hair dress and headwear working in vineyard next to wine press.
Chinese in Napa Valley by John McCormick

3 January 2023: We are honored to receive a grant from Sisters in Crime, the women's crime writing association! Since we opened our store in September of 2020 we have had the pleasure of getting to know more than a few members of this prestigious organization, including Jospehine Mele, Camille Minichino, Claudia Hagadus Long, Janice Peacock and Donna Darling. You can find their books in the store, and we're looking forward to more in-store events with your local mystery writers in 2023!

Mystery novels by Janice Peacock, Josephine Mele, Claudia Hagadus Long and Deven Greene.
Sisters in Crime mysteries
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