Circus of the Queens Turns One!

December 17th last year was the official launch date to my debut novel, Circus of the Queens: The Fortune Teller’s Fate. I’ve been so proud and happy to see it out in the world. It’s truly a miracle that it happened. I wanted to thank everyone who supported this story about a Russian circus family and a once- aspiring ballerina who becomes the circus’ fortune teller. Its audience seems to be growing and it is my hope that that will continue, and that people will have the opportunity to read it and enjoy it for many years to come. It’s been more than a book to me. I believe finishing it, seeing it in print and the thought of holding it in my hands helped me get through more than a difficult time. I believe that it helped to save my life.

There have been a number of cheerful outcomes that have helped to push the book along. Many of you have helped by writing reviews, don’t stop! But know from the bottom of my heart that I thank you. With other wonderful reviews from the Santa Barbara Independent, V’roman’s, The Historical Fiction Society and Goodreads reviewer Karen Brissette, it’s helped me hop, skip and jump into writing its sequel, Circus of the Queens: The Shadow of Lillya.

Other landmark events: being chosen as book club pick of the month from Mendocino’s Gallery Bookshop, speaking at the Woodstock Library forum in Woodstock, New York, having the book purchased by the New York Public Library, to name a few. It’s proved to be a very exciting year that up until recently I could only have imagined happening.

Happy Holidays to everyone — dreams do come true and miracles can happen. 

Hooray for Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino!

Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino was a bigger success than I dreamed possible. All of the staff are friendly and helpful, and I was terribly impressed by their sense of community. Rob, who is in charge of their events, is a special wonderful guy setting a happy tone wearing a tuxedo top hat on his head. It was easy to see why people support and love this bookstore. They seem to take a personal interest in every customer who walks through their door and have the patience to make certain these same people are satisfied with their book shopping experience when they walk back out the door. Hooray great independent book store that makes it easy to see the added care and interest you get when shopping there.

Circus of The Queens: The Fortune-Teller’s Fate greeted us and helped to welcome everyone who entered the store. Placed on their first display table, it was surrounded by Pulitzer Prize winning novels and other great books. I had to pinch myself, seeing it in such company!

Their staff shared with us how the book has been extremely popular and that they had been selling quite a few copies. They live streamed my reading and talk to 30 additional people. This was a first for me and I believe from the response of those in attendance and how many of them walked away with books in their hands, that I did well!

We loved being there and I can’t stop talking about what a happy experience it was for me. Thank you, Mendocino and Gallery Bookshop for making us feel so at home and for sharing your wonderful spirit so I could take a bit of it home with me. I hope you enjoyed our visit and I look forward to seeing you again when The Shadow of Lillya is complete!

Audrey’s Birthday

This has been a very special year! For one, I am here and have gotten to participate in many special occasions with family and friends. It has also been the year of Circus of the Queens: The Fortune-Teller’s Fate and the one when I became a debut published author.  Last year at this time “Circus” was a dream that lived in my computer and my head.

I can’t begin to describe the thrill Gary and I had when the box from my publisher arrived at our door and inside it was my beloved novel printed to perfection with its beautiful cover and all my words, over 116,000 of them each one, hand-picked, staring back at me so thoughtfully laid out in its interior. The Santa Barbara Independent wrote,”Circus of the Queens is a sweet, satisfying tale of one woman’s determination, heart, and love.” The critic was describing my book, but I realized he could have so easily been describing myself.

Writing it and having it published has brought about much excitement and joy and one surprise after another. Thanks to each of you who have purchased it, read it, written a review, passed it on to friends and family, made it your book club pick, or helped it come to life in any way. And to those of you who have any part of the above on your list of to do’s, today is a very good day to do it!

A special thank you to my sister Laura, whose birthday is on the 23rd of May, Dianne Athey, Dove Govrin, and my husband, Gary Welz. Without your help and love, there would be no Circus of the Queens books.

– Audrey

Audrey’s  publisher is Rare Bird Books, a Vireo Imprint out of LA. She goes by the pen name Audrey Berger Welz.

192 Books

There is a quaint, but exclusive, little bookstore in our neighborhood in Chelsea called 192 Books. My husband and I pass by their store five to ten times a week, and for years, each time that we do, I tell my husband, “One day my novel is going be in their window.”

Two weeks ago,  we were passing by just as I was about to recite my mantra when I noticed a book from afar with similar colors as my novel’s cover, so I inched in closer and yelled for my husband to come quick.  “It’s my book,” I cried out.

There in the front window of 192 Books with  a Pulitzer Prize winning novel at its crown, and flanked by the novel that won the Man Booker prize, was my debut novel, Circus of the Queens: The Fortune-Teller’s Fate. Now I go to the bookstore and stare in the window, so proud that my dream came true.

Season of Pleased

Circus of the Queens enjoying a prime seat at the Barnes & Noble Union Square, NYC!

I found out my novel arrived in the store Thursday evening and on Friday I was invited to come on up and meet Karen in Fiction on the 4th floor. Very generous and kind in spirit, she put up with my excitement when she setup a little spot for me to autograph the books as she put stickers on the covers notating that they had been signed by the author.

Liking the book’s cover, Karen placed my novel in a small stack front and center on a table that carried other “cool” looking books and covers. I was seeing my dream unfold before my eyes and could not have been more pleased. I believe this might be the season of pleased for me.

I Love My Book!

I love my book! I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful feeling that is. I carry a copy of it with me everyday and am shameless about its promotion. I can’t seem to help myself.

When sitting on the couch, I put it on a table in front of me just so I can stare at it, and in my bedroom, I put it in different places on my bookshelf to see how the spine of my novel looks next to other books I love. I receive immense pleasure every time I read from it and feel the paper and admire the print.

My husband and I play a game. We will call out a number between one and three hundred and twelve and read whichever page that ends up being. We laugh, we cry, and then we laugh some more when we find ourselves crying from a page that we could almost recite word for word because it still moves us, no matter how many times and how many ways we have gone over the page.

It gives me an incredible sense of well being and satisfaction and joy. Knowing that it is putting smiles on complete strangers faces, as well as friends and family members, and touching peoples hearts, and giving them big belly laughs, is oh so rewarding.

I talk about it to anyone who will listen, then I hand them a card with a photo of the book cover. I gush and I can’t help myself. I am that happy!