Dartmouth Book Exchange 2023 Year-end Review

As we count down to the end of 2023, we would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you who has supported us throughout the year.

 -Happy Holidays Amy, Sue, Erin, Kiara, and Sophia.

Front: Amy and Kiara. Back: Sue, Sophia, and Erin.

We started 2023 off with a good old chinwag with our Let’s Chat with Lesley Crewe event held on January 21st. We had a full house of just over 20 people and were treated to several of Lesley’s wonderful stories; from her writing process to the settings of her books to her future plans. Lesley released a new title this summer called Recipe for a Good Life. We were the booksellers for her launch at the Woodlawn Library in September which was attended by more than 135 people. In 2024, we plan to host a tea with Lesley and serve Crewe Brew, a limited edition tea made by Teamancy in Cape Breton which can be ordered online. Teamancy describes Crewe Brew as a gorgeous blueberry black tea with hints of lemon, created in partnership with Lesley’s release of Recipe for a Good Life. We plan to make a couple of pots of Crewe Brew, put our feet up, and enjoy discussing A Recipe for a Good Life!

Lesley showing off her Spoon Stealer Tote made for her by a book club out of Calgary

On June 4th we welcomed Helen C. Escott to our Operation D.B.E. event. Helen combines her first-hand police experience and her superb storytelling skills to keep readers on the edge of their seats in each of her 5 novels. Store manager Sue began with a short introduction, and then jumped right into her interrogation of Helen with some insightful questions about her one-woman crime spree. Helen then did a short reading, from her latest novel Operation Masonic which was short-listed for the Atlantic Published Book Award by the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association. For the finale of the event, we did 6 draws for 6 of her books donated by Helen.

Newfoundland’s award-winning, queen of suspense, and crime thriller extraordinaire Helen C. Escott

Just after Easter, we started stocking NovelTea, book-themed loose tea made in Truro by a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law team. This was a catalyst for several events this past year starting with our Anne Of Green Gables Tea. June 13th, 2023 marked the 115th year since Anne was first published and we celebrated it by serving L.M. Montgomery’s Raspberry Cordial Herbal Tea. We had an enjoyable evening filled with everything to do with Anne with an “e”, including a reading by Louise Michalos from her novel Marilla Before Anne and stories by professional storyteller Cindy Cambell-Stone.

Louise Michalos reading from her novel Marilla Before Anne
Professional Storyteller Cindy Campbell-Stone and store manager Sue Slade delighted guests with stories and quotes by L.M. Montgomery

Our next tea occasion was a Jane Austen Tea in celebration of the 5th annual Bookstore Romance Day on August 20th. We served Sense & Sensibility- Lavender Cream Earl Grey Black Tea and had a wonderful afternoon sipping tea, eating sweets, and listening to 6 local romance authors read from and discuss their books! In attendance were Donna Alward, Deborah Hale, Cathryn Fox, Michelle Helliwell, Nicole Bea, and Kelly Boyce along with 22 Romance Fiction Fans including members from the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Jane Austen Society. We gave away DBEx gift certificates donated by the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada and several books donated by the romance authors in attendance.

Deborah Hale, Donna Alward, Cathryn Fox, Nicole Bea, Kelly Boyce, and Michelle Helliwell

On October 24th we held our next tea, The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Tea and Ghost Story Night. We served Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow Tea- Pumpkin Chai Black Tea from NovelTea’s Fall line. We were greatly entertained by guest author Bretton Loney (Joe Howe’s Ghost), and Professional Storytellers Cindy Campbell-Stone and Steve Vernon. During this event, we held draws for a Joe Howe’s Ghost T-shirt donated by Bretton, a Bluenose Ghosts novel by Helen Creighton, donated by the Helen Creighton Folklore Society, and a More Maritime Murder novel by Steve Vernon, donated by Steve.

Our final tea on November 28th was a Sherlock Holmes Tea. We served Arthur Conan Doyle’s English Breakfast Black Tea. We also hosted a couple of special guest authors including Deanna Foster, author of Fortunes of Madness, B.R. Myers author of A Dreadful Splendour, and Wendy Heyman-Marsaw author of Memoirs From Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen. Also joining us were JoAnn and Mark Alberstat, both have been editors of Canadian Holmes since 2009 and are part of The Sherlock Holmes Society of Canada. Mark is also a member of The Baker Street Irregulars with the investiture name of “Halifax” and has written for various Sherlockian books and journals.

B.R. Myers
Deanna Foster
Sherlock Sue

A few other notable events we enjoyed this year was our Hippie Pirate event with Lana Shupe on August 13th. The Hippie Pirates is the first book in an early chapter book series, this one is set in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Thanks to Heather and Ernie who brought their Smitty’s Waffle Wagon Volkswagon Camper Bus to help make this event the grooviest.

Photo taken by Snickerdoodle Photography

On December 12th, we had lots of fun and laughs at the launch of Mark E. Shupe’s debut novel The Wish Doctor. We drank WISHkey and ate mini Christmas cookies at this well-attended event. According to the Wish Doctor, WISHkey is a non-alcoholic drink that tastes different for each person. It looks like the colour amber but it’s actually the colour of moonlight. Most of the attendees, if not all, went home with a Wish Stone, good for 1 wish.

The Wish Doctor aka Mark E. Shupe and local author Parker Keddy

We had a wonderful year full of fun events, and some pretty great readings. We hope to continue to make more community connections in the New Year and we thank you for your continued support of the store. No wishes for 2024 as we have learned from the Wish Doctor that wishes often go wrong, but I have a Wish Stone good for one guaranteed wish…

Wishes on stars are maybe the most powerful. If you really need a wish to come true, wish on a star. Just be careful. They can also cause the most problems if they go wrong.

― Mark E. Shupe, The Wish Doctor