“I just want to say: Should an unfortunate butter-related accident happen to Paula Deen, I could be ready to step in as Grand Marshall in a moment’s notice.”
So proclaimed Lian Dolan at the October 28th publication party for her debut novel Helen of Pasadena. About 100 people came to Little Flower Candy Co. to celebrate the romantic comedy and to help support the Cancer Support Community (CSC), which was recently renamed after a merger between the Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club. Publisher Prospect Park Media (yep, that’s us) donated 30% of revenue from book sales that night, and an ace team of junior salespeople (the author’s son Colin Treidler and friends William and Camille Pai) sold raffle tickets for two deluxe massages donated by the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa. All told, the evening brought in nearly $900 for the CSC, which provides free support for cancer patients and survivors, as well as their caregivers: counseling, classes in everything from yoga to knitting to meditation, support groups and more.
The party was mostly devoted to meeting the author, buying books, eating, drinking and talking to new and old friends (it was a two-degrees-of-separation kind of happening). But of course there was a bit of speechifying. Little Flower’s Christine Moore piped up with a rave of the book, which she’d just finished reading. Publisher Colleen Dunn Bates talked about how she and Dolan met as neighbors and moms and how they later came to work together. Dolan paid tribute to Bates, who decided to publish her novel while in the middle of chemotherapy for breast cancer, and then introduced Beverly Rouse, director of the CSC, who talked about the group’s mission. Finally, Rouse introduced Bill Turner, who moved the crowd with his story of how the CSC gave him and his wife support and hope when she was given a month to live after a cancer diagnosis. (Seven years later, she’s still here.)
Among the locals in attendance were authors Michelle Huneven, Greg Critser, Marla Frazee and Michele Zack; Star-News editor Larry Wilson and his wife, Phoebe; Pasadena Public Information Officer Ann Erdman; bloggers John Stephens, Petrea Burchard, Lauren Albrecht and Paula Johnson; Pasadena Outlook writer Lisa Vandergriff; Hometown Pasadena authors Mel Malmberg and Mary Jane Horton; two of Lian’s Satellite Sisters, Liz and Sheila Dolan; and a host of Pasadenans-about-town.
Helen of Pasadena is now on sale nationwide, including locally at Vroman’s and other bookstores. Lian Dolan will be appearing with the Satellite Sisters at Vroman’s on Sunday, November 14th at 3 p.m.; at Maude Woods on Friday, November 26 at 4 p.m.; and at the Huntington Library Bookstore on Sunday, December 12 at 2 p.m.