Saturday, April 27, 2019

Celebrating Independent Booksellers' Day with the Spice Shop Crew #giveaway

By Pepper Reece, from the Spice Shop Mysteries
by Leslie Budewitz

If I weren’t up to my allspice in spice today – it IS Saturday, the busiest day in the Market – I’d be bookstore hopping. It’s Independent Bookstore Day, which in my personal opinion ought to be a national holiday.

In Seattle, it is a holiday of sorts. The Seattle indies run a passport program, as I suspect bookies in other cities do, too. Visit a shop, collect a map, get it stamped, and after just a few visits, start collecting perks.

Why am I such a fan? Well, I do run an independent retail business myself. I know how hard it is. And I know how satisfying it is. What we do matters. When customers buy from a locally-owned and operated shop, a huge percentage of the revenue stays right here. (I can’t be more specific because it varies so much, city to city and biz to biz, but general estimates are 50-70% or better.)

When you shop local, your hard-earned dollars stay local, and they come right back to you. When a customer buys a few ounces of cinnamon or pepper from me, I have money to buy bread from Three Girls Bakery or pancetta from DeLaurenti’s Italian grocer. I have money to pay Sandra, who buys fun new reading glasses, and Kristen, who buys clothes and groceries and more clothes for her girls, and Cayenne, who’s buying ingredients for dinner for her grandfather – you met him, Louis Adams, in Killing Thyme. And the baker buys honey, and the beekeeper buys cheese, and the cheesemonger buys more spice. It’s a circle.

And honestly, are there places more fun than bookstores? (If your answer is yes, don’t tell me.)

They’re seriously magic. When we were teenagers, Kristen worked in one on Broadway only a few blocks from the house where we grew up, where she lives now, and I adored visiting her. The city still has a surprising number of booksellers, and the number is growing. My former law firm staffer, Jen, works at the Mystery Bookshop*** and I love dropping in to see her—I always toddle out with a full tote bag. Independent booksellers love what they do, and they take the time to help you find exactly the right book, often one you had no idea existed when you walked in.

We sell books here, too. Mostly cookbooks and chef lit, but some foodie fiction. Our customers are often surprised, but I can tell, they love it, too.

Spice and books. Pure magic.

Celebrate Independent Bookseller Day with a shopping spree! (I can make suggestions. :) ) Tell me about an independent retailer you love, particularly a bookseller, and Pepper will give one of you an IndieBound gift card, so you can put her money where your mouth is. (Leave a comment, with your email address, to enter. Winner will be chosen Mon, April 29. US addresses only, please.)

*** Sadly, the real Seattle Mystery Bookshop closed in 2017, but it lives on in my pages.




From the cover of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, Spice Shop Mystery #4 (Seventh St. Books, June 2019): 

 Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother's house hunt, and a fisherman who's set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee's vintage home decor shop that ends in murder. 

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend - and Pepper herself.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," is nominated for the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story; read it on her website. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

36 comments:

  1. There's a bookseller about 45 minutes from me that sells books and wine. I don't get to go often because they don't really have parking and its a bit of a pain to get to, but I love it when I get the chance to go. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Arggh, parking -- both my gals, Pepper and Erin, gripe about it regularly!

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  2. My favorite Indie bookstore was Capitol Books in Montgomery, Alabama where my sister lives. Unfortunately, it had to close, which was very sad. But when I was going through chemotherapy several years ago, my sister had them pick and choose two books to send to me a month, and they sent such wonderful books that I never would have selected myself. One of them has become one of my very favorites - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - a wonderful book that I am sure I would never have picked out on my own. I love Indie book stores! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Handpicked books -- what a treat during a difficult time. So glad you're healthy now -- I'm sure the book medicine helped1

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  3. I was so sad to hear Seattle Mystery Bookshop closed. Books Or Books, a local independent bookstore where I live, closed last year too. I miss it. It's a tough business. mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. Oh, gosh, yes -- the staff was so good to me. Happily, indies ARE making a comeback, in Seattle and elsewhere.

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  4. The Indie bookstore which I frequent and enjoy spending time at is Bookworks. A very special place which features local authors and has a wonderful collection. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Wonderful! Where is it? (There's a Bookworks in Whitefish, MT, but I'm guessing that's not the one you mean.)

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  5. Whenever I want to locate a specific book or shop for my grandsons I go to Page One. I always find interesting books for gifts. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Great name! (I almost said "great title." Oops.)

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  6. Crabby Reader a little bookstore in town. It's really friendly great atmosphere. Donakutska7@gmail.com

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  7. I'm partial to the New England Mobile Book Fair (in Newtom MA), and not just because my daughter worked there for a few years after college. For owner Tom Lyons, it's a labor of love, and he hosts regular events for local authors and of course book buyers. And he has lots of books!

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    1. Oh, I met Tom at the New England Crime Book. A true book champion!

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  8. Love the Brattle Book Shop in Boston.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  9. I used to love to go to the Book Nook when I visited the small town where my husband grew up.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. A bookstore can really be the heart of a small town, can't it?

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  10. My all time favorite book store is Books of Wonder in Manhattan.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Mostly children's books, right? A terrific niche.

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  11. I love Powell's in Portland. It's huge. So many items to choose from.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

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  12. When I lived in Ardmore, Oklahoma, there were lots of great locally owned businesses, including a good-sized bookstore. I spent a lot of money at that bookstore! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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    1. Locally-owned businesses keep small towns alive, don't they?

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  13. Unfortunately there aren't very many indie bookstores near where I live. That is so sad, at least in my opinion. Thanks for the chance. ematov (at) comcast (dot) net

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    1. Happily, many do ship -- you can go directly to a retailer's website, like Powell's, or shop through the IndieSense site -- totally easy!

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  14. I love the Tattered Cover in Denver, CO (LoDo location). zukeeper.geo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Oh, yes -- I got to speak at the Aspen Grove store for the Food Lovers' Village series and it was lovely!

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  15. There is a used bookstore up the street that also sells some new books. Not only does every single person know me and know that I love cozies, they put all the new cozies aside for me until I go in in order to give me first dibs on everything. Or they call me if I haven't been in in a few days. I love it! Kkcochran (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Oh, too funny -- they literally have your number!

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  16. We've recently had a used book store, Pretty Good Books,open in our town. Although it only handles used books, I don't mind reading
    used books. I even like going to yard sales and such looking for a good buy on a book. Thanks for the chance to enter your giveaway.
    robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Books are books, right? What I've seen around here is that a used bookstore begins, gradually, to carry new books of local interest, esp if there is no new-book bookstore in the area, and over time, that section really grows, which is great.

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  17. The Book Shoppe in Medina, NY is absolutely charming. And wonderful people run it! cheers (at) MarjimManor (dot) com

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  18. Hmmm...only one. Powell's is my number one. Murder by the Book in Portland closed a few years ago. Pendleton Book Co. is awesome. I never met an independent book store I didn't like...or love.

    kaye.killgore(at)comcast.net

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  19. We don't have any independent bookstores within an hour of me. I go to the library bookstores to pick up books. All of our libraries have them run by the Friends of the Library. And, that's where all of my books go when I am finished reading them. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  20. Congratulations to our winner, Eileen Wells!

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