Book Signing at the Bellevue Club

The book signing at the Bellevue Club was encouraging, flattering, and nostalgic.

One of the conference rooms at the Club was beautifully set up, with tall round tables, embroidered clothes and a spring-color bouquets on each. About ten of my regular supporters and another ten curious guests mingled while they sipped wine and tasted my home-made baklava.

It was one of the most interesting gathering of guests that I’ve had since May of 2010.

There was a gentleman who actually knew my mother. One lady refreshed my memory as to how I had danced at her wedding; after reading the book, she realized I must have learned how to dance from Mannig. And yes, that is so: my mother taught my sister and me to sing and dance for family gatherings. Two aspiring writers wanted to hear about my experiences with publishing, giving me the opportunity to re-live the agonies and ecstasies of holding my book in my hand for the first time.

I am grateful to Roger Paige, owner of Island Books, who brought a stack of books for sale. Roger has been to at least three of my book signings already and remains a dedicated supporter. A very special thanks to him.

I would also like to thank Kaarin Keil, the event coordinator of Bellevue Club, who so graciously organized my book signing.

Thanks also go to John Kinmonth, associate editor of the Bellevue Club Reflections magazine for the publicity in the April 2011 issue.

Thank you all for your support.


I would also like to share a little exchange from Facebook:

Isabelle Shanafelt posted on your Wall.

Isabelle wrote:

Hey Medz-Mama! I just wanted to let you know that my roommate is engrossed in Between the Two Rivers right now. She loves it!

This is my reply:

Hey Isabelle Jahn – How sweet to hear from you.

Thank you for letting me know about your roommate! I’ve been dreaming of having readers in your age group among my fans.

Tell her I shall mention her in my next book signing event. I’ve mentioned Kyle several times in my talks. He actually sent me a post card with his commentary. He loved the part about how Mannig and Mardiros get involved.


Between the Two Rivers 1st Place Winner in NFPW Communications Contest

My book has been declared a winner in the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) At-Large Communications Contest!  The official prize is “1st Place, 75D Nonfiction Book, history” in Washington State. My first-place At-Large entry has been brought to the national NFPW headquarters to compete in the national NFPW Communications Contest against the first-place winners from the state affiliates’ competitions. National results are usually announced in May or June.

National winners will be honored at the NFPW National Conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa, September 8-10, 2011. For more information on the NFPW Communications Contest and the National Conference, click here.

Author Event for Between the Two Rivers at the Bellevue Club on April 5

I will be reading/signing books at the Bellevue Club in Bellevue, Washington, on April 5, 2011, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Please join us!

Click here to see the announcement in the Bellevue Club’s Reflections magazine.

Hello from Indianapolis

Pam, Aida, and Donna

It seems as if I make new friends wherever I go.  Here is a lovely letter from Pam in Indianapolis. The photo was taken in December.


It was an absolute pleasure meeting you at the Colts game in Indy.  I have attached pictures from the game as well as a picture from last night’s Pacer game against the Celtics.  I had the opportunity to meet Armen’s lovely wife at the Pacer game.

I gave your book to my son for Christmas, since he loves everything to do with history.   Between the Two Rivers was such a great read!!!  It was such a page-turner that I finished it in three days.  I’ll look forward to the sequel, as I am sure all of your readers will be wanting to know how the rest of Mannig’s story with Madiros unfolds.

I truly admire your energy and ambition.  You are an inspiration to others and I wish you the best of success in all that you do.

Happy New Year!

Pam McNealy
Business Development

Between the Two Rivers a Bestseller at Island Books

My book is on the top-ten list of bestsellers at Island Books on Mercer Island. Thank you, Roger Page, for all your help and support in 2010!

Click here to see the list.

From the Covenant Companion

From the November 2010 Issue of the Covenant Companion:

A page out of the Covenant Companion

Signing Books at Albertson’s

Hi folks – This book signing was the most fun I’ve had so far.

I hope the store benefited from the extra traffic that afternoon.

A Review from Deborah Cooke

Deborah Cooke, a retired editor of a business journal and a published travel and short story writer, sent me this review of my book.

Deborah has lived all over the world. As a hiker who often camps out in her VW van and enjoys writing about her solo forays into the outdoors, she loves Seattle best. A former English teacher, she has also served in the Peace Corps.

Deborah’s book club is reading Between the Two Rivers.

This is a remarkable book because the author has retold her mother’s survival from the Armenian Atrocity where 1.5 million were slaughtered or starved to death.  I feel like I’m there in Mosul in 1918 as a ten-year-old girl, shivering and bloated with hunger.  She remembers the wonderful memories of childhood when she twirled in her yellow dress.  She blots out the horrors of the deaths of her parents, her brothers thrown off cliffs and younger sister suffocated.  Her only surviving sister, Adrine, works as a servant for a Turkish family, and was traumatized by the rape she endured during the deportation.

Family is everything in this book.  The fact that Aida Kouyoumjian can retell her mother’s story so convincingly is the value of memory.  She recalls her mother’s plaintive lullabies about her survival stories as a child and chants about how painful it is to lose your family. Her stories teach us how to live and not give up under atrocious circumstances.  Her mother refused a move to America to marry an Armenian because her sister wasn’t allowed to go.  Family is everything.  She rescues Adrine from the Turkish family and gets her to live with her at the adoption home.  At long last, there is almost a fairy-tale ending where both sisters end up marrying very elite Armenians and have families that will be raised and educated in Iraq.

Aida Kouyoumjian moved to America in 1952.  The fact that this novel is written in English is a testament to her intellect and very vibrant voice.  The book depicts Arabic and Armenian traits and it weaves a carpet for me to get a glimpse of what life was like back then.  Evidently, the author and her mother would get together over coffee here in Seattle to talk about her past.  Her mother wrote some memoirs before her death in 1985. Growing up in the ‘50s, I remember my parents telling me to finish the food on my plate with “Remember the starving Armenians.”

My Next Big Author Event: November 14

I hope you will all join me on November 14, 2010, 3-5 p.m., for my next big author event!

It’s at Studio 904 on Mercer Island. Call 206-232-3393 to reserve your place. Please register by November 11. The $5 fee benefits Team Survivor Northwest.

A few Impromptu Book Signings

On Sunday, October 10th, I was given two unexpected opportunities to talk about my book and even sign a few copies.

1)   The Youth Pastor, Jeff Palmberg, invited me to speak about Iraq and my book to a group of twenty highschoolers. It was a treat. The students’ total attention was invigorating and their questions challenging. Many expressed their hope to convince their high school teachers to invite me to come speak at one of their classes.

2)   I belong to “Bellini,” a preview group for the Seattle Opera Guild. To raise funds for the opera, we meet prior to the opening of a new production and enjoy samplings of the major arias sung by talented local singers.

The chair of our group introduced me as an opera-buff who is an author. As a result, I autographed several copies of Between the two Rivers.