Sarah Sundin’s Book Launch Party

Sarah Sundin is a masterful storyteller and is one of my must-read authors.

When I received Sarah’s newsletter with an invitation to her book launch party, I got excited. Normally I read such announcements and bemoan the fact that I live too far away. However, a two-hour drive is all that separates Sarah and me, so I sent my RSVP ASAP.

Keli in front of El Campanil theater in Antioch, CA

At 1 p.m. Sunday, August 28, my husband and I arrived at the El Campanil Theatre in the riverfront town of Antioch, California. The heroes in Sarah’s three WWII romances live in Antioch, and portions of the stories take place in the town. In the third book, Blue Skies Tomorrow, the eldest Novak brother takes his gal to see a show in this historic theater, which is on the book’s cover, so it made a fitting location for Sarah’s launch party.

El Campanil's billboard

Sarah worked with the theater management to select a period movie and chose the 1946 film, The Best Years of Our Lives, which shows the adjustments made by three servicemen upon returning from WWII. The final book in Sarah’s Wings of Glory series, Blue Skies Tomorrow, ends with the conclusion of the War, so this movie was a great choice.

John and Marci Seither

A couple in WWII uniforms greeted the guests. Marci Seither is a writer friend of Sarah’s who made the cute 1940s-era aprons Sarah is using as drawing prizes. (Nope. I didn’t win one.) Marci and her husband, John, dressed in the outfits they wear to Moonlight Swing Big Band, a Glenn Miller tribute band. Their attire added to the festive atmosphere.

Keli with Sarah Sundin

It was great to see Sarah again. I interviewed her on my blog several years ago, met her in person at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference soon after she’d received her first contract, and have gotten to know her better online. Being present for the launch of the final book in her Wings of Glory series was such fun.

Sarah signing her books

With some 100 guests attending the event, Sarah had a steady stream of fans making their way to her table. She spent much of her time signing books. I had a stack for her to sign. 🙂

Each guest received a complimentary ticket to the show, a ticket for the drawing, and free popcorn. We filed into the renovated theater and admired the beautiful architecture as we waited for the show to begin.

Sarah with her agent, Rachel Kent

After the movie and the drawing, Sarah signed more books while I waited to get a photo with her. Someone called my name. I turned and found that the person was none other than Rachel Kent, Sarah’s lovely agent from Books and Such Literary.

Keli, Sarah, Rachel Kent, and Michelle Ule

Rachel and her agency partner, Michelle Ule, had driven over from Santa Rosa to attend Sarah’s book launch. I was mightily impressed by their show of support. Rachel and Michelle are every bit as nice in person as I’ve found them to be online.

Keli with Kate Burnett of

While Sarah was impressed that my husband and I made the two-hour drive to attend her launch party, that was nothing compared to one of her guests who traveled all the way from Boston. Yup! What’s even more amazing is that this guest was Kate Burnett, the social media manager for Kate had read Sarah’s books, loved them, and arranged to take a vacation so she could visit California and help celebrate Sarah’s release. Isn’t that one of the greatest author appreciation stories you’ve ever heard?

I had a wonderful time at Sarah’s party and enjoyed meeting Rachel, Michelle, and Kate. My husband and I were able to have lunch beforehand with longtime family friends who are Sarah’s friends, too, having served as her aviation advisers on her second book, A Memory Between Us. Don and Nancy McDaniel appear in that book’s acknowledgements. Isn’t it amazing how writing connects so many people?

• • •

Have you attended a book launch party? If so, what was it like?

If you’ve held a book a launch party, what contributed to its success?

• • •

Win an autographed copy of Blue Skies Tomorrow

Blue Skies Tomorrow with El Campanil theater in the background

To enter the drawing, leave a comment by Sept. 1 and include your email address when prompted. I’ll draw the winner’s name Sept. 2 and post it here as well as in the comments.

Congratulations to Melissa K. Norris, winner of the drawing!

No purchase necessary.
Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
Prizes will be mailed to U.S. or Canadian addresses only.

About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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47 Responses to Sarah Sundin’s Book Launch Party

  1. This sounds like so much FUN!! I’ve never attended one but when I do, I sure hope the novelist is as creative as Sarah!

  2. cynthiaherron says:

    Sarah’s launch party would have been great, Keli! Thank you so much for sharing all of the pictures. We lived it through your eyes! 🙂

  3. Debbie Clark says:

    It looks like the launch party was fun and a great success! Please enter me in the drawing and thanks for the chance to win.

    Debbie Clark

  4. I really enjoyed myself at Sarah’s Launch Party of “Blue Skies Tomorrow” and watch the movie; The Best Years of our Lives (1946). Which I so recall watching as a child in the 50’s ( I am a movie-holic). Being at the signing I would not miss it at all!! Was quite an overcoming feeling to enter the theatre after 54 years. My parents ran the El Campanil back in the 50’s which they introduce famous musically artists from Mexico to the Spanish speaking people throughout several counties. We had up to date movies; also in Spanish. What a joy to sit in the audience and take in all the wonderful great memories of being a kid again. The bonus was to watch my friend Sarah to share the joy of the success that God has given her in the books she has written. Many have not have an opportunity to sit back and listen to our veterns talk about what they experienced as young men at war. Sarah is a gentle spirit and lovely lady. God Blessings on her as she continues this new journey in words. One day soon I also will finish my novel..soon. Thank you for posting this Keli.
    Angelina Johnson

  5. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by to share in my excitement about Sarah’s release and to those who left a comment.

    I’ve held the drawing, and the winner of the autographed copy of Blue Skies Tomorrow is Melissa K. Norris. (Sorry to be late, but our college daughter got to come home over the holiday weekend, and I plumb forgot to hold the drawing on Friday.)

    Congratulations, Melissa! I’ll be in touch.

  6. bonnie leon says:

    I wish I could have been there.It looks like you all had a great time.

    I’m one of Sarah’s critique partners and I’m impressed. Way to go, Sarah!

Comments are closed.