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Join us at Froggy's French Cafe for an author luncheon and discussion with Katherine Reay


Harper Muse $18.99 March 5, 2024

Tuesday, March 5, 2023 11:30am - 1:30pm

306 East Greenbay Road

Highwood, IL 60040

$65 includes lunch and a copy of the book (additional copies on hand for sale)

Space is limited, please RSVP at 847-234-4420

Bestselling author Katherine Reay returns with an unforgettable tale of the Cold War and a CIA code breaker who risks everything to free her father from an East German prison.

From the time she was a young girl, Luisa Voekler has loved solving puzzles and cracking codes. Brilliant and logical, she’s expected to quickly climb the career ladder at the CIA. But while her coworkers have moved on to thrilling Cold War assignments—especially in the exhilarating era of the late 1980s—Luisa’s work remains stuck in the past decoding messages from World War II.

Journalist Haris Voekler grew up a proud East Berliner. But as his eyes open to the realities of postwar East Germany, he realizes that the Soviet promises of a better future are not coming to fruition. After the Berlin Wall goes up, Haris finds himself separated from his young daughter and all alone after his wife dies. There’s only one way to reach his family—by sending coded letters to his father-in-law who lives on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

When Luisa Voekler discovers a secret cache of letters written by the father she has long presumed dead, she learns the truth about her grandfather’s work, her father’s identity, and why she has never progressed in her career. With little more than a rudimentary plan and hope, she journeys to Berlin and risks everything to free her father and get him out of East Berlin alive.

As Luisa and Haris take turns telling their stories, events speed toward one of the twentieth century’s most dramatic moments—the fall of the Berlin Wall and that night’s promise of freedom, truth, and reconciliation for those who lived, for twenty-eight years, behind the bleak shadow of the Iron Curtain’s most iconic symbol.

Katherine Reay is a national bestselling and award-winning author of several novels. She has enjoyed a lifelong affair with books and history, and brings that love to her stories. Katherine has also written one full-length nonfiction work.

She holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and has lived across the country with a few years in England and Ireland as well. A full-time author and mother of three children, Katherine and her husband currently live outside Chicago, IL.


We welcome author Jodi Solovy as she presents her book:


Wednesday, April 17th, 2024, 6PM-7PM

at Lake Forest Book Store

662 N. Western Avenue

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Books available for purchase and signing

Refreshments will be served

RSVP at 847-234-4420

In her debut novel, author Jodi Solovy weaves a heartwarming and ultimately empowering tale about first love, marriage, family, friendship and choices. The story begins on an ordinary Monday afternoon in the life of 53-year-old Jen Mann, as she’s sitting with her lifelong best friend Cate at the local coffee shop, where they meet weekly for the comfort of a warm drink and quality time together. But on this particular Monday, Jen is distracted, unable to shake the malaise of being middle-aged and irrelevant, having almost adult children who no longer need her and a husband who seems to have grown bored with her.

Then, from out of the blue, she receives a message from the great love of her life, her Italian boyfriend Luca from 30 years ago, who happens to be in town. Jen’s boring and routine existence is thrown into a tailspin as she becomes consumed by memories of her whirlwind year abroad with Luca and the prospect of seeing him again after all these years. When her past love and current life collide, Jen must decide which one she is willing to fight for and what she must learn to reclaim the life she wants to live.

Midlife Mischief takes the reader along on the journey of one mother’s hilarious and heartbreaking midlife crisis. It’ll make you laugh, and it’ll make you cry. Simply put, this book is a love letter to middle age and a celebration of women of all ages.


Midlife Mischief is Jodi Solovy's debut novel. She has always been a passionate writer, first as a lawyer and most recently as a blogger posting personal vignettes on her Substack, Jodi's Jaunts. She has three grown children and lives with her husband in the northern suburbs of Chicago. When she's not writing, reading or in a pool, she's trying to train her rambunctious puppy.


We welcome authors Ray Franze and Leslie Liautaud as they present their books: 



Thursday, April 4th, 2024, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

at Lake Forest Book Store

662 N. Western Avenue

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Books available for purchase and signing

Refreshments will be served

RSVP at 847-234-4420

THE HEIGHTS: FALL IN LINE, OR FALL IN A GRAVE. Based on the true story of an Italian immigrant who ruthlessly fought his way into Al Capone's inner circle and expanded organized crime across the American West. It's hard to believe Sal Liparello has survived long enough to enjoy a midday scotch on his California tomato farm. The sixty-something crime boss from Chicago Heights helped take out Sicilian gangs, advised Al Capone on some of his biggest moves, and rubbed elbows with the Kennedys, Sinatra, and Marilyn Monroe - all while avoiding the likes of Eliot Ness and J. Edgar Hoover. But as he surveys the fruits of his labor, Sal also remembers the cost of staying above ground and out of prison. And all those decisions are about to catch up with him.

Ray Franze’s combination of curiosity, knowledge and amazing exposure to stories of the Chicago mob has given him a unique perspective to bring to life his debut novel. Ray has spent nearly 30 years trading options at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade after graduating with a BBA from the University of Iowa. He grew up with his two older sisters in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, where his loving parents and grandparents helped instill a strong work ethic, including the mantra “There’s no such word as can’t.” When Ray chose writing as a creative outlet, he relied on that mantra to finish his debut. And after more than 25 years in the “pits,” he has many more stories to tell. He lives with his wife of 20 years, Nicole, in the Chicago suburbs, where they raised three daughters.

BLACK BEAR LAKE:  Adam Craig still has nightmares about the last summer he spent on the shores of northern Wisconsin's Black Bear Lake. The Chicago stock trader thinks he has it under control - until fallout from an explosive August in 1983 threatens his marriage. So Adam returns to remember that month-long family reunion, where he was busy wrestling with developing adolescence, a parent's failing health, and watching his cousin Dannie's desperate cries for help. At 14, Adam's fear and anger were constantly threatening to pull him under while the current running through his family flowed, inevitably, toward tragedy. It was too much to bear back then. But will reliving those painful memories hurt or help Adam as his adult life teeters on the edge of collapse?

Leslie Liautaud is the author of Midnight Waltzes (2006), He Is Us (2008), The Wreck (2009), SALIGIA (2011), The Mansion (2012) and Summer Nights and Dreams (2012) and Southern Gothic (2018). She is also the author of the coming-of-age novel, Black Bear Lake (Blue Handle Publishing, 2022). Leslie is originally from Kansas City, MO where she worked in the performing arts. Currently, she resides in Nashville, TN with her husband, Jimmy John Liautaud, their three children and four rambunctious dogs.


We welcome author Kathleen Rooney as she presents her book:


Lake Unit Publishing, $28.99 September 5th, 2023

Tuesday, May 7, 2024, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

at Lake Forest Book Store

662 N. Western Avenue

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Books available for purchase and signing

Refreshments will be served

RSVP at 847-234-4420

From the bestselling author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk comes a novel about Hollywood, the cost of stardom, and selfless second acts, inspired by an extraordinary true story.

Chicago, 1916. Doreen O’Dare is fourteen years old when she hops a Hollywood-bound train with her beloved Irish grandmother. Within a decade, her trademark bob and insouciant charm make her the preeminent movie flapper of the Jazz Age. But her success story masks one of relentless ambition, tragedy, and the secrets of a dangerous marriage.

Her professional life in flux, Doreen trades one dream for another. She pours her wealth and creative energy into a singular achievement: the construction of a one-ton miniature Fairy Castle, the likes of which the world has never seen. So begins Doreen’s public tour to lift the nation’s spirits during the Great Depression—and a personal journey worth remembering.

A sweeping journey from the dawn of the motion picture era through turbulent twentieth-century America, From Dust to Stardust is a breathtaking novel about one determined woman navigating change, challenging the price of fame, and sharing the gift of real magic.

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, as well as a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a collective of poets and their vintage typewriters who compose poetry on demand. Her most recent books include the novels Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey. Her poetry collection Where Are the Snows won the 2021 X. J. Kennedy Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in fall of 2022. She is a winner of the Ruth Lilly Prize from Poetry magazine and the Adam Morgan Literary Citizen Award from the Chicago Review of Books, and her criticism appears in the New York Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Brooklyn RailChicago magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay, and teaches English and creative writing at DePaul University.


We welcome author Rowan Beaird as she presents her book:


Flat Iron Books $28.99 March 19th, 2024

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024, 6PM-7PM

at Lake Forest Book Store

662 N. Western Avenue

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Books available for purchase and signing

Refreshments will be served

RSVP at 847-234-4420

A "delicious" (Rebecca Makkai) and "deeply compelling" (Lauren Groff) debut novel set at a 1950s Reno "divorce ranch," about the complex friendship between two women who dare to imagine a different future

Lois Saunders thought that marrying the right man would finally cure her loneliness. But as picture-perfect as her husband is, she is suffocating in their loveless marriage. In 1951, though, unhappiness is hardly grounds for divorce—except in Reno, Nevada.

At the Golden Yarrow, the most respectable of Reno’s famous “divorce ranches,” Lois finds herself living with half a dozen other would-be divorcees, all in Reno for the six weeks’ residency that is the state’s only divorce requirement. They spend their days riding horses and their nights flirting with cowboys, and it’s as wild and fun as Lake Forest, Illinois, is prim and stifling. But it isn’t until Greer Lang arrives that Lois’s world truly cracks open. Gorgeous, beguiling, and completely indifferent to societal convention, Greer is unlike anyone Lois has ever met—and she sees something in Lois that no one else ever has. Under her influence, Lois begins to push against the limits that have always restrained her. But how far will she go to forge her independence, on her own terms?

Set in the glamorous, dizzying world of 1950s Reno, where housewives and movie stars rubbed shoulders at gin-soaked casinos, The Divorcees is a riveting page-turner and a dazzling exploration of female friendship, desire, and freedom.

Rowan Beaird is a fiction writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Kenyon ReviewThe Southern Review, and The Common, among others. She is the recipient of the Ploughshares Emerging Writer Award, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart. She has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and StoryStudio, and she currently works at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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