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.

Event date: 
Thursday, April 4, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
662 N. Western Ave.
Lake Forest, IL 60045