Event Report: Chronal Engine Reception

Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Greg Leitich Smith launched Chronal Engine (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) on Saturday with a party at BookPeople in Austin, followed by a reception here at the house. The novel is about three kids who go back to the age of the dinosaurs to rescue their sister and solve a family mystery.

A fair amount of prep work goes into such an event–shopping….
making the bed…
installing the shower curtain…
polishing the glasses…
staging the T.rex…
brightening the fireplace…
creating a kid-friendly getaway…
and assembling the four-foot standees.
Photo of Greg in front of the store by Gene Brenek.

Finally the big day arrives! Greg decided to do an author presentation and signing. For the full scoop on that portion of the day, see Chronal Engine Launch Week Recap & Party Photos (including dino cookies by author Anne Bustard, a Chronal Engine cake from Greg’s Clarion editor Daniel Nayeri, who’s an author himself, and more reception pics, too) from GregLSBlog.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to be in two places at once. While Greg was at the bookstore, I was busy with final setup and working with the catering team from Whole Foods.

Decorating the table with banana leaves.
Moving the sculpture to the mantle.
Setting up the buffet.
Eggs incoming!
Hooray for Whole Foods staff! (I don’t believe in letting guests into the kitchen.)
Vegetarian sushi
We had leftover shrimp and pinwheels, plus just a few eggs.

Passed hors d’oeuvres were mini pinwheels (an assortment of bite-size pinwheels of carne asada, grilled vegetable and roasted turkey with fig spread on a variety of colorful tortillas) and traditional deviled eggs garnished with fresh Italian parsley.

The buffet included vegetable crudites with red pepper ranch dressing; large shrimp poached in a court-bouillon and served with a choice of traditional cocktail sauce or
spicy gazpacho sauce, along with fresh lemons, limes and dill; smoky miniature cowboy meatballs (fresh ground natural beef, cheddar cheese, bacon and jalapenos baked in a savory barbecue sauce); continental fruit and cheese display (peak season fruits paired with cheddar, Jarlsberg, Havarti and Gruyere cheeses, served with baguette and crackers); roasted tomato and thyme pissaladiere (seasonal roasted tomatoes on top of flaky puff pastry dough with caramelized onion-garlic puree and Kalamata olives); garden paradise sushi (avocado rolls, cucumber rolls, carrot rolls and dragon vegetarian rolls) and an assortment of berries, dried fruits, pretzels, sandwich cream cookies and more–all coated with rich chocolate.)

Jo Whittemore & Sam Bond
Bethany Hegedus & Hamilton Beazley
Chris Barton
Debbie Leland
Stephanie Pellegrin & Joy Preble
Madeline Smoot & Cory Putnam Oakes
Jerri Romine & Frances Hill Yansky
Divya Srinivasan
Judy A. Leavell, Patrice Barton & Cynthia Levinson
Lindsey Scheibe, Erin Edwards, Brian Yansky & Frances
Sam, Tim Crow & Nikki Loftin
Julie Lake & Kathi Appelt
Zana Bru & Mark G. Mitchell
Jerri, Salima Alikhan, Margo Rabb & Jennifer Ziegler
April Lurie & Sean Petrie
P.J. Hoover, Joy Preble, Jen Bigheart
Kathi, Helen Hemphill, Debbie Gonzales (such a pretty day–the party spilled outside)
Denise Schmandt-Besserat & Loriene Roy
Mari Mancusi with Avalon & Varian Johnson with Savvy
Avalon made a super-cute dinosaur!

We hosted about 100 people at the house. The bookstore had an even bigger crowd, and Chronal Engine was a sell out title that day! Folks in attendance included young readers, parents, grandparents, authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, and university professors of youth literature. Guests came from all points in Texas (Houston, College Station and San Antonio) and from as far away as Nashville and New York City!

Thanks to all who pitched in to make both events such a success!

Congratulations to Greg on his new release!

Cynsational Notes

Cat not included.

Enter to win a signed copy of Chronal Engine and a T-rex puppet! Runner-up prizes: two more signed copies of Chronal Engine. 

To enter, comment on this post
and include an email address (formatted like: cynthia at
cynthialeitichsmith dot com) or a link to an email address. Or you can
email me
directly with “Chronal Engine giveaway” in the subject line. Note: For
extra chances to win, blog, tweet (hashtag: #chronalengine), facebook or
Google+ this giveaway and list your efforts in your entry!

Author-sponsored. Eligibility: North America. Deadline: March 31.

Looking for another chance to win a copy of Chronal Engine? Surf over to DEBtastic Reads!

One more? Try Review – Chronal Engine by Greg Leitich Smith (+ Giveaway) by Jen Bigheart from I Read Banned Books.

9 thoughts on “Event Report: Chronal Engine Reception

  1. I might have already entered but rather than take a chance here I go again. mmmcu at charter dot net.
    I love this post; a gala event for what promises to be a popular book. The food looks so delicious and the decorations would be the envy of any dino lover. The fascination with dinosaurs at any age will never go away. It is by far one of the more popular areas in my library media center. I have the same poster hanging in my home as you do from the Sarah Stewart book. I am so happy that the day was a success all around.

  2. Thanks, Margie! We had so much fun putting the party together, and I think a great time was had by all.

    We do our best, Elizabeth–come visit some time!

    Jen & Jo, what a thrill it was to have you two join in the fun! Huge hugs!

  3. Can't believe I called you while you were hanging, inflating, staging and polishing! An awesome shindig for a dino-mite (cdn help it) release!

  4. Wow, Cynthia, this is impressive! The Food! The Superstar Guests! The Decorations! Thank you for taking all the pictures and sharing them. It was so fun to see everyone and be there vicariously. Congratulations to Greg on selling out! Wish I could have been there. xoxo

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