Reader Weekend

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Join us for Reader Weekend!

Join us in Marie’s hometown of Newport, Rhode Island for the Third Annual Reader Weekend on June 24-26, 2016!

See below for full agenda. Click to learn more information about:

This event was created in response to the readers who’ve expressed an interest in visiting the places Marie writes about in her books. Spend the weekend with Marie, hear all about what’s next for all your favorite characters and series and get your books signed in person and get to know Marie! And this won’t be just any reader event. We’ll also be celebrating Marie’s 50th birthday!

The Friday night reception and dinner and the Saturday day-trip to Block Island are priced at $50 each and you may pick either or both events. There will also be a free Q&A with Marie on Sunday morning. We have selected two hotels, the Newport Marriott and the Mainstay Hotel and Conference Center. The Marriott’s room rate is $299 and is located in the heart of downtown Newport within walking distance to shops, dining and the harbor. The Mainstay is a few miles from downtown Newport and offers a shuttle into town for a small fee. The room rate at the Mainstay is $179.99. Rates at both hotels are good for a king or two doubles/queens and room type requests are based on availability. Click here for more information about registration and hotel details. 

During the course of the weekend, you’ll visit one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast—Newport, Rhode Island! Marie’s booksTreading Water, Georgia on My Mind, The Fall and Love at First Flight are either set in Newport or include visits to the city. If the weather cooperates, you’ll get to see Block Island, which is the inspiration for Marie’s Gansett Island Series.

We’ve created this weekend with readers in mind to show you the beauty of Marie’s home state and bring you a little closer to the setting of so many of her books. Each place we’ll be visiting holds a special place in Marie’s heart. We hope you’ll enjoy a taste of Rhode Island and get to know more about Marie’s muse!

If you’ve ever wanted to see where the McCarthy Marina, Tiki Bar, Joe’s ferry, or Jack’s house are located, here’s your chance! Links to registration, hotel and travel information are listed below. If you have any questions, please email

Registration  |  Hotel  |  Travel 


Friday, June 24

3-6 p.m. Registration Desk and Tiki Bar Shop at the Newport Marriott
Pick up your badge, welcome packet and shop for your favorite Marie and Gansett Island merchandise.

If you have free time, walk over to the Newport Visitors Center to find out about tours of Newport, the spectacular mansions from the Gilded Age, Cliff Walk, International Tennis Hall of Fame or getting out on Narragansett Bay.

5:45-6:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception at the Newport Marriott

Join us for a drink before the Tiki Bar Welcome Reception kicks off the weekend.

6:30-11 p.m. Tiki Bar Welcome Reception and Dinner at the Marriott
There is a $50 registration fee to attend this event. This event includes food, drinks and a local guitarist and DJ playing some of Marie’s favorite tunes from Gansett Island. We will also have Marie’s Quantum, Gansett Island and Treading Water Series and some of her single titles available for purchase along with all merchandise found in her store

Saturday, June 25

Day-trip to Block Island – All times are estimated and will be finalized in early 2016
There is a $50 registration fee to attend this event. ALL times are approximate and weather permitting. In case of rough seas or other adverse conditions, we may decide not to go to Block Island. Our decision will be made with the comfort and safety of our guests foremost in our mind. Marie has had her share of rough ferry rides and wouldn’t subject you to that because it’s NO fun. So we will make the best decision we can, once we have all the necessary information.

7:30 a.m. Bus ride form Newport Marriott to Pt. Judith ferry landing

9 a.m. Ferry from Newport to Block Island

10 a.m. Ferry arrives at Block Island

12-1:30 p.m. Optional Lunch at Ballards on Block Island (included in $50 reg fee but separate registration is required)

You may spend your free time on Block Island shopping, at the beach, hiking or renting bikes or mopeds to explore the island yourself. Any other island excursions are on your own. You can hire a taxi from the ferry landing to take you on a tour of the island. The cab drivers are just like Ned, and they know the island well. Refer to the list of Things to Do on Block Island for Marie’s favorite must-see places on the island, including highlights from the Gansett Series.

5-7 p.m. Return ferry from Block Island (a one hour ferry ride and one hour bus ride back to Newport)

Open Evening in Newport
There are no official events planned for Saturday evening so you are free to explore Newport. Dinner reservations are recommended, and we will provide a list of restaurants within walking distance of the Marriott. 

Sunday, June 26

9-11:30 a.m. Breakfast, Q&A and Book Signing with Marie, Newport Marriott
You’ll have the chance to purchase books to be signed by Marie and pick up some Gansett Island merchandise before you head home.

As a participant in the Reader Weekend, you agree to and understand the following:

You knowingly and freely assume all risks, both known and unknown, even if arising from the negligence of others, and assume full responsibility for your participation and hereby release and hold harmless Marie Force, HTJB, Inc. and their officers, officials, agents and/or employees (the “Organizers”) from any and all liabilities arising from the Reader Weekend.

The Organizers reserve the right to cancel the Reader Weekend and/or any of its components or events for any reason at any time.

If, due to inclement weather, mechanical difficulties, or other problems beyond the Organizers’ control, the ferry service to Block Island is not operational or feasible on the scheduled day, the Organizers will not be responsible for refund of any portion of the registration fees or any related costs because of upfront expenses that will not be refunded to the Organizers. The Organizers will not be responsible for any personal costs or expenses incurred in relation to the Weekend including airline tickets, hotels, or other related expenses associated with the Weekend.