Brentwood Author Discusses Latest Book

Brentwood Author Discusses Latest Book

The Friends of the Brentwood Library has canceled a luncheon planned for February 7 due to low ticket sales. We thank people who have purchased tickets and will provide refunds. If you have any questions, email Kathy Mount at

Brentwood author Dan Hanel will discuss his latest book, Beneath the Tangled Vines, at a luncheon on February 7 beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Bentwood Community Center. The book weaves a modern-day mystery story with the history of winemaking in Contra Costa County.

Wine will be served at the luncheon, which is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Brentwood Library. Tickets are $40 and are available at

Hanel will speak about the early wine industry in the county, including the story of Winehaven, which was the largest winery in the world. The book is the most recent novel in his In the Shadow of Diablo series.

“Winehaven was located in Richmond and processed wine from grapes grown throughout Contra Costa County and elsewhere in the state,” Hanel said. The winery was established after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which destroyed most of the city’s 27 wine warehouses.

“I grew up in Richmond and never knew about the winery,” Hanel said. The winery closed after Prohibition, and county farmers found other crops to grow. The building was used during World War II as a U.S. Navy fueling depot and hasn’t been used since as city leaders try to determine the best use of the site.

Many of the workers in the fields were Chinese immigrants. The book’s modern-day mystery hunters are high school teachers who help an Asian-American student uncover the story of his immigrant ancestors.

Beneath the Tangled Vines is the fourth book in the series, which Hanel began with a book about the John Marsh House, The Mystery of the Great Stone House. “My wife and I attended a fundraiser in 2010 for the John Marsh House, and I became fascinated with its story. At the time, I had been thinking about writing a novel but didn’t know what to write about. I decided to write one based on John Marsh’s story.

Hanel, an award-winning high school biology teacher, decided to have the modern mystery hero also have that career. He matched the character with a high school foreign language teacher. The two develop a romantic relationship.

Hanel did his own detective work for the books by searching through the historical records of the East Contra Costa County Historical Society and other historical collections.

“Dan is a great storyteller, whose insights help us understand our county’s history,” said Friends board member Diane Alexander, who helped organize the event. “The funds we raise will support children’s programs and other activities at the library.

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Library and Friends of the Library Receive Multiple Medals in Best of Brentwood Magazine

Library and Friends of the Library Receive Multiple Medals in Best of Brentwood Magazine

Library, Friends win medals

The Brentwood Library and the Friends of the Brentwood Library were big winners in the 2023 Winners Guide, published by the Press. The guide lists businesses and organizations considered the Best of Brentwood. The Library won a Gold Medal for Best Use of Government Money and a Silver Medals for Best Place for Family Recreation and Best Place to Show a Visitor. The Friends received a Bronze Medal in the Best Non-Profit category, and the Second Story Bookshop received a Silver Medal in the Best Resale Shop category.

Brentwood Literary Stroll Was a Huge Success

Brentwood Literary Stroll Was a Huge Success

 More than 200 book lovers gathered in Downtown Brentwood May 7 for the Friends of the Brentwood Library Literary Stroll. The stroll was funded with a grant from the City of Brentwood and supported by the Downtown Coalition. People visited 10 businesses to hear presentations from 10 authors.

Photos left to right:

  1. Top photo: Event organizer Kim Giuliano (left) and Friends volunteer Lauren Kavaleff
  2. Olga Vidriales (right) and Lori Avon at Corcoran Icon Properties, Team Olga Sells;
  3. From left: Lauren Du Pont, author Diana Mentink, and Lindsay Du Pont, Brentwood Children’s Librarian
  4. Strollers looking for their next stop;
  5. Stephanie Moore at the Emporium
  6. Dorothy J. Wilson at Co Co’s Wine Bar.

Meet the Authors – Brentwood Literary Stroll

Meet the Authors – Brentwood Literary Stroll

The Brentwood Literary Stroll will take place on Sunday, May 7 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in downtown Brentwood. There will be 10 authors located in 10 businesses/restaurants. Tickets are $5 and are on sale online at For more information contact Kim Giuliano at

We are very excited about this year’s lineup of authors who are listed below.


An Exciting Group of Authors for 2023 Friends of the Brentwood Library Literary Stroll

Rosie Bank – She is a health coach who has published four books about creating a healthier life in spite of your family history.

Michael Barrington – His experiences traveling the world as a missionary priest and then member of Rotary International have enriched his variety of books.

T.L. Bequette – He is a criminal defense attorney who has written two Joe Turner Mysteries, and the first one received numerous awards.

Mark Clifford – His experiences in the Marine infantry and over 25 years as a Police Officer have enriched his writing as a journalist and fiction author, and he helps survivors of trauma through his podcast.

Jim Hamilton – He is a writer of non-fiction, a memoir, and relationship self-help who strives to help people enhance their lives by improving the way they connect with others.

Carol Jensen – She has taught classes and written several books on the history of Eastern Contra Costa County.

Josephine Mele – Her sense of humor, travel experience, and love of food make her fiction and non-fiction an enjoyable read.

Dana Mentink – She is a national and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than 40 mystery and romance novels.

Dorothy J. Wilson – Her autobiography, Look! I Can Fly, is inspiring as she tells of overcoming the difficulties of growing up in the segregated South to lead a successful life.

Stephanie Moore – Gallup-certified strengths coach Stephanie Moore brings her proven method for finding,and living, a path of true joy and fulfillment in The Gifted Journey: Five Transformative Steps to Uncovering Your Unique Path.