The Wild's $98 Million Man Zach Parise seemed to be playing a game of media keep-away at David Horsager's Tuesday book signing.

At the Barnes & Noble on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, St. Paul's Horsager was autographing "The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line." The bookstore was decked out with a band, Joia soda samples, fancy (as in cucumber) water dispensers and various candies. Among the guests were "trusted Minnesota All Stars," as described by emcee Joe Schmit, sports anchor at KSTP-TV.

In addition to Parise, other Minnesota sports heroes on hand included Randall McDaniel, Neal Broten, Natalie Darwitz, Krissy Wendel-Pohl and Tom Kelly (who'll be the subject of my Sunday Q&A). Wisconsin's Tasha Schuh, Ms. Wheelchair USA, was there along with businessman and author Harvey Mackay.

Parise appeared to arrive late and go directly to the area behind the stage that served as the "Green Room." Once there, the hockey player could be seen peering out at the crowd. But there was no way to ask him about, say, that widening sex abuse scandal at his Faribault boarding school Shattuck-St. Mary or this: At what point do you say, 'I'm going to Europe to play hockey rather than put up with this NHL lockout'?

I'm told that after the media left, Parise spent the last 30 or so minutes of the party mingling with the crowd.

Words from wise guy

David Horsager, a business strategist and motivational speaker, has a killer line about Tiger Woods.

"My fundamental belief is that a lack of trust is your biggest expense," Horsager said. "If you think trust is just a soft skill, ask Tiger Woods. One breach of trust, 27 breaches of trust, and he lost millions, hundreds of millions by now. Penn State is going to lose a billion dollars over the next decade" because of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse cases.

"Where were you five years ago when I started to work for Tom Petters?" Joe Schmit asked Horsager from the stage. "If he'll autograph one, I'll send it to Leavenworth."

Make 'em smile, squirm

Ross Bernstein, the author and business speaker, was making one former North Star and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member very uncomfortable.

Neal Broten could have cared less about being introduced to me by Bern-stein. But he became a lot more alert as the effusive Bernstein opined, "Every hockey player had a man-crush on Neal as a child."

"Every man?" said Broten, sounding suddenly more engaged.

"DON'T say that."

Bernstein also took incoming from Joe Schmit, who joined my chat with Bernstein by saying, "Hi, C.J. This is Ross Bernstein. He writes comic books."

Bernstein is the author of "I Love Brett Favre/I Hate Brett Favre" and many other books. Next up is "Wearing The C: Leadership Secrets from Hockey's Greatest Captains." Due out in a couple of weeks, that book includes interviews with Parise and Broten.

In addition to being very comfortable in his masculinity, Bernstein is just plain funny.

Enjoying the treats on the candy table, Bernstein remarked that he could eat anything he wanted because he ran Sunday in the Twin Cities Marathon.

Sam Richter, another speaker buddy, wanted to know where Bernstein finished in the race. " I did horribly," said Bernstein. "Let's just say where I finished there weren't a lot of Ethiopians or Kenyans."

Overpowering evening

It was lights out at Eden Prairie's "Green Acres: An Enchanting Event Center in a Historic Barn," as restaurant creator Steve Schussler calls his latest endeavor.

Schussler invited 200 friends to a private party to christen the new space Monday. The fire pits outside, where some decadent innovations in s'mores were created, became the place to be when the power went out. R Factor, formerly the Rupert's Orchestra, was blowing the roof off the barn, musically speaking, about 7:45 p.m. Then, silence.

Schussler apologized profusely, then went about "making lemonade."

"Nothing to do with being under-powered, having too much power," said Schussler Tuesday. "That transformer would have blown without the band there. Xcel Energy under-sized for the power for the transformer that we asked for. Xcel Energy gave us the name of the engineer who was at fault and apologized."

Xcel has not yet responded to my request for comment.

Party guests were understanding. Said Dan Witkowski, of MagicCom, whose e-mail was among those Steve shared with me: "You will do ANYTHING to save a buck on electricity. All I can say is, 'More Power To You.' Everyone had a ball and you could not have planned something like this any better."

Breanna Heilicher of Advance Realty/BMH Property Services wrote: "As a fan of Halloween, seeing the large candelabras with the dim 'lighting' and how everything was still able to function quite well under those conditions allowed me and another patron who was there to talk about how we would love to host a party there. Consider this patron very pleased."

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.