Well, my friends, the trip to Boonsboro, Maryland, and the fabled Turn the Page Book Store, was just plain magical. Jenni and I flew out of Spokane early (very early) on Friday morning, stopping briefly in Salt Lake City before jetting on to a landing at Baltimore-Washington International–and it was remarkably easy, this journey, with not one hitch along the way. We were exhausted on arrival, but after a meal at the Cracker Barrel, one of my favorites, we both rested comfortably at our modest hotel, setting out for Boonsboro in our rented orange extended cab pickup truck first thing in the morning. The day was beautiful and so was the countryside–oak trees everywhere. The temperature was high, but no one was complaining.
Surrounded by all this beauty, sparkling streams and a sugar-bowl sky and every shade of green, I dreamed again of the project of my heart–a big, thick Civil War novel. Maybe even several of them. It will be a while before I can tackle this enterprise, but I’ve been doing research for a long time, getting ready. Stay tuned–you’ll hear more about it right here on this blog. The working title is NORTH OF EDEN, and if I have anything to say about it, the book will debut in hardcover.
But back to Turn the Page. What a day! The staff was amazing–and so was the line-up of authors, headed by the inimitable Nora Roberts, and including Maya Banks, Jennifer Armentrout, Shiloh Walker, Christine Trent, Stephanie Evanovich, and a gentleman whose name illudes me at the moment, but I will find it and give him proper mention. (He was at the far end of the authors’ table and I never had a chance to hobnob.) Maya, Shiloh, and Jennifer were close by, and getting to know them was a genuine pleasure. Christine writes the Lady of Ashes mysteries, and I’m eager to delve into STOLEN REMAINS. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk, due to the lovely crowds, ditto Stephanie, who was seated next to the sole male in our company and therefore out of shouting distance. Stephanie, a niece of that other Evanovich we all know and love, is funny, I can tell you that much, and I’m definitely going to read her latest, BIG GIRL PANTIES. You’ve gotta love a title like that!
See the Official Linda Lael Miller Facebook page for a photo of Nora and me. (I’m the awe-stricken one.)
The big event (and trust me, it was BIG), originally scheduled to start at 12 noon and end at 2 pm, lasted until 6:30 instead. Holy line-around-the-block, Batman–there were something like 500 people in attendance! Nora and staff said the turn-out was unprecedented, and coming from them, that’s saying something. As we all know, Nora can pack a house to the rafters, and, by the way, she’s the only person I’ve ever seen who can sign her name while fully engaged in a conversation. All of us signed books and signed books, posed for pictures, and chatted with smiling readers–I was blown away by their good-natured patience, after waiting for so long on such a hot day.
One reader, Sandra Pennese of Gettysburg, PA, who was on crutches and wearing a surgical boot, no less, brought me a gift–a beautiful hand-tooled leather bookmark she’d made herself (I’ll treasure it) and a coaster set with a Western theme. The latter is proudly displayed in my living room as I write these words–thank you, Sandra. Wow. I’m still floating on the recollection of all the smiles and kind words that came my way–I’m revitalized and reinspired!
I had originally planned to stay a few extra days and visited Washington, D.C., but alas, the writing schedule didn’t allow. Sigh. (Which is not to say I’m not thrilled to be back at my computer, because I definitely am.)
Now, for last week’s winners: they are, Paula L. Rollins and Jessica W. Both will receive an autographed copy of THE MARRIAGE PACT. What’s that? You’re not Paula or Jessica, you say? Well, no worries. The new round begins today and, as always, you can enter simply by posting something in the comments section. One of these weeks, I’ll be announcing your name, so hang in there, pardners.
So, that’s the blog for today, my sweets. Do or say something kind–or both. You’ll make a big difference, whether you ever know it or not. So, cast your bread upon the waters….