Bright sun, velvet green hills and crystalline sky greeted me Sunday morning as I rose eager to face the day. The San Francisco Bay area romance readers group “Bookaholics “ would be hosting me at the elegant Borders Book Store in the McCarthy Ranch Shopping Center. Out the door I went dressed in running shorts and top to take a turn around the beautiful Lake Elizabeth nestled against the shoulder of Fremont’s Mission peak. Locals were out in number stretching their workweek weary legs enjoying the glorious day. The four mile run slipped by much faster than my usual treadmill version; sparkling water, smell of sweet spring blossoms lacing the air and a generally laid back aura providing primal diversion. A shower and light brunch and I was off to Borders Books to greet the women I’d heretofore met only online.
Bustling about the sleek modern enormity of Borders, my digital artist, assistant and I looked for the meeting area, finally stopping at the front desk to speak with the buying supervisor. Now pointed in the right direction, we ran across author JoAnn Smith Ainsworth who had come to attend in anticipation of the release of her medieval romance, Out Of The Dark. A bit of chit chat and we decided to do a joint book signing in July, store manager agreeing that our divergent genres would compliment each other nicely.
The folks at Borders couldn’t have been more accommodating. Linen clothed tables at the ready, the group of attendees was happy to reconnect at this monthly romance readers gathering.
An unfamiliar voice called out my name. I turned to face Miss Cez, the reviewer of my novel Soul In His Eyes and online friend. A handshake just didn’t seem enough for the woman who had expressed in such emotional terms how much ‘Soul’ had touched her. It is the biggest thrill of an author’s life to talk to a reader animated in delight by the words she has written.
We sat comfortably around the tables whilst members asked questions. Everything from life stories of research adventures to whether characters are based on real people to explanations of writing style and inspiration filled the ninety minutes compressing it into what seemed a blink. The Borders folks even brought us the most delicious blended ice coffee as treat. No one wanted to leave. It is magical indeed when author and reader can connect on such a personal basis, both in admiration and respect one of the other.
Nearly two hours after the official meetings end the last of us wandered back to our cars all the richer for the experience. The drive back to LA was well worth the opportunity to connect with such well read enthusiastic people.