After such a busy day, I'd wanted to sleep in a bit because with two young kids, I don't often get the chance to loll in bed. But my eyes flew open on Thursday morning at 7:45 a.m. I can't function without my wake-up cup of coffee or three, and my hotel kindly hunted down a coffee maker for me. With my comfy hotel-issue waffle robe, straight hair (which is normally wildly curly) tucked into a shower cap, and jolt of java in hand, I looked out the window at the gorgeous, sunny day. Then I read a few chapters of a book, finally took a shower, and meandered out the door to meet Melissa Amster and Julie Valerie for lunch at the Javits Center.
My hotel was close to Meredith Schorr because we'd be spending so much time together but far from BEA so I hopped into a cab, which moved at a turtle's pace. Maybe it was the construction or the time, but it took an hour for the taxi to brake its way to where I needed to be. I vowed never to complain about Toronto traffic again. By this point, I was starving and had to pee (a usual combination for me), and I was so happy when I met up with Julie and Melissa and munched on my ten dollar sandwich. We sat on the floor, chatting about books and writing and then went our separate ways to do what we had to.
I had a few goals for Thursday: grab a shot of Sonja Yoerg's upcoming novel, The Middle of Somewhere, which had been a giveaway at the PenguinRandomHouse booth and thanks to Sonja, was already on my e-reader. I wanted to take a photo of Laura McNeill's forthcoming novel, The Center of Gravity, from Thomas Nelson, because Laura couldn't make it to BEA, and I wanted to meet Mary Kubica, author of the international sensation, The Good Girl, and see her soon-to-be-released novel, Pretty Baby, from Harlequin MIRA. I also wanted to stroll the aisles and breathe in the books on the shelves.
Sonja's books were all gone -- no surprise there. I found Kaley Stewart, which wasn't hard because she's about a foot taller than me, and she takes a much better photo than I do. So she snapped this pic of me holding one of the last copies of Laura's book, which is now waiting for me on my shelf!
BEA is huge, but it's amazing how many people you run into. I was so happy to see Mark Leslie Lefebvre, director of self-publishing & author relations at Kobo, a friend and huge supporter of mine, and an author whose book Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries was being given away at the Dundurn booth (I managed to score a copy of that after seeing him, which was awesome). I then realized that as much as I wanted to attend Mary Kubica and Pam Jenoff's signings for Pretty Baby and The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach, I had little time left to get back to my hotel to change and meet Meredith and Francine LaSala and be ready for a home-cooked dinner at Eileen Goudge's apartment. Eileen is one of the best cooks I know, and there was no way I could be late for that. But I couldn't leave without meeting Mary and Pam so I ran over to their signing booth, where a huge line had already formed. I managed to say a quick, garbled hello. They are both so lovely, and I will absolutely be buying their books when they come out.
I got to Eileen's with Meredith and Francine, and Julie was already there, wine in hand and a huge smile on her beautiful face. We all grinned back. The Beach Babes were together, and we kicked off our shoes and snuggled on the couch, missing Jen Tucker and Josie Brown. After a delicious dinner of lasagna and the best salad I've ever had, we screamed with laughter about the most inappropriate things that cannot be repeated, and my feet were rubbed until I was practically asleep on their laps. These are my girls, and though we only see each other twice a year, when we're together, it feels like home. We tried, disastrously, to take a selfie so thankfully Sandy Kenyon, Eileen's husband and the compulsively watchable movie critic and entertainment reporter for WABC-TV's Eyewitness News This Morning, came home and took a great shot with a camera that was larger than his palm. You know, a proper camera.
With a huge hug for Eileen, Julie, Meredith, Francine, and I left, and after a quick stop to pee and a taxi ride that smelled like a bar carpet at the end of last call, I crawled into my hotel bed.
It had been another incredible day, and I fell asleep with my e-reader in my hand.