What a great night on The Lemon Orchard book tour! I am very thankful to Warwick's Books in San Diego CA for welcoming me back again. This wonderful independent bookstore is a haven for readers and writers. The evening started at dinner at La Valencia where I got together with dear friends (from left) Andrea Boyles, Mike McIntyre, and Phyllis Boyles. They live here in San Diego, and I was really overjoyed to hang out with them and walk over to Warwick's together. Mike is a writer, and I'm a huge fan.
I was thrilled and honored to see my friends from Water Station. They save lives by placing water in the desert, where migrants cross the border. I volunteered with them, and my life was forever changed. The work they do is very like that of Louella, in the novel. Armando, on whom the character Roberto was based, once told me that while crossing the border he dreamed he died of thirst. Then he dreamed of an angel who brought him water. That very well could have been the people who work with Water Station. From left: me, Paula Poole, John Hunter, Laura Hunter, and Brett Stalbaum.
Rachel Hartwig is an incredible reader, and I am so lucky to know her. She and her husband Mike drove all the way from Nevada to see me tonight. Not only did they travel a long distance, they brought cheesecake for everyone at the bookstore! What generosity. Here are Rachel and I with what was left of the delicious Aphrodite cheesecake from the Market Grill Cafe.
I loved meeting Deborah and Amy and their daughters Adilee and Madelyn. As Deborah wrote in a note to me, "Amy and I have been best friends since we were sixteen, living in Vacaville, CA. Over the years we have shared our love of books--mailing them to each other and sharing our favorite books and authors. Three years ago we were able to become neighbors after twenty-four years of friendship. Now our girls trade books too." From left, Amy Josse, Deborah Walters, me, Adilee Walters, and Madelyn Josse.
Julia Jones (left) and Suzy Cox were college roommates at the University of Texas. They were wonderful to talk to; they wanted to hear the details of how I was inspired to write the love story between Julia and Roberto, and as sometimes happens at book signings, there was an incredible magic in line when I confided in them, and they in me, and we had a best friends moment.
Evelyn Goodwin and Phyllis Hansen, shown separately in these two photos, drove together from a town east of San Diego. They were so kind and supportive, and we had a chance to talk for a few minutes before the even began.
I was thrilled to see my friend and fellow author Machel Shull tonight. It's her anniversary week and I know she made a very special effort to come see me. Machel has interviewed me for her column in The Coast News, and I gave her a quote for her book. She is a wonderful, kind, dear person; it was really great to reunite at Warwick's with her and Rachel--because this is where they first met, as my readers, now friends on Facebook and in life. And congratulations to Machel on finishing her second book--I'm sure it will be as insightful and soulful as her first.
Mitch Little came! He was a great friend of my sisters and me when we were all young in Connecticut. We knew him from Essex and Fenwick, where his family had a house, so it was really amazing to see him and his wife Stephenie a continent away in San Diego. I spotted him in the crowd and would have known him anywhere.
Group shot of old friends and new friends--the incredible people from Water Station and the UT roommates. From left, Brett Stalbaum, Paula Poole, me, Laura Hunter, John Hunter, Julia Jones, and Suzy Cox.
Here is Julie Slavinsky, Warwick's director of events. She gave me this Warwick's special label bottle of wine, but even more, she gives writers and readers a chance to gather, to exchange ideas, to support each other. She has such warmth and kindness--qualities that mean so much to writers on book tour. I am incredibly grateful to Julie and everyone at this great independent bookstore.
At the end of the event, we took an Ellen Selfie. I thank everyone who showed up--on a gorgeous summer night, in the resort town of La Jolla, when they could have been doing anything else--looking at the moon, walking on the beach, dancing the night away--but instead came to the bookstore to hang out with me. I had a great time, and it was because of you.