Penguin Teen on Tour

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When I first heard of this book signing I was a little hesitant to go. I had only read and loved “An Ember in the Ashes (5 macarons!) and I always feel awful about attending book signings for multiple authors and not showing them some love. The rest have been on my TBR list but I hadn’t gotten around to them yet, with a few chapters of “Rebel of the Sands” as an exception on my eReader.

I could also feel a bad cold coming on so the night before the signing, I was still flip-flopping between whether or not I’d go. At the very last second – I’m talking 30 minutes before the signing – I hauled my boys into the car and asked (begged) my husband to give me a ride.

The last book signing I attended was with my girlfriend, Reine (visit her here). It was for the illustrious Jodi Picoult and it was the sort of event that had you purchasing tickets in advance and a specific place in the line. In between hearing Jodi speak for the umpteenth time (I never miss a JP book signing!) and getting that signature on our books, we were able to remain in the lounge area on ottomans and munch on little goodies. I could have done without all that though, so long as she was with me.

This time around, I was heading solo. The last signing I attended alone was to see Candace Bushnell over five years ago and the wait was very short. This turn out was amazing.  A few rows of chairs in the middle and a U-shaped lineup surrounding those seated. Naturally, I ended up third-last but the upside was that I was practically at the front so I was able to listen to the authors from up close!

They were all so charming and it was so enjoyable to hear what they had to say, their witty responses to the questions aimed their way. My favourite one was somewhere along the lines of, “If you could place a character in your book into one of the authors’ books, who would it be and why?”

So what I did next was something I hoped my husband would understand:

I pulled aside a bookstore employee and asked her to grab me all the other books. I was aware that I had exceeded my own book budget for the month but. But. I could make a little wiggle room for, say, two more. Right?

By process of elimination, I held onto “Rebel of the Sands” and “Wink Poppy Midnight”. WPM is a book I had been hunting down for weeks and I couldn’t find it anywhere. RotS was my other choice because I’m the perfect target audience for something like that. I would have loved to grab the other two but at least, I had already purchased them on my eReader.

The waiting game took nearly two hours. I loved that there was no time limit, that you could walk up there during your turn and engage with these amazing women as long as you wanted. But in my haste to leave the house, I hadn’t given my footwear proper thought.

I was in heeled boots. Over-the-knee high-heeled boots. I couldn’t leave my place to go to the washroom or dash over to the Starbucks section of the store. I didn’t have anyone with me so I endured the pain, exchanged texts with my best friend, and began reading the first few chapters of each new book.

A full three hours of standing and a progressively worse sore throat but it was worth it all. I got to speak with each author who are such warm, friendly women, and I know that should any of them return, I’d attend (and I’ll have read all their books too!) My adoring husband showed up to give me a ride home after grocery shopping with our sons so I expressed my thanks with a kiss and his favourite Starbucks drink!

Now, there I did take pictures at the signing but they weren’t of the best quality. And I looked sick in all of them. So I’ll leave you with these:

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I needed something to hold each book open. Eos lip balms seemed to do the trick.

{ note: Karen Bao was not present at this signing. }

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