While on Staycation last week I came across a tweet from Wanda Bookalicious (not her real name), a book-loving blogger affiliated with the Yummy Mummy Club, a popular site here in the Toronto area. It was a contest to win a free ticket to Jodi Picoult's book event. I thought, what the heck, and participated.
Imagine my surprise when Wanda messaged me to say I'd won. Not only a seat at the reading, but a free copy of Jodi's latest book, Sing You Home.
I drove to Toronto on a rainy Thursday night and joined the throng of enthusiastic fans. A sweet little couple in front of me in line had driven 4 1/2 hours from Sudbury to be part of the event. They looked like sisters, with baseball caps and sneakers. One of them lamented missing the Leaf game, and the other thanked her for making such a big sacrifice. :)
|I'm telling Jodi about my sister. That's my boob there on the right...|
Jodi's reading had me hooked right away, but the thing that set this one apart was the music. Sing You Home comes with a CD with lyrics written by Ms. Picoult, and music by her long-time friend Ellen Wilber. Ellen performed three songs live, songs written to accompany specific chapters in the book.
After the performance, Jodi answered questions. Some were typical - who were your favourite characters and such, but one sweet girl stood out. She piped up in her childlike voice, "Hi, I'm thirteen and I really love you. All my friends at school talk about Justin Bieber, but I just talk about you."
As the book signing portion approached, I began to worry because I didn't know where I was going to get my free book. The organizer told me Wanda had the books, but we couldn't locate her. As my row of seats took their places in line, the representative tracked down a book for me from the green room. She didn't have to do that, and I'm forever grateful for her kindness.
I had the book signed while explaining to Jodi how her MC's story was so similar to my sister's.
As I was preparing to leave, Wanda finally spotted me and we embraced. I told her I received a copy, and she promptly gave me another one. I joined the line again, so now I have an extra!
I love meeting people in person after interacting on Twitter. This morning I finally met a local independent grocer who is like a rock star in these parts LOL.
And just to give you all a laugh, here's a picture of me and my girlfriends during our most recent Bitches Night Out: