So. This is turning into a nasty habit.

Some people travel for conventions.   Some people follow rockstars around.  Others, travel for work….. Matt, travels to play shows.

Me?

I’m rapidly turning into that person – and my husband by proxy – who follows authors around.

It promotes reading… so.. it’s completely healthy, right?   (And I didn’t spend 75 dollars on books this trip… so I’m getting better… )

Ah well. Better or worse, I’m stuck.  There’s just something about a signed book – and being able to meet these people that have had an impact – no matter how small – on how you think. 🙂

The week before we were to go meet Tosca Lee drug on. Ridiculously long….. It absolutely refused to end!

Finally the week ended….  It was  Saturday! No work, and sleeping in here I come!

Haha. Nope. Just kidding. Not today!

Today, was the day that Tosca Lee was coming to Oklahoma City, to promote her latest book, Iscariot.

And, we were going. There wasn’t any question about it.  My husband is just amazing like that. Tour dates were announced, and we were going. Even if we had to go to Lincoln to make it,  we were going. 🙂

The bad news?  It started at 1 pm. Which, isn’t bad, if you live nearby.

We don’t, however.We’re a fair distance from Oklahoma City…..  Getting up early was going to be a necessity.

So, against everything that is good and holy, the alarm clock went off, 8 am sharp.

Me? Yeah. Tosca or no Tosca, I’m not feeling it.  I’m on day 3 of a wicked migraine, and I really just feel like curling into a ball, and sleeping.  (Surely Mardel wouldn’t be offended if I showed up all wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, right? I’ll be decent!)   Matt, is also exhausted, and a touch grumpy. He’d had a late night band practice the night before – and didn’t get in until midnight.  (Yes, I was up that late too. Not too smart, but, and ended up helping him bring his equipment inside. What can I say – I’m a sucker. )

Unfortunately, that just wasn’t in the cards today.   We were very leery of being late, since at the last signing we saw Tosca at, the line was forming 2 and a half hours in advance! So yes, we had to get up and work on getting out the door.

That… didn’t exactly go as planned.

First bad idea of the day? Putting two grown, cranky, sleep deprived adults in the same kitchen in the morning.  Hello, argument city!  Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad, and blessedly, didn’t set the tone for the day.      After a quick shower, fighting for mirror privileges, and locating the car charger  – we were off!

Sorta.

Quick run to QuikTrip for gas – and then the obligatory coffee run, and THEN, we headed for OKC, with Type O Negative blaring in the background.    Sadly, we left later than we wanted to. Not terribly later, but enough to where it put a slight damper on things.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a long drive, only 2 hours.  And, with the Map application on Matt’s phone – it was remarkably uneventful.  I think there was one place where we had to make a quick U-turn, but really, it was a breeze.

The signing started at 1, and we made it to Mardel around 11:30.  Not quite the 3 hour lead we had for the signing Tosca did with Ted Dekker earlier in the year, but hey. Looks like we’d have to take it, and make do.

Pulling in the parking lot, we’re greeted by this:

ImageBeing the tech-geeks we are, we whip out the phones ( Matt beat me to this one,) to snap a pic.  Said picture ends up being tweeted by Matt, and consequently re-tweeted by both Tosca and Mardel.  Pretty cool.  (I’m a nerd. These things make me happy.)

Going inside, we nodded at a few workers, and wandered aimlessly.

Ok. That’s a lie. There was nothing aimless about it.  We wanted to find where the signing would be – and I was praying that a bathroom would miraculously appear in front of me. I was desperate.

It didn’t take long to locate the table they had set up.

Image

Surprisingly, there’s no one around.

Literally.

There are some people milling about, but more near the front of the store.  Not really any back where we were.   So, we slid down against what I think was a help desk, and pulled out our books.

I’d brought Iscariot, (which I shamefully have to admit I hadn’t finished yet. I had made it a goal to finish before the signing!) and Matt had brought Live and Let Die, the James Bond book he’s currently reading. (YES, you read right. 🙂  He is getting back into fiction. So proud, and I couldn’t be happier.  Next stop, Iscariot! Then Black….)

Image

After a bit, I start eyeballing people more than my book.  I spotted a couple of people toting around familiar Dekker books, and Iscariot, which made me smile. I was really hoping for a good turn out!

A few minutes later, one of the ladies I’d seen comes over and sits down with her daughter, who is carrying around Forbidden.  We chatted a bit – both of us were big Tosca/Ted fans, and had both expected a huge crowd, like at the LAST signing they did in OKC.   It was neat to get to chat with her, especially since at this point, Matt was super absorbed in the world of 007.  He’s very much like me in the aspect of – if he’s reading, Lord help the person who interrupts. It won’t be pretty….

A few more people started to filter in, but not many! I was honestly getting a little worried. Especially when it was 1:00, and there were only a few other people in line. How depressing that would be if that was all that showed up!

Tosca showed up around 1:15,  fashionably late — and rocking a OKC Thunder shirt. It was too cute.   Following her, was a good sized group of people. I guess they’d all been congregating near the door? How odd. But okay! People! That’s more like it! 🙂 Was very glad it ended up being a good turnout.

I was really impressed with how Tosca handled her signing.  I’ve seen pictures from the other cities on her Facebook – and one thing I noticed — she’s never at the table!  I wasn’t sure if maybe she didn’t have one, or there were a ton of people – or WHAT the deal was.

Well, I got my answer. 🙂

Right about the time I was expecting her to sit down behind the table, she walked over to Matt and I, and just started talking. After we told her our names, it clicked who we were, and how she knew us. And it just went from there.

I really loved and admired that she spent SO much time with us (and everyone else!)  I mean, we discussed what Matt and I did for a living – several rounds of hugs, and pictures all around. We talked about Matt getting back into fiction – we chattered a bit about what her next book is going to be about (I’ll never tell…), and then we got to signing books.

That, was the first time we even touched the table, honestly. Which, I really thought was unique. It’s not what I’d expect, to see someone up and about, interacting with everyone. But I loved it. It was really refreshing, and since the crowd was on the smaller side, she was able to spend a lot of time with each person. Sadly, that will probably not be the case when she tours with Dekker to promote Sovereign!

Since she’d asked him about his music over Twitter, Matt gave her one of The Secret Post’s CD’s, which she in turn took and showed off to everyone in line at the signing – and to those of us who joined her at Panera afterwards! It was the coolest thing. Made me smile.

After the signing, we left and headed for Cool Greens, a salad/sandwich place to eat.  Amy, one of my hydro moms had suggested it. The menu looked great, so we checked it out.   It wasn’t too hard to find, again, Matt’s iPhone saved the day.

They have sandwiches, salads, pizza, wraps, and soups.  We got salads – which they make in front of you, ala Subway.   They were amazing. Absolutely amazing.   So was the appetizer we got – this Mediterranean hummus/bread/Mediterranean relish .  Oh my goodness, it was so good. Worth the drive!

After lunch, we still had time to kill. So we hit up a nearby mall. While we were there, we saw a cupcake store.   But, they didn’t look as yummy as the ones at Lolli and Pop’s here. So we passed.

But, wait!

Lolli and Pop’s have a location in OKC!

Not…that I could remember which mall it was in. So, there goes that idea. Instead, we went on a mad dash through the mall. I was in search of a bathroom.  And for such a big mall, it took WAY too long to find one.

And when we did find it?  There was a line that…. well, I don’t have a good comparison. But it was WAY too long. And we were running late. We didn’t have time to wait.

But, as we searched for it, guess what we did find?

Image

Sadly, they didn’t carry cupcakes. Probably because of the cupcake store we saw….

So, we looked around, and then we left.

Well, after I did this:  Image

Poor guy. He’s turned into my personal picture guinea pig.

I admit, I wanted to take a picture with him… but, I’m HORRIBLE at selfies. And employee’s kept walking by.  I don’t mind looking weird, but there’s a limit. Even for me – if you’d believe that….

Now when we left… .. here’s where the kink happened.

Okay. Not kink. Bad word choice. More like, the monkey wrench.  Fly in the ointment – pick your cliché, but here was trouble.

Though to be honest, the trouble started when Matt almost ran over an old lady in the mall parking lot, but I’m going to be a good wife and not blog about that… 

Matt’s phone, the one that was saving our you-know-whats by giving impeccable directions —– died.

Kaput.

Uh-oh.

Now… we’re left with my phone.

My not-so-smart phone.

It has NO available space. So, I’ve uninstalled every update I had on both Maps, and Navigator.

We’re basically up a creek without a paddle.

After some…. tense moments and some screeching on my part… we finally figured out where we were  – and were we needed to be. We were ten minutes late, but that was okay. No big deal.

Especially when we went inside, and no one was there yet.

Now, we were meeting Tosca, and a few of her fans at Panera.

No, not fans. Her luminaries. 

I’ve mentioned it a bit before on here, but I’ll explain again.

Tosca has, for lack of a better term, a street team that she’s started. Some of the people were personally invited by her, (as I was,) over Facebook or Twitter.  Others, she posted on her Facebook, inviting anyone interested to join.  The group is called the Midnight Garden, and it’s members, her Luminaries.

What’s the most cool about this arrangement, is that she pops in pretty much daily, and chats with people. Whether answering questions, asking questions, or pointing out certain things we can do to help.   Oh, and there’s bacon. And midnight dance parties. Zombie walks too, I kid you not.

Now, with every stop this tour, she’s gone out somewhere with the local Luminaries after the signing, and just spent some time talking and hanging out. I LOVE that. How many authors do you see doing that — let alone New York Times Bestselling authors?

None, that I know of. Then again… I don’t know many. 🙂

Eventually, we recognize some people from Mardel, chat a bit. and we find a table and stake out a spot.

I’m already pretty happy. I have a coffee drink in a porcelain mug with whipped cream and deliciously unhealthy sugary syrups drizzled over it. Now, we have our small group of 5 people, Tosca, and her escort for the day, Chris. (Who was SO nice. He works with her publisher, and basically, he’s who Tosca bribes to sell her book. 😉 )

It was beyond fun.

We sat and talked for about an hour. Part of it was random, but she started off by having everyone say how they ended up at the table, at that very moment… and one thing that no one knew about us.

Ohhhh, that game. I loathe that game! ACK!

But, I lived through it, and it did start some good conversations.  Everyone there seemed pretty cool – I was glad to meet them! Hopefully we’ll get to do it again. 🙂

We only got to chat for an hour – Tosca and Chris had dinner plans they had to get to. But it was a great experience.  Everyone was nice, down to earth, and chatty.

Honestly, I was afraid it’d be a group full of people who had egos, or had met Tosca a million times, or… I don’t know. I always expect the worst, I think. But, at least I’m always pleasantly surprised. 🙂

It does seem though, that most of the Luminaries are creative or very intelligent.  Lots of authors in this group.  The three people there besides Tosca, Chris , Matt and I? All three authors of some sort. It’s nuts.

Doesn’t help me much, it’s admittedly got me itching to write something.  The Project Pixie Dust scripts are fun, but it’s not completely cutting it.   I’ve got something started… but I don’t want to share details just yet. We’ll see though…

^ We were supposed to be contemplative.  I couldn’t think of a thing other than headdesking.  Ah well…

We’d planned on seeing A Good Day To Die Hard, but on the drive back to Owasso, we decided we were hungry. Dinner ranked more important than a movie. Even with John McClane, and lovely, awful, unhealthy nachos….

So, we went for sushi.

Ladies and gentlemen…. we were in and out of sushi train in 14 minutes.

FOURTEEN . This never happens!

Then, we headed for the mall. For MY Lolli and Pops. And the Disney Store… 

I ended up with these beauties:

Image The lighter pink frosting is champagne , (it was good, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the peanut butter cup one! Maybe it’s because it was the end of the day?)  The other one is strawberry, with fresh strawberries baked in.  I’m dying to try it! But, I’m making myself wait until tomorrow. 🙂

After that, we breezed through the Disney store. Almost bought a few coffee cups – and tried to leave with a Stitch plush, but in the end, refrained. 🙂

And now, we’re sitting at home – and Matt is patiently waiting for me to finish typing this blog , so he can read it.

It’s not finished yet, mind you. At the moment, I’m waiting on Tosca to post pictures from the signing/luminary meet up. So it’s not being posted when I finish writing it. But he’s demanding to read it. . . .

It’s like he doesn’t trust me. What does he think I’ll do? Wait two months to write a… .

Oh.

Whoops.   Nope. I totally understand it now. 🙂

Anyway.  Good gracious, I’ve written a novel.  Sorry bout that.  It gets worse too – I still haven’t blogged about my thoughts on Iscariot. And oh boy, do I have them.  Lots of feels. And thoughts. And oh-my-god-why-did-this-book-make-me-cry’s.    If you haven’t read it… I really couldn’t suggest it enough!  It’s absolutely phenomenal.

Have any of you read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Lack of Sleep, Lollie’s, and Luminaries…

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