Whew! A long weekend but well worth it. A huge thank you to my Long-Suffering Husband, the gallant Sir Craig, of whose chivalry you will hear in a moment.
We began in Huntington Beach at the indie mystery store Mystery Ink (the place to go if you'd like to order a signed copy of ALL my books, by the way). I offered my powerpoint on alchemy and London, and owner Debbie Mitsch supplied cake!
And I read.
And then it was off to Pasadena to Vroman's, the oldest independent bookstore in California. There, we had our big party, with a roomful of guests, dueling knights, food and mead! (A case of mead was consumed, by the way, so they were feeling no pain.)
The tables were laden with food of the medieval persuasion; cheeses, dates, figs, nuts, bread, wafers, meats.
And the help--my son Graham, his girlfriend Mysha, his friend and writing buddy Eric, who served as bartenders for the mead and champagne.
And then, as is the custom at my launches, we went downstairs to watch knights do battle. On the left is Brad Kelly in 13th century armor, and on the right, is Erich Kerr in 15th century harness ("harness" is the expression for the whole kit).
I know the coolest people!
And then the basket raffle. Barbara Kotsos won one of the smaller baskets, with a signed book, magnetic bookmark, and a mug with "Keep Calm and Call Crispin." (You can get your own mug, bookbag, or t-shirt, too, at the Crispin Store)
We had a relaxing dinner across the way, sharing more time with readers and friends. We needed a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow. Alas, it was not to be. When I travel I usually stay at Best Westerns with no problems, but this one was the worst in Pasadena, the Royalle, definitely NOT recommended. The Beavus and Butthead desk clerks were rude and unaccomodating, especially when I pointed out that the bed in our room was definitely not a king size. I was rudely informed that none of the beds in their hotel were smaller than king size, even though you can clearly get a room with smaller beds on the website. And the headboard was wider than the bed. Despite the rudeness, despite the smaller bed (despite the fact that the deadbolt didn't work and neither did a bedside light) we could have made do. But the springs on the bed were entirely shot, making it unsleepable for two people. At 1:30 am I tried to call the front desk to see if they had another room...but they wouldn't answer their phone! Wondering whether to just leave and find another hotel, Sir Craig, devoted husband that he is, knowing I had a long day on the morrow, graciously offered the bed to me while he slept on the floor! Ladies and gentlemen, that's why I keep him!
The hotel has not heard the last from me.
Despite a dismal night's sleep, we were on the road again to partake of a tournament! Yes, the Tournament of the Phoenix, where competitors from all over the world compete in this knightly circuit, the only one sanctioned in this country. Yes, there is still a knightly circuit.
Scott Farrell of ChivalryToday who had been one of my fighting knights last year (see, I DO know the coolest people) invited me to sign books at his booth.
And then it was off again to the City of Orange to Book Carnival.
And so it continues again on Tuesday (no rest for the wicked). Come see me at the Burbank Library on October 22 at 7 pm, at the San Bernardino City Library on Saturday October 26 at 2 pm, and on Sunday October 27 at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach at 3:30 pm.