I got a copy of Time Between Us from Ava when we went to ALA. I admit it did sit in my TBR stack for a while, but once I found it, I read it in one night.
And as I do when I'm done with a book I love, I checked the author page to see about appearances. When I saw the launch party was going to be in San Francisco, I figured it was completely doable. Hubs will usually agree to any sort of road trip.
Before the release date, I had asked Tamara if she would give me Bennett in my inscription if I drove up to attend the release party. And this was her answer:
A few days later I got this:
We left at 6am. I'm not a morning person, so I showered on autopilot and then climbed into the car to go back to sleep. I woke up to being stuck in rush hour traffic around Valencia. And after a few pit stops, we arrived in the city. And it's super gorgeous. Gas was stupid expensive.
We stopped at a different Books Inc location first. I wanted to see about leaving Dear Bully and my arc of Tilt for Ellen Hopkins who was signing in 2 days. After talking to the manager, he told me that "their authors" tend to only want to sign for the "fans who take the time to show up."
I had offered to buy books from the other authors who were signing [Maggie Stiefvater and David Levithan] and any shipping costs and it was still no. Alas...
We had several hours to kill, so we played tourist by finding the Golden Gate Bridge.
We went back into the Castro district, where the bookstore was and walked around the neighborhood. I proceeded to eat my weight in NY style cheesecake, bacon sliders and garlic parmesan fries.
We got to the bookstore around 6. It's narrow, but surprisingly big. We were the first people there and I quickly claimed the front row. Ingrid was there early, setting up her books and heard me mention to one of the employees that we drove up. We chatted for a few minutes before I struck up a conversation with a woman named Martha, who after hearing my story about the other Books Inc, offered to take my books and get them signed for me.
It started just after 7. Ingrid started talking about the inspiration for her book, Valkyrie Rising. She is of Norwegian decent and went to visit Norway with family. She was able to find the house that her great-grandfather lived in and the name of the farm is the name of the town in the book.
After telling another antidote in which someone flipped their boat and clung to a rock until they were rescued by helicopter, Ingrid read two scenes.
From there, Tamara took over.
She talked about how the idea of Time Between Us came to her.
She was having a conversation with her husband about superpowers and when asked, she said would want to time travel. Not to see the future or touch a dinosaur, but to see Green Day on Gilman Street.
She then also read two scenes from the book.
After Tamara was done, they started lining people up. Tamara and Ingrid both had a game set up and prizes, but with the amount of people who showed up, they weren't able to do it.
We were first in line. When I walked up to Ingrid, I gave her the arc I had and she just smiled and said "All the way from San Diego..."
I laughed and said yes. Tamara whipped her head around and said "You're you?" While Ingrid signed my book, Tamara repeatedly hugged me while saying she couldn't believe I was there.
She gave me a prize that she had specially made for me, along with the lobby card promoting the launch party that she had saved for me.
I gave Tamara my arc and finished copy of Time Between Us and asked if I could PLEEEEEEEASE have Bennett. I then explained how Kassiah and I have a game about getting boys signed to us and how Kass has Étienne [to which Tamara said SHE wanted Étienne] and I have Elizabeth Norris' Ben.
And she said, "Now you have a Ben and a Bennett".
Before we left, Tamara and I took a picture and she handed me another prize since the game couldn't happen [the pretty, pretty journal pictured above]. We started chatting up a little more and then her mom pointed out the extensive line of people!!
We quickly left the store [after thanking everyone and getting stopped about my Edgar Allen Crow sweatshirt] and started the long drive home. Got home just before 4 am, ridiculously exhausted, but it was so worth it.
Edit: on the evening that this post was published, I received a DM from Maggie, the children's department rep for Books Inc. She apologized for the behavior of the manager I dealt with, told me he was talked to about the situation and then offered to comp me the books from the signing to make up for the customer service.
I did decline the free books, Maggie's actions speak volumes as to what the customer service for Books Inc is really like.