Once upon a time in a far away land and across a vast and treacherous ocean, a woman was on a mission. It was August 25th full of summer and excitement. The woman had convinced her husband to join her on the long drive, and the anticipation in the car was tangible. When she reached her destination nearly two hours early she sent emails with glee to a girl across the globe. A girl who was just as enthusiastic, sitting at her desk refreshing her emails. The woman queued with the determination only a true fan could have and when she finally reached the desk she took a deep breath.
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WordPress can do a lot of things, but I never thought it would send me a book from across the globe.
I’m sure you all remember my participation in the 30 Day Book Challenge? It already seems like so long ago I was writing daily posts in the glare of the sun, feeling the warm grass beneath my feet while I tapped away at my keyboard, but according to my blog history it did happen! One of my posts had the theme an ‘author I wish people would read more’ and I chose to gush about Kelley Armstrong, a YA genius that gave me one of my biggest book hangovers to date.
Little did I know that this post would spark something quite extraordinary.
A fellow blogger, bookaholic and photographer extraordinaire residing in Canada revealed that Armstrong was going to be just a couple of hours away from her, signing her latest novel, Omens. Obviously I squealed with excitement, nerdiness and just a tad of jealousy, but you can bet I was willing to cheer my book buddy all the way to the signing! 🙂
Soon the fateful day arrived. I communicated with my blogging friend Cindy via email; I from my base in the UK, she from a long line in Canada. I couldn’t believe how excited and hyped up I was getting from nearly 4000 miles away! It was brilliant and exciting to hear all about the set up of a book signing, especially as I had never been to one personally (I know, I put bookworms to shame).
After Cindy made her way through the queue, met the author and came out the other side she told me all about how friendly Kelley was, taking the time to talk to each person and listening to everything her fans had to say. And what more could you want from an author? 🙂
After all the excitement I got a few cryptic emails with unrepressed happiness from my friend.
It turned out she wanted to send me my VERY. OWN. PERSONALISED. SIGNED. COPY. OF OMENS!!!!! 😀
As a strict rule, I never give my address out to people over the internet that I have never met. Call me a cynic but no matter how sure you are that a person is nice, even if you have been communicating with them for a long time you just never know. It is not in any way an attempt to cause offense, it’s just a precaution I choose to take. However, this was such a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass it up! After much brainstorming I found a safe one time only way of receiving the book and gave my friend the okay to send it.
Months went by without any sign or word of the book and just when the two of us were beginning to lose hope thinking the package had been lost in the mail, a large bit of post fell with a loud thud through a letterbox. I opened the wrapping with trembling fingers to reveal a beautiful signed hardback copy of Omens still in perfect condition with two bookmarks and a handwritten note. Only a bibliophile with an obsession to rival mine for keeping books pristine could have wrapped it so efficiently! No scrapes, no bumps, nothing. I will now proceed to bombard you with pictures:
I had never held, seen, let alone owned a signed book. I was ecstatic, walking around the house with a big smile on my face (carrying the book with me of course in case anyone dared go near it, my precioousss). I stroked the cover on an hourly basis while also opening the book to stare at the signature. I couldn’t believe it was real! I was waiting for someone to steal it away from me snapping life back to reality, but it didn’t happen. I felt overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and kindness. This wonderful person who I had never even met had taken the time, money, effort and careful thought of her own free will to send me a book from around the world. It was inconceivable, and yet somehow there it was, sitting on my table, a physical tangible book that was neither a mirage or a hologram.
The power of WordPress; uniting people around the globe since 2003.
There will never be enough ways to thank my wonderful Canadian book buddy, Cindy for such a selfless act of kindness which meant so much to me. Especially since her enthusiasm for book signings led me to attending one of my own, but that’s a whole different blog post. 😉 So this post is dedicated to her: Thank you, Cindy for being an amazing blogger, bookaholic and friend. 🙂 Ohh, and don’t forget to check out her wonderful blog Photosfromtheloonybin!
Kelley Armstrong Photo: Taken by Cindy, please do not reuse.
Omens book cover shots: My own, please do not reuse.