“Well my daughter is a writer to you know.”

Wait a minute did she really just say that to best-selling author James Patterson? Of course she did, and I really don’t know why I am surprised since that she in question is my very own never to be outdone or outshined mama, Ms. K.

Let me give you all a little set up on the way we got to be in this scenario with my mom bragging to James Patterson and then, even more shockingly to President Bill Clinton.

It all started, a few days before when I’d heard that James Patterson and Bill Clinton would be signing their novel THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING at my local Barnes & Noble. Now being the good daughter, I am, I thought what a treat it would be to get a signed copy of the book for my mother since James Patterson’s her absolute favorite author ever. Notice I said James Patterson and not her own novel writing daughter, yours truly. But it’s cool.

Now, to get close and semi-personal with a bestseller and an ex-President one does not just walk up and breezily shake a hand. There are lines. Many lines. Lines and security checks and then more lines. But my mother kept herself busy by warming up the crowd around us with humble brag stories about how her daughter is an author too and she was used to meeting famous literati folks.

Cut to me eyes wide, Ummm laying it on a little thick there huh ma?

 

With me I had an advanced reader copy of AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME in my pocket (as one does when you’re excited about your ARC) and said wouldn’t it be great if I could get a photo with James Patterson or dare I hope, Bill Clinton. Now my mom being my mom thought such a thing was easy as pie. “Why should you not get a photo? You’re an author too, and you’re my daughter so you’re fabulous.” Okay Ma if you say so, though you may be just a little biased in this instance.

Finally, it was our turn. Security was cleared, and I was now more nervous than ever after the mom hype. So, as if I was all of twelve years old I nudged my mom ahead of me and said, “You go first!”

And boy did she. Now things get murky here because they went fast, really fast. I think the pressure of line wranglers telling you to keep things moving, a couple of ‘A’ listers with ominous looking handlers smiling extra bright behind them before you and enough secret service security to make you wonder if Beyoncé was in the building, things were a bit of a blur.

But first up was Mr. Patterson and my mom walks toward him giving me the come on and keep up hands behind her back. She shakes Mr. Patterson’s hand and tells him what a fan she is, and he says something polite like, “thank you and I hope you enjoy the book.” Well that was all the opening my mother needed. “Oh, I’m sure I will. I love all your books, but my daughter’s an author too you know.”

Huh? What? She’s talking about me. Should I be saying something here?

Mr. Patterson looks at me smiles politely but by then Ma wasn’t stopping. Somehow, suddenly my book was out. Wait! How? Did I take it out or did my mother? Either way the book was out and being waved in from of Mr. Patterson’s face. I’m sure the man was now thinking, “hold up who’s signing is this anyway?”  But by now their professional photographer was there and it was time to take pics then move the line on. There was me grinning like a fool and Mr. Patterson probably wondering what was he doing holding this book as his own book signing?

But hold up! My mom was gone, already moving on down the line and yikes, was she just now casually chatting it up with President Bill Clinton?  I quickly nodded, thanked Mr. Patterson and took a few steps down to catch up with my mother and hopefully hold off anymore “may daughter moments”.

I get there, still holding my book and am suddenly eye to eye with ax ex-President of the United States. It’s hard to know what I said, I was suddenly so nervous that appropriate words flew right out of my head. But once again there was my book, I heard my mother’s voice and it seemed time for me to chime in because now The President had questions in his eyes and was looking from me to my book. I blurted out something about it being my novel, a romance not a mystery though there is a bit of a mystery in this one. Can you get that I was rambling and scrambling here?

President Clinton chimed in with how that was great, and he and Hillary read every night before bed.

Suddenly it was as if my mother’s spirit leapt into my body because now I found myself telling that him he could have the copy of my book and I hoped he and Mrs. Clinton enjoyed it. Then I seemed to double down on my words, taking the president’s pen from his hand as he finished signing his book for me and saying, “here, I’ll sign this copy for you.”

Wow! Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.  

But then once again, there were the smiling handlers, secret service and now the professional was on hand ready to move me and my book along.

There was a quick thank you and then eyes wide, smile big click, click move. Achievement unlocked as I was ushered out with a memory I’ll never forget.

Hey, I still may not be my mom’s favorite author, but she’s by far the best PR person in the world in my eyes.

 

True to its name, the small southern town of Sugar Lake is a sweet place to visit—and you might even want to live there . . .

With her big-city career and relationship in sudden free fall, Olivia Gale isn’t sure where she belongs. So when her help is needed at Goode ʼN Sweet, the family bakery in Sugar Lake, she jumps at the chance to indulge her pie-making hobby while getting her life back on track. Olivia’s not looking for any distractions. Even if the boy who once left her without a word is now a grown man with intriguing secrets—and the same tempting hold on her heart . . .

A firefighter and single dad, Clayton Morris is trying hard to fix his past mistakes. He thought he was doing the right thing by leaving Olivia—and now he’s sure he has nothing to offer the accomplished woman she’s become. But ignoring the sparks between them is impossible. And as unexpected surprises and hard choices endanger their fragile reunion, they’ll have to decide which direction to take if they want to find the road back to love . . .

“A wonderful, heartwarming romance.” —Rochelle Alers, author of The Innkeepers Series

“A damn-near perfect story of family, starting over, and second chances.” —Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

“K.M. Jackson gets right to the heart of family, to the heart of relationships, to the heart of love. She’ll get right to your heart, too!” —Donna Kauffman, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author