misty in morning, then brilliant sun, cool, temps 10
What a magical time at Hovey. A dream of a launch...literally. For as long as I've lived in Quebec I've visited Hovey Manor...to heal when things have gone bad, to celelbrate the great events. Michael and I had our wedding reception there, and we went there after my Mother died. And our home burned down. (Not related, thank God). In DEAD COLD/A FATAL GRACE there's a scene decribing a fire on a brutally cold winter's night. That's how it looked when our home burned in the middle of winter a number of years ago.
Anyway - back to Hovey and the launch. It was great. The people who were there for the High Tea were wonderful. Thank Heaven. We'd told the Inn there'd be a full house - 80 people. And they set up 68 seats. And it was packed at that! And people kept arriving, and we kept cramming people in - thank God everyone was in a good humour, and thank God for Debra Schram, the publisher's rep. who took charge and made sure everyone had a seat.
Of course, Danny and Lucy (of Brome Lake Books), Debra and her husband Peter, and Michael and I stood - no more seats. But it was worth it. People had come from all over. It was a gas.
I took along a map of Three Pines I'd made when I was writing STILL LIFE, and that I still refer to sometimes. As well as plans of Peter and Clara's home, and character sketches of the villagers. Stephen Stafford, one of the owners of Hovey, spoke for 10 minutes on the history of the Inn and then I talked for about 30 minutes, did a couple of readings including one describing a meal Armand and Reine Marie enjoy at the Manoir Bellechasse (inspired by Hovey). Answered a few questions, then signed.
People seemed to be having a blast - as was I. Gary and Cheryl were there, as was Lise, and Cotton, and our cousins Chris and Carl came all the way from Toronto. A bunch of us were staying a the Manoir over night so that was extra fun. Indeed some of the people stayed a few days, lucky ones.
After the launch the wonderful Jim Napier (reviewer for the Sherbrooke Record and a mover within the Crime Writers of Canada), and his terrific wife Roya came up to our room. We had ginger ales and Jim did an interview with me. Then we chatted for a while. We really enjoy their company. After they left we napped and relaxed.
We had dinner last night with Chris and Carl - the amuse-bouche was an oyster, then they and Michael had seared scallops as a starter while I had grilled wild mushroom salad. Then we all had filet mignon with blue cheese rissoto. Carl had a chocolate cake for dessert, Chris has a mango, pear tarte and Michael and I had a blueberry thing with blueberry ice cream, some cream, some whole berries and other yummy things. Then over def-cappuccinos the staff brought home-made chocolates.
Lord, take me now.
Had a wonderful room with a fireplace (which we used) - woke up to mist on the lake, but by breakfast it was clear and sunny. Met Debra and Peter for a working breakfast - Michael and Peter had the special of the morning - crepes with apples and raspberries, with english cream and sausages. Debra had porridge (poor one had a cold!) and I had eggs benedict, with a side order of sausages.
Then signed some more books and left.
Peter runs the New England Culinary Institute and is a chef himself, having had many amazing restaurants including one in Montreal. He met with Stephen Stafford to see if a placement could be arranged between Hovey and their school - which is the third largest in North America and is based in Vermont.
We just had a riot.
Picked up the puppies on the way home - gave Pat 10 bags of homemade Hovey granola! - then made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, got in a bath and vegged out.
Great, great weekend. And I feel The Murder Stone is on her way. A fabulous coming out party for this 'child.'
Hope you enjoy reading it - and for those of you in the States, don't forget - it's called A RULE AGAINST MURDER in the US, and will be coming out in January. I can hardly wait for that - what fun that will be!
Talk tomorrow, be well.