From the road

I’m sitting in my hotel room in the Hilton Garden Inn, getting mentally geared up for book tour. Actually, there’s little “gearing up” to do, because I’m feeling so accustomed to the whole process. In some ways, going on book tour feels a bit like a vacation (crazy, huh?) because I don’t have to cook dinner, I get to watch TV in bed, and I can gorge on all the gossip magazines I pick up from the airport newsstands.

I love book tours.

I don’t like the travel anxieties and the airline snafus, but I love the whole idea of getting out of Maine and seeing the rest of the country. If it hadn’t been for book travel, I would never have seen Mobile AL or Little Rock, Arkansas or West Texas. I’m a sucker for small American towns. I’m a sucker for obscure regional foods. Get me out into the heartland, and I’ll find something to love, even if the only thing the town seems to offer is a diner and a gas station.

This tour, I’m not visiting any really small towns, but I’ll be looking for local culinary quirks to sample. A chef’s daughter is always on the lookout for something she’s never tasted before.

Tomorrow, I’ll be in Nashville. Hope to see some of you there! (And I’m bringing my shrunken head.)

14 replies
  1. Kyle K.
    Kyle K. says:

    You’re not going to be in Philly until the 29th of OCTOBER? Guess that’s what I get for leaving Boston, eh? I would have gotten to see you a lot sooner!

    I’ve always loved travelling, and that also includes travelling itself, being in the airports, buses, trains, shuttles from the airport to my hotel, etc… Especially recently, since I’ve been going places myself. Nothing as exciting as finding your way from Heathrow airport to my hotel in South Kennsington! 🙂

    Hope you have a good time!

  2. NewMexicanAnn
    NewMexicanAnn says:

    Well, Tess, it’s NM State Fair time and one of our best little food quirks is in a small adobe building on the fairgrounds. It’s called Asbury Cafe (named after my home church) and for over 40 years, folks at Asbury (with lots of help from other local churches now since it’s gotten out of control) have made homemade pies of a lot of different kinds. We sell some grill items and drinks, but it’s pies, pies, and more pies. (I helped make 4 shoo-fly pies today and hope to go some afternoons this week and bake other pies.) The cafe’s most famous pie is strawberry-rhubarb, though there are lots of other kinds. We have to make at least 2,500 pies each year and the profits go to at least 6 homeless charities in the Albuquerque area.

    Sometimes the pies come out of the oven and if they’re too juicy, the juice spills over, makes them sticky, and makes them ugly. Those pies go to the church’s front office kitchen and anyone who wants a piece is welcome. I was in luck today because there was a really, really good cherry pie there and barely out of the oven, too. Even if someone determines it was too ugly to sell, it wasn’t too ugly to eat and it was the best stuff on earth!

  3. NewMexicanAnn
    NewMexicanAnn says:

    Oh, yeah. Asbury Cafe is totally run by volunteers.

    Swing on by and bring the shrunken head over for a bite of pie. 🙂

  4. IServeTheCat
    IServeTheCat says:

    When I first moved to Raleigh, a librarian told me you’d visited here years ago, but you haven’t been here since. Any chance you can include us in your next tour?

    I finished the Keepsake last night- it was awesome! (Of course. :)) I was a little confused by the first person parts at first, but they made perfect sense as I went on. It was a GREAT mystery, and I look forward to the next one. I can’t wait to see what happens with Dr Isles and the one with marital issues. (Don’t want to say the name for those who aren’t there yet.) I love your characters, and the way you change their lives from book to book.

    NMA- I miss Albuquerque. I was born there, but haven’t been back to visit in years. The pie thing sounds like a lot of fun!

  5. Abe
    Abe says:

    Hi Tess,

    It’s too bad you’re not in NYC this week. The San Gennaro Festival is under way. You can gain 5 pounds just from the aroma alone.
    Sometimes the local Mom ‘N Pop diners make the best food at the cheapest prices. Enjoy them while you can.
    Be careful at airport security with your shrunken head. They make not let you through, even though you have proof that it’s a business “prop.” They may cite that there is no such thing as “tsantas clause.”
    (I’d better switch to decaf).
    Enjoy your tour.

  6. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    Tess-I understand that there is a huge, rambling curio store in Hamburg called Harry’s or something like that which has a shrunken head-but supposedly it’s not for sale.
    If most politician’s heads were shrunken,they would be just about normal size.

  7. GerritsenFever10
    GerritsenFever10 says:

    Do any of the airport security give you grief about the shrunken head? Just curious as to what they say if they have to check it or whatever.

  8. C Chin
    C Chin says:

    Tess- I live in NYC, and i see from your events/book tour that you will be in a private event only in New York. Is there any other time you will be in NYC? I am a big fan and am working my way through the medical stories and am now hooked on the thrillers, and have read a few of the romance stories as well. I enjoyed them all.
    Hope you are enjoying the book tour.

  9. Tess
    Tess says:

    No trouble yet with getting the shrunken head through security — it has no bones, just skin, so it doesn’t show up on xray!

    Carol, the only other event I have in the NYC area is at RJ Julia bookshop in Madison, CT. I don’t know how far that it is from NYC. I wish I could do an event in NYC, but so far, it seems that Manhattan events are tough gigs to land!

  10. lynnh32
    lynnh32 says:

    Hi Tess…look forward to seeing you again in Pittsburgh at the Mystery Lovers Bookstore on Saturday.

    Ah I wouldn’t worry about the shrunken head getting through security…just hope the airlines do NOT lose your luggage:) Had that happen this weekend going out to Philly…taught me to do carry on REAL quick:)


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