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Janet Evanovich Book Signing


by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams

Stephanie Plum…

Have any of you met my old friend Stephanie Plum? Stephanie and I have been through a lot over the years! We’ve been shot at, several of our vehicles have been blown up and we’ve been kidnapped too many times! Well, I’ve using the “we”, but I really mean Stephanie! Stephanie is a “bounty hunter” and, in a way, a reluctant hero! She’s been put into more compromising positions then I can count! Even her best friends Morelli, Ranger and Lula can’t seem to keep her out of trouble! God knows I’ve tried myself, but I can never reach her mind! I do, however, feel her pain all too often! I know others who feel the same way. Take my daughter, Ainsley, as an example! Every time Stephanie gets herself into trouble, I get a “panic call” from Ainsley! It’s all in good fun though! Stephanie Plum, you see, is a fictional character created by storyteller extraordinaire, Janet Evanovich! Janet has created a wonderful ensemble of crazy characters. Ainsley and I have read all 14 Stephanie Plum books and always look forward the next in the series. We are even on Janet’s mailing list! When I received her latest newsletter, I was excited to see that Janet was coming to Toronto for a book signing! Her new Stephanie Plum book, Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, had just hit the book stands. I was hooked! Before I could call Ainsley with the good news, my phone rang! It was Ainsley! “Dad, did you know that Janet Evanovich’s new book is out and that she is coming to Toronto for a book signing! Let’s Go!”

Off to the Book Signing!

I picked up Ainsley and we were on our way to Toronto! The book signing was taking place in a Chapters Store in Etobicoke (a west end suburb of Toronto). Ainsley and I shared our favourite “Plum stories" along the way! After a 2 hour drive we reached our destination! The store was decked out with Evanovich’s new book and plenty of “Plum balloons". Each balloon had a different Plum series character. An “Evanovich Book Signing” reception desk had been set up at the front entrance of the store. The girl at the desk asked us if we were there for the book signing. We told her "yes" and she gave us each a numbered wrist band and then suggested we join the book signing line. The end of the line was easy to find and we joined it. Others soon joined us. We were all one happy “Stephanie Plum family"! There was quite a long line up. I think we were numbers 344 and 345! Time, however, seemed to pass fairly quickly. Janet Evanovich and her book signing staff kept us all busy throughout our wait. There was great music and the “Chicken” to entertain us! We were offered pastry “goodies” and a smoothie. Balloons were also offered. Ainsley chose the one with “I love Rex” on it. Rex, for those of you who don’t know is Stephanie’s pet hamster! As we started to move along, one of Janet’s assistant approached us with questions. She asked Ainsley who she liked better, Morelli or Ranger. Ainsley answered “Ranger” and was rewarded with an “I love Ranger” pin! She quickly attached it to her blouse! The girl then turned to me and asked, “Who do you like better, Stephanie or Grandma Mazur?” I replied “Grandma Mazur” and was given a postcard saying “Ain’t That A Pip!” (One of Grandma’s favourite sayings!). If you are wonder who all these great characters are, read the Stephanie Plum books! The line slowly moved forward to a point where we could see Janet in the distance. As we came closer, the excitement grew! The upbeat music helped set the mood! Finally we were at the front of the line! Ainsley went up first. Janet signed her book and then posed for a photograph! It was then my turn! Janet signed my copy of “Finger Lickin’ Fifteen” and then allowed Ainsley and I to have our photographs taken with her. Happily we tucked our signed books under our arms and walked back to the car. It gave us great satisfaction to know that in some small way we had helped our “old friend”, Stephanie Plum, continue on her perilous adventures! Keep it up Stephanie! Book fifteen is now history, so come on number sixteen!