Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Party Hearty

(Comment here to win a copy of The List and some other cool prizes.)

Check out Lara from Overstuffed today to see her take on my book. It's really interesting to see so many people connecting to it differently depending on the life experiences they bring into reading it. 

On to the book launch party.

One word: Fantastic.

In many other words: I loved it, it was everything I hoped it would be, I had so much fun, and I think everyone else did, too.

I went with a beach theme to fit my book. I rented out the Fiesta Room at the Lago Santa Margarita Beach Club. I know, it sounds so fancy, right?

The beach club is the pool in the center of town that is perfect for kids. It's surrounded by green grassy banks and then the pool itself has a large sandy beach for the kids to play on. And it's right next to the lake. So it fit my book perfectly. I spent months planning this thing and then I called in the troops. My husband's band played, my brother and his girlfriend manned the drinks, and my Aunt Linda flew in from Illinois to chop and skewer for ten hours a day and then help me throw the whole party together.

My aunt and mother-in-law spent two days helping prep and decorate, and then pulled off a really cute cake. And now, for the pictures. These are in no particular order because hello? Have you tried to work with pictures in Blogger?:

 My aunt Linda and my brother's girlfriend, Nadine
 Centerpieces of orchid and plumeria done by a friend of a friend
 Pineapple/fruit centerpieces, planned by me, executed entirely by Aunt Linda. GORGEOUS.
 Chocolate-dipped strawberries, a la Aunt Linda
 CUTE cake from my mother-in-law and Aunt Beth
 Karen and Carrie from The Bookport, selling my books. (31 sold. Yay!)
 I wanted a "mocktail" bar (although we didn't call it that) with signatures drinks for some of the book characters. Nadine and Jamie reported that the two most popular drinks were the Sassy Ashley (ginger ale, orange juice, and grenadine) and the Shaka Derek (pina colada and pineapple juice.) There was also the Mellow Matt (cranberry juice and 7-Up) and the Tart Megan (margarita mix and Squirt). The drinks were free and just for fun.
 Me, signing! It's really unnerving. For a while I was writing "Dear So and So" instead of "To So-and-So". Duh! And I would suddenly get anxious that I would forget someone's name. And it's really hard to think of 31 different things to say!
 The food table" Hawaiian sweet rolls, pineapple/mango salsa, guacamole, Aunt Beth's Fantastic Macaroni Salad, a mixed green salad with feta and vinaigrette, and grilled marinated chicken from the local carniceria. My visiting teachers came over and helped cut up veggies and meat for the skewers, along with my mother-in-law. Who helped. They didn't cut her up. And then when there was no room in my fridge for all that meat, another friend, Brittany, not only volunteered to refrigerate it for me, she also volunteered to grill all the chicken. Or course, that was before she understood what 35 pounds of chicken shish kebabs looked like, but she STILL did it and even called in reinforcements from other friends in the ward to get it all grilled in time. And it was DELICIOUS.
 A view of the room. 
 A view of the band, my husband on lead.
 The party people throng the food, outside view.
Kenny makes me do a reading. It was actually pretty fun.
 My friend Colleen, who drove two hours to come and help.
My blog friend and road trip buddy, Karen from A Peek at Karen's World.

Miss DeNae from My Real Life Was Backordered. She learned, to her detriment, that I am really, really bad at geography and spatial relationships, but still did not kill me when she showed up after an hour and a half in her car. I even met her husband! My husband was really sad he didn't get to talk to him because he loves to talking to guys in her husband's line of work.

Another look at the cool centerpieces. And some wooden bowls MADE BY MY HUSBAND and full of dried tropical fruit.  And also, some cool friends we like hanging out with.

A gift from my friend Heather, and inside:
A survival kit for when I become to good for the little people.

Did you know that when you have a book launch, people bring YOU gifts? I had NO idea. I got a gorgeous succulent, a dozen red roses, an orchid, and gift certificates to the new cupcake store in town. Dangerous. 

Anyway, it was a wonderful night and I floated for two days after. I think I'm still floating. I have such great friends and family and we live in such an awesome place.

Wish you all were here!


Kristina P. said...

It looks truly amazing, Melanie!

No bad lei jokes?

LisAway said...


Melinda said...

I need me an Aunt Linda. I actually have an Aunt Linda, but she's no "AUNT LINDA" if you know what I mean. It looks wonderful! I'm so happy for you Melanie!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

So awesome! I totally would have been there if I lived closer! I am so glad you had such an amazing time! :)

MommyJ said...

Why, oh why do North Carolina and California have to be SO far apart?

NIKOL said...

You are livin' the dream and I am SO happy for you!

Barbaloot said...

Looks a great night due to all the hard work!! So glad you enjoyed it and had so many people to help you and celebrate with you.

Lara said...

What MommyJ said, except Michigan. Looks like a wonderful wonderful time! And your Aunt Linda is definitely amazing.

Andrew & Sarah Clawson said...

I'm so glad that your party was a HIT! Hope someone took videos??

Enjoy Birth said...

It was tons of fun! I am so glad we got to come. I have finished your book and loved it. I am putting a review on my blog tomorrow. Not sure how it fits in with birth, but so what!

TheOneTrueSue said...

How much fun! I wish I could've been there. I talked to Cristina last night at book club and we were talking about how much we loved your book. She really enjoyed it - said she read it over a three day period and each time she put it down she couldn't wait to pick it up again. She also said tat she kept picturing Ashley as you. :>

T said...

okay - everyone seems to be sending me over here to win a copy of your book... and yes, I know this isn't THAT post - but no worries, because actually - I already read the book... in one day that consisted of two drives to Salt Lake City and my husband wondering what had me so engrossed :)

working on a review :)

Becca said...

So, so fun. And I want to BE Aunt Linda. Maybe when I grow up.

Susan said...

I'm so glad for you, and so sad that I live so far away. Are you having one of these for every book? If so, I'll plan on being out there for one of them.

Karen Peterson said...

It was such a great party. I'm so glad I could be there. The food was great, the music was great, and I loved when you did your reading.

Thanks so much for the invitation!

Vivian said...

wow!! What a fun party! If you come to Utah, please let me know! I will totally help you plan another FUN party! :)

L.T. Elliot said...

Holy gorgeous. That party looks AWESOME! I so wished I could have been there. And what an awesome, supportive group of friends and family you have!

Don said...

So totally awesome! I wish I could have come.