My high school BFF is a finder of good things. Since I live in Buffalo, NY, and she lives in Los Angeles, CA, we don’t get to see each other often. We’ve kept in touch (sometimes heroically) over the past 22 years (OMG. 22. Years.) via e-mail, epic phone conversations a few times a year, and FB, mostly. I often get a quick, “This made me think of you,” and then a link to something like this hilarious thing. When we both turned 40, I flew to CA (right before the RWA conference in Anaheim – double win!) and we spent an amazing weekend in Venice Beach. If you’ve followed my blog for that long, maybe you remember this post. Lord knows, I haven’t forgotten those berries. I still wish I’d purchased a flat and eaten the whole thing. Absolutely a #firstworldregret
Recently, she texted me a link to the website of the newly-opened The Ripped Bodice, an all-romance bookstore in Culver City, CA, and I immediately wanted to go. Since I was going to be visiting her the next month, I could! High school BFF is an incredible planner, and she worked it into our itinerary. Mind you, this is a woman who texted me, “Windy beach or desert sun? Should I book a hotel in Santa Barbara or Palm Springs?” with distances in minutes and Google images of both locations. That was a no-brainer for this Buffalo chick. I’m always freezing. PALM SPRINGS, which is where we went right after we visited the bookstore!
The Ripped Bodice so far exceeded my expectation, I can’t even. It was adorable, well laid out, had an amazing selection of romances, many of which I’d read (good sign), and many more I WANTED to read. Bea, one of the two sister-owners, was working the desk, and she was as adorably distracted by the FREAKING BOOK COVER/HOT COVER MODEL PHOTO SHOOT going on at the front of the store as we were. I was all “be cool, be cool, let’s not bother the professionals.” But high school BFF, so much more self-possessed than I, was all “I’ll be so disappointed if we don’t get a picture with him.” Dude, she was right. Can you imagine missing that golden opportunity? We bought our books, talked authors and books with Bea. I may have embarrassed myself a little because I was so excited to talk romance industry since I’m off the conference circuit until I finish/publish another book. But Bea seemed the understanding type, and I’m giving myself a pass since I was in romance Mecca.
I waited for my moment (when they took a break)…and then I asked Mickael De Sinno if he would pose with high school BFF and I! And Jenn LeBlanc, author, photographer, and Studio Smexy maven took our picture! So much fun. We totally swooned. How often does THAT happen when you walk in a bookstore?
I was so delighted to visit the romantic bookstore that I’ve been hearing so much about lately. But even if you can’t swan out to LA like I did, guess what? You can shop online for books or schwag! Darn, it’s good schwag, too. I want that heroine tank top, even if it’s $30. And the romance categories are fantastic. Along with the usual “Paranormal” and “Inspirational,” they have “Bikes and Tats” and “Highlanders.” I will absolutely check The Ripped Bodice website the next time I need a book in print. I will also need to take a good browse through those categories. It’s like having a romance librarian on tap. 🙂
I love it when a good plan comes together!
Okay. I lied. We went here after The Ripped Bodice.
Every once in a while…you just gotta fangirl. I fangirl for The Ripped Bodice, Palm Springs, and my high school BFF (Happy birthday, Erin!)! Who do you fangirl for? Leave a comment, and I’ll put your name in the hat to win a book from the most romantic bookstore in Culver City. Your pick (Not to exceed $15, excluding shipping!). I’ll pick the winner…on the first day of summer. So who? What? Tell me who brings out your fangirl!