I'd heard rumour that the book was out, that Suspect Witness, my first Harlequin Intrigue, had not only been released, it had hit the shelves. I'm not sure why this came as a surprise to me but it did. Maybe it was because I'm in the midst of another book and with a dozen things on my mind including Suspect Witness, I was gearing up for February 1. But, here's the rub, there is a release date for the paperback and one for the e-book. The e-book is not until February 1 not so the paperback. Now to add to those dates, there's the time that a Harlequin Intrigue remains physically on the bookshelves - one month. So, by all logical accounts, okay by my slightly skewed calculations, that would be the month of February.
But there were already reports of scattered sightings. The author of That Night, Lisa McManus Lange had even rushed to her book store only to get the last copy of Suspect Witness.
Oblivious to all this, I spent the day of January 19 picking my mother-in-law up, a sweet lady despite her relationship status, for an appointment that was booked months ago and then off to lunch. It wasn't until I got home that I saw a tweet, thank you Janie Crouch, that my book was out.
I was excited but it took me until January 20 to get to my local Chapters to discover if this might be true. Was Suspect Witness on the shelves and not just lurking on my office floor in the guise of author copies? I dragged DH along with me who wanted to know as soon as we'd rushed those golden book gates why my book wasn't featured front and centre with the books of interest. I ignored that comment and charged to the back of the store where the "real" fiction is kept. After skirting two teenage girls huddled over a table that was mere feet from where I needed to be I crouched down and looked.
But the thought of all that was overpowered by the voices of the young ladies only a few feet behind me who were discussing the relative merits of acids and bases. One really wasn't getting it and the other was trying her best to clarify the concept. I wanted to interrupt that conversation to ask them if they really believed that my romantic suspense could possibly be of less interest than their scientific analysis? I'm sure from their perspective they were wondering what my fascination was with the book rack and might possibly even be rolling their eyes at the woman who kept backing so close to their table to take pictures of books that held no scientific relevance.
Leaving acids and bases for another day, it was off to Walmart. There, the book shelving situation was a different story. The clerk who oversees the books with a diligence that an army corporal might admire, told me that January books had not yet been cleared off and it would be another week or two before February replaced them. The way she said it made it clear that she thought this was obvious and that I should look at a calendar and not bother her with February books that were currently not her concern.
But all that was fine for I'd seen the proof that Suspect Witness exists beyond an online entity. It's out there.