A beautiful autumn afternoon greeted yesterday’s book launch and signing of my debut thriller, What She Gave Away, at Montecito’s Tecolote Book Shop. My good friend Laurie organized the event and a steady stream of friends, family and fans helped make it a successful affair. Tecolote is a charming location with a long history in Santa Barbara dating back to 1925. There’s a family connection as my Uncle Jim owned the bookstore in the early 1960s. I met one delightful woman who attended Santa Barbara’s Roosevelt Elementary School with my father and his siblings. The children had just escaped from France with my widowed grandmother at the height of World War II. My guest recalled that my refugee father spoke limited English and wore unfashionable shorts but no classmate dared to tease him because of his tall stature and notable athletic skills. I love family lore so this gem of a story brought a smile to my heart. Thank you to everyone who attended! Hope to see you again at Thursday’s Friends of the Library benefit.