Tales from the Almost End of the Trail

We are on an Alaska Airlines flight heading back to Tucson at the end of the tour.  In a couple of days, we’ll close up the Tucson house and head north, as our snowbird season comes to an end.

First and foremost, thanks to all my fans we made the lists—we made ALL the lists.  Man Overboard was #10 on the Wall Street Journal and NYTimes best sellers list, #9 on the Publisher’s Weekly list, and #12 on USA Today.  Since the USA list includes fiction and non-fiction, and since two of the top ten are non-fiction, by my count that makes me #10 in fiction on USA Today as well.  In other words, for the first time ever, we ran the table.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

This is not a tour where there have been cheery Tales from the Trail blog updates.  All of you are well aware of what a difficult time this has been after losing our little Bella.  I’m so grateful to my daughter, Jeanne T., for stepping up and writing last week’s post.  I’ve literally spent days responding to the countless messages of condolence that have come in to me and to her.  I’ve tried to respond personally to each and every e-mail.  If yours somehow fell through the cracks, thank you.  It means so much to me to know I have so many caring and animal loving readers and fans out there.

There were times during this tour, like last night in Lake Forest Park for instance, when I just couldn’t wrap my head around giving a formal presentation.  Knowing that I was in a roomful of loving fans, I was able to turn the event into a full-blown Q and A.  Thank you to the guy who wanted to hear the “red tie” story.  Thank you to the guy who wanted to hear the “Doug Davis” story.  Being able to answer questions last night was a huge help to me.

But it turns out, last night in Lake Forest Park was almost my last appearance in Lake Forest Park.  After dropping my daughter and grandson off in Redmond, I headed home down 132nd NE in Bellevue.  Halfway through Bridle Trails, 132nd makes a sharp turn to the left and then another one to the right.  It’s a tricky corner, one that already has a cross and a marker for a guy who didn’t make it.

Last night, as I approached the first curve, driving at the speed limit, a guy in an SUV, driving in the opposite direction and not observing the speed limit, came around that curve with both his left hand wheels on MY side of the double yellow line.  I hung onto the steering wheel for dear life, headed for the narrow shoulder, and prayed like crazy.  I’m assuming he made it the rest of the way without crashing, but it was a very narrow escape, and I was too shaken to go back to check on his well being.

I can tell you I was very grateful to arrive safely at home a few minutes later, and I’m incredibly grateful to be on the right side of the grass and writing a blog post this morning.

So thank you reading this, and thank you for being my loyal readers.  Once we land I need to go back to work on Proof of Life.

For all of those dyed-in-the-wool Beaumont fans, he’ll be back.

17 thoughts on “Tales from the Almost End of the Trail

  1. It was so sad to hear of the loss of your beautiful Bella. I know she meant to world to you and her loss must hurt you to your core. I have been a dog lover/owner all my life, and have grieved the loss of each precious family member. They bring so much to our lives.

    Congratulations on your best seller list rankings. Just finished Man Overboard and really enjoyed the story. So looking forward to the next Beaumont. Keep up the good work!

  2. I finished “Man Overboard” last evening. Very suspenseful and exciting. I went to the library to pick up three more of your books to continue reading. I was at your presentation in Mesa a couple weeks ago. I had read two books while on my journey there and immediately picked up the new book. So proud of myself to have read three books in three weeks! You entice me to read more and love it. So sorry for the loss of Bella. Our dogs are our world. May peace come to you and your family.

  3. I’m so very sorry about your sweet Bella. You and I have chatted about our respective Doxies at signings at the Poisoned Pen. I know what that sweet little girl meant to you. My heart goes out to you.

  4. Wow and Holy WOW! Creepy close call. Someone was trying to get your attention.
    Please be extra cautious, you are too valuable to so many to end up as a victim in a news story.
    Seriously, I am so happy you are o.k.(other than that wet spot on your car seat…LOL) jkg
    Finished my copy of Man Overboard, from the Mesa Library signing. Fascinating and intriguing. Makes one really start thinking and get a bit paranoid. I will ‘re-read it again this summer for certain. I like doing that with books I’ve really liked.
    Just purchased a copy of Downfall and will put it near the top of my reading stack. Your book of poetry/prose is always on the top for a quick respite from my wild world.
    Take care, enjoy your time away from the Arizona heat. We’re hoping to get back to MN for a little while this summer, after pending medical stuff.
    Love and hugs

  5. I’m thankful you were not injured in your near collision. I have all of your books, I believe, and have read almost all of them. I have not completed the “Walker Family” series and I’m reading “Man Ocerboard” now. Tat said, I’d like to make a few comments:
    1. If you had been seriously injured or worse, in your “near death” experience, that driver would have taken something very dear from all of us. So glad you are OK.
    2. I’m hoping I have a chance one day to attend one of your events. I would think your Q and A secession would be well received and appreciated by those in attendance.
    3. Although I’ve read nearly all of your books, I’m not familiar with the reference to the Red Tie or Doug Davis. Are these references to something in your books that I am forgetting.
    P.S. Jeanne did a great job. Sorry for your loss. Pets are family members.

  6. I just finished “Man Overboard” and it was great, as usual. When Bella entered the room I got tears in my eyes. We were honored to have met Bella once when you spoke at the Prescott public library. In May we will be participating in the Walk for the Animals which supports the Yavapai Humane Society and will dedicate that walk to Bella. BTW, you signed my copy of “Man Overboard” at the Tucson Festival of Books and you looked fabulous!

  7. You are simply an amazing woman, J.A. Jance! To keep up with your dedicated, busy schedule, regardless of all the obstacles that find you, keeps me in suspense and even tears. Thank you for making yourself available to all your adoring fans, whether in person or through all your phenomenal books. Your gifts and talents are immeasurable.

  8. Very glad you were able to avoid that idiot & arrived home safely! I certainly feel your pain with losing Bella, they are such a loving comfort!

  9. I was so saddened by your loss of Bella. I know exactly how you feel. I have so enjoyed your books, first with Detective Beaumont, then Joanna Brady, Ali Reynolds, and the Walker family. You have taken me to places I have never been, but will maybe get to visit. Mostly, you have provided many, many hours of enjoyable reading, and you are one of my favorite authors. I read Man Overboard, and loved it! I don’t think there has been any of your books that didn’t grab me from the first chapter! Thank you Jayne, for your wonderful books. I wish you many more great stories to come!

  10. I think I offered my condolences on the loss of your precious Bella in your last weeks column, but if not, let me do so now. Having once been where you are, when I lost my 16 year old lab, Zeke, I do know the pain. He was my constant companion from his puppy days, until his death, and that has now been more than 5 years and I still miss him.
    I’m also grateful that you survived the crazy driver you encountered last night. May your next few weeks be calm and peaceful. And your transfer back from Tucson to Seattle safe and easy. I’ve enjoyed, and continue to enjoy all of your books. Look forward to the return of JP. Thanks for giving me so many hours of reading pleasure.

  11. Hi Judy,

    What a great read (Man Overboard)! Really
    enjoyed it! How did you learn so much about
    computers and AI? You really made Frigg come alive, and the ending was superb!

    Especially loved reading about Sedona, Cottonwood & Jerome, since we were just there in February.
    We plan on going to the Tucson Book Festival next March. Hope to finally get to meet you!

    Keep ’em coming! Don’t know how you do it. Two books a year! Plus book tours!

  12. Always love reading your tales! You have such interesting stories. So happy you made that curve!!
    Looking forward to many more books from you I started reading your books so long ago I can’t remember which one it was.
    I must say I enjoy your descriptions of all the Az. towns, having visited most of them when I was so much younger!, a few years ago my husband and took a trip to Tombstone, Elfrida, Douglas, Benson and Wilcox, most all the relatives are gone now, but I have wonderful memories of these towns

  13. I am glad that you are safe and I was saddened to hear of the loss of your fur baby. I have been in a near death car accident and you never forget it. My “Buttercup” went over the rainbow bridge 4 years ago and I often wake up at night thinking I hear her barking. Bella was lucky to have you and it goes without saying you were lucky to have her.

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