Mamalita Book Launch at Book Passage

The Mamalita Book Tour got off to a great start on Saturday night at Book Passage in Corte Madera. The bookseller who hosted the evening estimated the crowd around 140 people. Friends from every part of our lives showed up: writing groups, classes, book clubs, school, work, even a few moms from Mateo’s kindergarten bus stop.

Linda Watanabe McFerrin set the evening’s tone with a warm and wonderful introduction. Linda is the founder of the Left Coast Writers, a Book Passage group to which I belong, and a friend and teacher to many in the Bay Area writing community. As Linda later said, “The room was filled with love.” The generous spirits of Linda and her husband, Lowry, added to that feeling.

In the “Acknowledgments” section of my book, I thank Joyce Maynard as “my teacher, mentor, and friend.” Joyce is all those things to me, and to the many other writers who have attended her workshops and classes. I was so happy Joyce and I could celebrate the book’s publication together.


My friend, Kallie, was there with her daughter Maya. As some of you who read my blog know, Kallie and I met while fostering in Antigua in 2003. She and Maya traveled to Guatemala this past summer with Olivia and me as we revisited sites important to our families. Kallie’s mother and two sisters came to the book launch too, as did her lovely niece, shown here with Maya and me.


I felt especially privileged when other adoptive parents came up to tell me how much they related to the emotions of our story, if not the actual details. One adoptive mom, Meredith, whom I know only through her blog, drove up from Central California so we could finally meet in person. (Meredith, thanks for coming; can’t believe we both forgot to take a picture!)


My book launch would not have been complete without representation by the Book Passage-sponsored Writing Mamas and my Friday night writing group, the Shrinks. By the time I remembered to take a photo, several members of each had slipped away. So sorry—next time!

The Mamalita Book Tour is off to a terrific start. Thank you, everyone.

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14 Responses to “Mamalita Book Launch at Book Passage”

  1. tia sharon says:

    Wow! that’s fantastic!

  2. Terri Quick says:

    Jessica,
    As the grandma of Meredith’s sweet Sofia, I so enjoyed both your book and your talk in Corte Madera. Your book is obviously a very personal labor of love, but has touched so many hearts. It is a gift to each of us. Many thanks.
    Terri Quick
    Sofia’s Geema

  3. Mary Allison Tierney says:

    what an impressive turnout – I’m so proud of you!

    mary allison tierney
    writing mama!

  4. Jessica says:

    Thanks, Tia S: We missed you!
    Terri: How wonderful for you and Meredith to drive up for the launch! Great to finally meet you both. Thank you for coming~!
    Mary Allison: Fantastic to see you and so many other Mamas in the audience. Rock on, Writing Mamas!

  5. cynthia rovero says:

    you really did the mamalitas all over the world justice with your book, book talk, blog and more. lots to be happy and proud about. so happy to have been able to connect with you through writing mamas.

  6. Jessica says:

    thanks, cynthia. so happy to have connected with you, as well–a fellow writing mama and mamalita, too.

  7. Jenny says:

    So I have been reading your book each night and enjoying it like a Hershey’s chocolate bar, trying to persuade myself that if I don’t finish too much that night I will have more to enjoy the next day, and knowing that I need to put it down so that I can function the next day at work on enough sleep, but it is a challenge to decide where to put my bookmark!! There have been only a few books that have made me laugh aloud (the last one was Eat, Pray, Love) and this is definitely one of them! The last scene was when you were changing Olivia’s diaper that weighed more than she did, swishing red ants, and meanwhile asking her to trust that you are a good mother!! Oh my goodness!! I have lived that scene a hundred times over. I don’t think that there is a single mother in the world that cannot relate to that one!!! And of course the irony is that the kids could care less…they just want to get their hands on the fire-breathing ants. Too funny!!

  8. Jessica says:

    Jenny, thank you for that chocolate bar analogy! As someone who loves chocolate, and savors every bite, I am honored to know reading my book is a similar experience for you. And for Mamalita to be compared to the mega-bestselling phenomenon, Eat, Pray, Love–well, let me say: my day is made! I’m so happy you are reading the book and can relate to it. Nice to know that our story appeals to moms everywhere, not necessarily only mothers who have adopted or fostered in Guatemala. Thank you again!

  9. Jessica says:

    We missed you, Anjie! But I felt your spirit. Thanks for the good wishes.

  10. Marianne Lonsdale says:

    Just realized a picture of me was here, how fun!

  11. Jessica says:

    Looking glam as ever. So happy you were there, Ms. Lonsdale. Thanks for sharing the joy.

  12. Candice says:

    Joyce Maynard has apparently given her adopted daughters to another family. What’s up with that? Rumor has it that caring for them cut into her writing time.

  13. Jessica says:

    Thanks for writing, Candice, but I don’t comment on other people’s personal lives.

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