THIS IS AN EMAIL I RECEIVED TODAY FROM A FORMER CHURCH BUDDY, AND FELLOW TRUSTEE AT TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH ... MATT FARINELLI.
A LITTLE "LEFT COAST" PERSPECTIVE ON THE LAUNCH OF THE SACRED CIPHER.
So here's how it all went down:
Yesterday, we decided to take the kids out and go to the bookstore, a favorite past time for my four-year old, Caleb. I figured it would be a good opportunity to grab my copy of "The Sacred Cipher" and snap a few pictures of it on the display. So we get to the Barnes & Nobles Bookstore in Tustin, CA, I send the wife & kids off to the children's book room and begin my search. To my disappointment, I did not find the book on any of the main book displays in the front of the store. So I strolled back to "Christian Fiction" and still, no Sacred Cipher. So, at this point, I'm a little nervous and conjuring up many scenarios as to why this book is nowhere to be found, "perhaps B&N didn't get the memo?", "perhaps the release is only on the East Coast?", "am I too late?"....lots of questions and only one place to go to find the answer - The Customer Service Desk!
So I arrive at an empty customer service desk, wait the customary New York minute for someone to show up, then, in a manner only displayed by a transplanted New Yorker, I grab the computer terminal from behind the desk and begin my book search. Well, a few minutes into my hacking (passwords to those systems are usually quite easy to guess), I retrieve the records for "The Sacred Cipher" by Terry Brennan, and, to my surprise, the computer flashes that the book is "On Display: Trade Paperback: Floor Display: Christian Fiction". Arrgghhh, I was just there and the book was most certainly not on display! At this point, I'm about ready to get "management" involved! Well, it was only a few seconds into my thoughts that a very stern "Ah-hem" came from behind me with a pleasant, but clearly annoyed, inquiry from the multiply-pierced, oddly hair-colored goth-inspired reference lady of, "That terminal is for employees only. Can I help you find something??" Caught. I shoot a glance over at the front door and, to my relief, the rather plump security guard is fixed in position....no need to execute any daring escape maneuvers.
"Sure," I said, flashing a grin of one who knows they've just been caught but hopes to change the conversation as quickly as possible. "I'm looking for this book, the computer says it's in the store, but I can't find it. Any thoughts?" Clearly not impressed with my charm, the young lady clad in black wrests the computer from my hands, taps in her own sacred cipher, hits the return key and, after the annoying little hour glass spins for a bit, scans the codes. Her eyes widen with understanding a bit and, without even looking up at me, says "Oh yeah, that book. We had copies of that out for display, but they're all sold." My worst fears confirmed, I was too late! "Wait here," she says firmly, breaking my thoughts of despair, "and please don't touch anything. I'll go in the back and see if there are any left."
A few minutes pass and a line is now forming behind me. I wait nervously as the clock ticks away and notice that Christine is flagging me from the children's room giving the shrugged shoulder look of "hey, what the heck are doing standing there, can I get some help in here with the kids???" I give her the finger (the raised pointer finger) asking for one more minute then I would come to the rescue. Well, the lady strolls back to the customer service desk with two copies of "The Sacred Cipher" under her arms and she says to me in a rather plodding voice, "You're in luck. These two were being held behind the register for a customer but they left without buying them. My manager said it was ok to give you a copy. You want one or both?" "One will be fine," I said.
So, in the end, I got my copy of The Sacred Cipher. However, I now wish I had gotten the other copy as well because my mother-in-law, who is a voracious reader, snagged a look at my copy last night and informed me that I'd better hide it lest it disappear to her bedroom for a few days....So, sales of The Sacred Cipher are brisk out here on the left coast!
I'm on chapter 8 right now and it's hard to have to put it down. As you know, parenting requires that we interrupt the simple pleasures in life to go deal with the latest mishap our little ones get into...so far, a real page-turner! And that's from a guy who doesn't read nearly as much as he should and is a slow reader at best. Can't wait to hit that last page....
Blessings from the land of sunshine,