At 7:00 PM, my family and friends arrived (about 100 people). It was a magical night. Everyone was so excited. There was a constant line at the signing table. A local paper had printed an article about the book launch and someone actually brought a copy of that for me to autograph along with the book. In addition to the food and drinks that were served, my mom brought in 100 casatelli, a Sicilian dessert, which is described on pages 106-107 of The Benefactor. We put up a sign with that information, along with a description of the dessert (pastry dough filled with sweetened ricotta, shaved chocolate, and a touch of cinnamon, fried or baked, and dusted with powdered sugar).
To be honest, I never imagined that my book launch party would go the way it did. In fact, just that morning I'd burrowed deeper under the covers in total avoidance mode, incredibly nervous and not knowing what to expect. But when guests began arriving and I felt the energy in the room and saw how starry-eyed some of my friends and family were, it all started to feel real in a good way. I had a hard time falling asleep after such an energizing night. I'll never forget it. Thank you everyone for making it a dream come true.
[Visit the Gallery Page of my website to see photos from the event.]