Am writing this in the car on the four-hour drive to Minneapolis. Pretty drive, very pastoral. The trees are starting to turn already – not sure if it’s early for this part of the country or not.

There was rain this morning in Madison, but warm weather is expected to return tomorrow. The rain is sorely needed. The corn in the fields along the road here looks even worse than in Illinois.

Stopped to visit some friends in Mukwanago yesterday on our way from Milwaukee and she baked a Peach Pie – with peaches from, of all places, Idaho. Mmmm, boy was it delicious! A real treat to have home baked goodies whilst on the road. Thank you, Linda and Alan.

Our trusty GPS had no trouble directing us to our hotel in Madison.

We got in a 4 PM and were off to have dinner with Patrick Rothfuss and his girlfriend, Sarah. We walked to the restaurant, Nostrano, right near the capitol building. Now THERE was some good food. Billed as Italian/Mediterranean, interesting preparations, very flavorful. Enjoyed spending time getting to know Pat and Sarah. And darn, I forgot to take a picture!

This event, at B&N on Mineral Springs Road, was one of, if not the, biggest on this tour. 200 people? Nice space for it – this is one of the largest (64,000 square feet) I can remember seeing. Large central boutique for the Nook, of course.

As always, there were fans of all ages. Each one thanked us for coming. There were some good questions and ideas for future short stories. Should we take votes, Shawn?

These kids were thrilled to have Terry sign sheets of notebook paper – so cute!

We were especially pleased to have an old friend come out to see us. We hadn’t seen her since our last visit to Madison, low those many years ago. Thank you, Joan, for making the effort.

Now onward to Minneapolis and the B&N on Snelling Avenue in Roseville – our last stop in the Heartland Tour. Phase 3 will be Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon, on Saturday, September 22nd at 4 PM. Will we see you there?

Written by Shawn Speakman
I am the long-time friend and webmaster for Terry Brooks as well as the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel Terry calls "a fine tale by a talented writer." Join me on Facebook and Twitter (@shawnspeakman)!