Thursday, May 29, 2014

RT Recap Part 2

Part II, Day 2
Jess woke me up so we could have breakfast with Lia Davis, Carrie Ann Ryan, Charity Hendry, and a couple other awesome people. I thought they meant down in the lobby... I also thought the table with the array of food was a free continental breakfast. So I had a delicious spinach and ricotta stuffed croissant. So when Jess and the others announced that we were ready to leave for lunch, I was all, "Huh? I thought we were eating breakfast here."

"No way. It's too expensive."

Oops. I'd thought it was free.

We went to a place called "Red Gravy." Here's some fun pics.

I'm still half asleep and rocking my Megadeth shirt... Jess's shirt is better though.

I was bummed to discover that the Red Gravy was only marina. Needless to say, it didn't go well with the biscuit I ordered. So I spent a lot of time ogling everyone else's plates. :)

After breakfast, Jess and I attended some publisher spotlights to see where the market is going. I was beyond delighted to discover that rock stars are IN! I ended up with a ton of requests for my rock star romance. While giddily bouncing around after that, I spent a little time socializing and meeting more people. I'd purposely brought books by authors I'd hoped to meet and was over the moon when I ran into Eloisa James outside the elevator. She cheerfully signed my worn out copy of POTENT PLEASURES and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek! Jess hauled my gasping fan-girl ass back to our room so we could get ready for lunch.

Gratuitous Pic of Eloisa with Courtney Milan and PJ Arshendaut at another event because I was too wimpy to ask for one with me.

Jess and I had another visit to Daisy Dukes and OF COURSE I ordered the New Orleans sampler. I had shrimp n' grits, crawfish etouffee, red bean & rice, gumbo, and a biscuit. We hung out a bit with Amy Ruttan and visited with Shoshanna Evers and Jess's associate editor, Peter Senftleben and then went to a corner store and a shoe store. I found my hard cider!!! Alas, I also had to get a bottle opener. I had the choice of one that looked like a beer mug or one that looked like a naked lady. I went for the beer mug.
We got all gussied up for the Kensington party, where Jess had a table with really nifty crystal balls showing her book cover. I ran around and visited with a bunch of other authors and readers while Jess interacted with her fans. Damn, there were some cool people!
After the party, everyone lined up for the pub crawl. Jess, Charity, and I took one look at the line and changed our minds. Instead, we sipped hard cider in our room. Then poor Jess had a sore throat so she went to bed early so she could speak at her next event. I wandered down to the Samhain party, which was off the hook.

I can't remember who these lovely ladies were, but they were awesome.
Then there was this other awesome chick dressed up as Mallificent!

Best of all, she totally didn't mind the random crazy girl in the Spinal Tap shirt bowing down and taking pictures.
Then I ran into this awesome lady all decked out old southern style. She turned out to be Cynthia D'Alba and her swag was the best: MATCHES.

Anyway, Cynthia was a total darling and insisted that I have a picture taken with her cowboy cover model, who happened to be from Spokane, Washington which is the town next to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, my stomping ground. Between our impromptu photoshoot, we had a good giggle about how real northwest cowboys don't look or speak like media cowboys. I grew up on a cattle farm. We drove the cows with tractors, never rode horses, never wore cowboy hats, wore T-shirts, beanies, jeans and workboots (Oh shit, we looked like Nirvana!) and sounded like CBS newscasters.

Still, it was good times.

I also spent a lot of time in the smoking area out front and met some awesome Texan booksellers who had a HAUNTED bookstore. I wish I would have gotten pictures of them. I loved the smoking area. I met a ton of cool people and it was quiet enough to carry on conversations. Quiet is more my pace.
I ended the night by going on a pizza run with cover model DeLonn Donovan and a publicist. I can't remember her name, but DeLonn is easy because apparently he's everywhere and a total sweetie!

After the pizza run, I was dead on my feet and shambled back to my room and promptly fell asleep, dreaming of my own personal romance hero.

Day 3 coming soon!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

RT 2014 Recap: Part I

Sorry for the delay. Some personal stuff happened right after I got back from my trip.
Anyway, as you all know, I recently returned from my very first book convention, which was none other than the RT Booklover's Convention in NEW ORLEANS!!!!!
I figured for my first con, I'd go big or go home.

Well, it was more than big, it was HUGE.

My best description for my mental state during those action-packed four days was "Overwhelmed and Overjoyed." There was just so much going on that I'm going to split this into at least 3 posts.

I'll start with the overview. After a long plane ride across the country, I arrived in NOLA and thankfully didn't miss my airport shuttle. On the shuttle I met some fellow excited attendees and a nice local who point out the cemeteries and landmarks along with recommending some good restaurants.
The Marriott in the French Quarter was large and imposing. However I managed to check in and get my badge and track down my roommate, Urban Fantasy author Jess Haines.

Releases July 1st!

If you haven't read her already, CHECK HER OUT!!!!

Anyway, she showed me to our room and since we were both starving, she immediately took me to a nifty restaurant called Daisy Dukes and we split a basket of the best fried shrimp that I've had in my life. She then played sherpa and took me on a mini tour around the block. I just gaped at everything and forgot to take pictures. She treated me to my first beignet. OMG, the fluffy, sugary goodness!!

Still joyous and staring at everything, we returned to our room to get ready for a Mardis Gras party. I got to meet my first book reviewer, Casey from Literary Escapism and she is a doll, so I totally gave her one of my few copies of WRENCHING FATE.

We talked books while changing into festive costumes and heading down to the bus that took us to Mardi Gras World. Jess was to participate in the event so I tagged along with Casey and Amy Boggs, a charming literary agent. I pretty much stayed glued to them as we headed into the building because they were the closest to familiar people I knew. We really had no idea what to expect and were awed and delighted at what came next. Ready for a slew of pictures? Great!

Lining up outside Mardi Gras World

There were some awesome statues that I think they use on floats.


Headless Horseman!!

After that, there was a parade with Jazz musicians and authors in floats and stuff throwing beads at us.

Sara Humphreys yanked me out of the crowd so we could take a selfie with her and Susanna Kearsley.

It was freakin' awesome.

After the parade we got to visit a bunch of booths and try New Orleans food. And that is how I fell in love with Shrimp n' grits and Crawfish Etoufee.

I also met a bunch more authors and reviewers and readers and industry people.

The bar outside was too spendy and exact cash only, so Jess and I took off shortly afterward and she gave me a quick tour of Bourbon Street and we visited a cool outdoor bar called Pat O' Brien's and had a nifty cocktail (I got to keep the glass) before shambling back to the hotel.

Then we passed the heck out because we were exhausted and had a full schedule of more RT fun early in the morning.

So the first day was... WOW!

Stay tuned for part II!