Rats! I ran out of “r”s I was trying for alliteration in my title *snort* Well, here goes…. Back, back in time ( only a few weeks, I’ll bring you back to where I found you, honest) back to Thursday morning, April 12th.
Where I last left off our heroines (Lisa, the Maid of Tarts and me) lol Well, after we went to the Karaoke party- at 9am in the morning!!! We popped into Club RT and tried to enter our names into all of the prize drawings offered. The Book Tart offered 2 prizes, a cherry tote bag with a fuzzy blanket made by Lisa, and another tote with an Amazon gift card and assorted goodies. There were some amazing gift baskets! I am soooo not lucky- and won zip. Lisa won the Stacey Kade prize :) In the signed tote bag (which we are giving away as a prize! comment on the previous post by midnight 5/5 to be entered) were some goodies, Lisa shared the amazing pink, blue and purple eyeshadow and we used it for our Saturday night costumes- you’ll see a pic when we get to Saturday. Lisa then went to the Wild and Wacky Party hosted by Kayla Perin and Jamie Rush aka Tina Wainscott. Their party is always a blast! But I was trying to network and learn so I went to a panel on social media and group blogs hosted by The Nine Naughty Novelists. It was a great workshop. I took a lot of notes and our roomie Dawn was a guest on the panel! She is a reader and blogger extraordinaire. We met her last year at RT and I invited her to be our roommate this time around. It ended up being a perfect fit. She’s stuck with me indefinitely now :P I can call/text her anytime and say “Dawn? help!” and she does. If you love to read steamy romance check out her blog at http://daydrmzzz.blogspot.com/
Next on the agenda was an Author Chat with Jeaniene Frost, Nalini Singh and Charlaine Harris. All in one room! I was over the moon excited. I love all of them and own all their works, even the ones in anthologies. Ha! lol It was so fun to listen to them talk about their books.
When I came down off cloud 9 from the thrill of being in the same room as them We went to the Steampunk Gathering. I had packed a steampunk outfit, unfortunately my zipper broke at my bust. Grrr! Big busts can be a bain (hey, look, alliteration attempt again) Now, I have to share a pic. Look to the left… Yum! A great guy who had NO wardrobe problems is Scott Nova, in his steampunk costume. There wasn’t much to it…. It was just right! I <3 Scott, I met him last year when he was competing in the Mr. Romance competition. Yep, I voted for him. I enjoyed catching up with him this year.
I love steampunk clothing, Victorian dress with goggles and gears and hats and fun! I haven’t read many books in the genre. But after listening to Maureen O. Betita, Eden Bradley, Karina Cooper, Seleste DeLaney, Leanna Renee Hieber, Suzanne Lazear, Cindy Spencer Pope, Deborah Schneider, Kathryn Smith and Natalie Zamon I really want to! It was a great way to get introduced to authors who write steampunk and enjoy all the great looks . The gal on the right is Karina Cooper- She’s a doll! I loved meeting her and discovering her books.
Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. Today is Friday, Friday (guess which song is in my head now? lol) finally to Friday. I got to meet Susan Elizabeth Philips! *squee!* I have been reading her for 15 years or so and buy her books as soon as they are out in Hardback. She is on my auto buy and I re-read all her books. Her assistant took a picture of us together and she signed books for me and my sisters. And she signed MY tote bag. She is so nice and funny and it was wonderful to listen to her talk about how she writes and why she’s good at dialogue. She says she’s a frustrated actor. I love SEP!
Friday night was the Avon Indigo Lounge mixer. We were among the first in line and Avon had all their authors that were at the convention sitting behind tables with stacks of books. We dashed around picking up books and getting them signed. The above picture with Susan Elizabeth Phillips is actually from this event. She remembered me from earlier in the day and wanted a pic! Next convention I go to I will be more on the ball (good intentions!) and beg authors for pictures with them :p
We ordered Chicago pizza this night- but only Lisa ate hers before the Heather Graham party…We had BEVERAGES tonight. So, on an empty stomach I drank Malibu and pineapple. Yummy! lol I rarely drink (yes! true) and got pleasantly buzzed. We were dressed in our interpretation on gangsters. We had fedoras and slacks and corsets. I really, really like corsets <g> they pull everything in and push up the “girls” lol We sat at the table and my roomies might need to take away my camera next time I drink :p Tipsy girl with cam… I took a lot of pictues. Beth Ciotta was part of the dinner theatre and in character as a cigar girl, she was giving away candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars. We played with those while we watched the show. Katheryn Falk, the creator of the RT Magazine, danced the Charleston! She rocked it. After the show we all danced. My balance was a bit impaired- but it was fun! When the party was over we grabbed our cold pizza and snackies and set up at a table in the lobby and munched and visited after midnight. Charles Paz, Mr. Romance 2009, and a good guy, hung at our table and visited and mooched pizza. It was a blast! We finally crawled into bed around 3am. We caught a few hours sleep before the giant book fair Saturday morning.
We didn’t get in line for the book fair as early as we wanted… see above for reason :p But we were in line around 9:30. After getting our personal books stamped, we got in the official line for the convention attendees. There was another line for day pass people. At 10:45am the doors opened! and the mad crush began. There was approximately 400 authors trapped behind long rows of tables in a huge banquet room and we snake through the room and get autographs and buy new books. We’ve gotten better over the years- this time I only had about 15 books from home to get signed. The book fair is MASSIVE. This year RT reported the highest attendance yet with over 2500 people on Saturday! I love the fair. I wander the aisle and meet authors I’m familiar with and new ones I’ve missed and buy books. Loads of books! I did way better this year, I had a bag for my personal books and another bag for new books. This year the bag was smaller and worked perfectly. Last convention I had one of those big reusable plastic bags from TJ Max and I filled it to the brim and spent over $500. This time it wasn’t so scary. But I figure, what better time to pick up a book then right from the author? I would have bought them anyway- just not all at the same time. I met Ilona and Gordon Andrews! *happy dance* Love! Love! Love them. And they were so nice- I was a bad sister and forgot to get an autograph for my brother until after I had bought my books. I left my bags with Lisa and dashed back into the room 15 minutes before the book fair closed. When I got to their table I realized I didn’t have anything for them to sign! Gack! but they kindly offered to sign their name placard at the table and that I could have it when the event was done. Mission accomplished!
Harlequin hosted the night party. The theme was Hollywood, which left the door wide open in terms of costumes. I brought a few wigs to the convention. I wore the pink, Lisa the blue and Dawn wore the purple wig with jeans and black tops. But because of the wigs and the bright eye makeup (from Stacey Kade :p) we felt costume-y, cute and comfy! We danced and then bailed early on the party (we heard later that we should have stayed because people said it was the best party…) The girls and I had fun though, we grabbed the rest of our munchies from the room and camped out at a table in the lobby with our friend Megan, from Australia, and her crew and ate and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Len Gunn stopped by for a bit and had a Tim-Tam and chatted. We had not met him last year when he won the Mr. Romance competition. He’s very down to earth and heavenly to look at. (did ya notice the comparison in my description there? imagine me jumping up and down like a yippy dog. lol I am so impressed with my skills :p ) This was a bittersweet night. Our girl, Dawn, was leaving in the morning….
Sunday is usually the day we leave the convention. But this year it was cheaper to fly out on Monday, even with the extra night at the hotel. Dawn abandoned us! *wail* We missed our third musketeer! Lisa and I took it easy the rest of the day. We packed up our room, I cleaned up my swag from the promo hallway (all the chocolate and pens were gone! But not all the bookmarks) and we went to a few of the RT Sunday activities. The Book Reviews Award search was packed. It seemed to me like more people stayed for Sunday then before…. But we’ve only stayed the extra day one other time, so maybe it’s always like that… There was over 100 people in the room sitting at round tables and we all tried to find a list of book titles in a word search puzzle. Everyone who completed the page got a free book, at least that was the plan. lol More people solved the puzzles than expected. Not me though, I am so bad at finding hidden things, or even things that are right in front of me :p After that game I went up to our room and took my first nap of the week. *sigh* I absolutely adore naps. Then I went down and joined Lisa and the other Sunday attendees to watch a movie and eat popcorn. We watched Chocolat. How had I not seen that movie before?! It was wonderful. The group yelled at the screen a few times and we all had a marvelous time. Then Lisa and I spent our last night in our room watching The Green Lantern on TV and eating the last of our munchies. We got up at 3am and checked out of the hotel to get to the airport by 5am. We were wearing our Ellora’s Cave track pants and Wrigley sweatshirts and Lisa was wearing a beautiful hat that she won and didn’t want to get squished in her suitcase. I should have taken a picture! This year, for the first time ever, our flights were leaving from the save part of the airport. We were able to sit together and drink our Starbucks and say goodbye…. Goodbye Chicago. Goodbye RT. Goodbye friends. We will do this again.
(((hugs))) The Queen of Tarts