So on Tuesday evening, Megan and I had invited a few folks who’d arrived early, to come by our “florida fun suite” to have some snacks and drinks. We got to meet the ever so lovely Stephanie, Liz and Elissa from RT Magazine – who were very lovely to stop in and visit with us. I have to say, I think RT Magazine has some of the most fun and nicest people I’ve ever met running the show! Jimmi Gaskin and his sister Jennifer stopped by, Jimmi won many votes that night for being himself – genuine and very sweet. Jennifer was also quite wonderful! There were several points when I looked around the room as it got more and more crowded, when I didn’t know about a third of the people there – which is a sign of a good party, LOL. Mark Henry came by with his totally fabulous wife Caroline, Heather Osborne and Michelle Rowan – don’t think we didn’t notice you not coming back Mark! Many other lovely faces came by – Vivi Anna, Jeri Smith Ready, Patrice Michelle, Cindy Eden, Larissa Ione, Ann Aguirre, Renee and her beau Joe, Lorelei James, Sasha White, Ann from Fractured Fiction – I’m sure I’m missing people so if I didn’t include you, I’m sorry!
Wednesday – the official first day of RT!! We’d registered on Tuesday so we didn’t have to deal with any lines that morning. It was really just a day of easing into the conference.
Megan did a multicultural romance panel first up in the day and then we decided to grab some lunch with KKT and Vivi before our panel. TOTAL FANGIRL MOMENT!!! Okay so I go to wash my hands and as I walk around the corner I see this utterly gorgeous red wrap. I compliment its owner and as I go back around the corner, Megan and I had a moment as we silently mouthed, “THAT’S BRENDA JACKSON!!” Yes, boys and girls I not only had that moment but as it turns out, Brenda Jackson was at the lunch too. Lord amighty, my internal dialog was squealing and gushing but I hope I managed not to act like a fool. Also at the table were the very lovely Olivia Gates and Caridad Pinero – both exceptionally wonderful ladies.
After lunch it was off to our panel – How to Co-Write a book with your BFF without killing each other. As I said below, this was up against the cavemen calendar signing so it was not a packed house. However, we did have fun and Mark Henry and Mario Acevedo provided much entertainment and the annual RT gross discussion topic was born when we began to talk about a website Megan found the evening before – X Rays of things people put in their asses. Yes, folks, I can go on for days about this stuff, but suffice it to say Ahhnoooose Potahtoes was a catch phrase.
Afterward, we saw Joey Hill in the hall and made her take pictures with us, because I love Joey Hill and hello, I wanted a picture with her.
Megan Hart, Anya Bast, Lauren Dane and Joey Hill
Our agent and all around super wonderful person, Laura Bradford arrived after our panel and we ducked out for a bite before the party later that evening. DJ music was back this year (YAY!!) and none of the shows seemed to go overlong, which was very nice. The ballrooms were all decorated really well for every party I attended. Wednesday evening pics below feature many faces. The goofy ones are mainly mine, LOL – what can I say? I like goofy faces.
Lauren and Ann Aguirre
Danny Firedragon, Lauren and Sasha White
Vivi and KKT
Thursday was a more mellow day. First I did an interview with All Romance Ebooks – whose crew was awesome and fun. Megan went right after I did, which was fun as well, especially the part where someone walked by with therapy animals and a loud “MEOW” was added to the interview, LOL.
Me waiting for Megan, who is being interviewed just across the hall
The whole crew waiting. James, Anya Bast’s husband, was kind enough to take lots and lots of pictures at all our events. He’s the one who took many of these shots.
While in line for Avon’s Dusk to Dawn Mixer – I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by the Australian booksellers. The ladies from Temptation Bookstore and Rosemary from Rosemary’s Romance are wonderful! I love to hear what booksellers think and these folks have a lot of wonderful insight. In addition, I got Tim Tams out of it – awesome win. I highly encourage authors to send stuff to these fabulous bookstores – international readers love our books too!
That evening’s event was the Fairy Ball – again, the room was totally gorgeous. We missed the dinner part due to another dinner plan but the dancing part was awesome. We hit the pool bar afterward and chatted with everyone until very late. The social part of RT always makes me happy. I meet so many new people and see all my old friends too. It’s really a lot of fun, even if I want to sleep for a week when I get back home.
More tomorrow! I’m trying to edit together all the video I took but I’ve got a sick kiddo at home so it’s around that. Soon I hope!