Introvert, Worrier, Owner of the blog "Caught in a FAB Romance", and resident Romance Guru on Parajunkee's View. I've been blogging about books for four years - if it's got romance in it, I'll read it! You can also find me on twitter, tweeting about books, my family, and sometimes, The Saints: @TheLoveJunkee Find me on Instagram:
You may or may not have noticed an absence of Romancing the Weekend last weekend - that's because I was in Dallas at the RT Booklover's Convention (and I don't plan ahead). I went with my Sister-in-Law/BFF, Hannah, and we roomed with Sabrina (The Geeky Junkee), Jannelle (Jannelle Reads), and Michelle (Sporadic Liaiason).
(The view of the lobby from our room door)
There was so much going on, I don't even know where to begin... I guess let me start with the trip to Dallas - I drove from NOLA to Houston to pick up my BFF, then from Houston to Dallas. So here I'll address the beaver in the post title: HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE AWESOMENESS THAT IS BUC-EE'S? I'm talking to you, Texans. Seriously, it's awesome - all that beef jerky, barbecue, "road food", knick-knacks, and souvenirs. (I may have purchased a necklace but I'm not confirming or denying that.)
Okay, so, the convention... it was Amazeballs! I am a very shy person, so I can say I saw a lot of authors, like Grace Draven, Molly Harper, Chloe Neill, and Patricia Briggs, but I didn't approach them. They weren't in a panel setting so I was too nervous to say hi. I did meet Ilona and Gordon Andrews at a panel, and Jennifer Estep, Kresley Cole, Alice Clayton, Lauren Dane, Tiffany Reisz, Victoria Dahl, and Sophie Jordan at signings - where I stared a lot but didn't say much ;) At one point during the week, Patricia Briggs and her husband sat down and waited in line a few feet ahead of us! They were there for hours chatting with their group, just like the rest of us. *mind blown*
In addition to my favorite authors, though, I got to meet so many bloggers - I knew Lupe from Hot Listens last year, but I got to meet her co-blogger Melanie. Melanie and I share the same birthday so we had birthday shots at the hotel bar. I also got to meet Stephanie, who was so funny and nice. I met Mandi from Smexybooks at RT in New Orleans last year, but I ended up sitting next to Tori at dinner Friday night which was a pleasant surprise. I also have to mention Felicia the Geeky Blogger, whose room was across from ours - sorry we were so loud!
I didn't attend many panels this year - mostly I did the fun stuff: Gay Cards Against Humanity, Books Booze and More, Cover Model Karaoke, and of course, Entangled's Candy and Spoons -Last year I was the first one out at our table. This year? I won! I was so surprised, I didn't even realize I had won :) It was a fierce competition; we'd been trash-talking each other all year. Someone may have left the table with a bruise...
One thing they don't tell you about RT is that there are a lot of lines. If you want to get in to the popular events, you've got to get there early: (This is the line for Saturday's Book Fair.
We were at the very front of the line, but we got there very early.)
You know what, though? I had fun doing that too. Hanging with my roomies, sending someone on "booze runs" so we could drink while we were waiting, chatting and having fun:
While we were waiting for one event, we were interviewed by Buzzfeed, and Michelle and Jannelle made the articles!!! Check it here (#9 and #15) and here (#2; #7 was my answer but I didn't want my picture taken - shy, remember?). Now they're #internetfamous
The books - oh the books! There were so many books, people were worried about how to get them home. And many times you had the opportunity to have the authors sign them, which was great.
The award for Best Swag goes to Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick – The Last Kiss Eos were fabulous. My kids wanted to fight me for mine when I got home :) I also love the pretty pink nail polish from Romance at Random.
I need to give a shout-out to one of the volunteers at the convention - Jane L. - she was EVERYWHERE! She was friendly and helpful and never seemed to be tired or grumpy. I honestly don't know how she did it.
I have to say it was so much fun, we're already planning for next year - in Las Vegas!! This time the husbands want to come along...
I want to end on this note: One thing I was surprised about was that I walked away from the convention with not only a sense of community, but of body-positivity and self-confidence. When I sit at home and blog or tweet, I feel like a big old ugly lump while imagining all these other bloggers/authors/readers are beautiful and perfect. Guess what? They're not. They're just like you and me and they come in all shapes and sizes. You're not perfect? No one cares as long as you're not an asshole. And it felt good to be a part of it.
I came home from RT with a bunch of books to give away. Unfortunately, I do not get paid to blog, nor am I independently wealthy, which means I'm going to space the giveaways out over the next couple of weeks so that the postage isn't too painful for my wallet :) I have two giveaways today for readers with a US address (sorry international peeps), enter via rafflecopters below:
Print copies of:
I'll also throw in a shot glass, a silly highlighter, a cup koozie, and a cup.
Bonus - an ashtray made by inmates out of a licence plate (not RT related but I'm including it anyway).
A thumb drive from Carina Press with 18 e-books on it (epub format), including:
I'll also throw in some lip gloss, a pair of margarita earrings, and some dog tags.