Saturday, July 31, 2010
The luncheon with Jayne Ann Krentz was interesting (and good). As she was speaking, I realized I'm not the quote normal quote reader. She said that she started writing these very strange books that no one had read before. Those turned out to be her futuristics. I read them way back when, books like Sweet Starfire, Shield's Lady, Gift of Gold and Gift of Fire. I loved those books. But fans of those ones didn't necessarily follow over to her contemporaries. Or those who read her contemporaries often didn't follow her to her historicals under Amanda Quick, but I loved those too. I followed her no matter what she wrote but in her talk she said that didn't happen often. She gave some good advice to writers and I enjoyed the luncheon.
After that I sat in on a Publisher Spotlight - one for Avon - which I found interesting, though at times somewhat very boxed into what they were looking for. And then I hit the first of many publisher signings. For those not in the know, these are where they give away books - FOR FREE - and the authors will sign them. I've learned over the years to get the books I want at the literacy signing and wait until the publisher signings to get books that haven't been so much on my radar. It's a great way to try new and new-to-me authors or authors that have fallen off my radar. All the signings are beginning to blend together, but one stands out. I've mentioned that I've been getting many of my coworkers to try romance and so far, they are loving the genre. JD Robb is the author that most are reading at the moment with Lisa Kleypas's contemporaries shortly behind. Since I'll be working in another department when I get back, I wanted to get something special for my coworkers so I've picked up a number of JD's books. At the one publisher she was signing at, I got her to sign a book to the entire department and I'm going to give the JD Robb books, 'specially the signed one, as a department 'book' department. They had a new reissue of Naked in Death so that will be a department book for anyone that hasn't tried her yet.
And today I also had Lisa Kleypas sign a book to the coworker who headed away from my desk hugging Smooth Talking Stranger. She asked if I could get her a signed copy of one of Lisa's books.
So what else????? So much has been going on that my thoughts are scattered.
Aztec Lady has been the advanced guard for publisher signings. She has been the one holding a spot in line and I can always tell where she is because I hear her joyful laughter as she is making friends wherever she goes.
I met some new nice people, May from Malaysia and Kris who runs a German Romance Magazine called Love Letter.
I've taken a lot of pictures this time since I finally clued in that if I'm the one taking the pictures, that means I'm not the one in the pictures. Sometimes I'm a bit slow on the uptake.
Last night Wendy called it an early evening but I wasn't ready to turn in so I headed down to the bar and just kind of went over to a couple of people and said I was going to be brave and ask if they minded if I joined them. The let me thank goodness. It turns out one of them writes Futuristics for an epub. She handed me her card and a bookmark. When I got up to my room, one of the books sounded familiar and sure enough, it was one of the first books I downloaded onto my Kobo.
I was thrilled a few weeks before the conference to get an invite to the Berkley cocktail party. The party was last night. When I first got there is a bit of tough time. I've been shy most of my life and while in the past few years I've gotten over a lot of it, still moments of paralyzing shyness hits and it did last night. But I did my best to banish it and ended up having a great time. I had a very nice talk with author Jodi Thomas where I told her about the Great Western Drive that Sybil, Wendy and I did. I was thinking of Nath and all the girls at Book Binge since I know they are great fans of her books too. And then Carrie Lofty and I had a great time talking about North and South and Richard Armitage - we always do when we get together. Oh, and Julie James and I talked earlier in the week about SYTYCD and Carrie and I did last night. She's also a fan of the Canadian SYTYCD and I got to tell her that Nico, the first season winner got married not too long ago.
I ended up getting a lot more books than I planned too. I figured I'd keep it under control this year, but alas, the addiction took over again. Paranormals seemed to be the ones I picked up the most of. Though there are also a number of other genres too. I'm so glad I read across the board. It really lets me feed that addiction to books. I didn't want to end up shipping books home this year, but alas, I'm going to have to again.
Well - I should get going. I left the RITA award show early so that I could pack - books and clothes. Wendy and Rosies flight leaves only about 15 minutes before mine tomorrow, which is at 8:15 am which will make for a very early wakeup!!
I've had such a wonderful time, but I am looking forward to getting home now. I'm sure I'll have a further thoughts blog or two, along with some of the books I picked up. But until then,
Friday, July 30, 2010
I just got back to my room from the first two publisher signings, Harlequin and Avon. I couldn't stay too long as it was crowded as all get out and since this is the third 'event' I've been to this year, I already have books from the previous ones still unread.
I do get amazed though when I see some people walk by. I think they must have grabbed every single book in the room they are so loaded down. I only pick up books I want to read and I know in Rosie's case for example, she also picks up a lot of books for other blogger friends so I can see why she would have a bunch. But some just go hog wild. Although I suppose I was probably like that at my first one - see book, must have.
So - back to yesterday. I heard that a lot of Nora's speech went around on twitter. Since I had to have Wendy answer my phone once and then show me how to make a call - I was trying to call Brent and after entering his number, it kept wanting me to add him to my contact list. Once she explained I had to hit the green button on the left and that green meant go, I can use word association and get it right next time. But for those who aren't on twitter, she gave a great speech. I love how she wasn't afraid to use the word bullshit. She was both funny and inspiring and if I had intentions of writing a book, she had excellent advice. The meal was good too. It was chicken and mashed potatoes and while the chicken was covered with something that looked like green mold and was a bit off-putting to look at, it wasn't really mold and was quite tasty.
And then after lunch the workshops began. In the past 3 years, I only attended on and decided to take in more this year. The first one I went to was given by Suzanne Brockman and Lee Childes. It was interesting as they compared the romance genre (which more women read) and the mystery genre (which more men read) and what would appeal to men and women about the other genre. There was all kinds of other interesting things I can't remember, but they said it would be available on the RWA site sometime.
After that I attended a workshop held by Jennifer Ashley on professional jealousy and how to handle it and even use it to work for you instead of against you. It was also quite interesting.
After that, Wendy, Aztec Lady and I headed out to meet Angela James and others for a Harleqing/Carina Press dinner we were invited to. It was ever so much fun. I've know Angie for a while now and she is such a delightful person. One of the cool things is she visits Toronto several times a year which is only a two hour drive away from me and Malle Vallik, the Director of Digital Content and Angie's boss suggested I take a trip to Toronto and get a tour of the Harlequin offices when Angie is down some time. How AWESOME is that!?!?!
Lynn, Sandy and Blythe from AAR were also there and it was great to talk to them again. Another member of the group was Sabrina Heise, a fellow blogger of Cheeky Reads a new to me blogger and a few other people who were interesting to talk to, but my deepest apologies if they visit here as I've forgotten their names. This short term memory loss is getting worse and it's killin'me.
We went to this incredible restaurant called The Oceanic and I went outside my food comfort box and ordered crab cakes. And they were good. And I learned something I did not know - besides the fact that Sandy broke the news to me that Paul Newman cheated on his wife - that devastated me for some reason - that Creme Brulee is supposed to have a crunch top!!!! I did not know that. I've had it a number of times but no where that I had it, did they blow torch the top to make it crunchy. I loved it!! Though after the meal I stayed full for about 7 hours. The meal was delicious, the company was great and the talking we did was so much fun.
After that we were invited to the Harlequin Slumber Party. Wendy decided to forgo it and I was late. By the time I got there, things were just wrapping up, but I did run into Michelle Styles there and we briefly talked North and South. Speaking of which, I said I'd meet her and Carrie Lofty at 11 and good gracious it's past already so I gotta fly.
Dang! I missed them. Hopefully I can catch up to them later.
One thing that continues to impress me about this hotel is the elevators. I still haven't had to wait for one. I thought that maybe once the hotel filled up with RWA conventioneers they would be slower and fuller but that's not the case. A very nice added benefit. Ah well, I just came up to the room to grab my tote bag before heading back downstairs for the luncheon with Jayne Anne Krentz as the key note speaker this time. I'm looking forward to it as I've been reading her books for YEARS.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
So - again I didn't do a part 2 yesterday. We are out and about and in and out so often, it seems I have to blog when I get a chance. Plus Wendy is also blogging and since I'm using her laptop - well, I should let her use hers. She so very kindly offered me the use of it when I emailed her before the conference asking if she was bringing it since mine is so big and heavy and I was tired of shlepping it with me at the other two and not even using it.
So - the literacy signing. It was confirmed once again that again I do not like them. I knew I should have waited and gone later after it opened and there was no line, but everyone else was lining up so I did too and by the length of the line and standing so long in one place, I was half done it before it even started. It amazes me that once upon a time I worked as a cashier in a grocery store and stood in one place for hours and hours at a time. How did I do that??????
And because I didn't make a list, once again I forgot some authors I wanted to see. Hopefully I'll see them at the publisher signings. The big one I totally forgot was Joss Ware - I didn't make it all the way to the W's. I've loved her first 2 books in the Envy series. In case anyone is wondering though, I did pick up the second book by Nancy Gideon - the one I downloaded on the Kobo 'cause I couldn't wait to read it, but also wanted a print copy. AND they have the third one here in the on location 'book store'. They didn't have it for signing at the literacy signing last night, but I picked up a copy this morning.
Another book I was thrilled to get was Elizabeth Naughton's newest series, Entwined. I was telling her that one of the biggest thrills in my blogging life was seeing a quote from Ramblings in Marked. Honestly - when I saw that I was excited beyond words!!
I also picked up a few other books - I'll have to do a wrap-up post of all the books I've gotten when I get home. But the BIGGEST thrill of the day was when I was sitting outside the signing room resting - I've done a lot of 'resting' when who should walk by but Jill of Romance Rookie!! She was one of my two room mates from RT, Nath being the other. Jill stayed with us for the second blogger bash and I just wanted to jump around like a puppy that both of my roommates from conferences, Wendy and Jill were both there and they got to meet each other. Quite a few people showed up and both Wendy and I were surprised. I got to see Sandy and Lynn from AAR again as well as meeting Blythe. This was so exciting too as I've been a fan of AAR for years now and meeting the people behind the site is so kewl!!
This morning Wendy, Rosie, Elizabeth (AnimieJune - who by the way has packed more sightseeing into her first few days I'm in awe) and I all had breakfast together. I'm three for three now on the Mickey pancakes. Then we headed to the goodie room for swag and stopped at the bookstore on the way back. As well as picking up Captured by Moonlight, I also got Ruthless by Anne Stuart, and Infamous by Suzanne Brockman (because Jill read and raved about it and it's not a Navy Seal book)
Next up is the luncheon with Nora Roberts so I'm headed there now. Not sure if I'll get to another part today or not.
I'm having a great time and although I know a lot of people are envious, I hope they are living even a little bit vicariously through these posts.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
There were quite a few who showed up at the Blogger Bash. One of the drop-ins was a nice surprise. Blythe Gifford, who writes Medievals for Harlequin Historicals showed up. I meant to get her latest release at RT but forgot. She was also at RomCon so I got a copy there but since it was only a few weeks ago, I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Kim from Hawaii showed up for a bit and Kris a blogger I shall have to look up and her friend Paula. Of course there was Wendy and Aztec Lady and me. One real thrill was meeting Lynn Spencer from All About Romance. She was saying Sandy and Blythe will be here also. Hopefully I'll get a chance to talk to them too. Meghan Frampton was there with some friends but I didn't get much of a chance to talk, we were kind of spread out. But it was fun and we have another one planned for tonight after the literacy signing.
I'm still not sure what to do about that - whether to brave the line or go down a little bit later once it's dispersed. I think when I finish this post I'll put the blowfish up and see if they deflate a bit. I'm really wishing I'd remembered my running shoes. They would keep my feet from swelling too much.
So far it's been rather a lazy day today. Wendy's been in the Librarian's event all day, she's even a speaker this year along with Tessa Dare. I checked out the good room. I've been collecting book flats and book marks for several years now without really having anything to do with the collection I've got going, but I saw something similar somewhere and thought it was really kewl. I have a beaten up coffee table and two end tables that are scratched and marred. I was just going to throw them out, but once I saw this picture, I've decided to cover them with book marks and cover flats - a decouloage - (is that what it's called) and then varathane it and put it in the 'library' when I get it back up again. So now I'm collecting with a vengance.
One of those small things that really impresses me so far about the hotel is the elevators. So far I haven't had to wait for one yet - as soon as I hit the button, one opens up. And our room isn't far from the elevator. I like that too! And the room is cool 'cause it has the shower and toilet in a separate room from the sink and counter. That means that one of us can be having a shower while the other dries their hair and brushes (not washes) their teeth. With two, sometimes three women roommates, you gotta love that!
Well - I'm going to rest my feet for a bit before the big ordeal I'm going to put the poor dears through.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
So far I've run into Julie James - we still need to talk SYTYCD and Courtney Milan. She introduced us to Tiffany Clare who has her first book coming out the same time as Courtney's next book.
Right at the moment I'm in our room with Wendy and Aztec Lady. I had lunch with Wendy, Rosie and LisaBea. And I had pancakes this morning shaped like Mickey Mouse - for some reason that cracked me up.
Karen - I did sit with my feet raised and it helped. Earlier my blowfish feet were so bloated I couldn't walk right and was much slower than Wendy and Rosie since I was forced to clomp as my feet wouldn't bend.
We've registered already and alas, 3 of the books we got in our registration tote bag I either already have and have read (Sugar Creek - Toni Blake) or books I'm in the middle of reading (Enemy Lover - Karin Harlow) or plan to read shortly (Wicked Becomes You - Meredith Duran). But since I'm hoping us Canadians have a blogger meet sometime soon, I'll have books to share. I obviously started my book buying ban too late - though the Karin Harlow book was a freebie at RomCon.
Well - I know Wendy wants to head down so I'll wrap up Part 1
Monday, July 26, 2010
It was great travelling! I only brought one book. Normally, even going to a book convention where I'll be getting tons of them, I still feel the need to bring about five or six. But with my new and improved Kobo, I didn't need to bring a bunch. Made my purse a lot lighter let me tell you.
The hotel is incredible. It's huge and I've already got lost a couple of times. I'll have to take pictures. I was the first to arrive - got to the hotel around 5ish and unpacked. Then I decided to to go down and wait for Wendy and Rosie - and wasn't Wendy standing in line checking in!! So the three of us have connected and after dinner we are in the hotel. We met a nice lady from Australia who joined us for dinner and hopefully will show up to the blogger bash tomorrow. I told her to bring a pen and paper so she can write down books she should look for. Now we are back in our room waiting to see if AnimieJune shows up.
And something else occurred that I found rather bizarre. We are here in Florida and it's hot. There's a couple of pools I think and a guy walked by with in just a bathing suit. And I realized that was the first time I'd seen a guy with no shirt in person other than my sons and they don't really count in quite some time. How bizarre, how bizarre, how bizarre.
Anyway, since Wendy was nice enough to bring her much smaller and lighter laptop so I didn't have to lug my big and heavy one around, I shall be back later with further updates.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I week or so ago I got an email from the Kobo people that there was a 'fix' to my biggest issue; the diminutive size of the font from downloaded third party publishers and the inability to make it any larger. I took it into Chapters yesterday to have it upgraded. I could have done it myself apparently, but then this is a small electronic devise and - hello - if there's an option someone else will do it I'll take that one every time! The guy said it would take about 10 or 15 minutes so he would come and find me when it was done. I said I'd probably be in the romance section (no probably about it really though). He came by a couple of minutes later and gave me a coupon for downloading a free ebook and a $10 gift certificate for an in store purchase. Do you have any idea how hard it was not to pick up a book?!?!?!? Whenever I had one in my hands I put it back, telling myself I would be in a world of books in just TWO DAYS and to wait until I got back! He made it back with my improved Kobo before I broke down thank goodness - it was a close thing!
So of course when I got home I had to try it out. And of course I needed new books in order to do so. I'd read on DA that the whole series of books by P.B. Ryan were available for an incredibly excellent price at Smashwords. I've read her Patricia Ryan medievals and really enjoyed them, so I went and ordered all the P.B. Ryan series for the incredibly low price of just under $14.00 - amazing! I first heard about Smashwords from Monkey Bear Reviews when she did a review for a new book by Alexis Harrington, an author I loved who seemed to disappear. So I also picked that book up as well as a couple others by Ms. Harrington.
And wonder of wonders - it worked!! I can now adjust the font size on third party ebooks. Ebook publishers - here I come!
Lastly - I should not be here blogging!! No I should not. I thought I'd learned my lesson when I did my last minute packing for Denver. I said then and there that I wouldn't go through that again and figured to have my packing down for RWA 90% done by the Saturday before I left. The best laid plans and all that though. It seems procrastination trumps all as once again, I haven't really started. I've written down what I need to pack - but that's about as far as I've gotten. *sigh* So right now I'm off to do laundry. So when next I report in, it should be from Orlando (should being a key word!)
Friday, July 23, 2010
I haven't said a lot about where I work - and will only give the bare bones here. But it needs a bit of a back story. Just over four years ago I was working somewhere else on a contract. I really liked it there and was hoping that I would get hired on full time. But then Ron got sick and I took time off to be his caregiver. After he died, I was all set to go back when I got a call from my supervisor. To make a long story short, while I was off, they decided to let all contract people go and since I was a contract person, that included me. There I was, having just lost my husband of almost 32 years and no job. Both my sons had moved out of the house by then so it was just me. Not surprising, I started falling into deep depression but finally a few months later I gave myself a kick in the pants, got myself in gear and signed up with a temp agency. After I had finished the testing (and passed with pretty good marks) they told me they had an employer who was looking for someone with my kind of skills and after sending them my resume, this place said for me to start the following Monday. I didn't know that much about them, but when I went in for training, the person I was replacing for 3 months while she had surgery, told me that they arranged for home care for people who were released from hospitals or from walk-in clinics who needed visiting nurses or who were in their last stages of life and other various health care help.
A weird feeling came over me as I realized that they were the ones who arranged for the nurses to come into our house to help look after Ron. While I had serious issues with some of the things that happened at hospitals, the home care they gave him was excellent. In fact, that's who we chose for any monetary gifts people wanted to make. So when the girl I was replacing was telling me this, I knew that it was Ron helping to take care of me. At the end of the three months, I was told they wanted to hire me full time. I've had a number of jobs over the years, but none were as emotionally fulfilling and the people so nice as there. They had a position in mind for me in the Intake department - the start of the whole thing department - for people coming onto the program and I've been there ever since. While no job is perfect, this one has been so good that the not so good occasional stuff has been far outweighed by the job satisfaction I feel at the end of every day. I was a part of helping people, instead of working for a company concerned by profits.
I've been very happy where I've been, but one of the few other departments that interested me greatly was the Supportive Care department. This department looks after clients and their families who are at the end stages of life. There was an opening a year and a half or so ago and I applied but it goes by seniority and someone with more got the position. Then that very person got pregnant and here in Canada, maternity leave is a year. She went off on maternity leave a couple of weeks ago and again the job was posted and again I applied and again someone with more seniority got it. But it wasn't a "right fit" for the person who got the job and she decided to stay where she was and the job went up again. And again I applied for it, thinking I wouldn't get it, but still thinking "what the heck".
The posting came down yesterday and today I got a call from the manager of that department saying I got it this time!! And because the job has been vacant for a few weeks now, they want someone asap to fill it. So, it turns out that as soon as I go back to work after RWA, I'll be going straight to the Supportive Care department. I found out just after lunch that today was my last day in the Intake department. I have rather mixed feelings about it. I love the work I do and I adore the Case Manager I work with. And I quite like all the other Case Managers and my fellow Client Service Assistants. And now that I have quite a number of them reading romance - well, it's tough leaving.
But I also think I have a lot to offer in the department I'm going to. As someone who has lost the most important person in the world to them to cancer, I have the empathy for those going through it themselves. I believe everything happens for a reason and I think one of the reasons I didn't get it before was because it wasn't meant to be at the time. And the good thing is it's only for a year and when the girl on maternity leave comes back, my old position in the Intake department is guaranteed to be there for me.
And the really strange thing - I start my new job almost exactly to the same day that I lost Ron. He died very early on August 4th four years ago and I start working in the Supportive Care department on August 3.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I did manager to write up one for my turn over at Reader's Gab at Access Romance. Drop by and give me some advise *g*
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Now what would a conference be without lots of free books? Not quite so good is what I think. And luckily there were lots of books. I didn't get as many this time as in times past. I didn't want to ship them home so I tried not to buy to many at the book fair, though of course I did buy some. A number were on the list I had and the ones I didn't get, hopefully will be in my hands in a couple of weeks. But this is the list of the books I did get!!
|Ashley, Jennifer||Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage|
|Boyle, Elizabeth||Confessions Of A Little Black Gown|
|Butcher, Shannon||Running Scared|
|Butcher, Shannon||Finding The Lost|
|Dare, Lydia||A Certain Wolfish Charm|
|Estep, Jennifer||Spider's Bite|
|Freethy, Barbara||In Shelter Cove|
|Harlow, Karin||Enemy Lover|
|Kinsale, Laura||Seize The Fire|
|Mayhue, Melissa||A Highlander's Homecoming|
|Novak, Brenda||The Perfect Murder|
|Parrish, Leslie||Cold Sight|
|Quinn, Julia||What Happens In London|
|Quinn, Julia||The Secret Diaries Of Miranda Cheever|
|Singh, Nalini||Bonds Of Justice|
|Walker, Shiloh||The Missing|
|Wilde, Lori||The True Love Quilting Club|
I got some good ones didn't I?
A Little Bit of This
There is a new blogger in town!! Marcella of Marcella's Minis is such a brand new baby blogger that she only has 3 posts so far. But they are 3 very good books so drop in and say hey
And a Little Bit of That
I'm headed for the country shortly. My sister from Massachusettes is down for a few days. I wasn't sure I could get the time off work - I mean I just had last Friday and Monday off, but I thought it didn't hurt to ask. And low and behold, they found a casual employee who was looking for hours - and she's worked in our department. So (YES!) I'm off tomorrow and Friday. So the 3 of us are going to hang in the country until Monday. Hopefully I'll get some internet time.
So is the month of July turning out to be a good month or what?!?!?!? First off there was RomCon where I saw some old and new friends, then some nice sister time and rounding off the month, the trip to Orlando where I'll get to see more old friends, new friends and hopefully even newer friends. And of course authors - glorious authors.
So I'll be around - just not sure how much
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Drum Roll Please
And our newest one is KMont of Lurv a la Mode. She proves it's never to late to find this Incredibly, Wonderfully, Beautifully made Romance.
And of course this calls for a video
Oh - what the heck - why not two for a change???
And I'll even throw in July's Calendar picture too!
First off - it's amazing that sometimes a good nights sleep, along with a copy of the schedule can help one remember what one might have forgot. I forgot to mention the Blogger event hosted by Melissa Mayhue that I attended after dinner. I knew I did something else! Anyway, it was great and everyone attending got a bag full of books. That's always a good thing.
The Not so Good - I mentioned last post that I did a lot of last minute throwing stuff in my suitcase. Well, it seems that while I remembered my toothpaste, I neglected to pack a toothbrush! And I couldn't find any sticks or twigs lying around the room that I could use. *sigh*. I also forgot to bring a brush. What kind of lousy packing job is that! Lesson learned though. I will definitely be packed in time for RWA.
The Good - The first event of the day I went to was breakfast. It was a good breakfast - the only trouble it was so darned early!! 7:00 am is not normally a time I see on days off. But then, the day was busy so I accepted that was the way it was. The first workshop I attended was the Reader Round Table hosted by Jane of Dear Author and Sarah of Smart Bitches. It turned out there was a glitch and it was actually moved to a different room at 10:00, but they went ahead and ended up holding Part 1 anyway. They covered a few different topics. One I found rather interesting - it appears I'm different from some readers. They asked if cover quotes by authors had any affect on book buying and most everyone held up their hand that it did. For me though, an author endorsement holds now sway whatsoever. I've always kind of thought it's a 'I wash your back, you wash mine' amongst some authors. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, but for me, they don't even register. They then asked what kind of books readers would like to see more of so of course I popped up with WESTERNS!! What was nice was a few other readers also agreed they would like to say more. I have to say that Jane is excellent at getting everyone involved in the conversation. I watched in awe and complete envy that she remembered everyone's name and addressed us by name. A little thing, but most impressive.
Part A wrapped up and then they held another Reader Round Table in another room that had presentation capabilities. A few of us went to both. I quite enjoyed their cover presentation. First they would show just the cover and ask if we could tell what kind of book it might be just based on the picture. Then they slowly added more such as cover quotes - from very generic to more interesting and then finally the title and author of the book. They did three of them and I wish there had been time for more as none of the books they did were ones I would have bought by cover alone.
The Good - Lunch with Jessica and Sonomalass. Often it's those unplanned, uneventful times that turn out to be very memorable. I really enjoyed lunching with them and just talking.
After that we headed over to the book fair. As others have mentioned it was kind of set up oddly, with books in one room and authors in the other room. I picked up a few of the books that I'd been wanting, but I didn't get them signed. I'm funny in that way. I'm not much of an autograph kind of person and I'm just not comfortable at signings. But it was real neat when I introduced Jessica to Pamela Clare :-)
I had a choice after that - to go to another workshop or go for a nap. Since I was starting to fade very fast, I went with the nap option.
And then it was on to the next event - a workshop held for bloggers. Sue Grimshaw of Borders told us how she started blogging as did (I think) Elizabeth Boyle and Sarah.
After that it was onto a launch party held by HCI a new publisher who will have line with real life romances. Real life couples tell their story to romance authors who then do a book based on their love story.
And then it was onto dinner. I ended up sitting with Hannah Howell and a table with a small publisher and some of their writers. The dinner was again quite excellent but it was at this point I came to another.......
Not So Good Moment - there were a couple of people at the table who I thought incredibly rude. They texted and talked to each other all through a most excellent speech by key note speaker Jo Beverly, not paying attention to a word she said. They didn't acknowledge anyone else at the table not involved with this small publisher. I was taught manners by my mother but apparently either they weren't or they ignored what they were taught. Since they weren't big name authors, I didn't have to worry about dropping a favoured author, but you can be sure that I was less than impressed by their behaviour and there isn't a chance in hell I would ever buy one of their books. Left a very bad taste in my mouth it did.
But then that was followed by a......
Good Moment - there was another dance that night, but I'm not that much of a party animal on most occasions and wasn't Saturday night so Sonomalass invited me to the room she was sharing with Carolyn Jewel so she, Jessica and I headed up there. That turned out to be another one of those unplanned great times.
I was still tired so I headed to my room around 11:00
Good Moment - Thankfully breakfast the next day was later. It was another great breakfast and I ended up sitting next to Nalini Singh. That was definitely a thrill! Also at the table was Sue Grimshaw and her assistant Kristen. I told Kristen she had to have the best job in the world and she agreed. She's fairly new to romance herself and is a confirmed fan. I love hearing how readers who used to read in other genres have come over to the romance side :-) It turns out that they don't live that far from me - relatively speaking so I said if they ever had any kind of events to let me know and I would drive to it. After driving to Columbus, a two hour drive is child's play *g*.
I know there is all kinds of stuff I'm forgetting and readers and authors I haven't mentioned. It's hard to remember everything and everyone - but I will remember in quieter moments.
And some final thoughts if they hold another one.
- I will go!
- I would like to see more reader held workshops. I love meeting authors. I love getting a chance to tell them how their books have given me hours of enjoyment and how much time I spend immersed in their worlds. But I really like connecting with other readers and even more other bloggers a tad more. I loved the workshops I went to where Sarah and Jane were moderating. As fellow bloggers/readers, I connected with on a more day to day level.
- It was a different kind of experience not having a room mate. Because it was kind of last minute that I decided to go for sure and by that time it was too late to find one. The room price was very reasonable and it was only for two nights so I decided to go with a room by myself. While it was nice, I think it's better with a room mate. While I'm quite comfortable hanging with just me, still, it's even nicer to know who you will be sitting with at meals in advance. I ate one lunch alone and while I was fine, someone else would have been nice too. So I'm so glad I'll have Wendy in a couple of weeks!
- Because it was shorter; only a weekend, I didn't get a chance to connect with a lot of people I would have over a longer time frame like RT or RWA. I missed that.
- I think considering this was the first year, RomCon was very well done. The hotel and the staff were wonderful. I did get a tad annoyed at dinner on Saturday night that some people were getting dessert while I was still waiting for my dinner. But that kind of thing can happen anytime, anywhere.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Well this is crappy! I couldn't sleep. It's not for lack of trying and it's not 'cause I'm not tired. But for the second night in 4 days, I just haven't been able to find dreamland. So maybe I'll blog, record books and do some housework and then see if things change.
So - what else to blog about than RomCon - the good and the not so good.
The Not So Good
I often live with my head in the clouds, not exactly paying attention to the details of life. One of those details was what time the taxi was coming to take me to the shuttle bus depot for the 2 hour ride to the Detroit airport. I thought the taxi was picking my up at 2 but it turns out the bus was leaving at 2. I tried to sleep Thursday night but couldn't get to sleep. So I was fartin' around, not entirely ready, including not entirely dressed when the back doorbell rang around 1:15 am.
I raced around like a mad woman, throwing stuff that I still hadn't packed into my suitcase. Getting dressed wasn't a problem; I knew what I was going to where. But not having my suitcase all packed would prove to be costly.But I managed to get the suitcase zipped, get to the airport on time and get to Denver in a timely manner.
I had just gotten off the plane and was waiting for the shuttle bus to the hotel, when I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was Meljean Brook. I've met her before and it was wonderful running into her again. And when we walked into the hotel, who should we see right off but Sarah and Jane and a few authors such as Nalini Singh and Carolyn Jewel and other industry people. After sitting around chatting for a while, I headed over to get signed in and one of the best things about signing into conferences (?) bags of books!! Some I had already, but some I didn't so it was all good! I couldn't get into my room until 4:00 so I checked my luggage and was about to do something - nothing in particular - that would have been a detail - when Pamela Clare came into the hotel. Now that was just perfect since the first event on my schedule was her reality tour. I had time for a brief lunch and then we were off!
It was a great tour. Pamela makes a wonderful tour guide and showed us all the places where her romantic suspense books take place and even had a friend of hers, a Ranger, show up when we toured the Boulder park. Then she took us high up into the mountains and as you can see, the scenery was breathtaking. It was great to see all the places she took us to!!
The Not So Good - the first casualty of packing at the very last moment - I couldn't find my sunglasses and as you can tell, it was a very sunny day!! They are prescription sunglasses so the loss was doubly felt.
The Good - By this time the Friday night dinner had started. I was a tad worried we might have missed it since Pamela took us on quite a whirlwind tour, but happily we didn't. The meal - I had chicken - was excellent.
The Good I started hitting zombie stage though - what with the no sleep the night before, the time change, and overall excitement, so some of this is probably out of order, but I got to meet a number of bloggers I hadn't met in person yet, but already considered friends. First off was Jessica of ReadReactReview. One of the big draws of going to Denver was knowing she was going and getting a chance to meet her. I love her blog and her online voice and her sense of humour. So meeting her and getting a chance to spend time with over the weekend, including lunch with her and Sonomalass (I never did get a chance to find out where her "name" came from - I meant to ask her) was a real thrill. And I reminded Jessica that she's yet to become a Crusader - heh, heh, heh, heh. She said soon :-) I also met Limecello who blogs at The Good, The Bad, The Unread, but didn't get a chance to 'hang' with her much. Part of the trouble with it being for such a short time. You meet people you'd like to get a chance to talk to more but it doesn't always work out that way. I also met Kim in Hawaii and again didn't get a chance to talk to her too much - but she will be in Orlando so we will have to fix that!! She won a gorgeous box of goodies at one of the events.
I didn't stay for the dance on Friday night - I was just too tired and it was much later for me than what the clock said it was.
And I think that wraps things up for the first day! And I'm a getting tired and just might be able to sleep now - it's raining here and being off on a working day when it's raining is one of those comfort things isn't it?
But I shall be back as thank goodness I took tomorrow off work too!
Thursday, July 08, 2010
I'm doing a very, very bad thing at the moment. I'm blogging from *gasp* work. But at the last minute I was asked to cover reception and since all my work is back at my desk and there is nothing else to do and I can alt-tab very quickly, I thought - what the heck. I'm here for two and a half hours with not a whole lot to do so why not be a totally bad worker bee.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
So - things are going swimmingly well at work with the romance books. When I got into work today, Deborah once gave me heck for keeping her up too late. She's reading Open Season by Linda Howard. I simply said 'Party Pack?' and I knew she had gotten pretty far into it when she burst into laughter.
And there is another coworker who wants to start the In Death series. I meant to bring the first two or three in today, but as soon as I saw her, I realized I forgot them. RATS!! But I have them sitting by the back door now so I won't forget tomorrow. And of course now that there are a few of us reading them, we've been discussing who we picture as Roarke. So far no one has picked Brad Pitt.
And three of them have read all of Lisa Kleypas' contemporaries. And of course they loved them. One is willing to try her historicals. Hmmmm, I'm thinking Dreaming of You.
And in other news - I have one more sleep before leaving for Denver. I'm not really counting tomorrow night since I have to get up at 1:00 am in order to catch taxi's and stuff. I'm excited!!
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Marked by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon
Why this one: It was an unplanned purchase and read. At my second last visit to Chapters where they were having a 'buy 3, get 1 free' promotion, I picked this one up, kind of looked at it and put it back on the shelf and went on to get 4 other books. It turned out I already had 2 of them. So I returned them and though I lost out on the buy 3, get 1 free deal, I did pick this one up a second time and thought 'why not?'
I must have been in a reddish mood the other day and wanted a change from historicals for a bit, so I started reading this one.
Steam Level: This was nice and steamy
Homicide detective Charlotte Caissie is dedicated to bringing down the crime boss responsible for her father’s murder. Using Jimmy Legere’s right hand man is a dangerous gamble, not just because of his ruthless reputation as more monster than man, but because her feelings for her mysterious and irresistible enemy are … complicated. There’s just something about Max.
Rescued from the swamps as a child, Max Savoie owes Jimmy Legere his life. Existing silently in his rescuer’s shadow, he heeds only one voice. Until Charlotte Caissie awakens his emotions and tests his loyalties. Forced to step outside his cautious rules to save her, he risks more than his heart . . . he risks exposing his dark secret.
Working together means facing the truth about who and what they are, and what they need from one another. If Max is the murderer she seeks, Cee Cee might be his next victim. She can’t afford to trust any man. Good thing Max isn’t one.
My Thoughts: I wasn't exactly sure what I was in for when I started reading this one. There may be reviews for it, but they've passed me by. By reading the back cover blurb, it sounded like it could have been a paranormal and probably was, and yes, it is.
There is a whole lot I love about this book. But what really makes it a standout is one of the most shocking heroes I've ever read. He just about breaks your heart with his vulnerability towards the heroine.
This series could be compared to the In Death series in some ways I think. So far there are three books with Charlotte and Max and I really hope there will be more.
Charlotte, or CeCe is a cop in New Orleans. Years earlier she, along with her best friend, were held captive as a means to keep her father, a dedicated cop, from going after the leader of crime syndicate. They were finally rescued but only after unspeakable horrors were done to them. Her friend Mary Kate became a nun and CeCe became a cop who lives and breathes the job. After a particularly gruesome murder in which the name of the man she holds responsible for her father's death comes up, she goes to question him - again - as he seems to have his fingers in many of the crimes she investigates. His right hand man and enforcer Max is standing behind him as always. She has long had unwelcome feelings for Max, him being and enforcer for a crime syndicate and her being a cop. But they've only exchanged few words in the intervening years. But things are about to change.
What is so delicious about this book is Max is what he is - and then some. Yes, he's killed for Jimmy, his boss whom he also sees as a very strong father figure. He's a loner who has never had friends or lovers. And he's been in love with CeCe for years. And now that CeCe is starting to admit to her feelings for Max, he is torn between his love for Jimmy and his love for CeCe.
But Max is not really human. He's a shapeshifter with uncanny abilities as far as his senses go. But because of what he is, he is also such a lost soul. He is both good and while I wouldn't say evil exactly, he has done evil things. And he is so gone for the heroine. I love it when the hero is wrecked for the heroine.
CeCe is a great heroine. Once she opens up to her feelings for Max, she will do anything for him including putting her job at risk. Although human, she's more than a match for Max and she is just as wrecked for him as he is for her. The chemistry between these two is off the charts and I'm more than excited to keep reading this very unusual series. All I can say about this one is WoWzers. I started reading it could not put it down until I finished it. And then I was faced with a dilemma. The second book, Chased by Moonlight is out now. But I vowed not to get any more books until the end of July - and I checked. She is on the list of authors to be at the RWA conference. Surely I could wait until then to get the second book. I had to go out yesterday and I actually got itchy; thinking Chapters was so close. But Orlando is less than a month away!! What to do, what to do?
So I did what I do real good. I justified. I bought it as an ebook. And when I get to Orlando, I'll get the second one in print and have her sign it. And I will chat everyone up about NEEDING to give this series a try.
Works for me *g*
Grade: 5 out of 5
And in other news speaking of RWA, Wendy, my soon to be roomie again, is a very organizer person. And I'm so grateful that she is. Anime June is another very organized person. And I'm so glad that she is to. Because I'm not - and that's putting it mildly. I work on rotating shifts and I have to ask a coworker every Friday what shift I'm on the coming week. She was off on Friday and I showed up and hour early this morning.
Anyway, because both Wendy and Anime June are so organized, today Wendy posted about not just one, but TWO blogger meets in Orlando. Everyone is welcome. So head on over to the Super Librarian for details is you are planning on being in the Orlando area the week of the RWA Conference.
Between Cat and man, cat has scored a devastating blow to man.
Destructo managed to breach the plywood door defense mechanism that Brent has installed at the bottom of the stairs in order to separate his cat from the terror that is Destructo and her accomplice, Zina.
Destructo Cat got there first, whereupon a hissing match ensued. Destructo Cat was soon joined by Zina, normally the very definition of the phrase 'Scairdy Cat'. Normally Zina is the very definition of the word coward; running away from all who approach her, even including myself upon occasion, is fierce when it comes to the defense of her younger and much more courageous and foolhardy younger sister.
Brent, in his losing battle with Destructo Cat, after once again tossing Destructo through kitchen, went stomping back downstairs, in air quote Drama King air quote huff.
But Destructo Cat had a plan up her sleeve. In retaliation, she peed - quite heavily - on a shirt Brent had left on the bathroom floor. The shirt is now in the garbage. And me, I'm still a very amused witness to this ongoing battle between Cat and Man; having recognized quite some time ago that Destructo Cat cannot be defeated.
Destructo Cat trumps Brent
Saturday, July 03, 2010
Why this one: After reading What the Librarian Did - my first Harlequin Super Romance, I finally discovered this line after all these years and have since read a few of them. The story line on this one sounded interesting
Steam Level: Tepid
Blurb: The Rules of friendship are about to be broken
Good friends are hard to find. In fact, they're priceless. And it's only after almost losing her that Marcus Katanos really appreciates his bud Ginger Townsend. She's even offered her house as a place for him to stay while he gets his life on track. Could he have a better friend?
Which makes the wild attraction he feels for her so inappropriate. It's true that she's become a stunning woman since college, but that's no reason to let his libido run amok. The longer he's in her home, the harder it is for him not to act on these urges. Just when he thinks he's got a everything under control, Ginger drops a little confession that changes everything!
My Thoughts: See - sounds good doesn't it? Not. I'm easily pleased when it comes to books. I want to love every one I read and while that may not happen, if I don't love a book, chances are pretty good that I will at least like it. So you see very few low grades here. But alas, once in a while a book comes along that I just can't give a good grade to and this is such a book. I can say I finished it. That's something. And I mostly liked Ginger, though I found her a bit confusing. Such as what the hell a fairly good heroine like her ever saw and continues to see in a total loser like the hero in this book. Marcus was like a 12 year old inhabiting a much older guy's body with about the same amount of depth to him as a head of lettuce.
I'm not sure which one got away according the title but if it was Marcus, Ginger would have been much better off letting him stay away. Years before, Marcus and Ginger had been chums in college. But Ginger had much deeper feelings for Marcus that vice versa. Why - I'm not sure, think lettuce. He's bland, bland, bland. But on their last night, when she finally gained the courage to tell him her real feelings, he didn't even pay her any mind and planned to leave the US the next morning with no plans to keep in contact with his 'supposed' best friend.
Fast forward 14 years and Marcus has been shot by some guy who objected to a story he wrote. Ginger hears about it and offers him a place to stay and regroup. Marcus also comes with someone else - a daughter he knew nothing about for years. Her mother has just recently died and he wants to try and give fatherhood a go. As long as it's convenient for him that is. He's always run away when life got a tad to difficult and it's not long before he wants to leave his responsibility to his daughter to anyone but him. Ginger knows he's a boy in man's clothing, but somehow - why I don't get at all - still has feelings for him. Of course now that she's not the dumpy girl he knew in college, he's eyeing her.
As I was reading along in this book and getting closer and closer to the end, I was wondering when the change; when the 'growing up' would occur with Marcus and it wasn't until the final two or three pages that he aged from 12 to maybe 17. I'm usually pretty gullible when it comes to a HEA - thinking most heroines/heroes can have one. But not so in this book. I didn't believe it for a nano second. A fairly decent heroine staying happy with a 17 year old head of lettuce - nope - can't buy that one at all. And if I can't buy into a HEA, then it's a BIG fail for me.
Grade: 1.5 out of 5
The Conqueror by Kris Kennedy
Why this one: Wendy had a review for this one last year and with her review, and the price, and the fact that it was a medieval, a genre I love even though I don't read enough of them, it was a given that I'd love it. Wendy is a pretty tough reviewer and if she likes a book, chances are I'll love it! It's happened before. So I got it and it sat around in the TBR pile like SO MANY other books I plan to read. Then when I got the Kobo and was looking up Ms. Kennedy's newest book, The Irish Warrior, that Wendy gave another good grade to, and which happily I already got before my no new book self imposed ban, I noticed that The Conqueror was available for a very good price as an ebook so I got it as an ebook. And I was off to the races.
Steam Level: Oh yeah!!
Blurb: England, 1152. Henry II is king. The country is wracked by bloody civil war. Griffyn Sauvage is a valiant knight with a strict moral code of honor. But when his family's estate and vast treasures are seized, he becomes hardened by the betrayal. Now he will go to any lengths for vengeance—even if it means forming a union with his most despised enemy by marrying his daughter, Lady Guinevere de l'Ami. Then, Griffyn lays eyes on Gwyn and is completely disarmed. . .
As war strikes, Gwyn is left alone to fight her enemies who want control of her ancestral lands. When Griffyn comes to her rescue, she is grateful that the mysterious, brave knight has risked his life to protect hers. With each passing day, she finds herself drawn to him even as she senses he's hiding a dark secret from her. And when another dangerous adversary closes in on both of them, Griffyn and Gwyn's trust in each other will be put to the ultimate test. . .
My Thoughts: First, if you haven't read Wendy's review - Go. Read. It Now............
OK - did you read it? What Wendy says.
Now I could leave it there; Wendy did an excellent review of this book, but that would kind of be cheating. And Wendy's a tougher critic than moi so I'll try and give my own words.
This book really, really worked for me. Pagan is a hero to die for! He falls and he falls hard for Gwyn but he has other duties and they are on opposite sides in a civil war. He's brave beyond belief, he's loyal, he's honourable, in short he's everything we want in a hero. Even though circumstances are against them, still he saves her again and again. And well he should. Gwyn makes for a wonderful heroine. She's stubborn, smart, brave and funny as all get out. It's not a laugh out loud kind of funny, but a smile a lot funny. The quips she and Pagan Griffyn exchange are delightful. But he knows things about her that he doesn't tell her and she knows things she doesn't tell him. Which considering they are on different sides, as well as the fact that her father stole his fathers lands from him, makes sense.
The love they feel for each other is palpable and the choices, difficult to say the least. While reading this book, I simply had to know more about the history and spend some interesting time reading about Stephen and Matilda and her son Henry Fitz-Empress. I love it when a book has me digging into history.
As Wendy points out in her review, this book is available as an ebook for a very reasonable price and like she says "At that price how can you not try it?"
Grade: 4.75 out of 5
Friday, July 02, 2010
With two conventions/conferences coming up in the month of July, the first one starting (YIKES!) a week from today, I try my very best to curb my book buying as I never know which ones I might get. But with SO MANY books out in June, July and August, these are just some of the books I'm wanting to get.
As you can see, it's quite a list! And these are just the ones I want RIGHT NOW. As the month goes on and others post about books they've read and really enjoyed, the list gets longer and longer and longer. And when it comes to books I want, I'm not used to waiting; to seeing them on the shelves and telling myself no!!
And not only that, but Chapters just had to have a buy three, get one free promotion on. It has been tough, real tough I tell you, not to give into the seductive lure they have thrown out there. But I've been checking the authors who are going to be at either RomCon or RWA or both and there are quite a number who have the books I want.
So all I need to do for the next month is to make sure I don't drive the Chapters route on the way home from work and try not to check out their on line site to see if the books are in stock and I might make it. Maybe. If I stand firm.
I can do it!! I mean, it's not like I don't have books to read. There have been a few I couldn't resist getting, like Joanna Bourne's The Forbidden Rose. And of course when I saw Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas at Walmart - with a 25% discount - I just couldn't walk on by now could I??
But now I'm making if official. NO MORE BOOKS!!
Now I'll just have to see if I stick to it. It's going to be painful.