People. Oh, people. How I loved this convention! If you don’t want to sort through all my pics and ramblings about New Orleans and the RT Convention, you can skip down to the bottom of the post for the giveaways.
The Road Trip
Rather than fly, I got together with Jennifer (also known as Happy Twilighter and the person behind the Coastal Magic Convention) and author Sarah Nicolas to drive to New Orleans. You can check out our shenanigans via the Twitter hashtag #SexyRoadTrip if you want to see a blow-by-blow account of our trip from Florida to Louisiana. We left at around 8:30AM and arrived at 5:30PM with just a few brief stops along the way.
We saw a couple of interesting things along the way…
Somehow I managed to miss getting both the Florida and Mississippi welcome signs on the way there and back, but I still managed to get Alabama and Louisiana.
Of course, we were thrilled when we finally got there!
I did a ton of things I didn’t have an opportunity to grab pictures of, and there was so much going on that there is no way I could possibly cover it all in this post, but this should give you a good sampling of the crazypants excitement of this convention.
They were hilarious, as always! You can check out the hilarity for yourself and follow along at home with a little guesswork by going to the #RTCC hashtag on Twitter.
The next day we hit the goodie room. There was an incredible amount of author swag up for grabs, as well as a room full of free books, and it was open to every attendee.
Brooklyn Ann was my roomie for the rest of the con. She snuck me into the Sourcebooks party so she could show off the Werewives anthology to her editor. (Don’t worry, we checked–it was OK for me to crash the party.) She is such a doll! And very proud of her upcoming release, ONE BITE PER NIGHT (coming August 5, 2014 – pre-order now on Amazon, B&N or Book Depository).
I heard that over 300 people lined up for the Team Shifter vs. Team Vampire party I was a part of–and we had only planned for 100 attendees. I am so sorry so many people didn’t get to join the game, but it was tons of fun and a huge success! Participating authors (aside from myself) included:
- Alexandra Ivy
- Molly Harper
- Carrie Vaughn (who I shamelessly fangirled over and if you aren’t reading the Kitty Norville series, HIE THEE TO THE BOOKSTORE!)
- Eliza Gayle
- Lisa Kessler
- Angela Knight
- Pamela Palmer
- Samantha Sommersby
- Jeanne C. Stein
- Laura Wright
The Entangled Publishing Candy & Spoons Party also merits a mention. They throw a great party! It was my first time playing spoons. I wish I could have stayed until the end, but I had to leave early to let Brooklyn Ann into our hotel room to drop off her luggage.
One other thing that was awesome was the Mardi Gras World Carnivale which was held at Mardi Gras World. My publisher (Kensington) was one of the sponsors, which means I got to meet some of the lovely people I’ve only been able to talk to by email or over Twitter before now. I was so thrilled to meet Vida and Peter in person!
This party was crazypants. Totally, utterly crazypants. And I got to walk in the parade throwing Mardi Gras beads and coins at the crowd!
The after party was incredible. We got to try tons of different dishes (shrimp etouffee, rice and beans, alligator sausage, bananas foster, beignets, etc.) and socialize (which was a tad difficult over the very loud, but very good, music).
It was also really nice to see my friends!
Some of the other people I got to hang out with included Jackie and Casey from Literary Escapism, Chelsea from Vampire Book Club, Monica Burns (who cracked us up with her story of photobombing Nickelback), Charity of Tempting Graphics (who I strongly recommend if you need some help with book covers, swag, or author branding), KT Grant (also known as Katiebabs), and many more. You can find some additional pics on my Facebook timeline. There were a whole host of awesome rockstars (readers, authors, and publishing professionals) I got to spend time with and it was a total blast seeing so many of my friends in one place again.
Other notable things that happened (that I can remember–I’m probably missing some stuff, but you get the gist):
- I met representatives from my French publisher (Milady, an imprint of Bragelonne) and got to tell them in person just how much I love my French covers.
- I got to spend more time with Carrie Ann Ryan (she writes the Redwood Pack series), who I met at Coastal Magic earlier this year and simply adore. She is hilarious, sweet, and knows her X-Men (okay, okay, it was Taylor Kitsch)!
- I visited my first gay bar, all thanks to Damon Suede’s bad influence.
- I met Amy Boggs (a literary agent) who was a total doll.
- I met a couple of very sweet actors. The boys were at the con promoting target=”_blank”>Necrolectric, which looks to be a delightfully cheesy online PNR miniseries. Zach was charming and utterly adorable. He’s looking to get into audiobooks, so if you are in search of a male narrator you should get in touch with him.
- I rode in an elevator with Charlaine Harris and managed not to flail like a crazy person.
- I met (shook hands, shared a table, actually spoke to) Courtney Milan, Kevin Hearne, Tiffany Reisz and Andrew Shaffer, and managed not to flail like a crazy person.
- I met Carrie Vaughn and managed to contain the fangirling so I only flailed like a crazy person a little bit.
- Michele Hauf actually knew who I was. (Eeeeee!!!)
- My friend Elise Hepner did a fantastic job pitching her book. You go, girl!
- Speaking of Elise, the two of us cried all over and probably scared the hell out of Kim Harrison. I may have made a complete ass out of myself fangirling over her but, hey, I got a signed book and a pic out of it. I can die happy now.
The signing blew my gourd, people. We had a bunch of “big name” authors like Lee Child, Kresley Cole, Sylvia Day, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, E.L. James, Debbie Macomber, Nalini Sing, P.C. and Kristin Cast, Rachel Caine, Kelley Armstrong and Jennifer L. Armentrout (aka J. Lynn). There were apparently something like 700 or 800 authors signing at this shindig, and we made the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest book signing!
What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t write about the food?! New Orleans has some of the best restaurants I have ever been to.
A special mention to Daisy Dukes (excellent if you’re looking for quick and easy diner-style food), Oceana’s (perfect for breakfast–try the pain perdu!), Palace Cafe (their duck and creme brulee are to die for), and Cafe Beignet for the best beignets in town! Pat O’s is also one of the best places on Bourbon Street to kick back and relax with a drink if you’re looking for a quieter, more laid back place to get a taste of NOLA.
The Trip Back
This couldn’t go without a mention. You guys have no idea how crazy it was trying to fit all of the swag, books, luggage, and whatever else in the car.
The ride home was far more brutal (leaving around 3:30PM and arriving at 3:30AM). But we survived!
Of course, once I got home, I had to go through all of the incredible amounts of stuff I brought back with me. I’m really looking forward into delving into the books by Brooklyn Ann, Tiffany Reisz, Michele Hauf, Ann Aguirre and Kristen Ashley. Naturally I want to read everything in the pile right now but those ones are my priorities.
It was also really nice to see the kitties again. They were happy to see me, too. They proved it by attacking my feet the minute I walked in the door.
About Those Giveaways…
If you couldn’t make it to the RT Convention (and, seriously, if you were there please do not enter these contests as they are intended for the many readers who weren’t able to attend), I have not one but 4 separate giveaways just for you!
Randomly selected books from the above pictures will go into the themed bags I created for you! Yes–you’ll even get an official RT Convention swag bag, complete with cherry-picked promo and guides to New Orleans, just as if you had come to the con yourself! I raided the goodie room on Sunday and grabbed a ton of leftover books, bags, and all kinds of goodies the publishers and authors were leaving behind, and I want to make sure they’ll go to people who really wanted to go but couldn’t make it this year or don’t otherwise have the means to get their hands on these books.
Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Your Thing? Enter This Giveaway! (U.S. Only)
Contemporary Romance Your Thing? Enter This Giveaway! (U.S. Only)
Historical Romance Your Thing? Enter This Giveaway! (U.S. Only)
Not in the U.S.? This Is The Giveaway For You!
(Sorry, no bag and limited swag included with this one as costs of shipping outside the U.S. are prohibitive.)
Please be kind, pay it forward, and tell your friends who couldn’t make it to the con about these special giveaways so they can play along at home, too!