Saturday, April 19, 2008

Now approaching the finish line...

Only one more night of RT and 24 hours from now I'll be headed back to my soft clothes and fluffy slippers. BooYah!

The book signing is now over and was a resounding success. Much fun was had and the readers were loaded up with books. I lost count of the number of times readers approached me saying they were in absolute HEAVEN. A chance to meet their fav authors and hang with hunky men? BRING IT.

I have a ton of photos to put up but...yet again...I'm running out to grab a snack. More later.

RT - Comment on previous statement

I hear that some of the authors are a little upset about my negative comments about my RT experience.

First off, I'm really sorry that anyone is upset about my commentary as this was not my intent.

Secondly, this is *my* experience and it is not a personal attack on any person, group or establishment. Once again, it is my experience. Anyone who knows me realizes that I am very blunt and to the point. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. If I am going to throw barbs or insults at you, I will do it to your face. (That said I'm not in the habit of insulting people or deliberately hurting or belittling anyone)

Three, I love the RT conference. Always have always will. They have always been wildly supportive of me and my career and I'm one of their biggest advocates. There are at least 20 people here that are here because I pointed them in this direction.

Once again, this is MY experience and MY feelings on this blog. Isn't that the point of a blog - to open a little window into someone's world and their experience?

Because I was feeling disenchanted with my experience this year I took a moment to speak to Kathryn Falk the owner of RT. We've known each other for 13 years and we are both straight shooters. I told her how I felt and she listened very intently and we talked it out. I'm not a gossip/newsy blog so I'm not going to share her side of it but I will say that I felt better for having spoken to her. I will be at RT in Orlando and I will encourage any romance lover / reader / writer to do so. When it comes to romance, the RT con is still the best place to immerse yourself in it.

Day 4 - The Lull Before the Storm

Tonight was the vampire ball hosted by the oh-so-fabulous Heather Graham. I always enjoy the costumes as, let's face it, you just don't get to break out the teeth and fake blood every day. The obvious accessory this year was cleavage and the more the better. There were three ladies sporting corsets and....might I say....they succeded in defying the law of gravity. Of course one lady had a cup of marishino cherries nestled between her plump girls and I couldn't decide if she were trying to cure a case of scurvy with copious amounts of fruit or if they were to entice unsuspecting males into plumbing her depths.

Whichever it was I'm sure it was fascinating.

Cindy/Colby has been seen making the rounds today with a fabu shirt with sparkly letters spelling out SHINY. How wonderfully Firefly of her. Once again, in true Colby form, she was summarily tossed from the Vampire banquet according to her. I can't confirm said tossing as I wasn't even at the ball since there weren't enough seats. This is the second dinner I've missed due to said lack o' seating.

I am thinking of sending calculators out for Christmas.

But don't worry intrepid blogbuddiez, I have packed away enough flubber to keep myself alive for 8.7 years.

John DeSalvo was hanging out this evening. I actually have quite a funny story about him. First met him in 94 at my first RT. I was about to exit the ballroom with I was suddenly swarmed with women. I was trying to make good my escape when I run into a man in a pirate-esque costume who wrapped his arms around my neck with the assumption I wanted him to do so.

Sorry dude, don't even who you are....

And of course my friend was there to snap a photo of me trying to escape. If I find it I will post it here.

In other RT news, spent some time with Cheryl Holt this evening. Very funny and lovely lady. I was on an erotica panel with L.A. Banks, Eric Jerome Dickey and a few others. Leslie (L.A.) decided to tell the story of popping her cherry and I must had everyone rolling on the floor. (sorry kids you'll have to ask her)

I was delighted to meet Smart Bitch Sarah. Contrary to popular belief she does not resemble the Devil's left butt cheek nor is there a 666 burned into her forehead. I, for one, was disappointed to see that wasn't the case. (not really, Sarah is as she says - one smart bitch) She is okey dokey in my book.

My new best bud, Missy, wanted to be mentioned in my blog. She is a bookseller from Ohio with kick ass hair and an accent that can melt even the steeliest of hearts. :)

More bad behavior was seen and heard across RT land. I'm very pleased to report that the EC cavemen remained covered (thank god) and seemed to be on their best behavior. Well, the best hehavior from a caveman that is.

A well known and respected author was overheard asking why people were so fat here. Ah...glad I don't read her books. (authors, please note that everything you say and do will come back to haunt you - that is why you need to not say things like this or people like me will comment upon it. I will not name her as some need to saved from their own foolishness.)

There have been several 'showdowns' between authors and reviewers. Usually it involves the author insulting a reviewer which I must say is very strange. So if a reviewer doesn't like your book this means you should assault them and accuse them of being malicious? hows that working?

One final note - someone came up and hugged me leaving a smear of deodorant. It was the infamous Michele Bardsley. Once she hits the NYT List, that shirt is going up on ebay!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Day 3 - The Shame Continues...

My first RT was in 1994 in Nashville, TN. Being the wide-eyed Midwestern girl, I was utterly fascinated with everything that went on around me. The authors I adored were like rock stars to me, the parties were hilarious (I mean, where else can a grown woman dress like a fairy?) and the cover models were dreamy and gallant - just like the heroes they portrayed on the front of my favorite romances.

Skip forward 14 years and RT is losing its fabulosity. Some of the authors that I thought were rock stars still are! I was terribly excited to see Bertrice Small for the first time in quite a few years. She is still funny, sweet and touched to meet each and every person that walks up to her. Her husband was with her and i know he's been very ill but it was great to see him looking so good.

Roberta Gellis and Mary Balogh are also in attendance and these lovely ladies are of the same royal fabric as Ms. Small. Friendly, outgoing - they are humble and truly touched when we, the unworthy, stop to worship at the tips of their shoes for a mere moment. The hours of utter pleasure I had at the hands of these amazing women are immeasurable...(get out of the gutter you freaks!) and yes, I'm a silly fan girl.

Yesterday I met Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jennifer St. Giles and Rachel Vincent - all fabulous paranormal authors. I was squealing like a little girl...

For the most part the parties are still great fun. The ballroom setup for the fairy ball was stunning. The theme was Under the Sea and they had decorations that hung from the ceiling to simulate water and when thelights went down they shimmered like water. the costumes were numerous and they really set the tone for the evening - fantasy....and wings. (they can be dangerous...there are probably more than a few scratched corneas this morning!)

And then there are the cover models...displaying very ungallant behavior. Well, let me rephrase that...some of them are lovely. Well mannered, courteous - exactly what one would expect in someone who hoped to portray one of our fabulous heroes.

The others, a motley gaggle of strippers and one triple X rated porn star - yes, a porn star - groping people and generally offending a great many attendees. Of course when a few of these gems stage a 9/11 tribute at the EC Party (it was during an SOS military salute - a cause that Kathryn Falk, the founder of RT, has thrown her voice and cash behind) came on stage in military regalia and proceeded to strip and grope themselves. What does grabbing your dick have to do with a tribute to those fallen on 9/11?

First off, dressing in a faux military outfit and stripping could be sexy and over the top - but during a TRIBUTE to the soldiers? A TRIBUTE to 9/11?


Of course if that weren't enough to turn the stomach - the X rated simulated sex on stage was enough to send people out in droves. A woman (can't call her a lady!) was stretched out on the stage with a stripper simulating sex with his dick positioned over her mouth. It just so happened that while this was going on...her top came down.

I know, it happens to me all the time. I go to the grocery store with a porn star mounted on my chin all the time - its the new rage. Whoever said I wasn't a trend setter?

Somehow, in the rush to gather a group of knuckle-dragging children, someone forgot to tell them they were supposed to be GENTLEMEN. Then again, this crowd of testosterone driven two year olds can barely pronounce it let alone spell it.

The first year my favorite cover model was Dr. Bob, a darling emergency room surgeon from Dallas. He was tall, handsome and didn't grab his crotch or lose his clothing...not once! This year there are no faves. The fantasy is gone. If I want to see men groping themselves, I'll go to a dive bar for free rather than pay more than 1k to attend RT.

Those who know me know I'm not a prude - not even close. Hell, I traveled with an alternative band for several years and I work with 70 testosterone laden police officers - very few things ever faze me. This has taken the cake. For me, the 'fantasy' aspect of RT is gone and this could very well be my last year. I'm about the books and the fun - not strippers and groping people.

SO - onto the FUN stuff.

Cindy Colby Hodge was resplendent in her fairy costume. Elegant (well, not when she was wandering around the bar with no shoes and whacking people in the head with her ji-normous wings) and too cute for color tv (well, not cuter than McDreamy but close). I have many photos - will post later.

As usual there was much scandal surrounding Ms. Hodge. Our lovely and most favorite fairy (sorry Cheyenne) was summarily tossed from the fairy ball last night by RT staff. Why? Because she was 'monopolizing' a cover model. Hmm, seeing that she and said model are friends outside of RT...well, you get the picture. If you see Cindy - just ask her about it or post a note here. She'll be reading this later today.


The stunningly beautiful Linnea Sinclair was in the bar handing out balls that glow. No, don't ask.

Jennifer 'yeep' Dunne was in residence and much yeeping was heard. She laughed so hard that she ended up on the floor twice. the sad thing was she doesn't drink - I'd hate to see her with a few cocktails in her!

After the fairy ball many party goers crammed into the bar. Some of the costumes were just lovely. I could tell many had spent quite a few hours crafting their amazing looks while some others...well...I think they didn't have any mirrors in their rooms because their mamas would've slapped them down if they'd have been here. Someone was wearing panties with blackfishnets on top - noskirt.

Uh...what about that says fairy or water?

My favorite was the woman who wore panties under a sheer pink skirt...and she was at least 45 with the sense to know better.

When did RT turn into a What Not to Wear episode ?

Hey, I'm a fat woman and I know to keep my shit covered for the sake of blinding others with my white flesh. Not to mention blinding someone if my breast is let lose and hits someone in the eye. Being sexy isn't about showing things better left covered - its about confidence and knowing your the BOMB even when your undies have holes in them and your ankles are swelled from too much salty food. Repeat after me, Lycra is your friend.

Yep, my Mama taught me right.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day 2 - The Battle has Begun!

Quotable Quote: "I couldn't be a lesbian, I love HOMOsexuals." Donna Richards, author of In A Heartbeat - Samhain Publishing...after two very strong rum and cokes.

Yes, Donna - I know you meant to say HETEROsexuals...

The RT grind is off to a rip-roaring start. Yesterday morning we were forced to venture out to WallyWorld to purchase a small refrigerator. This tower-of-terror hotel did not reserve refrigerators for those with medical needs.

Oh, and the elevators crapped out, no bathrooms on the same floor as the they REALLY want drunken people negotiating a cement stairway? Can you say, Lawsuit? I knew you could...

So after our Bataan Death March of Walmart runs, Carolan and I hit the bar and stayed there for three hours. This is not unusual as the bar is my office when I'm at RT. I literally put out my shingle that says, "J.C. is in...way in..." and that's where I stay.

We browsed promo lane and I ended up being chatted up by a film crew. I have no idea who they were or what they were doing but I can only hope that the vid doesn't end up on YouTube in a What NOT to Wear film clip.

I hit the ebook expo for a few minutes then ran out screaming. The room has very bad acoustics and my head was throbbing. I ran into Melissa Lopez, Beth Williamson, Judith Rochelle, Bianca D'arc and about a million new authors. I really do need to read more.

Then it was off to my suite (yes Marty, I am going to rub it in your face every chance I get) for my Samhellion party. It was a little get together to thank my fellow editors of the Samhellion newsletter. So now my suite (yes Marty, I know you're grinding your teeth...) smells like pizza and red wine - Just like home! was off to the bar. Well, bars. There were two bars so why sit in one all night? It was there, my first unpleasant run in with the cover models occurred. there was about 15 of us and we were sitting in a pit-style area with a marble wall behind the pitt. the wall lines a walkway and people coming and going.

Here come two of the models and what do they do, run and jump up then off the wall right behind my head. Now, if you took your kids to a hotel and they behaved like that, wouldn't you correct them? When I first started to attend RT, the models were lovely. Most of them professionals, doctors, contractors etc - now they are unrestrained children with very bad hair. They don't seem to understand that a cover model is to be the Perfect Man - a gentleman. You know how men want a whore in the bedroom and a proper lady in the living room? Women want the same - a stud in the bedroom and a gentleman in the living room...only with pecs.

What's up with that?

Do I sound like an old fuddy? Yeah, sometimes I think I do too. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

RT: Day One - Camping

Carolan Ivey and I joined forces to tackle the Romantic Times Booklover Convention with a vengeance. And I must say, I'm glad we did.

The hotel is scary...

We're staying at the Hilton Pittsburgh and its being remodeled. Majorly remodled. Just trying to find the entrance is an adventure, not to mention getting assistance with our luggage. Everywhere you go there is evidence that Tim 'the tool guy' Taylor has been here. The halls are covered in plasterboard dust and many of the doorways don't have framing. How bizarre. While the employees have been lovely, I've never camped in a hotel so this should be interesting.

After we finally got into our room, we headed down to see what havoc we could create. And who was the first person I spied in the lobby? The oh-so-fabulous Linnea Sinclair and her drinking protege Stacey! After a gale of giggles we were joined by Robin Owens, Isabo Kelly and Cindy Colby Hodge - some of my favorite peeps!

Since Isabo is preggers (and some of the gals named the baby Moon Beaver - sounds like a stripper to me) food was the first order so we headed out into the mean streets of Pittsburgh. Needless to say the restaurant never saw us coming and will be forever changed from our visit. Much fun was had to the point one author (whose name rhymes with WINDY) spewed liquid from multiple orifaces...

Hey, I tried to warn her to not drink unless we were all drinking - we're dangerous like that.

The Make The Yeep Chirp contest has begun. For those of you have no idea what I'm talking about, wait, I will try to post a clip of it. This you HAVE to hear. :)

More Later!