romanticon

Chapter 2–

Friday afternoon I went to my first workshop on “researching and writing male/male” presented by Kaenar Langford, Samanatha Kane, Jory Strong. It was all amazing information, but I’d be lying if I said that Kaenar’s description of her research field trip wasn’t the highlight. Kaenar got to tour a male only spa in Canada. Though it was closed the day she went, her description of the smells and sensual areas of the spa had me clenching my thighs and shifting in my chair. The woman sure knows how to paint a vivid picture with her words. I also spent part of the afternoon meeting and visiting with authors I’ve only known online.

Friday night we donned our hippie attire and headed for the Psychodelic Soiree. The cavemen entertained us with a dance.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

And then we we rocked to some awsome old rock ‘n roll music. I’m sure I’ll be showing my age when I say I sang along with the music (but so did most of the people at my table). And don’t worry … it was loud enough so no one heard my off-key rendition. Then Austen Powers and his fembots hosted a dance contest. The final three got to dance with the cover models. Sadly, I wasn’t one of the lucky gals.

Photobucket

(Samantha Kane, “Austen” & Mari Freeman)

Photobucket

Photobucket

(Author Ruby Storm and cover model Rodney)

We had a ball. I fell into bed exhausted and the alarm sounded waaay too early on Saturday. I grabbed my bag of goodies and Mr. Nina grabbed his golf clubs and we headed out in opposite directions. I spent the morning in a workshop about promo material. Again, this was a reader driven workshop. We got to hear all about what readers love to get and what things don’t really do much for them. One reader said she felt the promo material was a gift from the author. That really warmed my heart. I spent the rest of the morning at author mania which was an informal gathering of authors and readers. It was so much fun.

Photobucket

(Authors Marianne Stephenson and Joanna Waugh and EC Reader Dottie)

Photobucket

Author Teri Thackston and Nina

Photobucket

Author Tilly Greene and readers

I was invited to attend a luncheon with my first editor at EC, Helen Woodall. Helen came to Romanticon all the way from Australia. She wanted to share some of her homeland with her authors. So we all sat down to sandwiches of vegemite. Helen explained how to prepare the bread (like you do toast in the morning, so I put butter on mine). But spreading the vegemite from the bright yellow tubes took special instruction. You need to spread a VERY THIN layer of the brown goo over your buttered bread. Before we could eat Helen had us sing the vegemite song. Which was very funny. And the vegemite? Well, let’s just say the very salty brown goo is an acquired taste. Helen soothed it all over by sharing Tim Tams with us. Yummy chocolate covered cookies in all kinds of flavors. She also gave us all a “save the frogs” wrist band and a cute koala bear that clipped to our name tags. It was really fun.

Vegemite

(We’re not sure about these yellow tubes of vegemite)

I spent the afternoon at another reader panel about BDSM books and visiting with more readers. Let me just tell you, an author never gets tired of hearing “I love your books.” It makes me smiley all over. I also got a chance to talk with several aspiring authors and it was an absolute joy sharing our journeys. Here are more pics from Romanticon…

Photobucket

(Publisher Raelene Gorlinski and authors Lynn LaFleur and Regina Carlysle)

Photobucket

Photobucket

(EC reader/book reviewer and Nina) 

Photobucket

I met Mr. Nina for a quick bite to eat. He found the coolest tavern nearby. A neighborhood bar with the regular’s mugs hanging around the circular bar and an antique bike horn they honked whenever they get a good tip. We thought we had plenty of time to snag a beer and a burger and enjoy the wonderful atomsphere but it turned out I didn’t. The wonderful waitress rushed Mr. Nina’s order so he could take it out. I have no doubt that tavern will be landing in one of my books some day. I rushed back to the hotel and put on my sexy duds and headed out for an appreciation dinner. The cavemen were patient enough to let me slip in and get another picture with them

Photobucket

before they entertained us with another dance. (I’ll tell you, all this cover model flesh was the most tedious part of the weekend–NOT!)

Photobucket

Photobucket

(Cavemen dance for Jeania)

EC then honored each new 2009 author with a “rising star” award. And since the microphone wasn’t working I did try to snag Lee Pearce’s trophy as well as mine. She managed to wave me off and I waited patiently for my own. The cute little star is sitting on a special place on my desk. EC then awarded several “superstar awards” for categories such as “most innovative dinner scene”, “most erotic emails”, “hottest heroes who love heroes”, and “I want that sex toy catalog” to name a few.

Photobucket

The night ended with lots of laughter and some hanging out in the bar. Come back on Friday for the final chapter of Romanticon 2009.

**NOTE – A quick thanks to all the other authors who attended Romanticon and were generous enough to share their photos. I’ve copied so many I’m no longer sure which are mine and which ones belong to others. Thanks again everyone!

After another quick trip around Niagra falls we pointed the van west and headed for Ohio. We didn’t need to check into the hotel until later in the afternoon so we could take our time and meander our way through NY, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Mr. Nina became the king of the shanty town tour. It seemed every time he chose to take a detour we ended up in some interesting neighborhoods. Let’s just say I was glad we were traveling through them during the day. I decided his motto was “Shanty tour–all the sights unfit to be seen”. Of course I’m so blind I can’t read the map or the highway signs until we’re right on top of them so I have no right to complain where we end up. We did finally make it to Lake Eerie. Mr. Nina insisted I take a picture. So I did …

Photobucket

Photobucket

Nope nothing exciting. he was just so amazed it looked more like an ocean than a lake (kinda smelled like it too). I couldn’t resist the picture of the gull. Then off we headed to the Lake Eerie state park for a potty break and picnic lunch. (The added bonus of travel with me and my pea-sized bladder is that you get to tour every rest stop and gas station along the route. Mr. Nina’s a lucky man!)

Photobucket

Photobucket

We got to the hotel in Richfield Ohio late in the afternoon, checked in with Jeania and Val (who really were the backbone of RomantiCon), organized my promo stuff and settled into the wonderful room that Jeania fanagled for us. (Read that as a romantic suite with a king-sized bed. Yee-ha!) And then headed out for the unofficial beginning of Romanticon. It was hospitality hour and hanging with the Ellora’s Cavemen. I had sex on the beach (it’s a drink you naughty-minded people) and all these wonderful hunks …

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

(Don’t believe everything you hear … I did NOT stalk Angelo all weekend.)

Photobucket

Friday morning Mr. Nina and I hooked up with authors Adele Dubois, Dalton Diaz, Lee Pearce, and Samantha Cayto for a tour of Ellora’s Cave offices and printing press. It was so cool to see where everyone hangs out. We were the last to arrive and Patty still had the energy to show us her 15′ python that hangs out in a huge glass case in her office and tell us the history of Ellora’s Cave. I never knew any of the stuff she shared with us. Patty then toured us around the office and we peeked into everyone’s cubicles and offices. When we first walked into our publisher, Raelene Gorlinsky’s office I noticed three things 1) she’s immaculately neat, the books on her shelves are straight and stored by size 2) the numerous liquor bottles that fill the top of one of her book shelves and 3) the bullwhip on the leather couch. Turns out the liquor bottles all had sexy names and the bullwhip … well, I never did get the story on that.

From there we went to the printing press where Randy proudly shared the whole printing process. We got to see the pages roll off the printer, be cut, collated and bound. Adele, Samantha and Dalton all got to see their print books in the warehouse. Adele and Samantha for the first time. It was fun living vicariously through them. We actually watched them making the book on ther left. It was wicked cool. And you know how they say “hot off the press” that’s because the glue is still warm when they finish the process. I held warm books in my hands. When I hold my first print book I’ll remember that day.

Oh, and here’s all the beautiful pictures I took to share with you … Oh, yeah, Nina (the ninny) forgot her camera. So you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say the offices and stuff were really neat.

Dalton left early with Samantha and her GPS and we stayed to see a few other things. But we weren’t worried, Mr. Nina had Val’s printed directions to get from the office back to the hotel. Only one glitch … an accident closed the only road that took us back to Richfield. Seriously. The detour shot us back on the highway in the direction we’d come. We got off at the first exit had some lunch and got directions back to Richfield. Guess where they sent us? Back to the closed road with the accident. (And I thought Maine was the only place you “can’t get theah from heah”) THIS time we got directions from the young woman in the construction truck blocking the road. Let me just tell you 3 rights and a left is a lot harder than it sounds. Anyway, we FINALLY got back to the hotel with time to spare for the Friday afternoon workshops.

Come on back tomorrow and I’ll tell you about the rest of the day. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures I took of some good looking cover models…

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Oh my! I know everyone says the same thing, but I’m going to be that tired skipping record …. WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE????

Next week Mr. Nina and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. This week 25 years ago I was living with my mom, waiting for my sister to arrive from Alabama and completely sweating all the details of my wedding. The dress was steamed and hanging at my brother’s house where I would get ready. All the bridesmaids were on their way and Mr. Nina was studying for exams. Yep, he was in his last year of college. (And the stories that come with being newlyweds living in a dormitory are very interesting … but fodder for another day!)

Anyhoodles … fast forward 25 years. We’re actually planning a sort of second honeymoon and I’m spending this week getting everything ready. We leave next week for a ten day trip to Ohio. What? You didn’t know Ohio was the honeymoon capital of the world? Pshaw. Of course it is! Well, okay, maybe it’s not, but please don’t tell Mr. Nina. 😉 Our actual destination is Ellora Cave’s first ever convention … ROMANTICON! Yep, there will authors and readers and cover models, oh, my!

We leave next Monday and will spend 2 days in Niagra Falls. We’ve been there, but only for a day to visit. We’re going to play it by ear, but I have a feeling there will a casino involved and if I have any say about it … some adventure in Maid of the Mist. (You know, the crazy boat that goes into the falls.) But you never know with us. We usually figure those things out as we go.

Then we head out to Ohio. It looks like Mr. Nina’s going to take in a college football game and perhaps the football hall of fame while I schmooze with author friends that I only know from online. Of course there are some awesome workshops being offered … it is a writing conference after all. Then the book signing and author hours where readers get to speak directly with some of their favorite EC authors. (I’m going to be a total squee-fan girl as I get to meet some of the amazing authors!) Of course there’s rumors that the cover models will be walking around and keeping things warm! It promises to be a very busy four days!

On the way home Mr. Nina and I are taking a more southern route and swinging through the Poconos. We’ve never been there and are looking forward to our first visit. Though it may become a quiet in the hotel, rest kind of day. But I don’t think we’ll be suffering too much if the hotel room looks anything like this …

I’m excited and just a little nervous. Mr. Nina and I have never taken a trip like this. Not that we haven’t traveled because I’m very fortunate to say we have. It’s just that we’ve never been in the car for ten days. Yeeeeeaaaah … this could be interesting.

Connect