Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bookmarks, Contests, and a NYC Wrap-Up!

Right off the bat, I've got to tell you about a lovely author who invited me over to blog today.  Joan Swan, who makes her Kensington debut soon, interviewed me...and she's made absolutely GORGEOUS bookmarks with a Dark Awakening theme.  There are five she's giving away, and you have to see how pretty they are!  Apart from that, there's a copy of Renegade Angel and a signed copy of Dark Awakening up for grabs.  Prizes galore!  Please come visit, it was great fun to do the interview.  And for real, those bookmarks.  WOW.  Click HERE to go!

And now, the NYC recap.  I realize I'm late on this, but I paid for my week o' fun with the Migraine From Hell, which cranked up shortly after I got home.  The week was well worth the headache, but it took me until today to really feel human again.  So without further adieu, here are some snippets from my week in New York!

On Tuesday, I quickly met up with my buddy Cheryl Brooks and some of her Sextet (if you like some serious hawtness, check out their menage anthologies from Siren...or just check out Cheryl's Cat Star Chronicles, because ROWR).  We wandered away from Times Square and, um, in some sort of direction.  I don't know what direction because I never really know where I am.  Eventually, we ended up at the Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue, and did what writers do...we hunted for our new releases!  It was soooo cool to find them both, nearly side by side!  After that we went to Trump Tower to have lunch. The man has his face on the water bottles, his daughter's jewelry line on display, and a bunch of Apprentice-themed junk for sale.  It's like crappy Disney World.  Still, we had a ball.  Except for the hair I found in my salad, which then got exchanged for another salad.  Ew.

That night was the ENORMOUS Literacy for Life signing.  The one in which I participated a couple of years ago in DC was nowhere near this big!  I had my little RITA finalist flag at my spot, and I only barely restrained myself from making off with it.  I can't even begin to describe the noice to you.  Check out this little vid of the place before the doors opened to the public.  The sound?  Just authors.

After that, a bunch of us, including the lovely Marie Force, went and got rowdy at Sardi's.  There, it was decided that erotic YA Amish romance is, indeed, the wave of the future.  The food was great, but I could have eaten twice as much as what I ordered.  I know, right?  Oink.  I loves mah food.  Here's me and Sextet member Mellanie Szereto.
Wednesday was kind of the Literacy Signing hangover day.  It had been so loud, and I shouted so much (because it's impossible to talk otherwise) that my throat was pretty raw.  On the upside, I got to sit by Janet Chapman, who has been enchanting readers for a loooong time, and she is a completely awesome human being.  I loved talking to her.  On my other side was Linda Castillo, who made a smart, funny neighbor.  I am seriously in awe of these women.  Seeing what they have done and continue to do keeps me pushing.

So Wednesday I had lunch with Ann Leslie Tuttle, my editor at Nocturne, and we went to a very swanky restaurant called Blue Fin.  Several tables away Tara Gavin was entertaining the likes of Gena Showalter and Nalini Singh.  I was very good and did not explode into some kind of insane fangirl moment...but you know I wanted to!  Instead, I had a lovely time with Ann Leslie.  She showed me pictures of her adorable baby.  I made her look at pictures of my kids and my big slobbery dogs.  It was great:)

I had my fangirl moment later, and also snagged a signed copy of Archangel's Consort. *happy sigh*

I wore a lot of black, by the way.  And my feet are still killing me.  Such pretty heels.  Such terrible instruments of torture.  Wednesday night I went to dinner with Kristen Callihan, who makes her debut with Grand Central in the spring with Firelight, a Victorian paranormal that not only has a gorgeous cover, but is also just generally kick-ass from the excerpt I read.  Kristen is awesome.  We had burgers and beer, and I failed to get her to adore fried pickles.  Check out her cover!

Thursday was insane.  Had a great meeting with know, I'm just realizing that I have NO pictures of Kevan and I.  I have no idea why.  I ran around a lot.  I grabbed too many signed books because I have no willpower, got to attend the GH/RITA finalist reception (free champagne, woot!), and then walked with a group of people to the Grand Central cocktail party.  There are not words for how cool it was.  Hopefully someone will have pictures from it...I know there were some taken.  I, um, had my hands full of a glass of ever-refilling wine. *ahem*  I just love the staff much energy!  So irritatingly younger than me!  SO FREAKING FUN.  After taht, I caught a cab back to the hotel, and my father (who had arrived earlier in the day) and I went to see Rain, the Beatles tribute on Broadway.  It so rocked.  I grew up loving the Beatles, and it was great fun to do this with Dad.  The guys who play them are just crazy talented.  Then we went for the best Italian food I've had in years at Villa Barulia.  Great night.

Friday arrived.  I was dragging butt a little, but it's hard to flag for long when you've got all this outside your window (an insane 44 floors down!).  I was nervous for the RITAs.
The day was a blur.  Had a great sit-down with Selina McLemore, my editor (who, damn it, is also younger than me by a couple of years!).  Ran into a lot of fun people.  Talked incessantly.  Ate very good sushi.  And in the evening, made my way to the Marsal-Lyon Agency cocktail party waaaay up in The View Lounge at the top of the hotel.  It rotates. *urp*  I combattted the unpleasasnt sensation with cosmos and good conversation.  Here's me, Marie Force, and Robin Kaye enjoying the evening.

I was already all dressed up for the awards, as was my dad.  Didn't he look handsome?  I was seriously so, so glad he was there.  And he was in awe of what a big event this actually is.

So after a quick dinner with Marie, Dad and I made our way to the ballroom to meet Ann Leslie.  I had to do some mini-interview, which I barely remember and probably don't want to.  My nerves were shot!  Plus, I always think I must look like a complete dork.  Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, who knows?  Or maybe I'll just try not to ever see it. 

The ceremony itself was great.  I loved listening to the speeches of the writers who won...all very inspiring.  I didn't end up taking home the gold statue, but you know, being at conference this year made me realize that I'm at the beginning of what looks like it could be a nice, long career.  As impatient as I am, I do have time.  All I can do is keep working hard.  Um, and I really do want to win one of those statues one day:)  After it was all over, Dad snapped a shot of me and my cheering section.  Can't tell you how lovely it was to have two of my dearest friends rooting for me in the audience!
You know, I'm 34.  You'd think that eventually I would stop being surprised that I am possessed of a fairly ridiculous amount of cleavage.  And yet, this picture made my eyebrows go up.  Oh well...artfully displayed is key, right?:)

I spent the rest of the night in my room, decompressing and eating incredible bacon-covered pizza with my father.  I was sad, sure.  There's just as much stress as excitement involved in something like the RITAs, but I wouldn't have traded a moment of it.  And I was, cheesy as it may sound, proud of every woman who took the podium that night.  Writing is tough.  Celebrating the women who do it, and do it well, is wonderful.

So here I am, back at home.  I spent a nice weekend with my parents (at least, utnil my stupid headache kicked up).  I have been hugged and slobbered on, I have thrown my heels into the recesses of my closet, and I'm getting back to work. 

And there you have it...probably the longest post I've ever done on here!  Have a great day, ladies, and I hope you enjoyed the pictures!  


  1. OMG, that was a fabulous post! The first thing I did on Saturday morning was Google the RITAs. In spite of the fact that you did not win, I'm glad you had a great time and you and your dad look great! I have so many questions, but I'll send you an email in a couple of days. We are in crunch mode as we prepare to leave for vacation. I hope you saved me some tattoos!!!! :)

  2. That is so awesome, thanks for sharing the event and photos with us. Seattle is so jealous of NYC!
    Sad to hear about the migraine, bummer

  3. I'm so glad you had a fab time. The pictures were great. And girl you really showed the girls in that fab black dress. You really looked lovely with your Dad. You're a winner in our book.

  4. Hey Lisa! Thanks:) Ohh, vacation!! Forgot that was coming up for you. I hope you have a great time. I have LOTS of bat tattoos left! And that's after I forced them on various people at the conference, even. Shoot me an email when you get a chance!

    Kristina, you're very welcome. The migraines suck, but I've been struggling with them for about 6 months...they're hereditary, unfortunately, and I'm probably going to have to drag my butt to the doctor to get better meds.

    Donna, LOL, the girls are tough NOT to show! Might as well make 'em look pretty:) Thanks so know I love you guys!

  5. Thanks for sharing!
    And you were great at the signing! I loved meeting you! It's been my first time at a book signing - and it's been heaven. Book heaven - and a hole in my budget for 3 months..hihi - totally worth it.

  6. Thanks, Fiona! It was great meeting you too! I love the signings. Meeting readers is one of the best parts of all of this. I dragged home a bunch of freebies from RWA, speaking of heaven...just don't have time to read them all right now! But they're calling me:)