Congratulations to the following commenters to last week's posts:
- Summer Treat: Jodi, Sarah, and Mary.
- Coast Guard Treat: Joder, Victoria, and Loretta
Please send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now for the highlight of my summer vacation - the RWA National Convention! I did not read one word in a book. Instead, I spent 5 days networking with romance's stars, chapter friends, and new acquaintances among the 2100 who attended. Highlights include:
The Reviewing Bloggers: I met four bloggers who share my passion of romance reading:
Kristie J from Canada, http://www.kristiej.blogspot.com/
Azteclady from Orlando, http://karenknowsbest.com/
Rosie from California, http://rosemont1217.blogspot.com/
Wendy the Superlibrarian, http://www.wendythesuperlibrarian.blogspot.com/
These bloggers are warm, welcoming and willing to share their knowledge of the romance industry. They have each posted recaps from RWA so I invite you to check out their blogs!
The Author Bloggers: I also met authors from my favorite collaborative blogs, including:
Risky Regencies, http://www.riskyregencies.blogspot.com/, including Diane Gaston, Carolyn Jewel, Amanda McCabe/ Laurel McKee, and Janet Mullany.
Romance Bandits, http://www.romancebandits.blogspot.com/, including Jeannie Adams, Anna Campbell, Christie Kelly, and Donna MacMeans, plus their cabana boys Lars and Sven.
Romance Rollcall, http://romancerollcall.com/, including AJ Brower, Catherine Mann, Cindy Gerard, Jessica Scott, and Marliss Melton.
Word Wenches, http://wordwenches.com/, including Jo Beverley and Cara Elliott.
The Beau Monde Confernece and Soiree, http://www.thebeaumonde.com/, the Regency Set Specialty Chapter of RWA. I attended the morning session with Cara Elliott and Lauren Willig as they discussed teaching romance reading to Yale students. The luncheon speaker was Gaelen Foley, who advised authors to "remain positive" on their journey to being published. During the Soiree, the ladies of the Ton dressed in Regency gowns and danced to Regency music. Miranda Neville taught Katharine Ashe how to play Regency card games while others bid on research books offered by the Silent Auction.
The RWA Literacy Signing raised over $55,000 for literacy projects. Hats off to Washington Romance Writers (WRW) member Julie Halperson for organizing this fabulous event with the assistance from Mary Blayney, Diane Gaston, and countless other volunteers.
Mary also hosted the afternoon party for the WRW, http://www.wrwdc.com/. WRW is my "home" chapter and it was fun to see friends who inspired me to promote romance to military spouses - Mary, Diane, Lavinia Kent, Sally MacKenzie, Pamela Palmer, and many more.
Aloha Sightings: I connected with current and former members of the Aloha Chapter, http://www.rwaaloha.org/, including Jane Porter - she looked beautiful after flying from Honolulu. I met founding member Tess Gerristen, who was promoting the new TNT series Rizzoli and Isles based on her best selling books. I chatted with Lynn Raye Harris (Air Force Spouse) at the Literacy Signing. I teased Carol Burnside who coordinated the chapter basket raffle - she was eyeing the goodies I donated from Hawaii!
RomVets Gathering: The RomVets, http://www.romvets.com/, gathered in the lobby bar to for a meet and greet - Nancy Brandt, AJ Brower, Teresa Bodwell, Delores Fossen, Elle James, Geri Krotow, Jessica Scott, Isabella Wooldridge, and other veterans. Where as I don't always understand "publishing speak", I do understand "military speak" and it was fun to connect with my service sisters.
Sherrilyn Kenyon spoke to the Librarians' Day. My roommate, May from Thailand, attended the luncheon and enjoyed meeting her.
Nora Roberts kicked off the convention as the keynote speaker. Her speech was laced with humor but had a very specific message - you can sit by the pool in a lounge chair or you can jump into the pool and start swimming towards publishing. It was a motivating speech.
Jayne Ann Krentz spoke during the awards luncheon and also inspired us with her highs and lows throughout her publishing career. She demonstrated that persistence - and a core story - were the keys to success.
Book Signings: Most publishers sponsored a book giveaway and author signing. Many readers, like the reviewing bloggers, "camped" outside the designated rooms so they could meet their favorite authors. I joined Azteclady for the Bantam book signing - I was first person in front of Sherry Thomas so I had her attention for a few precious minutes. She signed His At Night - one of the few books I will keep for myself!
RITA Awards: RWA ended the conference with the Golden Heart (unpublished) and RITA (published) Awards. The nominees were dressed to the nines as they walked the "red carpet" past those of us waiting in line for the doors to open. In their acceptance speeches, Sherry Thomas was funny, Julia Quinn was overjoyed, and Kristan Higgins was refreshing. I was thrilled when RomVet Cindy Dees won for Best Contemporary Series Romance Suspense/Adventure. As she walked to the stage, the media team played "Off we go into the Wild Blue Yonder" in honor of her service in the USAF!
Special Moments: The entire week was exhilarating but exhausting. I would not have missed it and I share five special moments with you:
- Meeting Robyn Carr in the elevator. As we rode up, we chatted about her son's service in the Army.
- Sharing breakfast with Anne Elizabeth. She was glowing from her new graphic novel release, Pulse of Power. But Anne was eager to return home to her husband, a retired Navy SEAL (who wouldn't want to return home to an Alpha Hero?!?!).
- Meeting Jayne Ann Krentz in the bathroom. I was so star struck by the moment that I forgot to tell her that her Amanda Quick books comforted me when my husband deployed to Kosovo and Afghanistan.
- Chatting with Geri Krotow outside the goodie room. We sat down for 15 minutes so we could catch up on her life as a Navy spouse in Moscow and writing for Harlequin Super Romance.
- Meeting Jill Shalvis during the social media workshop. I had a chance to further our acquaintance at the airport during the wee hours of Sunday morning. - she posts beautiful scenic pictures on her blog!
Next year, RWA will hosts its National Convention in NYC ... so I am saving my pennies (and airline miles) to once again immerse myself into the romance sisterhood.
And now for the book giveaway. The books listed below represent the authors mentioned in today's blog. To request a book,
(1) Post a comment on who at RWA would be your star struck moment
(2) Send your top three book requests plus mailing address to email@example.com
(3) When you receive your books via media mail (slow boat across the Pacific), please email the author to let her know you received the book from the SOS RWA giveaway.
This giveaway is open only to US residents due to mailing costs. The books will be given away on a first come, first serve basis.
For international residents, if you would like an assortment of bookmarks from RWA, please send me your mailing address.
I'll giveaway more RWA books in the coming months from the publishers's book signings.
Join us next week as Wednesday Wanderings celebrates Hawaii Statehood!
- Carolyn Jewel, My Forbidden Desire, My Wicked Enemy
- Laurel McKee, Countess of Scoundrel
- Janet Mullany, The Rules of Gentility
- Anna Campbell, Claiming the Courtesan, Untouched, My Reckless Summer
Romance Roll Call
- Cindy Gerard, Risk No Secrets, Rescue Me (anthology with Cherry Adair and Lora Leigh)
- Catherine Mann, Renegade, Defender
- Jo Beverley, The Secret Duke, The Secret Wedding
- Cara Elliott, To Sin with a Scoundrel
- Gaelen Foley, My Wicked Marquess
- Sherrilyn Kenyon, Born of Fire, Phantom of the Night (with Dianna Love)
- Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick: The Perfect Poison
- Nora Roberts/JD Robb: Big Jack, Hot Rocks
Beau Monde Conference and Soiree
- Ann Lethbridge, Wicked Rake Defiant Mistress
- Miranda Neville, Never Resist Temptation, The Wild Marquis
- Cindy Dees: The Longest Night
- Kristan Higgins, The Next Best Thing
- Julia Quinn, What Happens in London (winning book)