WHAT A GREAT YEAR!
I've now been to (if I'm counting right) six Reader Author Get Togethers hosted by the amazing and incredible Lori Foster. SIX! And this year was as amazing as every year, if not better. How does she do it? I met famous authors I adore, and had dinner with them, and hung out with them for drinks, and even roomed with one of them. (Thanks for sharing your room, Jules Bennett!)
But while that is fine and good and amazing... You guys. THE READERS. The readers attending were enthusiastic and kind and excited... that's why we put this song and dance on every year! That's why I stay up past my bedtime to call twenty rounds of BINGO on Saturday night. For the readers. You're worth it. Truly. If you want to see pictures from the event, I'm including a button that will take you directly to the blog post.
Upon arrival! Sorry for the grainy pic. Our hotel room was dark. But that smile is not faked at all. Even though I was a bit frazzled from Cincinnati traffic, I was really excited to be at #RAGT17
Here I am (on the way into the hotel) with Janice Maynard and Jules Bennett. They're both Harlequin Desire authors and... so am I. *squee* Janice is the sweetest, and Jules is one of my best author friends. I love these ladies.
Next stop :: Lori Foster's RV for an interview! (That was so fun to film. I promise to share the link all over the place when she posts it.) Jules was right after Jill Shalvis and so we grabbed a photo with her while we could. Jill said I looked familiar, and I'll take that as proof positive we're best friends... Kinda. Sorta.
GUYS. Meet the coolest group of ladies EVAR. The Dysfunctional Book Club took me to lunch at this really awesome Tavern in Kentucky, and we chatted books, boys, and life in general. Each of these ladies is super sweet and Theresa (far left) surprised us all with these darling tote bags! They made me an honorary member of the DBC, and I'm not going to lie, I misted up a little. Sandra (to my right) is married to a beekeeper and brought me fresh HONEY. Seriously great group. (Love you ladies!)
Where would we be without a few #RAGT17 shenanigans? Thursday night there was an 80's party and Jules and I decided to wear our best 80s garb. She outfitted me with jelly bracelets and loaned me a neon hair tie, but other than that every piece of that outfit came from my closet. 😂
I told you I ran into a lot of famous people! Here are Jules and I again--we tracked down Kimberly Kincaid for a photo. Um, she's lovely. I'm thrilled to say that Kim and I grabbed 40 entire minutes to sit and gab during the event, which I loved. (PS, I know, I know, I wore this dress last year to RAGT, but I just love it so much! Anyway I had red hair last year so if you see red hair + this dress, that's 2016.)
Toni Blake and I hung out at the signing, too. As we do (she always borrows my Sharpies so that's our thing now 😆) This is us in front of the RAGT banner. She's such great company!
Later that day I ran into one of my favorite people ever--Katie McGarry. She writes a series (Young Adult) about an MC (Motorcycle Club) and every year at RAGT I purchase the new one and have her sign it. I ADORE this woman. She's real and kind and we hit it off a few years ago at this very event. Right after this photo, Katie and Jules and I grabbed dinner. I was sitting there with two amazing people thrilled to introduce them and feeling blessed to know them. Romance authors really are the very best.
Brandy, I nabbed your photo from Facebook! Brandy traveled over 5 hours for the signing and then drove 5 hours back! She's amazingly dedicated to her favorite authors and I'm honored to be one of them.
Cat! This lovely woman and I sat and gabbed nonstop last year at RAGT and she is just lovely. She also brought her spunky, adorable daughter with her. She drove in to this con before zooming off to another one in Cleveland!
Melissia (do you not love that unique spelling?!) stopped at the signing to take a photo with Toni and me. I love seeing her each year! She's so fun to talk to.
ALSO! I received the cutest T-shirt with lemons on it from Dawn & Heather! (Didn't we get a picture, you guys?!) We chatted a lot and they are just too much fun. Even if they didn't win BINGO. Maybe next year. ;)
Every year I forget to snap photos because I'm too involved with the people I'm talking to. There are no photos of BINGO on Saturday night that I know of--or maybe there are?! If you're out there, I'd love to see pics. If you have one, please tag me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram!
And you'll also notice, NO LORI PIC! LOL. I saw her a million times but didn't grab a photo. (BOO!)
Until next year!