Romantic Friday Evening at RWA09

As this was my first time attending the RWA conference I didn’t even know regular readers and fans such as myself could attend the romance publishing industry workshops, panels, and luncheons during the day. Nor that regular readers would even want to! But apparently you can, and people do, and it’s interesting! All for a low fee of $500… But you know what comes WITH that fee? Over 100 free books from all the events!!! (Yes you read that right)

In my ignorance, I only showed up for the free events: the literacy signing and a romancelandia blogger get together.

Some of the meetings and speeches about finding an editor and/or agent, working on your craft, how to write a good “query letter,” and whether to try digital versus print publishing wouldn’t have interested me anyways, but after reading so many of the other wrap up posts on Blogging National and Dear Author and finding out about all the free bibliophile swag I might just be a little bit tempted to actually register for RWA sometime in the future. Maybe during a more lucrative period in my life.

ANY WHOOSITS. Friday night KatieBabs and KatiD so graciously organized a blogger dinner, and whoa was I intimidated when I found out a few authors would be joining us as well! We went to Lebanese Taverna right by the convention’s hotel, and hubby and I have also been known to order out from there when we don’t feel like cooking a need a little Middle Eastern flair.

On one side of me sat the fascinating and talented author Meredith Duran. Her life is a whirlwind of anthropological, educational, and romantic adventures, from the Midwest to the East Coast to India all in one year! I can’t wait to read her newest book Bound by Your Touch but I have NO idea how she finds the time to write!

On my other side was one of the sweetest new people I met, Amy of Aymless. Her laugh was infectious, and she was always quick to introduce me and involve me in conversation. PLUS she gave me some of her free books.

You own my soul now Amy, you know that right?

But seriously, she picked up 93 FREE BOOKS from all the official RWA events. She knew she had 93 exactly because she had logged them all into a spreadsheet! And guess how many books she has in her To Be Read pile?!? THREE HUNDRED (300!)! No wonder she needs a spreadsheet to keep track!

I didn’t bring my camera with me, but when I went up to Amy’s room I did snap a cell phone pic of all of the books she got in just 3 days:


She said I was doing her a favor by taking the ones she didn’t want. See, didn’t I tell you she was super sweet?

Overall it was a common theme with so many of the wonderful women I met that they all owned much much much more books than I and had much much larger TBR mountains. As many of my regular readers know, I am a library whore, and my wallet has been happy in that regard. But since I’ve starting blogging the itch to buy buy buy, collect collect collect has been growing stronger. Hanging out with these bibliophiles certainly didn’t help!

KatieBabs continued her gracious streak by sharing her swag with me too. So besides the 9 I bought at Wednesday’s autographing event, I got these TEN new ones:

New free ones in front, ones I bought on Wed in the background

New free ones in front, ones I bought on Wed in the background

  • Start Me Up, Victoria Dahl
  • Practice Makes Perfect, Julie James
  • Duchess by Night, Eloisa James
  • McAlistair’s Fortune, Alissa Johnson
  • Outcast, Joan Johnston
  • To Beguile a Beast, Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Seduce a Sinner, Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Taste Temptation, Elizabeth Hoyt
  • An Affair Before Christmas, Eloisa James
  • Laced with Magic, Barbara Bretton

At dinner I also finally met Katie of Katidom, she also lives in the DC area and works just a few blocks from my house! I’m betting we’ve probably walked by each other and not even realized it. The whole meal was so so so much fun, talking about new paranormals, secret affinities for old skool romances, and lots of “well if you like her, then you will LOVE this new author” recommendations. Every now and then the conversation would be punctuated with a “squeeee!!!” as we found more and more in common with each other and shared our fond reading experiences together.

Even though I told hubby I would come home after dinner, I was having too much a good time to leave after just an hour or so with my new romance novel loving friends. Some I knew from blogging, some were new to me bloggers, and even a few were authors as I mentioned, but everyone was so welcoming and the chatter was never ending.

We moved from the restaurant back to the bar at the convention’s hotel. Again, since I stupidly forgot my camera I don’t have any pictures to show our group but here is a rundown:

  • Barbara of Happily Ever After, has a great group shot on her newest post, loved chatting with her about our weddings and families
  • KB, gracious co-hostess also has a great group pic from the night up
  • KatiD super fun co-hostess and DC neighbor
  • Amy from Aymless of lusty book-sharing fame
  • Rosie of Nobody Asked Me, we had a great convo on reading influences and good vs bad libraries
  • Kristie(J) travelling all the way from Cananada and boy am I glad she did!
  • Lisabea of m/m romance fame who had a “jinx” moment with me when we remembered the exact same Jude Deveraux book at the same time
  • Wendy Super Librarian in the flesh! After reading her blog everydayforever it was so awesome to meet her!
  • AnimeJune of Gossamer Obsessions, I just started reading her blog and LOVE her detailed reviews

We were joined by authors:

Y’all, I NEVER EVER WANTED TO LEAVE. But 2 things finally made me head home

  1. A lonely hubby waiting for me
  2. I ripped the back of my skirt open. I think I hid it well, but halfway through our time at the bar I ripped the slit on the back of my skirt up to my butt cheeks. Even though it was allllll women in the bar I knew it was time to go!

With that TMI, I am signing off for now. But don’t forget to enter my contest before Monday for a Harlequin tote, 3 books, or a Border’s gift card!


22 Responses

  1. Geez louise that’s a lot of books! I can’t imagine flying home with them all!

  2. Evangeline: haha I think that’s why she was so nice about sharing them with me! lucky for me though!

  3. Well I’m so glad you found something to geek out over!

  4. “To Beguile a Beast” sounds like a MUST read…

  5. Sounds like such an awesome time, and it’s always a good thing to get books :) If you like snappy dialogue and uber sexual tension I think you’re gonna love Julie James’ book.

    And isn’t Kati the best? I just love her. How cool you live close by her office.

  6. Oh, I am so jealous!! So.incredibly.jealous.

  7. It was so awesome to have met you and hang out. Dinner was such a fun time and my favorite night of the whole conference :D

  8. Patrick: oh i definitely let my inner mega-geek out!

    lilu: “beguile” clearly should be used more in everyday conversation

    Stacy: i am starting Julie James’ book tomorrow! especially since i got to meet her, she was gorgeous and so nice. plus she lives in my home-town, Chi-town!

    Jill: I am so glad I went! I had no idea RWA existed, and there is also Romantic Times that has a convention too.

    KB: Friday was just a BLAST, it was hard to tear myself away from you all, but it was so fabulous to meet you!

  9. I’ve met Julie several times, and yeah, isn’t she a sweetheart? I live in the Chicago ‘burbs so I’ve been to some of her signings. Do you live in Chicago now?

  10. Stacy: I lived in Chicago for part of the time growing up and for high school, my parents are still there now. But I now live in DC, have been here 4 years and never want to leave!

  11. That’s cool. I’ve been to D.C. several times for work, and usually meet Kati from Katidom for dinner at least one night while I’m there. I’ve lived in Chicago since I was 19 and now can’t imagine living anywhere else :)

  12. Next time Stacy comes to town, Charlotte, we should all meet up! She’s usually out by Dulles, but you could ride out w/me, if you wanted.

    I loved meeting you! It was such fun!

  13. This makes me smile and I don’t even own all those books! YAY for you!

  14. Stacy and Kati: I would love to meet up next time! While I live in Dupont I work in NOVA so that would be great!

    so glad to put a smile on your purty face ;)

  15. […] smiling fondly over fun romancelandia conversations from a get-together on Friday night with dinner and […]

  16. Both you and Stacy are too kind. ;-) It was a pleasure meeting you in D.C.! What a fun time. Whew. Now I need to catch up on about five nights of sleep.


  17. OMG – you ripped open the back of your skirt? You did hide it well, because I had no idea.

    As always, it’s a treat to meet so many bloggers in the flesh. The gathering in the bar is definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

  18. Lusty Reader –

    It was so great to meet you! I had no clue you were exposing yourself to the bar. Way to cover up! That was a really fun night.

    Pop me an email addy so I can send you the book I promised you!

  19. […] all the fun social things (2 weddings, Billy Joel & Elton John concert, RWA, romancelandia blogger get togethers) I have been unbeLIEVably stressed about real life […]

  20. […] from the library I used to have to-be-read didn’t even COUNT as a pile, and now that I have a worthy TBR I haven’t been keeping track of new books I want for Friday Finds, I’ve been trying to […]

  21. […] tons in my shoulder bag and in my credit card bill but still) and the wonderful authors I met! The second day (recap here) was way more social with a big blogger and author dinner that turned into me staying late for […]

  22. […] My second day at RWA – just socializing with bloggers and a few authors […]

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