AAD: The Bloggers

We’ve talked about the authors. But I have to tell you that my AAD experience was just as much –if not more– about getting to know my fellow bloggers. Thanks to social media, like Twitter, I walked into the con already feeling like I “knew” so many people. It was even better to meet them in person.

The first person I met Tuesday afternoon was the lovely Marcela from The Bookaholic Cat. We hooked up at the hotel and had drinks at Pat O’Briens. Marcela is absolutely beautiful and has the most amazing Colombian accent. I loved listening to her talk. But I can tell you that walking down Bourbon St with her is tough on the ego. Every man on the street was looking at her!

Me, Marcela & Julie

I ended up at dinner that night with Jen (Twimom,) Carolyn Crane, Monica (Obscured Vixen,) Teresa D’Amario, and Katiebabs (who has a real name, but no one ever used it.) Jen and Teresa were roommates and a package deal for most of the con. But I have to give a big thanks to both of them for letting me store all of my goodies in their room for days. Jen was also kind enough to walk me to my car in a less than savory neighborhood more than once. Such a sweetheart!

Monica made me feel old. LOL. She is 27 and full of energy and wore hot outfits and was excited to party hard. My 36 year-old tired ass wore jeans and tennis shoes and was in bed by 1:00 on most nights. But I enjoyed hanging out with her.

Teresa, Jen, Katiebabs, Monica, & Me

Katiebabs made me feel like an author insider. We were always talking about industry stuff and what’s going on with authors on the publishing end. She also really wanted to see the man-candy that New Orleans is supposed to have. (I hate to disappoint, but it’s not exactly as advertised. If I ever see Acheron walking around the city, I’ll let you guys know.) I felt kind of bad that she didn’t get the show she was looking for, but I think she ended up having a good time with what she found.

It was that night I also met Tori (from Smexy) and Nicole. Two great women!! We ended up back in their room, dishing on books and dirty sex into the night. Nicole always had a stealth drink on hand (and let me try her wedding cake vodka… It was… different.) Tori is so tiny! I know she probably hears that all of the time, but there’s a lot of personality in her small package.

Wednesday came and with it, I met Jennifer from The Book Nympho. We chat daily on Twitter, but that did not prepare me for all the times she totally cock-blocked me while I talked to an author.

Me, Sylvia Day & Jennifer

It went something like this:
Me: “Hi, Sylvia Day! It’s so nice to meet you, I’m J—”
Jennifer (jumping in front of me): “I’m Jennifer, the Book Nympho. You know, stomp and romp.”

or

Me: “Hi Kelly Meding! I’m Jen from R–”
Jennifer (jumping in front of me): “I’m Jennifer from the Book Nympho. Stomp and Romp.”

or

Me: “Hi Nicole Peeler…”
Jennifer: “I’m Jennif—”
Me: “Shut the fuck up.”

LOLOL. I got her back for it later. I tend to get a bit loud(er) when I drink and apparently, I was yelling her ear off at dinner after the open bar. She may have tweeted about it. God help us at RT next year.

Tori, Mandi, Pamela, Me, Katiebabs, Teresa, Jennifer, Nicole, & Chelsea

Wednesday is also when I met Mandi (Smexy) and Pamela (from Wicked Lil Pixie.)  Mandi is kind of quiet at first, but get a few glasses of wine in there or talk about Damon Suede and she lights up like a Christmas tree.  She made me laugh and I enjoyed her so much. Pamela (who is too nice to tell you that she hates it when you call her Pam) is very kind and sweet and genuinely friendly.  She, Tori, and I were all on a field trip with Adrian Phoenix and we had a few meals together.

Who else did I meet?  (The days kind of blend together.) Julie from Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks was adorable.  Her hair always looked so cute and in place, while mine frizzed to holy hell.  She was sweet and just like she comes across online.  I had dinner with Chelsea from VBC who has a gorgeous tattoo on her shoulder.  And I convinced MamaKitty to jump on the “OMG, It’s Kelly Meding” train.

MamaMoon, MamaKitty, Eva, Julie, Marcela & Me

I also hung out with Rachel (Parajunkee) who shared one of my favorite stories of the con about a failed love-encounter with a burn-victim.  That doesn’t seem nearly as funny in print, but I promise you –at the time– it was hilarious.

All in all, I ate like there was no tomorrow and drank like a fish.  I think I went to Pat O’Briens four times –or maybe five.  Cat’s Meow was epic.   Thank you Jennifer & Marcela for getting on stage with me.  And to Loupe for your amazing generosity. And to Tori and Mandi for belting out the songs with me from the dance floor!

The experience was amazing, thanks to all of you… and so many others who I couldn’t cram in to this already bloated post.  Hugs to everybody! And I hope you’ll help me bring the party to RT in Kansas City next year.

If you haven’t seen them already, be sure to check out My AAD Author Crushes and “OMG, It’s Kelly Meding” and Other AAD Stories.

"OMG, It’s Kelly Meding" & other AAD stories

Yesterday, I talked a little about the larger than life authors I fell head-over-heels with at AAD last week. But love comes in many forms. I met many charming, sweet, and (even shy) authors, who didn’t have to get big laughs to be memorable.

Let me tell you a little story about Kelly Meding. If you’re not familiar with her, she’s an Urban Fantasy author who writes the Dreg City books and the MetaWars series. Anyway, I was trying to find Dakota Cassidy’s table to stalk her at lunch Saturday, when I passed Kelly sitting quietly at her table. I enjoy her books, so I decided to sit with her instead. Joining us at our table were several other readers and authors, including Andrew Grey, who writes m/m. We talked and ate some surprisingly good mystery-meat (I still don’t know what the hell that was.)

Back when Kelly didn’t run from me

 

I recounted the story of running into Jeaniene Frost at the coffee shop and how proud I was that I didn’t pounce on the poor woman as she tried to buy her fruit salad. Andrew told me that most authors don’t mind being approached if the reader is respectful. He then went on to tell me about his worst fan experience, where two girls trapped him in an elevator during a con, jumping up and down, screaming “Oh my God, you’re Andrew Grey.” That’s when Kelly somberly said, “I wish someone would jump up and down for me.”

This was before I screamed her name.

 

I’ll bet you can guess what happened next. The entire table started jumping up and down in our seats, screaming, “Oh my God, it’s Kelly Meding.” I also did it at the book signing. In the lobby outside of the bar. And I told friends to do it randomly throughout the day. I never knew anyone could turn that particular shade of burgundy. Suffice it to say, Kelly is a blusher…. And she probably hates me now.

Jess, Allison, & PJ

 

For Thursday’s lunch, I sat next to Allison Pang. She teased me by showing me the eARC of Trace of Moonlight on her i-thingie.  (I’m still waiting for that .pdf, Allison!!)

The nicest, most personable author I met was probably Cynthia Eden. She and Katie Reus just came up and started talking to me in the lobby.  Later, Cynthia and I went on an expedition trying to find a poorly labeled meeting room.  She was just so genuine and sweet. (And super pretty.)

I spent some time chatting with the awesome Carolyn Crane, who was very down to Earth… and Amanda Carlson –who I always seemed to find in the hotel bar or on the way to it.

Me with Amanda Carlson

OOOoooh. I met Sylvia Day, who says she is still writing her next Crossfire book and even planned on working on it in her room.  And Jeaniene Frost, who was just as nice as could be. She even talked about a 10 inch cock in her UF panel. (That’s my kind of girl!)

There were more. Authors were everywhere.  I was drunk on them (or maybe I was drunk on those free vodka/ cranberries from Mel’s open bar.)  But you get the idea.  What blew me away is that some of them actually knew who I was.  That was a really strange feeling.  Cool, but strange.

More NOLA happenings, including my fun times with fellow bloggers, still to come…

AAD: My author crushes

I’m bacccckk. OK, maybe it seemed like I never went away, thanks to the scientific wonder of pre-scheduled blog posts. But I have just returned from five fun-filled days in the Crescent City for the Authors After Dark convention.  I am exhausted and I have no voice left, but I have some really great memories that I am taking away from the event.

On the way home (after I finished reading the epically awesome Stars & Stripes,) I tried to catalogue in my head how I could possibly blog about the experience in any meaningful way. I thought about doing a post about each day of my visit. Then I thought about what my post for Tuesday would be like and it was something like: I drank with Marcela at Pat O’Briens. I ate dinner with bloggers. I walked. I drank again. The end.  So instead of a blow by blow, I’m going to post about the things that stick out as the most memorable parts of the trip.  The first thing that comes to mind: the authors I met and fell in love with.

I left AAD with giant, embarrassing crushes on at least four authors.  Two are women. One is gay. The other is married.  But let’s not get caught up in the details.  These folks had Personality with a capital P. And I may or may not have tailored parts of my schedule to stalk gain valuable insights from them throughout the con.

Mark Henry. You had me at The Pussy Eater.  Seriously.

The best panel that I attended was called Guess the Author by the Sex Scene (or something like that.)  Mark and Nicole Peeler completely stole the show.  I can’t remember what Nicole read, but it involved a clit that burned a lot while the heroine gave the longest blow-job in history.

Meanwhile, Mark read The Pussy Eater with the enthusiasm of a 14 year-old girl at a One Direction concert.  I laughed so hard that I cried.  I am sad to say that I didn’t get to spend any more time with Nicole, but I “accidentally” ended up at Mark’s table for dinner Friday night.  And at his zombie panel. And the panel on dark humor.

And speaking of dark humor.. Dakota Cassidy was also on that panel (as well as many others I attended.)  It would have been a great segue to say that was where she stole my heart. But the truth is, I fell in love with her during the Bookie awards, when in her acceptance speech, she said, “Where is Jeaniene Frost? –Ooh, I beat you, girl.”

She has this great, fabulous, big hair and awesome eye make-up and she utterly dominated every single panel she sat on. She’s just got this presence that is impossible to quantify.  Her voice has this deep, dusky timbre and she is larger than life and completely hilarious.  Loved. Her.

Finally, Damon Suede.  Damon, who walked around in a kilt and flashed his ass at anyone who asked what was underneath.  I got to stand at the table with Mandi, Tori and Pamela while they talked to him at the Open Bar Friday night.  I think he had pants on by then, but he was totally charming anyway. I just kind of stood there with a goofy smile and listened to him talk. He also seriously rocked it out on the dance floor after dinner.

So that’s the list.   It’s just the tip of the iceberg on the AAD experience. I’ve got more stories to tell about the great authors and my amazing fellow bloggers in the days ahead.  In the meantime, I’m ready to start unloading some of the mountain of goodies that I took away from the event.

Enter below to win a copy of Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep and an ARC of Hollywood High by Ni-Ni Simone and Amir Abrams. A big thank you to the folks at Kensington for the books.

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