Where Is the Feverborn Review? There Isn’t One.

feverbornBy Jen

*Updated 1/24/16

Please know that I have given this subject a great deal of thought. I initially wrote this opinion piece to call attention to a post on Karen Marie Moning’s Facebook page. In it, she voiced support for audiobook narrator Phil Gigante. Reader comments on that thread linking to articles on his arrest were hidden, and I felt like that information should be available to readers. So I provided it here.

Since that time, Moning has apologized and severed ties with Gigante. But that is not the only thing that has happened. Fandom has blown up. Everyone is angry. Many people are hurt. Others are reminded of their own experiences with sexual abuse. It’s not a simple debate; it’s an emotional one that touches people deeply. [Read more…]

Jen’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2014

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broken bladeA ton of fabulous books are on the horizon for 2014 and I am already counting down the days until I can get my greedy little hands on them. Take a moment with me to get excited with me!

Broken Blade, JC Daniels. (January 6) I felt positively wretched after I finished Night Blade. Really. It was both that good and that horrible. The book left our heroine, Kit Colbana, in a truly terrible place. So what happens now? Can she forgive Damon? Can she ever go back to the woman she once was? Can I make it through the next book without crying? Just thinking about it makes my chest hurt.

undead poolThe Undead Pool, Kim Harrison. (February 25) Ever After completely knocked my socks off. It was easily my favorite book in the Hollows series so far. The series is wrapping up soon and I couldn’t be more excited to see where Rachel is going… especially if she is headed to a HEA with a certain tow-headed elf. Plus –Trent is on the cover. It’s made of win.

Ball & Chain, Abigail Roux. (March) The end of Touch & Geaux hit me like a wrecking ball. It was so full of delicious angst! Poor Zane has got to be pining away for Ty right now. I need to see their reunion. I need to know what life is like for them now that Ty has outed them. What comes next, now that they can no longer be partners? Plus, the sex. Ohmigod, the sex in these books. Must. Have.

murder of crowsMurder of Crows, Anne Bishop. (March) This is my first series by Anne Bishop. Apparently, I have been living under a rock. But Written in Red was just so good, I literally opened the book and read it all the way through without putting it down. I love that the supernaturals here are so unapologetically inhuman. And I have my fingers crossed for a little romance action between Simon and Meg. A girl can hope!

Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh. (June) I have one word for you: Vasic.

burned

Burned, Karen Marie Moning. (July 22) This was actually on my 2013 list, too, but it got pushed back.  I am probably one of the only readers who does not want Dani to end up with Ryodan. (*shudder*) But that doesn’t mean that I can’t get excited about the possibility that it could go another way. Dancer, anyone? Anyway, I am looking forward to the big face off between Dani and Mac. Plus, some sexy cray-cray Christian and more of the Nine. Plus, I hear there’s a time jump. Dani could use a little bit of growing up.

Dark Skye, Kresley Cole. (August) I have been waiting for Lanthe and Thronos to get their HEA ever since Kiss of a Demon King, where I found the tease of their story a welcome distraction from the horrible Sabine. Cole has given us little nuggets along the way, but now she promises a book complete with the backstory that made them enemies. MacRieve and Lothaire were both kind of meh for me. I am ready for Cole to wow me again.

Magic Breaks, Ilona Andrews. (Sometime in 2014) Magic Rises got me excited about the Kate Daniels series all over again. I doubt we’re going to have another relationship crisis here –though man, that was good stuff– but we’re coming into this book with so much momentum. I am so ready to see Kate get ready to take down her dad. And to continue finding her way as Curran’s consort. Plus, we get the fallout from that Big Death. And Hugh. Woot!!

Demon Storm, Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love. (Sometime in 2014)  I really enjoy the Belador series. Two of the last three books were A reads for me. The romance is a little slow, but the action is non stop and the world building is phenomenal!!

What books are you looking forward to in 2014??  Share your excitement.

Associate Reviewer Wanted

It’s with some sadness that I’m announcing Allison is leaving the blog. She’s got a lot going on in her life and there’s just no room for blogging right now. I still have the wonderful Shelly here to help me with all of my menage, erotica and BDSM needs. But I’d like to bring on another reviewer to help out too!

Primarily, I’d love to find a contemporary romance reader.  That doesn’t have to be the only genre you review, but it would be a great help.  If you also like older YA, NA, f/f, romantic suspense or any other romance subgenre that I don’t usually feature, I’d be happy to use that as well.

Do you review on Goodreads, Shelfari, or Amazon? Are you ready to jump into blogging –or to drop the responsibility of your own blog? If you’re interested, fill out the form below and we’ll take it from there. If not, I’d be grateful if you help me spread the word. 

*Update* I have had so many great responses, I am taking down the form while I sort through them. Thank you so much!

Over the Rainbow at RT… Well, Almost

It’s been a week now since I returned home from my whirlwind adventure at RT in Kansas City.  I met so many amazing authors, industry professionals, bloggers and fellow fans, I could tell stories for hours.  This was my first time at the con and I learned so much about RT magazine, the convention itself, and the rich history of both.  It was amazing to see how far the romance genre has come over the years and what a pioneer RT has been in so many ways.

With the fabulous Marie Sexton

Throughout the convention, I found myself surrounded by diversity. Whatever kind of romance you liked, you could find.  There were panels and parties devoted to contemporary, erotic, YA, GLBT, paranormal, steampunk, inspirational… you name it.  There were authors and fans there from every conceivable subgenre.  It was so welcoming –and very cool.

But as I sat down for the awards banquet, one category was noticeably absent: GLBT.  What’s the big deal? you may ask.  They can’t have an award for every single thing.  Well, they actually kind-of do.  There are 11 awards for the different kind of Harlequin books alone.   There are separate PNR awards for vampire and shapeshifter romance.  There are individual awards for self-published authors.  There are more than a dozen Historical categories –and one is so specific it is for the best “British Isle-Set Historical.”   Yet there is not one single GLBT acknowledgement.

The presence of Dreamspinner and Riptide could not ignored at this conference (and not just because of my mad school-girl crush on Damon Suede.)  The Dreamspinner party was packed.  The Over the Rainbow party was rad –plus I got a fabulous tshirt.  And I am fairly certain I got a Tucker Springs book in my welcome bag.  So where were these authors at the awards ceremony?  M/M romance is big right now. Look at the success of Lover at Last in the mainstream.   It was number 1 on the NYT bestseller list.  Stars & Stripes won DABWAHA. The audience is there, so where is the recognition?

I’m not trying to disparage RT.  The vibe was friendly and inclusive. Perhaps that’s why this stuck out to me so much.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  And be sure to check out the awards list below.  For what it’s worth, I agreed with many of the winning selections. Big love to Firelight, Gunmetal Magic, Blade Song and so many other great books.  Maybe next year, Touch & Geaux will get some attention too.

Complete List of RT’s Best Book Categories of 2012

First Series Romance                                            Harlequin American
Harlequin Blaze                                                    Harlequin Desire
Harlequin Intrigue                                                Harlequin Nocturne
Harlequin Presents                                                 Harlequin Presents Extra
Harlequin Romance                                               Harlequin Romantic Suspense
Harlequin Special Edition                                      Harlequin SuperRomance
Kimani Romance                                                    Love Inspired
Love Inspired Historical                                         Love Inspired Suspense
Historical Romance of the Year                            First Historical Romance
Historical Love & Laughter                                   Innovative Historical Romance
Historical Paranormal                                            British Isle-Set Historical Romance
Regency-Set Historical Romance                          Scotland-Set Historical Romance
Historical Romantic Adventure                             Sensual Historical Romance
Historical KISS Hero                                              Historical Fiction
Self-Published Historical Romance                       Contemporary Romance
Contemporary Love & Laughter                            Self-Published Contemporary Romance
Vampire Romance                                                  Shapeshifter Romance
Steampunk                                                               Paranormal Romance
Paranormal Worldbuilding                                     Urban Fantasy Novel
Urban Fantasy Protagonist                                     Self-Published Urban Fantasy
Romantic Suspense                                                 Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Contemporary Mystery                                           Historical Mystery
First Mystery                                                            Suspense
Amateur Sleuth                                                        Mainstream Fiction
YA Contemporary Novel                                         YA Urban Fantasy
YA Futuristic                                                            YA Protagonist
Science Fiction Novel                                              Fantasy Novel
Epic Fantasy Novel                                                  Multicultural Romance
Multicultural Fiction                                                Inspirational Romance
Inspirational Suspense                                              Erotic Romance
Sci-Fi Erotic Romance                                              E-book Erotic Romance
E-book Erotic Novella

RT 2013: My Favorite Author Moments

The RT convention may be over, but I have so many fantastic memories from my days in Kansas City! There were too many highlights to talk about all in one post –and I’ll get to the Ellora’s Cavemen and whatnot on another day.  But for now, I just want to share a few stories about some of the absolutely amazing author moments I experienced during the con.

Gordon & Ilona Andrews

The best three hours I spent over the course of nearly a week in Missouri were in the Westin hotel bar with Gordon and Ilona Andrews.  I can’t even begin to describe how genuine and friendly they were.  We talked about the Sookie Stackhouse spoilers, George and Jack, Jim and Dali, and Austrian food.  I drank seven or eight vodka-cranberries. (It was happy hour. Don’t judge me.) And though I have no doubt I squeed all over myself, they were extremely gracious and kind. It is so gratifying to find out that such amazing talents are also amazing people.

Delilah Marvelle

Another warm and genuine author: Delilah Marvelle.  After an emotional panel on the heroes in historical romance, I approached her to tell her how much I consistently enjoy her work.  When she thanked me, it was so heartfelt that it made me tear up.  With so many readers/ bloggers/ reviewers and fans out there, it’s hard to fathom that just one person’s support and praise can make a difference.  She made me feel like mine did and I am so grateful. Such a humble, talented, and lovely woman.    

A big thank you to Jennifer Estep.  Not only did she get up at the ugly crack of dawn to have coffee with me (and my fellow bloggers,) she listened to me as I detailed why I broke up with the hero of her series.  She was patient and understanding as I went on and on about Owen and Gin like they were real people and I was taking sides in their dysfunctional relationship.  Through it all, she sat there stoically and gently tried to explain why she wrote it that way.  She’s a real class act and a very nice lady.

Photo-bombing Jennifer Estep
Damon Suede

And last but not least, I still have my embarrassingly overwhelming crush on Damon Suede.  It reared up every single time I saw him.  He is just so damn funny and charming.  I kept telling everyone around me, “I love him so much.”  And I do.  (It’s real, people! Even if he doesn’t love me back.)  He gave me a great, warm hug… and I think I am now even crazier about him than I was before.

 
There were so many other great authors who made an impression, like Jax Garren, Maire (pronounced Moira) Claremont, Kristen Callihan, Karina Cooper, Jaye Wells.  Thank you to everyone for making my first RT a great one.  I’ll have more highlights from the con later in the week.

Maire Claremont

Back Hair: An Informal Poll

This is not my husband’s back.

Forgive me, readers, but I need you to help me settle a dispute with my husband.  After a spirited discussion about the merits of back waxing, my husband proclaimed that some women would love a man with back-hair long enough to braid.  I argued that he was very, very wrong.

He said, “Just because you talk to, like, 75 women on Twitter, doesn’t mean you know everything.  I’ll bet if you put the question out there, at least 5% of the women out there would say they find a bear sexy.”

I said, “Not back hair, Dave.”

He said, “Ask.”

So I am asking.  Give me your thoughts on back hair.  Seriously.

My Most Anticipated Books of 2013

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I am so late on this post!!  I’ve already read several of my big OMG upcoming releases.  Like Kim Harrison’s uber-awesome Ever After.  That one came out back in January.  Elizabeth Hoyt’s Lord of Darkness. Kristen Callihan’s Winterblaze.  Patricia Briggs’ Frost Burned. Jennifer Estep’s Deadly Sting (don’t even talk to me about Owen, y’all.)  But I refuse to believe I am too late.  Some of my most anticipated books of 2013 I’m still, well, anticipating.  Here’s a look ahead.

Lover At Last, JR Ward. (Releases: 3/26.)  This one is the motherload folks.  Frankly, my numero uno, wet-my-pants most anticipated book of the year.  And it is only a month away.  I put in a vacation request at work for the release day months ago.  I kid you not.  This 11th book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series finally gives us the Qhuinn and Blay love story that JR Ward has been teasing us with for years.  I want this book like I want my next breath.  It is going to epic.  (Or I may never get over my disappointment.)

Twice Tempted, Jeaniene Frost. (Releases: 3/26.)  I absolutely adored the first book in Vlad and Leila’s love story.  I’ve been a longtime fan of the Night Huntress world and this new romance has really given the series an infusion of excitement.  I thought it was awesome that Frost chose not to rush an “I love you,” in the last book.  The wait will make Vlad’s fall even sweeter!

Wrong Ways Down, Stacia Kane. (Releases: August)  I absolutely love the Downside series, and that is thanks largely to Terrible, one of my favorite heroes of Urban Fantasy –or frankly, any genre.  This is the novella from his POV, set between Unholy Ghosts and Unholy Magic.  Just reading the excerpt on Kane’s website makes me want to read the whole series again.  This was supposed to release on Valentines Day, but now there’s no word on when it’s coming out.

Cloak & Silence, Sherrilyn Kenyon. (Releases: July) Another novella that was supposed to be out on V-Day and got pushed back.  This is Kenyon’s first stab at m/m and it features two guys from her League series.  It takes place around the same time as the second half of Born of Silence.  I am very excited for this one.

Touch & Geaux, Abigail Roux. (Releases: April 8.)  The Cut & Run series is not just my favorite m/m series, it’s one of my favorite series in romance. Period.   The last book was so happy and wonderful and in this next book, Roux promises to rip the rug right out from under us.  I am terrified.  And if I thought I could get this book today, I would camp outside of Roux’s house in a pup tent.  –Yes, really.

Heart of Obsidian, by Nalini Singh. (Releases: June 4.) It’s got to be Kaleb’s book, right??  Fans of Singh’s Psy-Changeling series actually stalked the author’s website just to see the cover on this one.  (I may have been one of those people.) The cover art did not disappoint.  It’s still another couple of weeks, though, before we get the blurb. Marketing genius, ladies and gentlemen. But it could only work on a series this well loved.

Entwined With You, by Sylvia Day (Releases: June 4.)  This book was supposed to be out in December, and knowing it was coming soon was the only way I could reconcile myself to leaving Eva and Gideon when I finished the last book. They are so dysfunctional and angsty and sexy.  It’s one of the only contemporary romance series I read.

Styxx, Sherrilyn Kenyon. (Releases: September 3.) I’ll admit, I’ve been kind of on the cusp of quitting the Dark Hunter series, but this 23rd installment has the potential to bring back the magic of the early books.  It’s supposed to be kind of a companion piece to Acheron, telling his twin brother’s story.  I’ve missed Ash and the Olympic/ Atlantean mythology.  Plus, Styxx looks like a tortured hero and Kenyon does those so well!

Dark Lycan, Christine Feehan (Releases: September.) This is the first book in the Dark series trilogy featuring Skyler and Dimitri.  I have been waiting for these two to get together for so long, that I honestly had given up on Feehan ever writing their story.  Dark Lycan isn’t actually “their” book. That will be Dark Wolf, out in January, but I am intrigued/ anxious about how this all will play out.

Burned, Karen Marie Moning. (Releases: I have no idea and it’s killing me!!) I had serious reservations about Dani being able to sustain the lead role in not one, but three books in the Fever world.  But Iced was really, really good. And while I really don’t want to see a Dani/ Ryo pairing,  KMM has never let me down.  However this plays out, I have no doubt that I will be satisfied when it’s over.  That’s the highest compliment I can pay an author.

What about you guys?? Which books are you dying for in 2013??

It’s Not Me — It’s You

Reflections from Jen

In any given year, I read somewhere between 350 and 400 books.  And every so often, I find a stand-alone that really rocks my world. But 9 times out of 10, the stories I love most are part of a series.  Over time, a series allows you to invest in characters. You learn their quirks and nuances.  You grow to love them, hate them, or lust after them… but whatever the emotion, they become yours.

I look forward to new installments in my favorite series like Star Trek fans count down the days to their conventions.  Like gadget-nerds camp out the night before an Apple product goes on sale.  Or like Harry Potter fans dress up for a movie premiere.  Hell, I reserved a vacation request months ago for the release of Lover At Last.

Unfortunately, every so often, one of my beloved series lets me down.   I’m not just talking about the random Phury book that stands out as an anomaly to an otherwise fabulous series.  I’m talking about multiple books that just make you ask yourself why the hell you just spent 10-bucks.  Books that make you decide once and for all to break up with a once beloved series.

I’ve got a few I’ve already said goodbye to, and others on a watch list.

Anita Blake.  This is kind of THE series that is almost everyone has asked at least once… what the hell happened here?  Granted, not everyone liked the series to start with and not everyone loathes it now, but no one can dispute that the Anita books of today are nothing like the first nine that came out.  It’s my understanding that LKH thinks that people who complain about the change in her books are uptight about sex or something to that effect, but… um… I really like reading about sex in books. A lot.  So if that’s not the issue, what is it?

It would be easy to say that my problem is that Anita has become a whore, but it’s not that simple.  My problem is that the books have changed on a fundamental level.  They started as urban fantasy with no sex in them at all. Anita didn’t believe in sex outside of marriage.  They then morphed into urban fantasy with a little sex, in the context of a love triangle. — I was still down with that. Anita still struggled with her values and her real feelings for two very different men.  Whether you liked Richard (my favorite) or Jean Claude, most people could see the attraction on either side of the coin.

Then came Narcissus in Chains and the books became erotica.  Granted, they are erotica with paranormal elements, but you can’t call a series “urban fantasy” when the main character has sex with 10 or more people in the book.  Orgies, BDSM, m/m, exhibitionism, you name it, Anita does it.   Or one of her harem does it.  And I kept reading for a long time, thinking “maybe it will change back.” “Maybe Hamilton will fix what she did to Richard.” “Maybe…” Hell, I don’t know.  But then, Anita adopted a 17 year-old into her sex family. And there was a line in the book about how they’d have sex and he’d want to cuddle before doing his homework or something, and suddenly, I was done.  I haven’t looked back.

Kitty Norville.  I really, really enjoyed the early books in this series.  If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Kitty is a werewolf DJ, trying to find her way in the supernatural world.  For a time, every single book in the series wow’ed me. Carrie Vaughn gave me an unqualified oh-shit moment in every book. She killed people. She kidnapped people. She shocked me and excited me.  But what she also did was string me along with a love interest that never came to be.

From book one, we’re introduced to Cormac, a werewolf killer who has a simmering mutual attraction with Kitty.  The author teases us with it for book after book.  Even after Kitty gets into a serious relationship with another man, we’re reminded of what almost-was with Cormac. He’s still around. There is still longing.  I’ve started wishing the other guy dead, even though I like him. Finally, after book nine, I realized, it’s never gonna happen.  I feel seriously dicked around.  I’m done.

Chicagoland Vampires.  How I freaking loved this series in the beginning.  It was smart and funny and full of great action. I loved Merit and her friendship with Mallory. I loved her reluctance to be a vamp, how she finally came to love and defend Cadogen House.  And, of course, Ethan.  There was such a great push and pull with Ethan. The highs were so high and then the lows….  (**spoilers ahead**) When Ethan died, I was heartbroken. I cried and cried.  Then Ethan came back to life.. And while there was some WTF-ery there, I thought, “Finally! They will be together.”  Only, the excuses continued.  They got more and more flimsy. Until I got to a point where I just didn’t care anymore.  The new one came by mail and I gave it to my girlfriend to read for me.  She’ll be guest reviewing it for the blog.

On the cusp:

Dark Hunter.  The early books in this series rocked my world. Sherrilyn Kenyon does tortured heroes like nobody’s business.  Even when the catch phrases started to get a little predictable.. Even when all the heroines looked at their downtrodden heroes “like they mattered,” I still swooned.  Probably all the way through Acheron’s book.  (And Lord knows, that book put me through the wringer!)  Then, Kenyon started to go in a new direction. She introduced Thorn and the Hellchasers… she got into Jaden and Azura and Noir.  And I’ll admit, I had a hard time following along. But I figured that was the next phase of the story… Then she started pulling in Native American mythology and sprinkling in some of the old characters and the Dream Hunters… with a pinch of the Hellchasers. And frankly, I’m not sure what the hell is going on anymore.

I liked Seth’s book. It was kind of a throwback to the familiar favorites.  Plus, Styxx is coming, and it’s taking us back into the Acheron world.  I will not miss that, folks.  But where will she go after that?  I’m a little concerned.  The series seems to have lost focus.  One more pantheon comes in, and I think I am out.

Carpathian/ Dark series.  Yes, I still read these. Don’t judge me!! They are my guilty pleasure.  Though lately, the pleasure part is fading.  I love the over-the-top love scenes and super-alpha-alpha males.  I love all the interconnectedness of the Carpathians and the reunion books was fantabulous.  (Yes, spellcheck, that IS a word.)  But I started pulling away when we got into the de la Cruz men, none of whom I liked.  Once we got to Zacharias, though, it went to a bad place.  He was such a dick. He abused his heroine. It was too much.  And we’ve traveled so far away from the characters I love that I feel disconnected.  Feehan needs to get us back to the Carpathian mountains.  She needs to give us that Skylar and Dimitri story.  Or maybe I need to quit reading.

So what about you guys? What series have you broken up with? What killed them for you?

Still in love with some of the series above?  What makes you keep reading?

Share your thoughts, then visit Rachel at Parajunkee and Jennifer at the Book Nympho to see their picks!

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…