Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012 Lori Foster RAGT: Day Two

Day Two: In Which I Get Surprise New Ink

I vaguely remember breakfast. There were donuts. It was early. I'm not a morning person. I know there was more Diva-related discussion that happened and a feeling that it was cool, but, again, it's fuzzy.

We skipped the first workshop in favor of book shopping at the B&N store. I picked up a few things to be signed later (or, rather, I bought them and handed them to BFF Diana and had her get them signed for me later, because I was signing my books at the signing).


So shiny. My precious...

Two things happened while standing in line to buy new books. First, I had a moment of verbal diarrhea in which I blurted something funny but also ill-advised. In front of an editor. Not just any editor, but one I've followed for years. /headdesk This is why I can't have nice things. Second, Diana and I spotted Tiffany Reisz and Andrew Shaffer. (By the way, the B&N ladies totally said "That's him!" in an excited manner and gushed about Fifty Shames of Earl Grey.) (I felt so with-it that I knew what that was.) BFF Diana and I flailed and squealed at the sight of Tiffany but resisted the urge to call her over. Barely. Mostly, I think, because we have a concern that Andrew Shaffer is going to wtf kick our asses for stalking his girlfriend. They had wandered off by the time we got out of the line.

And then we went to the Samhain spotlight, mostly to hang out and wave my Samhain pompoms. I got to sit next to Lindsey, yay! I <3 her, she's so nice. After that we went to the Sherrilyn Kenyon chat, which was standing-room only by the time we got there. And we only had 15 minutes to ask questions before they kicked us out for a new group. :( But she was awesome and funny.

Lunch...more Divas. And sandwiches. And then, as we were leaving, BFF Diana let out this high-pitched squeal and whacked me in the back and I had a moment of "What? Are there zombies? What happened?" Nope. Tiffany Reisz and Andrew Shaffer. (BFF Diana explains the whack as her ducking to hide behind me after squealing like a tweenage girl. This may well be true, because she is short and I am easy to hide behind.)

Now, I feel I should attempt to explain how we became her unofficial stalkers. (I assume we're not official until we have T-shirts made.) ("I stalked Tiffany Reisz and all I got was this T-shirt instead of wrist cuffs.") (Hmm...there's merch potential there.) (I'll stop now.) It started with the Chicago North Spring Fling, and then Diana and I read The Siren and were all OMG THIS BOOK, IT IS MADE OF SO MUCH AWESOME! Because it is. (Oh, Tiffany, this is the actual text of my favorite line, which puts it better than my "love is pain" summary when you asked: "But there was nothing but the cold, hard truth that loving someone and being loved back was only the beginning, not the end, of all the pain.") And we've been stalking her on Twitter. Typical moment at our house: Somebody giggles while sitting at their computer, waves the other person over and points at a tweet, and more giggling ensues. We call her our girl crush. Yeah...

She hugged us!

And then we let her and her boyfriend have lunch. Because we're not so obsessed to stop her from having a meal in favor of paying attention to us. Yet.

Suddenly, book signing!

Here I am, at my spot. All sassy. If you'll note, I look WAY THINNER this year than I did last year. Weight Watchers win!

Samhain Duckie guarded the hat full of chocolate. I used it as romance reader bait. "Oh, would you like some chocolate? Here, allow me to explain my series to you while you nom that." In coolness news, I signed more books than I did at my two previous signings. People had read my stuff! DUDE. Seriously. And liked it!

Here is Leah Braemel, signing way at the other end of the table. Fellow Samhain Author Dana Marie Bell is in the fabulous fedora:

Of course, this didn't change the fact that, as always, I was kinda terrified. Less terrified, but still filled with anxiety. BFF Diana came by a few times with updates on the books I'd asked her to get signed, and what people said. She was under orders to stalk Andrew Shaffer for 50 Shames stuff, and came back and informed me that Tiffany wasn't signing because she was out of ARCs.

And it was at this moment where I thought, "Oh, that's too bad. She should sign something." Logically, I suggested she sign my boob if she could find a marker. Like you do. Because that's logical, right? I half thought that she'd just laugh and think we were amusing. Until I saw Diana and Tiffany cackling madly, headed in my direction. My next thought was, "Oh, crap. My mother is going to see this on Twitter." Because Mom follows Diana and has her phone set up so she gets an alert EVERY SINGLE TIME somebody tweets something.

I call this my "I am so grounded when my mom sees this" face:

It was followed by my "That's Sharpie, isn't it?" face:

(That's D. Renee Bagby signing next to me in the picture. She's very cool.)

So, yes. Tiffany Reisz signed my chest at the RAGT. She later made a comment on how she's not a rock star, seeming bemused by how awesome Diana and I think she is. Here's the thing--though I am a music lover, I don't go to rock concerts. I go to book signings. I'm a reader, an author, and an English major. I love the written word. Authors are my rock stars.

Also, at some point after that, Diana came by, all smug, and held up a piece of paper with girl crush's phone number on it. There isn't a pic of this, but it sparked my "DAMMIT HOW DID YOU GET HER NUMBER YOU DON'T EVEN LIKE GIRLS!" face. But much to my relief it was for "text me and we'll hang out later" purposes. Otherwise there might've been a girl fight over the girl crush.

After the signing we headed over to the Samhain offices for the open house. The Samhain authors descended upon the swag room like locusts and cleaned just about everything out (apparently there were umbrellas that I missed), and now I have a Samhain hoodie. w00t! I saw my book with the massive collection of every Samhain book in print ever. It was awesome.

Despite the fact that it was still fairly early when we got back, I was so dead. Too tired for booze, so I got an enormous mocha and casually suggested that Diana text Tiffany Reisz and ask her to come down to the lobby and have coffee with us. I was half certain she'd be too busy, because she was working on edits for book 2, but no. You guys, she totally came down and hung out with us (and Lissa Matthews and Diva Christine) for over an hour! And we discussed her book, and kink, and writing, and so much stuff that I can't even form words to contain the awesome.

Diana and I stayed up late and chatted with Lissa (and we all missed you, Chandra Ryan!) and her roommate, who also works for Samhain and I cannot remember her name for the life of me.

And...then we got up ass early the next morning and came home, with all our swag and signed books and leftover chocolate. And my signed chest. I call this my, "I wonder what I can get her to sign next time?" face:

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together: Day One

This weekend I attended the 2012 Lori Foster Reader & Author Get Together, and it was a blast as usual. Many thanks to Lori and the other sponsors, and the volunteers, because truly it is a fabulous event and I know that they worked very hard to pull it off.

Yes, I know you want to hear the story of how I ended up with Tiffany Reisz's signature on my chest, but we'll get back to that later. Actually we will get back to that Wednesday, because I'm going to split this into 2 posts.

Day One: In Which We Travel Across the Endlessness of Indiana to the Mysterious Land of Ohio

This was my second year attending the RAGT (you can read about last year's experience and my suspicion of trees here) with my BFF Diana. On the drive there I noted that the trees were once again menacing, the hills were still hilly, and Indianapolis continues to be recovering from their road construction apocalypse. BFF Diana was tortured by my addiction to pop music, though we did also sing along to "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" and "Once More with Feeling" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (And Sweeney Todd.) (Meat pies make me happy.) (I am aware that I have a problem.)

We checked in and I ran into Leah Braemel almost immediately by the elevators, and she was the first to be all "I didn't recognize you with your radioactive fuchsia hair."

Did I mention that my pink hair leveled and is now +1 fuchsia hair? Because it is.

I call it my "surprised parrot" look.

(By the way, I am currently reading the 4th book in Leah's Hauberk Protection series, Hidden Heat, and it is so good so far. I love this series. BFF Diana got a signed copy of Personal Protection at the signing and it's now proudly on our Samhain shelf.)

I did not get a picture of the sign-in line this year, but imagine the line for Space Mountain during peak season at Disney World. It's a bit like that. Except packed with women who are filled with squee every few moments when one of their friends passes by. For example, I spotted fellow Maddy Barone ahead of me, and also the very awesome Annie, who like me is now an auntie extraordinaire. ;)

Next was dinner, where we sat with Maddy and an assortment of other Romance Divas, including  Paige Tyler and Christine Lawrence. Now, I'd told the Divas that I would be easy to spot, because I'd be the one who is 6 feet tall with pink hair. Little did I know that pink hair would be abundant at the RAGT, and one of the pink ladies is also about 6 feet tall. (I apologized to her and warned her that Divas would be calling her Robyn all weekend, but I don't remember her name.) (Did I mention that without the aid of constant name tags I have almost zero ability to remember names. Seriously. It's just sad.)

The Friday night signing was for headliners, e-pub and self-pub authors. We came prepared with books for Leanna Renee Hieber and Sherrilyn Kenyon to sign. But first, I pounced on Maddy and bought one of her books, Sleeping With the Wolf. Then we pounced on LRH, and we briefly discussed our shared love for Tom Hiddleston and Loki. Mmm...Tom Hiddleston... (Diana mocks me for this. With love, she says.) And LRH told us of her current project, the Auror's Tale, which I'd heard a bit about and it sounds like it's made of so much awesome.

And then it was time to stand in the line for Sherrilyn Kenyon. Which was longish, and she arrived late, so it took awhile. But really, I'd stand in line for her all night without complaint, because such is the depth of my <3 for her. I have a Dark-Hunter tattoo. I'm a big dorky fan girl. I brought my two very favorite Dark-Hunter books, Zarek and Valerius, and she signed them. This is me, with Sherrilyn Kenyon, where I am displaying my tattoo and grinning like the happiest fan girl ever.

She is so nice. The very first book signing I ever attended was one of hers a few years ago in Oak Brook, and I've been a signed book addict ever since. I was also able to chat with some really funny ladies while in line, and thanks of our discussion of Amish vampires I now have the image of Vladimir Yoder seared forever into my brain.

After that Diana and I went back to the room and chilled before we went to the bar, because last year we started drinking too early and on too little food and that went...poorly. The bar was OMGWTF packed. Reminded me a bit of home, actually, because we live in a college town where the bars are almost always crowded when the students are in town. We were able to drink and chat with Leah Braemel and Christine Lawrence before calling it a night.

And then, on the way back to the room, someone randomly recognized me, stopped me, and said she's read my books and loves my series. Which just about exploded my brain because that's pretty much the first time that's ever happened. DUDE. SO COOL! All caps serious.

Wednesday, I will move on to Day Two, in which there is signing, Samhain swag, and stalking. Oh my!