This was my third time at the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together. As always, it was a great experience, and first let me say a big thanks to all the organizers and volunteers who make the RAGT an awesome event. They always work incredibly hard to make sure everyone has a great time. (And Lori managed to pull it all off with one arm tied behind her back! Well, in a sling, actually, which makes it even more impressive.)
An extra special thank you also goes out to my fearless partner-in-crime, BFF Diana, who puts up with my shenanigans on a daily basis but was especially forgiving on this trip. (I may have borrowed her back to sign books and promo on. A few times. I kept expecting she would stab me for this, but no, she was very good natured about it.)
Step One: Always Bring Chocolate
Who doesn't love free chocolate? This year I had the idea of combining my tradition of bringing chocolate to my book signings with handing out promo items by putting them together in tiny fuchsia bags. (Pink, like my hair!) (My current hair is platinum, purple and pink, for the record.) So before the RAGT, BFF Diana and I filled a box with said tiny fuchsia bags, and ate a bunch of chocolate in the process. For quality control purposes. Clearly.
Step Two: Harrison the Samhain Duckie is My Co-Pilot
Paige Tyler, who is an author, Romance Diva, and one of the nicest, sweetest people you could ever hope to meet. (Paige and her husband are quite possibly the cutest couple in the world.) So we were off to a great start.
After sign in, we were spotted by fellow Samhain author Leah Braemel, and we joined her and her partner-in-crime, author Anara Bella, at their table. At my first RAGT signing (which was also my first ever book signing as an author), Leah signed next to me, and I was introduced to her Hauberk Protection series (it's awesome, you should read it). So Leah has a special place in my heart. And here she is, looking fabulous in her white cowboy hat:
The Thursday night crowd was really impressive. We all had a moment of "Whoa, if there are this many people here now, what will it look like tomorrow?" The answer is EVEN BIGGER!
Also, we may have snuck out early to watch Hannibal, because Diana and I are addicted to that show.
Step Three: This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Friday. Official opening day. BFF Diana and I had lunch at Panera, after which I said, "Let's go to Barnes and Noble and visit the books!" So we wandered through the store to the romance section, and one of the booksellers was doing stock, and she asked if we needed help finding anything. We explained that we were in town for the RAGT and would be picking up books at it on Saturday, and when I introduced myself she TOTALLY KNEW WHO I WAS, PEOPLE! I am famous! ...okay not actually famous, but she had ordered my books, and recognized my name. Still very cool.
When we got back there was a blur of running into and hugging the always fabulous Anne, getting our swag bags (they are pink, like my hair!), accosting our girl crush and her boyfriend in the bar, and ducking in and out of the Samhain open house. Then we toured the main room and checked out the raffle baskets.
It was at this point where I suffered my annual OMG fangirl freakout moment. You would think that by now I would have the poise and self-control to not flip out on my favorite authors. And you'd be wrong. One moment I was calmly perusing baskets, and then BFF Diana nudged me and nodded at a passing person, who happened to be Linnea Sinclair. And I lost my mind and gasped (seriously, I gasped) and started flailing and babbling because I LOVE HER!
It was kind of like this:
Thankfully she took it in stride and seemed amused by my babbling. And she informed me that she had donated a raffle basket, and despite putting all of my tickets in it, I did not win it. After Diana and I walked away I kicked myself for geeking out, and it was kind of like this:
But because I was in "cone of shame" mode, I successfully avoided freaking out when I spotted Shiloh Walker by the elevators a bit later. Well I freaked out, but it was all on the inside. And Twitter. That's internal, right?
Moving on! There was pizza! And then, there was the first signing. It was huge and packed and boisterous and a good time was had by all. ;) Some highlights include:
Maddy Barone, and her After the Crash series. I bought the second book. :) Maddy signed next to Anara Bella and Leah Braemel, so it was a row of my favorite author people.
The lovely Lissa Matthews. Lissa is also a Samhain author, and Diana and I picked up a copy of Twisted Up at the Saturday signing (I'll discuss the Saturday signing more in part two.)
And, of course, the always awesome Paige Tyler (with half of her husband in the background). I picked up one of Pagie's promo police duckies, and he is currently hanging out with Samhain Duckie.
Paige was signing at the same table as Shiloh Walker, who was signing her J. C. Daniels books. As it happens, when you put your internal monologue on Twitter, it is, in fact, not internal anymore. So Shiloh Walker looked up at me and said, "Did you Tweet about me earlier?" (I think the purple hair gave me away.) And I said yes, yes I did. So she told us her Nora Roberts story, which is similar to some of my fangirl freak out stories, but hers is way awesomer because Nora Roberts was involved.
My RAGT tale will continue in Part Two, featuring how I stared adoringly at Linnea Sinclair and the Blackhawks won in double overtime. (These things are not related.) (At least not that I know of.)