I'm still recovering!
Lots of high points, though--we got in Tuesday evening and grabbed a quick meal at the Tequila Bar on the hotel premises, (and yes, I did have a Margarita...just one!) then took a walk along the bay and discovered that Pokemon Go was a VERY BIG DEAL! It was absolutely hysterical: visualize hundreds of people, every color, every gender, every country (because this is a huge tourist area) and all chasing little Pokemon creatures on their cell phones. Best thing? People were talking to each other, laughing and offering tips and in general just having the best fun ever. My husband has it on his phone and we joined the throng--it was like the world's coolest street party. And yes, I have loaded Pokemon Go on my phone now, but haven't had time to play it. I will, though, at some point.
Wednesday I registered and ran into friends who were just arriving at the hotel, and then I had the ultimate fangirl thrill when I met Nalini Singh for lunch. I've known Nalini for years, though we've never gotten together long enough to just sit and talk, and I am so glad we had this chance. She's even better than her books, if that's at all possible, as entertaining and fun as can be, and that hour we spent will remain one of the high points of the entire conference.
One minor note--I had to tell Nalini how much trouble she was in--after I read Allegiance of Honor, which is an amazing book that answers a lot of questions as it sets up future stories in the ever-changing Psy/Changeling series, I had to go back and reread Judd's story in Caressed by Ice, and Hawke's story in Kiss of Snow, just because they were in the new book and I missed them. Ergo, it's all Nalini's fault my newsletter is going out so late and I'm still working on copy edits for Dangerous Passions. I had hopes of actually getting back on schedule.
I did discover something rather interesting...Nalini thinks American dollars are boring. After she showed me what the money in New Zealand looks like, I have to agree! Not only are they really colorful, but they have beautiful little clear windows with holograms in them. I'm impressed! And she's right. Ours IS boring!
As soon as I got home, Rock Wedding came out, the fourth and final book in the Rock Kiss series of contemporary romances Nalini's publishing independently--I usually read paranormal, but I love this series. I finished it but wasn't willing to let it go, so I'm now re-reading Rock Redemption. I know. Hopeless...
Wednesday afternoon I met up with Alix Rickloff (who also writes as Alexa Eagan) and Susan Lyons Fox, aka Susan Lyons, Susan Fox, and Savannah Fox, for a pre Literacy Signing cocktail. These two women are part of my support group--I know I can bitch and gripe and get things off my chest with either or both of them, and they don't run screaming to get away from me. We've discovered it's much easier with alcohol...My mai tai worked really well. I was ready for the signing...
Alix Rickloff Susan Lyons Fox
Did not get many pictures on my phone at the signing--was much too busy signing books and talking to people, but if you got any of me doing my thing, please send me a copy! You can IM me on Facebook or send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I love to get those up on Facebook! However, the signing was a lot of fun, and thank you so much to those of you who stopped by. And no, I don't post names just in case your significant other thinks you were attending church services or the PTA meeting Wednesday evening! I won't tell. (Though you can leave me a comment!) I'm so horrible at recognizing faces and putting names to them, especially when I only know you online. At least two of you showed up with totally different hair color than I remember, and that's one of the little "tricks" I use to help recall a person's name. So if I forgot, it's like, uh...your fault? Okay. I promise not to hold it against anyone...
After the signing, I ended up in the bar with Stella Cameron, Sheri Brooks of Purple Papaya, a marketing company for authors, Jayne Ann Krentz and, for a brief bit, my spouse. But, since we kept talking and it was noisy, he bailed at a decent hour. I don't know why I think I can stay awake all hours at a conference, but I always at least try.
Thursday was a really full day. Doug and I started out having breakfast with author Jessica Scott. Jess is one of the smartest women I know, an instructor at West Point Military Academy, an army captain currently working on her Phd with service in the Middle East as part of her resume, she can definitely explain what's going on in this world better than I ever could. Since my husband is a history buff and news junkie, I just sat back and listened. The two of them kept me entertained (and upped my understanding of a lot of what's going on in the world) for the next hour or so.
I had some actual conference business before the Kensington Publishing book signing--and that was really special. I haven't written for Kensington since 2012, though my last book came out with them in 2014--but they had copies of that one, Dark Moon, so that I could sign with the other authors, knowing full well that I was using the signing to promote my now indie published Spirit Wild stories.
This picture was taken at the Kensington signing--I'm with editor Martin Biro, who was my editor's assistant when I was still with that house. He's also Susan Fox's editor, and she was a Rita finalist at this year's RWA. I'm sorry she didn't win--her series is absolutely wonderful.
After the signing, I had time to clean up a bit and Doug and I walked over to the Culinary Wine Institute across the road from the hotel for the Kensington party.
She's done amazingly well, and the best part is that every bit of her rise in the publishing world is well-earned--that girl can write a beautiful story! I told her I still wanted more about the characters in Crossfire, and she said they'll appear in a new series she's working on, the Blacklist series, set in the same world as the one Gideon and Eva inhabit. It's not finished yet, so not on the schedule, but Sylvia thinks it should be out in early to mid-2017.
And we were so busy talking, I forgot to get a picture!
When I spend time with authors who are so amazingly successful, it really makes me feel good, to know I'm part of such an amazing cadre of strong, intelligent women. There is a powerful sisterhood in writing, one of the few occupations where your competition will do whatever they can to help you succeed. It's really special.
We ended the evening--our last night in San Diego--with the St. Martin's cocktail party and then another walk along the bay--and more Pokemon Go and fun conversations with total strangers. I loved it! This was my first trip to San Diego and I hope it's not my last. It's such a beautiful area, with the long promenade along the bay, the view of Coronado Island and the U. S. Naval Air Station and the Navy SEALS training center. We could sit on our balcony in the evening and hear the sound of taps as the sun went down, though I managed to sleep through Reveille!
Instead, I went through my stash and pulled out the duplicates, copies of books I've bought and then ended up with a duplicate--they're often given out at conferences. There are two books by the wonderful J. Kenner--her erotic romances are amazingly well done! Reborn is the first in CC Hunter's wonderful YA vampire "spin-off" series, and Melissa Shroeder's book is one I had bought and then got a couple years ago at a conference, so I'm including the extra signed copy.
I have just removed five contest entries left in the comments section below--they were deleted for your safety. NEVER put personal information where the world can see it--there is a contest entry form to the right of the post--enter there where it's private. If I can recover your email I'll try and notify you to enter again, but please use the form that says CONTEST ENTRY FORM!!!
Take care and be well, and always make time for a good book. (You have to admit, reading a good romance sure beats politics about now.)