RT2017 – Day 1

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It’s really happening! I’m tired. But the convention started yesterday, and here’s what happened:

I drove in yesterday and realized I had never been to South Carolina before. Driving through it on I-85 does not inspire much wanderlust in that direction, but I’m from New Jersey, so I understand about highways and stuff.

Wow, thrilling.

I met up with my girls, Shar and Jules, and we got right into it:
IMG_20170502_193900874

That’s right. Adult women in pajamas enjoying a crappy movie, narrated by our very own Damon Suede. It was GLITTER! Starring Padma Lakshmi! I forgot about that part! And Mariah Carey, of course.

It feels a lot more crowded this year. But maybe that is because I am 40 now and everything makes me crabby?

Then this morning I volunteered to help with registration, which I did, but I overslept and forgot earrings. I know. My life is hard. And I helped veteran cover model CJ Hollenbach figure out his conference badge, bless his heart.

Also, Starr is doing just great with her Dear Companion.

IMG954513

 


Friday Dog Blog is A Man, Baby

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Full disclosure:  I’ve never seen the show SUPERNATURAL.  I guess it’s about two hunks who fight ghosts?  (Side note:  WHY HAVEN’T I SEEN IT??)

Anyhoots, Trixie is a big fan and I’m on a deadline.  In honor of Season 10 (TEN!!!  I have a lot of catching up to do.) coming out on DVD, she sent this here clip to Friday up our Fridays:

Via

Side note:  I went to library school with a dude who totally looks like the one who’s not a dog.

Anyway!  Chase them mailmen!  Happy Weekend!


Friday Dog Blog is SHIRTLESS

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Once again, my two fave things come together in one glorious internet:

Hounds + Bachelor = Get Off Of My Lawn And Into My Car

(That is a combo Clint Eastwood in Gran Turino/Billy Ocean mashup joke.  Obviously!)

Also, how about this:

clintdog

There you go!  Family affair.

Happy weekend, everyone!


RT Recap – Day 5

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And now here I am, back home in the Appalachians, waiting for a handsome cover model to come to my house and do laundry and grocery shop and make me coffee.

JK, I made my own coffee.

I’m willing to hold out for the other stuff, though.

Anyhoo!  It has been two days since my last recap, and for that I am sorry.  But I had to spend all day yesterday driving.  Well, I spent half the day driving, as Shar and I shared the load, as friends do.  Also, if one of us had to drive the entire thirteen and a half hours from New Orleans, that one of us would probably be dead, or at least very crabby.

But never mind that.  We are here to talk about Saturday, which was the day of the Giant Book Fair, which was no joke.  I did not take a picture of the full scope of the event, but here is one from the fabulous Megan Crane/Caitlin Crews:

And this here was my little corner of the sky:

Tablescape!

Tablescape!

And this here was my swag:

I would like to thank my Darling Mother and all Past Girl Scout Leaders for teaching me how to pour melted chocolate into a mold.

I would like to thank my Darling Mother and all Past Girl Scout Leaders for teaching me how to pour melted chocolate into a mold.

I signed some books, handed out a mess of postcards (especially to people waiting for my book-signing next-door neighbor, the hilarious Vicki Lewis Thompson) and smiled at a lot of strangers.  The highlight may have been when Anne Calhoun stopped by to talk about library science.  Because in her seriously amazing book, Jaded, the heroine is a librarian and she got it so right!  The joys and heartaches of public librarianship!   With added hunks!  And my brain was doing too much of a Don’t-Be-A-Total-Weirdo-To-This-Author-You-Admire to mention that I also DIED at Uncommon Passion.  Which has nothing to do with library science, but don’t let that stop you.

Oh, and Shar and I each took pictures with Cover Model Charles, who was dressed as a gladiator.  As you do.

me and charles shar and charles

Who Wore It Better?

After the signing, there was a roast of Lee Child, which was hilarious.  But the most important part was Duncan Munro, Jack Reacher Lookalike Contest Winner:

Yes, he had a travel toothbrush in his pocket.

Yes, he had a travel toothbrush in his pocket.

Because, you know.  Hunks.

Oy.

Then one more book party, in which I got four hundred more books, and then a dinner excursion onto Bourbon Street with Jules, Shar, and the Aforementioned Fabulous Marina Myles.  It was a relatively quiet evening (as quiet as anything near Bourbon Street on a Saturday night can be) and a nice way to cap off a seriously amazing convention weekend.  We were not ready to leave!

But we did anyway.

car back

Thank you, RT!  Such a great week.  Next year is way too far.

 

 


RT Recap Day 4

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Did yesterday happen?  How is it Saturday?  How can I be expected to go home after this!!!

Anyway.  Enough silliness.  Although Shar and I both agree that, unlike last year, we are not ready to go.  Sure, tired and stuff, and almost out of clean underwear, but come on!  Just one more week?

</weep>

Yesterday was a regular convention day for me, where I pretended to be a regular person and not the BIG IMPORTANT PERSON that I am.  Also, I was not drunk.  (Or was I?)  (No.)  (Although I did have two glasses of wine while waiting for Lisa Kleypas to sign a book.  Because I am her stalker and she was signing Devil in Winter so what the hell do you want me to do??)

This here is Kristen Ashley, talking about her path from self-published to Mega-Star of The Universe.

ashleyThe answer is: write a lot.  In fifteen years, she wrote twenty-seven books and was rejected for ten years before she decided to self-publish.  And now look at her!  She quit her day job and gave herself a year…and she did it in six months.  So all I have to do is write twenty three more books and I’m out of here!  Well, not out of here.  You get it.

I suddenly feel that Kristen Ashley and I are taking different paths.

Certainly her hair is better than mine.

I also went to a workshop where I learned about writing.  Let me show you how to write a romance novel:

heroesPick one.  Take his shirt off.

And that’s it!  Repeat twenty-seven times and you’re Kristen Ashley!

Speaking of taking shirts off, the cover models have strict rules to keep their shirts on the whole time they are here.  Even in the shower!  No, not in the shower.  Actually, I don’t know anything about their shower situation, to be honest.

The point is, Shar went to a session on burlesque (because why not), where she apparently learned to shimmy.  She also learned how to work it:

hunks

Yes, girl.

The one on the left has his mouth full of a gator bite.  Which is very professional for a professional model.  Good thing he’s handsome!

Last night’s dress-up festivity was Heather Graham’s something or other that involved a lot of feathers and lights and beads and I don’t know what else because I could not wear my glasses:

mask

I just want to point out that I gave Jules a mask, but she misplaced it in her room. As if it’s full of books or something?

There was dinner!  I wore flip flops!  We left before the dancing started, because we are Old Farts.  But whatevs.

Today is the last day and the Giant Book Fair from whence I am writing this because I have a few minutes until I meet my adoring public.  Be back in three seconds.

JK!  But there are cover models here, so good-bye.


RT Recap Day 3

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Let me begin this recap by saying that my dear friend Shar is a saint.

More on that later.

Thursday morning began with…books.  Woo!  I want to say the Cajun Queen Riverboat Casino (in the ballroom) was the first reader event I went to, but that might not be true.  Although I did spend a lot of Wednesday being Very Important, so maybe.

Anyhoots, there was a very handsome band there.

1 cute band

I don’t think they were handsome on purpose, but it certainly felt appropriate.

Also appropriate:

2a judy and charles

This handsome fellow is a cover model who I think has been growing that beard for a year.  And who is maybe going to shave it off at the closing reception?  I keep getting distracted by his biceps so I forget.

2 me n charles

Because don’t we make a darling couple?  Our babies will have large breasts.

Also, authors:

This here is Heather Snow.

This here is Heather Snow.

I like her books, but mostly I took a picture with her because she is so daggun adorable.

Also adorable was this woman in a cat dress:

She was, of course, a librarian.

She was, of course, a librarian.

Then I spent the next hour in a state of Gawp and Squee as I sat in on a Candid Conversation with Lisa Kleypas.

Lisa Kleypas and Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Lisa Kleypas and Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I was tweeting this up a little, so you may already be familiar with my flip-out.  She is amazing.  Her books are some of my faves.  I can’t decide if Blue-Eyed Devil or Smooth-Talking Stranger is my fave contemp but I’m pretty sure Devil in Winter is my fave historical.  For now.

Look how remarkably composed I look!  It’s all a façade.

Look how remarkably composed I look! It’s all a façade.

But I could not spend all day being a fan girl because I had some parties to host.  Woot!

7 shooting stars table

The fabulous Marina Myles and I shared a table, which is kind of hilarious because I write small town contemporaries and she writes historical paranormals.  An obvious fit!  The concept of our table was opposites – a dark and a light tablecloth, red and white wine.  The most important of these is wine.

And the cutest.

And the cutest.

It was a lot of fun and very crowded.  We played book trivia bingo, cover models gave out prizes, and Shar won a basket.  (She got Marina’s; I wouldn’t let her win mine.  Because I am a Good Friend.)

Later, Kensington had a party and I had a whole pile of Delicious to sign, which went fast because I think people maybe thought I was Lori Foster?  Whatever.  Just because I signed her name.  La!  JK.

Are you Lori Foster?

Are you Lori Foster?

Let me talk to you about Sarah Title

Let me talk to you about Sarah Title

Why am I making this face at this poor woman?

Why am I making this face at this poor woman?

(Thank you Jules for the pics.  You are my new road photographer.)

I shared a table with the delightful Mandy Baxter, who I keep wanting to call Meredith Baxter, and who has a fun-looking romantic suspense book coming out in September.

I also shared the table with snow globes.

7e snow globe

I’m sorry, with crystal balls.  Aren’t they the cutest?  All of the authors had a few to hand out.  You’ll notice that this picture was taken in front of a television.  That is because my snow globe is in my hotel room.  Because I wanted it.

ANYWAY.

That night was the Pub Crawl, in which hundreds of romance readers descended upon Bourbon Street.  They were begging for the frat boys to come back.  JK!  I hung out with Kensington because I was nervous that Shar was going to cut someone down in an effort to reach all of the bars (and to get all of the prizes and, in turn, the prize for finishing).  She did not cut anyone.  She did visit all of the bars.  I feel very proud of her.

And that is where it started to go downhill for me.

Kensington was stationed at Pat O’Brien’s, which is the place where the hurricane was invented.  So I had one.  Then, when I went back to the room to get ready for the Saints and Sinners party, I decided I needed a little wine to continue the festive mood.

You see where this is going.

First, let me share with you how cute Shar and I looked:

 

I cannot do mirror-selfies in the best of situations.  That is how I’m going to justify the sixteen pictures on my phone that all look like this.

I cannot do mirror-selfies in the best of situations. That is how I’m going to justify the sixteen pictures on my phone that all look like this.

We got to the party, we met up with Jules, I drank some more wine, and guys, did you know that I am like a really amazing dancer?  I am.  Even though I was wearing giant wedge shoes (the Disco Shoes made a comeback!] and fell down once and when the strangers I was dancing with tried to pick me up, I fell down again and said, just give me a minute.

And I woke up in my pajamas with a bottle of N2 (Aldi’s brand Gatorade 4 life!) on the bedside table and a box of chees-its on the floor.  I remember none of that.

And that is why Shar is a saint.  She put up with my drunk ass, which is like my regular exuberant self, but MORE and also with the belief that I am INVINCIBLE.

But I still got up to go to the Inspirational Breakfast Mixer this morning.

9 devil

But now it’s time for a nap.

 

 


Not so much an excerpt as a review, and a whole mess of other stuff

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Well!  Happy Birthday to me!  Everyone is always like, oh, is it really your birthday today or is it just a joke?  And I’m all, my need for validation is not a joke!

But it is my birthday.

Send me validation.

In other news, it’s just two short days away from that almighty ruckus that is Home Sweet Home being e-unleashed upon the e-world.  Two days!  There are some reviews over on Goodreads, which warms my heart and gives me birthday validation, and a really nice one on The Daily Dosage.  (Thank you to everyone who read it and took the time to review it!)

As you may already know, the heroine of Home Sweet Home is an English professor.  I was an English major, so while I was proud of my ability to sneak jokes about Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the gender dichotomy (sexy sexy gender dichotomy!) past my editor, no one quite captured the intellectual essence of the book like my friend Dr. Anne McConnell, PhD:

Sarah Title’s novel, Home Sweet Home, explores the postmodern condition, and thus the absurdity of existence, through the ironic use of romance novel convention.  The conundrum for the reader arises at the point when we find ourselves immersed in the compelling plot and the lives of the loveable, wonderfully-developed characters.  How do we stay detached, mindfully aware of the novel’s commentary on Otherness, on the semiotic issues of representing Woman and her relation to contemporary ideals of love and romance, when we can’t stop flipping the pages, devouring the story, in order to discover what happens next?

–Dr. Anne McConnell, PhD

Postmodern!  Conundrum!  OTHERNESS.  Home Sweet Home has it all!  Just ask your local English professor.

(In addition to otherness, it also has a hot guy, home improvement woes, a cat named Mr. Bingley, a hot guy, a derecho, a swimming hole, and a hot guy.)  (And a hot guy.)

But back to my birthday.  Because it is my birthday, J. R. Ward kindly released her newest Black Dagger Brotherhood book on this day.  And I am DEVOURING IT like I do all of her books, because they are crack.  And if loving Wrath is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  So while I sit on my front porch and enjoy the sunshine and The King (PS Hooray for e-readers), enjoy this trip back to the time when I and my friend Real Name Sarah visited Cincy for a J.R. Ward book signing.

Two days!


Readin’ Y’all 2K13

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Hello!  Hello.

Once again, I read a whole mess of books this year, and since Books Are My Business, I am sharing with you my faves.  As you may remember, I use a zero-to-two star rating system.  This year I didn’t have that many two stars (which means LOVE), so I might just, like, include the ones that have stuck with me.  Because that is my fave kind of book.  The sticky kind.

Is that what I meant?

Anyway, in no particular order:

What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris.  Sebastian St. Cyr is accused of murder, but he’s all righteous and good and seeks justice for the dead woman!  And there’s love angst with a prostitute and some great secondary characters and I haven’t read any more in this series yet but I will.  Oh, I will.

True to the Law by Jo Goodman.  There’s something about Jo Goodman’s books that just sort of sneak up on you.  I would read a convo between the hero and heroine and I’d have to go back and read it again, it was so perfect.  This is a follow-up to The Last Renegade, but the main thing the two books have in common is the setting and the awesomeness.  Rabbit and Finn were back, causing and solving problems, but read it for Cobb and Tru and their path to realizing how daggun perfect they are for each other.  Now I want to read it again.  Dang.

Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun.  Did everyone love this book?  I think everyone loved it.  The heroine was a virgin ex-cult member, but the real transformation came to the alphahole cop.  Love an alphahole transformation.

All of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries by Deanna Raybourn.  For reals, I am too lazy to ever read a whole series (see C. S. Harris above), but I just finished the fifth and, so far, final book in this series this morning and I am SAD ABOUT THAT.  Why are there no more, Deanna Raybourn?  Why are you writing other things besides sharp danger-magnet Julia Grey and her super-hot, super-emo Nicholas Brisbane?  Write them!  PLEASE!

Never Go Back by Lee Child.  I mean, I just love Jack Reacher, even if I have to look away when he breaks someone’s arms.  Which he does, a lot.  As per usual with me and series, I have not read these in order, and so far it has not been a problem.  Because I love Jack Reacher.  There was a smidge of bait-and-switch with a secondary character, but as long as we see her again, I won’t be mad at you, Lee Child.

Honorable mentions:

Feeling Hot by Elle Kennedy.  Because I love military dudes who are not bound by the limits of heteronormativity.  I liked it better than Hotter than Ever, although I was also super into that one.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, although probably don’t bother watching the movie.

Sailor Twain: Or, the Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel.  Beautiful graphic novel that is realistic and fanciful at the same time.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.  Had everyone read this book but me?  No?  Read it.

Sex and the Single Fireman by Jennifer Bernard.  Hot firemen, and I only accosted the author a little at RT.

On the Island by Tracy Garvis Graves.  Soap opera conceit, but so good and tear-jerk-y.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.  Book Group Gold!  Of course, I am prejudiced toward any book set in Italy.

Conduct Unbecoming by L. A. Witt.  I really felt like I was on Okinawa, and which is impressive considering the huge distraction of watching two Navy dudes fall in love.

 

This seems like too many Honorable Mentions instead of Faves.  Maybe I need to adjust my rating system.  Three stars?  So there can be middle ground?  Or just read more?

Yes.  Read more.

What did you all read in 2013 that you loved?  Besides my books, of course.  La!


Giveaway! Win a Book! Do It!

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Hey y’all.  It’s Thanksgiving time.  I’m feeling grateful for my good fortune and for the unending support that I receive from many surprising corners of my life.  I am a delicate flower, y’all.  Your love and support keeps me away from Doritos.

(It doesn’t really.  But that’s not your fault.)

Anyway!  To that end, I’m giving a few copies of My First Print Book!  Delicious comes out on December 3rd, when we’ll all get to experience the sparks that fly between a flighty baker and the uptight accountant who can’t stand her.  Until he tastes her apple cake.

(I tried to figure out a way to make that sound not dirty, but I can’t do it.  Well, look.  It’s a romance novel.  There’s some dirty parts.)

Plus, Delicious also contains (re-issued) novellas from Lori Foster and Lucy Monroe.  And, listen.  That’s good news for people who like to read.

The point is!  I’m running a Goodreads giveaway from now through December 1st.  Three copies!  Wow!

So come on over to Goodreads!  Come to where the flavor is!  The flavor of Delicious!  (In the end, this was not the tagline my publisher went with…)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Delicious by Lori Foster

Delicious

by Lori Foster

Giveaway ends December 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 


Falling for Fri-Dog

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I’m not satisfied with that post title, but I’m not changing it.

Anyhoo.  Last weekend I dropped the ball and there weren’t no one to play fetch.  What I’m saying is, I was dying.  DYING.  I thought for sure I had consumption and that I would perish tragically before my young-ish life had begun to take hold.

But I did not die.  I just had wicked allergies.

Ah, Appalachia.  So fun for allergies.

Fortunately, there’s a dog video for that!

Can we just.  The hopping!  The nose!  The utter hound-i-ness of it all!

And just in case you miss the summer, her is a picture of my boyfriend Bruce Springsteen at the beach:

Happy Fall!