Friday, July 1, 2011

My RWA Literacy Signing Adventure

I tried for an abbreviated version, but it's just not possible...

The day before the lit signing, nath and her sister came to my house for lunch! Of course, they came bearing all kinds of delicious treats from Canada--ketchup flavored potato chips, gourmet flavored macaroons, fabulous gourmet jellies and two tins of REAL Canadian maple syrup. I am a maple syrup snob and ONLY eat the 100% pure maple syrup, usually from Vermont or Canada. Nath also cleared some books from her shelf and brought me a bunch of them, including Cold Magic by Kate Elliot, which I have been wanting to read for so long.

Nath and her sister are such sweethearts. I am lucky to call them friends and they spoil me rotten. : ) After nath and her sister left, I went over the list of authors who were going to be at the signing again to make sure I had everyone I wanted to meet on my list. I was disappointed to learn that historical romance author Meredith Duran wasn't on the list, so I tweeted my disappointment to her and she messaged me back letting me know she was going to be in the city on Tuesday and that she would be happy to meet up! How awesome is that? VERY awesome.

The next day was the RWA Literacy Signing in Manhattan at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. I planned to arrive an hour or two early to meet up with some book blogging friends, but I mis-remembered the train schedule and missed my outgoing train by scant minutes. I literally saw the train roll away from the station as I got there. Argh. I should have been more attentive to the schedule and double checked the time. Fortunately, I don't live too far from the train station, so I went back home for a bit and then came back for the next train an hour later.

As soon as I arrived at the Marriott, I met up with Dru Ann in the lobby and then shortly after, nath, her sister and Kristie J found me with Dru Ann. It was so great to have finally met Kristie in person. We went to the lounge for a bit where I met Wendy, The SuperLibrarian who was awarded Librarian of the Year yesterday at the conference and Rosie. It was there that we briefly saw author Meljean Brook who gave all of us a set of her awesome Iron Seas Romance Trading Cards. She came back shortly afterwards and sat with us for a while before nath and I couldn't stand it anymore and proceeded to the ballroom for the literacy signing that had started a few minutes prior.

So, the literacy signing. What an adventure! I thought I was so organized for this event with my list of 40+ authors, arranged alphabetically and prioritized by urgency--nine MUST SEE authors, followed by GO TO THESE NEXT authors and finally the IF THERE'S TIME authors. At the very top of my list was Nalini Singh, Tessa Dare and Megan Hart. So much for organization, though, because as soon as I entered the ballroom, my head was spinning and it took a lot of concentration to keep tabs on my list while navigating the crowded ballroom. In the beginning I took time to snap a photo with an author and tweet it, but that was taking too much time, so I stopped doing that after the first couple of authors. You can see some of my tweets and photos on my twitterfeed HERE. There are photos there of me with Nalini Singh, Jeannie Lin, Megan Hart and fellow book blogger and aspiring author, Kwana. I also found Lea and we got to exchange hugs! Every single author I met was gracious and kind, clearly happy to meet their readers. I had such a good time introducing myself and exchanging a few words about their books.

Before I knew it, the signing was winding down and it was time to check out. Over $46,000 was raised at the RWA 2011 Literacy signing to benefit local and worldwide literacy programs. Isn't that fantastic? Here is a look at what I got:

click to enlarge
Enclave by Ann Aguirre (YA)
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles (YA)
Time Weaver by Shana Abé
Deeper than Midnight by Lara Adrian
Beg for Mercy by Jami Alden
The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
A Lot Like Love by Julie James
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
Unveiled by Courtney Milan
Follow My Lead by Kate Noble
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

I also bought the NYT best selling, self published ebook novella "Unlocked" by Courtney Milan [for only 99 cents!] using a QR Code Scanner app on my iPhone and scanning the QR Code for the book from her laptop. So tech savvy! You can do the same thing at Courtney's blog on her Literacy Unlocked post.

I also came home with a bunch of cool author swag such as bookmarks, pens and some of those really awesome Romance Trading Cards, which were "invented" by the lovely author, Jeannie Lin.

In addition, I met the following authors without buying books:
Larissa Ione ... who signed my personal copy of Pleasure Unbound
Zoë Archer ... new series to be released Dec. 2012
Jaci Burton ... I read her Wild Riders series and already have them
Christina Dodd .. who was sold out of her books by the time I got to her
Carolyn Jewel ... next historical due out next year
Heather Webber... didn't have copies of Absolutely, Positively :( 

There were several authors on my list whom didn't get to see. I either had trouble finding them or I saw two or more people waiting to meet them and or I ran out of time to see everyone! One of those authors is Kristan Higgins whose books I love, but I knew she is planning to attend the NJ RWA conference in October, so hopefully I'll get to see her then--and hopefully snagging a copy of her next book, Until There Was You that releases three days after NJ RWA.

After checking out of the signing, I headed to the lounge for the book blogger bash to meet up with friends lustyreader, nath, Hilcia, Mariana, Lisa, Rosie, Wendy, Kristie, Kira <---and her super adorable baby girl, J, Kate, SarahT and Pearl. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone! We all start comparing notes on our signing adventures and Mariana asks me if I got to everyone on my list. I start to reply YES with confidence, only to realize with sunken heart that I didn't get to see Tessa Dare who was AT THE TOP OF MY LIST?!! How could this have happened?! I was SO distraught. Someone suggested paging her somehow and I got the idea to "page" her on twitter. Which I did ... with an embarrassing spelling error, too. Hey, I was nervous! The best part? Within minutes she tweeted back that she was coming down to the lounge! SO awesome!!! In the meantime, Meredith Duran arrived in the lounge and we got to meet! Tuesday also happened to be release day of her latest book, A Lady's Lesson in Scandal, copies of which I brought along for her to sign, one that I will giveaway on my blog, so keep your eye out for that. A little while later, Tessa Dare came to the lounge and there I am hanging out with Tessa Dare and Meredith Duran (squeeee!) and a handful of other very lovely readers and authors in the lounge of the hotel. I tried not to trip over my words and I think I pretty much held myself together.  It was so much fun! I didn't think the evening could be any better... until Tessa gave me this:

It's an uncorrected ARC of A Night to Surrender, the first book in her upcoming Spindle's Cove series that is coming out in August 2011!!!! I feel like I won the jackpot! :)

To read more about Tessa Dare and her lovely books, visit her website at

For information about Meredith Duran and her lovely books, visit her website at and her blog that she shares with author Sherry Thomas at

I had such a great time meeting old and new book blogging friends and so many fantastic authors. Everyone I met on this adventure was kind, warm-hearted, gracious and fun. I hear RWA is going to be in NYC again in 2015. I'm already looking forward to it!



  1. Holy moly I'm so glad I'm sitting down!! You met so many awesome authors! I love Lara Adrian, I need her latest, and you've got it. I've read em all! Larissa Ione, fantastic, you got some score my friend. Glad you had fun :)

    Tomes Devotee

  2. OMG, it sounds like you're having an amazing time out there. How awesome is it that you got to meet Tessa Dare, Meredith Duran and all of those other authors that are celebrities to us!

    Love the pictures and the updates. Keep them coming girl! You've got a nice stash of books there too. Love the Julie James book cover, isn't it adorable?

  3. Ooohhh - it looks like you had a great time! I'm jealous you got to meet Julie James - I missed her at ALA by 15 minutes!!! By the time I got there from work she was gone :(

    Thanks for sharing your experience, it sounds like all the authors were absolutely lovely, and how cool is it that you got to meet all those wonderful bloggers!

  4. I'm glad you had a great time. Next time I'll have to join you at the book blogging bash. 2015 can't come soon enough.

  5. Such a good time! I was happy you got to meet all the authors you wanted... I should've taken a picture of your face when you realized you hadn't seen Tessa Dare O_O You were so panicked.. It's amazing how so many authors are so great to their fans.

    Lili is so happy with her Meg Cabot signed book... she said she's coming to the next one :)

  6. Wow! Sounds like an absolutely amazing time! And you met two of your favorite authors! WAY COOL! I must say the cover on the Meredith Duran book is gorgeous and you must be ecstatic to have an ARC of Tessa Dare's new series!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure and pictures!

  7. I was reading along, nodding my head in happiness for you, until you mentioned the ARC of Tessa Dare's book, and all the rest of the thoughts in my head vanished. WHAAAAT???? So jealous! Lucky girl!


    OK, all better. It looks like you had an absolutely fantastic time. I'm so happy you had the chance to go to the signing - and to meet all those wonderful bloggers and authors.

  8. Wow! You got some really awesome books! :D

    I'm glad you had so much fun!

  9. It was awesome seeing you and being able to hang out.

    The lit signing was so much fun!

  10. Loved reading your post about your RWA adventures -- so sorry we were not able to hook up but it was quite crazy, wasn't it? I was in town from N.O. and met up with a blogging friend from NY and we both made the rounds. I just got home tonight from a busy week in NY and will be posting soon about the amazing authors I met, too! So glad you had an opportunity to hang with Meredith Duran and Tessa Dare...that's awesome!

    Joanne @ Books, Belles & Beaux

  11. I don't really read romance too often but this sounds like a lot of fun. What a great thing so much money was raised. Books are a great reason to come together, regardless of genre!
    I'm so glad you had a good time.

  12. It looks like you had a wonderful time! I hope to come up some time & grab some coffee with you. It just wonderful the people we meet in this our own little world!
    The RWA looks like so much fun. Thanks for making us a part of it.

  13. Christine that was such a wonderful experience. I had a blast, but you definitely hit the jackpot! Yay! It was so cool meeting favorite authors and THEN meeting fellow bloggers. 2015 can't come soon enough. :D

  14. Wow, it looks like you had SOOOOOOOO MUCH FUN! I wish I could have gone so I'm a bit jealous that you were able to go and meet so many authors and get so many signatures! :-D I will be hoping to one day get to attend an event like this to meet my favorite authors and have them sign books for get to hang out with some of my blogging buddies! So very jealous...yep, very jealous! :-P

  15. OMG, you must have had the time of your life. You did a wonderful review for us wanna-be-you readers. I felt like I was in the ballroom with you. What lovely books you came home with too.

  16. Paula...
    I KNOW! I had a blast. Lara Adrian was in the MUST SEE portion of my list and she is so poised and so lovely. I have actually been a fan of hers since just before the release of her first Midnight Breed book! I'm so happy her series has been so successful. I am also a fan of Larissa's Demonica series and SHE is adorable and so friendly, too.

    I had SO MUCH FUN! I indeed felt like I was among celebrities... but you know, they are all so kind and humble towards their readers. And once you chat a few minutes, they're like your peers. :)

    I love the covers to all of Julie James' books! I want all those dresses! SHE is a sweetheart, too. I really can't say enough about how nice all the authors are.

    Oh that's too bad that you missed Julie James at ALA! She is so sweet. I loved meeting all of those wonderful bloggers! It wouldn't be half as much fun without them.

    I'm glad you had a great time too. And again, it was so nice to see you before hand. We must make time to sit down for a bite to eat together next time to chat more. xo

    I FELT my face when I realized I hadn't seen Tessa Dare!--I can imagine what I looked like! LOL!

    I'm glad we got to see each other, even if I couldn't sit still. LOL! Glad Lili is enjoying her Meg Cabot book! I got the Ann Aguirre and Simone Elkeles books signed for my girls too.

    Hope to see you soon. xo

    I am VERY happy about meeting Tessa Dare and Meredith Duran. And Tessa's ARC? Squee!!! :D

    Haha! I'm sorry to make you jealous... but OMG! I'm SO EXCITED ABOUT THE ARC! Ahhhhhh!!!!

    Thanks! Can't wait to dive into these books!

    It was great to see you, too! See you soon!

    I was thinking of you while I was there.. realizing we'd never find each other there--it was CRAZY! Anyway, I'm glad to hear you had fun at RWA too.

  17. Michelle...
    The amount of money that was raised for literacy was astounding! What a great cause.

    That would be great if we got the chance to meet!!!!

    We were a happy book blogging bunch, weren't we?

    It was awesome! It would have been SO great if ALL of my blogging friends were there. Including you! lol! You'll probably get the chance to do something like this some time.

    I'm glad you enjoyed my detailed recap!

    p.s. I finished Three Wishes yesterday! Sorry.. been so busy. Will do my Q&A for sure tomorrow morning. Almost time for fireworks here and I am BEAT! :)

  18. LOL, my friend, you definitively won the jackpot by scoring the ARC of A Night to Surrender! I am very, very jealous!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your literacy signing. It was indeed crazy :) I think thought it helps when your list is alphabetical.

    Oh, I see A Brush of Darkness! Lucky you!! I wanted that book, but didn't get it. Good job at getting your copy of the Meredith Duran autographed!

    Ugh, it's too bad about the Heather Webber. She did have copies of it a the publisher signing :(

    Sigh, I didn't get to meet Kristan Higgins :( Ah well, can't have it all :)

    It was awesome to see you Christine! I just really enjoy hanging out with you! and thanks for taking us to Trader's Joe! The dried mango is absolutely delicious and I really got addicted to the banana chips! Yum. I might need to ask you to mail some to us LOL.

  19. Sounds like a fabulous time was had! I am so jealous reading all these posts!

    I think I really need to read more Meredith Duran, and to start reading Tessa Dare - I have at least one of her books on my bookshelf unread!

  20. nath!!! :)
    It was SO great hanging out with you. I just finished the last of the ketchup chips yesterday with my lunch. Can you believe they lasted a week?!

    I definitely scored big time with the ARC of A Night to Surrender. I'm going to read it soon. I think I'll read the new Duran first.

    It helps when your list is alphabetized... and if you stick to it. LOL!

    Oh no! You didn't get to see Allison Pang? She was so nice. I'm glad I got a copy of A Brush of Darkness. She also had great RTCs.

    I can probably get you a signed copy of Kristan's current release in October in NJ RWA if you can wait that long.

    Glad you enjoyed the TJ treats. Can't wait to see you and your sis again soon! xo

    Marg, it was really fun. I hope you give Duran and Dare a try sometime! I love their writing!

  21. Wow, a week, that's good! LOL.

    What does RTC stands for?

    That'd be great if you could get the Higgins for me! LOL, I don't think I'm in hurry for her book... I mean, I have a lot of books to read LOL... Although, by October, her new release will be out...

  22. So, inspired by this post, I picked up Goddess of the Hunt last night, and read it from beginning to end in one go. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and will definitely be on the lookout for more Tessa Dare!

  23. nath... I am VERY impressed with myself making those chips last a whole week! I even shared them with my husband once. Once. LOL!

    RTC = Romance Trading Cards. Did you pick some of those up at the author tables? I should do a post on them because they're so pretty and unique to each author and series.

    We will touch base about the Higgins book in October. LOL! I don't know which book of hers will be at the signing. The NJ RWA conference is the weekend BEFORE her release date for her next book... by two days or something! Ack! I don't know if the publisher or bookstore will supply it early? Maybe I'll email the author closer to the conference. :)

  24. Marg.. !!!!
    I AM SO HAPPY YOU READ THE GODDESS OF THE HUNT!!! YAY!!! I loved this book and am SO glad you enjoyed it so much, too! Wasn't the writing just so luscious?

  25. I'm so envious of you! My Bucket List includes going to the RWA Conference and signings. It sounds like a fantastic time - and what a great haul!

  26. writershannon, one of the perks of living in the NY Metro area is that a lot of great functions get held around here. I had been waiting for RWA to come to NYC for a few years and am lucky to have been able to attend the lit signing. I hope you're able to attend one of the conferences sometime--especially as an author. I bet you'd get a lot out of it!


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