It was my first Lori Foster Event and will not be my last. I haven't been to a reader event in a long time...there aren't that many in NJ...so I drove out 12 hours to West Chester, Ohio and 14 hours back. And you know what? I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Lori and her fabulous volunteers were warm and welcoming. I have to admit I was really nervous about attending alone, but I had heard so much about the event that I couldn't not go. ;)
There were friendly faces everywhere I looked, and despite the fact that I'm not outgoing, I butted into a conversation three friendly-looking faces were having at the bar. I met Kristen Daniels, Mari Freeman, and Samantha Kane, all of whom already knew one of my good author friends, Tara Nina. These ladies all write for Ellora's Cave. What surprised me was that they didn't look at me as if I were crazy or intruding, they smiled and included me in their conversation. I am truly grateful, ladies!
The volunteers working behind the scenes took me in and let me stuff bags with the others, my trick to not feeling quite so awkward, diving in headfirst and having someone put me to work. ;) But my life savers (Cherry flavored) at the event were a lovely couple that I'd met two years ago at RT in Columbus, Ohio, Sharon and Art Harbaugh. Sharon and Art and my hubby Dave and I were working side-by-side behind the scenes at RT for most of the first day before I found out she was a bookseller and she found out I was an author! They were so easy to talk to and we formed a friendship that saved me from hiding in my room at the Lori Foster Event. Sharon left a message for me to call her, but I got in very late and was afraid that they'd already retired for the evening, but Friday morning, Sharon was the first person I saw smiling at me when I arrived in the lobby.
Sharon and Art introduced me to their friends Betty Jo and Rex Ridgway who live in northern Ohio, too. The four of them adopted me, making sure I had a seat at meals and that I didn't lift anything too heavy. I love them for it! When I first me Rex, he smiled and said, "I read Tyler." That's all, but it was the big smile on his face that just went right to my heart. Here's a pic of the three of us.
Funny thing...while stuffing the conference bags, I met Mary G from Canada who won a copy of TYLER back in March on the Casablanca Authors Blog! How wonderful to meet her in person!
I met one of the reviewers from Dark Divas, Tammy Moody, and as fate would have it she won the Western Reader Bliss Raffle Basket that a few of my favorite Western Romance Authors donated books for. When she mentioned Dark Divas, she introduced me to the owner of Dark Divas Reviews...Deb...so I just had to thank her for the totally fabulous 5 Diva rating I received for TYLER...Shelly was the reviewer.
I had no idea one of my publishers, Pam Seres of DCL Publications, was going to Lori's Event, but I was so busy beforehand that I hadn't been keeping up on my loops. Here's a pic she took of fellow author, Veronica Towers and cover model, Bill Freda.
Billy is on three of my DCL covers. I have to confess, I really love the new cover for the print release of A SCOT'S HONOR.
Pam and Billy toasted the change in my status...yep...in October I'm going to be a grandma for the first time...they are wonderful!
I'm so excited and happy for my darling daughter and the love of her life, Tom. I've been trying to decide what I want little Jack to call me and I think I've settled on Gramma or Gram...but I have a little time yet if I change my mind. ;)
I also met the lovely Renee Fecher and Linda McMaken from COS (Circle of Seven) Productions. They were wonderful to deal with and I'm looking forward to working with them on the trailer for my January release, DYLAN. Shelia English was there, too, but I didn't get her picture. ;(
On the way down, I just had to stop at the Army Heritage Education Center south of Mechanicsburg, PA...here's the pic from the side of the building...and one of the helicopter poised in flight that compelled me to stop...
On the way home, I detoured to Purity, Ohio to snap pics for my upcoming series for Sourcebooks...Small Town USA. Here are two of my favorite pics from Sunday...