Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lora Leigh's RAW 2011

I'm still trying to recover from the fabulous 6 days I spent in Maryland! This was my first ever RAW (Reader's Appreciation Weekend) hosted by the fabulous Lora Leigh and frankly I was scared spitless! I wasn't sure quite what to expect, most of the events I've attended over the years have been writer's conferences and the RT Convention. Here's a pic from Thursday night before the bonfire: CH, Nikki Duncan, Jacquelyn Frank and Lora Leigh!

Being able to meet readers face-to-face and spent more than five seconds chatting was pure pleasure and gave me an insight into what readers enjoy, what genres they are reading, etc. The odd looks I received when I asked what readers wanted to read when it wasn't what I wrote made me smile...I have lots of author friends that do write in different genres, and I was delighted to make recommendations. :) Just spreading the love! Here's a pic taken over my shoulder at Monica Burns and Nikki Duncan (the next table over) during the autograph/meet the author sessions. The second pic has the lovely Amanda McIntyre in the foreground. What a rush the autograph/meet sessions were, I gave away all of my posters.

I had the best time meeting readers! Anique in the center with the hat has an amazing voice. She sang twice and I swear I had chills!

Here's a pic of Anna the winner of the raffle I donated!

It was sooo easy to talk about anyone else but me. I seriously have to work on that skill, and I'm hoping it is something I can cultivate, because I surely do not possess that particular skill right now. Since my roommate, Stephanie Julian, just received 4 1/2 stars from was my pleasure to tell anyone and everyone...wait until Steph gets my bill...LOL! Although I've been published since 1999, I still work behind the scenes volunteering, and more than once this weekend JoCarol reminded me to "go be an author." YIKES! Old habits die hard.

OK...highlights for me this past weekend...aside from meeting some wonderful readers and authors and connecting on a deeper level:

- Meeting Lora Leigh - aside from being so down to Earth, she has that lovely Southern accent that just wraps around you like a big old hug. She made me feel so welcome. Thanks, Lora Leigh!!! Here's a pic of Lora Leigh and me during the Halloween Costume Party.

- Lora Leigh sponsors a dirt track driver, Transton Stoner, and he was there with his race car...and all of the authors names were on it! It was truly a HUGE moment for me. I've been a fan of racing since I was a kid and they called it stock car racing...which you could watch on Wide World of Sports...OK...if you have to ask what that was...I'm showing my age! LOL. The only downside was that Transton and I do NOT agree on who is going to win The Chase but we do agree on who should NOT win. LOL!

Here's a pic of Transton, his girlfriend Aimee, and me during the Halloween Costume Party

- Seeing JoCarol and Johnny Jones and their fabulous crew: Patty, Sharon, Pat, Peggy, Cindy, Brandy...I know I'm forgetting someone, so please don't think it's personal...I'm on deadline and my brain's fried! Here's a pic of Pat and Sharon. Followed by one of Sahara Kelly, Peggy and Pat...but where in the world is JoCarol?!?

- Chatting with Jaquelyn Frank and Natalie Phillips - it took me two days to get up the nerve to chat with Jacquelyn, she's amazing!

- Chatting with Lori Foster, she's such a classy lady, and a fabulous author!

- Spending time with Kim and Denise from Book Obsessed Chicks Book Club from Long Island :) I'll be heading their way on November 12th...with Cream Scones and the fixins!

- Dancing with Amanda McIntyre who was dressed as a zombie (her makeup was amazing...think Billy Bones from Hocus Pocus) and I'm channeling Renn Faire/Steampunk in a leather bustier created by my sister...long story...yeah let's not go there. :)

- Sipping a Bombay Sapphire and Tonic with Sahara Kelly and chatting...she has an amazing voice and a lovely lilting Southampton accent.

- Dancing with Nikki Duncan to Redneck Woman and She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy! Thank goodness the DJ finally played those requests.

- Getting Juanita to dance

- Getting Pam to dance

- Dancing with Angela and her sister Sharelle (my flash wasn't working but it's still a good pic...A special thanks to Denise for figuring out that I'd inadvertently turned off the flash on my camera...let's not go there.)

- Dancing with Artie...Sharon didn't mind because he always saves the last dance for his lovely wife of 49 years. :)

- OK...I'm seeing a pattern here...the dancing. I really do love to dance, but the older I get, the less I'm into the popular music. Darn...I'm really AM getting old! LOL! Come on Dave us some rock and roll! (OK...if you never listened to WNEW in the am you will be totally lost! LOL!)

A HUGE thank you to JoCarol Jones and Danielle Jackson our fab publicist at Sourcebooks for overnighting copies of TYLER when they discovered a glitch and realized there weren't any copies of TYLER there! It was the one moment when I started to think maybe I should be home writing (remember the deadline thing?), but then I realized that I really wanted to stay and meet readers whether they would be able to get their hands on a copy of TYLER or not.

I'd brought brochures, rack cards, goodie bags, posters, etc. to hand out, I had readers and authors to while waiting for word from JoCarol, I put my big girl panties on, smiled and remembered our family motto - Aut Vincam, Aut Periam: I will either conquer or perish. A special thanks to Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon for bolstering my flagging courage before the family motto kicked in and I found my big girl panties in the bottom of my suitcase!

I have to say Lora Leigh's RAW was a fabulous event. I would love to attend next year. The readers vote and let Lora Leigh know who they want to cool is that? Here are two lovely members of Lora Leigh's Book Club...Sabrina in the first pic and Monique in the second.

A HUGE thank you to Lora Leigh and everyone involved for their generosity and fabulous planning. RAW was AMAZING!

C.H. Admirand


  1. It was great meeting you too and I hope you're there again next year!

  2. Hey Terri! It was wonderful to meet you too. It was an such an amazing event, I would love to be invited back.

  3. Late as always, but I have to say that you are a joy to be around, your smile lights up the room and you have the wickedest little glint in your eye now and again!!! What a wonderful time it was and my thanks to you for helping to make it an event to remember!!! Many hugs, best wishes for the holidays and I hope I'll see you sometime soon!!!

  4. could never be late and are too nice...thanks for saying such lovely things. I was so grateful that you and Amanda McIntyre adopted me. I had the BEST time and can't wait to see you in Chicago!

    Have a wonderful Holiday!

  5. Hey Colleen!

    I was so glad I met you at Raw.

    Since I was a virgin at this kind of thing, I had no way to know what it would be like. Had so much fun I need to get out to more events. Although next year will probably be a no vacation, weekend away, event-free year, I'm really going to try to get to RAW.

    I was just going through my goodies, getting rid of treats I didn't eat, consolidating goodies I want to keep and discovered all your goodies. I had a great time getting to know you and, while I haven't read any of your books yet, I've previewed several and am starting them since they look so good.

    I hope you remember me. There were 2 Marcia's there. I was the one without the tag the first couple days.

    Merry Christmas!