RT Booklovers Convention- Parties, Networking and Penthouse Champagne

All Images on ‘RT Booklovers Convention’ Blog by C London

RT Booklovers Convention is not all about business. By day the workshops and networking are unparalleled opportunities to listen and learn from some of the industry’s biggest names. By night dinner dances are the cap to a long day. While there are a number of smaller social events sponsored by various publishers, authors and booksellers, the two main events are Thursday night’s Fairy Masquerade and Friday’s Vampire Ball – dive into a bit of darkness.

Escorted to the periphery of the round tables to where seating still abound, I made my way to the far right front of the sumptuous ballroom with my colleague, Harlequin author Carol Ericson. We sat at one of the last empty tables soon joined by two readers and two authors, the latter saving seats for ‘men’.

“And they say we take a long time to get ready,” one of the two said.

“Busy shaving?” I quipped.

Moments later the gentlemen arrived. It was immediately apparent why they took a bit more time than we. Both decked out in eighteenth century wear, one in everyday gentlemen’s attire, the other might well have been at court with Louise the XVI. Fine sheen of white silk embroidered with regal golden lame, ruffled lace sleeves peeking out at wrists, knee length gold trousers, hosiery and hair in waist length braid pulled back by golden butterfly ornaments; the gentleman that choose the chair next to mine was the definition of fine. He was gracious as well as soft spoken. It was not until my colleague asked what was his interest in such a predominantly female event that we were to learn that we spoke with Elloras Cave’s first “Caveman” cover model.

If you have never seen one of these gents on an EC book or gracing one of their calendar pages, well let me say that Chippendales and the Thunder Down Under male revue dancers have nothing on them.

CJ (Christopher James Hollenbach) promised a copy of the EC calendar to be delivered personally the next evening at the Vampire Ball. He visited me at my book faire signing table the next morning and indeed remembered the calendar that night.

“Are you one of the months in this year’s calendar?” I asked stupidly.

“Would I give you a calendar in which I am not?” he teased.

On my way to ready for the Vampire ball, I was called aside by Publisher Weekly’s Barbara Vey (http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook/) to help with a video she and scarf designer Christine Skye were shooting in the lobby to share on YouTube and their websites. Barb remembered me from our brief encounter at RT Pittsburgh a couple years back (what a memory). I held the camera while the two ladies chatted.

“Are you going to the All Romance E-Books champagne party?” I asked Barb after we were finished with the taping. My publisher from Phaze Books, Kat Lively, had given me an invite card at the book faire.

“Oh, is that now? Why sure,” she answered.
“Why don’t you drop your stuff in my room and we’ll go together.”

Right time right place Christine obliged and we shot upwards in the exterior to the building glass cylinder capsule to the twentieth floor. I left my rolling computer bag behind and we proceeded to the thirty second floor.

Only two doors on this curve of wall. Holy sh*t-we were on the penthouse floor.

The Bonaventure Hotel is a collection of four silver glass encased cylindrical towers. Thus each room is placed along a curve–a piece cut out of the pie, penthouse no different with the exception of size. Barb rang the bell and we were escorted into a crescent of poshly appointed living room–sunken conversation area rimmed by long low couches opening onto floor to ceiling glass wall of windows a glitter with the Los Angeles city nightlights. A sea of champagne glasses adorned a table behind the sunken seating area. We grabbed a flute and walked to the sofas.

Barb chatted with one of the owners of ARe (E-book distributors All Romance E-book/OmniLit) as I listened and added my perspective on the Kindle and ease of e-book acquisition. Barb had not yet figured how to download a non-Amazon book to her Kindle and very much wanted to be able to read books sent to her for reviews.

Right place right time Christine indeed. My publisher and three or four others were there. I felt like Cinderella at the ball.

One never knows what opportunities lie just around the corner or the curve, if you leave yourself open. Right time right place Christine.

A short time later–Vampire Ball–once again, Barb Vey’s accomplice, I sat next to her at her table.

All images by C London

the hero, the robot and moi

“Twenty two thousand four hundred comments on my fourth anniversary blog,” she told our table mates. *Lordie* I’m a thinkin’. You gooooooo girl!

Tight stretch shirt torn to his lunch and shiny black leather pants, head topped by a curly black wig was CJ’s costume for the Vampire affair.

Image of CJ Hollenbach by C London

He borrowed a pen to sign his month—January, as cover model Jimmy Thomas looked on from neighbouring table. What’s a girl to do but say ‘yes’ and ‘thanks’?

The three hundred authors at the Book Faire of Saturday morning buzzed in excitement as the doors opened. Tables carefully set in display, we sat in excitement as the thousand plus rampant readers filtered up and down aisles.

I met so many wonderful people. The one item nearly every reader was after is the newest piece of ‘swag’—Book Trading Cards. Like baseball cards, each of these glossy rectangles of poster stock is a prized addition to what so many readers are now collecting and trading. Never have I seen readers ask for any promotional item—until now. I was fortunate enough to talk to the author who dreamed up this cross-entertainment piece of legacy, Jeannie Lin, and procured a card with link to romancetradingcards.com site. You can bet Christine London will be ordering her own book cards for the upcoming RWA annual convention in Times Square Marriott New York opening June 28th.

The Convention top off was the crowning of the new ‘Mister Romance’ on Saturday night. Always a bit of fun, the show runs something like pageant meets talk show.

By evening’s end we had the very handsome, Len Gunn

from Milford, Connecticut, as winner of a cover shoot with Kensington books and one thousand dollars.

Harlequin’s new electronic book imprint, Carina, celebrate their one year anniversary with champagne and hor’doeurves before a fun romp across the dance floor and some much needed exercise as we danced the night away. (Hosted by Harlequin and Borders)

Collapsing into my bed that night, I smiled.

Right time Right Place Christine—Indeed.

All images on ‘RT Booklovers Convention…’ By C London

Jimmy Thomas at his booth advertising his Romance Covers business

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8 Responses to RT Booklovers Convention- Parties, Networking and Penthouse Champagne

  1. Robin says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing all this great fun – I felt like I was there with you. I'm so glad you were in the right place at the right time! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Robin. Me too!Best,Christine

  3. S.Durham says:

    Christine,This is a fantastic photo journey you've shared with us! Fun Fun Fun! Kudos to you for learning and passing this on to us, the folks at home:)Sara

  4. Awe…Thank you Sara. Glad you have learned and enjoyed too.:)Christine

  5. Christine, I had my mask on all night at the Faery Ball, but when I approached CJ at the Harlequin/Borders party, he said "I recognized you immediately." He truly is a sweetheart with a very self-deprecating sense of humor. Sounds like you had a blast (I did too despite our quick-change acts in the Bonaventure's public bathrooms!).

  6. Thanks for sharing. I fondly recall all the galas and fun that went on in St. Louis. I'm anxious for next year now. 🙂

  7. Christine, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I love Jimmy Thomas…oh, did I just say that out loud. I could see me standing in front of his booth and fainting like a teen – Geesh, I'm such a push over. GrinsLoved your articles. Thanks for your representation of Muse – it made me feel like I was part of the whole.

  8. Glad you had a great time, Christine. I went years ago to the Pittsburgh one, but haven't since.

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