Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rainbow Con Day 2 and 3

Hi all. Delay in posting! Been falling into bed exhausted every night so far and haven't had the energy to post. I am definitely coming back next year to Rainbow Con! Not only is next year about the Big Cat Rescue, but it sounds like it's going to be even bigger and better. I really hope more readers and authors can come as the price will be significantly less than it was this year too! Strippers, Rainbow Jello shots, pizza party, field trips to the gay night light in Ybor City, and getting to meet some of the best friends you'll ever know... what more could you ask for? So if you can make it next year, please do so. I think you will have an amazing time, plus you'll get to meet me. :P

So on to the last two days...

Day 2 of Rainbow Con (Friday) had some great panels. I ended up missing breakfast, AGAIN because I am totally a slacker like that. The breakfast at the hotel ends too soon. It ends at 9:30a and there are two women here needing to get dressed! They should at least be like McDonald's and have it until 10:30a! My roommate Sui Lynn was on a paranormal romance discussion panel so I attended that to support her, but I did learn some interesting things to help me in my own paranormal writing. After the morning panel, we sat in the dealers room for a while at our table and I ended up walking around to the others, picking up swag and buying books! I am currently at 22 books being brought home. Thank goodness I drove here! Otherwise I would have to make time to take it to the post office and pay to ship them back.

I went to the hospitality suite for the first time to grab some of the amazing spread they had there. Chips, CHEESE BALLS(!), cookies, candies, fruits, all sorts of drinks, crackers, and soooo much more available. And the best part.... they're all free. :P  SL Armstrong confirmed they would have the same thing next year so you can practically eat almost all day long for free.

After lunch, I sat with Sui again at her signing and listened to some great excerpt readings. It actually has prompted me to want to read some stories I didn't think I would want to or wouldn't normally be something I would have known about or necessarily picked up. I am definitely going to grab them either here if they're available or once I get back home.

Becky Condit with Jello Shots and Birthday Cake April 19, 2014
At six thirty PM on Friday, all Dreamspinner Press authors met up in the lobby and went to a dinner together! What a blast yet scary ride to the restaurant. They fit all of us on the bus, NO room left, even standing room. The bus felt as if it would tip over more than once when we turned corners AND it bottomed out, scraping scarily along the ground as it turned the corners. O.O  I was closing my eyes and praying. LOL. Dinner was really a lot of fun. I got to get to know Becky Condit a bit better. She is a really amazing lady. Very sweet and funny. :) And it was her birthday yesterday!

We returned to the hotel about two hours later where I intended on joining in on the Euphemism Bingo game they were having, but totally got sucked into talking with several people outside. LOL. I am not an openly social butterfly and tend to stick to myself, but once you start talking to me and I get started, I tend to go for a long time. Didn't end up in bed until way after midnight!
Everyone is wandering around in a t-shirt from Dreamspinner Press and I really want it! Have to order it once I get back home!

Isn't it pretty? :D  And so the truth! Women who don't like Gay Romance just haven't read it yet. LOL.

Can't wait to proudly wear it!

Day 3 (Saturday)  -
I once again did the social butterfly thing, talking with everyone, hanging out in the dealers room, and finally got a chance to spend some time in the hospitality suite talking to SL Armstrong who is a really beautiful and sweet woman! I think the work she, her husband, and the rest of the organizers and volunteers did is wonderful. They worked hard and really brought this to reality despite all of the bumps and chasms they reached along the road to here. 

I felt bad for some of the authors whose readings and signings were at 1pm on Saturday because they were up against the guest speaker's hour reading and chat. Some of the people didn't have anyone show up at all. I sat and listened to another author read for just me. I wish I'd been able to do that for everyone who didn't get to complete their reading. The author I sat for was Anastasia Vitsky. She writes beautifully, despite the content not being to my cup of tea, and anyone who enjoys domestic discipline should check out her books for sure. :)

My signing was at 2pm, but I really didn't expect much to be honest since I am still a small fish. Most people were attending the panels or readings going on at the same time instead of there to get the signature of itty bitty me, LOL. But I was entertained by the readings while sitting there and discovered other stories I will end up reading as well. Sometimes the blurbs don't catch me and I know that doesn't always mean the book is going to not be to my taste, but if there isn't a hook on the blurb that hits me I really don't see myself picking it up and reading it.

Sui Lynn and Rory Ni Coileain with one of the drag queens from the bar.
After the signing, I ended up going upstairs with a bad headache where I remained the rest of the evening. Took some pills, laid down and slept off and on for an hour or two. Sui came back to the room to get ready for the trip to the Ybor City night club and I still wasn't up to going. I am so disappointed because I really did want to go. It looks like they had a blast last night too. *sigh*

My headaches really do detract from my life sometimes. I was hoping I wouldn't get one at all while I was here. I sat in the room, watched TV, ate some room service, and crashed again after Nicole Dennis and her roommate (and I hate myself because I totally can't remember the name since she wasn't wearing her name tag. I SUCK but will try to find out today and update this.) sweetly took the time to come up and check on me.

I did meet a couple of interesting people the last two days that weren't really part of the con. One is a fully transitioned Transgender woman. She was really nice and totally loving the con. She met Brenda who told her about the con and invited her to come. I hope to see her again today. I'm afraid we invaded her peace and quiet out on the smoke deck where she was trying to read one of the books she'd bought. Legal Briefs from Storm Moon Press where the proceeds go to the Lambda charity. She was really understanding about the invasion though. She asked the same question several of the gay men at the conference have asked. Why do women write gay romance? That's a fairly difficult question to answer with the same answer because everyone has different reasons. It's basically how I answer them. Everyone has their reasons. Family, friends, accidentally, escape, love two men together like a man loves two women, etc etc. The reasons could be different for all women who do it.

Friday night, I was standing outside with reviewer Crystal Marie and Joe Cotten talking about reviews and such when this really nicely dressed guy comes outside to smoke. He was so obviously two sheets to the wind. He asked what con we were there for. Crystal told him and he randomly blurted out if we had seen a documentary called Fag Bug (FULLY intend on seeing this when I get back home as well) and we all said no. Turns out he did some of the soundtrack music for it. He returned to the bar when he finished his smoke. About fifteen minutes later, he came back out, this time FOUR sheets to the wind. He smoked, walked over to the ash trays to drop it, and on his way back almost ran into Crystal Marie, who totally fucked with his mind, LOL. He stopped and said to her, "You're doing a great job at what you do. Don't ever stop."

She thanked him and told him her name. It took him a minute for him to respond. His name was Jason. Crystal says, "My ex husband's name was Jason. We divorced because he was gay. I should have known when he dressed better than me."

The guy looks down at his clothes, back up at her, back down and grabs the front of his jacket. Baffled! Completely baffled and thinking he was her ex. OMG, I almost died on the spot. She set his mind at ease and told him he wasn't her ex, but the look on his face was priceless. When I finally went to go inside to the room, I had to turn around and walk back to her because he was seated at the piano in the bar area and playing the piano. I will give him this... despite being so wasted he played really well. I can only imagine how he does when he's not blitzed out of his head.

So that is the last two days worth of Con. Definitely had a blast. Sadface that today is the last day and then it'll be over. I'm not going home until Tuesday but most everyone will be gone and off back to their real lives. I fully intend on taking pictures today. Getting up in about five minutes to get dressed and head downstairs. *hugs to all*


Friday, April 18, 2014

Rainbow Con Day 1 - Registration and Set up

Good morning, everyone. I wanted to post last night but I was so exhausted by the time I got back to the room I changed clothes and crashed into bed.

Day 1 was a great day! Got to meet some of my favorite authors and friends I talk to on Facebook all the time! We registered for the con and received our program as well as our badges and name plaques for the table discussions, signings, and readings. Everyone has been so nice and accommodating. K Piet spent the morning running around like a chicken without a head and I feel bad for her, especially since we added to her stress. We ended up upgrading to a full table in the dealers room so we had somewhere to put the dozens of swag we brought with us. I think the table came out really nice. It was rather quiet in regards to people traipsing through the Dealers room yesterday, but I think Friday and Saturday will see a change in that.

After we set everything up, the first panels began. We attended Marketing 101 and learned some great ways to get our name and brand out there as well as received the offer of assistance from some of the authors on the panel.  While Sui ran back up to the room to drop some stuff off, I attended the Beginner's Guide to Con Going and it was really informative! I learned people sometimes end up not eating or sleeping or showering at these things. So they gave tips of six hours of sleep, two meals, and one shower a day. So far I've been meeting those tips, LOL, but I love my sleep and my food and being clean so I don't see that being an issue.

At 3pm, instead of attending another panel, we decided to take a break and just relax for an hour before attending the Author Q&A set up for us and three others. That was really nerve wracking for me! I am not a public speaker so being made to answer questions (AND they made me go first no less) and be the center of attention was pretty uncomfortable for me, but I survived! Even got a woohoo when I told them Thayne's story was coming out later this year. :)

After the signing, we took a few minutes to run up to the room to relax and then headed down to join Nicole Dennis during her Q&A panel before heading out to dinner with Nicole Dennis, Sara York, and Rory Ni Coileain. Ironically we ended up going BACK to the restaurant we went to the previous night. I had a chicken pot pie that was to die for. Sui and I held back from splurging like the previous evening so we wouldn't be too full to enjoy the strippers later on in the evening.

Arriving back at the hotel, we went into the grand ballroom and got our welcome bags along with Sui winning a $10 Amazon gift card. Go Sui! There were some door prizes being given away and music playing while everyone anxiously awaited the two sexy men dying to take their clothes off for us. :P  And boy were they hot!

Brenda Cothern with Zolt (right) and Logan (left)
I will share more of what I have once I get back to South Florida, but I have to be careful what I share since some of it is really racy and some of the authors do not wish to have their pictures shared. I have video!!!! So keep looking out for that one, haha. Above is Brenda Cothern with Zolt and Logan from Florida Thunder, an entertainment service. Zolt was really good looking and really sweet. I am big on personal space and don't like to be crowded by people I don't know. It makes me very uncomfortable. He came up to me afterward and offered out the business card and asked me if he could give me a hug. I of course accepted, lol. There was a very embarrassing session with Logan who got up on the chair in front of me and acted like he was fucking my face.... NOT my favorite moment of the evening. I was very embarrassed and uncomfortable. It may work for some, but not me. :-/

Sui had another panel she was speaking on called Welcome to the Pornodome: Romance vs Erotica vs Porn. Very interesting to hear the different definitions people have of the difference between the three. I met Andrew Grey for the first time and he is a very kind man. Very open and definitely like to talk, LOL. He kept the panel lively and funny. Looks awesome in a white jacket tuxedo too!

Once the Pornodome had ended and a winner declared, Sui went back to the room while I ended up outside with Vicktor Alexander, TN Tarrant, Brenda Cothern, and Jackson Cordd. The conversation started with the "Publisher Who Shall Not Be Named". I was pretty much expecting that to happen this weekend since it's still fresh, but I do find it pretty funny that everyone is treating the name Silver like it's talking about Voldemort from Harry Potter. The conversation shifted to transgenders and how people react to and treat them. I had no idea Vicktor was actually transgender. It doesn't make a damn bit of difference to me, but I really couldn't tell in the times I've seen him or spoken to him, not until someone else mentioned it.

Finally at around five to ten minutes after midnight, I went up to the room, changed, and crashed into bed. I usually have trouble sleeping in a hotel, at least the first couple of nights because of the unfamiliar surroundings and no dog! But surprisingly I have crashed every night since Tuesday with NO issues. I don't know if it was from being super exhausted each night or if it is because of how comfortable the beds actually are! Holy cow, the beds and pillows are so soft!

That's it for Day 1 at Rainbow Con. :)  Today we shall see where the winds take us.

< 3  Kisses,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tampa and Rainbow Con Visit Day 1 and 2

Hi all!

Arrived in Tampa, FL yesterday afternoon. What a nice drive it was all the way up. Very easy and I even went out of my comfort box and got off the Interstate to stop at a gas station because I needed to use the restroom. In the past I would have kept going until I got to Tampa and ended up being in agony and unable to enjoy the remainder of the trip. But I did it. :) So I was proud of myself for that.

I arrived at the hotel at 3pm and the hotel is stunning. Though it does have the typical smells and decor. But the inside of the hotel is GORGEOUS. Unfortunately I forgot my chord to be able to transfer my pictures to my laptop to share with you just yet. I will post some pictures later on once I am able to remove them from my camera. The hotel is 8 floors with a stunning inner atrium that almost resembles a high end condominium. The view from the hotel room I am sharing with Sui Lynn is beautiful! There are a few things that made it a little less worth the money being paid out for the room though.

Sui arrived at 5:30p and the trip to pick her up from the airport was an interesting one! I had to make it by myself in a city I know nothing about. But I arrived safely and just in time to grab her bags from the carousel since she has a broken wrist. We went back to the hotel, chilled at the room, unpacked, and went down to the restaurant inside the hotel. The hotel restaurant was ATROCIOUS! I will not eat there ever again while on this trip. The food was luke warm at best and the table was disgustingly dirty, like it hadn't been cleaned. The waitress took forever to refill the water glasses. And the daiquiri's we had were okay, fair to middlin'.

Crashed pretty early and slept til around eight thirty. Got up, got ready and we have been all over the place. We went to the most beautiful glass factory called Phoenix Glass Studio and Gallery. Susan Gott is an amazing artist. Her website is:  Sui bought a couple of pieces to ship home. There was a guy there who is also one of the artist's and he was, imo, breathtakingly gorgeous. I almost tripped over my own feet!

Then we headed over to the Wat Mongkolratanaram Buddhist Temple. Amazing sights to see there. Sculptures, temple, and on the water! Though you can't wear a low cut top and you have to take off your shoes to go inside.

After that we headed over to Florida Aquarium! A DEFINITE must see here in Tampa. Not only do they allow you to practically get close enough to touch the animals, but they have an amazing Wild Dolphin sightseeing boat tour of the Tampa Bay and you get to see real dolphins up close in the wild. They were almost right next to the boat. Though I couldn't grab any great shots, I did manage to get a couple nice ones.

Sui and I came back to the hotel, relaxed for an hour and then went to dinner at an outstanding Tavern and Grille called Stonewood Tavern and Grille! Their food was so delicious and well worth the price! Had a super tasty Sirloin with Bearnaise sauce, baked potato, and creamed spinach. Also had an out of this world fried calamari steak appetizer with bread and fantastic Mojito. Dessert was so wrong but so great! I had a slice of Key Lime pie and Sui had this chocolate bread pudding that was to die for! Pricey but so worth it! Definitely a place you want to stop at and eat if you get the chance.

 And now we are relaxing and chilling in the hotel room, talking and looking at details for the start of Rainbow Con tomorrow! Can't wait! Even saw several of the attendees here and looking forward to getting a chance to talk to and hang out with other like-minded individuals! Never get that chance at home.

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Forgiving Thayne Accepted!!!

After a rough day at work, I came home and as I went to sit down to dinner I checked my email and there it was! Dreamspinner Press has accepted Forgiving Thayne! I am so excited and happy to have another release coming later this year. There is not an actual official release date, but the date provided to me on the contract is Sept - Oct 2014! I was pretty sure that it wouldn't be until 2015 considering how far in advance DSP is booked nowadays with so many authors going to them now. But I am happy to say it will be released this year.

I know many of you have emailed or asked me about the sequel to Chasing Seth. I apologize for how long it actually took me to finish it. Last year was not an easy year on the muse I'm afraid, but I persevered and now I can honestly say when someone asks me about an ETA release date and if I am writing a sequel, YES! And it's this year! :) 

Please keep watching because I fully intend on keeping everyone up to date as the process goes and when I have a cover, an actual release date, and any other information which may come along during the next six months! Thank you for continuing to support me and prompt me to keep moving forward, to keep writing, and for giving me the encouragement to drive through distractions, writer's block, and pound the keys toward another completed story.

I have several projects in process at the moment. I am working on a novella series that I hope you will find enjoyable. :)

Have a wonderful night, all!