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What's the RT Booklovers Convention all about? #RT17 RECAP

May 13, 2017


     Every May, around the time I start preparations to leave for RT, I'm asked what readers do at the RT Booklovers Convention. Its not an easy question to answer. RT is so much more than a convention where you have a chance to meet your favorite authors and bring home a ton of books.  There really isn't an easy way to explain just how wonderful and magical it can be. I usually just say this: "If you go, then you'll know!"

     No two RT's are ever the same.

     Seasoned RT goers will usually have a well laid-out game plan to ensure they meet all their favorite authors with enough time to possibly sight see before and after the convention.  Many will make sure to print out labels for all the insane prizes to be had. It always makes life easier to peel and stick when entering all the giveaways. Gift baskets and prizes can be won during the entire con. Issues with limited suitcase space and weight limitations at many times is remedied by driving to RT or taking an extra suitcase just for books when flying. In many cases, even if you drive, your only option to get your new books home is shipping. There's only so much space in the car. There is almost always a shipping center at the hotel.

    When you arrive, it's a matter of getting your room and dropping your things off, because chances are you have dinner plans and time is of essence. Once RT begins, there are no lulls or down time unless until you crash after midnight. RT is a non-stop booklovers machine. Panels, gatherings, signings, and parties are the order of the day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner must be planned if you wish to eat more than an "on-the-run" protein bar. Your Booklovers Covention Agenda is your bible, and, if you are savvy, you'll have the RT app as well. But the experts will tell you to always carry both.

     If you hear squeals or shouts of joy, you can be sure someone has met up with their bestie or their favorite author. RT is a time of invading personal space, squealing, asking for autographs, taking pictures, telling friends you love them, laughing so much your voice becomes hoarse, and just being happy. Even when you are the last one in line of more than one-hundred women or more, there is a sense of giddiness. A very unique, charismatic energy seems to be present. It's the kind of thing you just have to experience for yourself to understand.

     Be prepared to experience an incredible line up of your favorite authors on panels, events, and Meet and Greets. The memories are priceless. 

     The themed parties are always boisterous!

    The week flies by and the next thing you know is that you are leaving for home. RT is a  maelstrom of endless fun.

    Atlanta was wonderful! We were able to catch up with friends and made many new ones. RT is a breeding ground for everlasting friendships that are magical. I hung out with my crew: Annette (Assistant Extraordinaire), Jowanna (@jowannaJK) from Pimpin Reads, Kelly from @GotFictionBlog, Amber the @ReadingAddict17 , Vicki @wilson_vicki , Viviana from +Enchantress of Books, Crystal (Roomie 4eva), Sunny @wkonsunshine and Jen B.(Sidekick extraordinaire)! And the Darynda Jones GRIMLETs!

Here's a quick run-down of my week at RT!

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency!  The arrangement of rooms all overlooking the lobby and bar was very interesting. I loved the ease of moving from one exploit to another.  Vegas was all kinds of crazy (distance-wise) whereas Atlanta was very simple with 3 floors of events and more than two ways to access those floors.  

The Polaris was spectacular! The drinks and food were works of art. 

We visited the Coca Cola Museum!  So much fun and rich with history. 

  "First Night Out!"

We dined at Pittypat's Porch walking distance from the Hyatt Regency hotel.  The food was very good and the atmosphere was homey with historic furnishings, paintings, and knickknacks for connoisseurs of all things Gone with the Wind.  We dined with our favorite Aussie gals, Lynne Connolly (Not an Aussie but part of this charming group of women nonetheless), and Megan Bamford aka Kathryn Celeste.  Lynne and Megan have become very special to me.
There is never a dull moment with these ladies! Had such a great time speaking with Kate Voorsanger Ryan at dinner as well.  I talked her ear off.

Image result for inside pittypat's porch

Of course I had to have a sweet potato muffin, and a sip of a mint julep!  It's the (Capitalize??)south!
I also had black-eyed peas and collard greens.  Thoughts of my grandmother's Sunday dinners came to mind more than once.   

"Scrapbooking Mania"

RT really kicks off every year for me with  "Scrapbooking Mania",  held on Tuesdays!  

It grows bigger each year and two of my favorite authors always participate. It's just a wonderfully engaging function. My friend Kelly has kept each and every one of her albums. They really turn out sparkly! You get to sit at a table with an author while chatting and scrap-booking. They then rotate to other tables and you have a new author that sits and chats with you. The entire time you are able to take pictures with the authors. They do a great job of printing them out for you so that you can then place them in your album.

It was a blinging out, go-crazy, kind of event!

Ha!  I was the designated photographer this year. It was so much fun to help behind the scenes.

Check out this fun vid Megan Mitcham posted right before it started. 

"Nothing quite says RT like CINEMA CRAPTASTIQUE!"

Hosted by none other than the phenomenal Damaon Suede and his team of fabulous: Cherry Adair, Laura Kaye, Amy Lane, and Tere Michaels! 

 This has to be the best Craptastique to date. I've had the pleasure of attending the last four!

 RT calls it an RT INSTITUTION! It's movie madness kicked up a notch! This year we watched Glitter starring Mariah Carey!

How cute is Damaon in his boxers!?!?

Get a load of all the tweets by searching for #RTCC on Twitter, and catch a glimpses of  the fun we had.  I'm very proud to say that, until the untimely death of my phone's battery, I was among the Top 10 on the leader board.

I had a winning ticket, because, of course, there were more prizes to win. It 's the cutest, little dinosaur. I'm in love. In the pic below I have my handy-dandy cow bell that we proudly wrung each time the word "Glitter" was uttered during the entire calamity.

"Wednesday was beyond special!"

Paranormal Perspectives featuring Darynda Jones, Molly Harper, Charlaine Harris, & Maggie Mae Summers #RT17 was the best fangirling moment of the day!  Those who have never had the pleasure of meeting any of the authors mentioned above must find a way to see them.  Check their websites and Facebook for the next book signing near you.   These are some of the funniest, wittiest, female authors writing spectacular books.  They took the time to answer everyone's questions, sign books or bags, and take pictures. The energy in the room was palpable!

"Scandalicious Romance Shenanigans"

On Thursday we participated at the "Scandalicious Romance Shenanigans" event.  This was hosted by Scandalicous an entertaining and informative book site that has a little something for everyone. It was all kinds of fun, plus our table (Table #7) WON.  IMHO it was one of the best reader affairs at RT.  

We played Book Jeopardy!  And guess who sat at our table???  None other than Jill Sanders, Sandra Owens, Amanda Bouchet, and Adriana Anders. They brought us luck!  We won the grand prize of over 25 books each  along side a bunch of books and gifts from our table authors, Jill Sanders and Sandra Owens.  Mind blown!  It was smashing. 

We all got these awesome bags filled with goodies as soon as we arrived.  Everyone left a winner.

Here is the grand prize!!!

A special thanks to Scandalicious ladies and honored authors for all the awesome!

"Petticoats and Pistols"

 Petticoats and Pistols was interesting. Many of our friends were signing and we were there to support them. The period dresses were to die for.

Ciara Knight was a dream in her dress.

I have to say that one of the highlights was posing with Sean Hampton
@SeanHamptonforever and Michael Wayne Foster @ironmikefoster.

Ask me why, go ahead. Ha! Can't you tell? I magically lost at least 20 pounds! They did wonders for my figure. They truly were dynamite during the entire week. Such handsomeness! They were kind and accommodating to all the ladies who had to have their picture taken. If you are looking for cover models check them out.

Kelly looks adorable! 

"Romance Rockabilly Street Festival"

There's nothing like a good old-fashioned hoedown!

We had a blast!  Just looking at all the noteworthy costumes RT goers were wearing was entertaining.  Much thought and planning went into their outfits.  

Kelly and I just had to get our pictures taken with Stu aka Stuart Reardon

And for those wanting to know if he is really as hot as he looks in the pictures...  Well, ladies let me tell you... The pictures do NOT do him justice. *whispers* HAWT!   Don't get me started on his tantalizing accent.  Ha!  

 I think the gentleman models at RT this year hands-down should be invited back for #RT18.
 Just saying! 

I had another fangirl moment when I played for books at one of the booths and won Promise of Fire by  Amanda Bouchet and she was there to sign it.  I am now the proud owner of two copies, one of which is a signed copy.   I will be doing an "Authors You Ought To Know" post later in the week and  Amanda Bouchet will be a featured author. 

Good times!!!

"SMP Pics and Pies"

This affair was fa-bu-lous.  So many great authors and books!   I snagged some much wanted titles and was able to have them signed.  Kerrelyn Sparks was taking pictures and greeting fans. 

Had my picture taken with the insanely talented Darynda Jones and Annette!!! 
I'm having this one framed.  #Grimlet4EVA

I was able to say hello to Kate Baxter aka Amanda Bonilla.  Such talent!  I fell in love with her latest vampire story: The Untamed Vampire!  A must-read! One of my fave vamp stories this year.  

Oh, I met Janna MacGregor!  Another soon to be featured author in my "Authors You Ought To Know" series.  She was beyond kind and friendly despite my loud and over-enthusiast fangirling moment.  You will be hearing a lot more about Janna and The Bad Luck Bride!

Oh these pies were divine! 


My favorite place to grab dinner was at Max Lager's Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery!

 It had a very laid-back and welcoming atmosphere. The service and prices were friendly.

Kelly and I shared  Grilled Levain Bread with Urban Farmhouse Mussels and BBQ Pulled Pork Quesadillas! These were appetizers, but oh-so filling.  

 Nom nom! We also had a bit of something-something extra to wash it down with.  
You should try the Max's Lager Grill next time you're in town. 

"Roaring 20's Costume Party"

We danced most of the night and then headed over to the bar.  

Me and my bestie, Jowanna!

Aww look at them! Jowanna's hat was the bomb!

I love this photo!

"RT Awards Ceremony"

Talk about an event that was filled to the brim with talent.  The entire ceremony was oozing with positive and inspiring energy and tales.  Like the wordsmiths they are, the authors delivered acceptance speeches in style.  Funny, heartwarming, and encouraging words moved everyone in the room. Meg Tilly aka Sara Flynn, was a terrific Master of Ceremonies. 

Two of my beloved authors, Darynda Jones and Grace Draven, took home awards. Both of their speeches were inspirational and memorable. It was wonderful to watch them receive their awards. 

Here is Darynda during her acceptance speech. 

"So, just how much swag did I snag?"

This RT was ridiculous!  We made out like bandits.  It was obscene!  But oh-so sweet!

There was a bit more but it didn't fit on to the bed.  
I always try to spread the love and gladly gifted 1/3 of my swag goodies to a friend!
I still shipped 5 large FedEx boxes home with my most treasured buys, finds, and signed copies!

Each RT is unbelievable!  
This is not even half of what we did the entire week, just the most memorable. 

I  had to share the cover of the card Kelly gave me on the first day of RT.
This card speaks volumes. It screams: friends for ever. Don't you think?

Are you planning on going to #RT18 in RENO???

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