I had the most amazing weekend of my year. It was too incredible to blog about in words, or I’d need a month worth of posts to cover it all. Dilema. I want you to know everything! But this is a blog, not an epic trilogy of 100K word tomes. Then it hit me. Wait. A. Minute. Maybe pictures really are worth a thousand words!
So, I bring you, my weekend in pictures.
Hooray! Sure, some of my friends are already there and we live 4 1/2 hours away and are just now getting in the car, but three kids are safely at grandma’s and I AM not in the car, so WHEEEE! Here we go! R-O-A-D T-R-I-P! Off to the Lori Foster, Reader & Author Get Together at last!
Oh, sweet arrival. I’m about to kiss the ground to be free of the blasted car when I hear “Julie?” SQUEEEEEEEs ensue. It’s my very best bestie, who I met because of this very blog a couple years back and have never-ever-never seen in person! She’s Valerie Haight and she’s as gorgeous and amazing as I imagined. I love her so much I want to burst into confetti to prove it.
There’s a Starbucks inside the lobby and I want to ask the teenage barista to take a pic with her because I love her so much for being there. I resist and buy a bucket of iced latte instead.
This is my contribution to the raffle. My Death by Chocolate basket. And this is the Honey Creek Books basket I contributed to. I brought two delicious bottles of Ohio wine. Three free Honey Creek stories were inside and chocolate covered pretzels and note cards and the super-cutest Honey Creek t-shirt. I needed it bad. Tossed some tickets that way. I admit it. I saw the shirt and my brain blinked Want-want-want.
Oh, while I’m on a Honey Creek bit, this is my gorgeous and lovely editor, Wendy Williams. She makes sure my sweet romances are sweet and romantic. I’m so thankful for my time with her this weekend I could bounce around a little. I might have already. I’ll never admit it, so don’t ask. – I totally did.
Turquoise Morning Press sponsored the event, so double bonus of whoo-hoo! My nimble and stealthy boss, Kim Jacobs somehow managed to elude my mad camera skills. She’s a true ninja. *curtsy to you madam* You are the fire to my flies. <– that sounded cooler in my head. Kim invited us TMP authors, beat readers and bloggers up to her room for a pow-wow, meet-n-greet, girl bonding moment of silly good fun. I met so many ladies I will never forget and who I now twitterstalk. Thanks Kim!
Here’s one of those ladies. Julie Doner. She has my name. I have hers. We are matchers. BFFs. Twins. ———>
I bought a bunch more tickets right before the final raffle. Took the tickets to dinner with me to write my name on them, then realized the raffles already happened. Der. Doy. Duh. Now my kids have fun little red raffle tickets to play with. *headdesk*
I returned to the hotel and a flurry of texts & tweets. While I was out missing the final drawing, I won the Honey Creek basket LOL
The mischief, angst and crazypants was high all weekend long. I think we all lost a decade or two on our age the moment we saw all the other 400+ book lovers. Here are some more fun pics to leave you with. We ate cupcakes at the bar. I got silly with my bestie and favorite book blogger in-the-WORLD (okay and she’s also my cousin, but you guys know that) Nikki Brandyberry, the evil mastermind who runs Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind. I was involved in a drive-by kissing. (Look, I am the Cursed Highlander!). And me and my crew dressed up as a rougher crowd for this final picture.
Also missing from these pictures because she is obvi somewhere causing hysterical laughter and mischief are two of my favorite people. One, I met on twitter and has become a dear friend -I’m serious people, Get. On. Twitter. You’re missing out if you aren’t- Heather McKenna, mild mannered librarian by day – smart, witty wildwoman every other minutes. And thanks to Heather I met the fun, silly ornery, gorgeous Rachel Tinsley.
This event is a permanent part of my life calendar. I will never miss it for the rest of my life. I will attend when I’m hunch backed and wearing orthopedic shoes. I will have my great-granddaughter drive me if necessary. This is the fountain of youth event of the year.