Thursday, July 25, 2013

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

Or, in this case, the hotel. The hotel bar to be exact. At every conference I've attended there always seems to be that one place where people gather. At romance conferences, that place is typically in the bar. At the Marriott hotels that usually host RWA, the bar is located in an open lobby-like area, an area through which people pass to reach restaurants, meeting rooms, hotel rooms, etc. One of the most important parts of a conference is networking; meeting new people, catching up with old friends, meeting with agents, editors, other writers, conducting interviews or just hanging out and having fun. Here's the view from Pulse, the place to see and be seen at RWA National in Atlanta!

Kati Rodriguez and Katharine Ashe.  Katharine has an Avon Digital Impulse book, HOW TO MARRY A HIGHLANDER coming out next Tuesday!

PJ catches up with contemporary author, Julie James.  Julie's latest book in her FBI/U.S. Attorney series, LOVE IRRESISTIBLY was released in April.

Talented authors, fashion icons (they are stunning) and good friends Juliana Gray/Beatriz Williams, Karen White and Wendy Wax take advantage of a quiet moment to catch up.

PJ catches up with Romance Bandit, Kate Carlisle, NYT bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mystery series.

Kati Rodriguez and Jenn LeBlanc.  I see mischief brewing in those eyes!

Now this was a fun group!  PJ with Heather Snow (Have you read her books? Sweet Madness is one of my favorite books of 2013.) , Kati Rodriguez and Brenna Aubrey.

Terri Osburn and Tessa Dare.  Good times with two lovely women who happen to be terrific writers!

PJ, Lisa Lin and Katharine Ashe celebrating the Ballroom Blogs!

Double RITA winner, Simone St. James, RITA finalists Kristina McMorris and Tracy Brogan and Maureen McGowan celebrate!

We love our Romance Bandits!  Here are Anna Sugden (Her debut book comes out Sept. 1st!), Tawny Weber (Have you met her Navy SEALS?), Beth Andrews (The next book in her Shady Grove series will be out August 1st) and Suzanne Ferrell (Her new romantic suspense, Seized is getting great reviews).

Another great place to see authors is at the many publisher signings held for paid conference participants. These are popular events so the lines start early and grow long.  It's the perfect time to meet new people as well as catch up with friends waiting in line.  

One of the people I met while waiting for a signing to begin was Australian author Kylie Griffin.  It took her 28 hours to get here!  Kylie's on the right.  On the left is Georgia writer, Tami Brothers.

One of my roomies, talented Young Adult author Marni Bates.

Andrea poses with our good friend and rising star of historical romance, Manda Collins.  Manda's new book, Why Dukes Say I Do (a RT Book Reviews Top Pick) will be released next Tuesday, July 30th.

RITA finalist Lori Austin who also writes as Lori Handeland.

Fans of Carey Baldwin's medical thriller, First Do No Evil will be happy to hear that there are more books in the works for this talented author!

Meg Benjamin (Janga raves about her books) offers a copy of Fearless Love.

I'm looking forward to The Trouble with Christmas, a holiday romance from Debbie Mason (who also writes as Debbie Mazzuca) that releases September 24th.

One of my favorite people, Juliana Stone, shows off the first book in her Bad Boys of Crystal Lake contemporary series.  Book two, The Christmas He Loved Her comes out September 24th.  I"m counting the days until this one!

I'm so excited for this new book from Lily Everett (who also writes as Louisa Edwards). Sanctuary Island is another July 30th release.

Vicki Lewis Thompson is a favorite author and one classy lady.

After meeting Sheila Roberts, I've moved her books up my tbr list. What a sparkling personality this lady has!

I've been a fan of Susan Mallery's books for years. What fun to finally meet her in person!

Where are your favorite places to network?  School?  Work?  The local coffee shop?  Somewhere else?

Do you find it easy to strike up conversations with strangers?

I have a friend who "networks" with other readers in the book aisles of stores by recommending her favorite romances.  Have you ever done that?

Which books coming out over the next month are you most looking forward to reading?

Three randomly chosen people leaving a comment on the blog will each receive a book and swag from our conference stash.  



  1. It's definitely easier to network at work. I'm a bit shy so it's hard to strike up a conversation with strangers. Some books I'm looking forward to are Jami Alden's "Guilty as Sin" and Elle Kennedy's "Midnight Games."

  2. My favorite place to network is work. I've met so many friends due to co-workers and it's made my circle so much brighter. When I was younger, I had a harder time striking up conversations but the older I get, the easier I find it.

    I'm really looking forward to Kieran Kramer's "Say Yes to the Duke" next month from the House of Brady series.

  3. I like to network at work. I don't like or find it easy to strike up conversations with strangers, not really my thing. And I'm really looking forward to Katherine Ashe, Miranda Neville, Sophie Barnes, Kieran Kramer, Macy Beckett and Julia London's newest books.

  4. I'm terrible at meeting new people. I can never seem to get the words out, or they come out all wrong. I tend to talk to people quite freely when lining up for things. Even at the supermarket. "The Serpent and the Pearl" by
    Kate Quinn tops my wish list right now.

  5. I meet some interesting people at work since it is easier to talk to people who are right there. I am looking forward to reading Guilty as Sin by Jami Alden, Sugar Rush by Donna Kauffman and Behind His Blue Eyes by Kaki Warner.

  6. Another group of great pics, PJ, with some authors whose books I love in the mix. Thank you for sharing so generously.

    Two early August books that I haven't yet read and am really looking forward to are Jo Beverley's Seduction in Silk and JoAnn Ross's Castaway Cove. And I can't wait for the romance world to read Manda Collins's Why Dukes Say I Do, which releases in five days.

  7. Where are your favorite places to network? School? Work? The local coffee shop? Somewhere else? AT MY HOME ON MY COMPUTER.

    Do you find it easy to strike up conversations with strangers? SOMETIMES.

    I have a friend who "networks" with other readers in the book aisles of stores by recommending her favorite romances. Have you ever done that?

    Which books coming out over the next month are you most looking forward to reading?

  8. Forgot to wish you Happy Bday, Janaga - so Happy Bday, hope you have a wonderful day.

    And thanks for more photos, PJ. Enjoy seeing all the authors who attended.

  9. Happy Birthday Janga!

    Love the pictures of all the authors and readers too!

    Network- I have talked with other avid readers at book stores and in the library. I love getting recommendations of books to read and new authors to try. I like getting recommendations on line via website blogs like yours too! Work- I talk to people but unfortunately their tastes and mine usually don't jive.
    When I'm at work I can talk to strangers and in book stores. I say hi to almost everyone I see. I guess that's from growing up in a small town.

    August books I'm looking forward to:

    Once Upon a Tartan-Grace Burrows
    The Devil of Clan Sinclair- Karen Ranney
    Why Dukes Say I Do-Manda Collins
    Love & Other Scandals- Caroline Linden
    Behind His Blue Eyes- Kaki Warner

  10. You took some wonderful pictures, PJ. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  11. My son play a lot of sports so I'm always talking to people at them. I'm awkward though so unless someone starts a conversation with me I can't work up the courage to talk to them.
    These are so many books I'm looking forward to reading! Elizabeth Hoyt has Duke of Midnight coming out. Alexandra Hawkins has Frost's book coming!! < I been waiting for his book since Jan of 2011 lol
    And I'm not 100% sure, but I think Shelly Laurenston has a book coming up soon too :)

  12. I really enjoyed you sharing all the photos. Looking forward to The Marriage Merger and just about anything contemporary that is coming up.

    Patty B.

  13. I think Manda Collins has a new Duke book out. I am looking forward to that!

    Love your photos!

  14. I'm such an introvert, I hate networking & have to force myself to smile & talk to people at professional meetings & such. of course, I suspect it would be much easier if they were as fun as something like RWA conference seems to be. Enjoy the pics/updates.

  15. Photos are wonderful. I am looking forward to the new novel by Simone St. James.

  16. I am captivated with the photos and the wonderful writers. Books that I am looking forward to - Julia London's homecoming Ranch for sure.

  17. These pictures just made me smile, smile, smile! What fun everyone had.

    Now that I’m retired, I do more networking online via email, Facebook and blogs. When I lived in France and we worked in an international environment, I became fairly adept at conversing and interacting with all types of people. It’s fun to get to know someone new and learn what makes them tick. You’re right about chatting with people in the aisles at bookstores and at the library. It’s always fun to meet another person who shares your interests in reading.

    Some books being published in August that I’m looking forward to reading are:

    How to Lose a Bride in One Night - Sophie Jordan
    Love and Other Scandals - Caroline Linden
    Why Dukes Say I do - Manda Collins
    The Devil of Clan Sinclair - Karen Ranney
    Lady Anne’s Lover - Maggie Robinson

    It’s going to be yet another great month. Cannot wait!

    Connie Fischer

  18. Her Favorite Rival by Sarah Mayberry
    Love and Other Scandals by Caroline Linden

  19. I network when playing badminton. Whenever anyone needs to write something down, I pull out my business card to write on the back, and voila, conversation ensues and sometimes I get business or referrals based on it, without "ramming it down their throats". Works for me.
    I strike up conversations with strangers every time I set foot out my door. There's always something to discuss. Since most of my shopping is at book stores, you just know what we discuss! So, yes, I DO recommend my favourite authors/books in book aisles - especially after they inquire about my "list", LOL!
    I'm not going to limit myself to what books I'm looking forward to reading. My answer is "all of them".

  20. I have truly enjoyed your RWA posts. I don't do well talking to strangers. It takes me a while to "warm up." :-)

    I am looking forward to Mary Balogh's THE ARRANGEMENT, Margo Maguire's THE HIGHLANDER'S DESIRE, Katherine Ashe's I MARRIED THE DUKE, and Sophie Jordan's HOW TO LOSE A BRIDE IN ONE NIGHT.

  21. Great pics of those I know or have read and some I don't know yet but hope to someday. The place I spend a lot of time now is our American Legion - lots of people new and old to talk with and volunteer with. I only work a bit part time now and many years after having children I didn't work outside the home (after working for 15 years prior) so I'm happy to chat with just about anyone anywhere lol. Either that or I have a book with me lol. I want to read all the new historicals that are coming up!

  22. Thanks for all the pictures. I believe Mary Balogh has a new book coming out in August and I just read that Lisa Kleypas hopes her new book, Brown-Eyed Girl, will be out in the fall. I'm looking forward to both books. Also, Judith McNaught just confirmed she's working on a new contemporary trilogy. It's been awhile, so it will be nice to have some new books from her.

  23. Looks like everyone was having a great time.
    I don't usually find it easy to strike up a conversation, except when it comes to books. I was a librarian for several years and spent many hours talking to patrons about books and authors and suggesting those they might enjoy. I often find myself doing the same thing with strangers when I am in a books store or library. Old habits die hard I guess.

    I am trying not to think of the new books coming out. I'd just like to make some headway with my TBR mountain, but know I'll just be adding more to it. Hard not to.

  24. Thanks for all the great pics, PJ. It was great checking in with the Romance Dish every day to see what was happening at the conference.

    I've always been an introvert, but actually do like to socialize and network when I'm in familiar surroundings or with friends/family/co-workers. I'm not one to start up a conversation with a stranger, though. That would be my DH!! - Drives his teenage children crazy! :)

    The books coming out over the next month I'm really looking forward to are:
    Robyn Carr's THE HERO
    Brenda Novak's HOME TO WHISKEY CREEK
    Lily Everett's SANCTUARY ISLAND (I read the novellas and thought they were fun!)
    Mary Balogh's THE ARRANGEMENT
    Kaki Warner's BEHIND HIS BLUE EYES
    JoAnn Ross's CASTAWAY COVE

  25. I like to talk to people at the book store. I guess I feel most comfortable there. I like to hear what other people think about books and sometimes I will suggest books to people. when its about books its always easy to talk to people, but I generally have no problem talking to people anywhere.
    I can't wait to read the next Nora Roberts. She's one of my favorites, but I have a while to wait.

  26. Lately I've been "networking" w/ the parents of my patients at work. They see me w/ my kindle and ask me what I'm reading and it snow balls. In fact there is a mom that I lend books too :) Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

  27. Among the August romance releases that am most looking foward to read are:
    Once Upon a Tartan--Grace Burrowes, Perfect Fling--Carly Phillips, Sometimes a Rogue--Mary Jo Putney, Matchpoint--Elise Sax. Great recap. Thanks.

  28. Wow, lots of great pictures. I am mostly looking forward to Juliana Stones new book. I love her books and love this series. I am also looking forward to the new Mary Jo Putney.

  29. Shy does not even begin to describe me, but if I see someone pick up a book I have read I will say that's a great book. Do you like that author? If so have you read this author? I joined several street teams cause it challenges me to go out of my comfort zone. SO much easier to talk to someone if you know you have a common interest.

  30. So funny that you brought up someone talking to random people about books. I shop in the romance book area in Target & I sometimes see people holding a book or looking at it & I will tell them that it's a good book! I did it the other day! I am looking forward to reading Kieran Kramer's Say Yes to the Duke, Susan Mallery's Three Little Words, The Hero by Robyn Carr, The Arrangement by Mary Balogh.

  31. H great pics, whoo
    Network at school
    Loveto meet Vicky, and Jill shalivis

  32. Loved your coverage of the RWA Conference, Andrea and PJ. I got to meet some new to me authors and spend time with some long time favorites and friends. One of the books coming out in September is Sherry Thomas' "The Burning Sky." It's a new genre for her: YA Paranormal. She just sent me an ARC and I am just in three chapters and am already hooked!

  33. Thanks for the pic withe me and Eloisa James! I enjoyed the lecture at the Margaret Mitchell House and hearing how all five authors approach their writing. It was great meeting you and have enjoyed reading all the highlights from the RWA conference!