Some of you may recall that last October I attended the Avon KissCon event in Atlanta. That event, like all KissCons before it, consisted of a get-to-know-the-authors panel session followed by a book signing and a VIP reception. There were eight Avon and Harlequin authors in attendance and the entire event took place over the course of a single afternoon and evening. A few months later, when Avon announced they were taking KissCon to the next level with a full three-days of events and 30 authors I knew I had to attend. I'm happy to report that KissCon Weekend Affair in Chicago was everything I could have anticipated...and more! Here are a few highlights.
You know your weekend is off to a good start when you run into three of your favorite authors your first night there and they graciously pose for a photo. With Julia Quinn, Sophie Jordan, and Eloisa James.
Romance readers are the friendliest people around. Lots of out-of-towners arrived Thursday so we rounded up a group of fellow readers for dinner. By the end of the evening, strangers from around the country had become friends.
Happiness is discovering you're standing in the hotel check-in line directly behind two newly discovered favorite contemporary romance authors: Mia Sosa and Nisha Sharma. I adored Sosa's Love on Cue trilogy (read my 5-star review of Crashing Into Her). If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw my 3:00 am post about Sharma's contemporary romance debut, The Takeover Effect. So, so good.
Twenty-three breakout sessions Friday and Saturday provided plenty of laughter, information, and fun. The "Never Have I Ever" speed round with HelenKay Dimon, Tracey Livesay, Sarah MacLean, Julia Quinn, and Jill Shalvis had us rolling.
Avon has done a wonderful job of creating an open, friendly, and intimate atmosphere in their KissCon events where readers can comfortably chat with favorite authors at ice cream socials, movie screenings, dance parties, or while leisurely strolling through the hotel. Random photo ops were found everywhere! Here I am with Sophie Jordan and Joanna Shupe.
And here, with Caroline Linden and HelenKay Dimon.
I adore romances and I equally adore food. Eloisa James, Alisha Rai, and Jennifer Estep led a lively, and drool-inducing, session called Taste of Romance. I want to eat at their houses!
Jennifer Ryan, Lorraine Heath, Caroline Linden, Beverly Jenkins, and Julia Quinn kept us entertained in the Family Affair breakout session. These ladies write some of the best families around!
Stepping straight from the pages of her upcoming contemporary romance, A Prince on Paper, Alyssa Cole was stunning in the same outfit worn on the cover of her book. She wasn't the actual cover model but she sure could have been.
You never know when you'll get hungry, right? Not a problem for Lori Wilde; she brought lunch with her in the form of a taco hat!
Sonali Dev is not only an exceptional writer, she's also one of the nicest women around. And funny. She'll have you smiling in no time.
Speaking of funny - and nice - Sarah MacLean is high on the list of both. I adore this woman and her books. She's an outspoken advocate for romance and goes out of her way to show her readers how much she appreciates them.
Brenda Jackson struts the book signing "red carpet" with confidence and sass. I'm enjoying her Catalina Cove contemporary romance series.
Have you ever met a person who immediately makes you feel like you've known them forever? Here are two of them. Cat Sebastian and Eva Moore.
This last photo was taken at the airport while I waited for my flight home from KissCon. It isn't author related but was a real thrill for this lifelong Cubs fan so I had to include it. :)
Those are a few of my photo highlights from KissCon Weekend Affair in Chicago. Avon hasn't announced yet if they're going to do this again but I'm hoping they will. It's a weekend of fun I highly recommend.
Where would you like to see Avon hold a KissCon Weekend Affair?
Which Avon and Harlequin authors would you most like to meet?
Four randomly chosen people who leave a comment before 11:00 PM, April 24 will receive a signed book from KissCon. (U.S. only)
You look like you had the time of your life PJ. Your smiles say it all. :) Great pictures. I would love to attend a Kiss Con. Would love to see one in New Jersey.Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Lucky4750 at aol dot com
How about a KissCon in Michigan? As close to me as possible...like Detroit or closer! LOL Oh, so many of those authors are among my favorites like Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Sarah MacLean, just to name a few. Looks like you had a wonderful time.ReplyDelete
Wonderful photos and so special. having this in the Southwest would be great and unique setting.ReplyDelete
Impressive celebration and beautiful authors whose books are memorable. The Rockies.ReplyDelete
I know you will have a great time. A lot or authors I would love to meet, Lori Foster, Lori Wilde, Robyn Carr, Susan Mallery, Deb Macomber, Bella Andre to name a few.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed the one-day KissCon in Atlanta, and I would love to attend a weekend event. It would be wonderful if they had an event like that in Atlanta again. I would enjoy meeting Julia Quinn, Sarah MacLean, and Lori Wilde.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed your pictures. It is evident you had a great time. And like you, there would be so many authors to admire and so little time. Thanks for sharing. It would be great to see a Kiss Con in Austin.ReplyDelete
Looks like KissCon was a lot of fun! New Orleans might be a fun place to do another KissCon - has a good airport, large hotels & some other activites before & after the book events.ReplyDelete
I would love for one to be held in Texas.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for sharing your photos! Did you come home with a suit case full of books? Can you show us your haul??😂 I'm so jealous and tell Avon next year you want the KissCon Convention down here in Charlotte!!💜💜ReplyDelete
If I wasn't at a wedding, I would have been at this one. I wouldn't mind Nashville. As for the authors, several of the ones you took pictures with. Lori Foster, Maisey Yates, Rachel Gibson, Susan Wiggs and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.ReplyDelete
Would love to see it held on the Long Island area of NY. Would love to see Debbie Macomber and Robyn Carr.ReplyDelete
Natty's Mama (Karen T.)
Thank you so much for sharing your adventures at KissCon. I'm so sorry I missed going, but it was out of my control. From what you've shared it looks similar to RAGT in Cincinnatti. I would love for them to come to the Minneapolis area.ReplyDelete
Memphis, TN!! Close enough I could go. There are too many favorite authors I'd love to see to mention them all. Maybe one day I'll be able to attend.ReplyDelete
I would love to have a KissCon in Austin! I would have a horrid time trying to chose between all the amazing authors too. I'd be thrilled to meet any and all of the ladies you got pictures with, PJ.ReplyDelete
I’d like to see the convention held in Texas. As for authors, several you’ve already mentioned would top my list—Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Sarah MacLean. Looks like fun!ReplyDelete
I went to one in the Baltimore area a few years years ago, would be nice if they brought it back here again. It was more of a NA focus, I would love one with contemporary and historical romance with authors like the ones you met.ReplyDelete
Knoxville or Nashville, TN would be nice and close. Asheville, NC would be even closer and is a lovely place. I would like to meet Eloisa James, Lyndsay McKenna, Kathy Maxwell, B. J. Daniels, Sarah MacLean, Lorraine Heath, Linda Lael Miller, and so many more.ReplyDelete
I love seeing these photos, PJ--thanks for sharing them! Would love Avon to come out to California <3ReplyDelete
Oh, and would love to meet Alyssa Cole, Alisha Rai, Lisa Kleypas, and countless others!Delete
I would love to meet Catherine Anderson.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing the photos; love seeing what goes on in book conferences.
Natty's Mama (Karen T.)
Sorry I already commented.Delete
I would love to go to KissCon. Anywhere in the Midwest is good for me.ReplyDelete
I missed the announcement and was too late when I found out about thus year.
I would love to meet Jeaniene Frost, Lynsay Sands or Brenda Jackson cause both are awesome