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)