My Experience at RT: It’s Raining eReaders!

Posted May 7, 2013 by Carmel in Miscellaneous / 31 Comments

I’m home safe and sound after 5 fantastic yet exhausting days at this year’s Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I don’t even know how to start off my recap post, there were so many memorable moments that I’ve lost count! As a result, I’ve decided to break it down into two posts: my overall experience and my favourite author meet-ups. I’ll also be uploading all of my pics to an album on my Facebook Fan Page later this week.

My trip kicked off on Wednesday morning at the ungodly hour of 2:30 AM when my alarm went off. My guy was kind enough to make the one hour drive to the airport to drop me off even though he was horribly sick with a cold. If that’s not true love then I don’t know what is! I’ve never flown anywhere on my own before, especially internationally so needless to say, I was more than a little nervous! Especially seeing how I’m not known for my navigational skills… LOL! Getting quizzed by the customs people at 4 AM was intimidating enough but when they seemed perplexed by what exactly a book convention is and why someone would even want to go to one I got pretty stressed out. Having to explain the geekiness of it all with no coffee in my system was something else! Luckily I made it through unscathed and boarded my first flight without any other issues.

Both my flights were pretty uneventful (just the way I like ’em!) and I arrived in Kansas City 30 minutes early where I met Amber I from Awesomesauce Book Club and we made our way to the hotel on the airport shuttle. Check-in was chaos, we got lost within 5 minutes but thankfully the Jennifers (The Book Nympho and Red Hot Books) came to our rescue.

Wednesday went by in a blur as I knew it would; being awake for 24 hours will do that but there was no way I was turning in early and missing out on any of the fun. The first panel I went to was disappointing but it was my fault because I made the mistake of going to a writer panel. I’m a reader not an author! Turns out, one of my biggest peeves of the convention ended up being the aspiring authors asking writing advice in the reader panels even though there were plenty of ’em dedicated to exactly that. For me, the highlight of the night was by far Ellora’s Cave Bad Girls of Romance Disco Inferno. Look at the pictures and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to guess why!

Ellora’s Cave Men
Ellora’s Cave Men

Cave Men
Round 1 with the Cave Men: Jennifer and I

Thursday was a much better day, it’s amazing how a good night’s sleep has that effect! Nicole Peeler and Jeaniene Frost are fabulous moderators and I especially enjoyed the panels that they were in charge of. Getting all dolled up for RT’s 30th Anniversary Formal Ball was great fun. I’d like to thank Jennifer for bringing me a boa all the way from Arkansas! Unfortunately, the ball wasn’t all it was cracked up to be; the speeches were long and boring, and we had some really rude dancers at our table who kept shushing Amber and I so we left early and went to the bar instead.

Formal Ball
RT’s 30th Anniversary Formal Ball

Front L to R: Amber, Heather, Jennifer
Back L to R: Jennifer, Me, Kelly, Vanessa and Jen

Friday was by far my favourite (and longest) day at RT. Jennifer Estep met us for coffee at 8 AM and patiently listened to us air our grievances about her character Owen’s behaviour in her last two Elemental Assassin books. Then we attended the two best panels of the convention: Paranormal – The Long Kiss Goodnight and Urban Fantasy – That Old Black Magic. I was so psyched about attending these two panels that I made sure that I got there extra early so that I could score a seat in the front row. LOL I do believe my geekiness is showing again… Luckily, they took place in the same room so I just didn’t move for two full hours! I was in heaven…

Panel 1
Molly Harper, Pamela Palmer, Rachel Vincent and Gordon Andrews

Panel 2
Richard Kadrey, Chloe Neill and Jennifer Estep

Next, we hit up the Harlequin & Carina Press Luncheon that I’d received an exclusive invite to. It was only for book bloggers and authors. I couldn’t help but feel a little special! 🙂 I don’t know how I got roped into this but there was a cover model competition where one person from each table was selected to imitate a book cover and I was the lucky nominee. The other participants attempted to make me look like our given cover and I wasn’t allowed knowing what it was. The pic is a little blurry but I just had to share my moment of fame.

Harlequin & Carina Press Luncheon

Cover Model
My 5 minutes of fame

That afternoon we attended the RT Awards Ceremony which was pretty neat and then it was off to the Vampire Social to meet Nina Bangs, Gerry Bartlett, Yasmine Galenorn, Colleen Gleason (aka Joss Ware), Molly Harper, Lynda Hilburn, Lisa Kessler, Angela Knight, Laurie London, Kristen Painter, Pamela Palmer, Kerrelyn Sparks, Jeanne C. Stein and Jaye Wells. This was one of the highlights of my trip, not only because I got to chat with so many fab authors 1-on-1 but because… I WON A KINDLE FIRE!

Jeaniene Frost
Jeaniene Frost accepting her Award

Kindle Fire Win
Jennifer’s face is priceless!

Avon’s Red Slipper Lounge was another fabulous event and made-up for the slim book haul I’d scored up to this point by having 30 amazing free books to chose from. I made sure to go say hi to fellow Canadian, Kelley Armstrong, and get my copy of Thirteen signed. I got asked all convention long where in Canada I was from and she was the only one who actually knew where Ottawa was! Admittedly, I was a little annoyed that no one had ever heard of the CAPITAL OF CANADA! WTH people? LOL Ooh, and apparently I say “EH” a lot. It’s a Canadian thing…

I wrapped up the night at the bar with the lovely Amanda Carlson and Kristen Painter. Jennifer and I ran into Jennifer Estep while we were waiting and chatted with her a bit too. By the end of the convention I felt like a stalker, I think I saw Estep more often than my roomie Amber I! But she was a good sport about it all and didn’t make me feel like a crazy person.

Book Fair
The Book Fair was a madhouse!

Saturday was all about the much awaited Giant Book Fair. I made sure to hit up all of the authors whom I hadn’t run into yet and bought tons of books just so I could get them signed. All in all, I only spent $60 which is pretty reasonable I think! Originally, I’d planned to turn-in early in preparation for my long trip home the following day but after giving Amber I the Nook Tablet I won (yes, it was raining eReaders for me at this con!) at the FAN-tastic Reader Appreciation Gathering I think she felt like she owed me so the drinks never stopped coming!

Amber and I spent a lot of  time at the bar. LOL
Amber and I spent a lot of time at the bar. LOL

PJ Party
PJ party in the lobby!

My trip home on Sunday began at noon and was incredibly long and painful. I do not recommend navigating airports with a massive hangover! Fortunately, the worst thing that happened was a 30 minute delay on my final flight. I had so much fun at RT but by the time the fifth day rolled around I was ready to go home and sleep in my own bed. Coming back to a clean house and an ecstatic fiancé definitely helped too!

So many books!

And even more swag!

So there you have it, my RT experience in a nutshell! I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll have the opportunity to attend another convention like this so I’m glad I did because it was all that I’d hoped it would be and more! I got to meet tons of fabulous authors and connect with my book blogging pals whom I’ve been chatting with online for years. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these jump on it!

Make sure to check out The Book Nympho and Red Hot Books‘ recap posts too!

Carmel Signature

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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31 responses to “My Experience at RT: It’s Raining eReaders!

  1. All that looks like so much fun and congrats on winning the Kindle Fire!

    I would have loved to have sat in on the chat with Jennifer Estep!! I can’t wait to meet her at AAD 🙂

  2. Emilia S.

    Congrats on your kindle fire win! It looks like you had a blast! I’m hoping I can make it next year, especially since I heard it will be in New Orleans!

  3. Jen

    How fun!! I’d love to meet Molly Harper and Amanda Carlson some day!!

    And congrats on your ereader wins!!

  4. SO MOTHAFRACKIN COOL! I saw the tweets and I was so envious! LOL Maybe next time I’ll go!! You girls looked like you had so much fun, I am most eager to chill with my GF, Amber I, I want to give that girl a hug, a grope and all that for gifting me Elemental Assassin and that Ilona Andrews series! Cool gig and even cooler photos. Those men look delish!

  5. Sounds like you had a fantastic time…and you won a Kindle Fire!!!! *icing on the cake!* So glad you enjoyed your trip and meeting all the ladies and authors, I’m a little jealous…LOL

    • I think everyone who wasn’t there is a little jealous. Oh well, I’m going to enjoy the high while it lasts. Soon enough, i’ll be giving the evil eye to those attending Authors After Dark.

  6. kimbacaffeinate  

    Carmel, I am within driving distance from Kansas City and really had no idea about RT until it was too late, but next year I am going to go and party with ya all! So glad you had fun!

  7. booksavvybabe

    such a fun convention; crazy, hectic, but tons of fun! And the e-readers, I LOVE Nympho’s face in that picture, priceless for sure. For the record, I did know the capital of canada. I also felt like a total author stalker, but hey, I think the authors sort of expect it (that’s what i’m telling myself). Anyhow, great times, it was so much fun finally getting to meet you in person! Book Savvy Babe

  8. Yeah, I am glad you had such a fabulous time! I am looking forward to the very small conventio in Berlin, Germany, in two weeks. Meeting some great authors there 🙂

  9. Awesome Carmel! I’m glad you had a chance to have such a great experience 🙂
    I hope this is not your last RT so I can I have the chance to get back in the line with ya! Oh yeah! And go to all those panels too.
    You all look beautiful!

  10. Man you didn’t mention what happened after Amber was feeding you all those drinks. LOL. The hilarious french looking drunk tweets that no one could understand. 😛 I knew a good time was being had. haha. Hopefully I can make next years RT, I lived vicariously through all of you ladies. 🙂

  11. Congratulations on winning the Kindle Fire!!!! WOOHOO!!!

    Thanks for coming by the Vampire Social!!! It was one of my favorite events too…

    Lisa 🙂

    PS – I love the pic of all the swag!!! WOW!!!