This was my first year at Lora Leigh's Reader/Author Weekend, and it won't be my last. I had a blast and met a lot of new people, and managed to hand Carrie Ann Ryan the worst plot bunny I've ever given anyone in my life:
Dark Meete, the free-range turkey shifter.
You had to be there. It got so bad, Joy from Joyfully Reviewed hunted me down and ordered me to knock it off before Carrie actually writes the damn thing.
So my first night was pretty uneventful, other than the taxi driver from hell trying to kill me before I got to the hotel. I wanted to kiss the cold, hard concrete when we arrived at the hotel. I had no idea that taxi drivers in Pittsburgh attend the Mario Cart School of Driving, because I swear he was trying to bounce off the other cars. I spent the evening in my room, eating room service and thanking all the gods I could think of that I wasn't road pizza.
My second day in Pittsburgh, I arrived at the area where the convention was being held and was asked if I was willing to help hand out the memory books to the convention goers. Of course I was, as long as they got me a seat. I spent part of the day with Sharon, a lovely lady who frequents the cons with her husband, Art. Art is a sweetheart who keeps trying to steal my wooden, hand-carved cane.
I also got to meet Sophie Oak and Shayla Black, who came by to help hand things out for a little while.
The T-shirts behind me were also being given away. I wound up giving mine to Joy, however, as they didn't have one for her.
After registration it was time to meet the authors in a very informal setting. I got to sign some memory books before heading to my room to change for the Fall Fantasy Ball.
Here I am in my leopard costume (and yes, there will eventually be a leopard shifter in the Halle series) with the other Suzie Homemaker (she had an eyeball in a glass and called it a Highball... she was hysterical) and Ranae Rose, whose Regency costume was to die for.
And Carrie Ann Ryan, Mistress of Dark Meete:
You can't see it here, but the Mistress had a pink, sparkly riding crop I'm sure Dark loves to be tenderized with.
(Joy is going to kill me the next time she sees me. I just know it.)
And the lady everyone was there to meet, Lora Leigh! I had total mask envy.
The following day was breakfast with the authors, a nice, relaxed setting. I got a seat next to the coffee, so I was golden. Then more author meet and greets, a quick lunch, and speed dating with the authors! It was so frenetic that I'm not sure anyone got pictures of it. You would sit at a table, sign memory books and answer questions for ten minutes before running to the next table in line, lather, rinse, repeat. A lot of fun, but hard on the knees.
Time for the Pajama party! Of course I wore my T-shirt and yoga pants combo, like I always do.
I have to admit, though, I left the party early. The music was so loud it was making my brain bang against my skull, so I accepted an invitation from the Book Obsessed Chicks to join them for a drink.
Duh. Like I was going to say no.
We talked about everything from Prince Alberts to Graceland, and had a grand old time. I didn't leave until almost two o'clock in the morning, only to stumble out of bed at seven to get ready for breakfast and the book signing.
(I haven't found a photo from the book signing yet, but when I do I'll update the blog.)
Then home, sweet home and my own bed. I missed you, bed. Apparently I had Papa Bear's bed in the hotel, while Ranae had Momma Bear's and Carrie had Baby Bear's. (See? This is why I gave her the turkey shifter!)
All in all, this con is what I call a Keeper Con, one I'll definitely be going back to. Lora stated at the costume ball that they are hoping to have another one, but back in Maryland again and around the second week in October. I look forward to being there!