Let the RT X-Posting Begin...

For those of you not in the know, the Romantic Times Booklover's Convention is a near week-long immersion course in the language of erotica, drunken debauchery and high camp. Well, maybe that's just what I go for and seek to create. Others, more sedate others, might just see it as an opportunity to chat with friends, attend seminars and connect with readers to talk about books. I love all that too, I just like to inject the naughty wherever I can. I think you understand.

Last Tuesday, six sleep-deprived authors (Lauren Dane, Kat Richardson, Richelle Mead, Shelli Stevens and TJ Michaels) shambled onto a plane bound for Columbus, OH. None of us had ever been, nor ever thought we'd visit this midwestern capital, yet seven hours later, we were there, rushing like a line of gerbils up Richard Gere's ass to catch a shuttle to the hotel.

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A shuttle driven by the crankiest driver in all of Ohio. I'm not exaggerating. This guy was in such a hurry, he played the "What about the children card." Apparently he had a temp job driving a bus for the school district. I'm fairly certain, after a long day of traveling, that we took precedence. Too bad kids!

What happened once we got to the Hyatt Regency was kind of a blur so I'll bullet point this bitch for you...

• The Erotic-ness of the Ellora's Cave Party NOW WITH VIDEO!!!

The undisputed opening salvo of crazy is the Ellora's Cave Party. This RT's happened on Wednesday night and played out against a backdrop of deformed crepe paper lobster claws. The video was shot by Jaye Wells and features yours truly making defamatory remarks...of course.



• Char Bar!!!

After a hard day of speaking on panels aka making up shit on the spot, it's time for some hard drinking and brawling. Jeanne gave Mario his just desserts over at our regular spot away from the hotel: Char Bar. It's the kind of dive where the drinks are cheap and the bathrooms smell like nursing home mattresses, so we were right at home. By the way, the mystery writers are no amateurs when it comes to drinkin'. They were draining bottles and dancing. There may have been singing but I tried to block that out as much as possible, I am pretty sure the sound of Brad Sinor's serenade causes cancer. I could be wrong.

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• Columbus, OH

Okay, so I don't have any pictures of North Market, which is totally a mecca to foodie foodiness, but let me just say, after two straight days of nothing but American food, I was about to lose my shit. I'm used to eating primarily ethnic cuisines, cuz I can. Or at the very least fusion stuff. So Max & Ermas wasn't cutting it. In fact, the whole area around the massive conference center was a bit of a shock. Fun bars, good food and not a panhandler in sight, it was like Oz for alcoholics and fatties.

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• The Book Fair

One of the huge events at RT is the Giant Saturday book fair. If 350 authors kickin' it with fans and signing books is wrong, I don't wanna be right. There were so many big authors there, that people go tickets for different lines and were called in shifts to get in line for the likes of JR Ward, Charlaine Harris and, our very own, Richelle Mead! Rachel Herron (How to Knit a Love Story) and I took a moment to take a blurry picture and plot the end of the world (also a dirty website--forthcoming).

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• Panels and Shit

Yeah. There were some of those.

• Zombie Coochcakes!

Seriously. Zombie Joe's wife, Robin, made some bad ass cupcakes for a few of us twitter authors. Mine were oh-so-lovely replicas of Amanda and Wendy's snootches, complete with toasted coconut pubes and a mini-twix bar shoved inside like a magic bullet. Spoiled! That's me.

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• The Mangeant

There's always some sort of controversy arising from the Cover Model Competition (Mangeant) but seriously it's the pinnacle of camp and crazy at RT. There are those who complain that the whole convention is oversexualized and want it to be more professional, like RWA, presumably. The day that happens is the day the convention's attendance plummets. You know what else plummets? My interest. If you can't have fun at an RT convention, then what's the point. In fact, this year was much less crazy than the previous two, so if people are still complaining, I suggest they stay home and plan their next Junior League luncheon. Now. Some specifics. You see those lights in the darkness down there? That's the twitter effect. The entire audience looks like that. 500 people snarking, it's a beautiful thing. The other shot is, of course, Jocelyn Drake and I practicing giving face.

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And now, for the most magical picture of that evening: my agent, Jim, reacting to nuclear meltdown levels of camp...

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Precious!

• UDF and NOT IBS

Con-buddy Crissy Brashear (Samhain Publishing) wrangled Heather, Richelle and I for "Malts after Midnight" at UDF (United Dairy Farmers) which is, apparently, a run to a 7-11 type convenience store. Hidden inside is Mecca for Malts. Hand-scooped, hand blended, magnificent. I'm a convert. Though, I gotta say if you're looking for a scoop, you should definitely hit Jeni's at North Market. The Salty Caramel is insane.

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• Fairy Ball

Leaguers Richelle and Stace were on the Faery Court this year, which sounds like an opportunity to really make fun of them mercilessly, but the costumes and dinner were actually quite good (for con food) and we had a great time, despite some obvious fuckery perpetrated by the dueling hosts of the event. I never trust those applause-o-meters but when judged by straggly-haired Whitesnake impersonators, its cred drops down the toilet. But it was the only night where anyone really dressed up (as you can see from the always lovely Caitlin and Heather--check out those zebra eyelids!)

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• Impromptu Rock Band Party

Wednesday night was a whirlwind, after the Faery Ball we headed up to Dakota and Terri's room for mayhem and the birthing of The Creepy Doll. Yes. I said birthing. Things got a little crazy as you can see, but, being true reluctant adults, not a one of us was ashamed when security came to shut down the party. Like a badge of honor bitches!

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• The League of Reluctant Adults

On the last night of the con, Michele Bardsley and her faithful handyman, Zombie Joe, busted out the most awesome suite party ever! There was free hooch, cupcakes, Rock Band, Tim Tams (I'm not sure what all the fuss is about) and erotica. Yes. We got erotic up in that bitch. Readings are a given at any League get-together and as you can imagine, only the foulest fluid drenched material measures up to our high/low standards. There were also presents, but I'll get to those in a minute. You may want to empty your bowels before then.

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• My Friends Aren't Right. Not At All

Yeah, so I get to the suite on Saturday and first thing I'm assailed by Michele Bardsley, Dakota Cassidy, Renee George and Terri Smythe. It seems they found the sex shops in Columbus and couldn't resist scouring the bargain bins for filth. Thus...

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Yeah. That's right. Don't even ask me what I had to do to get that nastiness home. The funny thing is, those silicone fetish feet were regularly $50. No joke and heavy as hell. I'm frankly afraid of the DVD. Mortified. I think I'm going to need to have a party to watch it.

So that's it. Other than that we had a shitty first leg of our trip back and ended up stuck on the tarmac like illegal immigrants, and missed our connection. Luckily, Richelle had a card to get us in the Red Carpet Club so we could booze away our pain and suffering! Remember that next year's RT is in LA and that's for sure going to be crazy so start saving your pennies!!!

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