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Tuesday, June 09, 2009:
2009 Lori Foster/Dianne Castell get-together: the beginning


The super-generous Lori Foster

Can you believe another get-together has come and gone? As always, I'm in a strange mood by the end of these events: I'm so happy I went, but also sad it's over. It was fun to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, to once again chat up favorite authors and see what they are up to. And of course to get more books. That never gets old.

Heck, it only took 4 years of this event to finally figure out that maybe I should arrive in Cincy on Thursday instead of waiting til Friday, and so that's what I did this time. With Michelle Buonfiglio as my chauffeur *g*, we made the 5+ hour drive with relative ease, only stopping once to eat, and another to get gas. Michelle's a bit more of a laid-back driver than I am, much more courteous than I ever will be, but since I was in the co-pilot chair, who was I to complain? I got to listen to several hours of Octane on satellite radio, and it's a beautiful thing. Traffic was actually pretty light. We got to the hotel, then I pretty much crashed. Having only slept maybe 3 hours the night before, I was feeling the pain. Curled up with Sophie Renwick's "Hot In Here" and sunk into oblivion...

Day One:

It's finally Friday, and I'm ready to start the day and get together with some book lovers. Slept great. This Marriott really is awesome. Wasn't sure what was on the agenda and Michelle was busy, so I grabbed my book and headed down to breakfast. Ending up moving over to Erin McCarthy's table and we ended up eating and gabbing for awhile. That's the cool thing about this event - you can actually end up at an author's table and get the chance to just sit and talk. It's like Christmas in June. But that doesn't mean I wasn't a major beeyotch, because I totally was when I emailed Kati to tell her about it. Yeah, that's the kind of friend I am.


The awesome Erin McCarthy & me

Erin and I talked about her lovely books of course, and I wanted to know about getting more of her "Fast Track" series ("Flat-Out Sexy", "Hard and Fast" ) and was thrilled to hear that yes, Suzanne & Ryder will be getting their own story, though not soon enough for me. Erin has ideas for several more stories in the series, and if you're like me and want each and every one, let your voice be heard.

After breakfast I headed up to the room to read a bit, and then Kati was calling cuz her and LeeAnn made it in but their room wasn't ready, so we hung out then it was off to lunch, Red Robin style. Yes, about an hour later and already I'm eating again. Another nice thing about this event is all the opportunities to eat. And then Julie showed up, my dear guest blogger of the "series in order" and "infomercials" posts, and it was like old times.


LeeAnn, me, Kati, Julie

After heading back to the hotel, people finally started showing up. Almost immediately we caught up with Toni Blake/Lacey Alexander and Lindsey. The plan was to have the Toni Blake Yahoo Group meet in the lobby between 3-4pm when people started checking in. It was a great place to hang out and watch everyone show up. Several squee moments to be had....



I did get a chance to sit down and chat with Lindsey,who happens to be Toni's assistant. What a fun job that must be! To work for an author whose books you love to read. But then again, how much work would you really be getting done if you spent all of your time reading? That's gotta take discipline, which I don't have much of. Lindsey also works for Sanhaim, whom I love and currently consider to be my favorite ebook publisher.


Lindsey and me

And I finally got to meet AmyC and her mom, both very sweet ladies. Amy's blog is one I visit just about everyday, even though I can't post on it for some reason when I'm at work. I was thrilled she was able to attend, and she was playing the role of angel, doing a fun thing for another of my favorite bloggers, Lea, who is always so upbeat and thoughtful. Amy put a lot of work into it, and you could tell she was pretty excited about putting it all together for Lea. See why I love these girls???


me and AmyC

As has been done every year, there is a huge raffle with all kinds of prizes. This year the money collected for the raffle was going to One Way Farm, a place for abused children to stay and heal. The raffle was done in 3 shifts. I have to give a huge shout-out to LadyB for pulling it all together - it's a ton of work and well, people don't always follow instructions *g* But with a little help she managed to check in over 110 baskets, just unbelievable. Raffle tickets were going 2 for $1, and thanx to hottie goddess JudyF, I had labels to put on the tickets this year. And what an absolute wonderful feeling to hear that the raffle drawings collected over $6600!


Leanna Renee Hieber, Library Deb, and LadyB

I brought 2 baskets for the raffle, and they are always so much fun to put together: chocolate, books, and Bath & Body Works, which are some of my favorite things. But I always get nervous that no one's going to put any tickets in them, but I got 2 great winners: long-time friend and event attendee Barb Smith won my Beth Kery/Julie James basket, and Julie James won my Jennifer Ashley/Jennifer Haymore basket. Yay! People I knew and liked LOL. It was just nice that people put tickets to win my baskets.


Jennifer Ashley/Jennifer Haymore basket


Beth Kery/Julie James basket

It was a long but very fun day, so after the first raffle drawing, most of us headed to our rooms, tired but really looking forward to Saturday :) I spent the time reading and reading a few emails, but being the extreme introvert that I am, I needed some "me" time so it was nice to just relax and mellow out a little. But there was more fun to be had.

(to be continued......)

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  1. Thanks for sharing, I hope to go next year!

  2. Ohhh baskets of goodies! Love the pictures! Can't wait for more.

  3. It looks like a wonderful time. I just hope that I can make it next year.

    Kay Stockham also has pictures posted on her blog from the event.

  4. Stacy;

    Thank you so much for the mention. Amy has just overwhelmed me with her kind, thoughtful gesture. I'm feeling very humbled by it.

    Thank you for the kind compliment. I'm not sure I'm that deserving but I have so enjoyed communicating with all of you online. It really has opened up a new world for me.

    I'm so happy you all had such an awesome time. :)

    Have a great day Stacy...


  5. Such fun! Now I understand about the baskets, Stacy. It was a ton of fun to see people winning, and for such a good cause too! You're right, Beth does an amazing job with a HUGE project!

  6. Fun times!! Cool baskets you put together!

  7. Stacy - as always, it was great to see you and get a chance to hang out with all the people I usually only "see" online : ) I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all : )

  8. Hi Stacy!

    It looks and sounds like you had an amazing time!!! Thank You so much for sharing the pictures, maybe one day I will be lucky enough to attend an event like this one!! :)

  9. Hi Stacy! It was great seeing you again. I really enjoyed the event. It is the highlight of my year!

  10. Stacy!! What great pictures!! It really looks like you had such a great time! I wish I could have gone :( There's always next year! And I love the goodie baskets!

  11. Sounds like you all had a wonderful time,
    I wish I could have gone too. loved the pictures. have a great day

  12. Hi Stacy,
    You drove up with Michelle Buonfiglio? I would love to have met her, but everytime I saw her she was either interviewing or getting ready to do one.

    Again it was so great meeting you :).

    I was so happy to have brought a little of the event to Lea. She is always there, and she likes my stories!! She was going to try to go, but ended up not. I was so excited when the idea popped in my head and soo glad that it turned out even better than I hoped!

  13. Stacy I love the pictures and you did a great job recapping the first day! It was such a fun event!

  14. Fun Fun Fun. Love the pics, Stacy. I've already got next year penciled in. ;o)

  15. Stacy, sounds like y'all had a blast! I'm hoping to go next year.

  16. Stacy - Loved the pics of the event... what a fun time... and like you, I am always sad when it's over!!!

    Great to see you in Cincy - can't wait until next year...

  17. So glad you had a good time but I'm so, so sad I couldn't be there this year. Especially after the pics. It didn't feel right being home...

  18. Great pictures!
    Am looking forwrd to seeing more.

  19. Stacy-

    Great post about the get together. I was so glad that I won that basket as I had forgotten Julie James books at home and wanted her to sign them. Thanks to you I had copies to do just that. Also have been meaning to try Beth's books and once again thanks to you I can do that soon. Looking forward to part two.

  20. Ah! Great baskets! I am so bummed I wasn't able to come...but I'm aiming for next year! Sounds fantastic!

  21. looks os much fun congrats for going look at all those great reads whoooo u go girl
    what a fun group love them authors

  22. Fantastic overview and it sounds like you had a wonderful time! And I'm with KB - I just love the photos, especially the one of you, LeeAnn, Kati & Julie! You all look gorgeous!

  23. Thanks for posting that great picture! I love it! Great rundown and so very good to see you again!

  24. It awesome, Stacy that you got to go to Lori Foster/Dianne Castell get-together event. I always want to go and I hope someday I be able to. Sound like you had lot of fun!

  25. Great pictures Stacy...

    Maybe you can come down for Rad in Feb...that way I won't miss you as badly.

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