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Tuesday, June 08, 2010:
Part one of the 2010 Lori Foster/Dianne Castell get-together
Lori Foster & me

Well it's come and gone, the 6th annual Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Get Together. It goes by so fast! And I'm still a little sad to not be there, right in the middle of all the fun again.

I drove down on Thursday in record time. Instead of driving like a mad demon, I was calm, just went with the flow (though I did clock 100 at one point). After settling in, I met with Barb, Deb, Liane Gentry Skye, Sabra, Joni, Nina Pierce & Pam Champagne for a lovely dinner at PF Chang's. The company was wonderful, and it was so relaxing to get down there early and just hang out.

Lovely & interesting Barbara Vey

Friday morning I had met Barbara for breakfast, and we decided to just meet at the hotel restaurant since I had to meet someone at 10:30, and as we were bein seated, a lady sitting down asked if we were with the get together and invited us to join her. It was Barbara Vey. And what an interesting person she is! I had a ball listening to her tell us stories and her incredible love of books. She's just great, with her midwest charm and open heart. Loved chatting with her.

Then as the morning progressed, we started helping out here and there. One of the plans for this weekend was to through a surprise wedding shower for Beth, aka LadyB, who is the coordinator and MC for the basket raffles. She'd gotten married a few weeks earlier, and those of us who have known Beth a long time wanted to celebrate because, well, we love her and wanted to show how happy we were for her. So a few of us went to lunch with her when she showed up, distracting her with raffle talk, and managed to get her to the designated spot on time. Unfortunately I missed her initial reaction, but from what I'd heard, she was very surprised :) It was a success. For those who know Beth, I'm sure we all agree that no one deserves it more. She is one of those special people you meet and are immediately glad for it. She is definitely one of my dearest friends, even if I only see her once a year.

Raffle basket princesses: newly married Beth, Marcie & Kaleen

Then it was back to the event. One of the things I helped with was the basket raffle, which is a huge undertaking, I mean HUGE. There were over 139 baskets, and it may not seem like that big of a deal. Beth has a very organized system with bags and labels, but even that sometimes isn't enough to keep it all straight as people tend not to let the commitee know they brought baskets or didn't label their baskets or did so under a different name than the one they provided. But with the help of several people, we managed to figure it all out. And this year some of the baskets included a Nook and an iPad (the latter from the always generous Sarah McCarty).

Hanging out at the raffle check-in table, I of course was scouring the crowd for a few people I really wanted to meet. One of them was Limecello (I got a picture!), a pal from Twitter who just cracks me up. Lime decided at the last minute to attend, which I was excited about. She's very sarcastic, which I love, and I had no idea what to expect when I met her. Would she be in bright green? I had no clue. It wasn't until sitting down for the pizza dinner that I realized she was sitting across from me (the name tags were hard to read) but damn it, did she have to be so adorable? Have to hate her a little bit for that :D I didn't get to chat with her too much, but meeting the famous Lime was definitely a cool and memorable experience.

J.A. Saare - LOVE her!!!
(Oh and look, Shiloh is in the background....)

The other one was definitely meeting Jaime A. Saare! She's as cute as a button and sweet as can be with that Alabama accent :) Definitely one of my favorite moments from the weekend. (More on that later). I also met her friend, author Madelyn Ford, and a friend of Madelyn's, Kris. These ladies were AWESOME. I could have hung out with them for days. And Jaime's husband was such a sport to put up with us and our book talk LOL.

Barbara, Laurie, Judy, Carolyn

But probably my favorite experience was just getting to sit with my long-time Yahoo Group pals: Laurie, Judy, Barb, Lisa, Niny, Deb, Carolyn, Beth, Kaleen, and Marcie. I've known most of these ladies since I joined Lori's group,what like 10 years ago? And I love them dearly. I will forever be grateful and proud to have friends who love books as much as I do, and they are some of the most encouraging, funny, crazy but in a good way pals I could ever hope to have.

Stay tuned for part 2, and more pictures....

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  1. man, you got me... :OP but not my face...

  2. Great pictures Stacy. I had such a wonderful time and can't wait for next year. Having a drink or five with you and the girls was so much fun.

    Can't wait for part two!

  3. Good photos, Stacy. But why do Laurie, Barb, Judy and Carolyn always forgo smiling? LOL. Next year, I'm going to make them LAUGH when you're taking the photo.

    Thank you again for all your wonderful help with the get together. You rule!


  4. Wish I was there!!!

  5. Those are great pictures Stacy. I had a blast at dinner. Thanks again for including two wayward Maine authors!

  6. Sounds like fun was had by all. Great pictures! Can't wait to read more about your weekend in part 2.

  7. Looks like you had a great time!

    Someday I'll make is, after all, just an hour and a half drive from Columbus....

  8. WOW it looks like you had a great time!! I wish I could have made it but it's on my list for next year :o) Can't wait to see the rest of your post.

  9. God how I love your blogs but don't often tell you, so count this as me telling you! What a great Part 1 recap. I've known you since 2005, which is when I first met you at LF/DC get-together and told you my Southern Belle joke with a southern dialect...won't read or sound right without it! LOL And of course I love your Minnesota dialect, which you've not totally escaped since you've lived in Chicago for so long! I've gotten comments that I have a southern twang, don't know I was born and raised in Indy. Could be I just like making southerners feel at home - Oprah says it's a gift! Can't wait for Part II!

  10. I have a jealous! You so need to come to RonCom.

  11. Love the blogs. And next year I plan to feel better and have more energy to smile. Already planning for number lucky seven.

  12. Hi Stacy
    Love the pics & your post. I had a great time & meeting you was one of the highlights. Everybody, readers & authors alike, were so nice. I think I was the only one there from Canada & everyone said I had an accent but its not true. You all have an accent LOL.

  13. sorry "was' so nice.

  14. Sounds like you had a great time!

  15. Shiloh: ha! I was pretty proud of myself (see, I WAS stalking you).

    Jaime, definitely my favorite reader/author event I've attended. Keeps getting better :)

    Thanx Lori :) But it wouldn't even be possible without you & Dianne. You guys are amazing. Love ya both.

    Me too Dani! Maybe next year?

    Nina, it was fun chatting with you, and I'm glad we got to meet and have dinner. That banana dessert was incredible.

    Thanx Liza. Next year you'll be doing your own recap :)

    Um yeah Mollie, I expect you there next year! If I can drive 5+ hrs, 1 1/2 hrs is a breeze. And I really want to meet you!

    Yay LeeAnn, hopefully Kati & Julie can come too. That would be wonderful.

    Ah Joni, thanx! LOL. Yes I'll never forget that "bless your heart" convo. And don't remind me of that MN accent LOL. It is too Fargo-esque.

    Kate, as a big-time author, I hope you can attend next year. Might be one of the few times we can hang out.

    Carolyn I thought you did great, and I wasn't one bit offended by your "uninhibited" comments - in fact I loved them *g* Very entertaining!

    Hey Mary! Nope, actually there was an author from Canada, and she had the same accent you do LOL. So cool meeting you. What a thrill to have a fan LOL.

    Yes Estella, we did :)

  16. Hi Stacy
    What author was there from Canada? I would have looked her up.

  17. Hey Stacy. I miss you already. I look forward every year to hanging out with our little group. I will try to smile next year. Like Carolyn I wasn't up to par yet but getting there. It was another wonderful event.

  18. Hey I was smiling.....actually I don't like my teeth so you will never see me smile with a "toothy" least not on purpose. Also the reason I don't really like to have my picture taken but I am trying to get over that. Vanity I know but it is what it is and we all have our vices and issues to overcome or deal with.

    Love your recap Stacy.....anxiously awaiting part two.

  19. Thanks for the update and the pics Stacy. I am so envious. I hope there is no conflict for next year's get together. Looking forward to part 2.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  20. AAAAwwwwwweeeeee it was SO GOOD to meet you! One of my biggest regrets (and there are very few from the event) - is that I didn't get to hang out with you more!!!

  21. I can't believe you got a photo of the mysterious and elusive Shiloh Walker :)

    Great photos - thank you!

  22. Great pictures. You've convinced me that I must go to this next year. How could I live so close and not?

  23. I love all of these pictures, Stacy! It was good to meet you & a bunch of people! I am looking forward to returning next year for this awesome event!!

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