Book Week in Review: Barbara Vey, Lady Jane’s & the RT Con

With PW Blogger @BarbaraVey at the RT BOOKLovers Convention Book Fair.

This past week was rather…full. Or better yet, replete with lots of great opportunities to meet and interact with fellow writers and readers in both Milwaukee and Chicago.

Kicking off the fun fest was PW blogger Barbara Vey with her first Annual Readers’ Appreciation Luncheon in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. More than 200 readers and 38 authors including Cathy Maxwell, Roxanne St. Claire and Yours Truly congregated at the Oak Creek Community Center for a lovely catered luncheon. Heather Graham gave the fun keynote talk, regaling us with true tales far stranger than any fiction.

Tempting cupcakes by author Dianna Love.

More than 38 author-donated raffle and door prizes were awarded including my “Tote of Tempting Treats” filled with an ARC of the Tempting audiobook and other goodies. Lastly, the guest authors signed our for sale books. Didn’t make it this year? No worries. Barbara’s already set the date for next year’s luncheon: April 27, 2013, location TBA. Indeed the sell-out event was so successful that next year’s will require an even larger venue. Way to go, Barbara!


Then it was off to Naperville, a Chicago suburb, for my guest reading at our satellite Salon, Lady Jane’s Salon Naperville. Founded by romance authors Tracey Devlyn and Adrienne Giordano in February 2012, the Salon is held every other month in the loft of Le Chocolat, a lovely local chocolate patisserie and coffee bar in downtown Naperville.

My table at Barbara Vey's Luncheon.

Just a few months’ old, the Salon already boasts a robust following of romance readers and writers. The April 10th event hosted five guest authors: Laurie London, Traci Hall, Tracey Devlyn (reading her romance debut, A Lady’s Revenge, Book #1 in the Nexus series), Cherry Adair, and yes, me, reading from Tempting. To learn more about the Naperville satellite and “Celebrate Differences,” the recipient charity, visit their website.


Another Tempting tote was a charity raffle prize at Lady Jane's Naperville.

Last but in no way least came the RT BOOKLovers Convention. Highlights of the con included the Thursday E-Book & Graphic Novel Expo, workshops and panel talks by authors representing every Shade of Gray (so to speak) of romantic fiction, a mind boggling array of theme parties and costume events, and of course the renowned giganormous Saturday Book Fair, open to the public as well as convention attendees.

But there is indeed no place like home. After a week of glamor–or at least makeup, “real” clothes, and daily hair washings–I returned home to New York on Sunday evening pleasantly weary and wonderfully… replete, happy and blessed to be back to this writing life of sweat clothes’ wearing and copious cat cuddling and sitting down every day to write the books of my heart.

At the RT Book Fair with @LenGunnModel, Mr. Romance 2011

Tonight at Lady Jane’s Salon…

Tonight, at the October 4th Lady Jane’s…

Salon co-founder Leanna Renee Hieber will read from the next installment in her Strangely Beautiful saga, A Christmas Carroll, featured in A MIDWINTER FANTASY anthology.

We also welcome fabulous guest authors Janet Mullany, Donna Hill, and Sabrina Jeffries, as well as special guest Salon Emcee, Publishers Weekly’s Barbara Vey.

7-9 PM chez Madame X (94 W Houston Street). Admission is $5 or one gently-used ppb romance novel, net proceeds to support NYC women’s charities. Guest authors books available for sale and signing on site.

Read the rest of the story at the Lady Jane’s Salon blog site.

Happy Birthday, Lady Jane!

Lady Jane’s Salon, New York City’s first and so far only monthly romance reading series, turns one-year-old this February 1st and oh, my how our Girl has grown!

LADY-jane-logoHelping us blow out the birthday candle are three fabulous guests: bestseller, Lauren Willig (The Betrayal of the Blood Lily), debut author, Sara Lindsey (Promise Me Tonight), and guest emcee, historical nonfiction author Leslie Carroll (Notorious Royal Marriages). Three very lovely ladies reading from three very different books, all of which will be available for purchase on Salon night. I’m just saying…

Now that we’ve come up on the one year mark, it seems a fitting time to both reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year ahead. When Maya, Leanna, Ron and I came up with the concept for Lady Jane’s, we anticipated having ten or so attendees each month. In a very short time, we found ourselves filling up the house to the point where many Salon nights are now standing room only. Feature articles in TIME OUT NEW YORK and THE NEW YORK POST swiftly followed along with tremendous support from the romance fiction community. RT BOOK Reviews, Barbara Vey at Publishers Weekly, Romance Novel TV, the chapter members of Romance Writers of America/NYC, and “Smart Bitch” Sarah Wendell are just a few of our wonderful friends who’ve given us both early and consistent loyalty and support. To them and all the individuals too numerous to name in a mere blog post, thank you!

A big sloppy birthday buss to Amy McCloskey, owner of our wonderful host venue, Madame X, and also to her manager, Karen and bartender, Alex. Without your support, the Salon couldn’t happen. It just couldn’t.

We started the series to provide a home for the books we love to both read and write. The four of us also felt strongly that in addition to the fun and frolic, it was important to broaden our mission to include a service component. Share the Love, Maya’s charitable organization co-founded with Ann Bleakley, has been the recipient of Salon proceeds for the past year, and we look forward to continuing our outreach to groups serving women in need in 2010.

As a Co-Founder, the time and energy I’ve expended have been returned to me tenfold–in the friendships both old and new, the collegiality with publishing professionals representing all aspects of the industry, and the opportunity to build, sustain and now grow something needed and yes, beautiful with three other amazing and creative individuals. Leanna, Maya and Ron, I heart you.

It’s both heartening and humbling to hear how the love we feel for our Brain Child/Baby is reciprocated by the romance community. Salon regular and February guest, Lauren Willig will teach a class on romance fiction this spring at Yale–yes, Y-A-L-E–along with fellow bestseller and Salon regular, Andrea Pickens also W/A Cara Elliott. A recent New Hampshire Register article covering the upcoming class had this to say:

Part of the impetus for the course also came from Willig’s membership in Lady Jane’s Salon, a Manhattan group of writers and readers which meets monthly for readings “and to hang out and drink. It’s become in a very short time an institution and a way for various people from various parts of the industry to share their love of romance novels,” says Willig.

Thank you, Lauren, and thanks to all of you whose unswerving commitment and enthusiasm, loyalty and yes, love have made Lady Jane’s Salon a rousing success.


Happy Birthday, Lady Jane

Monday, February 1st, 7-9 PM

Madame X (94 W Houston St)

Admission: $5 or one ppb romance novel

Live from New York, It’s Lady Jane’s!

Our Lady Jane’s Salon, Manhattan’s first (and so far only) reading series devoted to romance fiction goes lives tonight. Featured authors are Andrea Pickens and yes, this Hope Tarr chick. In the spirit of ramping up for Valentine’s Day, we’ll be reading from our latest steamy romance releases and engaging in witty repartee during the Q&A.

I’m happy to report the buzz is well, buzzing. So far we’ve made TIME OUT NEW YORK,, and Romance Novel TV will be on hand to cover the event as will Publishers’ Weekly’s own beloved romance Blog Mistress, Barbara Vey.

If you’re in the Big Apple Tonight and looking for a recession-buster outing to brighten the Monday Blues, join us at Madame X, 94 West Houston from 7-9 PM. $5 or one gently-used paperback romance novel gets you in, with proceeds to benefit Share The Love. Can you say “Oy vey and what a deal?”