I’m just back from the RT BOOK Lovers Convention in Columbus, OH, exhausted but still beaming with conference goodness. Personal highlights include Heather Graham’s Vampire Ball where costume peeps from Victorian widows toÂ dagger-stabbed ghouls strutted their stuff; the Saturday afternoon book fair where I got to meet fabulous readers as well as literally hundreds of other authors; and of course our SpecialÂ Lady Jane’s Salon Event with guest authors Sabrina Jeffries, Linnea Sinclair and Delilah Marvelle. Bonus: an impromptu shout-out for donations for local no-kill cat rescue group, Purr Babies, brought in more than $150 for this labor of love and all-around good cause.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the romance community rocks!
Thanks to our guest author, Delilah Marvelle, who got the giving rolling by donating ten copies of her fabulous release, Lord of Pleasure to the first ten givers. Ditto to the RT staff, especially web wizard, Morgan Doremus, for scaring up not one but two more bags of books so that every attendee who donated to Purr Babies could receive aÂ book as our thank you. Also, thanks to former Lady Jane guest author, Louisa Edwards, for the donation of the lovely take away champagne flutes in celebrationÂ of her latest release, On The Steamy Side.
Special sloppy cyber hugs and yes, kisses go out toÂ conference coordinator, Jo Carol Jones, who personally supervised the putting out ofÂ shimmery red table clothes, the lighting of candles, and yes the pouring of champagne, all of whichÂ transformed the Hyatt’s Peppercorn Lounge from hotel event room to a very Lady Jane-like boudoir.
I could go on (and on) but I’ll stop there with a reminder that the goodness didn’t end with my plane trip home to Big Apple Landia. Tonight, Monday, MayÂ 3rdÂ is our regular monthly Lady Janeâ€™s Salon here in Manhattan at Madame X, 7-9 PM. As always, admission is $5 or one gently used paperback romance novel to be donated to New York City groups serving women in need. We have the usualÂ great lineup of guest authors: YA urban fantasy author, Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade); Christina Britton Conroy (One Manâ€™s Music); and Lady Jane Salon Co-Founder, Victorian paranormal author, Leanna Renee Hieber (The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, Book #2 in â€œThe Strangely Beautifulâ€ Series).
Giving back–it’s a good thing!
We at Lady Jane’s are taking our show, or rather our Salon, on the road to The Romantic Times BOOK Lovers Convention held this yearÂ in Columbus, OH. The Special Lady Jane’s Salon at RT will take place at the convention hotel,Â the Hyatt Regency Columbus,Â on Saturday, May 1st, 7-9 PM directly following the Mr. Romance Pageant. Guest authors will be Sabrina Jeffries, Linnea Sincair, and Delilah Marvelle. Squee!
Admittedly, capturingÂ the Lady Jane’s boudoir vibe withinÂ the four white walls of aÂ hotel meeting room presents something of a challenge,Â but with the help of RT’s wonderful Jo Carol and Company, we’re feeling more than up to meeting it. Think red scarves, candles, comfy seating and yes, champagne!
For thoseÂ not going to Columbus, don’t despair. We’re still holdingÂ our regular monthly Lady Jane’s Salon here in Manhattan on Monday, May 3rd at Madame X, 7-9 PM. As always, admission is $5 or one gently used paperback romance novel to be donated to New York City groups serving women in need. And yes, we have another great lineup of guest authors: YA urban fantasy author, Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade); Christina Britton Conroy (One Man’s Music); and Lady Jane Salon Co-Founder, Victorian paranormal author, Leanna Renee Hieber (The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, Book #2 in “The Strangely Beautiful” Series).
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!
Helping 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