Readers and Hurricanes!

Wow! New Orleans was a blast and we want to thank everyone who came out and saw us. From the moment we arrived it was a whirlwind of activity and excitement. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Superdome and, outside of housekeeping––they wanted to do as little as possible and we had to call them back a couple of times just to get towels––the staff there were amazing. The restaurant staff, the bellman, front desk personnel, all were eager to assist and always had a smile, which was hard at times I’m sure since they had the author event, a police conference and a giant family reunion, all bombarding them at the same time.

Lucky for us, when we arrived our room was ready and we were able to ditch the bags before heading for lunch. After unpacking, we grabbed a couple of friends––author Tamara McHatton and her cover model, Evan Scott––from the lobby and headed to the Ruby Slipper for a late lunch and some relaxation. Yes, the first beer of the day was had there. We were pushing it on time as the restaurant closed in twenty minutes, but they treated us great and the food was delicious. Teri even had her shrimp and grits. Shudders. Everything was within walking distance as well, another bonus after that eleven hour drive.

Before heading up to our room, we stopped in at the registration where we were able to meet the host of the event, Vicki Dold, for the first time. It was great to finally connect outside of Facebook and she was as pleasant in person as online. We also met BJ Gaskill, Vicki’s personal assistant, who we had been communicating with about the event for some time and hugs were shared as we were all able to finally meet. BJ was a great help and is now considered a dear friend.

We also met Myra Nour from BTS Magazine and was able to connect with her after communicating through emails. I discovered that they gave Losing Faith a 4 Star review, which will be in the September/October issue, so go and subscribe to the magazine to keep up with what’s happening in the writing world.

For the past week or so, I had been talking to the other authors who were going to be in the Authors Lounge with me, trying to see what all we were going to do during our hour. Well, that thread was going strong as everyone was arriving and a few of us decided to head to the hotel bar before the Meet N Greet later that night. So, after a brief rest in the room and a change of hats, we ventured down for a drink and a hello. It was here that the girls and I met authors Mandee Shanklin and Brenda Hunt and their spouses. We also ran into readers Maria and Kathy, who we were going to be spending more time with later that evening. It was a great chance to get to know these ladies before the chaos began and I highly recommend you check out their books.

After another drink was in hand, we headed to the Meet N Greet for authors and the readers who had paid the extra cost to participate. It was a great time to meet some new friends while giving hugs to older ones. The place was hopping by the time we got there and we were on time! There was a bartender and a small table with hors d’oeuvres, which was already empty by the time we arrived. Notice, I never said we had dinner. This definitely comes into play a little later. Tee girls also had fun wih the cover models that were not embarraassed about the attention in th least.

The event lasted about an hour and then it was time for us to join Author Theresa Hissong and a few others for a trip to Bourbon Street and Pat O’Briens. If you’ve never been to Pat O’Briens, it is definitely a trip you should put on your bucket list. Two pianists play songs people recommend and the hurricanes will knock you on your ass. We usually only have one, but this night we had two. That was a mistake.

As we’re walking down Bourbon Street, the group ahead of me as I said goodbye to two of our group who were heading back to the hotel, I heard my name called out. This was one of the main highlights of my weekend. Two young ladies, Casey and Brandy, called out to me, saying they were fans and wanted a picture. Never say no when your name is called out. Teri took our picture and then we invited them to join us at Pat’s, which they accepted. Tables were grabbed and the hurricanes arrived. By the end of the night, some of us wouldn’t remember getting back to the hotel. For some visuals of our night, check out the Mess on Facebook and browse through the pictures. There are some great laughs captured on film as we sang, shared stories, and made complete fools out of ourselves. But it was okay, because everyone had a great time and we all arrived safely back at the hotel. It was also a great bonding moment for several of us as we shared the night out.

Never pass up a chance to get involved in an event such as this, if you can help it. The people you meet become friends that can last a lifetime while the memories will keep you smiling, and we all need to smile more in this life.

The girls and I finally made it to our room, after stopping at the bar for one more nightcap to take with us, ready to hit the sheets to rest up for a busy Friday. We were excited, pumped with energy, even though we were exhausted from the night. That’s when you know you’ve had a great time.

Stop by next week to hear more about our time in New Orleans.

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Until next time, keep chasing your fantasies!

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