I thought I’d whip out a quick RomantiCon wrap-up post last week, but man did I underestimate how exhausted and swamped I would be! Ellora’s Cave conference never ceases to be one heck of a party. If you’re a fan of hot books and even hotter men, this is the conference for you!
This year I planned it all out right, I gave myself a day before traveling to pack, and a day after travel to rest and get a tiny bit caught up.
From the moment I arrived at the hotel on Wednesday, it was like coming home. Readers, bloggers and authors get top notch treatment by the staff. The whole staff is just so personable and fun to be around.
We kicked off the conference Thursday night with a welcome panel by the Cave Chaos radio crew. They gave us these super cute little pocket knives with the EC logo on them, but of COURSE I left mine in my purse and TSA confiscated it. My own fault, but still, bummer!
Friday was the day. The first big day where things got rolling. There was zumba and belly dancing classes in the morning, but lets be honest. I’m no the greatest morning person and it takes a while to get those fake eyelashes perfect so I never made either class. Don’t judge me!
There were several sessions of romance-novel-cover-shoots with the cavemen. I swear I can take a non-awkward picture, just not with professional models around me! For some really amazing pictures, you should check out anything that has Regina Cole in it. She’s so gorgeous in her pictures, I might just hate her a smidgen. ((Not really, I like her too much for that))
Friday afternoon there were sessions, but in true Ellora’s Cave fashion, these weren’t educational. Unless you’re talking about the proper manner in which to give a blow job, yes, that really happened. These sessions are by far some of the most fun, and at times all the different rooms for panels were howling with laughter at the same time. It made you want to get up and run from room to room so you didn’t miss anything!
The evening parties at RomantiCon are to die for! This year the Friday party was a Bollywood theme. Between Eden Bradly giving me costume advice, and Regina Cole dressing me, I don’t think I looked too bad! Of course there were so many beautiful outfits! I loved getting to see how everyone dressed up, and we all had a good laugh about learning how to properly put on a sari. Pretty sure everyone attending bought stock in safety pins for this night alone!
The cavemen did some amazing belly dance and bollywood inspired performances. it was crazy cool to get to see a lot of the moves I learned in belly dance classes performed by men. I might be a little jealous of the way their abs rippled, but deep down, I totally enjoyed that show! I believe there will be official footage posted at some point of the performances. They were really top notch!
Unfortunately during the very first opportunity to get on the dance floor after the dinner and performance, no sooner than I got out there and got to shake my groove thing, than I turn around and my sari is wrapped around three other people and I have yards of fabric hanging off me. Thank goodness I’d brought some of my old belly dance stuff to wear afterwards! I was able to more freely move around, running from dancing, to the bar, up to the Two Lips party and back to the lobby to hang out with everyone. There was something happening just about everywhere!
Saturday was the big day for me. The morning started out mostly with preping for the afternoon, so again I missed the zumba and belly dance classes.
But, Regina Cole and I were able to slip in a quick photo session for an upcoming project. Mums the word for now, but it’s going to be awesome. The pictures with the 2012 and 2013 Alpha Cavemen, Nick and DeAngelo, turned out really well. So glad we got to take them!
First thing in the afternoon, I had the Carnal Carnival, which was a super fun hour long games, prizes and snacks session. I sponsored the Cock Ring Toss, and I’m pretty sure everyone all over the hotel could hear me calling to people, “Come put a ring on my cock!” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am that classy! There were a lot of repeat players, and it was just a blast. I’m told there are some incriminating pictures of me licking cotton candy, but I will deny this ever happened.
((And if anyone has pictures of the Cock Ring toss, either people playing or me, send them to me! I was way too busy handing out rings and prizes to take any pictures!))
Almost directly after the Carnival, Regina Cole and I did a session on Sexy Mods, where we talked about everything from tattoos, to piercings and other more extreme cases of body modification.
I’d worried that the session would be too educational. To say that Regina and I are passionate about the subject is an understatement! Between us we have over 20 piercings and tattoos. Neither of us are done, either. We discussed the history, culture and perception of body modification, and I’m pretty sure we terrified our audience by explaining just why going to the piercing pagoda in your local mall is the worst idea ever. That said, the feedback from the audience after the session was fascinated and enthusiastic horror. I think we charmed them.
((Why not your local accessory store? In short, there is No Way to sanitize the piercing “gun” used in most accessory stores, and the apparatus is then covered in bio matter and a potential opportunity to spread blood born pathogens. Go to a tattoo or piercing shop. Yes, it’s more expensive, but your health is worth it.))
Saturday night! OMG it felt as if I’d blinked and the conference rushed by me. I was excited for the Old Hollywood night, in part because I got to finally wear my red dress. This dress was about the most difficult garment to get. The first dress I purchased for the event was lost via shipping, the second destroyed by dry cleaning and I literally bought this one a few days before the conference. It fits like a glove. I just never quite realized how boobaliscious it was until I wore it for more than a few minutes. That was a lot of boob on display, but I never once had a wardrobe malfunction!
The final evening party of the conference is also the night of the awards. Ellora’s Cave presents a few awards every year, and this year I was honored with two. The first was my 2012 Rising Star award for being a new author. ((They forgot me last year and were kind enough to remember me this year.)) The second was for my active involvement in Social Media. Oh lordy, rewarding me for procrastinating!! But seriously, I’m honored to be part of the Ellora’s Cave team, and I’ve had such a blast working with them.
The rest of the evening was full of dancing, drinking and more Cavemen! They did a fantastic performance to many classic Old Hollywood songs and rocked it out before crowning the 2013 Alpha Caveman, DeAngelo! He was really sweet all conference long. I’m looking forward to seeing him on many a bookcover in the coming year, and seeing him at future conventions.
Sunday was the book fair, which is the one event at RomantiCon that is open to the public. This year I got to sign not one, but two books! I had copies of Under His Skin and Bound With Pearls to sign and sell, as well as a few other books in digital that could be purchased and downloaded later. As you can see by the picture, I also had the Cock Ring Toss going on during the signing for a bit of naughty fun.
It’s always so cool to be able to sign books at the event and chat with readers. I hope it’s as fun for the readers as it is for us!
This year there were performances by an Exotic Dance school, doing both pole and belly dance. They did a fantastic job! The Cavemen also did a medly of their best numbers from the two previous nights. As a bonus there was also cake! What event isn’t more fun with a slice of cake?
RomantiCon is a great experience. I’m crossing my fingers everything works out so I can attend next year, but I won’t know for a while. If you can go, do it!
For a complete album of RomantiCon pictures, check out my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/Sidney.Bristol.Romance.Author