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Romantic Times Convention Highlights

As you may already know, this year marked the very last Romantic Times convention—you can read more about that in this article—and it was really fun week in Reno. Some of the many highlights were the great parties I participated in.

The first was the Bad Romance Pitch Party, with some hilarious authors and readers (see photo). This was a kind of dirty MadLibs/Apples-to-Apples game where we took a plot summery (like you’d find on the back of a book) and plugged in crazy words, some from cards and some from our (dirty) minds.

Ready for a little of my group’s very wacky creation? It got smuttier from here, so in the interest of keeping this blog clean-ish, I'm only giving you the first sentence, with inserted words underlined:

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Sleaze

Deep in the butt of the forest, inside the hairy caves of the North Pole, lived an ancient shapeshifter tribe of unicorns, known for big drumsticks and the unusual ability to get into crippling debt with only boogers...

Would you buy this book?? (*ahem*)

The second party I participated in was Speed Dating with Harlequin Authors. This one was a lot less wacky but just as fantastic. We read short excerpts from our books, and readers answered questions about the heroes to find the bachelors of their dreams!

For me, one of the highlights was seeing Best Laid Plans in paperback form for the first time!

Below I’ve posted the Speed Dating excerpt. The passage below gives you a hint at Cameron and Jackson’s sexy relationship…


A door clicked farther down, and low male voices sounded through the hallway. Jackson looked up in time to see a glimpse of ripped ab muscles and a jagged scar before they were covered in a T-shirt. She didn’t even have to look up to see who they belonged to. Heat flooded through her, cutting off all rational thought.

“…Afraid I’ve fucked it all up—” Cameron stopped midsentence as his head came through the neck of his shirt.

“You still have time to fix it—” Derek Latu followed Cameron through the door and came to a stop. He looked at Jackson, at Cameron and back at Jackson again. “Ms. McAllister. This is…unexpected.” Derek’s face betrayed only mild surprise, but Jackson could tell he was taking her in with new eyes.

“I’ll catch you later, bro,” he said and headed down the hall.

Jackson waited for the sound of the door closing behind Derek before she let out her breath. “Were you ladies gossiping about your exploits?” she hissed.

Cameron blinked. “No,” he said flatly.

“You didn’t tell him about…” She waved her hand between them, searching for a good ending to this sentence. Nothing came.

Cameron gave a bark of laughter. “Hell, no.”

“Then why was he looking at me like that?”

The corners of Cameron’s mouth turned up. “Um. Well, you were staring at me, and you looked…” His eyes danced with amusement. “Let’s just say you might have tipped him off.”

Jackson leaned back against the wall. She closed her eyes as heat crept up her neck and into her cheeks. Shit. “Really?” she whispered.

“Mmm, really.”

His voice was closer, and when she opened her eyes he was standing right in front of her. Not business distance. He was approaching lean-down-and-kiss-the-hell-out-of-her distance.

“No glasses today,” he murmured. “Gonna pretend you didn’t recognize me again?”

She put up her hand. “Stop right there.”

Cameron furrowed his brow.

“I’ve been known to do really stupid things when you get that close,” she said. “I can feel my IQ dropping as we speak.”

Cameron stayed put, smiling down at her. “Can I say something?”

She rolled her eyes at him. “Like I could stop you.”

“Look, I messed up last night,” he said softly. “I was a little thrown off by how things went, and—”

“No.” She shook her head to stop this exchange before it got worse. “It’s over.”

Cameron frowned.

“I know I said the same thing yesterday, but this time I really mean it,” she added quickly. “We’ll just get through the next two weeks, and when I leave this goes, too.”

Cameron shook his head. “It won’t be gone.”

Jackson put a hand on her hip and raised her eyebrows. “How do you know? How many times have you done this before?”

“Enough to know that it doesn’t usually feel like this.” He paused. When she didn’t say anything, he continued. “Look, it’s good between us, really good, and whether or not we act on it doesn’t reverse that. I’m already an ass for not keeping my pants on when I told my team to. If you want me to stay away, I will. Probably better that way, but I wouldn't say no if you change your mind. There’s a lot we haven’t even explored.”


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