Monday, October 6, 2014

Wow! Three Men of Sports books are Finalists in the Rainbow Awards!

Very excited that THREE International Men of Sports books with TA Chase have been announced as Finalists in the 2014 Rainbow Awards! :) All are in the Gay Contemporary Romance category, and we're in pretty heady company, as the joke goes, it's just a thrill to have been nominated. :)

Here they are!

Blindsided (our Australia book where lonely rugby player meets outgoing lifeguard):

When Liam is transferred to Melbourne, he’s blindsided by his growing feelings for the hottest lifeguard on the beach. Luckily Matty knows mouth-to-mouth…

How did alone turn into lonely? Rugby player Liam Holmes is forced to ponder that when he’s transferred from Canberra to Melbourne, away from his cousin and all that’s familiar. It’s part of playing pro, adjusting to a new team and teammates, but Liam finds himself searching for something more than his career.

Matty loves the beach and being a lifeguard is all he’s ever wanted to do. He notices the new hottie at the beach right away and wonders what his story is. When he encounters him at the pub, he takes the reserved league player under his wing and into his group of mates, and they soon become fast friends.

Friends isn’t all they want to stay, however. And once they give in to their attraction, the two are blindsided by the emotions that come with their deepening relationship. Can two men without any experience at relationships both navigate their way to steady ground?

Serving Love At Carnival (our Brazil book where a pro beach volleyball player meet a carnival dancer):

Anything goes during Carnival, and two men are about to discover just how hot the nights can get in Rio.

A long-time member of a samba school, Pablo knows that Carnival in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro is always hot, and the tall, sexy man he hooks up with during the festivities is even hotter. He usually doesn’t go back for repeats, but something about Diego has him working harder than he ever has to try to meet up again.

Diego travels all over the world on the pro beach volleyball tour, but has found that the sexiest man he’s ever met lives right there in Rio. After a few false starts, they finally seem to hit a groove, but as time goes on, ghosts from Pablo’s past begin to affect their present.

It’s tough being the partner of a professional athlete, competing with travel, fans and training for their limited time. Pablo’s always been let down by people who found it easy to leave him behind. Is he prepared to accept what Diego can offer?

A Grand Prix Romance (our Monaco story involving a Formula One driver and a soccer goalie):

Two men who share a passion for speed find out what can happen if they slow down enough for a Grand romance.

Paolo’s more than just a football player—he plays at life. But underneath the party boy image, he’s well aware that his career is stagnating and a big move might be needed. Before anything like that can be decided, though, he’s going to enjoy his annual trip to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix.

The only thing Johann loves more than his Formula One racing is gambling in the glittering atmosphere of Monaco. This year, he finds that high stakes applies to more than just cards—his heart is going all in and if he bets it all and loses, it could cost him everything.

Reader Advisory: This books contains characters from At First Touch but can be enjoyed as a standalone.


You can find excerpts and more information on the series at Totally Bound and on our websites. :)

Congratulations to all of the other Finalists, who are listed HERE, and I'm very proud to be involved with the wonderful Elisa Rolle's annual awards that do so much to support LGBT charities.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Reintroducing Paolo...

Paolo Lancaster was a character we first introduced in At First Touch, the Germany Football (Soccer) story in the International Men of Sports series with TA Chase. Since we work together on our books, it's really helpful (and damn near required!) for us to find photos of the characters as we envision them in our heads to help out the other author. It was pretty easy for me to choose a real life person (in this case Thyago Alves) who fit my mental image of our highly paid, partying, prima donna of a goalie.

Here's an excerpt from At First Touch where he begins to grow from a two-dimensional background character into a secondary character who ended up needing his own book:

“King’s right, Paddy. You gotta watch what you say. Kids out there look up to you and when they hear you say shit like that, they think it’s okay for them to say it.” Paolo rested his hand on Padraig’s shoulder. “Then those kids treat other kids like that. It’s a vicious cycle, man, and we have to figure out how to break it.”

Blinking, Ewansiha wondered where this Paolo had come from and who had switched them. Whatever Paolo’s opinions had been before this, the man had never expressed them, and he was Padraig’s best friend, so he should’ve been the one to say something earlier. 

“But why would they think that?” Padraig looked puzzled. “And anyway, why shouldn’t I speak up when I think something’s wrong?”

“Because the way you do it encourages anger and hatred against people who aren’t any different from you.” Paolo took a deep breath then said, “If I told you I was gay, would it change how I play football? Would it change how you think of me, and what you thought you knew about me?”

Shocked silence reigned while Padraig’s eyes widened. Ewansiha saw him pale. 

“Are you?” Padraig whispered, and only Paolo and Ewansiha heard his question.

Paolo licked his lips, then shot Ewansiha a quick glance before he smiled slightly. “Nah, but see? My question got you thinking, didn’t it, Paddy? That’s all I’m asking at the moment. Just think before you speak.”

Right now we're working on A Grand Prix Romance, in which Paolo heads to Monaco at the end of the season for the Grand Prix. He loves high performance cars and all of the glitzy party atmosphere that goes on in Monaco, both at the casinos and having to do with the race. But he's needing the annual trip more than usual this year because he's beginning to wonder what the point of his current lifestyle is.

Paolo glanced at his phone and grinned before answering in German, “Hey, kid.” He’d been about to get out of his car but settled back into the Ferrari’s driver seat to be comfortable for the conversation.

The animated voice of Xav, his teammates’ teenage foster son, came across the line. “Oh my God, I just read online that you got called up to the national team. What does that mean? Are you moving? I didn’t even get to see your last game with our team--”

At the growing disappointment in Xav’s voice, Paolo cut in and soothed, “Whoa, whoa. Slow down. It wasn’t my last game here. It’s pretty common for players to get called up to fill a hole for a game or two, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be a permanent member.” Not unless the fantastic goalkeeper Germany had either got injured or retired--unlikely to happen anytime soon, maybe not even in his career since they were the same age. He inhaled to try to rid himself of the familiar and gnawing sense of futility, that he’d reached the pinnacle of his career without any future advancement in sight...unless of course he moved to a different country and started over.  

“Oh. Does that mean you aren’t going to be on the World Cup team then?”

“No.” He strove to keep the bitterness out of his voice. The kid didn’t deserve his drama. “Not this time.” And with four years between World Cups, he’d be lucky to still be playing for two more, much less make it onto the German national team’s roster.

“Huh.” Xav sounded deflated. “I’m not sure if I’m happy or disappointed.”

Paolo had to smile. Nothing like a young person to lay it all out there and keep things in perspective. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

“Okay, well, I know you’re probably late to practice as usual, so I won’t keep you.”

“Brat.” It was true, though, so Paolo couldn’t be mad about the tease. “I’m already at the stadium.” Technically. He was in the parking lot. “Don’t worry. You’ll be seeing plenty of me. Can’t get rid of me that easy.”

They said their goodbyes then Paolo reluctantly got out of his beloved sports car--the latest in a long line of favorite high performance cars. His previous Ferrari had been totalled by a one-week stand who had taken it for a joy ride while Paolo had slept off the late nights and too much alcohol. Thankfully the woman hadn’t been injured, but his baby’s frame had been irreparably damaged, so he’d been forced to replace her--the car, not the woman.


Sergio rose and walked with Paolo to the door to the corridor leading towards the field. “I…” He cleared his throat, and Paolo glanced down at the usually self-assured trainer in surprise.

“What is it?”

Sergio evidently changed his mind about what he’d been about to say because his expression went from ill-at-ease to his usual humor. “It’s time you stopped with the Greta Garbo ‘I vant to be alone’ bit. We’ve missed seeing you at Lukas’. Maybe you could stop by sometime. Like tonight.” 

Paolo knew a command when he heard one. He supposed he was just lucky they’d let him get away with it this long. “Fine,” he sighed. “Gotta go or practice will be over before I get there.”

“Go on then.” Sergio patted his ass then headed to his office. 

Paolo just shook his head and jogged out to the field. Lukas and King each gave him a wave from across the pitch as he ran towards the far goal. He glanced at Paddy, but no change there. He was doing a great job of pretending Paolo didn’t exist.

While he warmed up, he put his game face on and pretended he didn’t care. The season would be over soon and he’d be heading away from everything and everyone to indulge in his favorite treat--Monaco during the Grand Prix. The high performance machines, casinos, glitz and glamor, constant parties. He was ready to leave behind the disappointing stagnation of his life here and lose himself in the hedonism that combined everything he loved. Maybe he’d even get his libido back and find someone to have a holiday ‘romance’ with.

Paolo put his gloves on and clapped them together several times, giving the player facing him a cocky nod. “Bring it!” he shouted. Time to do what they paid him for.

Here's hoping Paolo finds some answers--or at least a little bit of fun--in Monaco... I have a feeling he will. :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

WIP Excerpt--Untitled (with Andy from RR and Jesse from Silver and Gold)

Happy New Year! Going to be better about posting--it's a resolution. *nods*

Here is a short scene I put together in November for Amber's birthday blog party, and it got a really nice response, so I'm planning to write the book this year. On her blog I had challenged her readers to name what story Andy is from, and eventually someone remembered him as Chaz' best friend and neighbor from Remarkable Restraint.

Meanwhile, Blue is Jesse, the old flame from Silver and Gold, and Red and White are his twin sons who he's moving in to their first off-campus apartment.



“Triplets? Oh, happy birthday to me,” Andy breathed as he pressed his eye so closely to the peephole blinking became a problem, his hands and chest flat against the door.

He tried every possible angle and even switched eyes to try to get the best close-up view of the activity outside his front door, growing increasingly frustrated with his inability to confirm his suspicion. But no way was he going to go out and have their first impression of him be at his least primped.

The fish-eyed view only allowed Andy to see one blurry face at a time, but the three tall, jeans-clad, yummy men hauling furniture and boxes into his friend’s old apartment looked enough alike that the only difference Andy could see was their shirt color. And their hairstyles. All were the proverbial tall, dark, and handsome with identical builds and height. But the guy in the tight, white tee had his hair loose, just brushing the tops of his broad shoulders; the man with the red tee might have the same length as his brother, but he wore it tied back at the nape of his corded neck; and the beauty in marine blue wore his in a short, conservative cut.

Sweat freely rolled down their tanned faces and necks, darkening their shirts at the typical places, their muscles flexed and bunched, passing by too quickly as they moved in and out of Andy’s limited view. He could hear deep masculine voices alternately griping and teasing as they worked together with easy familiarity. At one point, they had a huge leather sofa stuck halfway in the door at a funny angle, with Mr Red Hot yelling at Tight-White as they argued about whether to pull it out or push it in to loosen it.

Muffled expletives and names were flying as Blue Boy came up the stairs to the landing and said something in a low, authoritative tone which quieted the other two down in a hurry. Andy squinted and looked more closely as a blurry Blue lingered obligingly in his line of sight. Not triplets then. Probably an older brother or something. The way he carried himself bespoke a maturity that was beyond college-aged. Just as well. College-aged was getting a bit young for him.

He bent over to set down a large box, and on tip-toe, Andy almost killed himself craning up and around trying to see his ass, which was tantalizingly out of focus at the bottom of the peephole. He grimaced as he rotated his neck, finally noticing that he was painfully stiff, and not just his cock at this point.

“Is this really the impression you want to make on your new neighbors? Settle down, boys.”
Looking out in time to see Blue gesturing at his door, Andy revised his mental estimation of the man’s age up another half-decade or so, now into his thirties. Much older brother then. Or cousin? Uncle? This was getting better and better. Older guys knew what they were doing.

He flattened himself against the door, eye on Mr Blue, and playfully humped the door as he watched the three work to pull the couch back out and set it down on the landing. Fuck, it’d been a long time since he’d gotten laid. Almost a month. Maybe he’d get lucky and one–or more–of these three would be gay.  Or curious. Yeah, curious was fine with him.

At a low command from the oldest, Tight-White clambered down the stairs and reappeared a minute later lugging a cooler, joining the other two seated on the couch.

Diet Coke break, sweaty boys. C’mon, someone lose a shirt already.

He almost laughed out loud as right on cue, Red Hot pulled his shirt over his head and used it to mop his face and neck while Blue took charge of distributing drinks.


Finally motionless for the first time in the hour he’d been watching, Andy was finally able to appreciate the three. Good genes in this group, and they were definitely related. White and Red had to be twins, they were indistinguishable. And Blue was a slightly older carbon copy. He stifled a snort as it hit him.

Red, white, and blue, how patriotic. Making me salute. Oh yeah.

Damn fine, and built like brick shithouses, all three. Andy was ogling Red’s ripped chest and abs and actively rubbing himself through his pants when his phone rang. He jumped as if someone could see him, yanking his hand away from his crotch and racking his not-so-funny bone against the doorjamb with a loud thunk.

“Shit!” That fucking hurt. Andy struggled to get his cell out of the front pocket of his tight designer jeans, made even tighter by his star-spangled erection. Finally succeeding, he looked at the display and chanced a peek out the peephole again and all three men were staring right at him. Or rather, at his door.

“Hey,” he whispered, caught in the invisible stare-down with the trio.

“Andy?” His best friend Chaz sounded wary. “Why are you whispering? I didn’t interrupt anything, did I?”

“Nope, just checking out the new neighbors.”

Blue looked away first, stretching his arms up over his head before rummaging through the cooler.

“And you’re whispering because…”

“No reason, babe.” Andy watched as the ringleader pulled out a handful of ice and started crunching it a cube at a time. The twins both lunged for the cooler at the same time, fighting for dominance before Red managed to shove his brother aside, grabbing his own handful of ice and shoving it down his brother’s tucked-in t-shirt.

“Hey!” Andy could hear White’s outraged yell clearly through the door.

“Well, you’ll have to tell us all about them at dinner tonight.”

“Dinner?” Andy echoed absently. The twins were wrestling in earnest, White laughing evilly as he took Red to the ground and thrusting a chunk of the freed ice from his shirt down his brother’s jeans, then sat on him, refusing to let him use his hands. Blue was laughing at their antics, and Andy was torn between watching the weirdly arousing fraternal wrestling and the breathtaking, laughing face of their sibling.

“Yes, you’re coming to dinner tonight.”

Andy stood up straight, abandoning his clandestine surveillance. “Wait a minute, since when?”

Chaz spoke gently. “Since we haven’t seen you since we moved. I miss you, we both do.” He sighed. “It’s your birthday, and I have a sneaking suspicion that you have no plans. You probably haven’t been out for weeks. Andy, you know…”

“Don’t go there, babe. And thanks. I’ll be over. You know me too well.”

They said their goodbyes then Andy took one last look out the peephole, before sighing and heading to get ready to actually join the real world, wondering if the boys would still be out there when he left for his command performance birthday dinner…

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An Interview with Kim and Abe from Silver and Gold...

For Way Back Wednesday, here's a post that I originally did for another blog back in February of 2010, where I interviewed Kim and Abe from Silver and Gold. Check it out...


Me: Ah yes, Kim and Abe. Since they are close friends, I've decided to talk about both of them. Or rather, let them talk about themselves.

Kim: And just so we're clear, Abe and I are not together. He's into outies.

Abe: Or they're into me.

Me: Okay then. How did you guys meet?

Kim: Um. Why does he get a picture and I don't?

Abe: Sweetheart, you're a secondary character. That means you don't get on the cover. If it makes you feel better, it isn't my most flattering look. That shirt? Please. Grey is so not my color.

Kim: At least people get a visual of you! I'm just this nebulous image floating around.

Me: Would it make you feel better if I put up a picture that looks like you? I had an interviewer ask me this week if I could cast a movie of this story, which actors I would pick to play you guys.

Abe: *claps hands* Ooh, who did you pick for me?

Kim: *gasps* No you didn't. Now you want a second picture? You bitch.

Abe: Okay, okay, just curious, so shoot me. Who did you pick for Kim? There, is that better?

Kim: *pouting* Depends on who it is. Duh.

Me: Okay, here you go:

Abe: Now girlfriend, you've gotta be happy with Eva Mendes.

Kim: She'll do. But that's a bit tousled for me. I'd be into your salon like yesterday.

Me: And since we're on the topic, here's Abe. And Kim, he's the main character, so can you let the whole two-picture thing go?

Kim: You know, I hear her talking to me like I'm totally unreasonable, and I have no idea where the attitude came from.

Abe: Much better, and see? Look how much bigger yours is. And you call me the size queen.

Me: Let me give some examples of what great friends you are? Like from when Geoff still hadn't clued in to how lucky he was to have Abe fall into his lap, so to speak, and was still living in the past.


Abe gratefully accepted the huge latte from Kim and tried once more to convince her to leave. He had thought he’d been successful on the phone in persuading her not to come see him, but she had bribed him with an “extra” coffee that she just happened to have.

Abe, you’re such a slut for coffee, and apparently everyone knows it.

“I’m fine,” he repeated yet again. “Really.” And he smiled to emphasize how “fine” he was.

“Abe, get that ugly excuse for a smile off your face and tell me what’s wrong. What happened with you and Geoff?”

“Tenacious little thing, aren’t you?”

“Tenacious, yes. Little, hell no. Thing?” She gave him an arch look.

“Sorry, babe. You were the one who insisted upon seeing me before I’m caffeinated.”

“Meow. That actually almost sounded like the real you.” She softened her expression. “What happened, Abe?”


Abe: Yeah, that was a tough day. Kim about burst a blood vessel when I told her what happened with the phone call I overheard. She threatened to quit.

Kim: I knew right away that wasn't the best move. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. And, boss of ten years or not, he was so going down if he fucked you over.


“Well, all I can say is my former boss won’t be getting any ass from you if it takes having to duct tape you to my bedroom door.” She pulled out her phone and dialed, her eyes flashing.

“Shit, love, don’t quit on my account!” Abe was regretting ever picking up the phone this morning.

“Don’t worry, I’m not quitting. I’ve decided I’m going to stay and make his life a living hell while I run his business into the ground.” She gave Abe an evil smile and left a terse message saying that she would be using a sick day and hung up.

Abe watched her warily. “What are you doing?”

Kim smiled more naturally. “Just going to help you pack for your trip and keep you company until you leave.” She waited a beat. “And keep you from going to his office, and him from coming up here,” she admitted.

Abe gave her a hug. “You’re a good friend, my dear.”

She hugged him back. “You don’t hate me because I fixed you two up?”


Me: That was so sweet.

(They both look at me in horror.)

Kim: Sweet?

Abe: Let me take this one, babe. (To me) Kim doesn't do sweet. She's more scary, hell-on-wheels, true-blue. Loyal as shit, but evil. In a good way.

Me: Do you guys still hang out now that Abe and Geoff have worked through things?

Kim: Hell, yes. Closer than ever. *smiles dangerously* I've got his back, especially since I know everything that's going on with the boss.

Abe: And I've got hers. She was insultingly underpaid until I spoke up.

Me: A lot of readers want to see more of you two. Do you think there will be another book in the future?

Abe: Babe? Isn't that up to you? You're the writer.

Me: Well, yes, but I can only write the stories you guys share with me.

Kim: Oh, you want more? Abe, get us some coffee...


Read more about Kim and Abe in Silver and Gold, available in e-book from Dreamspinner Press, on and ARe, and on sale right now on Kindle at Amazon.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Revisiting My Interview With Brad, One of the Twelve Gays of Christmas Dancers!!

**I noticed this video is starting to go around, so here's my annual post a bit early! This interview was done in 2012.**

The Twelve Gays of Christmas video! You've seen it, you love it! It's become a holiday icon. And today, I'm actually interviewing one of the flexible men making your holiday merry!

If you been a follower of my blog, you've seen my annual Twelve Gays of Christmas post, or maybe you've watched it elsewhere around the internet. This year, I wanted to do something a bit different, so I'm very excited to share that I have my very dear friend, Brad--one of the Twelve Gays!--here on my blog with me today!

Hi, Brad. Kiss-kiss. So glad to have you!

Thanks, Devon, for asking me to be a part of your blog!

Thanks for indulging me! :) Can you tell us a little bit about how this routine came to happen?

I can't believe it was 6 years ago that the chorus boys of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular performed 12 gays of Christmas.

It all came about one day when we were nearing the end of our run of the show. That year the Rockettes had learned a new number called 12 Days of Christmas. It felt like it went on for 12 days. So that year the girls would comment on how hard the dance was, but loved performing it. The chorus boys would be backstage getting ready for the next number watching them and, of course, trying to do the dance moves. I'm sure the last thing the Rockettes wanted was a bunch of dancing boys backstage doing a kickline:)

Anyways, one day one of the boys decided we should surprise the girls with our version of the 12 Days of Christmas. We would present it to them on our last show day. So, in between shows, we would go up to the rehearsal hall at Radio City and put together 12 Gays of Christmas.

I must've watched this video about 100 times, and I smile every time I do. Describe for the nice people what your outfit is like so they can gawk at you when they watch it. ;)

I was in a white t shirt and blue pants [note from Dev: and a long scarf]. I'm the guy on the left in the beginning.

Who did the choreography?

Drew Franklin did the choreography and staging.

It was fabulous! What was it like being a part of the Rockettes show?

Being a part of  the Radio City Christmas show is an amazing experience. It  is one of the hardest productions I have ever been apart of. We would have 2 to 4 shows in a day. Every move had to be perfect and performed like it was opening night. We had dance captains and directors watching every show letting you know if you didn't hit your mark. 

There is nothing like being on that stage having the orchestra playing the overture and up goes the curtain. The energy is amazing and I will never forget it.

One of my favorite memories is when my family came to NY to see the show. Now, I have been performing and in the business for a long time and my family always came out to support the shows that I was in. However, I came out to meet my family and here is my dad who grew up in a small town in Oregon (kinda a country boy) sitting there in the theatre with a tear in his eye giving me a big hug and saying congrats.

I don't know why that memory sticks with me but I love it!!

That's so sweet. No wonder that stick with you. And two to four shows a day! Wow! Can you describe a typical day during the run of the show?

Oh a typical day. Well, we would get there about an hour before the show. Go to the dressing room to check in. Then go up to the green room and warm up, watch some TV and, of course, gossip about drama with in the cast. :) Just kidding--we always got along. :) Then we would have notes at half hour, start to put on makeup and get into our first costume. We would always push it to last second to get our costumes on. Our wardrobe dresser would get so anxious with the boys. "You better not be late." Then we would run to the stage hit our mark and up goes the curtain.

During the show we would be focused...however I was kinda known for putting on a side performances in between numbers.

After the show, we would be tired so we would get food and rest to start it all up again. 

That doesn't surprise me in the least that you'd be making a side-show of yourself. :)

Okay, so there are Twelve Gays. What number is yours and why? LOL!

My favorite number would be 2. I don't know why. I love the number 2!

What was your favorite move? Most difficult?
Well, the most difficult would be the jump splits. I think I'm still recovering 6 years later! My favorite move would have to be the Fosse walk, with our arms swaying from side to side while we walk.

Back to the serious questions. Tell the truth: Did you date anyone in the show? And were they cute, hot, fun, or sweet? 

Cute, hot, fun AND sweet--yes!!!! There nothing like being a chorus dancer and being gay. :)
Did I date anyone? Well, let's just say I think he is the one I let get away.

Aww. :( So, are you still in touch with any of the cast members?
I'm still in touch with the cast. Some of them are my very close friends. It is hard because we all have moved on. Some still performing in the show others, like myself, retired and started something new.
There had been talk about getting the boys back together for a reunion for the Gypsy Awards in NY. We couldn't get our schedules together. I think we are hoping for next year.

What do you think about this being a viral video so many years later?
I love it that it became something that people enjoy. I didn't even know it went viral until you mentioned it to me a few years ago. :)

You had an amazing career in New York! Tell us about what you moved on to after this show wrapped.
After the show was done, I had decided to make a change in my life. I was ready to slow down and move closer to family. I had a couple of projects to be apart of, but once I finished those, I moved back to Portland. I now direct a dance academy in Oregon.

Are you single?

Yes, single. :(

Hear that? What's wrong with you guys? Okay, Brad, so indulge us and describe your dream date for us. :)

LOL, my dream date? Well, a guy who has a passion for something, who isn't afraid to do a heel kick once and a while:)

Look at that blush! Okay, I'll let you off the hook for now. Thank you so much for coming on and making this video that much more enjoyable for us!! *air kisses* See you tomorrow, Brad!

And to all my readers, thank you for stopping by! If you have any follow-up questions for Brad, just leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to get them answered for you!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

GRL 2013 Recap, Day Two: Thursday and Nights of Neon

Black-light baby!!

Thursday morning dawned incredibly early to my poor West Coast night owl self, but I managed to pull myself together, thanking my lucky stars I'd avoided drinking the night before! No, this isn't me, but TA's pose is pretty much how I felt, lol.

RIP, TA...
 I donned my purple in honor of Spirit Day--a purple tank top and scarf with rainbow ball trim. The scarf had been spotted by my eagle-eyed 10yo daughter at a store. She immediately asked, "Mom, can I get it?" I told her, "Sure, if I can take it to Atlanta with me." She stared at me. "Wait. So basically you want to buy it for yourself." I nodded. "But you still end up getting it in the long run, soo...any more observations you want to make?" Nope. :)

With my Thorny button fundraising partner, LC Chase.

We went down to walk through the Supporting Author signing first. I loved it--it was great to meet all of the up and coming authors in the genre. I said hi to some familiar faces and met a lot of new people. Then we checked on our tables in the swag room and restocked. Our collapsible water bottles were flying off the table! Nice to know people are using them after the fact!

Kris Jacen's daughter did some recaptioning.
Archie's Voice camping--I think there are rum-soaked cherries in there!

My beloved friend Ethan Day had blessed me with a phone call a while solicit me, the hussy, to moderate some of the author readings. Once he assured me that I would basically only be introducing the authors and keeping people from getting rowdy, I gave in. Around lunch time, all of the moderators and Ethan got together for a quick bite to eat and to review the safety features of our GRL aircraft, or actually how to turn on the microphones.

And your hosts for this evening are...

Didn't take long to have to put my newfound expertise in mike wrangling to use, as I moderated my first author readings ever that afternoon! My guinea pigs were the extremely gracious and awesome Deanna Wadsworth, Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan. It was a packed house and thankfully I didn't mess up too bad or do anything to detract from the main attractions! Besides laugh like a crazy person--thanks for the lovely shot of my back fillings, Madison. I'll be sure to see my dentist before next year for some replacements.

 I managed to get to one panel that I wasn't either on or moderating and that was Amber, RJ and Stephani's Storytellers session on shifters. I noticed that all of them had a man in their life present, so I asked the guys about the gals' writing, and got some amazing and heartfelt answers that had the audience going "Awww..."

With Amber's husband, Stephani's son and RJ's hubby.

The RWA Rainbow Romance Writers had a chapter meeting that afternoon as well, and we ate Chinese takeout (which was great, kudos to whoever chose it!) and discussed...stuff. :) I think I ended up volunteering for something so hopefully someone will remind me when I need to actually do it! After that, the MLR opening reception was the first all-attendee event and featured a nice buffet of nibbles, drinks and plenty of time to visit before Ethan got up to thank everyone for coming and announced the location of next year's GRL--Chicago!
Going to Chicago!

With my dear friend Rick...
Trying to decide who's Spicy and who's Sweet!

What's your guess?

Then it was time to get ready for the first big evening event, this year's incarnation of the Juke Joint, with a blacklight neon theme and a DJ that had "Bear" and "Glow" in his name. Actually, he was a VJ, so the videos were up on the screen along with the music. We neoned ourselves up (including our neon Coach high tops) and hit the ground running. I don't think I left the dance floor once until they tried to kick us out.

Me and Jared...oh and Geoff Knight photobombing.

I call this the "before" picture since we aren't sweating yet.
Rocking neon lashes with Jo!
Jared in my OTHER neon shirt I brought. He looks much better in it than I would have!
Neon soul sistahs with Leigh!
See what I mean about getting sweaty?

With a flash...
And with just black light.

Cody and Stephani Hecht--love them!
Ethan and his harem.

Our hired DJ and our awesome volunteer one.
A fab addition this year was a scheduled after-party in the hotel pub closed to all guests but attendees, and Dalton (who does this sort of thing IRL) took charge of DJing for the first two nights before passing his knowledge along to Travis for the third after Dalton and Lori headed home. We were very grateful to the guys for keeping us dancing.

Aeriel view of the after-party "dance floor".

I had a great time hanging out after the after-party with a combo of old and new friends, and ended up making this a really late night. But hey...I figured I could sleep when I got home! :)

Up next: Day Three: Friday Fun Fair and an Enchanting Evening

If you missed Day One, HERE is the link.