Sweet tea, corn on the cob, fried green tomatoes and sizzling hot romance authors. That is just a taste of what my weekend entailed here in the Tennessee Mountains. It was a last minute find and I’m thankful to be an avid twitter gal or I would have never known about a little conference called Romfest which took place in Gatlinburg, TN over the weekend. While I was not able to attend the conference, I did drive up for the day to Books-A-Million in Pigeon Forge, TN, where the authors gathered for a book signing/meet and greet Saturday afternoon. My motive was to meet two specific authors, Joey W. Hill who is a favorite of mine, and Jennifer Estep, who I’ve never read but now after meeting her intend to quickly rectify the situation.
There was not a huge crowd when I arrived but that worked in my favor as I was able to meet, sit and chat with the delightful Joey W. Hill. I read/reviewed Joey’s Arcane Shot series last year and that is when I fell in love with her voice and now I am currently reading her Nature of Desire series which is exceptionally good. I introduced myself and received an immediate hug and a “please sit down and hang out with me” request. Joey is exactly how I imagined. Lovely, gracious, a gentle heart and a great love for the characters she creates. She was full of compliments about Fiction Vixen and thanked me again for taking a love to her books and for “getting” her characters. I informed her I was a character driven reader and that is why I adore her voice and how she brings her beautifully flawed characters to life within the pages. Joey W. Hill is all class, a great spirit and my day was already richer in meeting and spending time with her but…
I had a request/demand from my dear friend Tori at Smexy Books that I must find, fangirl and rub all over Jennifer Estep, author of the Urban Fantasy, Elemental Assassin series. I introduced myself to Jennifer and the first thing she said was, oh yes I visit Fiction Vixen everyday! How do you all keep up with so many reviews and with all the new releases? I laughed and replied, thank goodness it’s Sophia that runs it and does it so well, I just review because I would not have the patience to run a blog! I informed her straight up that I was there on behalf of my friend but that I had heard great things about Gin. I parked myself beside her and immediately struck up a conversation about books, authors we enjoy, both of us being only children and how close we are to our moms, our allergies to cats and our love for dogs. By the time we were finished I felt like I had found a new sister. A Southern girl, born and bred, Jennifer is so genuine and engaging and the kind of person I would love to have standing girl time with on a weekly basis. I told her I might not know anything about Gin but I would by the end of the week because I kind of fell in fangirl love with her creator.
There were several other authors at the signing. Some new, some old and those that I briefly spoke to beyond Joey and Jennifer were very nice and offered information and swag about their books. I left with swag and a confirmed love for an contemporary/erotic/vampire/witch creator and a new found love for the creator of a southern kickass assassin named Gin.
All in all, it was a beautiful day in the Smoky Mountains and a great day to be a romance reader Down South!