Archive for 'Powells Books'

Home sweet book
by Jessa Slade on July 12th, 2010

Currently working on: Unpacking from RomCon
Mood: Sleepy

This week’s topic is “The vacation untaken” (sort of a spin on Robert Frost’s ”The Road Not Taken,” perhaps, if you’re feeling poetical) but I thought I’d mention the trip I DID just take — the first annual RomCon romance readers convention.

I headed out to Denver Colorado early Friday morning. The sun is not up at 4:15, in case you were curious.  The picture below — taken from the car on the way to the airport — is a good visual representation of my oracular and mental functioning at 4:15 a.m.:

414 am

The pale fuzzy squiggle at the top is the moon.  Poor moon.

The convenient part of arriving at the airport so early is that I had time to visit the three Powell’s Books in the various concourses.  And lo and behold…

Liams airborne butt

Liam’s fine (and signed!) butt could become airborne at any moment.  Much thanks to the Powell’s employees who were waaay more awake than me and helped me find my copies.

I took a nap on the plane and that was the last sleep for the weekend. I roomed with the always wickedly delightful Delilah Marvelle, who brought her infamous penis candy to give away by the handsful. (Well, not handsful, really; they were very tiny penises.)

The party started right away with workshop and events and author/reader chats. It was a convivial group. As one reader told me, she had come to the convention by herself but she felt completely comfortable finding an empty seat at dinner, knowing that everyone there was a fellow romance reader. If ever the conversation lagged (and trust me, it did not) one simple question could restart the talk for hours: “What do you read?”

My favorite events included:

Betwixt & Between Paranormal Tea: Paranormal romance authors and readers gathered for cookies and chatting.

Monster Charades: Despite being held at 10 a.m. (that’s almost as early as 4:14 a.m.!) on Saturday, the guessing-game of paranormal authors, titles, series, characters and creatures was huge fun.  Thanks (and I mean that sarcastically) to author Carolyn Crane for coming up with some baffling stumpers that had us laughing through the guessing.

Build-a-Hero Workshop: The dark fae we created — Shikar of the magic hands — somehow lost out to the historical hero Sir Rochester, but we love him still.  I was supposed to bring home the whiteboard where we’d written his description (including his… um, manly measurements) but I lost it at the Denver airport on the way home!  Someone there is going to be very confused.  Luckily, we took good notes:


And a close-up of the final version, written in the preternaturally tidy script of Elizabeth:


Thanks to Sabrina for forwarding me the pictures!  And thanks to author Meagan Hatfield, especially for coming up with our team name: Team Awesome!  We were, weren’t we?

I think the brightest highlight for me was the chance to sit with Nalini Singh, Christine Feehan and C.L. Wilson on a paranormal author panel.  Can you imagine?  Sitting next to those stars?  In comparison, I looked a little like that fuzzy moon I posted earlier!  But I felt very much at ease because they are among the nicest people in the world (or most other worlds you can imagine).  The fact they write the stories that rock MY world is the frosting-and-sprinkles on the cupcake of my glee!

(If you’re on Twitter and want a blow-by-blow account, you can scroll back through #romcon for commentary.)

Last and best, I had the chance to meet readers, a few of whom had even read my stories :)   What a trip!  I was on Cloud 9.  Actually, I was above Cloud 9 and just a little to the north of Mt. Hood (thanks to Southwest Airlines and their two free bags policy which allowed me to bring 100 lbs. of giveaways and snacks):

mt hood

The event is in the planning stages for next year in Denver. I’ll post word here as soon as I hear what’s up. I’d love to meet some Silk And Shadows readers at RomCon 2011!

Meanwhile, I brought home a few books.  Honestly, just a few.  But the highlight… I have a signed copy of Nalini Singh’s ANGEL’S BLOOD!   It’s the first book in her Guild Hunter series and you do NOT want to be left behind on this one.  Just leave a comment on any post this week and you’ll be entered for a chance to win.  I’ll warn you now, you’ll want to go get your copy of the second book, ARCHANGEL’S KISS, before you start reading.  Yes, it is that good.

What do you think?  Would you be interested in attending a romance readers’ convention?  Which author would you most want to meet?

Release the hounds… I mean, books!
by Jessa Slade on November 30th, 2009

Currently working on: Racing deadlines
(Have you looked at a calendar lately?!)
Mood: Arriba, arriba!

Congratulations to fellow Silk And Shadows author Sharon Ashwood on the release of SCORCHED tomorrow!  Happy almost-Release Day, Sharon!

The writing life might be mostly (okay, by percentages, pretty much only) hours at a computer – just writer and words and weird, echoy voices in your head — but there are a few highlights, and the release of a new book is definitely one of them.  It’s been two whole months since my first book came out, and I’m still having tons of fun with it.

For example, I just attended my first book club meeting with the Cheeky Pages Romance Book Club at Powells Books in Beaverton.  Kind of scary, since they were readers who’d actually read SEDUCED BY SHADOWS.  To ward off any potential scariness in the form of literary criticism, I bribed them with brought two cakes from His Bakery, arguably (and yes, I’m happy to argue this point with you if it means a taste-testing tour) one of the best bakeries in Portland.


(Pictured from left: Raspberry Revel in White and Chocolate Indulgence — Comfortably serves 18 romance-reading ladies with enough left over for XY and breakfast. I can also vouch for their chocolate chip cookies and breads.  Yum.)

jessa-chicagoEarlier this month, I also went to Chicago for a stock book signing tour.  Stock signing is a guerrilla book tour where the author hits as many bookstores as she can, signing the books in stock (hence “stock signing”) and putting a cute “Signed by author” sticker on the front.  Every copy of SEDUCED BY SHADOWS I could find in every Borders and Barnes & Noble and Anderson’s in the Chicagoland area now has my awkward scrawl plus a bookmark plus a custom @1 temporary tattoo (inside joke from the story). 

(Pictured: Jessa Slade, somewhat chilly author who needs another haircut, on the new bridge to the Art Institute of Chicago Modern Wing (don’t get me started on the “string of lightbulbs” installation) with Millenium Park in the background.)

If you happen to live in Chicago and manage to find a book that I didn’t tag, I’m sorry.  I did a terrible job Googlemapping the tour — hey, it was my first! — and might have missed a store or two.  Especially if it was located next to a creepy alley or other potential demon fighting location, since I took a bunch of notes while I was there and might have gotten distracted.  Just email me and I’ll mail you the bookmark and tattoo plus a signed bookplate.

The best part of finally having a book out is forcing my entire family to read it.


(Pictured above: Entire family reading SEDUCED BY SHADOWS — with certain pages excised for a certain person under 4′ tall.  Note the crazy pyramid of books on the tabletop behind us.)

Favorite stories from my first release — so far:

  • A co-worker of my dad’s sent him home with her copy for me to sign.  She attempted to give him the book in her office and he explained how he really, really wasn’t going to walk across the truckyard with Archer’s bare chest shining in the sun.  So the book came to me in plain, brown paper wrapping.  Archer as contraband!
  • Walking into a random Chicago bookstore to sign stock, finding a random salesperson to let her know I wasn’t defacing their property — honestly – and her saying, “Jessa Slade?  I know you!”  Really?!
  • My grandmother went to dinner at the retirement center the other night to find her fellow nonagenarians gleefully discussing “Page 100.”  Yes, my work here is done.

Have you ever attended a book signing or other author event?  What was your favorite part?  If — purely hypothetically — an author was going to bribe you with bring a cake, what flavor would you prefer and how many slices would ensure a six-star Amazon review?