Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RomantiCon 2012: Great Friends, Fabulous Readers and EC Staff

Greetings everyone!!
This blog comes to you several days after the close of RomantiCon 2012, Ellora's Cave Publishing's annual convention for readers, authors and staff to mix, mingle and celebrate red hot Erotic Romance and the women who write and read them.

I can't tell you how many wonderful people help to bring the convention together with style, class and dedication to detail and planning. As a former conference chair and the president of an RWA chapter, I know what it takes to pull off a conference of any size, but every year Ellora's Cave staff manages to impress and make the planning look and feel effortless. It should go without saying, but I will anyway, thank you Ellora's Cave for all you do for authors, readers and staff members.

Believe it or not, planning for RomantiCon 2013 is underway, and the dates are set. Check out EC's RomantiCon 2013 website for details! And if you're a RomantiCon virgin, don't be nervous about attending. Everyone is welcome and before the convention is through, you'll have 300+ new friends. The minute you step into the convention, you're drawn into a safe environment where you can be free to be yourself, read the books you love and write the books fans crave. Here's a look at next year!

Note the date, October 10-13, 2013, the theme, Old Hollywood, New Bollywood, make costumes if you're crafty (unlike myself) and be free to push reality to the curb for a few days and live a fantasy that will leave you smiling, laughing and partying with follow readers and authors, and have I mentioned the Cavemen? If not, let me tell you, you cannot miss the Cavemen.

Here's a look at the beautiful man who was named Alpha Caveman of the year this past Saturday night! The Cavemen dance, charm and pose throughout the convention without fail and are always ready with the warmest of smiles and the sweetest of personalities to boot. The one thing that stood out to me this past weekend was the fact that not only are the Cavemen incredibly talented, they are genuinely nice! Some are quiet-spoken, and yet, their intensity and dedication to detail and their natural sense of charm makes any woman melt and feel like a woman, no pun intended.

At RomantiCon 2012, the Cavemen included this year's winner, Nick, who led an incredible Zumba class that must be witnessed, David, Ace, Christian, Georgio, Ryan (a South African who was not only gorgeous, tall and chiseled, he was also gracious and well-spoken, just listening to him for five minutes was an honor), Eli, Bryan, Taylor and Justin (both of whom wrote 'Take it Off' available now from Ellora's Cave, and Cole.
If you want to learn more about them, click the links:  Georgio:
Cole: Ryan:  Eli: Taylor: Justin:  David: 
Bryan:  and Ace:

Next year, I'm sure many will return, as well as new Cavemen and some who were unable to attend this year due to other obligations. They're really super nice and make the weekend all the more special. Of course, the fact that they're incredibly gorgeous and grace the covers of our books, as well as have moves on the dance floor that will leave you breathless, is one of many, many reasons attendees return year after year.

On Thursday night at RomantiCon 2012, attendees gathered during the Meet and Greet, a time when everyone can gather at the bar, grab a drink and catchup or meet for the first time. Within minutes new faces became instant friends, past attendees reunite and the Cavemen dance, talk and socialize. Now, I admit that I arrived this year on Wednesday evening, giving a whole day to explore before the events kick off Thursday evening. Next year, I'm determined to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was literally down the road from the hotel and I'm a HUGE football fan.

After a day of workshops and discussion panels that featured everything from open discussion of writing BDSM, to sexy Pictionary games and what books make a reader's keeper shelf and why, not to mention Poi and hula hoop dancing (I'll get to the lap dancing lesson next), and plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with 80+ authors and many, many readers of Exotica, Romantica and Blush romances, everyone gathered in the banquet hall for a night of food, fun and dancing. The theme this year was 'Party Like There's No Tomorrow', and attendees dressed in costumes ranging from Cleopatra to Hollywood-chic, and Carnival! The Cavemen entertained us with skillfully crafted choreography and dancing, here's a link.

Warning in advance, it's about 25 minutes long!

Also, this brings me to Rodney and CJ! Both men are important parts of the RomantiCon experience. Rodney was named the Ultimate Caveman, acts as the event emcee, and is all-around charming, friendly, open and possibly the nicest man on the planet. The moment Rodney walks into the room, women get all giddy because we all know that he can charm your socks off, all while remaining respectful and seeing the beauty of a woman, inside and out, no matter who they are. CJ, is the original Caveman and he loves to pose with attendees and is really, very sweet. He also helped to hand out awards at the Saturday evening ceremony, his smile is wonderful and his hugs are even better!!

This brings me to Saturday evening, this theme being Survivors vs Zombies after the Mayan apocolypse! The costumes were incredibly creative, everything from walking dead, blood-soaked brides, angels, military specialists and vampires. This was the night Nick was crowned Alpha Caveman of 2012, giving him the honor to be 'the' Caveman, he'll appear in a national magazine, many covers and become the cover boy for EC's annual calendar, among other benefits.

Sadly, this draws me to think about an incredibly wonderful man who was tragically killed shortly before RomantiCon. An angel in his own right, Angelo/Ruben, will always, always be missed by those who knew him and called him a friend. Angelo was the reigning Alpha, and it is only fitting that his good friend, Nick, received the honor this year. I know that Angelo was smiling down from Heaven when Nick's name was announced. And it's no surprise that Nick won. He is charming and genuine, not to mention gorgeous, and man, can he move! There's something incredibly sexy about a man who can dance, and this man can dance!

On a happier note, Saturday marks the author awards ceremony. Rising Stars, featuring authors new to EC, to Superstars, authors who are awarded with beautiful, dazzling crystal trophies, for their books or something in their book that made the editors stand up and take notice. I was honored to learn that Cuff Master received an award for 'Best Race to Orgasm', and when I heard the title and then my name, I was so shocked, I nearly fell over. The room roared with laughter and cheers. To be honored in such a way will always mean the world to me. Thank you EC!

Now, of course, every night there is dancing. Dancing, and more dancing. In addition to our gorgeous Cavemen leading the way with another choreographic masterpiece, this time Survivors vs Zombies, and when the zombies look like the Cavemen, (I'd gladly let them bite!) attendees danced late into the night, then we all converged in the lounge and socialized some more.

Sunday at RomantiCon is the SEXPorium, a 4 hour event featuring a book signing by the authors, and more entertainment from the Cavemen and the local burlesque troop from Cleveland Exotic Dance. These ladies are really, really sweet, and fit right in at RomantiCon. One thing I'd forgotten to mention, early on Saturday, we learned all about lap dancing. No, we didn't do anything that would make our husbands or significant others nervous, but we did learn some moves that would entertain them! We also learned a startling difference between how a woman's sensuality can be enhanced during a lap dance and how a man can be both physically charming and dominant, and yet, not once put her in an awkward or dangerous position. The men of RomantiCon do this with class and perfection, making certain that every woman feels safe in their company.

It is with sadness that I must end this blog post, or I fear tears, because I do love being at RomantiCon and the friends I've made there. Each year gets better and better, this being my third, and next year will definitely be my fourth. Don't miss it. Attend, even if you think you're too shy, don't let that stop you. Come and be part of the EC family and you will find friendships that last and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Until next time,


  1. I'll be seeing you next year for sure, Frances! I miss you all so much.

  2. Missed you so much, Amy. Can't wait till next year.

  3. Great post, Frances. I had a fabulous time with you!