Lori Leger's Cajunflair Blog

Fictional Romance with a Cajun Flair

Flying High with Jimmy Thomas and InD’Tale reviewers at the Romance Novel Convention

It’s official…I LOVE to fly! 

Honestly, I was terrified that I’d be one of those people who’d be air-sick. Not so, as a matter of fact, I particularly enjoy the take offs, landings, any sign of turbulence, and when the plane makes the sharply angled turns. FUN! Wish I could afford to do it more often. 

And Vegas. What can I say? It was exhausting! I developed a serious case of cankles on the second day and didn’t see my ankles again for the rest of the week. The flight home was painful for my legs and feet. But, it was fabulous too! I hated to leave because I’d just begun to relax and see a few things, such as the sights and sounds of Fremont street at night. It’s one giant party, with fabulous light shows overhead, street vendors, live bands, people dressed up as everything from the Transformers to Gerard Butler in 300, to Rick James and Michael Jackson. Of course there are always Elvis look a likes and girls dressed in feathers.It’s amazing! I saw a few poor souls holding cardboard signs claiming to be homeless and asking for donations so they could eat…or not…who knows?  Mostly though, I saw couples, walking hand in hand, families with toddlers in strollers, older people experiencing it for the first time, like myself, and security guards…cops. Lots and lots of cops…both men and women, there to make their presence known and ward off any signs of trouble. Honestly, I was alone, and felt completely safe and comfortable. The place was lit up like it was daytime, except when they toned down the lights for the light show. It was awesome and I want to go back with my hubby.

As far as gambling is concerned…it’s not my thing. My soul sista/roommate, Arlene, kept saying “You’re in VEGAS, you have to gamble a little!” Poor thing, she did mostly everything alone because I was busy with convention things all day and by the end of the night I was too pooped and in too much pain to do anymore walking. She left two days before I did, so didn’t get to see me actually put a $5 bill into a penny machine and play for a whole hour. Whoo Hoo, big spender! 

Romance Novel Convention #1: Fabulous! Jimmy Thomas did an awesome job, considering it was his first and in my opinion, tried to take too much of it on himself. NOBODY can do that by themselves. But he’s promised that next year’s will be more organized, bigger, and better. Knowing what I do about the man, I totally believe him and will attempt to do everything I can to attend next year’s July convention. 

I didn’t have a chance to attend as many classes as I wanted to…sometimes there were two or three I wanted to attend going on at the same time. Sometimes I’d take someone else’s place as a volunteer so someone else could go to a class. This convention was all about networking and meeting people for me and getting my name out there. I believe I accomplished my goal. And by golly, they WILL know how to pronounce my last name at the next convention! I lost count of how many times I said “It’s “Lay’-jhay … not Lee-ger!”

The entertainment set up by Jimmy Thomas was amazing! An Elvis tribute artist who is professional enough to be the first one invited to perform inside the gates of Graceland. The voice, the gold lame jacket and skinny black slacks, the hair, the dance moves…all amazingly similar to the KING of pop. Such a talent. Acts included quick change artists and magicians, singers, and Julian Mora of International Men of Steel, performing an awesome show to Jon Bon Jovi’s “Wanted, Dead or Alive”. What can I say? The crowd went wild! A costume ball with two huge props: one a gorgeous dress make of damaged pages of discarded books from a local library. The other, a huge opened book, a “Once Upon a Time…” page with gorgeous scenery on the opposite page. Both were exquisite pieces of artwork. The costume party was so much fun and ALL the guys danced their feet off with us gals…even Chief Running Bare-Chested Jimmy Thomas. It was actually the first time any of us got to see him cut loose a little and have some fun. Did I mention it was a family affair for him? Both his younger brother, Billy, and his mom, Cynthia, were also in attendance and working their bums off with everyone else. I mustn’t forget to mention “Big Mike” Michael O’Hearn, a previous holder of the Mr. Universe title. Yes, I got pictures with him…:D.

 And then there were the Casanova Suitors, mingling with us all week, pitching in, helping, being perfectly adorable gentlemen. All four of the guys were so friendly and talkative. Jimmy certainly knows how to pick them. They called bingo…even played strip bingo one day, which I’m sad to say, I missed. I heard they stopped at the briefs or boxers. They performed live, acting out scenes as someone narrated from three different excerpts of books. It was laugh out loud hilarious!  They danced to “Open Arms” and “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” to the delight of everyone in attendance. They answered questions, smiled for us, flexed for us, and put up with dozens of screaming women judging their handsome, though well-covered derrieres. There could only be one winner, alas, and Shawn Cunningham was voted Mr. RNC Casanova while the others congratulated him.

I met the charismatic board of InD’Tale review magazine, including the fabulous T.J. McKay, it’s president/owner. InD’tale hosted the first ever RONE’ award ceremony, which I was honored to be nominated for. The first anthology, Hearts, Hearths & Holidays, published by my Cajunflair Publishing company, was up for an award, and though we didn’t win, we got certificates for First Honorable Mention…which is equivalent to first runner up. Not too shabby but I’m determined to win next year. Speaking of winning, my sweet-as-can-be friend and fellow Ass Cheek Angel, Kellie Kamryn, won for her book, The Perfect Score, in a different category and I was honored to go up and accept for her. It couldn’t have gone to a more worthy author and Mama Angel is so unbelievably proud of Baby Angel!

All in all, I came back with super positive feelings for the RNC convention and Jimmy Thomas, as well as the lovely ladies of InD’tale magazine. I will be pinching pennies to try to go again next year, when I’ll attempt to get my hubby to go with me. I think I could have a blast with him in Vegas, don’t you?

Until next time,

Lori

Click this link to see a video of my week at RNC in Vegas!

http://youtu.be/6Z0HaXJ0sD8

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The badge provided by InD’tale review magazine for being chosen 1st runner up!

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Me with the Elvis tribute artist opening night. Never had to leave the Convention Center at the Golden Nugget.

 

 On Screen…

The book on screen…

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Next year’s conference date is set!

 2013 RNC Logo

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L-R: Michael Hendrickson, Michael Mecucci, Julian Mora, Shawn Cunningham and Justin Tatum

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Jimmy Thomas (Left), Billy Thomas (Right), Mike O’Hearn (Top)

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After almost 47 years, my soul sista and I finally took a trip together…we had the BEST time!

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6 thoughts on “Flying High with Jimmy Thomas and InD’Tale reviewers at the Romance Novel Convention

  1. Great re-cap. Thanks for sharing in detail. I got an email from T.J. with a copy of my badge. Glad you had fun and glad my name was on that beautiful cover, too!

  2. Now how do you pronounce your last name. LOL. Wonderful article & so true. It was a blast. Still can’t believe you grew up near my family.

    Hope you do get to make it next year. I’ve already put it on my calendar.

    • LOL! That entire situation blew me away, Sabrina. By the way, I had a classmate named Sabrina Badon and her mom and Leona Bertrand were really good friends. I’m wondering if that has anything to do with the two of you having the same first name. 🙂

  3. That’s the same way I felt about being there. I got to meet so many wonderful people and I loved Fremont street. I hope to get my hubby to go next year but if it is just me alone again, that will be fine too. See you next year Lori!!

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