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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Freedom In Chains by Deena Remiel: Blinders Off! A Human Trafficking Initiative

Blinders Off! A Human Trafficking Initiative
A couple of years ago I stumbled across a website that I found intriguing. It linked to an internet radio station and had fascinating shows lined up that informed us, entertained us, and helped nurture the strength and confidence inside us. Of course, I was hooked immediately. There was an added benefit- we got to have blog pages of our own right on the site!
This website is I met Kay Van Hoesen, a fabulously talented woman who created the place, and others who had joined, needing to find their footing again. I shared some empowering poetry I'd written and found it had been appreciated. Over the past couple of years, I've thoroughly enjoyed my attachment to the site. I don't get there nearly as much as I used to, given the time constraints in my life, but I do always return, like a baby bird returns to her nest.
This is where I met Dottie Laster, as well. And this is where my blinders came off to an insidious crime against humanity. Not too long after I joined I found and listened to Dottie's radio show, TRAFFICKED. She exposes and explains the underworld of human trafficking of all kinds- slavery, sex. She reports on the ongoing efforts to prosecute those guilty of trafficking. And to this very day, she fights for the victims. Her company, seeks to bring awareness to companies about how to keep from hiring people who are being trafficked.
Breaking news came across the HWTS wire one day. A young woman had reached out to this very site and Dottie in an attempt to be rescued. After much machinations, terrifying moments, and a team of angels, she succeeded. She was brought to a facility specializing in helping those who have suffered long-term abuse and needed long-term care. It has been a long bumpy road, but she is healing and growing and learning what it is to be free and responsible for her own life.
Kay asked if I would write a short story celebrating this young woman's freedom as well as bring awareness to the plight of so many. I agreed readily, and FREEDOM IN CHAINS is the result. I initially released it here, on my website, and simul-posted it on others' sites who agreed to do so, on the anniversary of her rescue. But now, I feel like it needs a permanent place to live. A place where people can see it, purchase it, and know that by doing so, they've taken their BLINDERS OFF to this worldwide crime against humanity.
FREEDOM IN CHAINS’ releases today, and it is a bittersweet moment. I wish I didn't have to write it. I wish there was no such depraved act such as human trafficking. But there is, and I refuse to put my head in the sand. Whenever I write something regarding trafficking, I use the phrase, BLINDERS OFF. This is to bring to our attention how so often we put them on to deny what's going on around us, and trafficking is as close as our next door neighbor in many cases.
I hope you will go to FREEDOM in CHAINS on amazon or smashwords and purchase a copy today:

Proceeds from the sale of this short story will benefit
Straight from their website, this is who they are and what they do:
Million Kids is the creator of the “Not In My Backyard”® anti-human trafficking campaign.
Million Kids is a 501(c)(3) public benefit nonprofit (EIN# 26-3174662) that combats human trafficking. Locally, we serve on the Riverside County Anti-Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT). We help activists and communities develop effective anti-trafficking programs in their locales.
At Million Kids, we…
§                     provide educational, medical, and legal aid to survivors of trafficking and exploitation;
§                     offer prevention programs that help children, youth and adults to stay free and to recognize how traffickers work;
§                     equip activists and provide strategic support to assist law enforcement.
Million Kids serves on the Riverside County Anti-Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT). We educate and engage individuals, organizations and corporations about human trafficking.

Buy links:


Friday, June 22, 2012

Osric's Wand Blog Tour Stop!

Welcome to the world of Archana
where magic, intrigue, and heroism prevail!

Archana is a world much like our own; yet, in many ways it is like nothing we have ever seen.  Magic flows through every being, and through the ground itself, giving life to all manner of creatures.  It is no more unusual to have a conversation with a squirrel than it is to speak with your neighbor.  Humans live alongside dwarves, elves, gnomes, and irua, as well as prairie dogs, bears, and lions. Unicorns are not only real, they are unkillable.  Dragons fill the skies, and for a silver piece or two, they will fly you wherever you need to go.  Each individual, human or otherwise, is born with an innate magical ability.  From prophecy to portentism and wand-making to water elementalism, these abilities allow Archana’s inhabitants to interact with their world in ways we can only dream about.  
Magic is a way of life on Archana.  Since the first wand was made and used to channel a person’s magical energy, magic has been used for everything from washing dishes to waging war.  However, Archana’s residents have only begun to scratch the surface of magic’s potential, much like early scientific discovery in our world.  Just as time and intellectual pursuit has led to advances in medicine and technology here, the world of Archana is on the brink of a magical renaissance.  Will it bring peace and prosperity, or will it be the beginning of the end?

Don’t miss the first book in the Osric’s Wand series
The Wand-Maker’s Debate
by Jack D. Albrecht Jr. and Ashley Delay

First off, can you tell everyone a little bit more about yourselves?

Ashley: If you have been following the blog tour, you are probably tired of reading our bios, so we are trying to keep it fresh... a little known fact about me is that I detest chocolate ice cream.

Jack: A little known fact about me is that I am a HUGE fan of Star Trek!

How many books will be in the series? Do you have any other books planned that you'd like to write?

Ashley: There will be at least three books in the Osric’s Wand series, but there may be many more.  It depends on how the storyline evolves as we write.  My daughter wants to write as well, so I would love to co-write a children's book with her in the near future.

Jack:  There is some amazing potential when you start a series as early in history as we did with Osric’s Wand.  One thing that I have noticed is that this is becoming a much bigger story than it was initially intended to be, so who knows where it could go!  

What are you currently working on?

We are currently finishing up the second book in the Osric’s Wand series, The High-Wizard’s Hunt! We anticipate a September 2012 release, and we can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of the next installment.

Are your characters based on people you know?

Ashley:  Our characters are not based on real people, but we can’t help but share some characteristics of people we know with our characters.  I must say, I see a little of my five-year-old nephew in Pebble, and a bit of my dad in Machai.

Jack: I see a whole lot of my sense of humor in Gus and Kenneth, and of course Osric’s good looks are a perfect description of my dashing looks, musculature, and height.... Nobody wake me up, please.

Are any of your characters a lot like you?

Ashley:  No, not really.  I tend to be very analytical and type-A, while also being very emotional and thriving on creative outlets.  If one of our characters shares those personality traits, they haven’t told us yet.

Jack: I think I draw a lot from my internal struggle to write Osric, but most of my outward personality is channeled through Kenneth and Gus.  Parts of me tend to show up in each of the characters, but none of them really reflect me in a whole.

What do you do when you're not writing?

Ashley:  I try to spend as much time with my daughter as possible, but I run my own business, and I also go to school full-time.

Jack: I tend to my apiary, I am finishing up my degree, and I just started a job in a pharmacy.  I keep myself busy most of the time, but the bees give me an escape from the busy life and allow me the time to see a miracle happen on a daily basis.

Do you read all the reviews about your books?

Ashley: Absolutely, we love hearing from the readers!

Jack: What she said!  I think I read them as quickly as they come in.  We use every bit of feedback we get to help us make our writing better, though we do not let any of it change our style.  We strive to be better, and there is no other way to do that than to listen to the words that readers write about our book.

Do you read? Who is your favorite author?

Ashley:  I love to read, anything and everything!  My favorite genre has always been fantasy, but I enjoy reading almost all fiction, and a wide variety of nonfiction as well.  Choosing a favorite author is impossible for me, but the last thing I read (other than a textbook) was David Farland’s “The Runelords” series.  I highly recommend it!

Jack: I have a lot of favorite authors, but I think the one I look forward to more books from the most is Brandon Sanderson.  I loved the Mistborn series.  The Way of Kings was fantastic and has the potential to become another epic like WOT.  I can’t wait for the 2nd book, A Memory of Light, to become available!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors like myself?

Ashley: Never stop writing, read as much as you can, and try collaborating with another author.  It’s a blast!

Jack: I could not say it any better than Ashley did.

Describe yourself in three words:

Ashley: Creative control freak

Jack: Artist, Father, Friend...can you tell we described each other?

If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Ashley: I can’t wait to travel to Greece!

Jack: Vegas, baby!

Where can your fans find you and The Wand-Maker’s Debate?

Right now, the ebook is exclusive to amazon, but you can buy the paperback and hardcover anywhere books are sold.  If they do not have it sitting on the shelf, they can order it for you.  Here are the links to all of our online locations.

Website            Keep an eye on the website,, as the release of The High-Wizard’s Hunt approaches.  You could learn some inside information, get a sneak peek, or even win some free stuff!


Facebook Fanpage


Barnes and Noble



Monday, June 18, 2012

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole review

Acclaimed author Kresley Cole introduces a sizzling new series with this tale of a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire -- unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her . . .

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy . . .

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents -- until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae -- and their notorious dark desires -- ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings. 

An all-consuming desire . . .

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

My Review
First off, I'd like to point out that this is actually book 2, not book 1. Book one is titled:  The Warlord Wants Forever

This book was recommended to me by a book friend of mine. She'd never let me down before, so I was excited to start this one because it sounded really interesting. 

Before beginning this book, I was in a reading slump. For almost two weeks I could hardly pick up a book, let alone open it and read it. I can happily report that this book snapped me out if it.

The story line is a lot different than anything I read before. Definitely fascinating, but I wasn't drawn in right away. After reading the first several chapters I found myself liking the book more and more. I finished over half of the book in just a few short hours and then wrapped the book up quickly tonight. I adored the second half of the book. I loved it so much that I can see myself going back to reread it in the future. 

Lachlain is a sexy beast. Lately I've taken a liking to Highlanders, so the fact that he was a Scottish werewolf king sold me completely. Emma, is the perfect mixture of sweet and tough. I never found her annoying like so many heroines out there today. They had great chemistry and I didn't want their story to end!

I will definitely be reading more books from this series! I recommend this to anyone that wants a unique paranormal romance!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Road to Hell Blog Tour: Interview with Kur Draki

Welcome to the Road to Hell
Blog Tour hosted by
TSK TSK What to Read

First off, I'd like to thank the girls at TSK TSK, for letting me be part of this tour. I love this series to pieces, so it really meant a lot to me. Second, thank you to the wonderful Gracen Miller for sharing all your stories with us and for being such a great woman. You are such an inspiration and you and your work has a special place in my heart. 

Now, enough of the mushy stuff! Here is my interview with the devilishly sexy Kur Draki! Don't forget to check out the giveaway below and all the other blog tour stops! Enjoy!
Kristina: *blushes when Kur enters the room* Welcome to KB&M, Kur! Thanks for joining me today!
Kur: Aren’t you a pretty thing and thank you for having me. *takes you in with a sweep of his gaze from your hair to your footwear* I like your boots. I hear you’re Kick-ass when you’re wearing them. *lopsided grin* Care to play strip-kick-ass? It’s a lot like strip-poker. When you lose, you remove a piece of clothing until you are naked, because I never lose.
Kristina: Thank you! I’d like to say that I’m Kick Ass without the boots, but sadly, that’s not the case. *raises eyebrow* You never lose? Really? Maybe you just haven’t met your match yet. *smiles*
Kur: I’ll marry the woman that manages to beat me. I’m curious, though. *stretches long legs out in front of him and knocks Kristina’s foot with a shoe* Do you think I should buy myself a pair of boots?
Kristina: I think you could pull them off. Mine give me confidence and make me feel sexy. You don’t need any help in either of those departments.
Kur: Honey, you are sexy and it has nothing to do with those boots.
Kristina: *blushes* Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?
Kur: I’m a shape shifting dragon with killer abs. Want to see them? *quickly jerks his shirt up, then right back down* Any longer of a view and you’ll be spellbound. *winks*
Kristina: *mumbles* I think I already am.
Kur: *chuckles* Madison tells me my pick up lines are rusty, but then she also tells me I’ll drive some lucky woman crazy. What do you think, Kristina?
Kristina: You’ll definitely make some woman lucky. Not sure about the crazy part.
Kur: I like it when you blush. Makes you sexier…irresistible. You’ll make some man lucky one day, too.
Kristina: Why thank you! What is it like being a dragon? Do you have any superhero like powers? If not, which ones would you want and why?
Kur: I don’t know, it’s all I’ve ever been. I guess it’s a lot like being human. *chuckles* I don’t know that this qualifies as a superhero power, but I can imprison you in fiery-ice. You won’t age or die, but you’ll be bored stiff until I release you.
Kristina: Describe your appearance in dragon form?
Kur: *slides his fingers through his chin-length black hair* I have wings that will crush any mortal who ventures too close. My underbelly is black and along my back is hell-fire colored scales that shift colors depending upon lighting and my mood.
Kristina: Ooooh! Sounds awesome! Can I see? *widens eyes innocently*
Kur: *sizes-up the room* I’m too big for your chamber. And I’m not bragging. Winks When the interview is over, if you’d like we can step outside and I’ll demonstrate.
Kristina: What was your first impression of some of the other RTH characters?
Kur: I have a unique, long-term relationship with Micah and Zennyo Ryuo. I’ll allow the readers to decide what they think of that. As for the rest of the RTH gang…Petra’s a bitch. *makes a fist with his right hand* The Birminghams don’t seem to like me much and tend to give me a wide berth. *shrugs* I don’t mind, Madison is my single focus. A killer cook. She’s intense, stubborn—goddamn is she stubborn—and she is so torn about who she wants to be when she grows up. Did I mention, she’s a killer cook? Don’t want to live that out. She’s also my Queen and I’ll die to keep safe. Phoenix is all right, I guess. We don’t hangout like buddies. I think he resents me because I’m bound to Madison. What she wants doesn’t always meet with Phoenix’s approval and whatever Madison wants, I aim to deliver. Alessandra is funny and sassy. Never know what’s coming out of her mouth. I’m telling you, that mouth of hers is going to get her in trouble one day.
Kristina: How are they different now that you know them better?
Kur: Hmmm…*runs his fingers along his jaw* Amos is more knowledgeable of the future than he lets on. I’ve discovered Petra is loyal to Madison and Amos, which is odd because the only person she ever served before was herself or Micah’s desires. My view of Madison has probably changed the most. When I first met her, she would’ve sacrificed herself for what she believed was the greater good of humanity. Let’s just say, her priorities are finally in order.
Kristina: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Kur: My biggest weakness is I’m bound to one person and serve only her. My strengths are too many to enumerate. But I’d start with my killer good-looks. *winks at Kristina and flashes a grin*
Kristina: *crosses legs* Do you have any dreams or goals for the future?
Kur: *props ankle over opposite knee* Remaining free of the spell that trapped us in Hell.
Kristina: That’s a good one. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Kur: *devilish grin* I believe you can guess.
Kristina: What is something interesting about yourself that was not revealed in the RTH books?
Kur: I had a torrid love affair with Medusa. Talk about dangerous relationships…whew! I almost didn’t make it out alive, but it never got boring.
 Kristina: Scandalous! Why should fans choose Team Kur over Team Micah, Nix, or Nixah?
Kur: *chuckles* I’m more fun than either of them. And I can take you flying. Want to ride me later, doll? *slow grin*
Kristina: *fans self* Would there be time for that later? Perhaps if you’re not scheduled to reek havoc somewhere?
 Kur: I’m available for you anytime.
Kristina: *swoons* Where would you take me?
Kur: *sharp laugh* So many ways to answer that question, but I’ll keep it platonic. I’ll take you wherever you want to go…Europe, Down Under, or somewhere in the States.  Your choice, doll. Just consider me yours to do with as you please. *grins with a twinkle in his eyes*
Kristina: *leans over and whispers while blushing* Boxers or briefs? *wink*
Kur: *leans forward and whispers back* Commando.
Kristina: You would! Thanks for allowing me to interview you, Boyfran! *flirtatious smile!*
Kur: *laughs* Boyfran, huh? Never been called that one before. What privileges does being your boyfran give me, Kristina? If I call you ‘girlfran’, do my favors increase?
Kristina: Wouldn’t you like to know!  
Kur: Yes, actually, I would.
Kristina: Shall we discuss it later?
Kur: I’d like that very much. *rises to his feet and offers his hand* How about we discuss that presently while I take you for a ride?
Kristina: Sounds good to me!
Fate can mark one early for a particular future.

Madison Wescott’s life is Hell on earth. Her father, a Baptist Preacher, convinces her she’s morally corrupt when men notice her blooming beauty. She strives to be unnoticeable, but nothing satisfies her condemning parents. 

And sometimes fate has nothing to do with one’s potential.

Temptation rears its head when Micah Dominus visits her father’s church on Christmas morning, but she is unprepared for her physical reaction to him. Frightened by her own emotions, she is grateful she’ll never see him again. But when he shows up again at a friend’s funeral, and at other times in her life, she’s swayed by his charisma. Micah becomes her white knight through the good and bad, but can they create the perfect life together? Or has she just located the beginning of the Road to Hell?

Supernatural forces more powerful than fate can claim one’s destiny…

Where does the road to Hell begin?

What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight and your husband disappears on his way to work? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn’t believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a world she didn’t know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.

With good intentions? Or by demonic design?

Phoenix Birmingham bursts into Madison’s life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses—and for her jaded heart—but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed, but only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them. Even with Phoenix’s aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail while they pay the crucial price with their souls?

In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battle for mankind’s liberty has begun...

Hell’s become more than just a playground for the wicked…

Going to Hell was supposed to save Madison, but knowing she’s dead because of his failure leaves Nix with only one thing to live for. Revenge. With Micah’s help he learns to use his Messianic power. Anything for Mads has become his mantra, even if it means killing innocents to gather the power he needs to succeed. A tsunami he unleashes on a Gulf Coast city is stopped with magical interference, and Nix is more than surprised to feel Madison in the opposing magic. Can he and Micah set a trap to lure her out?

Pandora’s Box…once you open it, there’s no turning back!

Madison has done the unthinkable, opened Pandora’s Box to save Nix from Hell. And failed. She’s willing to risk her own life to rescue Nix, but she worries about the welfare of her accomplice in the mission and leaving her son behind. Following up on a lead, she’s ambushed by Nix and Micah. Shocked and hurt to discover Nix has become a willing participant of Hell, she’s more certain than ever she won’t escape the demonic fate her husband outlined for her. While in Hell, she discovers denying the emergence of her succubus is futile, which means getting Nix out of Hell after embracing her inner demon just became a very real dilemma…

Don't forget to check out the other blogs in the tour for more giveaways, interviews and all the fun stuff!

June 11 TSK TSK What to read (host)
June 12 Bitten by Love Book Reviews
June 13 Paranormal Reads
June 14 Secret Sanctuary of Books
June 15 Forbidden Book Reviews
June 16 Kristina's Books and More
June 17 One More Chapter
June 18 Starry Night Book Reviews
June 19 Delphina Reads Too Much
June 20 Terri's Book Addiction
June 21 Mad Sheep Reading
June 22 Paranormal Book Club
June 23 Intoxicated By Books
June 24 United by Books
June 25 The Cover by Brittany
June 26 TSK TSK What to Read
Happy Reading!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Arizona Dreamin' 2012!

Arizona Dreamin' was possibly the most amazing experience I've had in my 21 years. Meeting authors, cover models, and book friends on June 1st and 2nd, 2012 still feels like a dream. Friendships were made, and relationships were made stronger through time spent together. But the trip was special in another way for me.

Several months ago I went ahead and bought AD'12 tickets from Deena Remiel, the wonderful and so supportive author that started my reviewing career after I reviewed her book Trinity. Two tickets were $60. My mom wrote a check and I sent it off to her. Now I think mom didn't quite understand that it was an event rather than some kind of item that I wanted. Nonetheless, within a week, I was on the list for the event. Fast forward a few weeks. AD was coming fast. Despite urging mom and trying to talk to her about it, preparation for the trip was at a standstill. A little over two months before Arizona Dreamin', mom backed out all together. It's not her fault either, and I'm not mad about it either. Mom just doesn't like to travel all that much. I'd love to try and get her to go next year. I think she'd have fun at the event, or she could just relax at the hotel.

To say I was crushed was an understatement. I found myself a lot quieter the next few days. It felt like I had no support system because mom couldn't see how much I wanted to be part of AD. Then I had a bright idea! When celebrating Easter, I had told my Aunt Daphne about our trip! She had said that it sounded like a lot of fun and she wished she could go. Bingo! Aunt Daph was at the beach at the time, so I sent her a Facebook message, practically begging her to go with me. After almost two weeks of deliberation, she said yes!

Words cannot describe how happy that one little word made me. Yes! I was going to Arizona Dreamin'. First it was booking a room. Check. Then it was time to look at flights. Three days later I received the most amazing phone call ever. My grandparents had bought my plane ticket as an early birthday present! Things were really coming together now! The hotel room wound up being part of my birthday present from mom and dad. Aunt Daph and my Uncle payed for the rental car! I finished up packing my bag that Thursday.

Friday morning was an early one. We were up at 6 a.m., which is SUPER early for me, so we could be at the airport an hour early. The flight to Phoenix was smooth and we arrived 40 minutes early. I was beyond nervous to finally be there and for all of Saturday's festivities. Phoenix was beautiful. I loved seeing the mountains. Next time I'd like more time to see the sights.
Aunt Daph and I checked into our hotel room without bumping into anyone I knew. Our check in was followed by a nap for her, ceiling staring for me, and a trip to the mall across from our hotel after that for some shopping and dinner.
 Friday night was the wine reception, but I did not get tickets because I thought I wasn't going when they were on sale. No big deal. I sat on the couch watching Phantom of the Opera, the play, on TV. The ringing of the phone startled me. I was hesitant to answer, but with some encouragement from my aunt, I did. It was author AJ Sweeny, checking in on me! She told me that she was bummed I couldn't come to the wine reception, but was looking forward to meeting me tomorrow! It was a very touching moment. One that made me feel really special. 

I then got a text message from another author and friend, Rhonda Plumhoff inviting me up to her room to meet everyone. This is when the nerves hit me big time. I sat there curled up, debating if I should go or not. Butterflies were causing a commotion in my stomach. An hour after replying with a 'maybe later' I received another text message. It said simply, "What room number are you in?" Deena Remiel was texting me. "246" was my answer. "Do you have clothes on? We'd like to come say hi," I said "Sure," and proceeded to running around our hotel room making myself and our room presentable. 
Five minutes later there was a knock on the door. Opening the door, I was greeted by Deena, Rhonda, April, Sonja, and Judy. There were lots of hugs and small talk. Finally, someone said, "We have a surprise for you." Never could I have anticipated what it would be.
Yep. In walked Jimmy Thomas followed by a hands-to-mouth, OMG, squeal from me. (Later that night, my aunt said she was surprised I didn't cry. Go me!) He had come to see me because I wasn't able to make it to the wine reception. How sweet, right? Jimmy was great! He took two pictures with me, and asked me about my flight. There I was: In Chandler, Arizona- with several authors, book friends, and the cover model with the most covers-ever. I was blown away by how normal it felt. Like I was meant to be there, in this world, doing exactly this. The feeling was euphoric! Everyone left and I just sat there on the couch, shaking, and unbelievably excited. My nervousness for the next day evaporated completely. I was ready to take on Arizona Dreamin'.

Less than two hours is what I managed to sleep Friday night. I tossed and turned while I played the possibilities of Saturday in my head. Would they like me? Would I be alone all day? What if I spilled something on my shirt at dinner? After getting dressed, we headed down early to grab breakfast. Once again  I ran into Deena, who is just amazing. I grabbed a bagel and coffee, which I hardly touched, and headed back into our room so I could shower and get ready. 

I was dressed, ready, and out the door by 9:30. Aunt Daph was planning on coming down to registration with me because a tiny bit of shyness had come back. After turning a corner I spotted a group of ladies I knew! 
 (Deena, JP, me, Sonja)
(Me, Deena, Shannon, Sonja)
(Me, Deena, Sonja)
(Shannon, me, Sonja)
As you can probably tell, I wasn't nervous anymore! The ladies that I had met online were just as amazing, if not more, in person! We had a great time taking pictures and then made our way down to registration!
Registration started at 10 a.m and we got there right on time! We picked up our name tags, goodie bags, and then picked out the six book clubs we wanted to attend! Then it was time for more pictures!

 (Rhonda, Sonja, me, Jamallah, Shannon)
 (Sonja, Jamallah, Rhonda, April, me, Shannon)
 (Deena, Sonja, Jamallah, April, me)
(Rhonda, Sonja, me, Jamallah)
The actual event did not start until noon, so I had plenty of time to mingle and talk to everyone!

 (Kristine Cheney and I! She writes awesome Spartans!)
(This is Rhonda! She makes beautiful things! The bracelets were a gift! Love them!)

(This is JP! He was the winner of the Man of Our Dreams contest! He's also ridiculously tall!)
(I also hit up the bookstore...Several times)

First on the official schedule was the author speed date sessions! We sat down at tables and got to listen to all 20 participating authors tell us a little about themselves and their books! It was fascinating! In that hour I had added at least a dozen books to my 'to be read' list. Several of the authors also gave out assorted swag, that I added to my already impressive goodie bag! I skipped lunch and headed up to my room for a few minutes instead. Aunt Daph listened while I told her about everything and everyone, and showed her my goodies. I freshened up my makeup and was out the door to my first book club. 

In honor of it being just about one year after my reviewing career began, my first stop naturally was Deena Remiel. She is awesome. Her books are amazing. Deena has been nothing but encouraging and sweet and meeting her was an honor! And to make the moment even more special...I am one of the critics in her newest release: Relic! Plus, Deena had the shirt I made her on display!

After Deena's entertaining session, I stopped to take another picture with Jimmy Thomas! One without my PJs! The first picture is my favorite of the two! I just got these last night, which is why it took me so long to finally do this post. I love them!

My second book club was Kris Tualla! The mastermind behind AD!

Third book club was Erin Quin! 

All three lovely ladies signed my books and were nice enough to let me take a picture with them! One the third session was over, we had a short break before dinner time! 

(The amazing Drool Rags Shannon had made for us! And we got Jimmy calendars too!)

Dinner was a wonderful continuation of the day. I really enjoyed the company of all my Harem friends and Jimmy. I was lucky that I was chosen to sit with them! I was quiet most of dinner, watching and listening to everyone else. Rhonda was also a bit shy, so the two of us talked throughout the meal. The Man of Our Dreams contest was fabulous. Lots of giggles and "Aww" moments. Once dinner was over, it was more book club rounds!

Book club number four was AJ Sweeny! AJ was the first author to ever publish one of my reviews into her book. This was another monumental moment for me, especially when she asked my input during her session.She also has a pretty accent! :) 

Session five was with Morgan Kearns! Morgan is hilarious, bubbly, and has such energy! I wish I had half of hers! I bought three of Morgans books and she signed all of them with a smile on her face!

My last book club was with Kristine Cheney! We talked in detail about her books and she gave me the scoop on some upcoming books. Nothing major, but it was still cool! Kristine signed her novella Secret Santa for me, and left me the cutest note about how I was her Angel Face. She also have me the three book thongs pictured up at the top! Kristine and I got along great and I had fun hanging out with her!

After all the book club sessions ended, I, once again, hit up the bookstore. I wound up winning a really cool poster board that was signed by two authors! It was too big to take on the plane, so I had to FedEx it home Sunday morning.

(Shannon, the super talented woman that runs Jimmy's fan page!)

After things settled down slightly, I changed and came back to ask Jimmy to sign the books that had him on the cover. After I had shown Aunt Daph everything I had gotten throughout the day, I went next door where I hung out with AJ Sweeny, Beverly Preston and her daughter, Shannon Albright, and a few more. We had a blast talking about books, and other random topics. AJ and I made the phrase, "Ooooh, damn!" ours and someone brought a penis cake (yes, a penis cake) into our room so we could all take pictures and have a piece if we wanted. I said no.
(Author Beverly Preston!)

I stayed up until after 12:30 with everyone. I was starting to finally come off of my high and I was crashing fast. Saturday night, or Sunday morning, I guess, I slept like a rock. It was hard waking up Sunday morning and packing up all my stuff. My weekend, the weekend that I had been looking forward to for months, was over already.

Saying goodbye to these women was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. All of them had rooted themselves into my heart, feeling more like family than anything else. I realized then that these women were my support system. The one thing I'd felt like I'd been missing, I had finally found. These women are some of the most wonderful people you could ever hope to meet. I'm honored to call them my friends. Even now I miss them like crazy. But I guess that's the great thing about AD. It brought us all together and now we all have the same thing to look forward to...AD'13. A chance to reunite for another spectacular weekend full of books and love.

When I finally arrived home, everything still seemed like a dream. When asked if I was glad to finally be home, I surprised myself by saying no.

(Swag from my goodie bag!)
(Dead tired after AD)

I know it's a long ways away, but I am ready for AD'13! I'm ready to be back at Windmill Inns & Suites with all my friends. Hopefully next year will not have so many complications!

To anyone reading this that went to AD'12: Thank you for making the event such a wonderful experience. I frequently want to weep when thinking of how special the weekend was for me. 

To everyone else: You should seriously consider going next year!

Happy Reading!

Ps. I've probably forgotten several things, so I may go back and edit things a bit. My goal is to use a lot of this in the book I'm hoping to make through Snapfish! :)