21 October 2011

New Orleans and I have met in the most intimate of ways…

After 12 days of New Orleans my brain still isn’t sufficiently online to give you a detailed account of all that happened…I still will give it a go though.

First of all the trip to NO was uneventful, of course the security officer at Schiphol eyeballed me and Janna because we looked like two women who would cause mayhem in the USA. And he was right…to some degree *wink*

Still, the plane trip was uneventful and that night, local time, we arrived at NO. The first thing NO introduced us to was the smell and the humidity. Oh.My.Lord! The humidity was like a wet, sticky blanket, clinging to your skin *ugh* and the smell *shivers* It was wet fungus smell…there isn’t any other way to describe it.

The next day jetlag didn’t introduce itself so we explored NO. I think I spent more time looking up then looking at the sidewalks because the balconies were awesome with lush vegetation and beautiful wrought iron fences. Of course since I had my eyes up I tripped more than once over the disastrous state of the sidewalk. That I didn’t end up at the hospital is still a miracle!!

We explored the French Market with its local produce, spices and bling bling. We found Jackson Square with its local art and Café Du Monde. Later that week we did sit in the famous Café for some coffee and beignets but – am I going to be scorned for saying it – wasn’t all that eventful. The beignets were nice but it didn’t blow my taste buds out of this stratosphere either.


We also got together with Patti (@lovesfabromance) that Saturday and she took us to Barnes And Nobles. I just love that woman for taking us there!! Not only is Patti a hoot to be with she is just the nicest person and had a lot of local info to give us! After lounging about in B&N Patti’s oldest said we were fun to hang out with…I can tell you I felt utter kewl at that moment!!

Patti also directed us to Port Of Call, a local what, café? Diner? Restaurant? Whatever! They were known for their fab burgers. So we went there on a Saturday night, had to wait forty-five freakin’ minutes but then we got seated and oh yeah, I wanted to do a windjammer cocktail. Well, those peeps who follow me on twitter found out how that ended. I seem to have twittered some durty pics – but I can’t see any problems in that *wink* And apparently I was a whole lot of woooo and weeee. I can tell you I had fun but don’t know much about the tweets :)


Lafitte In Exile (picture from internet)

I’ve done way more with Janna in the week prior to the GayRomLit but I decided to be the chaotic person that I am and tell you everything as it pops up in my head. So GayRomLit, what did it do for me? Well, I got to meet J.P. Barnaby, which was definitely a highlight for me. I got to meet some fantabulous authors and ya know, stumble my way through a conversation. Most of all though I remember the two awesome parties of the Joint-Juke-Junket and the barcrawl. They both ended up at Lafitte’s in Exile and we got to meet bartender Jimmy the very first night at the JJJ. He was this awesome, funloving guy and we had a ball with him. I ended up smooching my goodbye with Jimmy that night! Kris introduced me to Margaritas at JJJ night. Hurrican’s might be the signature drink of NO but I fell in lurv with the Margaritas right then and there. But then, Kris is utter kewl and she would never know anything other than the best cocktails out there *wink*


The biggest pic has Tam - Kassa - Tracy and Chris and below them are Janna, me and Kris.

At the parties was nekkid manflesh, tasty cocktails, lots of likeminded bitches and I had *cue music*

Now I've had the time of my life
No I never felt like this before
Yes I swear it's the truth
and I owe it all to you

With that I will leave it for today but there’s loads more to tell so stay tuned for a few more blogposts about my New Orleans adventures - I will tell you all about my first experience with Bourbon St. - eating shrimp and our plantage tours.

PS: I will also be part of Janna's GayRomLit after party where i will talk about what the best moment was for me!!

PPS: Click on the picture for a much larger version!!

20 October 2011

Interview: Riptide's Grand Opening Party - Rachel Haimowitz


Q: First of all I want to congratulate you, Aleksandr Voinov and Chris Hawkins with the opening of Riptide Publishing. Of course everyone wants to know; How was the journey from idea to realizing a brand new publishing house?

Thank you very much! Mostly it came out of contract and craft discussions. Aleks and I had been talking a lot about both of those things as we bounced from publisher to publisher looking for one who could provide the best of all worlds: great covers, great marketing, great editing, and great contracts. We realized we were hunting for a unicorn, basically. Most houses do at least one of those things well, but pretty much none of them—at least none we’d found, anyway—do them all as well as we’d have hoped.

This led to sort of a lightbulb moment one day, when we were like, hey, you know? We could probably do this. We had a lot of the necessary skills between us: I edited in Manhattan houses for years, including major independents and a Big Six house. Aleks had edited for years in the business sector. We were both pretty intimately familiar with the publishing industry in general and the M/M industry in particular. Aleks had a ton of connections. I had a ton of business experience (I owned and operated a business for seven years, managing a double-handful of staff and wearing all the hats at one time or another). We knew all the ins and outs of what makes a contract good or bad. We knew the production process. And god knows we had the drive and the heart.

So I wandered off to draft up a business plan, and realized that, yes, this will work. Our success or failure does hinge entirely on a reader’s willingness to pay for a quality product—depending on length, our books may be $1 to $3 more than most other publishers in our space would sell a book for—but we firmly believe that readers are smart and are hungry for brilliantly crafted, well edited, and beautifully packaged books that don’t make them want to hurl their Kindle across the room in frustration. The reception Riptide’s been getting—from industry professionals, authors, book bloggers, and readers—seems to indicate we were right about that assumption. We seem to have hit a nerve, and it’s amazing and humbling and wonderful to see so many people so excited about what we’re doing here.

Q: Have there been challenges along the way that surprised you?

Interestingly enough, the sailing’s been generally smoother than I ever could have dreamed it would be. Everyone’s been so receptive and so eager to work with us. It’s been amazing.
The biggest challenge for me has been time. Getting fifteen books ready all at once while simultaneously launching the business side of things and also trying to get an under-deadline release of my own out has resulted in a lot of 80-hour workweeks. But it’s all so exciting and I’m so passionate about it, I hardly notice. As Aleks and I like to joke—I can sleep when I’m dead. Or, you know, sometime after October 30 

Q: What is important for you, as one of the founders, to offer readers?

An unfailingly impressive reading experience. No bad plots, no unrelatable characters, no awkward prose, no ugly covers, no bad editing. We’re bringing Manhattan quality to the M/M space.

Q: Do you think pricing affects the buy behavior of a reader and in extension of that, what are the prices going to be of your imprints?

In a way, yes. A reader’s much less likely to take a chance on a new author if their book is $9.99 than if their book is $.99. On the other hand, 99% of the time, you get what you pay for. When you buy a $2.99 novel, it’s a good bet you’re wasting your three bucks on a poorly-edited book you won’t terribly enjoy.

Q: I’m always wondering if publishers and authors notice trends in the M/M subgenres. What readers buy the most and do you anticipate on that?

It doesn’t make much sense to cater to trends, because by the time you see, “Oh, vampires are selling really well,” and you set about acquiring vampire books, and put in the three to six months it takes to edit and produce them, and finally get them out to the reader, the trend is over. Now you’ve got three vampire stories and suddenly everyone’s sick of them.

So what we look for is simply great storytelling. If it happens to have vampires, that’s fine—just make sure you bring something new to it. We actually do have four separate stories with vampires in our initial fifteen releases, but none of them are actually vampire stories, if that makes sense. One’s an action-packed cyberpunk thriller (A Chip in His Shoulder); one’s a hilarious, pun-filled short (Sucks & Blows); one just happens to feature a vampire amidst all kinds of other crazy (and very funny) things popping out of a hell portal in the parking lot of a Quick-Mart (Pretty Monsters: Josh of the Damned #1), and one’s a moody atmospheric piece that bounces through time (Divinity). None of them are vampire stories in the traditional sense—no tragic heroes, no woe-is-me love stories, no sparkles.

Q: I took a sneak peek in to your press kit and came across a cover stating it was ‘A Riptide Wet Dream’. What does this entail?

That’s our line of erotic-focused short stories. We have two lines of shorts (stories under 10,000 words). The Wet Dreams are erotica—quick little bites of burning hotness. The Ripples are everything else; they may have erotic elements, but the erotica isn’t the focus.

Q: What is up and coming with Riptide Publishing?

We’re releasing fifteen stories this year amidst a gigantic three-month-long Grand Opening Celebration. We’re rolling out with some very exciting “First Wave” authors—fan favorites like Lori Witt, Kari Gregg, and Damon Suede; and absolutely stunning new talents like Peter Hansen and Rhianon Etzweiler. We’re hard at work on our lineup for 2012 and 2013—most if not all of our First Wave authors are writing new pieces for us, and you’ll also be seeing some very familiar faces joining in on our Second Wave. All in all, it’s a very exciting time, and I have to admit to doing a little fangirl squeeing at some of the authors who we’re signing on for next year. Keep an eye out!

website | Goodreads | Blog | Twitter |

The Giveaway: From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive Grand Opening blog tour!

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

Have you got a question to ask Rachel Haimowitz? This is your moment! Ask away in your comments ;)

19 October 2011

Interview: Riptide's Grand Opening Party - L.A. Witt



Q: First of all where are you from?

Born and raised about 30 minutes outside of Seattle.

Q: What do you like to read?

Pretty much anything that sounds interesting. I mostly read science fiction and fantasy, but I’ll read anything.

Q: What do you love about being an author?

Besides having a 15 second commute, working in my pajamas, listening to my own music, having my cat on my desk, taking breaks/vacations whenever I want, and being able to chat while I work? Being an author.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

Take two (or three) characters, put them in a crappy situation, add water remove clothing, stir vigorously.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

They’ll usually have a real person’s face, but the characters come from my imagination. Meaning I need a visual of some sort – usually a photo, either of a celebrity or just some random picture I found online – so I can put a face with the name, but the character evolves on his or her own.

Q: What are your current projects?

It changes constantly, but I’m working on a BDSM novel at the moment, plus rewriting a hetero BDSM story that I wrote in 2010. Hoping to have both of those done and submitted by the end of the year, but considering I’m traveling and relocating from October thru December, I don’t expect to be quite as productive as I usually am.


Q: Where do you get the names for your characters?

Sometimes they come to me. Sometimes I have to spend an inordinate amount of time poring over a very tattered baby name book that lives on my desk. There is frequently some brainstorming with my Minion and my writing buddies.

Q: Tell us about your latest release(s)?

Chip in His Shoulder will be out on November 14, at Riptide Publishing.

Here's a blurb:

“Contract killer” is a fitting job for a vampire, and it suits Liam just fine. Cast down from the wealth and status of the Sky for taking a human lover, Liam lurks in the poor and pollution-choked Gutter, killing to survive. Between his natural strengths and his Cybernetix mods, no mark has ever escaped him.

Liam’s ex-lover Daniel is the heir to Cybernetix—and its greatest threat. Horrified by people less man than machine and the exploitation of Gutter factory workers, he’d rather destroy Cybernetix than inherit it . . . if his father doesn’t destroy him first.

Years of anger and a heap of mods have kept Daniel and Liam apart. When Liam is hired to slaughter a man in his glass Sky tower, he walks right into a Daniel-shaped trap. Daniel’s father has betrayed them both, and only by working together can Daniel and Liam survive the coming day. They have no reason to trust each other, but as the dawn looms, a bargain that began with the simple urge to live soon reminds them of the love they once shared. Can they find each other again, or will the Cybernetix assassins find them first?


The pre-order buy link

Q: What are you working on next?

At the moment, I’m working on a contemporary gay BDSM novel called Where There’s Smoke. After that, it’s on to the not-yet-titled second book in the Tooth & Claw series (book #1, The Given & The Taken, is due out in January from Samhain).

Q: What would you advise an aspiring author?

Sit down and write. The book will not write itself, so put your butt in a chair, your fingers on a keyboard, and write until you finish. If it sucks, don’t panic. That’s what editing is for. And for the love of all that’s good and unholy, when you submit your work, be persistent. You will get rejected. Probably a few times (I have about 300 rejections under my belt). Keep at it, be open to criticism, keep improving, and keep writing.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to tell your readers?

No matter what anyone says, argyle socks do not, in fact, go well with strappy stiletto dress shoes.

Q: How can readers connect with you?

Readers are welcome to e-mail me at thethinker42(AT)gmail(DOT)com if they have questions, comments, or Jared Leto’s home phone number.

website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

The Giveaway: From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive Grand Opening blog tour!

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

Have you got a question to ask L.A. Witt? This is your moment! Ask away in your comments ;)

18 October 2011

Interview: Riptide's Grand opening Party - Damon Suede


Q: What’s the one question you wish people would ask you when you tell them you’re a writer?

“Where can I buy your book?” LOL

No. I’m kidding.  I wish people would ask about the subtler things in a story. I love when readers dig deeper than “this happened and then that happened, and they all went to Guam in a rowboat.” I bury hundreds of Easter eggs in books (more for my own amusement than anything!) and I love it when readers uncover them. My favorite thing is a reader asking, “Hey is that name there because of the Greek meaning or the Finnish?” or “I noticed that you connected the colors of these three props in these five scenes and never commented on it. What’s that about then?”

Q: How do you answer it?

I tell them the truth when I know it, explain the logic when it’s there, show them how the choices got made and the small impacts of those choices over the rest of the book. Most people don’t pay attention to the small accretion of specifics that create an sense or plant a hint. They know they felt “scared” or “sexy” but they don’t need to know why. I love talking about the choices, maybe because I think about them too much… And when a reader has paid close attention to something I wrote, they deserve my undivided attention in kind.  Such readers do us great honor.

If you were doomed to spend the rest of your life on an island with only one book, one person, one food (coconuts and fish aside), and one object from the modern world (computer, deodorant, vibrator, etc.), what would they be?

The one book would probably be The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I’ve read it a hundred times and it’s never the same twice and always heartbreaking. My one food would be Murgh Tikka Lababdar (sort of like a tikka masala) because Indian food is so nourishing and so comforting at the same time. The modern object (and I’m assuming it can’t be my loaded Kindle, ya bastards!) would be a computer so I could write and thereby stave off madness. If I couldn’t write every day, in under a week I’d be in the corner playing with my eyelids and eating a wig.

The one person would be my boyfriend, who is my rock and my joy. He’s a forensic investigator and very handy besides, so in about 3 days he’d have built a boat out of twigs and squid and we’d be home shortly after.

Q: Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written?

Holy Sophie’s Choice! That’s like asking parents to pick their favorite child! Impossible! I’ll say this: I always love the most recent characters a little more ardently because (like infants) they seem to need it more; I’m more protective of the newborns. The older characters can take care of themselves in any dark alley. LOL

Q: What’s your current book list and where can we buy them?

I have a full length contemporary novel from Dreamspinner called Hot Head.
And I have a free online short called Seedy Business, which is a prequel to Grown Men (published in October by Riptide).

Where are your favorite online hangouts? What are your daily must-stop blogs and websites?
Goodreads. Facebook (although my patience is wearing then), Jessewave, Elisa’s Ramblings, Speak Its Name, Huffington Post.

Speaking of online hangouts, where are yours? Where can your readers find you?
Ah hell: I’m like jock itch. :) Any damp, dark place and I’m good to go. But you can try me at:

website | Facebook | FB Fanpage | Goodreads page | Amazon | Google+ | Dreamspinner Press | GLBT Bookshelf | Manic Readers |

The Giveaway: From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive Grand Opening blog tour!

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

Have you got a question to ask Damon Suede? This is your moment! Ask away in your comments ;)

17 October 2011

Interview: Riptide's Grand Opening Party - Aleksandr Voinov

When I was contacted by Chris from Riptide Publishing if I wanted to join in the festivities surrounding the opening of a new m/m publisher I scoured their website. What I found made me very excited! Next to the fact I found author names I enjoy reading in the m/m genre there was also a lot on background info that hit the excitement button. Over the course of this month the Riptide party will rock blogland and will be the sound off to many wonderful reads! This week I chipped in with interviews by Aleksandr Voinov and Rachel Haimowitz. In between the interviews I have guestblogs by L.A. Witt and Damon Suede.

Join in y'all for great convo's and fantastic prizes!!!


Q&A with Aleksandr Voinov

Q: First of all I want to congratulate you, Rachel Haimowitz and Chris Hawkins with the opening of Riptide Publishing. Of course everyone wants to know; How was the journey from idea to realizing a brand new publishing house?

Thanks, Leontine, for the congrats and for having me over. I think just about every author has briefly toyed with the idea to be a publisher – whether to self-publish or not is a viable question in these times when the technology is cheap and the skills are there. So, yeah, Rachel and I were talking about self-publishing a story or two and basically all stories where the rights are returning to us. Authors need to be savvy about running their backlists, and self-publishing can be a good idea.

Once that idea was in the room, we realized we had all the skills necessary to actually be a publisher – not “just” a self-publisher. We ran the idea past some friends (like Chris Hawkins, our marketing guru) and then Rachel crunched a lot of numbers and wrote a business plan.

I guess we were a bit shocked when we realized, yes, we can do this. We have the perfect team and skill set and we actually managed to sell the idea – the whole mission statement – to author colleagues and friends. It became big pretty quickly, and by now I’m less shocked and more “Hell yeah!” about it all. I really have the feeling that this is exactly what many authors – and readers – have been waiting for: great editing, great talent, great covers.

Q: Have there been challenges along the way that surprised you?

There’s a nice German expression that says “being scared of your own courage”. Yep, I was pretty scared, I have to admit. Starting a business is huge, and we’ve seen many publishers go under or never take off, so Rachel and I (and Chris) did a lot of business analysis and planning.

Learning from other people’s mistakes and failures and successes. Above all, I was nervous about not being able to deliver for our authors – many of our authors are serious names in the industry, so what if we can’t give them a better service than they are used to? You do lie awake at night, going through everything over and over again and building emergency plans and worrying about everything. So, yeah, that was the thing that surprised me. I’m usually a doer – I make stuff happen. Being so nervous and scared of my own courage was new.

Q: What is important for you, as one of the founders, to offer readers?

Quality stories with great editing and great covers. I’m reading a lot myself, and there are so many books out there that are… less than they should be. Or could be. Basically, most of the books and stories out there that I read make me think, “Damn, this could have been good if the author had had some help from a capable editor.” There are many books in the market that are almost good. So we want to offer stories that entertain, stories with plot, attractive covers (as a reader and writer, I’m sick and tired of awful covers) and ideally typo-free reading. I recently read the sentence “he road him hard” in a release from a mid-sized romance publisher. That ruined the sex scene for me, and I know that readers really don’t like reading stories that are teeming with typos and other mistakes. At Riptide, readers can immerse themselves in the story.

Q: Do you think pricing affects the buy behavior of a reader and in extension of that, what are the prices going to be of your imprints?

I do think pricing affects reader behavior, absolutely. Some publishers are selling novels for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks (or whichever coffee chain store you visit). We’re not one of those publishers. I do think that readers are willing to pay a little more for quality. At the shorter lengths, we are competitively priced with other publishers. Once you get to the novel-length fiction and the longer novellas, that’s where it really costs a lot of money to edit properly.

I think our FAQ says it best: Pricing is based on book length. Rather than featuring only three or four price tiers, we have ten different tiers at Riptide. This ensures that the customer never overpays for a book at the short end of a wide price tier (for instance, some houses sell all books up to 15K words for $2.99, but who wants to pay $2.99 for a 5,000 word short?), and that the author is paid fairly for books at the long end of a wide price tier (for instance, some houses sell all books over 40K words for $5.99, even though it may take the author three or four times as long to write a 100K book as a 40K book).

When deciding how to price our tiers, we took into account the time and expense that goes into producing each book at Riptide. Unlike many other e-publishers in the M/M space, we provide Manhattan-quality developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading for each book we produce. We also provide professional layout, hand-coded file conversions to eliminate irritating artifacts and layout errors in your e-book, and gorgeous cover art. All of these things mean that Riptide’s production process is as much as fifteen times more expensive than at other e-houses, and consequently, our cover prices are a little bit higher (but not fifteen times more!). However, we’ve learned through experience that quality sells, and readers appreciate the respect we show them by not producing a sub-par product.

Our pricing tiers are as follows:
Short stories
Under 5,000 words: $.99
5,000 to 9,999 words: $1.99
Novelettes
10,000 to 14,999 words: $2.99
Novellas
15,000 to 24,999 words: $3.99
25,000 to 34,999 words: $4.99
35,000 to 44,999 words: $5.99
Novels
45,000 to 59,999 words: $6.99
60,000 to 74,999 words: $7.99
75,000 to 89,999 words: $8.99
90,000+ words: $9.99

Q: I’m always wondering if publishers and authors notice trends in the M/M subgenres. What readers buy the most and do you anticipate on that?

It’s received wisdom that contemporaries sell the most copies, so most publishers are looking very much to acquire contemporaries. Sex outsells no sex. M/m outsells mixed ménage, novels outsell novellas, and novellas outsell short stories.

At Riptide, we don’t really care. As writers, we know that people write what they are passionate about. So I’d much rather publish a gay horror story that the writer poured their heartblood into than a lukewarm contemporary. We really only care about the quality, regardless of length or genre.

The problem with trends is that they are unpredictable. Before Harry Potter, would anybody have thought that a book series about kid wizards would sell a gazillion copies? Before Gladiator, the big historical movie was dead. I think you have to do what you’re passionate about, and the readers will follow.

Q: I took a sneak peek in to your press kit and came across a cover stating it was ‘A Riptide Wet Dream’. What does this entail?

Wet Dreams are short stories whose primary focus is erotic content. Other shorts—which may contain erotic content but aren’t erotica—are called Riptide Ripples.

Q: What is up and coming with Riptide Publishing?

Well, we’ll have the big launch with a number of stories in October, then we’re partying for three months and publishing one story per week over that period.
Right now, our launch line-up looks like this (subject to change):

Opening Day: October 30, 2011

Grown Men by Damon Suede
First Watch by Peter Hansen
Master Class by Rachel Haimowitz
Sucks & Blows by Storm Grant
Dark Soul vol. 1 by Aleksandr Voinov
Romeo Club #1: Surprises by Brita Addams
Once a Marine by Cat Grant
Pretty Monsters by Andrea Speed

November 7
Divinity by Bryl Tyne

November 14
A Chip in His Shoulder by Lori Witt

November 21
Dark Soul vol 2 by Aleksandr Voinov

November 28
Collared by Kari Gregg

December 5
Romeo Club #2: Rubbed the Right Way by Brita Addams

December 12
Blacker than Black by Rhianon Etzweiler

December 19
Dark Soul vol 3 by Aleksandr Voinov

After December 19, we take a break for the holidays and begin new releases again on January 2.

If you'd like to follow us, subscribe to our newsletter on the website

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And our very active Goodreads group, with lots of fun activities for both readers and writers:
Goodreads Group

The Giveaway: From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive Grand Opening blog tour!

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

I would say; Let your curiosity run free and ask Aleksandr Voinov a question that has been burning on your tongue and demands an answer ;)

04 October 2011

Watch out New Orleans, here we come!!

For the last couple of days I’ve been off the grit to prepare for my trip to NOLA. I think I’ve been talking about this trip for the last six months to anyone who was willing to lend an ear. The minute I knew me and Janna were going I made myself a list what I wanted to do.

Pleasuring the taste buds:
I had no problem filling this list.

1: Drink a Hurricane – I do not drink alcohol often because I always have the state of mind I can have just as much fun without alcohol as with. Still, I have never…and I mean NEVER drunk a cocktail. So I decided NOLA is going to change that with me drinking this local cocktail. If, at any time during my stay, you read tweets that do not make sense or fail to form a coherent thought…I warn you now; it is still me but a tad bit drunk!

2: I would like to eat breakfast or lunch at Café Du Monde. I have heard much about this place over the years and I want to eat a bagel/beignet there. If I have guts I’m ordering a chicory coffee with it 0.0

In extension of chicory coffee – I think I will drink twice as much coffee in the US than at home. Why, you might wonder. One answer; Starbucks *grin* Please support Janna any way you can if she has to deal with me in a caffeine rush!!

3: I have heard Pearl talk about sweet potato fries. We don’t have them in the Netherlands and I must find out if they are this finger licking tasty!

4: Gumbo – I really need to wear my ‘I-Iz-Superwoman’ t-shirt to eat this. I’m not that much of a seafood person but I don’t think I can leave NOLA with at least having it tried once.

Culture inhaling:

1: I have bought this delightful little information book on NOLA and found a few bookstores of interest which might be fun to visit: Octavia Books – Garden District Books – Faulkner House Books & Beckham’s Bookshop.

2: Visit a plantation. In my early teenage years I watched North And South which resulted in me having a gurl crush on Patrick Swayze. Not much later after North And South I went to the cinema and saw his hip rockin’ moves in Dirty Dancing and Road house. My girly heart went pitter patter at the sight of him without a shirt. *Focusses on topic again* Ever since watching North And South I wanted to visit a plantation and wander around. I might not have been a history junkie in school but loving it now!

3: There is a big market somewhere in NOLA, I read about it in my little book of travel info but can’t seem to find it again :( Anyway, it sounded like inhaling an essential piece of NOLA so definitely going to find the info again.

Also, with the GayRomLit we are going to do awesome things like A Mississippi cruise – bar crawl – cemetery tour - French Quarter Vampire & Ghost Walking Tour and lots of parties! Next to that the M/M group from Goodreads organized a Scavenger Hunt which means oodles of fun to me and a chance to accumulate a European bracelet.

Things I found out along the way:

1: My sister informed me that on October 10th it will be Columbus day in the US. Does this mean BBQ? And if so, where can we crash one? ;)

2: This trip has once again proven what a control freak I am! *chants* "Know oneself is the road to self-improvement!" As it is my first trip to the US I've asked various friends numerous questions regarding plain trip, luggage, customs etc. The 'What if' syndrome stressed me out and my bro and sis got the brunt of it. *gives them a bear hug*

3: I bought a dress for the parties and my butt is still very butt-luscious curvy and present. I guess I’m owning it as my mum once said: “Hon, you were born with buttocks (she will never say butt LOL) and I think you’ll grow old with one as well.”


4: Last week I googled the weather forecast of New Orleans and came to the shocking discovery the temperature is around 28-30 Celcius there, which is around 80-85 Fahrenheit? That is like freakin' sub-tropical summer in the Netherlands!! I iz a fall/winter type of person y'all and already sweating at the thought of such temperatures. Only light airy tee's, dresses, skirts, capri pants for me to wear and sandals for me to walk on, I can tell ya that!!

5: I contemplated on revealing a picture of my real life self in this blogpost but *insert chicken sounds* I’m a coward. I think each and every one can handle me better in three-D *grin*

Dreaming of things happening in NOLA:

1: Meeting a Were-Hunter, fall madly in love with each other and…oh yeah; have wild *not inserting animals like monkey or bunnies here* sex together ;)

2: Anne Rice bumps in to us, we talk a bit, and then we get invited to her house for dinner.

Whatever happens in NOLA, I know this; I’m happy to share the first part of my adventure with Janna and we are going to join Chris – Kassa – Tracy – Tammy and Kris for the GayRomLit adventure. I know I will have my Bridget Jones/foot-in-mouth and speaking Dutch to a US peep moments. Which afterwards we will all laugh about but at that moment I’ll pray in embarrassment; "Dear lawd, have the earth swallow me whole!" I will also get to meet awesome authors and especially look forward to meeting J.P. Barnaby!

I will return on October 18th in the Netherlands and between then and now I will try to blog but there are no reviews-interviews or giveaways planned in the meantime. I didn’t think to invite fellow bloggers to guestpost *eek* So I will try and blog/tweet as much about my NOLA experience as can :)

On October 17th I have a Q&A week planned with founders and authors of the new M/M Publisher in town; Riptide Publishing. The curios kitten in me wanted to know a lot, plus they have grand prizes in store like; A Nook, iPad or a Kindle.

Of course, if you’ve got tips on places to go for me and Janna, please share them!