Friday, April 27, 2007

Long Weekend

Contest: One Lucky Commenting Bella Wins a Six-Pack of Romance!

Well, I'll try to follow up yesterday's title -- which what was surely the most sophomoric title in this blog's history -- with a classier day.

I'm on my way to the Washington Romance Writer's yearly retreat, "In the Company of Writers." I'm totally honored and jazzed that they've invited me a second year in a row, not just because it's cool to get to present there, but because the event's marvelous. A the "WRW Retreat," as it's known, writers published and aspiring meet to discuss craft, pitch to agents, and learn a little about the business of romance fiction. But the energy, oh the energy is lovely: calm, friendly, supportive -- which necessarily can't always be the case at larger gatherings because of stress of doing business.

The WRWs are a very fun group, and include the likes of Katherine Caskie and Sophie Jordan, Susan Donovan and a host of other notables you can check out at . But I really feel I must tell you, their crowning jewel is...La Nora.

Every year she speaks Sunday morning, just before the retreat is adjourned, and I kid you not, she's one funny woman. And, like last year, once again I get to be the warm-up act, as it were. This year, the title of my presentation is:

"Snaxy Guys, Smarty Pantses, and Love Online: How Romance B(u)y the Book Readers Built a Community."

So, I'm gonna talk all about you! How you came, you stayed, you kicked cyber-good karma butt. And you helped build yet another positive home for romance on the Inet.

I'm gonna be incommunicado til Sunday nite -- and one of the things I'll talk about at WRW is how you all hostess the place when I'm not around -- so I thought you might want to help me with something.

Tell me, what do you think you add to the
Romance: B(u)y the Book community?

See you Sunday Night!

Encore! See you Sunday night! BTW, The guy above is Wentworth Miller, one of "People Mag's" Top 100 Sexy Guys, and Bella MK's choice for Tohr. Prego. You're welcome. A little pretty-eyed boy gift because I'm gonna miss you.


Stacy~ said...

Geez Michelle, I could write a book on this subject, but I gotta get to work!

Well, definitely several reasons, and though I'm speaking in first person, I think I'm speaking for the Bellas too (if I may be so bold) when I give you the following:

- I support romance. I love the books I read, and the writers who write them. I don't love every single book that crosses my path, but overall, I believe in the power of the romance novel. The positive and healthy validation they give to women (and men) to fantasize, to be comfortable in their sexuality; to be daring, safe, experimental, wild, sensual, and free. To know the difference between fantasy and reality and to know it's okay to fantasize but not necessarily to want it in real life. Or to fantasize and make those fantasies come true.

- I adore the Bellas. The laughter, the commiserating (poor JR-M), the sammiches. Not always making things so damn serious. Laughing at ourselves, and each other, but with love and respect. I look forward to "seeing" the Bellas everyday. They (you) are my friends, albeit in a unique way, but no less valid. I learn from you all, feel a part of something wonderful. It's sweet to know people feel the same way about me and my dorkiness, which I embrace wholeheartedly. It's okay not to be jaded, cynical, and bored here. (Not that I'm a "sugary sweet and everything is beautiful" person 24/7. Ick. I like angst and complaining and all that just fine, but I'll save that for work LOL)

-Queen Michelle, who has brought this happy little place together and made it like a crashpad for girlfriends to gab and share 'ritas. The authors you've introduced us to still leaves me in awe (Brockmann! Kleypas! I think I'm going to faint!) For not avoiding uncomfortable topics and for letting us all embrace the wild girl, or the shy one, inside. For the hotties, the cover models, the books, the laughter, the raunchiness, the lexicon of love, the UATW ( or UAT - you fill in the blank) fantasies, the important causes. I'm here because you put it out there, and now I share in what has been created. I'm a part of all of that too, just like the Bellas. We are much, much more than adult women giggling at cute boys. I don't care what anybody says LOL.

Well, hard to believe, but I could go on and on, but it's that dang job that keeps calling, and I gotta go before I have to answer. Later....

Anonymous said...

Have fun Michelle, it sounds like a great time.

Hmmm, I guess I contribute my opinion weather others agree or disagree with it. But when you come here you don't worry about voicing your opinion and being judged or abused by others because of it. LOL! I can tell you that this site has introduced me to books I may never have picked up. Because sometimes people just don't tend to wander out of their comfort zone, mine being contemporary Romance. It's not like any other site because you have many different authors here not just a handful. Thank you for that. :)

Kati said...

Me? I bring the pimpery! Also, many, many opinions, and a little of the bitchy. That's my contribution.

I come here because we have generally very positive discourse, and the topics are interesting and about things I love. Also, I adore getting to talk to authors, and I get to indulge my inner fan-grrl. Also because Michelle has become a very close friend.

OK Bellas, tell the truth, in this picture, doesn't Wentworth Miller look like Tohrment??? I just wanna curl up and rub his head! LOL!

Dirty girls, not THAT head...

Shannon said...

Hhhhmmmm... Well I guess I mostly just bring my opinion. I don't speak for every romance reader out there, but I do know what I like myself and I can give advice on what draws a reader to certain books.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Playground Monitor said...

I bring the senior citizen element to the equation. ::grin:: And right now this senior citizen has Sesame Street songs playing from her computer while her granddaughter is playing with margarine containers and Grammy's spatulas on the office floor because somehow we managed to not get the bag with her toys. But we'll survive!

I love the discussions here. I may not always have anything to contribute, but I know if I do, it will be accepted openly. There's a great sense of respect in here and after surviving flame wars on other message boards and blogs I really appreciate that.

rubber ducky you're the one, you make bathtime so much fun

Oops... got off track.

I've "met" some new authors, had fun and laughs, discovered some new authors to read, shared my own opinions and read the opinions of others and found a great source for snaxy guys.

Gee, I didn't know the Muppets sang "Kokomo."

Somebody's got a stinky diaper so I better go change it.

Marilyn AKA Grammy

Anonymous said...

I came to this site because of the snaxy guys, the beautiful moderator, and all the wonderful bellas that contribute to the discussion. Have found all sorts of new authors & new genres that I haven't had the urge to try out and found that I liked. Most of all, I found a community of people that like the same type of books that I do & that are a group of smart women who are unapologetic romance fans & support those authors who give us what we want!

Carol M said...

To be honest, I don't really contribute much. I'm mostly a lurker and only comment when I think I have something to say. That isn't often because I'm really pretty shy! I do enjoy reading what everyone else has to say! Every blog has some lurkers, right! lol

Minna said...

I come here because I just love romance books and here I have found some new authors.

Anonymous said...



Just kidding!

(Have a great weekend, Michelle, and take copious notes so you can dish all the dirt next week, okay Bella?)

As a newer commenter, I bring my own perspective to the discussion, just like everyone else. And love for the genre. As Stacy said, I don't luuuuuuuuuuuurve each and every romance novel I read, but I have made it my mission to spread the good word: there are GREAT books here, with amazing characters, realistic dialogue, well crafted stories, unforgettable writing.

And there are incredibly talented, generous, kind readers out there (here), happy to share their vast knowledge and favorite authors *waving to MaryKate*, or to offer their own space to foster intriguing discussions on all sorts of topic *waving to Michelle*

Grazie, Bellas.

Julie in Ohio said...

Mornin', Bellas!!

I've taken my exam and am now ready for some much needed down time. Too bad I'm at work... :o(

Michelle-- Have a great time!!

What do I bring to RBTB? ROTFLMAO!!
I don't think I can answer that question because I've asked it myself. :oD
I would like to say I add a bit of flavor. I don't take many things seriously...unless I do. I'm not intellectual so a discertation on why romance is wonderful is out but I know what I like. I often can't put it into words but I can usually fudge my way around.

I'm very good at gushing pretty much whenever it's called for and often when it's not. Does that count? :o)

Azteclady-- Enthusiasm. I like that word. I think we all bring that to the table. :o)

MK-- Wentworth Miller is snaxy to the extreme. I guess because of the bald head and intense look, I see more of Z in him, though. But nonetheless, he would do the BDB proud. Maybe we can come up with a new name for him. How about Leethel?

Anonymous said...

I'm new here, so I haven't brought much to the table. I enjoy being around here though :)

flip said...

A lifelong love of romance novels in its many forms from the suspense novels of Mary Stewart to the sexy paranormals of JR Ward. Reading is a passion. If there is nothing else to read, I read the cereal box in the morning. But I really enjoy romance and I support it. I praise good books. Try to forget disappointing books. I can never buy enough books.

kerri1973 said...

I think I bring complete and utter nonsense to the community. LOL Seriously, I just enjoy being here with like minded individuals. Yes, other folks who love reading and romance as much as I do. Also, those of us who still believe that romance exists in the "real world". In today's mixed up world it would be easy to stop believing and yet with all the love in these books and among fellow can it not exist? Seize the book! That's my motto. My other motto is that organized people are just too lazy to search for things, but that's another story! Have a great weekend peeps!

Kati said...

MK-- Wentworth Miller is snaxy to the extreme. I guess because of the bald head and intense look, I see more of Z in him, though. But nonetheless, he would do the BDB proud. Maybe we can come up with a new name for him. How about Leethel?

Naw, Jules, I don't think that spelling is quite silly enough. *BIGGRIN* The reason I say he looks like Tohr is that Tohr is described somewhere as having a "brush cut" and I believe he has "silver-blue" eyes. Although, I have to say that in the picture, I think his eyes come closest to the human equivalent of Acheron's from SK's Dark-Hunters. Don't you think? Either way, he's delicious. I won't tell you what Michelle said when she saw his piccy, but it involved taking the Lord's name in vain! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I love books and reading; the picture on the book is art to me and I love the books I have.
I love the blogs and reading other's opinions and giving mine. I like to support the authors who have blogs and participate on them. One gets to find out valuable info sometimes.


Julie in Ohio said...

"My other motto is that organized people are just too lazy to search for things, but that's another story!"

Kerri-- THAT'S FRICKIN' BRILLIANT! I hope you don't mind but I am going to use that the next time I'm harrassed for my filing system. :o)

MK-- Shucks. Here I thought I was on to something. How about Xsexy or maybe Smoeken? :p
I can just imagine what Queenie's response was to this hottie. :o) I remember him from an episode of Buffy and let me just say that him in a speedo sticks with ya.

Maureen said...

We add our opinions which are definitely worth something since we are some of the people buying romance novels. It's a pleasure to visit here, see what everyone is talking about and add my two cents if I have something to say.

amy kennedy said...

Smoeken? Smoeken? Jules I am at work and you are killin me. Okay, this is going to keep me laughing the entire day--maybe the whole weekend.

When Blogger would no longer recognize me and I couldn't comment every darn day--I felt so left out. Finally Michelle told me to stop whining and set up a new Google account, and then MK said to sign in. Now I am once more in my happy blogging bella zone.

What do I bring? The guttah. No, well sometimes, I think it depends on the day and the discussion. But I always bring a smiling face--even if you can't see it.

I think we're great, old, new, and de-lurkers. We truly love to pull you in--so enough lurking Carol. Or lurk if you want, whatever makes you feel comfortable.

When I think of the books I've read because of Michelle and all you Bellas--it's mind boggling, I tell you.

Kati said...

What do I bring? The guttah.

And this is why Ames is one of my favorites. I can always count on her to go lowest common denominator with me.

Every time I get dirty, I feel like I need to "Holla" for Ames.

Amy - Don't know if you saw my offer earlier this week, but if you want to email me off blog, I'll be glad to ship you my copy of THE WINDFLOWER (or, you could sneak into Michelle's house and steal it. Believe me when I say she'll never notice!!). Anyway, glad to loan you mine, but you've got to return it. Since, you know, it's the BEST. ROMANCE. EVAH!

Julie in Ohio said...

Sheesh! Ya'll ain't easy to please today. I'm killing Amy and not impressing MK. I smell a challenge... :D


kerri1973 said...

Julie--please feel free to use any of my mottos! Welcome to my world of organized chaos! The more the merrier I say! Now returning to finish my highly nutricious lunch of Pringles. :-p

tetewa said...

Have a fun weekend Michelle! I love romance books because takes me away to places and people that I might never encounter in the real world. Love to read all genres being an avid reader.

Anonymous said...

I bring my opinion. I like reading about others input and sometimes like to enter my own input. I also love talking about romance books with those that have the same likes you do.

anne said...

Romance books and reading transports me to another time and place. It allows me a chance to experience, freedom, adventure and for this I love romance books.

sharon said...

Being able to share our opinions on romance and have the fun and entertainment this provides me is a great diversion. It helps broaden my scope and interests me completely.

principessa said...

Having this outlet gives me another dimension to romance. The books, discussions and lively interaction is wonderful. Books and their stimulation have always been there for me and this is another setting.

Sue A. said...

By adding my opinions to the others that congregate here, I feel empowered, and I hope others feel that way too. As a community of romance book readers and writers we are bonded to each other by our mutual love and interest.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Michelle, have fun at the retreat!!! Sounds fabulous. I have to say thank you to all the bellas for making this a fun and respectful place to visit every day. I mostly lurk.:-) so I don't think I contribute for very much, but I do enjoy reading everyone's comments. Thanks, Carolanne

Lois said...

Ah well, this is a tough one, but I guess I supply the Phantom of the Opera next to my name. . . you know, the eye candy? :)


Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

I bring irregularity and inconsistency since I'm not generally a daily visitor, but I love reading the great authors and commenters that congregate bella-style when I do drop in. There's such a wide variety of genres, styles and opinions represented here that RBtB is truly an equal-opportunity romancefest. Have fun on your trip!

Cherie J said...

I bring the opinion and the insight of a woman who is not only a romance reader but a wife and mother of 2.

alissa said...

When I visit I know that my interests and all of the others here will be taken seriously. LOL. The romance genre and all the books discussed here has given me much to think about and plenty to read and enjoy.

ev said...

I add money, lots and lots of money. I think that is a good thing.

Rach said...

LOL you guys. I needed a shot of ya'll this afternoon. Commuter traffic is a !@#$% and I'm OVER it!

What do I bring to the blog? Um...uh, um. Me??

Kati said...

It's Rach!! Hi Rach! I miss you. So, really, yes that's right, you bring us "you." And that's enough!

OK, so what's everyone reading this weekend? I just finished Kresley Cole's If You Desire. It was just what the doctor ordered for me. It's extremely hot and it features a hero who has been in love with the heroine his whole life. Deeelightful! I loved it!

Kati said...

Bellas - JR Ward has V's cover up. Mmmm, love the goatee.

Kammie said...

My contribution can only be found way, way down the line in the purchase of books. I tend to lurk because it takes me so long to compose a post. lol Not much of a writer. I do enjoy all the posts and comments. I always find something interesting or something I didn't know before.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can think of is I add my opinion. I'm new to this blogsite, so I don't think I've had time to find a niche, and even at that, my expierence is small compared to everyone else's and I feel like mostly it's redundant, but it's really fun reading all the blogs of different Authors and comments that everyone shares.

Unknown said...

I am a relatively new member to this community but loved the fun discussions and learning about great authors and books. It is fun to contribute my thoughts to a question and to read what other's here have to say.

Julie in Ohio said...

I feel another hit for Ms. Ward. That is one fine cover. I didn't realize his was going to be blue like Rhage's. :o)

Kati said...

Jules, I know what you mean, I was really, really hoping though that we'd get a glimpse of his tat's on his face. But alas, that's his right side, not the left.


Mona said...

I guess what I'm giving is my very true and honest opinion regarding the topic discussed, which might not be much cause I'm not around most of the time. It's good when authors agree with my opinion but it's amazing that it's not that bad when they disagree. There's something about this blog I'm not sure what it is. The topics, the authors, the moderator, or other bloggers. Something that makes it fun to be around:)

catslady said...

I think we all play off of each other. Someone brings up a topic and we're off lol. Some talk more than other, but usually enough different topics get everyone to talk some. And of course a lot of it is about romance and writing and books, etc. etc. I think a good time is had by all at least most of the time - after all - we keep coming back :)

Julie in Ohio said...

Lovin' your pic there, MK. :o)

I can't wait to hear more about V's tats. After LR, he's become really interesting for me. Come on September....

ev said...

I am reading Alice Cooper's bio that just came out- it's actually more of a "how gold saved my life" story. He's hysterical in telling the tale. For those of you who don't follow gold, Alice is probably the top amature on the pro-am circuit. Tiger won't even give him an edge when they play. He's that good. And he's that funny and a very, very smart man if you have never heard his radio show. I am not a big bio reader, but this one I had to do.

Julie in Ohio said...

Ev-- I've seen Alice Cooper in various interviews and he is always entertaining.

Ev informs us of all the wonderful concerts she gets to attend so I'm going to share with ya'll the concert I'm going to on Tuesday.
Now I know you will be jealous (*tongue firmly planted in cheek*) but try not to have too many hard feelings. I'm going to see "Go, Diego, Go". For those of you who are out of the loop (or have children over the age of five), Diego is Dora the Explorer's cousin and has a children's show on Nickelodeon. In the past 7 years we've seen Sesame Street Live at least three times and Blue's Clues twice.
Ah, the things we do for our kids. :o)

kim h said...

he is so hot. have a nice weekend

Rach said...

MK, btw, LOVIN' the new pic!

Jules, just color me all jealous. *I* wanna go see "Go, Diego, Go" :oP. Okay, so maybe not really...;o)

I guess my contribution is my ability to play off what everyone else has said.

Anonymous said...

MK or Julie, so it is the left side where V has his tat? I was looking for his tat as well, and er, so dissappointed. But the cover is awesome nonetheless, can't wait can't wait for Sept.

Cheryl said...

Hmmm . . . I bring quiet strength? lol. Well, I bring the quiet, anyhow. :) I know I'm one of those lurkers but I'm always in the background, learning about authors and books that I probably normally would not even have heard about with out this blog. So, thanks Michelle and all you wonderful bellas.

Unknown said...

I guess I can echo a few of the replies - I can offer my opinion as I am one of the older romance readers.

Stacy~ said...

LOL, am I a total dork or what? I guess I bring conceit and melodrama to the group LOL.

MK, while I admire your selection of Wentworth, I see Dominic Purcell as more the V type. W is just too young-looking, imo. But Dom, yeah, I can see him being a bit, rough.

Jules, I definitely think you bring humor and fun. You crack me up, and we love ya just the way you are :)

Ames, I love the guttah. Somedays I wanna live there. In fact, some days I think I do.

Ev, yep, the money is always a good thing, and you can never have too much of a good thing.

Rach! I LOVE those stories where the hero adores the heroine - is it part of a series? I bet it is....

And all the regulars and lurkers (new and old) add spice to our little stew of love...eww, that's gross LOL. How about I leave it at: this place rocks and everyone brings something to the table.

ev said...

When I went back to work at the bookstore it was with the presumption that most of my paycheck would go right back into the registers. It does. LOL

When Heahter was little we saw Sesame Street I don't know how many times along with the Turtles. We love the Mutant Ninjas. One time I had to take her in uniform as I was on duty right until show time- mom met me there with her and handed her off. We still have to see the new movie that's out. LOL

What we don't do= and it's so much more fun when there are grandkids to take.

upcoming concerts- Toby Keith, Meat Loaf, Poison and Ratt, Goo Goo Dolls. I have very eclectic taste in music. Now if Bryan Adams would just get closer than Darien Lake, I would have it made this summer.

Anonymous said...

Morning Michelle and Bellas,

Contribute? Me? Hmmm...not much if I'm honest. However, if I could turn the question around and ask myself what do I much space do I have?

I love the fact that I learn so much about new authors and new genres, and that I discover all those great 'old favourites' :) I love the wide-randing discussions and the respect that all the Bellas show each other. It's such a friendly, warm place and even though I lurk a lot I am always made so welcome. THANK YOU!


amy kennedy said...

Rachd! Yay! How are you Bella?
Jules, I do know who Diego is--and I can relate--the only movies I go out to see are animated.

MK, I missed your option on The Windflower--but it would freak me out to have your copy, I'll steal Michelle's. I have to read it.

See now, I thought you were on here a lot, Orannia--of course how would I know you're lurking. And I guess for awhile when I couldn't comment, I, too was a lurker. The most frustrated lurker in lurkdom.

Gosh, Michelle I hope everything went stupendously.

I just finished Blood Ties: The Turning--this is a new blood ties, not Tanya Huff's. And now I'm reading Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews--this is very cool.

My husband thinks he should come up with his own blog--Husbands Of The Slightly Troubled Unhinged Diva Society--HOT STUDS

I told him we were Bellas not Divas, he said, "I am not going to be a STUB.

Seriously, he's behind me going on and on and on...

help me.

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Ames!!! I bet I could sign my hubby up for that blog. As for STUB, well, we won't go there... :o)

Michelle-- I can't wait to hear how your retreat went.

I'm just beginning Blood Lines by Eileen Wilks. What is with we Bellas and our current facination with blood??

Rach said...

Ames! I'm well and eagerly counting down the days to the end of the school year ;oP. Actually, Bellas, I have a new teaching position next year only 10 minutes from home as opposed to my current 45 minute commute. I could weep with joy :o).

Oh, and I'm totally signing my husband up for STUB, er, *STUD* ;o).

amy kennedy said...

Aint it the truth, Julie.
Oh, Rach, I'm so happy for you--My gosh, imagine all the time you'll gain.

I pretty much read Historical, Paranormal, Historical, Paranormal, Hysterical Romantic Mystery, Paranormal.

Blood, blood, blood, Rake, Rake, Rake, a little Were thrown-in.

My husband's actually a pretty funny guy--I also told him we spell "hot"--"HAWT"

But I do think STUB is better.

I hope Michelle has pics.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Kimberly L

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Kim H.

These two commenters named are here -- transferred from the original -- cause I just realized this post got posted twice, and now they'll be entered in the drawing.


Stacy~ said...

Hey Michelle, welcome back! I was at Plotmonkeys this morning and saw something about an announcement? *g* WTG QB!

Unknown said...

I love reading books! I also love visiting blogs and hearing about new authors or new books.