#AADNOLA Recap and Giveaway Part 1

Posted August 19, 2012 by Jen in Authors After Dark, Giveaway Tags: , , , , , ,

I have to admit, writing a recap of my six days and five nights in New Orleans at the 2012 Authors After Dark con is a bit daunting. I did so much and met so many new people… How could I possible capture all of that in a simple recap?! But I will try my best to give you an idea of the trip. You can also see all of my photos from the trip under the PHOTO TAB HERE
Also, I came home with SO MANY books and swag – keep reading to find out how you can win some of my loot!
This posted ended up being wicked long, so I’ve broken it up over a couple days… the second part of the recap is HERE.
Day 1: Tuesday Aug. 7
I arrived in New Orleans (NOLA) Tuesday afternoon about the same time as my roommate, Teresa D’Amario. The two of us headed to our hotel, The Royal Sonesta, which is located in the French Quarter, right on Bourbon Street. The hotel and staff were AMAZING! Now, if you haven’t been to NOLA before (which I hadn’t), let me say a word about the infamous Bourbon Street… It’s obnoxious – strip and sex clubs, bars, restaurants and booze EVERYWHERE. After 6:00 PM, the street is blocked to traffic and people wander from club to club, bar to bar, drinks in hand. I am glad we stayed here for the con, but it’s NOT a place to take the family!

After we checked in and got freshened up, we met up with some of the others who arrived early. The best was meeting Jen (@RedHotBooks) right away because she is a local and was able to show us around NOLA. Lead by Jen, we went to dinner off the beaten path – I had my first taste of real jambalaya (YUM) and then we walked around Jackson’s Square. 
Teresa D’Amario, Carolyn Crane, KatieBabs, Jen (RedHotBooks), Monica (@ObsuredVixen)

We hit the famous Cafe DuMonde for some of their beignets and then topped the evening off with Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens. I had managed to hit several of the key French Quarter “must dos” in the first night!
Day 2: Wednesday Aug 8
The con didn’t officially kick off until Wednesday evening, so Teresa, Kate (@KatieBabs aka KT Grant) and I did a little looking around and shopping. We were caught in a torrential downpour, and I had left the umbrella & raincoat I purchased for the trip back in my room. *shrugs*
We also had lunch with several of the bloggers and tweeps I have “met” over the past few years. I sampled some sort of Cajun pasta with a kick. YUM!
The primary reason I like to attend AAD is the casual atmosphere. Now I will insert some personal *SQUEES* I was sitting in the hotel bar with some tweeps, when in walks two authors I was so excited to meet: Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. I walked over just to say hi and introduce myself without going too fangirl on them. What did they do? – pulled a chair up and asked me to sit with them. We chatted about books, going to cons, kids, and well, whatever. I love when I meet some of my favorite authors and they are so personable in real life. Meet them made my day!
Later that evening the con kicked off with a blogger meet and greet, followed by a reception and the Open Ceremonies. We were treated with an amazing bag full of swag, and heard some opening remarks from Mistress of Ceremonies, Joey W. Hill. 

Of course, we topped the night off with more drinks at my preferred venue, Pat O’Briens. All-in-all a great day!
Day 3: Thursday Aug 9
On Thursday, the con kicked off in earnest. The day was full of panels, readings, events and mixers. I tended to hit the were/shifter panels, and also attended a couple “featured blogger” events. Lunch featured the reader selected “Bookie Awards.” Here is just ONE of the photos from one of the panels I attended – see the “photo” tab for more!
One of the things I absolutely LOVED about AADNOLA was that everyone for the most part was so completely friendly and accessible – from my peer readers/bloggers to my “rockstar” authors. Just hanging in the lobby – trying to decide what to do for food, a group of us were invited to dinner with Ann Mayburn, Stacey Kennedy, Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris, and Joey W. Hill. It was so casual and so much fun!
We headed back to the hotel for another meet and greet, and then I was off on a tour of the French Quarter with author Adrian Phoenix. She showed us all of the local spots where characters from her Maker’s Song Series hang out. It was very cool to see and hear how Adrian researched and pieced all of the sites into her stories. 

The evening ended with a cupcake party hosted by Jeaniene Frost and Pamela Palmer. I have to admit, I was pretty exhausted by this point and hung in the corner with of my favorite peeps, Julie (@JulieYMandKAC) and Marcela (@BookaholicCat). 

The Prizes…
1st Prize: Signed books from Pamela Palmer & Jeaniene Frost and a swag pack from both authors.

2nd Prize: the Melissa Schroeder Pack: Signed copy of Callum, a copy of A Little Harmless Sex and a Got Harmless button.

3rd Prize: the Kris Cook Pack: Signed copy of The Secret Diaries Volume 1 and signed swag cards.

4th Prize: AADNOLA Swag Pack: a Tilly Greene tote, Joey W. Hill swag, signed Pamela Palmer swag, signed drink cozy from Mari Freeman, signed swag from Susannah Sandlin.

5th Prize AAD Philly Books: copies of books I received at AAD 2011.

To be entered, please use the RAFFLECOPTER form below. You do not need to be a google friends connect follower of my blog, but it is always appreciated. Contest is open from August 19, 2012 until August 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM EDT. One entry per person. Contest is restricted to US and Canadian mailing addresses only. Five (5) winners will be selected from eligible entries. I am not responsible for items lost in the mail. If you have problems with the RAFFLECOPTER form, please email me at twimom227 (at) gmail (dot) com. 
Read part 2 of my adventures HERE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

23 responses to “#AADNOLA Recap and Giveaway Part 1

  1. Waaaaahh! I thought I was over my AADNOLA jealousy, but it’s rearing it’s head again! If there’s any way possible (winning the lottery would work), I wanna go to Savannah!

    So glad everyone had a good time! (Looky at all the happy faces!) …still green with envy, though! 😉

  2. Looks like you had a good time. I’m going to NOLA at the end of this month. I love the bar hopping & live music in the French Quarter.

  3. Woohoo! I’ve been waiting for your recap, Jen! Your descriptions of NOLA made me a bit homesick. It’s such a special city. 😛

    Good to see that you had such a great time, although it makes me a little bit jealous too, of course. Wish I could’ve been there too. xoxo

  4. Thanks for the great post and giveaway! Sounds like you had a fabulous time. I’m so jealous 🙂 On my bucket list to go one year.

  5. Na

    It looks like you had so much fun! From meeting people and the food…yum! I really like pasta bit have never trieda Cajun style one before. Maybe one day I can 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing your pics and experience! I enjoyed reading the recap! Also, thanks for sharing the love with the giveaway 🙂

  7. It looks like this was a fantastic time. Some day I hope to attend a conference and meet all these crazy lovable authors and bloggers :). Thank you.

  8. I was so glad that I got to meet you!! Wish we would of had more time to chit chat but so much was going on…lol Loving the recaps of the event.