A few of the 2,000 or so women seeking romance (novels) at the RT Booklovers convention in Las Vegas.

A few of the 2,000-plus women seeking romance (novels) at the RT Booklovers convention in Las Vegas.

So, you think comic cons are wild? Try attending a romance novel convention—in Sin City!

The RT Booklovers 2016 convention in Las Vegas (April 12-17) was (surprise!) mostly attended by women—authors, booksellers and romance readers. Unlike comic cons, there were very few men.

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NY Times Best-Selling Author Joanne Fluke shows off her Last Kiss tote bag at the RT Booklovers 2016 convention in Las Vegas.

And many of those men, but obviously not all—after all I was there—were there as eye candy: male models for the women to drool over.

My wife (Shelagh) was sometimes mistaken for best-selling author Sylvia Day because of the huge poster behind our table on the last day.

My wife (Shelagh) was sometimes mistaken for best-selling author Sylvia Day because of the huge poster behind our table on the last day.

Shelagh and I were content to have attendees lust for Last Kiss merchandise instead—which people bought in far higher percentages than any comic book convention I’ve ever attended. (At least 80 percent of the people who came by the Last Kiss table on the first day bought something. And several came back and bought more.)

Lines were often long for various panels and events. Fortunately, the halls of the Rio Hotel's convention center are carpeted. So you can wait in queue sitting down and shoes off.

Lines were often long for various panels and events. Fortunately, the halls of the Rio Hotel’s convention center are carpeted. So you can wait sitting down. Sometimes with your shoes off.

The thing that most people don’t realize about romance fiction is how varied it is. (And how hot some of the sex scenes are.) Sub-genres include:

Historical, Contemporary, Regency, Gothic, Suspense, Time Travel, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Paranormal (which often include stories of vampires, werewolves and other magical creatures.)

Romance is a theme in all these, but it’s not always obvious to casual readers that they’re enjoying romance novels. For instance, Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books (the basis for HBO’s True Blood series) are considered romance novels.

Shelagh and I attended a reading at the Erotic Heritage Museum where one of the authors Louisa Bacio) one a Last Kiss tote bag full of goodies. Speakers: (L to R) Author Debra Hyde; agent/publisher Lori Perkins; Renee Rose; Louisa Bacio; and Trinity Blacio. Not pictured Kate Allure & Theresa Roemer.

Shelagh and I attended a reading at the Erotic Heritage Museum where one of the authors (Louisa Bacio) won a Last Kiss tote bag full of goodies. Speakers: (L to R) Debra Hyde; Lori Perkins; Renee Rose; Louisa Bacio; and Trinity Blacio. Not pictured Kate Allure & Theresa Roemer.

As for lust and sex, well that’s a staple in romance fiction. So it was entirely appropriate that one of the last events of the conference featured author readings at Las Vegas’s Erotic Heritage Museum.

 

Barnes & Noble bookseller Shawna Stringer visited the Last Kiss table often.

The delightful Shawna Stringer (Barnes & Noble bookseller extraordinaire) visited the Last Kiss table often. Shelagh and I first met Shawna at the RT convention in New Orleans two years ago.

Barnes & Noble bookseller

It was great to reconnect with Susan Smelser (owner of The Book Worm in Powder Springs, GA.) Shelagh and I met Susan at the RT convention in New Orleans two years ago.

It was also great to reconnect with Susan Smelser (owner of The Book Worm in Powder Springs, GA.) Like Shawna, we first met Susan in New Orleans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to all the other swag that you can scoop up at RT, there are always dozens of gift baskets that you can enter your name to win. This one had a...Last Kiss book? Hey!

In addition to all the other swag that you can scoop up at RT, there are always dozens of gift baskets that you can enter your name to win. This one had a…Last Kiss book promo? Hey!

 

 

 

 

More of the (often very snazzy) gift baskets you could win when you added you signed up for author's mailing lists.

More of the (often very snazzy) gift baskets you could win when you added you signed up for author’s mailing lists.

It's always great to see author and long-time Last Kiss fan Andy Dunn at RT.

It’s always great to see author and long-time Last Kiss fan Andy Dunn at RT.

In addition to lots of other swag, there were free books.

In addition to lots of other swag, I picked up or was given these free books.

 

On the Saturday of each RT convention there's a "Giant Book Fair" with hundreds of authors signing. Best of all, it's open to the public. (Lower right-hand corner is author Joanne Fluke. Photo courtesy of John Fluke.)

On the Saturday of each RT convention there’s a “Giant Book Fair” with hundreds of authors signing. Best of all, it’s open to the public. (Lower right-hand corner is author Joanne Fluke. Photo courtesy of John Fluke.)

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