Colleen Houck

“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

Colleen's blog

  • Do you love books?

    May 17, 2016

    student studying

    Are you an avid reader? Have you ever wanted to rub shoulders with your favorite author? Do you have any aspirations of being a writer? Do you like getting FREE stuff? Odds are pretty good that if you are reading this blog then the answer is an affirmative YES.

    Well, there are a number of events designed specifically around those of us who love the world of books and the magic they add. Unfortunately, we may not be aware of the what, when and where. So, that is why I’m writing this blog to share some amazing events available to us.

    Did you know that there are lots of ways to “meet” your favorite author or find new favorite books or get expert one on one advice on becoming a writer?

    RT convention

    Here are a few:

    Comic Con events

    Book Expo of America

    Romantic Times Book Convention

    Author book tours

    Author school visits (did you know you can contact your favorite author and request a local signing or school visit. You could get lucky!)

    Blog book tours

    Online book clubs

    Many of these events are not only fun and educational, but you get free stuff like books, swag, gift certificates, etc.! Sounds great right? I wish I’d known about these things before which is exactly why I’m sharing them now with you!

    For today, I’d like to highlight just one of these awesome venues, the Romantic Times Book Convention.


    So what is Romantic Times? In a nutshell, it is a week packed full of seminars and panels discussing anything and everything related to books ranging from the social media side of running your business to how to world build to ways to get published to how to write a killer love scene. Mixed throughout the week are what is referred to as reader parties. These are ones you do not want to miss because you not only get to meet authors but you also get to bring home TONS of free books (and these are not just adult romance, the event includes all genres of Young Adult books as well which is what you see in the pics below)! Don’t believe me? Just look at what four attendees brought home!


    (RT 2014)


    (RT 2016)

    Also, at the parties they typically have a theme (Steampunk, Fairies, Masquerade, Western, etc.) where you get all dressed up, have formal dinner or desserts and drinks, and dance the night away. These events are our favorites and have created wonderful memories every time.

    ball sisters and Heather Graham Linda w Rapunzel male model Shara w Rapunzel male model

    (This model attends Romantic Times every year and is so fun to watch. 😉 We have nick-named him “Rapunzel” because of his long, long hair which believe it or not is his real hair so he says!)

    pic5 RT20151 steampunk

    Steampunk, how awesome right!

    132 137 head shot 2

    (You may very well be wondering what the heck are we supposed to be right? You might think Colleen is mother earth but no no . . . we are the three Macbeth witches. I know, that was your next guess ;-). Ha. . . )

    151 awesome costumesSo many of the attendees really go all out with their costumes! It’s so much fun!

    At RT, the authors donate HUGE giveaways by raffle where an entire room is full of goodies (many of which have included a kindle fire, $100 Amazon gift cards, entire book sets signed, coach purses, oh my gosh the list goes on and on).


    This is just one of our baskets that include $50 gift cards to Powells book store and Colleen’s entire book set.

    Then there is of course the big book signing day. This is just a dream come true if you have wanted to meet the authors of your favorite books ALL AT ONCE and talk to them! You get great ideas here for new books too.


    Then, last but not least is Teen Day. This is something I wish they had and I knew about when I was a teen! The good news is, you can still go even if you’re not a teen anymore. How? Simply bring a teen to the event and you get in as their escort for free! These are so awesome because you can feel confident that every book you pick up is clean and age appropriate AND they cater the event with yummy food, play games, meet and mingle with authors, and they (and you) will get get to take home loads of FREE books!


    IMG_4297 128

    This looks so awesome right?

    Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment below if you enjoyed this post or if you know of other events you’d like to share with us. Also, I’d like to take a poll to see how many of you ever heard of Romantic Times before now and if you’ve ever attended one. I’d love to hear from you!

    For fun, here’s a scrapbook page of the RT conventions over the years. Good times!

    rt scrapbook

    This entry was posted in Events, Fans, Travel.

    3 Responses to Do you love books?

    1. Christine A. says:

      This was nice to read about! I definitely want to go to one now, but don’t know where to start. It would be nice if you could write more posts about different conventions (I live on the East coast and would love to see one that’s closer to home). I love your books!

    2. Chupacabra says:

      is an extraordinary novel about the passage of time, the way people change and change each other, and how the measure of a life is who you love.

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    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.