Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town. Well, last Saturday Chicago wasn’t just toddling, it was reading too. The TFEiC had their first ever Indie author meet and greet at the Palmer House Hilton in beautiful downtown Chicago, Illinois. This intrepid blogger (I’ve always wanted to be intrepid) arrived a little after 11:00 AM Chicago time and made my way to the fourth floor of the Palmer House. I was greeted by a moderate line in the hallway, having arrived an hour early, which soon filled up behind me. Shortly after my arrival, the line was greeted by the assistant for author Jillian Dodd, who was handing out cute gift bags containing candles, candy, and cosmetics inspired by her book.

I made short work of introducing myself to the women around me and discovered I was standing in front of a group of Tara Sivec fans who gathered to meet their author friend and chat with her. I, of course, couldn’t shut up about books of all kinds; and I made sure that I mentioned two of my favorite authors, Sylvain Reynard and Michelle Leighton, to any one that would listen as we waited in line. I have a tendency to prattle on about books–poor captive audience.

At noon, the scheduled start time of the event, the doors open suddenly and an announcement is made, which no one really can hear as hallways are non-conducive to sound when a large number of people are standing in them and talking. Did I mention the hallway was hot? Well, if I didn’t, it was; and my long, auburn hair cascading down my back was sure to be a mistake. The line started to move; and as we progressed, the announcement was made again.

A few books were being sold by a book seller in the middle, and we were allowed into the room in groups of ten. I was in the fifth group to be permitted thru the doors. I was on a mission, you see, not just as an intrepid blogger (gosh, I am loving how that word sounds like I’m Lois Lane) but as a friend to three of my fellow #Lovers who I blog with–they “NEED” signed books. Michelle, Tiffany, and Jess are huge fans of S.C. Stephens and want her books signed. Jess needs a Colleen Hoover book signed. Last, but not least, Tiffany also wants a signed copy of On the Island (Tracey Garvis-Graves).

I make my way to the book sellers table where I purchase the Hoover and Graves books; I brought cash as it is quicker in an event like this. I make my purchases as I scope out the authors. In the short time I was making my purchases, the room has filled up.

I will admit right now that I own most of these books the authors in this room have written but haven’t read them all. Yes, I am a shameless book buyer. Since I started blogging, my book reading has become more about reviews and read-alongs, which I absolutely love, but has cut into my individual reading time. Note to self: figure out how to tweet from our account and read at same time; housework and cemetery restoration needs to also be accomplished.

I make my way to my first author Tracey Garvis-Graves with Tiffany’s newly purchased book and introduce myself. I do better in a group, as the shy kid can still come out when I meet people one-on-one. This won’t be the first time I wished my other Lovers were here with me. Earlier, I had been envious of the groups of women in line clustered with their friends. Tracey is very gracious when I introduce myself, and I feel like an inner dork. I loved her book but forget to tell her that. I gave her love from Tiffany and Jess, but from me, nay. I never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the Lover lamp. I need to remember the Lovers sign to get the others pictures taken with.

I moved onto the really large prey–the author that I was the “envy of” by my fellow Lovers because I got to meet her. Lover Michelle wanted to be in my shoes so badly. I move into her line, which is one of the longest. The “infamous she” happens to be S.C. Stephens, the creator of Kellan Kyle whose empty seat is placed next to his beloved “boss,” author of the best-selling books Thoughtless and Effortless. The line moves slowly, and I stand in the ever increasing hot room and wish I would have worn my hair up. I am also grateful I was early as I don’t want to miss out on getting signed copies of S.C.’s books for my gals.

My turn. Should I tell S.C. that I hate Kiera? No, better keep my mouth shut. Kiera needed a girlfriend to stop her from making so many god-awful mistakes. Six books bought, names written on Post-it notes, ready to meet S.C. I introduce myself and gush on how Michelle, Tiffany, and Jess love her books. I gush more about Michelle’s great love for her books, and she knows of who I speak. Kellan, who is mysteriously absent from the room, must be getting coffee. She agrees to a picture with our sign–two for two. Yeah for the purple sign. I step out of line with my treasures and decide that the room is hot and stuffy, and the hair is going up in a lobster claw.

Later, I am in line to meet Colleen Hoover, best-selling author of Slammed and Point of Retreat. I again introduce myself; and this author knows all about us Lovers, as we have interview questions already submitted to her. She promises to get the interview to Jess by Thursday of the coming week. Once again, I get the sign picture without holding up the line too badly. This is how I proceed for the next couple of hours meeting authors who have succeeded in publishing their own books and making them into great reads.

By far one of the longest lines is that of Tara Sivec, author of Seduction and Snacks and Futures and Frosting. She is great fun, and I get a picture with our ever-present sign. I have her books, including her just released one, on my Kindle. I also get to buy books for a giveaway from one of my favorite paranormal authors, Elizabeth Hunter.

Each one of these brilliant authors, as well as C.J. Roberts, Abbi Glines, Jen Sterling, Rebecca Donovan, Liz Reinhardt, Stephanie Campbell, Michelle Mankin, Dina Silver, Nicole Williams, Tarryn Fisher, Elizabeth Reyes, and Jillian Dodd are all proving that being a great author doesn’t mean slamming your head against a publisher’s door–it means presenting a great product that the public will want to read. They, and all Indie writers, are proving that publishing since the advent of eReaders is changing, and we the readers are the beneficiary of this change.

Wondering about all the pictures I snapped during this fun-filled afternoon?  Well, not only do these pictures appear on our FB page but many of them can also be found on Lover’s Lane, which can be found on our blog.

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  1. Great article! I hope we can all do this again, it was such a fantastic event. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support! :)

  2. Karen, I had to read your post once again. As Dina stated above, your enthusiasm and support are so evident in your writing. Hopefully, next time all of the Lovers will be able to attend the next TFEiC event. Gotta love the Indie authors who are so accommodating to their fans.

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