ionR: #RT2015 Roundup & #Giveaway!

Posted June 12th, 2015 by in Blog, Features, Giveaway, ionR / 138 comments

ionR: #RT2015 Roundup with Yasmin!

Hi everyone, most of you know me (Yazmin) from my reviews here at HJ, but I wanted to share my experience at my first RT convention with you and what I learned.
While Sara is away on vacation this week… I bring you Box-O-Books #giveaways, straight from RT!
First off, if you are an RT virgin like I was, I would definitely recommend that you go to the pre-convention tours. Not only do you get to learn things about the city you are visiting, you are also going with other booklovers. With that said, making friends is so much easier because you already have something in common. Now I know some of you are shy, but you don’t have to be. You can easily make friends this way. I can tell you from my recent experience since I made 4 great friends, Alyssa (another reviewer), Sandra (a reader), Khloe Wren (an author) and her husband, at the pre-convention tours, and anyone who saw us afterwards thought that we were old friends.
During our pre-convention tours we visited a few museums and learned great things about the city, and visited the site where JFK was shot. Things you don’t normally think about, but get to you when you are there seeing the memorial and videos of when he visited Dallas. History is something we don’t normally think about but doing the tours really brought the city to life for me by seeing, through videos, how the city was created. The day after, we visited the water garden and the stockyards, another fun expedition and learning experience.
Second, once the convention begins be prepared, you will not be able to attend every event you might want for sometimes 2 things you want to do may be happening at the same time. To make things worst, I actually made an entire schedule with 15 minutes free between every event I wanted to attend. After the first day I realized that I had to pick my battles and events wisely, whether by selecting the event because of an author, a publisher or the swag being given, I had to be sure of what event I wanted to be in the most. And if I really want to see the other events, which I do, go next year and do those instead. So you know I’ll be in Vegas next year for RT. 😉
Also speaking of swag, there are always limited amounts of bags being given, and the queue may begin up to an hour before an event, so if you want that bag you need to be there early and be prepared to wait. Then there are the evening parties, they are fun and have some food served, but you may want to eat before or have a slight snack in case you don’t like the selection too much. I was one of those few that decided not to dress up in costume or evening dress for them, and if you’re like me don’t worry, there are many more that also dress casually. The only event I dressed up was for the Rodeo evening and that meant just putting on a western looking dress and a cowboy hat.


Now one thing I’m glad our dear Sara HJ recommended was to bring an extra suitcase. I brought my largest suitcase with my medium one inside holding all my clothes for the convention so I only paid baggage fees on one suitcase on my way there. But soon realized I would bring more on the way back home. I found myself with my largest suitcase full of books, my medium one halfway along with my clothes and still had some leftover I had to put on a bag to take as carryon with me on the plane! My recommendation is that you invest on a luggage scale, they are not expensive and will save you more if you don’t want those overweight airline fees.
Convention-wise, everything needed a little more organization. More often than not the events were starting about 5-10 minutes after the planned time. But I can’t exactly blame them since the host of each event had to decorate with only some help in about an hour before the event started, and each room was used for multiple events in the day so they don’t always have a lot of time to prepare for their event. The authors are great people to meet, but we have to keep in mind that many of them have other events they have to run to and don’t always have that extra minute to spare. But be friendly and say hi they will be glad you recognized them and that you kept an eye out for them.
The Giant book fair is great for seeing authors you haven’t been able to see during the event and maybe help an author by buying a book or two, but keep in mind that there are easily over a hundred or two hundred other people there, so it’s going to get really crowded really fast. Also keep in mind that there is another event later that day with more free books, so if you have limited space to take them home you may have to limit yourself a bit on how many you buy.
The volunteers and staff are great people to get to know, for they will help you whenever possible or tell you who can help with anything you need, and if you are lucky you may find one that will tell you which bags at which events have the greatest swag and amount of books so you can plan your schedule. Just look at the pic of how many books I came back with, and I only bought about 7 of them at the book fair. And that’s not even counting bookmarks and other swag I got there. 😉
Now I’ll be nice and share, I have 2 Box-O-Books to giveaway of a few books and swag I brought home from the convention.

Yazmin 🙂



Box-O-Books #1

Box-O-Books #1


Box-O-Books #2

Box-O-Books #2






To Enter to Win:
  •  You must be an email subscriber of HJ blog
  • Leave a comment on this post: Have you been to a book convention? What was your experience like? If not which Reader/Author event is on your To-do list?
  • LIKE HJ on Facebook (Optional)
  • Follow HJ on Twitter (Optional)

Box-O-Books Giveaway Details: 

  • Shipping Details: Must have a US mailing address, PO Box. or a forwarding address in the US that we can mail to.
  • Box-O-Books will be randomly selected. 
  • This contest will close on Friday June 19th, 2015 8:59 PM (PT) and the winners will be notified via email and on this Post. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail before a new winner is selected.



138 Responses to “ionR: #RT2015 Roundup & #Giveaway!”

  1. Robin The Book Nerd

    I have attended some larger book signings, never a convention though. I would love to go to one in Vegas or Florida and make a vacation out of it.

    • Yazmin R

      Well, I have good news for you. RT 2016 will be in Vegas! If you want to make a short vacation out of it, I say go for it. That’s pretty much going to be me now every year for RT. Can’t wait for Vegas next year and Atlanta on 2017. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  2. orioles4ever

    Looks like to “Enter to win” a comment has to be posted? Many romance authors live nearby with signings @bookstores, even one very famous author has her own bookstore, but I never get around to attending….too busy reading romance books!

    • Yazmin R

      LOL, I know what you mean. When I went to Dallas they asked me if I had attended the one in Los Angeles 5 years ago, of course I didn’t. 1. I didn’t really know about the RT convention back then, and 2. I was too busy trying to keep up with my tar pile.

  3. Bethany Elaine Macielag

    unfortunately i have not been to a book convention yet.
    i don’t know of any coming up, so i will have to keep my eye out.
    i live in DE, so the conventions are pretty far away.
    i would love to go to conventions featuing: Krista and Becca Richie, Kendall Ryan, Kennedy Ryan, Monica Murphy, Alessandra Torre, Jamie McGuire, Molly McAdams, Whitney G, and.. so, on

  4. Erin Kathleen

    I have not been to a book convention yet. My first one will be in November of this year in Chicago and I can’t wait!!!! Then I also am going to Wild and Windy in the City in May 2016. There are soooo many amazing authors who are going to be there.

  5. Heather Lasala

    I have never been to a book convention. I have been to a book signing event for Jeaniene Frost and loved it!

    • Yazmin R

      That’s great, now imagine how much you liked that signing and multiply it by the number of authors you like that would attend a convention. Hope you make it to one at least once, you will love it. 🙂

    • Yazmin R

      That’s great! As long as you can meet your fave authors, that’s what really counts for any book lover. 😉

    • Yazmin R

      I was debating on attending and made this my first convention. I loved it! So I hope that you can make it to one one year. 🙂

  6. Tanya Guthrie

    Sadly, I am a book convention virgin! If we can swing it financially my man said we could go to Vegas for RT next year. I better watch my 1-clicking until then! Thanks for the chance, I am a subscriber, following on Twitter and Facebook. @TanyaMGuthrie

    • Yazmin R

      Just save a little at a time and if you do decide to go to RT, consider registering early so you can get the deal in the main hotel. Which makes it so much easier since there would be no commute and you would pay less than the regular hotel rate. Good Luck! 🙂

  7. Christy

    No, I haven’t, nor have I been to a book signing. Sound like a blast, though.

    • Yazmin R

      It absolutely was. Hope you can make it to one one day so you can have so much fun too. 🙂

  8. Jennifer S.

    Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to go to a book convention, but it’s on my bucket list. Saving for next years Vegas RT

    • Yazmin R

      That’s no fun. Well hope you can make it to a signing some day, you will love the authors. Good Luck!

  9. Debbi Wellenstein

    I am a former bookseller who has never been to a convention! However, years ago I attended an event for Nora Roberts at a very swanky hotel-not that many attended, so we got to speak with Nora and everything! Very cool!

    • Yazmin R

      That sounds really cool! At the convention it was hard to get one on one time with any author considering the amount of people there. But even if it was a 2 minute conversation with any fave author, it was so worth it. 🙂

  10. Timitra

    I’ve never been to one but I’d definitely love to go to a few. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips with us Yazmin!

    • Yazmin R

      My pleasure! Hope it will become helpful when you do attend a convention. 🙂

  11. cathylykens

    I haven’t been to a book convention–the closest I have come is a convention of reading teachers–and I’ve met some authors, but mostly of childrens, middle grade and YA books

    • Yazmin R

      Hope you can make it to one one day. You’ll love it. Good luck! 🙂

  12. laurieg72

    I have never been to an author’s book convention. I’ve been intimidated about going by myself. Thanks for the encouragement to go and meet fellow readers and authors!

    I’d consider smaller ones first, Barbara Vey’s or Lori Foster’s before Romantic Times or Romance Writers.

    I’d love to meet a few of my favorite authors and free books would be awesome. I read a lot so it does add up.

    Thanks again for sharing your positive experience and your treats!

    johns lake @ usa dot com

    • Yazmin R

      I understand what you mean, but don’t worry about going by yourself. You will meet and make new friends really fast if you open yourself up to it. This was my first convention and I was nervous, but made friends the very first day. Hope you can make it to one, even a small one one day.

  13. Christine Maria Rose

    I’d love to go to a book convention, but they have to bring it to my city, or the closest American big city which would be Minneapolis. They look like so much fun!

    • Yazmin R

      It is really fun. Hope that one comes close to your home soon so you can have fun meeting authors too. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    • Yazmin R

      I was just like you, considering not only was i an RT virgin but also a convention virgin. LOL. hope you can make it to one someday. 🙂

  14. Ann

    I haven’t been to any book conventions, but I would love to attend one someday. I think it will be fun and exciting!

      • Lori Moore

        Stay where the event is held. Others had to stay miles away & had to get transportation back n forth daily. That gets expensive

  15. Amy Rickman

    My first and only book signing I’ve attended was Penned Con 2014 and I’m going back this year. It’s a much smaller event and mainly indie authors but I was able to see everyone one I wanted and visit with them as well. The highlight was going to dinner with Penny Reid and other sharks.

  16. Joye

    I have been to a couple of Romance Writers conventions here in Arizona. I learned a lot about some of the authors and enjoyed their books.

  17. dfosterbooks

    I haven’t been to one but would love to go! Historical Romance Retreat & RT is on my radar for next year. I’m hoping something will be coming to the Atlanta area in the near future!

  18. Kathleen O

    I have never been to one, but I have a three that I would love to go to, RT, RWA and RAGT.. I am sure there are more, but these are good for a start.

  19. Lori Meehan

    I’ve been to Lori Fosters RAGT for the last 3 years and I love it!! I’m hoping to go to RT next year.

  20. Gail S

    I loved your blog today. I’ve thought about going to one of the conventions, and because of circumstances out of my control, I missed the Chicago one. I’ve never been to a convention and I have to say I was wondering if I’d stick out as a virgin as I wander around. Your post has given me hope. Maybe I can swing getting to RT in the next year or two.

    • Yazmin R

      Next year is Vegas and 2017 is Atlanta. You can plan by the city you want to visit most, or by what is more convenient for you. Hope you can make it to one. And definitely don’t be afraid, you make friends faster than you can imagine. Plus there are so many people that nobody can tell who is an RT virgin. The only reason you will know is if anyone asks or when you are all together at the RT virgin event before the convention begins. 😉

  21. Tammy Y

    I am in Charlotte. I did go to the Authors After Dark public event last year. Met Carly Phillips,, Julie Kenner and Lynne Marshall plus many other nice authors and I bought 5 books! Would love to go to RT one day if it ever comes here

    • Yazmin R

      Hope it does so you can experience RT yourself. I know that it will be in Atlanta in 2017, maybe that’s not too far from you event if you only make it for part of the convention? Good Luck!

  22. Diane Sallans

    Haven’t been to one yet, but getting to a signing is on my bucket list – I’ve been keeping my eye out for one nearby.

    • Yazmin R

      Hope that you will have one from a fave author soon. You will love getting to meet them, they are great people. 🙂

  23. Emily Stemp

    Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to go to a book convention, but it’s on my bucket list

  24. debby236

    I have gone for the book signings but not the actual conference. I liked and followed.

  25. Juli Hall

    I have never been to a book convention but it’s definately on my bucket list and hope to go to many.

  26. Michelle M.

    I’ve always wanted to go to a convention but being a single mom it’s hard! But luckily there are a few smaller signings near me so I’m going to my first large signing in July in Portland. I’m super excited. Thanks for the chance.

    • Yazmin R

      Kudos to you for not only being a book lover, but being a single mom cannot be easy while trying to read. 😉

      Hope you have lots of fun at the book signing, and maybe once your kid(s) are older you can make it to a convention. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  27. Marcy Meyer

    I went to RT in Kansas City a couple years ago, and I had a blast. It was so much fun meeting so many awesome authors. I would love to go back to RT sometime.

    • Yazmin R

      They are great people to meet, so glad you’ve experienced it. Hope you can make it again someday and enjoy even more great books. 🙂

  28. EvelynS

    I’ve never gone to a book convention but it sounds like a lot of fun!! Thanks for the tips! I’ll keep them in mind if I’m ever fortunate enough to go to one.

  29. holdenj

    I’ve been to a couple of fantastic book signings, but never a convention. Would love to go someday, if one lands close enough to home! Sounds like Dallas was a great trip. Thanks for the chance to win!

    • Yazmin R

      It was a great trip, not only great convention wise but also getting to visit the city and museum nearby. Good luck! 🙂

    • Yazmin R

      To any book lover what really matters is meeting a fave author, and it sounds like you get some of that done by being able to attend local book signings and that sounds awesome! Hope you keep can make it to a convention someday, you’ll love it. 🙂

    • Yazmin R

      Even a small book signing and talk can be really fun. Now a convention is much more, so is as much more tiring. lol

    • Yazmin R

      It’s great fun, maybe add to your bucket list? I know it was on mine, and now I plan to make it a yearly thing. 😉

    • Yazmin R

      YES to all! It was awesome, fun and definitely exhausting. Took me a over a week to get back on track when I returned home. lol

  30. Pennie

    I’ve never been but it is on my bucket list. Also, you should look into shipping the books home. Packing a box (Priority Mail) is cheaper than luggage fees.

    • Yazmin R

      Hope you can make it to one someday.

      I did look into shipping, but cost was way higher to ship than to pay the luggage fee and to take with me on the plane. Depending on the airline you take it’s how much you pay per bag, but for example I took Virgin airlines and paid $25 per bag. So in total I paid $50 to return with 2 bags at 50 pounds each, with all my books. While shipping would have been about $30 for 20 pounds only. And is I used the flat rate boxes, it would take easily more than 5 boxes to ship with each costing about $18 to ship all. It’s something that each person needs to think about and see what method they prefer and how much they can afford at the moment. Also keep in mind that mostly there is usually only a FedEx office in the hotel to ship, but if you want a USPS you need to look for shipping center nearby and then you have to take everything there in order to ship.

  31. Vicki Clevinger

    I haven’t had the opportunity to go, but I’d love to Lori Foster’s reader/author get together. I’d also like to go to Susan Mallory’s Fools Gold get together.

    • Yazmin R

      Both sound great. I have heard and been tempted by RAGT but RT won for me for my first convention. lol. And Susan Mallery’s Fools Gold get together is very tempting, and Chicago sounds like a great place to visit, but I know I would not be able to get away from work in order of go. 🙁

  32. Becky R.

    I have never gone to a book convention, especially not RT, because I live in Wisconsin and for some reason these kind of conventions never seem to make it up here. Being a broke college doesn’t really allow me to travel to other states either. I would love to make it to one someday, because I keep hearing about how wonderful and fun they are. I would also love to look through the Giant Book Fair.

    • Yazmin R

      If you cannot make it to an entire convention, try going to a book signing like the giant book fair. it’s a great experience and meeting all those authors together is something that you’ll love. 🙂

  33. Leanna

    I have never been to a convention. I was hoping to go this year since I live in Austin, Texas not far from Dallas but I couldn’t get away from work. Where is it next year? Three authors I would love to meet are Susan Mallery (wish I could go to the Fool’s Gold event in Chicago). Jill Shalivis and Julie James.

    • Yazmin R

      Next year it’s in Las Vegas and the year after has been announced to happen in Atlanta. Maybe plan and try to make it to one? I know what you mean about work though, I had to repost my time off about 9 months in advance so I could take the entire week off.

  34. Meredith Miller

    Not yet, but I’ve already got a room reserved in Vegas for RT next year! I’d love to see Jill Shalvis among many others.
    email subscriber, twitter and fb likes.

    • Yazmin R

      Jeez, you are way ahead of me! I’m waiting for registration to open so I can get the convention discount on my room because you can’t transfer a reservation made through another site to get the discount. Hope you enjoy the convention next year.

  35. BookLady

    I have never been to a book convention, but I would love to go to RT someday. Thanks for sharing your convention experience.

    • Yazmin R

      Glad you liked my post. It’s definitely something very book lover needs to add to their bucket list. Hope you can make it someday. 🙂

  36. Chelsea B.

    I’ve never been to one or met an author! Gosh, I’d love to though. Megan Shepherd, Marissa Meyer, Tessa Dare, Kerrilyn Sparks, Cindy Miles…SO MANY authors I’d love to meet!
    I follow in all the ways we’re supposed to!

    • Yazmin R

      A convention like RT is great for meeting so many together. If you can’t make it to a full convention, you can try the giant book fair, so many authors in one room, heaven.

  37. angela smith

    i’ve never been to a book signing or a book convention.probably would never go anyway.i’m happy just reading my books

  38. Lori P

    I haven’t been, but I would love to attend a RWA and a RT convention some day.

    • Yazmin R

      Definitely something to add to the bucket list. I remember we met a lady at the convention who had not attended while younger because she was busy at work as a librarian, but after she retired she has made it her mission to go every year and enjoy her time there.

    • Yazmin R

      I know what you mean, deciding on one was difficult, but RT won and now has me hooked and planning to attend every year.

  39. Ann Waters

    I haven’t been yet, but it is something I would like to do in the future. I need something closer to my home and easier to travel to.

  40. erinf1

    I haven’t attended a book convention yet but it’s a bucket list item to do so! I love reading the blog posts and seeing all the pics 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  41. carol L

    I have never been but have wanted to go for awhile now. Someday soon I hope. Meeting all those Authors and the books, I’m amazed looking at your picture. 🙂 That’s awesome. I don’t have FB or Twwitter but I’m commenting. Thank you for the opportunity and thanks for all the great info. The convention in Vegas , is that the one Jimmy Thomas the cover model does ?
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    • Yazmin R

      Hope you can make it someday. Here’s a thing, that picture contains mostly the books I got at the convention and I only paid for about 7 of them 😉

      I believe the one you are thinking about is the romance novel convention, which is this year. The RT convention will be held in Vegas next year too in the month of April.

  42. jodi marinich

    i havent been to a convention would love to go and meet any of the authors i love…all else done for this giveaway

  43. Terri C

    I haven’t been. I missed the one here in Kansas City a year or so ago, because my husband was having some health issues. I would love to be able to meet Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins.

  44. Ames

    I’ve been to a fantasy/sci-fi book convention in Boston years back, mainly to see Kelley Armstrong. Meeting her was amazing 🙂

  45. Cozynookbks

    I haven’t been to a book convention yet. I hear that one is coming about 4 hrs. from me in either 2016 or 2017 though I believe. I would like to experience it because it sounds great for book lovers like myself.

  46. mrsmac19

    I’ve never been to a book convention. While the idea is interesting, I’d end up going solo. I’d prefer to go with a friend or a group, but I’m really the only person I know that reads NA, contemporary, etc.

  47. Nicole Potter

    I haven’t had the chance to go to one yet, but I’ve wanted to soooo badly! I was close to being able to go to RT15 this year, but the month before I caught influenza and had to use all my vacation hours to make up for it.

    Thanks for the chance! Already a follower on facebook and twitter, and an email subscriber <3

  48. Sylve T.

    I have never been to one unfortunately! i would really like too though! Heard that it is tons of fun. i would end up dragging one of my friends along with me if one were ever near where i live. i’ll have to keep a lookout lol. I already follow on both FB and Twitter. Thank you for the chance!!

  49. Texas Book Lover

    i have not been to one and i live in Dallas so RT about killed me this past year! But RT always falls on the week of my birthday, anniversary and my daughters dance recital. The first two I could easily celebrate another time but I have to be there to do all the dance mom things the week of recital.

    I am so excited that RT2016 has been moved up to April bring on Vegas!!!

  50. Joanna M.

    Not yet but RWA and RT and Authors After Dark Cons are on my list for next year
    It sounds like you had tons of fun!

  51. Kim

    I attended the Penned Con event in St. Louis and a signing in DC last year . I’ve also gone to book signings at Nora Roberts’ bookstore. I would love to meet Krista and Becca Ritchie in person!!

  52. Alyssa@Riverina Romantics

    Yazmin!!!! My fellow Trouble Triplet! 🙂
    Lovely review of the RT Con! Shame I only saw it just now. It was great to meet you and get to know you. I hope to see you next year! (If I can. XD ). <3

    • Yazmin R

      Aww, miss my fellow Trouble Triplets now! 😉
      Shame on you Alyssa! Lmao, J/K. It was great meeting you and getting to know you too. Hope to see you next year if you are able to make it. Keep in touch girlfriend. :* <3

  53. Yazmin R

    Sorry for the late announcement, life just likes to keep me busy when I want to take a break.

    The Winners for this giveaway are….
    GAIL S & MICHELLE M! I will send you an email requesting your mailing address to send the packages over. 🙂

  54. Veronica Boudreau

    No I haven’t ever been to an authors convention, but it sounds like a lot of fun. And the best part would be to meet the authors in person!