Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon 2012

Barbara Vey -- October 19th, 2012

joysann

Hi! joysann here. Between the Fifty Shades and Magic Mike phenomena this year, we’ve observed a rising awareness in erotic romance and entertainment in largely female audiences, but for Ellora’s Cave Romantica® Publishing, it’s all old school. EC authors have been celebrating erotic romance for more than a decade, and they have the sales and the cover models to prove it. And for the last few of those years, Ellora’s Cave has been celebrating their authors and readers with the annual RomantiCon, a gala not to be missed.

RomantiCon 2012 was held this past week in Canton, Ohio, just south of EC’s Akron, Ohio, home base. The entire McKinley Grand Hotel (across the street from the historical National First Ladies’ Library and Museum) was reserved solely for the event, and it was a comfortable accommodation for all participants.

Author Cait Miller came from Scotland and Caveman Ryan flew in from South Africa

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Arrivals began early in the week, but the party started on Thursday night with the casual Meet & Greet, bringing together old friends excited to see each other again, and the chance to make new friends. With a good start on the eventual 300 or so attendees, the party was a happy and boisterous affair.

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Authors(l-r)Francesca Hawley, Kathy Kulig, Desiree Holt, and Regina Carlysle presenting Paranormal Creatures: The Good, the Bad, & the Undead

 

In the daytimes, while editor pitches were going on, there were workshops for authors to learn about writing good sexy stories or promoting themselves. And for the readers attending, there were fun sexy games and prizes, allowing an opportunity for everyone to let their hair down a little bit. The workshops were filled to standing room and gathering outside the door was a common experience for these popular classes.

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Nick Soto and Zumba

While all the classes and games were well appreciated, none was quite so enthusiastically attended as the Zumba class on Saturday morning, led by fitness and Zumba instructor, this year’s new “Alpha Caveman” contest winner, Nick.

RomantiCon has its serious business side, which is taken very seriously by the writers who want to keep improving professionally. But it’s also a celebration of fun, beauty and sexuality, and there is little more jubilant than dancing. Enter Ellora’s Cavemen, the cover models/fitness trainers/body builders/dancers. There can’t have been many women there (or men, for that matter) that didn’t enjoy the entertainment provided by these handsome, charming, energetic, enthusiastic professional performers.

Ellora’s Cave CEO Patty Marks with the Cavemen

To some, the chance to invent their fantasies (for writing purposes, of course) in the company of the Cavemen, with other like-minded women, is what makes RomantiCon as exciting as it is. The professionalism of these men lent to EC’s view that all women, no matter age or appearance, are beautiful, and that’s just how they made most of us feel.

 

 

Lisa of Cleveland Exotic Dance danced on stilts among the party goers all evening

And then there were the parties…

 

Friday Night reflected the Mayan calendar’s end of the world with the Last Dance of Your Life Party, with a Carnivale’ quality to the costumes.

Author Shoshanna Evers

 

 

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Cover artist Valerie Tibbs and reader Kate Marcille

Cover artist Valerie Tibbs and reader Kate Marcille

Of course, that had to be followed Saturday night with the Survivors vs Walking Dead Dinner and Awards Banquet. Zombies and zombie slayers were everywhere. Creative costumes, terrific shows by the Cavemen choreographed by Caveman Georgio, demonstrations and entertainment by the Cleveland Exotic Dance group, and dancing the night away by most everyone made both evenings fabulous celebrations.

 

 

 

 

Sunday afternoon was the Romantica® SEXpo and Book Sale & Signing, with 80 authors, vendors and performances by the Cavemen and Cleveland Exotic Dance.

Cleveland Exotic Dance performers

It was a busy, bustling event with high spirits all around. Among the debut authors at the signing were a couple of Cavemen with a new release of their own. Take It Off, by Taylor Cole & Justin Whitfield, tells “the naked truth about male strippers,” and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is a bit curious.

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Authors Justin Whitfield and Taylor Cole

Last, but never least, the party wound down on Sunday evening with the increasingly popular Pizza and Bingo Pajama Party, with lots of prizes for both the games and many raffles. These come with lots of laughs and squee-ing as the prizes are delivered to the winners by the handsome Cavemen who got into the spirit of the event with schmoozy shenanigans to please their audience. At last, I won a prize, and, no, while it was very nice, it wasn’t dishy Caveman David.

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So that’s it for this year. I’ve come home having made new friends, had extraordinary conversations, and have lots of good books to read. It was a terrific weekend and I can’t think of a better time I’ve had at a conference. Next year’s event is already announced and planning has begun on RomantiCon 2013, and I highly recommend the experience to all fans of erotic romance.

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My Saturday night dinner companions: standing – Cover artist Kendra Egert, authors Bronwyn Green, Isabelle Drake; reader Patti Paoessa, authors Ruby Duvall, Brynn Paulin

61 thoughts on “Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon 2012

  1. Lea Barrymire

    As a first time attendee and newbie author I was not only a little scared to attend, but petrified of meeting all of the “big” authors. Let me tell you, from the first moment every single person was wonderful. The authors, staff, guys, readers, hotel staff and anyone else attending were wonderful. I can’t wait for next year!

    1. joysann

      I’m sure we won’t be disappointed next time. EC staff are the best! And I loved how the hotel staff wore EC T-shirts. Even the party security staff looked hunky in their “Got Sex” shirts. Bet they don’t get to do that often.

  2. Regina Carlysle

    Great seeing you again, Joysann! Wasn’t it fun??? I would never, ever dream of missing Romanticon. Unpacking from the event breaks my heart but once I register for next year I’ll start feeling a bit better!

  3. Kathy Kuilg

    Joysann, It was great seeing you again at Romanticon. Thanks for the wonderful write up. The conference was a blast and a huge success. Workshops/panels standing room only as you said, and many outside attendees for the bookfair made it a huge success. (Sold lots of books) The parties are always great fun too. And the Cavemen charming and hunky as usual. See you next year!

  4. Cris Anson

    Lovely photo of you in the mask, Joysann, with that beaming smile. Thanks for a great recap, so we can relive the experience. It was a wonderful weekend and no one left a stranger. The Ellora’s Cave group is truly a big, happy family. Um, why didn’t you post a photo of you posing with the Cavemen from the photo shoot????

    1. joysann

      Cris, you’re the life of the party. You know that line – Oh-oh, here comes trouble!? You know how to make things exciting. I look forward to next time. (What sexy photo shoot photo? ;-) )

  5. Fran Lee

    Joysann, you are a national treasure! I have loved the Romanticon Conventions even more because of your marvelous, fun-loving attendance! You are always smiling, laughing, and friendly, and we love having you there! Thanks for the marvelous write-up and for your total enjoyment of the convention. Seeing readers, reviewers, and authors hob-nobbing with Cavemen and Ellora’s Cave staff is always a “joy” to us! (I know…bad pun, Fran). :)

    1. joysann

      Fran, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and I didn’t get to spend the time with you I would have liked. Next time I’ll make it. See you then.

    1. joysann

      I wish my photo of you with your zombie baby had turned out. You were actually one of the most gorgeous walking dead I’d ever seen. :-) See you next time.

  6. Sam Cheever

    Hey Joysann!

    Did you ever get your camera working! Hopefully you got some shots of the exotic dancers at the book signing! LOL Such fun. And where else but RomantiCon can you learn about pole dancing from a very sweet and savvy exotic dancer over lunch? Wonderful conference. See you next year!

    1. joysann

      Weren’t those women terrific? What I like best about the women of Cleveland Exotic Dance is many of these are working women/mothers etc who have learned to dance burlesque and pole dance just because it’s such a fun way to get super exercise. Then they bravely come out for Show & Tell. Good for them. Did you learn enough to join them next year? It was good seeing you again, Sam.

      1. Sam Cheever

        They were absolutely wonderful! I really enjoyed watching them when the cavemen were dancing. They had such looks of delight on their faces. Fun!

        Uh, yeah, I’m bringing my own pole next year. LOL

  7. Afton Locke

    This convention was truly special. It’s like one big happy family. In tough times, it’s good to be reminded how to laugh and have fun again. (Best memory for me is being in a manwich during the photo shoot.)

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