Tag Archives: Ellora’s Cave Publishing

Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon 2013

Barbara Vey -- October 21st, 2013
joysann

joysann

We interrupt my UK adventures with a special report from joysann.  I’ll return tomorrow with more author video interviews and visiting Scotland.  The Mills & Boon giveaway is still going on, so leave a comment for a chance to win.

Hi! joysann here. There have been 5 RomantiCons put on by Ellora’s Cave, and I’ve been to all of them. And after each I’ve said “this is the best romance conference ever”. I still think so. It just keeps getting better and better.

Ellora’s Cave Publishing in Akron, OH, celebrates both its Authors and Readers in this exciting weekend event. This year attendance approached the 300 mark, and well over half were the enthusiastic and dedicated Readers of erotic romance. With the rapidly growing awareness of erotic romance literature available, more and more women are exploring what is out there, and Ellora’s Cave is just the place to go for their reading pleasures.

Author Tara Nina working registration

Author Tara Nina working registration

EC goes all out with providing a memorable experience for everyone. Starting with the accommodations, the entire McKinley Grand Hotel in Canton, OH, is reserved for the event, Friday through Sunday. Everyone there is in some way related to the event, making an open and casual atmosphere for adult socializing and conversations, with no need for concern for little pitchers with big ears.

Authors Cris Anson and Kaenar Langford sharing secrets at the Meet 'n' Greet

Authors Cris Anson and Kaenar Langford sharing secrets at the Meet ‘n’ Greet

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Attendees began arriving early in the week, so by Thursday there was a substantial group ready and waiting for the festivities to start. To satisfy this, EC hosted a Meet ’n’ Greet to facilitate the joys and excitement of long-time friends reuniting, making new friends of authors and readers, and introducing the ever-popular Cavemen.

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Zumba with Caveman Nick

Zumba with Caveman Nick

Friday and Saturday mornings started off getting physical with healthy and exuberant exercise for those ambitious enough to join Caveman Nick Soto in a 50 minute Zumba class. This was followed by demonstrations by women of Cleveland Exotic Dance, one of belly dancing and one of yoga. Both exercise and dance classes were well attended, and both were seriously presented, but still a lot of fun.

 

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dalton diaz and samantha kane

Author Samantha Kane is acting carny while cheering author Dalton Diaz at bean bag toss.

Afternoons brought on the workshops and instructional panels. Okay, not so much! How about Games & SEXtras™? What we had available were games and parties and discussions, all hosted by EC authors. A little racy, a lot sexy, and lots and lots of prizes and giveaways. There were bingo, and charades, and even a little carnival, and all was fun and laughter inducing. A great job was done by all the presenters.

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Authors Regina Cole & Sydney Bristol with blogger Vanessa thejeepdiva blogger ready for Bollywood

Authors Regina Cole & Sydney Bristol with blogger Vanessa thejeepdiva blogger ready for Bollywood

No one does extravagant parties like Ellora’s Cave! Everyone knows that the evening is going to be special and exciting. Friday night’s theme was Bollywood, and most everyone was decked out in saris and bangles and colorful, glittery fashions. The room decoration was superb, and everyone left with her own exotic coin-jingling scarf-style belt.

Old Hollywood was Saturday night’s theme, and women and men both enjoyed dressing with the glamor of the silver screen. The evening gowns, the glittering jewelry, the stylish suits and hats all lent to the excitement of the Awards Banquet. It was truly a spectacular evening.

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Ellora's Cavemen with author Aline Hunter

Ellora’s Cavemen with author Aline Hunter

Neither of the evening celebrations can go by without an energetic performance by the Ellora’s Cavemen. Choreographed to match the party themes and the special interests of the audience, the performances by these talented and handsome young men charmed and thrilled. These cover models and dancers are the highlight of the weekend for many of the conference attendees. The women of Cleveland Exotic Dance performed as well, with theme appropriate displays of costume and dance.

Sunday, of course, was the big booksigning event, open to the public (18 yoa & over), with many of EC’s authors available to sign books and e-book cover flats for their fans. With Romantica® and Exotika® imprints for their erotic fiction, Ellora’s Cave calls the event the SEXporium™. Along with books, fans were purchasing merchandise like t-shirts, toys, jewelry and Cavemen Calendars, and it was a brisk business. The Cavemen repeated their performances from the party nights, and Cleveland Exotic Dance performed belly dancing, pole dancing, and a little burlesque.

I wasn’t able to stick around, but a lot of attendees don’t leave till Monday mornings, so the exciting Bingo & Pizza Party has become a staple to the weekend’s entertainment. I know those able to stay shared lot of laughter and fun.

Again, EC’s RomantiCon is one of the best romance writer events I get to attend. This isn’t an accident. The remarkable, dedicated and talented staff of EC knock themselves out to make the event a memorable experience for their beloved authors and readers. I love it.

Joysann’s Interview on CBS Sunday Morning – Afterword

Barbara Vey -- March 25th, 2013
joysann

joysann

As I, joysann, blogged on Friday, yesterday CBS Sunday Morning had a great little story on Ellora’s Cave Publishing, and did absolutely wonderfully with the interview with author Desiree Holt. With only a quick shot behind the scenes, a brief exchange with EC CEO Patty Marks, and very brief glances at the gorgeous cover models (waaay not enough!), it was still a fun few minutes.

This particular CBS Sunday Morning show was about unusual businesses and their successes, intended to be a brief lighthearted look. It was not supposed to be an in-depth story about the publishing industry, or the moral implications of erotica, or the value of women’s fiction in all its genres. And Bill Geist made it a fun story for a little informative entertainment. I think any positive exposure to romance fiction is good for the industry.

This has been an interesting two weeks of anxious anticipation waiting for this segment to broadcast. I’m delighted with the segment, for Ellora’s Cave and for Desiree. And though my little interview wasn’t used, I am glad I got to be part of it, even behind the scenes… equal parts disappointed that I didn’t appear in the segment and grateful that I didn’t have a chance to make a fool of myself. I imagine I’ll have an opportunity for that another time.

 Bottom Line:  It still was an experience to remember.

Joysann’s Interview on CBS Sunday Morning

Barbara Vey -- March 21st, 2013
CBS Sunday Morning

CBS Sunday Morning

joysann

joysann

 

This coming Sunday, March 24, the CBS Sunday Morning news show will be doing a segment on Ellora’s Cave Publishing and I, joysann was there to witness it.  Last week CBS Correspondent Bill Geist and his crew flew into Akron, Ohio, to tour the EC offices and warehouse, and interview CEO Patty Marks about the unusual and successful business of publishing erotica and their trademarked Romantica®.

Bill Geist interviewing Author Desiree Holt

Bill Geist interviewing Author Desiree Holt

 

Along with Patty, they also did an interview with one of EC’s most popular authors, Desiree Holt, who has written and published over 130 books. Another interesting fact about Desiree? Along with producing exciting, sizzling romance fiction, she is a 76 year old widowed grandmother. For some reason some people find that incongruous. I just find her brilliant.

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Bookcover Photo Shoot

Bookcover Photo Shoot

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So this is the story CBS Sunday Morning will be broadcasting. For my part, well, I was invited by EC to be one of three reader/fans to be interviewed for the segment, and I am enthusiastically both of those things. I was delighted!

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Bookcover Photo Shoot

Bookcover Photo Shoot (Photo Courtesy of Ellora’s Cave)

 

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I dragged my friend Joan Short, another reader/fan, into the EC offices, and while waiting for our turns to be interviewed, we were invited to watch a bookcover photo shoot, put together to film how it’s done. That was interesting, too. With the need for romantic looking covers for the books, the subjects are gorgeous. There were two lovely young women, and, of course, some of the famous Ellora’s Cavemen. Yep, it was fascinating.

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Bill Geist and the Cover Models

Bill Geist and the Cover Models

I’m looking forward to seeing the story on Sunday Morning, seeing the interview with my friend Desiree, and of course, seeing how the news crew saw the photo shoot.

CBS Sunday Morning March 24 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

 

joysann & Ellora''s Cavemen

joysann & Ellora’s Cavemen (Photo Courtesy of Ellora’s Cave)

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Bottom Line: For myself, I can only barely remember what gracious Bill Geist asked me, and goodness knows how I answered, but there it is.

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

Ellora’s Cave RomantiCon 2011-The Time Machine

Barbara Vey -- October 6th, 2011
joysann

joysannEllora's Cave Wines

Hi! Cub reporter joysann here. Having recovered from a fabulous weekend, I can tell about this special event.

Ellora's Cave Wines

Ellora’s Cave Publishing publishes romance fiction they call Romantica® that reads from a little curl of steam to sizzling hot erotica, and has a tremendous following of readers. This was the 3rd RomantiCon, an event they host for their authors and devoted fans. Held in Akron, Ohio, which is their home, they throw one amazing affair. For the early-birds who arrived already on Thursday evening, there was a Meet & Greet where there were lots of happy reunions of old friends and acquaintances, and excited introductions to new ones. To get festivities started at this soiree, we enjoyed the several wines bottled with Ellora’s Cave own label.

Authors Francesca Hawley & Cris Anson

Friday and Saturday mornings started bright and early with workshop sessions that kept readers entertained throughout the day while authors were busy learning to improve their profession. Work sessions included subjects about character development, understanding contracts, collaborating and co-authoring, writing steam-punk, and much more. Meanwhile, on a lighter note, there were colorful and flavorful sessions geared for entertainment and games for Grown-Ups.

Popular among these were demonstrations of burlesque and pole dancing by Cleveland Exotic Dance to encourage healthy and fun exercise for everyday women. I learned that the provocative skimpy costumes and flashy vinyl of the pole dancers aren’t for Show & Tell… Okay, sure they are, but also bare skin and vinyl are effective for a good, safe grip on the pole. Who knew? With the strength and control of gymnasts, the women were amazing.

Cavemen with authors Mari Freeman, Samantha Kane & Kristin Daniels

RomantiCon’s theme this year was The Time Machine, which took us back to the Stone Age for dinner and dancing on Friday evening, and most everyone revealed their inner neanderthal, dressing for the occasion.

EC's Original Covermodels CJ Hollenbach & Shannon Smith

There was a whole lot of animal print and faux fur, and lots of fun. And what would the EC Stone Age be without Ellora’s Cavemen? These handsome cover models provided floor show dance entertainment that was well appreciated by an audience mostly made up of women, all of whom have broad imaginations. Gentlemanly and friendly, these young men steal the show when they’re about.

Author Kathy Kulig & me

Author Tiffany Bryan

Saturday evening we traveled to the future for the Awards Banquet, and here the authors and readers outdid themselves with their creativity. The costumes were wonderful, each more surprising and delightful than the next. I shot so many pictures my camera could take no more, and I wish I could share them all here. I’m sure photos can be searched for on the internet, posted by dozens of happy space travelers and alien creatures and steam-punk aristocrats.

Author Paige Tyler & husband Paul

Readers Leola & Linda

The EC editors and staff invented many delightful awards for their authors based on features of stories that caught their attention, such as the “Tackle That Quarterback Award”, and “Not-So-Little Blue Men Award”, and “Voodoo Zombie Lover Award”. All are given and received with good humor, laughter and appreciation. With more performances by the Cavemen, including an outdoor firedance (brrrr), the evening was a great success.

Author Koko Brown & Sienna Mynx

Author Tara Nina

Sunday’s successful Book Signing was unusual with entertainment and door prizes galore. The ever-appealing Cavemen danced again, and observers were fascinated and awed by performances given by the exotic dancers.

Cavemen Rodney Chatman & Angelo Riguero

The whole of the exciting event closed with the increasingly popular Pizza & Bingo party on Sunday evening, this time a pajama party, and hosts Cavemen Rodney Chatman and Angelo Riguero gave a whole new entertainment value to the mundane game of bingo.

Where do I sign up for next year?

Bottom Line: Best tip I got this weekend came from author Mari Freeman: Never claim to be younger than you are; admit to being years older and people will be amazed at how fabulous you look.