Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Reader & Author Get-Together 2009

I'm home from a gloriously decadent weekend with more than 305 of the loveliest people: readers and writers of romantic fiction. When you spend 3 days with people who all believe in Happy Ever After, you can't help but feel that the world is a joyful and miraculous place.

Three of my friends from the Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America chapter roomed with me. They were party animals who kept me awake all night talking about--what else? Romance books. And sex . . . in romance books, of course.

We swapped books. We bought more books. We hounded more than 100 published authors present at the Get-Together for their autographs--and they were unfailingly gracious.

We tweeted at each other (it was a twitterific time and I found a dozen new friends to follow). We bid on the best selection of silent auction baskets I have ever seen--full of books, ARCs, wine, chocolate, purses and even a couple Kindle e-readers.

Sometimes we worked. My friends and I participated in a two-hour presentation by Samhain Publishing's Angela James--a useful primer on e-publishing. Some of us met with agents, editors and romance experts like Romance B(u)y the Book guru, Michelle Buonfiglio. I even caught a couple writers writing (you know who you are, Gia Dawn!)

We drank a cocktail or three. We sang Babe. We played trivia games. I lost, but Donna MacMeans gave me a consolation bracelet, although I would have rather had her hat. We drew naughty pictures. We took photos and videos to blackmail each other with (keep your eye on twitter links and blogs from attendees--you might get to see yours truly making an idiot of herself.)

And at $52 for the entire two days, I think I made a profit--and I wasn't selling anything! I came home with fifty (count 'em, fifty!) new books and SO much swag! Never shall a book of mine go unmarked again.

I'm exhausted and blissful . . . and I'm going to read a book. Top of the stack is LuAnn McLane's Redneck Cinderella--perfect for a new Kentucky girl who's happy to be home.