Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Rooster Takes Orlando!

by Donna MacMeans

Hi - First wanted to announce the winner of Lisa Cooke's blog on Tuesday. MsHellion - you're the winner! Please contact Lisa at with your information.

Second - BIG NEWS! Romantic Times announced the winners of their 2009 awards and yours truly won Best Historical Love and Laughter! I'll accept the award on Friday -- right before the Vampire Ball.

So that's where you'll find the GR and I - down here in sunny Orlando at the RT Convention.

We packed our bags and boarded the airplane. The GR insisted he could fly on his own but when I insisted he'd be too tired for the planned events, he relented and claimed the window seat.

We didn't even make it out of the Orlando airport when the GR tried to pick up chicks.

We arrived at the Wynham Hotel and the GR insisted on leading the way to the room.

He consulted Sheila Clover English of Circle of Seven about making a book trailer. The GR gives new meaning to the term "hunt and peck".

The GR checks out his competition in the arms of cover model CJ Hollenbach - you know, one "rooster" to another.

The cheeky bird flirts with Kensington author Delilah Marvelle

and inspires Linnea Sinclair to violence with her space blaster.

After spending the night in the bar sharing stories with romance reader Bud Rice (husband of Ellora's Cave author Dee Brice), but GR signed the bar bill to my room. Now how am I going to explain that $500 tab on my credit card???

Finally, Kensington author Sally MacKenzie reduced the GR to a pool of fur, feathers and alcohol.

I just wanted to leave you with this - the floor show of the Ellora's Cave models.

And so while the GR and I are out circulating among the fans of romance down here in Orlando, I can't promise that I'll be able to drop in frequently to answer questions and comments - but I promise I will read them. I'll send promo items gathered from RT (including a book) to two commentors from today's blog. In that spirit, tell me - what's your favorite kind of promo? Can't guarantee that I'll find it here on promotion lane, but I'll send the GR out to "peck" out the best.


limecello said...


limecello said...

lol - I love it! And I finally know what the GR looks like :P I think my favorite is the plane pic!

Haha - I'd LOVE to go to RT some time... As for my favorite promo? Books. And if you could steal one of those cover models to promote those books... ;)

Virginia said...

Congrats Limecello on nabbing that rooster, but you've got one problem he is at the RT with Donna and it looks like he is having a wonderful time. I don't think you can pull him away from there.

Congrats on your award Donna this is wonderful news and you are great with the humor, I just finished Mrs. Brimley and loved it! Yes you deserved that award all the way!!

I'm with limecello books and bookmarks are my favorite promo items! I love promo items!

Pissenlit said...

BWA HA HA! Love the report with pics! My my, doesn't the GR look great! Those chicks he's chattin' up look positively faint! Um, though oddly enough, he looks extremely pleased to have a space blaster pointed at him. :D

Congrats on the Best Historical Love and Laughter award!

Favourite promo items? Books! Aw who am I kidding? Promo items are fun, in general!

flchen1 said...

Woohoo! Sweet! Donna, those are awesome photos! Keep having a fabulous time, and thanks for the peek!

Ditto on the favorite promos--books, of course. Bookmarks, and then vaguely useful things like Post-its, pens, etc.

Congrats, Limecello!

Kirsten said...

Wooo--Hooo!! Donna rocks the house!! I am so proud of you, dear girl -- such a well deserved honor. Wish I could be there to cheer you along at the convention! :-)

Gillian Layne said...

Donna, congratulations!!!!!!!

Magnets--they make file cabinets look great. Bookmarks---never enough, and they are so pretty! Coverflats, because it's fun to study the blurbs and practice writing my own.

Thanks for the great pictures, and have a fun time! I'm a little concerned about the GR...hope you won't be needing bail money before the week is over...;)

Cheri2628 said...

CONGRATS on the award!!!

Thanks for the pictures. Be sure to post more! RT sounds like SO much fun!

Favorite promo item? Books, of course!

Have fun! :-) Next year, can you take me instead of GR?


Anna Campbell said...

Lime AGAIN???!!!!

Donna, huge congratulations on winning the Historical Love and Laughter Award at RT! I love it when we get extra bling in the lair. I love it when the cabana boys take off their loincloths to polish said bling.

And the photos had me absolutely cracking up. Especially the one of the chook checking out the chicks. Talk about giving those birds the glad eye!

I love magnets and bookmarks. I had bookmarks done for Tempt the Devil - first time I've done that and I'd definitely do it again. I don't know what the readers thought of them but I LURVED them! ;-)

Louisa Cornell said...

You just couldn't stand the idea of the GR having fun away from you, could you Lime!

Congratulations, Donna !!! I am so excited for you! Gosh I wish we could all be there to give a big Romance Bandits and Buddies cheer! So deserving and so fabulous!!

And your photos and trip vignettes cracked me up. I'm with Gillian. Do we need to start gathering bail money now??

I love any kind of promo item. My house is loaded with them. I love cover flats, especially autographed ones. I frame them and hang them in my writing studio as inspiration. My Denise Rosetti coverflats are VERY inspirational !! VBG

I love magnets too. And bookmarks! And of course books are ALWAYS nice. A woman can never have too many romance novels or too many cover models. Can you hijack the Ellora's Cave bus and bring a few of those back to the Lair???

Tawny said...

YAAAAAAAAAY Donna!!! A big whohooo and happy dancing congratulations on the award :-) You so totally deserve it!!!

And what a fab trip you're having, if that happy rooster is any indication. Good luck keeping him in check this week.

Helen said...

Congrats again limcello have fun with him


Well done I am so happy for you I have loved all of your books they are fantastic reads.

The GR certainly looks like he is having fun I wonder if he will tell all when he gets back I wonder. Love the photos have a great time Donna I want to see lots of pics especially of you recieving your award after the vampire ball.

As for promo items I love them all books pens coverfalts magnets I have a great collection of them and love adding to them.

Have Fun

Minna said...

Great pictures!
Well, aside from the obvious -books!- I like promo items that are more or less useful. so I'm afraid I don't care very much for coverflats, bookmarks or magnets. I never throw them away (I have once again an envelope filled with them), but instead I try to find someone who collects them. Anyone?

I just have to: once again, Susan Boyle:

Christine Wells said...

HILARIOUS!! Donna, I didn't know the rooster came with you to Orlando. Looks like he's having a lot of fun.

Hope you're having a great time and CONGRATS on the award!! Well-deserved and fabulous stuff!

Promo...I don't know. I think ye olde bookmark is always good. Hoping I can learn something from our friends here on the blog!

Jane said...

The GR seems to be having great time in Orlando. Books are definitely my favorite promo. I also love and collect bookmarks, magnets and coverflats.

PJ said...

Looks like the GR is taking Mouse Town by storm! Make sure he slathers on the sunscreen before he hits the pool. Wouldn't want him to fry!

Huge congrats on the RT win, Donna! Wish we could all be there to rock the house when you pick up your award.

I love promo items, especially books, bookmarks and pens...and, of course, my Romance Bandits button!

Have a wonderful time at the conference, Donna. Thanks so much for sharing it with us through the GR's photos!

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your award! I like books best of all but also use bookmarks and post-its and pens.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Woot! Congratulations Donna, I am not at all surprised that you won. Books are wonderful and I love the bookmarks, postcards, and pens.

Anna Sugden said...

WOOOHOOOO Donna! Congratulations on the well-deserved award! I love The Trouble With Moonlight - and only wish there could be a sequel *g*.

Oh my - that pesky Rooster is having a whale ... bird? ... of a time! Trust him to be flirting with all the hot chicks (of the feathered or non-feathered kind!)

I love books as promo too - otherwise, I like useful things like post-its and nice pens (hate those cheapo pens that don't work) and note pads. Some of the best stuff I've seen has been things like tip calculators, calendars, nail files (I'm always short of nail files), business card holders and a Band-Aid holder. All useful, but well-branded.

Have fun!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hooray Donna! Congrats!

Oh, I feel sorry for the person who gets the GR after this trip!

Caren Crane said...

Donna, congratulations on the Historical Love & Laughter award!! No wonder the GR felt the need to get so sloshy. *g*

I hope he behaves and doesn't shove his way onstage with the Ellora's Cave guys. I think Gillian and Louisa have a point about the bail money. Maybe we should have a Bandita Bake Sale to raise cash.

Favorite promo items (besides books): bookmarks and pens. Two things I always need! Judith Ivory gives out really nice pens at her workshops. They are favorites of mine.

Of course, my new favorite pen is my Golden Pen I got from winning the Golden Pen contest! It just arrived a few weeks ago and I LOVE it!

Gannon Carr said...

Big congrats, Donna on your award! Woo Hoo!!!!

Watch that cheeky GR on your return trip through the airport--he may try to sneak a chick or two into your carry on. ;)

I love books, bookmarks, magnets and of course, buttons, particularly my Romance Bandits button. :)

Have fun in the Sunshine State, Donna! Thanks for sharing your pictures with us.

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on taking the rooster home! Looks like you'll have to wait until after his trip, though.

Donna, I don't envy you trying to keep up with him in sunny Florida. Looks like you're having a great time and he's, well, his usual self. At least no one has blown him away so far, and Linnea restrained herself with the blaster.

And just BTW, MEGA-congrats on your win! That's a fabulous book, and I'm glad it's getting recognition.

Nancy said...

Oh, yes, promo items. I love magnets and books. And pens, which I actually use.

Gillian Layne said...

You all are right about the pens. I do use them, stash them everywhere. Christie Craig sent me the cutest pen; it comes with it's own suction cup holder for your desk, and the end is a bobble-head smiley face with a tuft of red and white feathery hair. The cats go nuts over this pen.

My bookmark collection includes your Tempt the Devil, Ms. Campbell, and it is gorgeous. :)

So I'm wondering whose room the GR is sneaking out of right about now....

Lois said...

Oh boy, I like anything, most especially books, coverflats, chocolate (okay, I was thinking more I wish I had some now, I think. . .), bookmarks too. . . can't think this early in the morning! :) And have lots of fun there -- one of these days, gotta find a way to a convention! :)


Lisa Cooke said...

Hi Everybody! I'm in Orlando with Donna and GR. What a crazy rooster! We think he has a drinking problem (probably because he doesn't have lips ;-) But soon after he polished off his drink with dinner, he fell beak first into his tiaramasu. It was embarrasing and I know this morning he's going to have a hangover, but what can I say?

Joan said...



Will the GR be accepting with you?

Loved the rooster travelouge. And I'm with PJ about watching the sun exposure...all that alcohol + Florida sun = implosion!!!

Anna said: I love it when the cabana boys take off their loincloths to polish said bling.LOL, don't we all....

Joan said...

Oh, as far as fav promo items.

On hardcopy things coverflats and magnets. And I'm starting to like internet trailers a lot too!

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Donna, kudos to you on your big achievement! I mean, winning an RT award is fabulous & all, but riding herd on the GR for a couple days in a place full of romance, alcohol & women in costume? Now THAT'S an accomplishment. You're a brave, brave woman, & you have my deepest admiration. :-)

Are you planning to take the GR up on the stage to accept your award on Friday night?

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi all -

The rooster has his feathers ruffled. He's tired of having people call him a chicken. The Nerve!!!

Thanks for the congrats on the award. It was a real surprise as the other nominees are awesome.
I think the rooster will have to watch the award ceremony from the table, but you never know. Having a rooster as a companion tends to bring out the wild and crazy in a person.

I can tell you this -- I didn't bring enough Romance Bandits business cards. So many people think he's just a plain ole rooster - little do they know the training that arrogant c**k has had the last couple of years!

Donna MacMeans said...

BTW - the hotel does not have wireless internet connectivity so no roving reporter on the blog today. Sorry. But I promise to tell all upon return!

housemouse88 said...

Hello Donna,

Congrats on the award!!! Way to go Girl!!!! Promo Items have got to be BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great day.

MsHellion said...

Favorite kind of promo? Books are my favorite kind of promo. *LOL* And hot men dressed in historical costume...

I do like non-run-of-the-mill promo stuff. (Not postcards or bookmarks) Like: pizza cutters or letter openers or change purses...just something a little different.

However, as cool as that is, the best promo out there is Word of Mouth. That's my favorite kind of promo: getting a book recommendation from someone I know reads the same sort of things as me or knows my tastes. Even better, if they lend me their copy, which 9 times out of 10 prompts me to buy my own after.

You can't beat the word of mouth promo.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Woot! Congrats on the award, Donna! Whooohooooo!

As for that mad bird, he's a crazed lunatic on a trip full of Romance Writers. As his "keeper" at the RWA last year, I'll say you have my sympathies.

Bail money. A good idea, I think.

Lisa Cooke, I'm glad you had a chance to meet him in person...I guess...but he's really quite the spectacle, isn't he? Tiramisu? Oh, dear. He's a handful.

Donna, we'll enjoy hearing your updates as you can post them. :>

Vicki said...

Loved this and hope to see both you and the GR this weekend. :)

I've been on total lurk mode for the past several weeks, but I'm back. Yay!! Missed everyone.

terrio said...

Congrats on the award!!! And thanks for the update and the great picks. That bird is cooking! (Okay, poor choice of words...)

If you see one of those Cavemen Calendars, I'd be happy to take it off your hands. I had one for '07 and the flower gardens of '08 just weren't the same. Somehow, without the new caveman per month, I have no motivation to turn the page.

Minna said...

GR tried to pick up chicks who call themselves crazy clucks?

Oh, and congratulations on the Historical Love & Laughter award!

jo robertson said...

Whooooohoooot, Donna! Sounds like you and the chook are having a grand -- hiccup -- old time in Orlando.

I have to fess up that I love looking at book trailers, and the more sophisticated they are, the better I like them. I do hate the cheesy ones, however.

jo robertson said...

Forgot to say, huge congratulations on your RT win, Donna. Major kudos!

Minna said...

By the way, I wasn't kidding when I said I'm trying to find someone who collects coverflats, bookmarks and magnets. My email address can be found here:

Treethyme said...

Donna -- HUGE congrats!!! I love the rooster pix, especially the one on the plane.

Only one complaint: what, no close-ups of the Ellora's Cave models??

Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations, Donna, on the RT

Favorite promo items include magnets, pens, bookmarks,& BOOKS! My most favorite items came to me as prizes.They are a Petticoats & Pistols fan picturing a very good-looking cowboy, a 60th Anniversary Harlequin early
book covers calendar, & lots of books!

Pat Cochran

Janga said...

Congrats on your win, Donna. How cool to be able to say you won the Best Historical Love and Laughter Award!

As for promo items, I love post-its and the little notebooks with the miniature bookcovers. I actually use them, and they create great lead-ins to conversations about romance novels with strangers in supermarkets and doctors' offices. I have one of Christie Craig's pens too, another great promo. And I love my bookmark collection, including the dowloaded ones from author websites.

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, how is it that I have yet to see you??? I really am here!

Congrats again on the award. I'll cheer for you Friday night!

B.G. Sanford said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cheri2628 said...

Donna, send more pictures of hunky cover models!

A gorgeous guy is one of the NICEST ways to promote a book! ;-)

(who is stowing away in your luggage next year!)

Suzanne Welsh said...

OMG, Donna, put a leash on that bird, will ya????!!!!

Geesh, no Bandit will be able to show her face at next year's RT if he keeps it up!

Promo items, huh? Well other than a personal visit by a DarkHunter or one of the Brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I guess I'd have to say, post cards with picture covers of hunky men or working pens are my favorites.

Suzanne Welsh said...


CONGRATULATIONS, DONNA!!! We're super proud and thrilled for you!!!

Joan said...

OMG, Donna....

You might want to keep a tighter leash on the chook!

I just saw a YouTube video...

Let's just say Susan Boyle may loose her spot as the top sensation....

Natalie Hatch said...

Loved the post Donna, best pic is GR signing the bill, a few of the girls will probably need him in August here in Oz.

Kate Carlisle said...

Congratulations, Donna!! Fantastic news on the RT award and so well-deserved! We're so proud of you!!

Fave promo items? I'm a sucker for bookmarks and I love the one I had made for HIH. I haven't seen Anna's for TTD but if it's got a picture of that handsome devil on it, I want one!!

I remember that Petticoats and Pistols fan, Pat! I still use mine. And Terri Garey's promo button for her paranormal last year was a hoot. "What's Up, Ghoulfriend?"

I like pens, too. And since I work in an office, I like letter openers. Don't see them all the time but whenever I do, I grab one!

Congrats, Limecello! Something tells me he's gonna be a little wobbly on his feet today. :-)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


WTG on bringing home the GOLD! Or at least the award... and I won't be a bit surprised if the GR horns his way onto the stage with you to accept.

LURVE the piccies! BTW, Dee Brice is a chapter mate of mine and we did a booksigning together in Feb. Her hubby Bud (who is a real sweetie) took some funny piccies of us. I posted one on my Aunty Cindy blog.

Cassondra said...

WOOOHOOOOOO Congrats Donna!

Wish I could be there to cheer for you. If you hear a scream coming from the North, that's me in Kentucky, cheering when you get your award.

I like stickies and good pens. That's pretty much it. Although I do have a business card holder from an RWA YEARS ago, and I still use it. I think it was from Novel Talk.

Saralee said...

Congrats on the Love and Laughter win, Donna! Seems like you're having a great time! All the best~


Donna MacMeans said...

Hi guys -

Yes Christie, I am here. I was looking for you at the fairie ball but no cigar. The GR stayed in his room today because he had a terrible hangover.

Don't worry about bail money - it's just chicken feed.

Terrio - This isn't the Ellora's Cave calendar, but it features hunky naked guys. Send me your contact info and I'll send you the calendar.

Pissenlit - you win the RT promo surprise package. Go to and send me your contact info.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!
I'll be back with stories.


limecello said...

Louisa (and everyone) -lol; does it count for SOME fun/celebrating if the GR was with me during my last class... [ever ish? potentially sans CLEs...]

Pissenlit said...

Yay! Email's been sent.

terrio said...

Whoot! Glad I checked back in here. LOL! I'll send that info right off.

Uhm...did you sign your comment Terrio? LOL! Maybe you and the GR needed to cut back.

penney said...

Nice pictures Donna and I LOVE that chicken.

Keira Soleore said...

Chiming in here so incredibly late....

Donna, HOOORRRRRRAAAAAYYYYYY!!!! Congratulations!! What fabulous news. And that first photo of the rooster in the airplane--WIN!

kim h said...

nice pics

rt looks so mcuh fun

like getting bookmarks and magnets