Host Check In
I can still remember when Romance Slam Jam 2014 was eighteen months away. Now it’s only eight months away, and the time seems to be moving faster and faster everyday. Just a few weeks ago I met with the lovely people at the Airport Hilton, which will be hosting RSJ 2014, and it got me super excited about our upcoming conference. There will be little touches of The Big Easy throughout the event, including some of the marvelous food this area is known for.
And, speaking of food, I thought it best to share some fabulous eateries that you may want to consider during our visit to downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter on the Friday evening of Romance Slam Jam 2014: Romancing the Big Easy. I’ve eaten at all of these places and can vouch for the amazing food:
Café du Monde
A visit to New Orleans simply would not be complete without the powered sugar-covered goodness that is a beignet! A must!
Mother’s may not look like much on the outside, but the huge line that seems to never end is a perfect indication of the food you’ll find on the inside. It’s worth the wait.
Charbroiled oysters. ‘Nuff said.
Emeril Lagasse is probably one of the most famous faces when it comes to New Orleans cuisine. He has several restaurants around the city, but Delmonico’s is the only one I’ve visited. It lived up to the hype.
Like Emeril, John Besh, is another famous restaurateur in New Orleans, but unlike Emeril, Besh is actually a native, and you can tell it by his food. The best hamburger I’ve ever eaten in my entire life was at Luke, just one of the restaurants in the Besh empire.
This is only a very small sample of the hundreds of great places to find a great meal during your visit to New Orleans for RSJ 2014. Expect at least one or two more posts regarding NOLA eats. As you can probably tell, we take our food seriously down here.
Until next time,
RSJ 2014 Co-Host Author
Are you ready for Fall yet? I know I am. We’ve had a sizzling summer here in Louisiana and apparently all across the country. I hope you’ve gotten a chance to read some sizzling romance stories these last few months. It’s September and although it seems like it’s months away, May 2014 will be here before you know it.
I wanted to thank those who sent in workshop proposals. The deadline has now passed for submissions. Some of you have already been contacted but official emails will be going out within the next 4 to 6 weeks so if you haven’t paid for early registration, you will be able to do so between now and the end of December. We have some interesting workshops in store…can’t wait. Hope to be able to sit in on quite a few (even if I have to sneak in and out…smile).
If you’re looking for things to do while in the New Orleans area, I would like to suggest the Audobon Aquarium of the Americas located on Canal Street. You’ll get a chance to see a rare white alligator and a 400,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit, among other things. Also, the Audobon Zoo is a nice attraction. It’s located on Magazine Street. It has over 1500 animals. For those that are a little more daring, there are some Haunted Tours too. Dare to say that I haven’t gone on any of those, but you can get more information by calling 888-644-6787.
Hugs and Blessings,
Checking in from your RSJ 2014 host city where the weather is hot and sultry. But don’t worry, NOLA will be nice and cool by the time Romance Slam Jam 2014: Romancing The Big Easy rolls around.
Based on the unbelievable response we’ve had already, it’s more than obvious that the Crescent City is high on people’s “Places To Visit” list. Personally, I don’t blame you. I was born and raised in this area and I never, ever get tired of it. There is always something interesting to see and do (and, yes, eat!).
When most people think of New Orleans, they immediately picture the French Quarter. Don’t get me wrong, you can spend an entire week in NOLA and never leave the small confines of the Quarter. There is just so much to do there. The food, the jazz clubs, the rich history: the French Quarter has it all. But what most people don’t realize is that there is so much more to this area. So, I decided to come up with a short list of interesting things to see and do in and around New Orleans that has nothing to do with the French Quarter:
Plantation Tour: There are a number of stately antebellum homes dotted along the Great River Road and opened for tours. Rent a car and take a drive out to Houmas House, Laura Plantation, or one of the most famous, Oak Alley! Learn more here: http://www.louisianatravel.com/river-road-plantations
Play the Slots!: Vegas and Atlantic City are not the only places you can try your luck. Harrah’s Casino at the foot of Canal Street is THE place for those wanting to play the slots or have a round at the roulette table. http://www.harrahsneworleans.com/
Closer to the host hotel is the Treasure Chest Casino (only a few minutes away from the Hilton where we’ll be staying!) http://www.treasurechest.com/
Swamp Tours/Airboat Ride: The TV show Swamp People has suddenly made the bayou a cool place to visit. You can see alligators and other Louisiana wildlife with a swamp tour from Airboat Tours, just ten minutes from the RSJ hotel. http://www.airboattours.com/
These are just a few things you may want to put on your “to do” list when you visit south Louisiana this coming May. I’ll be sure to post a few more in later check-ins throughout the year.
We are still trying to get more rooms added to the Romance Slam Jam room block at the Airport Hilton, but for those who may want to try an alternative hotel, here are some options. Please note that the Days Inn is the only one within walking distance; all others will require transportation.
Days Inn – New Orleans Airport
1021 Airline Drive
Steps from RSJ Hotel
Current rate for RSJ dates: $135 per night
Holiday Inn Express – New Orleans Airport
110 James Dr. E.
St. Rose, LA
1.7 Miles from RSJ Hotel
Current Rate for RSJ dates: $129 per night
DoubleTree Hotel – New Orleans Airport
2150 Veterans Blvd
3 Miles from RSJ Hotel
Current rate for RSJ dates: $149 per night
La Quinta Inn & Suites
New Orleans Airport
2610 Williams Blvd
Kenner, LA 70062
3 miles from RSJ Hotel
Current rate for RSJ dates: $119 per night
See you in New Orleans
Checking in from the Bayou State.
I hope where ever you are, you are trying to stay cool. I know I am. Lucky for everyone the 2014 conference will be in May, right before the heat wave comes
Speaking of the 2014 conference, I can’t wait. Good people, good food and good times are awaiting all of us.
Time will fly by fast so it’s that time again. Time to think about workshops for authors and readers. Besides getting a chance to mix and mingle with everyone, the informative workshops are some of my favorite parts of attending Romance Slam Jams in the past.
If you have a workshop idea and/or if you are interested in being a presenter or on a panel, please send your workshop ideas and proposals to:
romanceslamjamworkshops2014 @ gmail.com (remove spaces) so we can start planning this portion. Deadline is August 31, 2013.
Things to include in the body of the email for your proposal is listed below. Feel free to cut and paste the info:
Identify if this is a workshop for Readers or Authors:
Now that we have that out of the way, let me share with you about one of my favorite spots in New Orleans. I can’t go to New Orleans without having some beignets and not just any beignet. Cafe Du Monde (www.cafedumonde.com) has some of the most mouth watering beignets you’ll ever taste. One bite and I’m sure you’ll agree.
Hugs and Blessings,
April showers bring May flowers … AND Romance Slam Jam!
Can yall believe it? There is just one month until we convene for our annual Romance Slam Jam in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
From the Thursday night event to the passing of the torch on Sunday, we will have four great days of fellowship, conversation, food and the sharing of our love of African American romance! The Lovely Ladies have painstakingly and lovingly created a conference that they hope will appeal to all – from workshops to reader sessions to the author book signing there’s something for everyone.
Now, if you haven’t registered for this great conference you need to do so IMMEDIATELY. Besides, how can you even consider missing such an exciting conference with a host of great events? How can you even dream of being MIA during the interaction with some of your favorite authors such as Gwynne Forster, Francis Ray, and Farah Rochon, just to mention a few! And of course, do you really want to be absent during this year’s luncheon keynote speaker, Donna Hill? OF COURSE NOT!
Then there’s the line-up of events! Like the dinner theatre on Thursday, the luncheon on Friday and our beloved Emma Awards on Saturday. We’ve a lot going on and not a lot of room for me to list everything, which means that this is a conference not to be missed.
Well, I guess I better get busy planning what I’m going to wear and find my props for the workshop Ann Clay and I are going to facilitate. But before I go, let me say one last thing: Romance Slam Jam is a celebration of US – of the men and women who appear in some of the hottest romances around. No longer do we have to wish for characters that look like us, dream like us and love like us – we’ve got them and we’ve got to celebrate them. So bring your questions, your favorite books to be signed (along with an empty bag for your new books), along with your fellow book club members, friends and family to one of the best and most unique Romance Conferences in the world!
See you next month and safe travels to all.
2013 RSJ – Host Author