five things on friday

Lots to report in my weekly wrap-up this week!

1. Four Corners was nominated for a TLA Gaybie in the “Romance/Erotic Romance Book” category. The book is in some GREAT company. You can go here to see all the nominees and also VOTE (for me). (That was my one bit of shameless vote mongering. Seriously though, the nomination was such a surprise that I’m really honored just to be listed there.)

Lady Jane's

That’s Leanna Renee Hieber, me, Ron Hogan, Ashlyn MacNamara, and Sara Humphreys at Lady Jane’s Salon

2. I read at Lady Jane’s Salon on Monday. It went pretty well! I think any time you put romance fans and cocktails together, good times are bound to ensue. It was a pretty great crowd this time (helped probably by Damon Suede dropping by; he tends to bring up the energy in a room) and I had a lot of fun (and gin). Lady Jane’s has satellites in a bunch of cities (Denver, Raleigh, Naperville, to name a few) so if there’s one near you, I HIGHLY recommend going.

3. My trip to Philadelphia was pretty great. I stayed at the Hotel Monaco, which is so gorgeous inside. Check out the photos on the website—that’s really what the rooms look like. There’s a lot of funky and clever design. I loved it. Plus, it’s right across the street from Independence Park.

This is right near Benjamin Franklin's grave. I just thought it was funny.

This is right near Benjamin Franklin’s grave. I just thought it was funny.

I basically spent the weekend dorking out about historical stuff. The highlight of the trip for me was the National Constitution Center. It’s a fairly new museum and you can get through everything in a couple of hours, but I liked that the curation is modern and there are a lot of interactive exhibits. I really enjoyed the exhibit on Prohibition (half the reason I decided to go to Philly to begin with, so I’m glad it lived up to expectations). I wandered around the whole historic district, though, and took in most of the important sites: Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, a couple of cemeteries, the Printing Museum, Elfreth’s Alley, the Betsy Ross House. (See: dorking out. I mean, I also ate a cheesesteak.) I’m sort of a history buff, although the Revolution is more my brother’s area of expertise (he’s about to finish a masters in history with a concentration on the American Revolution and its impacts on foreign countries) but I still enjoyed getting to be a nerd for a couple of days.

Also, apparently March is a great time to go to Philly, because I didn’t have to wait on line for anything. It was a little cold, but nothing a sweater and a good coat couldn’t hold up to.

4. Relatedly, I’m reading Daniel Okrent’s book on Prohibition, Last Call, which is really great. I finally finished reading all those books for the RITAs, so I can go back to reading for fun. (Not that reading the RITA books wasn’t fun; there were three of them that I really loved. That’s always a joy for a contest judge.) You’re probably like, “Wait, you’re reading nonfiction for fun?” Yes. I’ve got some romance novels to read this weekend, though, so don’t worry!

5. Aaand, it’s snowing. I took this photo of Prospect Park West in Brooklyn around 9am this morning, but there is twice as much snow now.

Prospect Park West

Prospect Park West

Snow in March is not unprecedented, but it’s not the most welcome thing given that by March I think we’re all pretty sick of winter. And it’s supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow, so it’s all gonna turn to watery slush. (Snow was fun when I was growing up in the suburbs. It kind of sucks in the city.)