Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

Colleen's blog


    May 21, 2014

    As some of you may know, Colleen Houck was in New Orleans, Louisiana last week for the Romantic Times Book Convention. It was a whirlwind of a week with lots of workshops ranging from mythology to the tormented alpha hero, from martial arts to social media, from reading panels to spooky sleepovers. Then there was the Saints vs. Sinners Ball, the YA Teen Day Party and last but not least, the book signing! We got a chance to venture out a little and it was fun spending time sharing stories, networking, and laughing with other authors!


    Check out some of the highlights from the book convention and some of the crazy going ons that we experienced. . .

    The first item on the agenda was reaching our destination. Colleen and mom were scheduled to arrive in New Orleans at 2:30pm but due to a fire at the Chicago airport, their flights were severely delayed. When they reached the hotel they had to go up a short flight of stairs. As Colleen struggled with her luggage and the breaking of the strap on her purse, a gentlemen stood watching nearby (and by gentlemen, I mean louse). He then had the nerve to say, “I feel like I should be helping you but…I don’t really want to.”

    First impressions of her trip to New Orleans you ask? I dare say you needn’t ask. With the start of their alarm going off at 3:30am to finally reaching the steps of the hotel at 12:30am, I think it goes without saying that they were exhausted!!!


    While we (Colleen’s sisters, Shara, Suki (in-law), and myself) were waiting for their arrival at the hotel, we decided to walk Bourbon street and catch an early dinner. We ate at Pat O’ Brian’s and while the ambiance was nice, the food left us unsatisfied.

    pat o'briens2

    pat o'brienssuki eating at Pat O'Briens

    Eating at Pat O'Briens

    Fine lookin' date right? Ha, LOL. At least he makes me look a little smaller! I'm VERY pregnant!

    Fine lookin’ date right? Ha, LOL. At least he makes me look a little smaller! I’m VERY pregnant!

    We finished dinner as the sun was setting and as we walked back out on Bourbon street it seemed a whole new crowd was among us. In fact, I honestly thought we were on a completely different street. Without sharing details, let’s just say my eyes were opened.

    A decent pic before it got dark!

    A decent pic before it got dark!

    Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend the YA Spooky Sleepover because of the flight delay but we did take a peek and it looked like a lot of fun!

    Over the course of the next couple days, we attended workshops focusing on the business side of writing. Suki and I attended Social Media workshops where authors shared their tips/struggles/ideas with tackling the demands of social media as an author. Panelists Stephanie Perkins, Rachel Caine, Tamora Pierce, CJ Lyons, and David Gill all had insightful comments.

    With a couple breaks, we ventured out again, this time with Colleen and mom. The first restaurant we tried was a little hole in the wall called Port of Call. Now, by the looks of this place you wouldn’t think twice of going in but a good friend highly recommended the food so I insisted we give it a try.


    As we entered, it was very dark and felt like we were entering an old dungeon. It had the kind of look where if you looked behind door number one it might lead to the basement level where Sloth, the character from the movie Goonies, was chained up to the wall.


    When we were seated by the hostess, my sisters and mother looked at me like they might strangle me. Luckily for me though, the food was AWESOME!! Some of the best burgers I’d ever had! A nice surprise was that the burgers came with a baked potato instead of French fries. Just look at this tasty goodness!!!


    After a few bites, everyone admitted the food was great and it reminded several of us of the perfect outdoor burger. It was like our dad would make in the summer time after a long day of swimming! Yum!!! Even the hamburger buns were grilled just like our Pa did it!

     Another place we tried was a restaurant called Deanie’s Seafood. Colleen and Shara shared a platter of fried soft shelled crab and crab legs with French fries and while the food was probably ok, the presentation of it turned them both off (Shara even took a picture of it and drew in where the eyes used to be). I guess it reminded them too much of it’s former, alive on the beach self! It could have been one of Ariel’s friends from The Little Mermaid for all they knew! 



    But. . . I will say that their bread pudding was HEAVENLY! I would have ordered more if I didn’t understand the meaning of calories!


     Then we tried Café Du Monde for some beignets later on.


    colleen at cafe du monde


    It’s a French fried pastry or donut with powdered sugar and it was definitely delicious though, in my opinion, it would have been better with some honey or chocolate syrup drizzled over it.

     cafe du monde beignets

    eating beignets

    Now back to the Book Convention.


     One of the events was a Young Adult Brunch hosted by Colleen Houck, Tera Lynn Childs, Tracy Deebs, Veronica Rossi, Stacey Kade, Sophie Jordan and Suzanne Lazear. This was the first of hopefully many events where the authors can get together and network. They had a chance to take off their “author hat” for a chance to relax and mingle. It was a great opportunity to visit with other like-minded individuals with similar goals and dreams.

    YA brunch pic058042

    One of the most fun events (especially for mom) is the reader’s panels. Why you ask? Because it’s chock full of games, prizes, and giveaways! The prizes can range anywhere from a free book to a Kindle to a $100 Amazon gift card! Definitely something you wouldn’t want to miss. Plus, an added bonus is when the book cover models show up and you can take a picture with them, even get close enough to touch them! 


    Steam Punk Readers Panel

    Later that night we attended the Saints and Sinners Party.


    As you can see, we are all saints!!!


    The first panel with Colleen Houck was called “Money Matters”. She spoiled the attendees with gift bags for everyone! There were several other authors on the same panel including Carrie Ryan, Ally Carter, P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast, and Merrilee Heifetz (an agent).




    The second panel was “Stone Crazy: Liars”, a fun reader’s panel with Colleen Houck, Carrie Ryan, Rachel Cain, Kiera Cass, and Tamora Pierce. Again, there were lots of games, prizes, and giveaways!


    The last day was definitely one you wouldn’t want to miss. The Book Signing was completely insane! The lines wrapped around the 3rd floor of the hotel and the room was packed with readers and authors. It was a blast and so much fun to see Colleen engaging with her fans! Plus, for those who came, Colleen was giving away her newest release, TIGER’S PROMISE, the prequel to TIGER’S CURSE for FREE!



    098sisters at book signing










    Colleen at book signing with fans



    Colleen w fans 5


    Colleen with fan 2

    Colleen with fan 4

    Colleen with fan 3

    Colleen with fan

    Colleen and Beth

    Colleen with YA author Beth Revis, what a sweety!


    Colleen w author Suzanne

    Colleen with YA author Suzanne Lazear, another sweetheart!


    Colleen with YA author Sophie Jordan, she’s the best!



    Then the convention ended with a huge YA Teen Day Party where everyone got a bag full of books PLUS additional books of their choice, all FREE!! They had appetizers and drinks, games and dancing for all in attendance. Colleen broke out on the dance floor to Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”   (Sorry no pics of Colleen’s awesome dance moves, they were all blurry! )



    We totally SCORED FREE BOOKS!!

    We totally SCORED FREE BOOKS!!

    Lots of fun! If this event sounds like something you’d be interested in, plan ahead to attend the RT Book Convention in May 2015. It will be in Dallas, Texas! Yeehaaw!


    Well, that about wraps up the highlights of our trip! I hope you got to vicariously experience New Orleans and the book convention through us. Stay tuned for a blog all about one of Kelsey’s Favorite Recipes and Colleen’s movie review of the new Spider-man!!!

    Till next time! ~

    Linda Louise Lotti

    This entry was posted in Conferences, Events, Fans, News.


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    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.