CFRR 2019 Wrap Up

Monday, April 15, 2019

Last weekend, April 5th and 6th I went to Rockville, Maryland, which is 2,356 miles away from Boise, Idaho where I flew out of, to join other book lover's and author's for a quick weekend of bookish fun.

When my shuttle driver pulled up to the hotel I know my eyes were as big as saucers. The hotel looked like a condo community not a hotel and I kept saying to myself "I'm staying here for the weekend?"

On Thursday night my roommate, Suzie and Becca from the Becca Files  along with her hubby walked to Panera for dinner. They all assured me that it was just a block or so from the hotel. Well, according to my Apple watch it was half a mile. But who was counting? LOL

Becca and I. Until last weekend I had not met her or read her blog. I am so glad I got to meet her. Her and her husband, Nate are a sweet, fun couple.

When I woke up Friday morning I felt like a kid standing outside a toy store with her allowance money. Walking through the lobby after eating breakfast we run into none other than Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren. And we of course had to get a picture!

The first book I read of Susan May Warren's was Nothing But Trouble in 2009, the first book in her PJ Sugar series.

The first book I read of Rachel Hauck's was Diva Nashvegas in 2007, which has now been re-titled to Nashville Sweetheart.

I have been a huge fan of these ladies for ten plus years, not just because they write amazing stories that keep me glued to the page, but because they impart spiritual truths in their stories that encourage my heart. Rachel still took a picture with me even though I was wearing a Gator t-shirt. And had Suzie and I not just had breakfast we would've joined Rachel and Susan May at Panera when they asked. Now, I'm kicking myself for not going! We could've had coffee while they ate.

Friday night was the meet and greet. Everywhere I looked there were author's that I've read, some since their first book, and bloggers who I know on social media but hadn't ever met before this weekend.

Jen Turano is as fun and funny as she is in her books. As you can tell from the picture she said something that made me laugh. I've been wanting to meet her since I read her book A Change of Fortune in 2014.

Ever wonder if you are pronouncing your favorite author's names correctly? When it came to Mary Connealy I thought her name Connealy was pronounced Conn-e-lee. Nope! It is pronounced K-knee-lee. I've been pronouncing it incorrectly for TWELVE years! I felt like such a dork.

She is a fun and sweet lady and I just loved her pink blouse!

Mesu Andrews has become a dear friend since I met her a few years ago when her and her hubby moved from the PNW and stopped through Boise on their way East. Oh and her first name is pronounced Mee-Sue.

Friday afternoon before the meet and greet started I got to meet Sarah Monzon. She only lives about nine hours from me in Washington. In fact her husband is the base chaplain where my daughter and son in love live. We tried connecting at Thanksgiving but just couldn't make it happen. We finally met on the other side of the country.

Saturday morning started bright and early. At least for this non-morning person. My alarm didn't go off so I was rushing around like crazy trying to get ready and get downstairs! Thankfully, I was in the hotel where the event took place. WHEW!

Our guest speaker's were Dani Pettrey, Jen Turano, and Rachel Hauck. Each of the ladies talked about the writing process and shared stories that has impacted their writing.
Jen Turano's story about a sister who had contacted her about how the laughter in her books gave her and her sister laughter while she was in the hospital with a terminal illness. For her it was one of the most cherished memories she had of them together. I was a puddle.

We had two panels. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. I honestly don't remember much of the morning one, probably because I was still sleepy. The afternoon one was a hoot! The authors were asked questions and had to answer in a character from one of their books. Melissa Tagg had me all confused! I thought she was answering as her heroine but NOPE . . . she was answering as her hero and those answers had me laughing and scratching my head until she said it was her hero.                     

Take a look at the schedule we had for the day.

After lunch we had a round table type discussion. Each table had a sign stating what that table's discussion would be. I was at the Upside Down Influence table with Stephenia McGee and Megan Whitson Lee. The author's asked us reader's questions about books we choose, what we like in covers, and loads more. It was really fun to hear what they're curious about.

Our swag bag was full literally to the brim! I don't have a picture of all the swag. At the signing I had the author's sign my bag. I thought it would be a great way to promote them as I used it. It also has a zipper!!!

During the signing and breaks I took loads of pictures with author's and bloggers!

Beth Erin from Faithfully Bookish had very tired feet and when I wanted a picture said "you're not going to make me stand again, are you?" So, I did my best to bend down for a picture. :)

Sweet Sydney lives in Utah and like Sarah Monzon we had to meet across the country!!!

As the evening wore on you can see that I'm starting to get tired. 

Mikal Dawn is one of my favorite people!! I've just read one of her books but I can't wait for MORE! She is a HOOT and a very caring lady.

Bethany Turner and Eva Marie Everson. Eva Marie and I are both from Casselberry, Florida. So many people have no clue where Casselberry, Florida is so that was loads of fun. And Bethany just makes you laugh!

I was SOOOOO excited to meet Rachel Dixon of Bookworm Mama's blog. Her and her hubby, Zach did our music and not only did they do a wonderful job the songs they chose were just awesome!
 Melissa Tagg who sweetly thanked me for sticking with blogging and reviewing.
 Meeting Meez Carrie from Reading is My SuperPower was another high point! I'm so glad God is in the business of restoration because He restored our relationship and I am so blessed to call her a dear friend.

Sweet Toni Shiloh who's book is still sitting on my kindle to read. Reader problems 10007! LOL
Jessica, my Jessica! She kept telling me how excited she was to meet me and I was just as excited! When I got to the hotel and my roommate told me "Becca" was in the room chatting I thought it was Jessica. So, I made a huge blunder when I walked into the room.

This picture really sums up the entire weekend! I think Sarah Monzon is right when she says 'that's a lot of personality in this picture.'
I've had the pleasure of being on Dani Pettrey's street team for the last few years. I had no idea that she too, struggles with a chronic illness. I remember reading Submerged in 2012 and quickly became a huge fan. 

I am sure I'd heard of Stephenia McGee before but I didn't remember her so it was fun to meet an author I truly did not know.
It was a wonderful weekend even with the exhaustion of travel. My heart is still full and overflowing! I was really blessed by author's telling me 'Thank You' for reading, reviewing, and continuing to blog after all these years. That touched my heart. There have been so many times I've wanted to just toss in the towel, but God just kept reminding me that I'm doing this for Him.


4 Responses to “CFRR 2019 Wrap Up”
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It was so fun to meet you too!! Sorry... it really did feel like Panera was closer haha. This is a wonderful post! CFRR was incredible I sincerely hope I can go next year too :)

I love this! And I totally pronounced Mary’s last name the same way until the first CFRR where, fortunately, I heard her introduce herself to someone before I had to introduce her to the group. Lol!

It was a blast meeting and hanging out with you guys, too! I’m glad you liked it. It took me two days to put it together trying to remember everything. Lol
I’m not sure I’ll go next year. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m so glad you do, Carrie! Oh, boy, that might have been awkward if you hadn’t heard her pronounce it. I thought it was a fun bit of trivia to include.

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