Friday, March 6, 2009
And a lovely time was had by all!
On Monday, March 2nd, I had the great pleasure to attend the second reading event sponsored by Lady Jane's Salon, along with of several of our Chapter members, including, among others, Lis Eng, Fidencia Solomon, Elizabeth Mahon, Tanya Goodwin and Karen Keith. This wonderful innovation is the brain child of RWA/NYC members Hope Tarr, Maya Rodale and Leanna Renee Hieber, who, with Ron Hogan of Media Bistro's Galley Cat, decided that the time had come for NYC to have a romance reading salon of its very own. Yet the team wanted more than just to provide the entertainment of good romance writing to interested guests. So it does double-duty as a charitable event. Attendees bring in gently used romance novels, or make a donation of $5, to benefit Maya Rodale's Share the Love charity. In keeping with the greatest salons of Europe, Lady Jane's unfolded at the most alluring Madam X club, on Houston Street in NYC. I missed the first event, but braved the winter's fiercest snow to trek down to the wilds of Greenwich Village for the second. And it was certainly worth the effort! With plush red settees, appropriately seductive lighting and a crowd of enthusiastic romance afficianados - authors and fans alike - it was a delightful evening. Beverages with such decadent names as Pussy Galore were served, and the erudite crowd mingled. When the featured reader of the evening, Lauren Willig (still basking in the glow of her momentous arrival on the New York Times bestseller list) took the minute stage, the crowd was hushed with anticipation. Reading from her most recent title, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (book five in the scrumptious Pink Carnation series), she enthralled and amused. Her effervescent personality added to the boisterous selection and it was a perfect interlude. The second author on the program, historical romance author Jenna Petersen, was unfortunately snowed out of the City, but her words lived through the wonderfully nuanced reading given by Leanna Hieber (no stranger to drama, Ms. Hieber is an actress as well as published author ... so much creative ability in one lovely lady!). A special guest (Ms. Rodale's beau, Tony) was also announced and by the time this novice romance author left the stage the audience was breathless with laughter. To me, his work would be something akin to a romance that Carl Hiassen might produce, so filled with tongue-in-cheek humor was his writing. With guests from Romantic Times (who generously brought free copies of RT), and plenty of fans eagerly buying up copies of both authors' books, it was a terrific evening, for a great cause. All in all, Lady Jane's Salon is a terrific idea and has been blessed with perfect execution. So, if you are ever in the neighborhood.....come on in, snuggle up on a red velvet sofa, sip a Pussy Galore, throw off your inhibitions and enjoy! (The first Monday of every month.) For those of you too far afield to enjoy an evening with the ladies of Lady Jane's, perhaps your own little neck of the woods could do with a romance reading series of its own? What better to way to spread the word that romance is king. Or more aptly, Queen!