RT Booklovers Convention 2017

The #RTRoadTrip

Jen Doyle and I were welcomed to the South by a frog with a pitchfork. (By the way, you can book this venue for your wedding, just in case you were wondering.) Our favorite ridiculous site was the Peachoid, a water tower that must have been engineered by Sir Mix a Lot.

Romantic Times Atlanta 2017 road trip by authors Jennifer Hallock and Jen Doyle


The People

There were so many people at #RT17. I met Lydia San Andres, my Edwardian Promenade co-blogger, for the first time, which was awesome. She was handing out authentic Dominican chocolate from Xocolat—not the only reason I love her, but a good one. I also saw Maita Rue, who flew all the way from the Philippines! I bought five decks of Talecraft cards off her, which will be the subject of a later post.

Authors Jennifer Hallock Lydia San Andres and Stephanie Kay at Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Atlanta 2017

I also fangirled all over Tiffany Reisz, Sonali Dev, and (of course!) Courtney Milan. I thanked Ms. Milan for her wonderful mention in Amazon Book Review. I’m still blushing. All three authors were so, so nice. It was such a thrill.

Yet it is the readers who make #RT17 so incredible—and the scantily clad male cover models in the bars. Check out the two ladies with “When I think about books, I touch my shelf” t-shirts. Or the pair of librarians with their circulation card bags. Or the costume pajamas at Dreamspinner’s Cinema Craptastique. I love it all.

Wonderful crowds at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Atlanta in 2017


Swag

Wow, do people spend a lot of money on swag. Unfortunately, a lot of it ends up in the trash. It’s sad, but you collect so much over the course of the week that there’s no alternative. If you want to stand out from the crowd, swag-wise, you have to either give away books—see my amazing haul below, all but two of which were free—or give away an item that is both unique and useful. Next to Lydia’s chocolate, rubber duckies were my big winner. These will go to a friend who collects them.

Books swag neck wallets and rubber ducks from the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention 2017 in Atlanta

Oh yeah, and there were workshops. Learning happened! I will share some of the lessons I learned in my next post.


The way home

We passed the Peachoid again, and it looked no less obscene in the daytime. Really, what were they thinking?

The Peachoid of Gaffney South Carolina during the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention Road Trip 2017 to Atlanta

Tomorrow we will breakfast in Boonsboro at the inn owned by Nora Roberts before heading back to Boston. We hope everyone has safe travels home from #RT17!

Virginia is for Lovers sign at the welcome center on return from Romantic Times Booklovers Convention 2017 in Atlanta

Welcome to the Sugar Sun Series

Read the series that Courtney Milan called “meaty historical romance . . . must-reads.” And “Like nothing I’ve ever read before.”

The Sugar Sun series an epic family saga of love and war at the beginning of the twentieth century. Books are listed below in publication order, but the series does not need to be read in order. All are interconnected-yet-standalone happily-ever-afters.


Under-the-Sugar-Sun-book-one-trilogy

A schoolmarm, a sugar baron, and a soldier . . .

It is 1902 and Georgina Potter has followed her fiancé to the Philippines, the most remote outpost of America’s fledgling empire. But Georgina has a purpose in mind beyond marriage: her real mission is to find her brother Ben, who has disappeared into the abyss of the Philippine-American War.

To navigate the Islands’ troubled waters, Georgina enlists the aid of local sugar baron Javier Altarejos. But nothing is as it seems, and the price of Javier’s help may be more than Georgina can bear.

Find Under the Sugar Sun at Amazon.com.


Tempting-Hymn-novella-Sugar-Sun-series

A Missionary and a Sinner . . .

Jonas Vanderburg volunteered his family for mission work in the Philippines, only to lose his wife and daughters in the 1902 cholera epidemic. He wishes his nurse would let him die, too.

Rosa Ramos wants nothing more to do with American men. Her previous Yankee lover left her with a ruined reputation and a child to raise alone. A talented nurse at a provincial hospital, she must now care for another American, this time a missionary whose friends believe her beyond redemption.

Find Tempting Hymn at Amazon.com.


Sugar-Moon-book-two-trilogy

The nights were their secret . . .

The papers back home call Ben Potter a hero of the Philippine-American War, but he knows the truth. When his estranged brother-in-law offers him work slashing sugarcane, Ben seizes the opportunity to atone—one acre at a time. At the hacienda Ben meets schoolteacher Allegra Alazas. While Allegra bristles at her family’s traditional expectations, the one man who appreciates her intelligence and independence seems to be the very worst marriage prospect on the island.

Neither Ben nor Allegra fit easily in their separate worlds, so together they must build one of their own. But when Ben’s wartime past crashes down upon them, it threatens to break their elusive peace.

Find Sugar Moon at Amazon.com.


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This is Andres’s book, and you can read about my progress in research here. #UndressAndres

 

Welcome to the Sugar Sun series

The Sugar Sun series an epic family saga of love and war at the beginning of the twentieth century. Books are listed below in reverse-publication order, starting with the latest releases first. This series does not need to be read in order, however, and all are interconnected-yet-standalone happily-ever-afters.


Sugar-Moon-book-two-trilogy

Praise for Sugar Moon, the second full novel in the Sugar Sun series:

“So this book I was saving for the long weekend? Readers, I just finished it. WHY DID I READ IT SO FAST?…Pretty sure Allegra will be my favorite heroine this year.” (★★★★★ review by Kat of BookThingo on Twitter and Goodreads)

“Fantastic!…a comprehensive fictional characterization…” (Rolando O. Borrinaga, Ph.D., leading expert in the history of the Balangiga Incident)

“I cared intensely for Allegra (Allie), a young woman who knows what she wants but not how to get it, and Ben, who doesn’t believe he deserves to have anything at all….Ben, a curmudgeon of an opium addict who I instantly disliked in Sugar Sun, is transformed through some sort of writerly witchcraft into a sympathetic character I couldn’t help but root for.” (★★★★★ review by Alexa Rowan on Goodreads)

“Highly recommended.” (Historical Novel Society review)

“These characters were so vibrant!…The portrayal of women—and Allegra in particular—uplifts and inspires…Sugar Moon sparkles with wit and romance…” (Michaelene M.’s review in Historical Romance Magazine)

Smart, engaging, and unspeakably naughty.” (★★★★★ review on Amazon)

Ben and Allegra’s story was “on a completely different level.” (Joy Villar’s review on Twitter)

Read Sugar Moon for free on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.


Tempting-Hymn-novella-Sugar-Sun-seriesPraise for Tempting Hymn, a novella in the Sugar Sun series:

“Reading this book feels like a spoon gliding through a custard dessert.” (Phebe on Goodreads)

Tempting Hymn manages to give adequate breathing room to the harsh historical realities of American colonial rule in the Philippines, while delivering a romance that is sweet, realistic and – above all – emotional….Hallock doesn’t pull any punches in Tempting Hymn, with either the romance or the historical detail. She does her setting and her characters justice, delivering a story that is raw and unflinching, but never too dark, because it has an engaging and touching romance at its core. [And] all the sex scenes here are insanely hot, just like in Under a Sugar Sun.” (Dani St. Clair, Romancing the Social Sciences)

“This novella does a hell of a lot of work between the lines. It’s actually breathtaking.” (Kat at BookThingo, posted on Twitter)

“The pairing here is American man/Filipino woman and that is a tricky, sensitive trope…but it’s handled with deft and care. And dignity.” (Mina V. Esguerra, author of Iris After the Incident, reviewed on Facebook)

“…the first love scene between Jonas and Rosa is a master class.” (Bianca Mori, author of the Takedown trilogy, reviewed on Goodreads)

Read Tempting Hymn for free on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.


Under-the-Sugar-Sun-book-one-trilogyPraise for Under the Sugar Sun, the first novel in the Sugar Sun series:

“If you’re looking for a meaty historical romance that will transport you somewhere you’ve never been, Jennifer Hallock’s books…are must-reads.” (Courtney Milan, NYT bestselling author of The Duchess War.)

“Intensely absorbing…the charged political climate of the day is drawn with refreshing nuance.” (Laura Fahey review for Historical Novel Society)

“Two pages in and I was utterly hooked. I sensed the voice of a confident writer and spied the shorelines of a diligently-researched world. I finished it this weekend, hungry for more.” (Bea Pantoja, blogger)

“It will take me a few days to recover from reading Jennifer Hallock’s beautifully written novel. It was vivid, funny, unflinching, poignant, and sexy…. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Georgie and Javier.” (Suzette de Borja, author of The Princess Finds Her Match, reviewed on Facebook)

“Oh my god this book!…And I’m usually not into the high-stakes romance because my heart doesn’t want to handle it, but this guy…” (Mina V. Esguerra, author of Kiss and Cry and the Chic Manila series).

“It’s a perfect read for those who love their romance with a little more plot, and for history buffs who want to see a different perspective on the Philippines.” (Carla de Guzman, Spot.ph on “10 Books That Will Take You Around the Philippines”)

“…Under the Sugar Sun was also just a great romance, the kind that makes you feel squiffy in the stomach when you remember it at odd moments during the day…grand in scope in the same way old-school romances were, but with a very modern presentation of race, class and gender.” (★★★★1/2 review by Dani St. Clair of Romancing the Social Sciences)

Read Under the Sugar Sun for free on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.


Author Bio:

Jennifer Hallock spends her days teaching history and her nights writing historical happily-ever-afters. She has lived and worked in the Philippines, but she currently writes at her little brick house on a New England homestead—kept company by her husband, a growing flock of chickens, and a mutt named Wile E.

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Author Details:

Jennifer is available for speaking engagements, interviews, and appearances. She is also happy to speak to reading and writing groups via telephone or Skype.

She presents on the history of America in the Philippines: How is a war you have never heard of more important than ever today?

She also presents to writers’ groups on how to research effectively: The History Games: Using Real Events to Write the Best Fiction in Any Genre

Contact Info:

Jennifer Hallock — jen at jenniferhallock dot com
Mailing List — info at jenniferhallock dot com or http://bit.ly/sugarnewsletter
Twitter — @jen_hallock
Facebook — jenniferhallockbooks
Instagram — jen_hallock
Amazon author page — http://bit.ly/jenniferhallock

Photos:

Author photo: download here
Sugar Moon cover: download here
Tempting Hymn cover: download here
Under the Sugar Sun cover: download here