By Bryl Tyne
Seriously, his words convicted me in a way I don't think I've ever been, and in those remaining steps to the car, I went through the stages of grief in rapid-fire succession--grief that some twisted part of me had died in that instance. Denial—No one could have a love like that and there's no way he could've thought me unworthy. Anger—How dare he assume I wouldn't take care of her! Bargaining—I'd give anything to be trusted. Depression—Why bother? Acceptance—He obviously trusts me, or he'd have kept Brita from going with me to begin with. And then I looked up to see him standing at the back of the garage, waving goodbye, and I lost it (yeah, sounds like some country western lyrics, I know), but I lost it. I turned to Brita. "It's just a few days," I said, trying to throw out words and still stay composed--but it didn't work, and soon I found myself blabbering on, reminding her (I'm sure she already knew) that he truly does love her and that love like that doesn't come around often. (Who I was trying to convince, her or myself, I wasn't sure.)
I'm talking briefly about this part of my trip because I think it was at that moment when something inside me cracked, not unlike the Grinch's heart when it started to grow, and the romanticist hidden deep inside me was reawakened.
Brita Addams and Bryl Tyne
To me, that was an integral part of my stay in N'awlins--to GayRomLit, even. The love illustrated actually made this recluse decide to give others a chance, open up, and let the world in if only for a short time. I didn't hideout in my room like every ounce of me insisted I do, no. Instead, I went to many of the planned events, mingled, and actually found that I rather enjoyed myself.
The readers blew me away with their kind words and encouragement, and the authors were so friendly, I found myself opening up further, talking freer than I've talked in ages. I discovered a feeling of belonging, unlike what I'd expected at any "convention." Going to GayRomLit was like waking up in the rain--you know that rain that rolls in gently, pitter-patters on your window like withheld tears, accompanied by a mild breeze with just a touch of cool that smells crisp and clean and inviting? Yeah, that kind of feeling, kinda like coming home.
with DC Juris
with Poppy Dennison
with EM Lynley
GayRomLit itself began with a reader asking me to sign her book while I waited for my room. (Pam, you are a doll!) Minutes later, I was dared into the construction area on our floor to take hot construction guy pics--which I did, with their blessings. The swell continued on with me to the Gentleman's Juke-Joint Junket at Lafitte's that night, where I had a blast and was shown a side to quite a few people that I never expected--and to which I succumbed, fully aware what I was doing and fully prepared to blame it all on the alcohol! (Rick, your reluctance to run interference... shame on you!)
with Rick Reed
Friday's riverboat booksigning flew by with not only readers stopping by our table for goodies, but also some locals were asking me for recommendations for Lesbian and Trans fic, which totally thrilled me. The day ended with the most stimulating and enlightening conversation I've been privy to in years. (Your candidness in sharing wonderful stories about your mother will not be forgotten, Damon.)
By Saturday, my energy had been near depleted. Thought I'd sleep the afternoon away, until a mysterious force pulled me upright, made me strap on my sandals, throw on a clean shirt, and sent me walking out by the pool, bedhead and all, where I partook in lively conversation around the pool. (Lynn, you may be a devil, but you're my angel. Thank you!)
During my trip, I did manage to carry my camera everyplace I went. Brita had told me the city was alive and that I needed to "feel" it. So, picture by picture, I captured life in the Quarter. Artists on street corners, performers in the streets or perched on pedestals, and the most touching things forever scored in my memory are what Brita called "Second Lines." Small bands of people marching, some with instruments, some with tokens, others simply were dancing in honor of the deceased, and people on the streets and in businesses along the route came out to join in as the celebration passed. Not sure why exactly, but each line I saw moved me. And then nightly, I sat on my balcony into the early hours of the morning, taking in the thrum of life, the literal heartbeat of the city.
Continuing on my touristy note, N'awlins is the most hospitable place I've ever been. I've never had better service or kinder greetings anywhere at any time. The Bourbon Orleans staff was exceptional (our bellhop was fine!).
Sunday came too quickly. Despite being ready to go home, I didn't want to leave. I haven't felt that welcome or that comfortable in a long, long time, and I can't wait until next October when I travel (maybe fly for the first time in my life) to Albuquerque, New Mexico to be with all of you once again, and hopefully meet many more wonderful people at GayRomLit 2012.
Bryl R. Tyne is a wrangler by nature and a writer by choice, published with Noble Romance Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Dreamspinner Press, STARbooks Press, Untreed Reads Publishing, Changeling Press, Amber Quill Press, and Riptide Publishing. Check out Bryl's bi-monthly column: My Way. Find out more about the author at: bryltyne.com
Coming from Riptide Publishing
Expected publication: November 7th 2011
Preorder Divinity here
Martin Hayes has found the perfect job for a 200-year-old vampire. As the late-shift security guard for Spire, he works and hunts by night and sleeps by day, hidden away in the unused cellar. Life is all so easy—nights bleeding away, weeks and months passing . . . until a new janitor disturbs the peace. Martin finds himself obsessed with memories (or are they?) of red hair, freckled skin, and men on their knees.
Dylan Mesmer isn’t just a hot, freckled, red-haired janitor. He’s altogether too composed around Martin and never surprised by Martin’s supernatural abilities. In fact, he seems to have a few of his own. And why does he keep feeding Martin orange lollipops?
A healthy vampire has no use for candy, yet Martin cannot resist the lure. He’s being baited and knows it, but for what end? And what about those visions that assail him whenever he thinks of Dylan? Their story is centuries old, but this time around, Dylan’s playing for nothing less than immortality. Eternal life—and eternal love—is within his reach, but can he convince Martin to change his ways and commit? If not, he’ll remain trapped in time beside his lover, always together but forever apart.
Riptide Grand Opening Giveaway
Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win your choice of Bryl Tyne’s Pull, At Day’s End, Beneath Me, Rite of Passage, Behind Blue Eyes, Tough Guy, Best Unspoken, Coin Operated Boy, Trey #3, The Secret Ingredient, and the Zagzagel Diaries!
Riptide is having a Grand Opening tour, of which this blog post is a part. At the end of the tour stop, Riptide also awards one lucky commenter a big Riptide swag bag, US resident only. If an international winner is chosen, they will substitute for a gift certificate to All Romance E-Books.
The best part is, that each comment in the blog tour earns you one entry in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Other prizes are a Nook and a Kindle. Check out their blog tour list here.