Special Event: Where the girls are

Where the girls are
Romantic Times Booklovers Convention
April 22-26

Wyndham Orlando Resort
$490; 314-630-5856

Three years ago, former Orlando Weekly staff writer James Carlson attended the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention held in Daytona Beach. Even years later, his cover story, "Conventional romance" (June 22, 2006), continues to stimulate responses from romance writers and readers who felt they'd been invaded by the handsome young man who — gasp! — not only kissed and told, but wrote it all down.

Well, RT is back for its 26th annual revels, this time at the Wyndham Orlando Resort and featuring 400 "bestselling authors" and their fans. And they are holding no grudges. While it costs almost $500 to take in the whole smorgasbord, mention that you heard about the convention in Orlando Weekly at the registration desk, and publicist Pat Simmons promises they'll let you in free to three big affairs.

No. 1: Grounded in serious matters — book sales — the E-Book, Independent Publisher and Multimedia Expo features vendors and editors. Because it takes place on the opening night of the convention, it's a good way to get the lay of the land, if you know what we mean. (4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22)

No. 2: The Largest Public Book Fair features 400 authors ready to sign their books; 16 genres are covered, including vampires, chick lit, erotica, African-American, interracial, paranormal and even Christian. (11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 25)

No. 3: "Drooling, cheering, and fainting are allowed" at the Mr. Romance Competition, where "Orlando's finest hunks" compete to win a New York City cover shoot for a novel. And an estimated 1,000 women will be squealing those misters on to victory. (5 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, April 25)

Beefcake plays a big role in every aspect of this business, so why sell it any other way?

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