Readers Rock!

WG Logo 2015-04

Hi, Winnie Griggs here. Just a few days ago I attended the Barbara Vey Readers Appreciation event and I’m still jazzed about what a fabulous time I had! This event does a wonderful job of focusing on and celebrating the readers, that marvelous class of people that we authors are so indebted to and enjoy getting to know better. There were 60 authors in attendance and over 420 readers, and getting all of those folks together in one room, well that was definitely a party in the making!

Today I thought I’d share a little of the fun I had with a pictorial post – (and keep reading for info on a giveaway!).

I got in Thursday evening and had a chance to decompress from a long travel day by mingling with the other authors who were also early arrivals.  And, as often happens at these events, I had one of those great serendipitous, out-of-the-blue moments. I was chatting with the fabulous Tina DeSalvo and we discovered that we grew up in the same town, only a few miles from each other and graduated from the same high school (though several years apart). So I traveled all the way to Milwaukee to find a neighbor from my small south Louisiana hometown.

Me & Tina DeSalvo

Then on Friday, a group of five authors – myself, Holly Jacobs, Sharon Sala, Liz Talley and Lenora Worth – sponsored an early bird event for those attendees who arrived early and were looking for something fun to do. It was a book title bingo game and we were all a little anxious to see how it would go over. It actually surpassed all our expectations! We had nearly 250 in attendance and from all accounts, everyone had a grand time! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the event itself, but here are a few of the ‘getting ready’ shots.

Here is the giveaway table, holding lots of goodies for our attendees to grab. There was also a second table filled with books and tote bags, provided courtesy of our publisher, Harlequin. Those posters in the background were also provided by the folks at Harlequin and if you look closely you’ll get an early peak at the cover for my upcoming Sept. release, Texas Cinderella.

Bingo Goody Table


Here is a closer look at three of the covers along with fellow bingo mavens, Liz and Lenora.



And Here is a shot of the five of us kicking off the event.

Bingo mavens2


Later that evening was the official kick off which was a Meet and Greet. The authors were asked to come up, one by one, introduce themselves, then pull a question from a jar and answer it. It was a bit nerve-wracking waiting to see what question you’d get, but I got lucky. Mine was ‘what author, other than those present, would you like to collaborate on a book with?’ My answer was the indomitable Maggie Osborne whose releases were on my auto-buy list and whose books I devoured as soon as I bought them. I still mourn the fact that she retired from writing.

Below is a picture of half of the author group, nervously waiting for their turn ‘at bat’

Meet & Greet

The next morning was the main event, the Saturday luncheon. Each author hosts a table that includes seven readers and the decorations and giveaways are marvelous to behold – it’s become informally known as table wars. My theme was Booklovers and here is a view of my table before the doors opened.

My Table set-up2



Just before the doors opened, we all gathered for an author group photo. (Can you spot me in the crowd?)

Author Group Photo

Then the doors opened and here is a shot of the fabulous ladies who sat at my table.

Ladies at my table

The luncheon was followed by a booksigning. Here is a shot of me with Jennifer, one of the lovely ladies I’m friends with online but don’t get to see in person very often.

Me and J.Tipton


There were fun and games later that evening, but I was having too much fun to get any pictures of that, I’m sorry to say.

The next morning there was a breakfast where again the readers selected an author to sit with, and while it was more low key than the luncheon, it was still a great opportunity to meet and visit with some wonderful readers.

Breakfast group


And of course I couldn’t leave without getting a picture of me and the lady responsible for pulling this fabulous event together, Barbara Vey herself!

Me & Barbara


So there’s a very quick recap of a fabulous weekend.


Booklover bagAnd to celebrate, I have an extra one of those little Booklover bags I gave away at the luncheon and I would be happy to give it to one of you, along with the book of your choice from my backlist.

Simply leave a comment telling me if you’ve ever been to a reader luncheon and what you enjoyed most about it.

If you haven’t been to one, what would make it a can’t miss experience for you?

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Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at or email her at

54 thoughts on “Readers Rock!”

  1. I have been at both Barbara Vey’s luncheon and Lori Foster’s RAGT several times. Your bingo was such fun! I always enjoy meeting new and old friends, both writers and readers.

  2. I have been to BVR luncheon and it is a blast! To me authors are my rock starts so to be Able to just walk up to one and talk to them during that weekend is just amazing to me!!

  3. It sounds and looks like you all had such fun. No, I have never been to a Readers Luncheon before but would love to attend one someday.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  4. Sounds like you had a fabulous time, and made lasting memories. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Janine. There are a number of these type events held at various times of the year and in various parts of the country. Maybe you can find one that works for you

  5. I have never been to a Readers luncheon, sounds very interesting and fun,. I actually never new they had such gatherings. Looks like a little research on my part may make me more knowledgable on that note. Who knows one day I may show up! As always, Love your books Winnie.

  6. I would love to attend a session like this! I love to read!!!! Congrats on your accomplishments! What a fun time you are having! If I EVER find an opportunity to attend a reader luncheon, wow! What a great time I would have! Love the look of your new book!!!!!

  7. I would love to attend this amazing occasion. Your photos are very special. Congratulations and best wishes.

  8. What an experience to mix and mingle with authors. I haven’t attended anything like this and would enjoy it greatly. Memorable and lovely.

  9. A few years ago, I was invited to a local readers convention… it was a truly amazing experience… seeing so many book lovers together, meeting authors in person, etc… 🙂

  10. I hope to attend a luncheon with all of these notable authors. It looks like so much fun and an unforgettable time. You all look so happy and wonderful.

  11. Hi Winnie!!!! I am so touched by you posting a picture of me on your blog. Thank you so much for the free book and the coffee cup, of which I have two now! I had such fun at the luncheon and you were a great help to Barbara Vey and a lovely lady to boot. The bingo game was tons of fun. I sat with Anna Schmidt this year at the luncheon and got to meet Lenora Worth as well and was able to spend that day with my mom!

    • Hey Jennifer – of COURSE I posted that picture, it’s one of my favorites from the event. It’s always such a pleasure to see your smiling face!

  12. Thank you, Winnie, for telling us all about the event and the fun that was had there. It must be great to connect with fellow writers, and it sounds that you all make it just a wonderful experience for all the reader visitors. A lot of hard work must also have gone into making it the success it was. Congratulations! I haven’t been to such an event but your description gives me a vicarious experience. Thank you.

  13. Thank you for sharing your pictures and experience! Someday I hope to make it to one, but have not yet. They sound fabulous and very fun.

  14. I have never been to one – almost made one but the person I was going with canceled out at the last minute. Transportation and cost are the only reason I’ve not made one (sigh).

  15. I’ve never been to a reader event like this and a bit envious of people who have…lol!! This sounds like you had a grand time with other authors and getting to meet your readers too. I’m loving all the pictures you’ve posted here, I can’t tell what’s on those silly headbands of the ladies who sat at your table, but they sure look fun! 🙂

    Since I’ve not been to one, I’ll answer the question. What would make it a can’t miss experience for me? I wouldn’t want to miss the chance to meet an author & talk face to face with them!!!! That would be a thrill for me, I might even be a little shell-shocked and look like a deer in the headlights….haha!! I’d probably fan girl squeal….more than likely not though since I’m a bit on the shy side. I’d be doing that on the inside though for sure 🙂

    What a blast Winnie! Glad you got to be a part of something & see some of the faces who read your books, and those who read the other authors books. I bet you had just as much fun as all the readers did. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and for the giveaway chance 🙂

  16. Hi Trixi. LOL, those silly headbands are tinsel birthday crowns that have been converted to hold a pinback button that says Bookish 🙂 It was kind of corny but the ladies seemed to like them – at least they humored me and wore them 🙂

  17. Well–yes I’ve been to Barbara Veys Reader Luncheon! The first was when I got to sit at the table with a fabulous author named Winnie Griggs! That was two years ago and I won’t forget it. (I also got to meet Jennifer then!)

    Winnie it sounds like it was a great success and a wonderful weekend. The bingo sounds like so much fun. It is hard to “come down” from a weekend like that. The next weekend seems…so boring LOL. Glad you made it there and back safely. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures of your weekend!

    • Oh Kathryn, I remember that – it was my first time attending as well!! You were so kind to sit at my table and I was quite nervous I would let my table-mates down. 🙂

  18. I have been fortunate enough to attend RomCon once and RT last year in Dallas. I really didn’t know what to expect, but the luncheons were fun. I have seen the Barbara Vey event advertised the past couple of years. It hasn’t worked out for me to attend, but I would like to and hope it works out in the future. Visiting with authors in a small group is a wonderful way to learn more about them than the online bios give. RomCon had author chats that were for 12 readers and an author (done by lottery). I was lucky enough to get into a few of the chats and learned so much about these authors and their work. I had read their books, but knew nothing about them.

      • It is smaller and more personal. Of course, it was my first reader-author event experience. For interaction with the authors, it was much more like Barbara Vey’s event than RT.

  19. I’ve not been to a reader’s luncheon but it looks like you had a lot of fun. id love to attend one with a batch of my favorites.

  20. I have never been to a Readers Luncheon but would absolutely love to. I don’t watch tv and I am not impressed by movie stars but book authors, swoon! It would be such a fabulous adventure to meet some of my favorite authors.

  21. What a great time and great event. I attended RT last year and being around so many great authors was the best!

  22. I have been to all 5 of Barbara’s luncheon/weekends and enjoy everything from beginning to end. Bingo was a lot of fun and a great way to market yourself and your books!! Every year I have the same thing that is my favorite thing and that is the amazing and lasting friendships that are made throughout the weekend!!

  23. I am still decompressing from all the fun I had at the BVW16. Bingo was fun…I was so close to bingo so many times! My hubby had “I Shaved My Legs For This?” on his bingo card. We all laughed whenever that one was called!

    I have been to 4 Barbara Vey events, 7 RTs, 2 Bouchercons, and numerous author signings…I love mingling with folks from all over.

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