This last Saturday was Authors After Dark in Philadelphia. The event went on for the       weekend but I was only able to make it to the author signing on Saturday. Among the 150 awesome were Dakota Cassidy, Larissa Ione, Allison Pang, Carolyn Crane, and Lara Adrian.

I was able to gush my love to these gals, gather some signed books, and meet some wonderful new people. Chatting with a few authors lead to my TBR pile growing substantially. I love these type of events. I get to pick up their books and have the writer give me their own pitch for them. I always find a few that may have slipped through the cracks. Plus all of the little goodies like bookmarks, trading cards, and pens make me insanely happy. My favorite may have been Carolyn Crane’s Disillusionist trading cards. For those who follow me on Goodreads, you know I lost my mind over that series when I discovered it. The bright red cherry was coming home to find that my copy of A Brush of Darkness was signed, “All your bacon are belong to us!”. I giggled.

Authors After Dark is much more intimate than something larger like RWA. RWA pretty much falls into the organized chaos category to me. The day they have their signing there are thousands of folks lined up for their change to get to me one of 700 some authors. Since this was a significantly smaller venue the crowd you would have a better opportunity to chat with the authors.

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I have such a blast at these type of events I think you should all go at one point or another. I always bring along a sidekick. They usually have a look of intense pain on their faces but they are great for carrying your stacks of books and waiting in a long line while you are in another.

 

Afterward we headed out to feed the ravaging beast, and by that I mean me. Scoping out what was closest we found a Chinese restaurant that was part of the top 100 Chinese restaurants in the USA several years in a row. I remember when these awards were handed out earlier this year and I was going on and on about how we need to go to all of the local ones. I of course completely forgot about it. Happening upon this one was fun and reignited my excitement to go restaurant hopping. I had a lunch special of wanton soup, fried rice, and chicken in black bean sauce. It was good, but it didn’t rock my world. I’d like to go back and try some of their specialties.

Unable to resist the seduction of chocolate I couldn’t be so close to Max Brenner and not go there for dessert. I’ll be honest, if you have friends or family who are not okay with you reaching over and diving into their plates, make sure to leave them at home. Once you get the dessert menu in your hand it is impossible to not start playing “let’s make a deal” with the ordering. “If I get this one, you should get that one and we can share.”

I ordered a double macchiato to drink and it came with pretty foam swirls, and squares of milk chocolate. It pretty much kicked my ass in the strongness department. For the sugary goodness I got the hazelnut crepe. Hazelnut sauce, toffee, crunchy chocolate bits, and bananas all in the middle of a light beautiful crepe. On the side was served a handmade toffee caramel ice cream, mandarin oranges, and extra chocolate sauce. It was even more divine than you are imagining. No, really. It was. I only have one tiny itty bitty complaint. They caramelized sugar on the top of the crepe which gave it a little crunchy layer. That took away from the yum of the crepe itself if you ask me.

My partner in crime ordered a chocolate tiramisu. It came in a small mason jar with a side of fresh berries and sauce. The jar was filled with marscapone cheese, espresso soaked lady fingers, and a chocolate ganache. It was to die for but not as delish as that crepe.

We have plans to head back with empty stomachs and order the other two crepes. I’ll make sure not to eat at all that week to make up for the calorie intake.

Once I was so full I started to enter into food coma area we hit the gay bars, where I was the only woman sitting in my pretty dress and pearls. We will end the retelling of our night’s adventure right about there.

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