Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Ellora’s Cave’s fifth Romanticon™ is now history. And it was historic! Hundreds of erotic romance authors and readers gathered together, taking over the entire Grand McKinky (oops, I mean McKinley) Hotel in Canton, Ohio, to celebrate what EC T-shirts say: the Bad Girls of Romance, Refuse To Behave, No Need to Behave When You’re in the Cave, Cave Chaos, Clickie for a Quickie, Ankh if You’re Horny, and the original, Got Sex? We even had our own EC-themed key cards!
Alpha Caveman 2014 De Angelo with trophy / photo credit Cris Anson
And what would Romanticon be without our gorgeous and hunky Cavemen? Congratulations to the deliciously handsome De Angelo, who was voted Alpha Caveman for 2014. Look for him on the cover and centerfold of EC’s 2015 calendars. This dude is HOT! And sweet. And spicy.
Ace, Heidi Lynn Anderson, De Angelo, Axl at Thursday's Meet 'n Greet / photo credit Cris Anson
Rodney, Cathy, Ace, singing about pussy cats at Meet 'n Greet / photo credit Cris Anson
Rodney, De Angelo, Axl, Justin at Meet 'n Greet / photo credit Cris Anson
Thursday evening’s Meet ‘n Greet started the party, with the Cavemen giving sneak previews of their sexy dance moves. Mornings started with Zumba classes by reigning Alpha Caveman Nick Soto, belly dancing and sexy yoga classes. Workshops on Friday and Saturday trended to the fun and outrageous: using life-size blowup dolls whose handlers had to demonstrate outlandish sex positions; or Sexy Charades where participants acted out titles of Ellora’s Cave books; or naughty confessions, where the audience had to answer intimate questions for prizes (yes, I won one). 
First-timer Lori learning to belly dance / photo credit Cris Anson
Zumba class led by Alpha Caveman Nick Soto / photo credit Cris Anson

Blowup dolls workshop / photo credit Cris Anson
The party concluded with the beloved and funny Caveman Rodney hosting a Pizza and Bingo pajama party where the Cavemen worked the room distributing baskets of sex toys and books to prize-winners. Did anyone else notice that not once did he call his favorite number? Oooooooh 69..... And husband and wife Joe and Kathy Kulig both won Bingo prizes. Should we call it fixed?
Caveman Ace gives Kathy Kulig her prize / photo credit Cris Anson
Alpha Caveman De Angelo gives Joe Kulig his prize / photo credit Cris Anson
But the themed dinners took top honors. Both evenings saw Rodney ad libbing with his co-host, the incomparable drag queen Diamond Hunter. We laughed until our sides hurt. Friday evening a buffet was served for New Bollywood night. Shimmering saris were in abundance and the Cavemen were (un)dressed like Arabian Nights just conjured up from the djinni bottle. Yum! Saturday, for the formal sit-down dinner, gowns and glitter of the ladies matched the top hats, tails and canes (no shirts, thank you very much!) of the Cavemen. Imagine all that male pulchritude dancing on stage for a most appreciative audience… swiveling pelvises and rippling abs. *sigh*
Cris with Cavemen at New Bollywood Night / photo credit Lexi Post
Alpha Cavemen De Angelo (L) and Nick (R) with Kristyn Warren / photo credit Cris Anson
Eyes closed, I'm in heaven.... De Angelo + Cris, Old Hollywood (don't know who focused my camera)
Co-hosts Diamond Hunter and Caveman Rodney, Old Hollywood / photo credit Cris Anson
EC Media guru Susan Edwards, Caveman Taylor / photo credit Cris Anson
Cavemen performing Hollywood dance routine / photo credit Cris Anson

Saturday was Awards night as well. Publisher Raelene distributed awards to Ellora’s Cave authors for various milestones and thoughtfully provided a zealously guarded handout afterwards so folks didn’t have to scramble to scribble down names in the dark. Great idea! Congratulations to all the authors and staff who received awards.

Diamond on Rodney's lap, SEXporium / photo credit Cris Anson
Let us not forget the SEXporium, which included reprises of both Cavemen revues, belly dancing by the Cleveland Exotic Dance troupe, and a startlingly real reenactment of what might turn out to be future book covers. Imagine Rodney sitting on a chair and Diamond slithering all over him…. 
But, the most important part of the SEXporium is what all the authors look forward to, the Book Fair. Cavemen notwithstanding, this is what feeds the authors. Talking about BOOKS, meeting readers, and autographing our books for fans old and new. This year seating was arranged by the authors' FIRST name. I'd love to hear comments, pro and con, about this change from alphabetic surnames.
A. S. Fenichel, Book Fair / photo credit Cris Anson
Isabelle Drake and Heidi Lynn Anderson, Book Fair / photo credit Cris Anson
Cristal Ryder (I sat to her right) and Dalton Diaz, Book Fair / photo credit Cris Anson
The one and only Jaid Black signing at Book Fair / photo credit Cris Anson
On a personal note, I had the misfortune to make a fool of myself when I tripped UP a step and fell splat on my face in the Publisher’s Parlor. I do NOT recommend such a grand entrance. Let me publicly thank the EMT who graciously rushed up to her room for her emergency kit and administered TLC and a large bandage to my raw-hamburger knee. If you’re reading this, please tell me your name. I was too shaken up to write it down. The worst part of the incident (aside from my embarrassment) was that I couldn’t dance Saturday night. (But that didn’t stop me from standing on the dance floor taking photos *heh heh*)
Lori, Axl, Liza dancing / photo credit Cris Anson
Justin and Sharel twerking / photo credit Cris Anson
De Angelo celebrating on the dance floor / photo credit Cris Anson
I’ve been to every Romanticon since our beginning at the Quality Inn in Richfield, Ohio in 2009 (where we were all introduced to the original Alpha Caveman, the late and sorely missed Angelo Riguero), and I can’t wait for next year’s! Where do I sign up?  

~~ Cris Anson


  1. Fantastic pictures, Cris! This was such a great time and you've really captured it. Wonderful!

  2. It was exactly like this, Cris! You nailed it. And it IS better every year. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great post, Cris! As Joysann said... You nailed it. It gets better every year. Love the pics

  4. Nailed? Wish I, wait, that's a line for my next book :-)

    Thanks, everyone, for your comments. It was a pleasure to see all you ladies again and I look forward to our next one!

  5. I sure missed you this year, kiddo! Glad you had so much fun...sob...

  6. Awesome pics, Cris and great writeup. What fun and what a wonderful group. It does get better every year!

  7. We missed you too, Fran. Especially your erstwhile roommate.

    Kathy, maybe you'll let someone else win at Bingo next year :-)

  8. Thanks for writing up a great post on Romanticon. Your pictures are fantastic. The bingo party was one of the best so far!!! It seems every year it's better. I love going to Romanticon. Looking forward to next year.