Bratwurst with Mr. Romance

May 3, 2010

The convention in over, but the memories linger. And now that I am back home, I have the time to post some of them.

When I left you last, I was bemoaning my fear of cover models. And clowns. This weekend, I did manage to meet a female clown, who was out of uniform. But although I did not find her scary, she admitted that she was clowning while pregnant, and that, to this day her son is deathly afraid of clowns.

Fetal Clown Syndrome. Kind of proves my point, doesn’t it?

But as the day progressed, I continued to dodge my photo op with the Misters Romance for the year. I do not like cameras. And I am not always sure about people either. And the idea of wedging myself in the middle of six enormous men, and standing still long enough to focus a camera?

There has to be an easier way for an introvert to donate $15 to charity.

But Becke Martin talked me into going out to lunch with the Ohio Valley Romance Writers and last year’s Mr. Romance winner, Charles Paz.

I was dubious.

But she assured me that he was “A sweetheart” and that it would be “fun”. And that it would be at Schmidt’s restaurant in the German Village. There would be cream puffs and German food.

Now, along with cheese, beer and occasionally brandy, we Wisconsinites know all there is to know about German food. Cream puffs as well, for they are a Wisconsin State Fair delicacy. But when Becke described the vegetarian entrée as being Spaetzle?

Well, let us just say that only Germans would find a way to make vegetarian food that is heavier than meat. And the meat served, along with chicken that I did not try, was bratwurst. Sliced in half. I had never seen that before. Is it possible to eat half a brat? Because I lived for a year in the brat Mecca of Sheboygan, home of the double brat bun, baked to accommodate two.

There is no such thing as a half brat bun in Wisconsin.

But even in halves, Schmidt’s does good sausage. I was in my element.

And I was seated next to Mr. Romance.

My original plan was to hide in a corner, observe, and blog. But I ended up right in the middle of the action, along with Becke, Gabriella Edwards, Keri Stevens, and someone I am forgetting ( but I don’t think it was Gia. Can anyone refresh my memory?)

And Charles.

Having heard horrible stories about previous RTs, and being the cynic that I am, I expected him to be gorgeous but…

Unwilling to talk to me unless I stuffed a dollar into his pants.
Or perhaps all of the above.


Charles was and is, as Becke said, a total sweetheart. He can lift 500 pounds, and make witty conversation. Probably at the same time. He is a gentleman. Smooth without being fake. And he is also, umm, shall we say, easy on the eyes.

My husband has forbidden me to sleep with his picture under my pillow.
Between Charles the bratwurst, and Keri translating the dinner music, which was sort of country and western, but in German, it was a pretty good time.