I was so excited to attend Marie Force’s 3rd Annual Reader Weekend in Rhode Island on June 24-26, 2016.
The event kicked off Friday evening at the Newport Marriott with a Tiki Bar Cocktail Reception. There was merchandise to buy, old friends to catch up with and new friends to meet. Music was provided by Pat Cottrell (aka the McCarthy’s Owen). We were treated to a fabulous lobster boil dinner, music kept going, raffles were given out (Pam from my table was one of the lucky winners winning a gift bag full of Fatal series books & swag), a gorgeous 50th birthday cake for Marie, tons of picture taking, dancing to music provided by DJ Butch (Mr Dan Force led the way with YMCA), and tons of talking and laughing. There over 200 in attendance, 29 United States were represented, as well as fans from Canada and Australia!
One of Marie’s best selling series, Gansett Island, is inspired by Block Island, RI and Saturday’s day trip to the island was the highlight of the weekend for many. Buses took us from the hotel to the Point Judith Ferry Landing. We loaded the ferry and I believe some of the routine ferry riders were a bit overwhelmed with the size of our group. They were interested on who we were and why we were there. We of course talked up Marie’s books. An hour later, BLOCK ISLAND!!! We had great weather for the ferry ride and the island. Marie had a buffet lunch ready for us at Ballard’s Inn (more lobster!) Then we were set loose to explore the island. Marie’s team had provided us with a map and a list of things to see and do. We could explore by walking, renting a bike or moped, or getting a cab. We chose to walk. So much to see, shop, and explore. I didn’t get a chance to visit every landmark I hoped to but I hit quite a few. The ones I missed are noted for my next trip to the Island and I’ll probably rent a bike or moped to make sure I cover the whole island.
Our event concluded Sunday with a breakfast buffet, Q&A with Marie, and book signings. If I attend again, I hope to stay a few days longer to explore Rhode Island. I have also put the bug in my husband’s ear for a late summer/early fall visit to Block Island. I know some of the hotels have some awesome sales in the fall.
Block Island is the inspiration for the Gansett Island series. You won’t find your favorite characters walking around the island (though I’m sure there were some searching for them – who doesn’t want to see the McCarthy’s and their friends) and you won’t find the actual places mentioned in the book but some come very close. Visiting the Block Island will enhance my enjoyment of reading the books as I picture the real Block Island and combine that with the fictional Gansett Island. Marie and her team put on a great weekend for us and I highly recommend going at least once to her Annual Reader’s Weekend.
Below is a photo diary of my weekend. Hope you enjoy! ~ Lisa
The Gansett Island series (as of August 2016):
For more information on the Gansett Island books as well as other books Marie has written, visit http://marieforce.com
Book 1 of the Gansett series, Maid for Love is FREE for kindle on Amazon.
Marie Force is the NY Times bestselling author of over 50 contemporary romance novels. Gansett Island series has sold more than 2.3 million books. She also writes Fatal series, Green Mountain series, Quantum series (under M.S. Force) as well as standalones.