My Happy Place

Many people associate Orlando, Florida as the Happiest Place on Earth thanks to our theme parks and attractions.

But the tourists don't know about our best-kept secret: my Happiest Place on Earth: the Orange County Library System.
Why? Let me share my #story.

My family and I moved to Orlando in 2001, leaving our beloved family in Venezuela to seek a better future for our three kids who were then 2, 9, and 13 years old at the time. Living on a budget and new to the area, I found the library to be a resourceful place to find useful information.

It was also a great place to entertain and educate my kids with programs, books, audiobooks, and other services--all free of charge! Our first decade here was basically focused on my family’s needs.

Then around 2007, I fell in love with romance books. I was a lone reader and had no friends who loved the genre to share my new passion with. 

So a few years later in 2010, I wrote my first fan email to New York Times Bestselling Author Kristan Higgins. She was so genuine and kind! A real person, just like me!

She invited me to follow her on Facebook. That’s when I discovered Romancelandia, a wonderful and supportive online community! I was so happy to engage with other readers and authors around the world. I found my tribe! YES!!!

A couple of years later I started my blog, Lorelei’s Lit Lair.
 I took some workshops at the Alafaya Library to learn how to build one.

One day, I shared with enthusiasm my blogging experience with Danielle King, who at the time was the Manager of the Alafaya Branch. She was so impressed and saw a wonderful opportunity to share my vision of romance with others.

I was honored to have a table to showcase recommendations of some of my favorite authors and books for patrons to check out.

Soon after, I began hosting monthly meetings, and the idea to host the first annual Romance, Wine & Chocolate was born. For three years in a row, the event has been at capacity, and we are now making preparations to celebrate the 4th Annual Romance, Wine & Chocolate event on August 30th, 2019.

In 2019, we moved the Romance, WIne & Chocolate event to the Chickasaw Branch to accommodate more readers because last year's event sold out in twelve hours!

In 2018, the Orange County Library System was one of ten national institutions to win the National Medal from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. That's like winning an Oscar! This award is the highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant contributions to their communities. I'm not surprised. I've always said my library is the best!

I was humbled when they asked me to share my story and honored to be featured in their 2018 Annual Report along with other fine members of the community.

Going from being a lone romance reader to an advocate for the Romance Community to hosting annual Romance, Wine & Chocolate events locally which feature some of the best and emerging authors in the industry, I couldn’t have done this without the partnership and support of the Orange County Library System who have helped me expand my reach.

Today Lorelei's Lit Lair has almost 7,000 followers and subscribers, and I'm so grateful to all the authors, readers, reviewers, and Lit Lair Ladies who have made me the Happiest Blogger on Earth.

At least that's how I feel. I hope to continue spreading fiction with heart, romance, and joy to others through books and events like these.


Romance, Wine & Chocolate

Presented by Lorelei's Lit Lair in partnership with the Orange County Library System

Keynote: Julia Quinn

Lady JULIA QUINN with readers of the club "Let's Talk Romance Books"

Keynote: Kristan Higgins

Karen Hawkins & Kristin Harmel

Keynote: Roxanne St. Claire

Photo courtesy: Orange County Library System and Lorelei's Lit Lair

About Lorelei's Lit Lair