July 17-21st was the busiest few days I’ve had in a long time. It started with a flight cancel and several delays to Denver, Colorado on Tuesday afternoon. We were scheduled to land (non-stop) around 5:30, but wound up having to fly to Salt Lake City, Utah and wait a long time to finally land in Denver. We checked into our room on Tuesday at nearly midnight!
Everything went up from there. On Wednesday morning, I met my TULE editor for coffee and to talk about future books for them. Then, in the afternoon, there was an offsite tea in a gorgeous historic hotel – The Brown Hotel, hosted by TULE.
What a gorgeous display and a great group of women to share it with. Amy Andrews (L), Meghan Farrell and Maggie Marr (R)
Jane Porter (in blue) has created something special, and Meghan Farrell is her right hand woman.
The next morning, bright and early, was the Harlequin book signing from 8:30 – 9:30. Saw lots of friends and readers and loved every moment.
I met some new friends, too. Kaylie Newel and Roxanne Snopek, to name a couple. Both wonderful writers.
Loved the Golden Heart luncheon on Thursday.
… and having dinner with my LARA buddies before the RITAs later that night. I admit to having perhaps a bit too much wine during the latter part of the ceremony.
Friday morning was another offsite event – a breakfast with TULE and a talk about their increasing number of books getting picked up for Hallmark movies. Here is my table with Michelle Beattie and Trish Milburn. The lovely Jane Porter photobombed!
Friday Special awards luncheon was really good and Keynote speaker Shelly Laurenston’s speech was especially poignant for me.
That afternoon I got to meet my former editor Flo Nicoll for a quick glass of wine. She wanted to personally congratulate me for reaching the milestone. From there it went on to a lovefest. She is a fabulous editor and a lovely person. I forgot to ask to take a picture so this is an old one from when I visited the Mills & Boon office in the UK in 2015. With her busy schedule as Senior Editor of the Presents line, I was honored that she made time for me on Friday. Then I had to rush off to my room to prepare for the Harlequin Party.
This time I was part of the milestones (twenty-five books). Senior editor for Harlequin Special Edition, Gail Chasan, took Teri Wilson (Rita finalist) and me out to a wonderful dinner.
Then we took a taxi to the Ritz Carlton Hotel for the VIP lounge treatment! I never felt so special in my life!
On to the party with desserts and dancing and lots of hugs and special moments.
Nineteen of my twenty-five books were written for the Medical Romance line, so it was wonderful to see (and hear!) the editors and other writers from that line cheer for me along with my fellow Special Edition author friends when they announced my name.
This year was the first where they made a big deal out of it and we had our pictures and books on screen as we walked down the line of the heads of Harlequin Books, LTD. This is a terrible picture, but it shows the screen behind. Contrary to popular belief, I did not kiss Craig Swinwood!
My guest for the evening, and travel partner for the conference was long time critique partner and writer buddy Dee J. Adams.
I felt like I never had a minute to rest and by the time I got home Saturday night around 9 p.m. I was ready for a week of doing absolutely nothing.
I’m so glad I went to this Romance Writers of America conference, though most of my time was taken up with my two wonderful publishers. But here’s some breaking news, it will probably be my last, which kind of saddens me because it means I won’t ever get to meet my lovely editor Megan Broderick in person, since next year is in New York.
One thing I’ve learned in this long life of mine, never say never!
Until next time, make it a great one,