I arrived on Tuesday night and walked into the hotel room to find my roomie Shirley Jump already in PJs. I'd been traveling most of the day, and really needed to unwind so while I freshened up Shirley changed - in true Clark Kent fashion, I'm convinced - into a smokin' dress and shoes. We went for a glass of wine and met up with Kimberly Lang and a few others. There was also a Microsoft conference happening, and unfortunately Shirley was looking a little too good. A few well-lubricated guys offered to buy us drinks and we declined and got the heck out of there. AWKWARD! But hey...if you've seen Shirley, you can understand. She always looks glam and put together!
We were in bed by 10:30. Crazy party animals, right?
|Me with Robin Covington|
I met with my agent as well - and had a nice long chat (mostly about dogs!) before the Literacy signing. This year, because of my late registration, I got to attend the lit signing as a reader and not signing books and OH MY LORD is it crazy! After that it was the Bookseller's Best Awards, and then hanging with my editor, Megan Haslam, for a chat in the bar loft. Megan is totally sweet and it was her first conference. I think she was well and truly initiated into the experience!
Thursday I still had a little writing time (and Shirley dragged me to the gym again!) and let me just say that the luncheons are still one of my favorite parts of the week. Cathy Maxwell did the keynote and she is an AMAZING speaker! I saw her again on Friday morning, looking very glam and told her so. That woman has a smile that lights up a room and makes you glad you're there.
Thursday's dinner was a trip to the food court connected to the hotel with some friends for a quiet, relaxed meal. Then I met up with some Calgary friends at the bar for a glass of wine before heading to the Harlequin PJ party which I think might have been the best one yet! I always seem to get a picture with Michelle Willingham at the party (I know Jayne Hoogenberk has one!), and I think I became Danica's official photographer during conference. What a hoot!
|The awesome Sharon Sala|
I didn't get to the awards lunch on Friday as I was out with the Harlequin American authors... I heard Kristan Higgins was fabulous and plan to download her speech as I guess there wasn't a dry eye in the place. Still, I'm glad I got to meet so many of the fab authors I'll be sharing a line with these days, and my editors as well. It was a fun time and I came out with a new word courtesy of Kathleen Scheibling - Hangry (when you're so hungry you're angry).
|With Shirley, going to the HQ party|
Friday night found me at BLT Steak for a cocktail party with the St. Martins crew which was great! Hot, but great, and it was so nice to meet up with some of the SMP team. I went back to the hotel, changed clothes and it was off to the Ritz for the Harlequin party! Still the best party on the planet!
Saturday Shirley had me in the gym again. I love her for that.
|Lemon and cream and strawberries, yum!|
|With Jessica Hart/Pam at the HQ party|
Shirley left Saturday evening, so I was rooming with the fabulous Jessica Hart/Pam Hartshorne. She's a major reason why I started targeting Harlequin Romance, so it was wonderful to finally meet her and even nicer to room together for a night. Surprisingly, I was back to the room before her and fell instantly asleep - and never even woke up when she came in! She said she nearly checked to see if I was breathing! I'm a light sleeper, so that's really something! And in the morning we stayed in bed, curled up in the covers and chatting like you would at a sleepover. It is one of my favorite moments of this year's conference.
And then it was time to go. I had a late breakfast with the "Boston" crew at a nearby restaurant, hung out by Starbucks for a while and then headed for the airport.
And when I came back, I plunged myself back into the world of Jewell Cove, and finished my book and sent it to my editor right on time.