Happy Birthday, Janga! Wishing you sunshine, smiles, and happily ever afters today and always.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Moonlight and Magnolias...the Rest of the Story

The Maggies are Georgia Romance Writers' awards of excellence for both published and unpublished romance fiction (like the RITA awards at RWA national conferences).  They're a prestigious award with categories filled with immense talent.  This year was no exception.  The Maggies are also filled with beautiful gowns, incredible shoes and, this year courtesy of Kim Killion and Hot Damn Designs, gorgeous romance cover models!  Here are some of the highlights from Maggie night.


PJ celebrates with New York Times bestselling historical romance author Jennifer McQuiston (her Summer is for Lovers just released and is fantastic) and double-Maggie-finalist Heather Snow (her historical romance Sweet Madness is one of my best books of 2013).









Harlequin Kimani Romance author Phyllis Bourne (one of my table mates) won the Maggie for Best Contemporary Series Romance with her book, Taste for Temptation.  I'm not sure who was more excited:  Phyllis or her proud husband. One thing for certain, both of their smiles lit up the room!









What better way to rock the red (okay, gold) carpet than with ravishing red shoes!  Thanks to conference attendee Rebecca Bridges for allowing me to photograph these beauties!










Conference "twins" Nicki Salcedo and PJ.  I adore this smart, sassy, immensely talented woman.  Can't wait for her debut from Belle Bridge Books, All Beautiful Things to hit the shelves!










Kim Killion and Jennifer Jakes.  Kim is the woman we have to thank for bringing her cover models to this year's conference.  Here at the Romance Dish, we have a special place in our hearts for Kim.  She was one of our biggest cheerleaders when we decided to start the Dish, helped us develop this site and designed our banner.  She's also the creative genius behind many of the best romance book covers in the market.











I always look for the ladies from Carolina Romance Writers when I go to conferences because I know they'll be sporting some amazing shoes.  The pink ones on the right belong to Elizabeth Michels whose debut historical romance from Sourcebooks, Must Love Dukes will be coming out in 2014.











It's not only about the shoes.  We spotted this wonderful fascinator worn by Maggie Worth while standing in line for the buffet.











Good friend and conference roomie, Louisa Cornell, who was a Maggie finalist in the unpublished historical romance category, along with cover models (and such nice guys!) Harvey Gaudun-Stables and Scott Nova.









Nancy Northcott (I highly recommend her books!) and PJ, following the Maggie ceremony.  Haven't read Nancy's books yet?  Pick up a copy of Renegade today but made sure you don't have anything on the schedule.  This is a book that won't let you put it down!








Harlequin Superromance author, and Maggie finalist, Pamela Hearon sported some awesome shoes this weekend.  Here's the glitzy pair for Maggie night. Still loving that nail polish!











When one of your favorite authors says to someone, "PJ and I are conference bff's," you just smile and say, "Why, yes.  Yes, we are."  At least I do. Especially when that author is the immensely talented and incredibly lovely Heather Snow!













I'm wrapping up our Moonlight and Magnolias coverage with this final photo of Nicki Salcedo surrounded by cover models Scott Nova and Harvey Gaudun-Stables.  Why?  Because Nicki is proof that with hard work and dedication, you can have it all.  Wife, mother of four, full-time career woman and soon to be published author, Nicki (along with fellow long-time GRW member Jennifer McQuiston) shared her secrets in their M&M workshop, "This Crazy Life."  One of her best tips:  Nicki and her husband find time for just the two of them by getting up before the sun and working out at boot camp every morning.  The result? A very happy woman rockin' her hot bod between two rockin' hot cover models at this year's M&M.  I can't think of a better recommendation for attending Georgia Romance Writers' Moonlight and Magnolias Conference than that!








Hope you've enjoyed our 2013 Moonlight and Magnolias coverage.  I came home with so many great ideas, made new friends and increased my tbr list substantially.  I also came home with books and swag to share! So, tell me, how do you make time for yourself?  Have you discovered a great new book (or author) recently?  Do you exercise regularly?  What are your tips for a happy, healthy life?  One person leaving a comment will receive a goody package from my M&M stash.  (U.S. only)

~PJ


35 comments:

  1. I've started to exercise in the last couple of years. I take a weightlifting class 3 times per week and try to do the treadmill on at least 5 days. Over the summer, I slacked off a bit on the treadmill.

    As far as books, I read a lot of great reviews for Annie West's book, Imprisoned By a Vow, so I bought it. It was a good book, so I look forward to reading her other Harlequins.

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    1. Good for you, Kim! I need to start doing weight bearing exercises. It's important, especially at my age.

      I love Annie West. So glad you enjoyed her book.

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  2. A new author I discovered is Terri Osburn. I loved MEANT TO BE, and I can't wait to read the next one in the series.

    I make time for myself by reading. I don't get enough exercise, but I am working on that!

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    1. I loved MEANT TO BE! Hope you enjoy UP TO THE CHALLENGE.

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  3. I bet this was so much fun! As a southern gal, I know I would have loved it!

    My exercise consists of taking an early morning walk every morning for about a mile. Since we live in Florida, I usually go around 6:30AM before the sun is up because otherwise it’s way too hot. For me, this works up a big sweat, gets my heart pumping, clears my head for the day and gets my taste buds ready for the yummy coffee that my hubby is making for me. (He likes to take his walk after coffee!)

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    1. It's a great conference, Connie. After living in Florida for many years, I can appreciate your pre-dawn exercise. Heat + humidity does not a good exercise environment make! ;-)

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  4. I "discovered" Jennifer Ashley when I got 'The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie' thru Goodreads - can't believe I haven't read her books before - now I'm going back to read the stories of the other Mackenzies!

    I haven't been very good at excersizing - I used to go to Curves but then the local ones all closed.

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    1. I LOVED this book! I downloaded it on release day and stayed up half the night reading until I finished it. You have so many great Mackenzie stories waiting for you!

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  5. I really didn’t finish my input! I have discovered a great new author recently. Her name is Julianne Donaldson and is the author of “Edenbrooke” and “Blackmoore.” This is one very talented young woman from whom I thing we readers will be see great things. I’m so psyched to read her next novel.

    As for making time for myself, even though I’m retired, I seem to be running all day. Therefore, by early afternoon, I’m ready to treat myself to sitting in my comfy chair to read for an hour or two. It’s the best part of the day.

    Would so love to give some of your books and swag a good home. Crossing my fingers in hopes of being a lucky winner! ;-)

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Connie. I'll go check her out.

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  6. What, no pictures of my flip-flops????

    ;) Seriously, PJ, you are TOTALLY my conference BFF ;) You are such a wonderful, lovely friend. It was so fun to see you again!

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    1. What, no pictures of my flip-flops????

      LOL! Guess I'm going to have to do a "comfy" shoe pictorial at one of these conferences. ;-)

      It was wonderful seeing you too, Heather. I so enjoyed our visit!

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  7. I've cut out soda for the last year or so and I've noticed a difference. I do occasionally pop open a can of Coke when I'm really craving it. I also try to walk and take the stairs whenever I can.

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    1. I cut out soda a few years ago, Jane. It made a huge difference.

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  8. I do try to take a walk a few days a week. That is part of taking time for myself and I also spend some time each night to do a little reading. That is my time.

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    1. One of the (many) benefits of having dogs is that I'm forced to walk at least twice a day. ;-)

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  9. What great pictures. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time. I do try and exercise each day. I do it first thing in the morning though, otherwise there is too much else to do.

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    1. If I don't exercise in the morning I can find a hundred excuses to not do it later. I'm such a good procrastinator. ;-)

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  11. Your coverage of M&M made me sick, PJ. Not in a bad way, of course. Just in a heartsick way. I miss all my GRW friends so much and the fact you were there and I wasn't makes me all the more determined to go with you next year. That's a promise.

    As for my tips for a healthy life, I suggest making time to do something that is all you. As women we tend to put ourselves on the back burner. But it is never a waste of time to put ourselves on the front burner (which is weird to say, but you know what I mean). Whatever that entails, do it.

    For me, that means writing and meditating. And going out to lunch with my dear, dear friends (PJ).

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    1. There was a moment on the dance floor where your spirit passed by me. She shook her money maker, threw her hands in the air like she just didn't care, and did the hustle. You were there with us J. Can't wait to see you next time. Love you.

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    2. Love you back, my dancing queen!

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  12. I recently read AFTER THE KISS by Lauren Layne. I really enjoyed this fast, fun and flirty story. It's the first of a trilogy so I'm looking forward to the next two books. ;)

    Marcy Shuler
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  13. I read every night - from hours or maybe even a few pages but that is my me time! I'm always finding new to me authors - at the moment it's Grace Burrowes. I'm afraid I don't exercise much so I eat less to make up for it lol. Trying to be grateful every day helps me through!


    catslady5(at)aol.com

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  14. I started boot camp last April because I wasn't feeling well. Exercising helps me write. I can't explain it. In the past, it was tennis and yoga and gym, so boot camp is very new to me. I'm thankful for it even though that used to be my normal writing time!

    As for books, I have 3 books by Heather Snow that I am excited to try out. Heroine who is a chemist. I love it already. And McQuiston. She goes without saying. I already read Find Me by Romily Bernard, but I'm going to re-read it this fall. Such a great page turner. We can all learn something from these great writers.

    P.S. My face is still hurting from all that smiling this weekend. Those handsome cover models were generous with their time and muscles this weekend. PJ, thanks for the wonderful recap. Next year I'm taking picture of the comfy shoes (mine)!

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  15. Sometimes you have to MAKE time for yourself and when I have had enough I either got outside to read or take a walk just to clear my head... I like reading anywhere (who doesn't) so when I take my daughter to therapy for her knee I stay in the car and listen to my audiobook and also read my book. (no it doesn't always work but when it does I do it that way...)
    YOu look like you had a great time I can't wait for our Spring Fling next year...its nice to see the authors...

    Donna

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  16. My me time is spent with my horses. Working and grooming takes away my stress! I've found a awesome new author Bev Peterson. I'm reading Color My horse. Yes it's about horses!

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  17. I try to sleep 8 hors a day and eat healthy
    Thanks
    Kimh

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  18. I was there to see the Nicki Salcedo cover model shot. Kim and Jennifer have to bring those guys back. They really rocked the Maggie Awards. And talking about Maggie's, Maggie Worth looked fabulous. I can't wait to read my copy of Renegade and Find Me. And Phyllis Bourne gave an amazing speech.

    Marilyn Baron

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  19. My time for myself is reading and checking my favorite blogs like The Romance Dish. Unfortunately that time is taken from housework I should be doing or sleep I should be getting.
    As for exercise, no where near enough. I tried to read while on our treadmill, but fell off three times that first day. That was the last day I tried it. I think I'll try audio books. I have a shelf full I haven't had time to get to.
    There are so many authors I enjoy, new and old, I can't really choose even just one new to me author. I appreciate them all for the work they do to take us away from our everyday lives and share their imaginations.
    Thanks for sharing the great pictures.

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  20. The shoes are magnificent! So, how do these lovely ladies walk in them? I would be kicking mine off as soon as I sat down. However, they are fun, aren’t they?

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  21. Looks like a fabulous time was had by everyone in attendance! Jealous!

    I try to walk at least 5 miles a day. Weather permitting I swim. It's too chilly to swim outside now here in Wisconsin.

    I try to read everyday also. I have read while using a Nordic Track. I didn't use the arm mechanism.

    New authors: Theresa Romain, Heather Snow, Gayle Callen,Sherry Thomas, Jennifer McQuiston, Sophie Jordan, Maya Banks and Shana Galen

    Healthy life: I need some my time to do what I want. I also try to eat ice cream whenever I have the urge. This keeps me away from other bad cravings. I do have to limit my coffee and chocolate intake as I'm super sensitive to caffeine. Luckily I like most fruits and vegetables.

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  22. I try to walk every day. My fun time for myself is reading, being on my computer looking at my favorite blog sites, listening to music, and being with my family and friends. I recently lost my DH of 39 years to cancer, so I just try to count my blessings every day and get out of the house frequently. I also belong to a widows friendship group that meets on Wednesday nights which has helped me quite a bit.

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  23. I get time to myself every night when the kids and hubby are in bed :) I normally spend it reading or on the computer :).... I also tend to use this time to pull out my secret chocolate stash lol

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  24. So excited to see my shoes on your blog! People asked how we walk in them -- I was lucky to find a pair that was not only fabulous but comfortable too. I admit I might not have danced the night away in them but I had no problem keeping them on for the awards dinner. I hope to attend next year and see even more fabulous footwear.

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