|With Susan Elizabeth Phillips at the Dolphin Resort - 2010|
As we gear up for next month's RWA national conference at the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Disney World, I thought I'd take a look back at the first Disney conference and ahead to this year's which is only four weeks away.
The 2010 RWA National Conference was supposed to be held in Nashville, Tennessee. I was excited about exploring a city I'd only driven through before but torrential rains that led to catastrophic flooding had the folks at RWA scrambling to make a last minute change (the conference hotel was under water). They came through like champs and soon readers and authors were heading south to Orlando, Florida and the home of Mickey Mouse and his many friends.
|Tessa Dare: Literacy Autographing 2010|
After rapidly selling all copies of her debut book, Goddess of the Hunt at her first Literacy Autographing in 2009, Tessa Dare turned that "sold out" frown upside down with a RITA® nomination in 2010.
Several RITA nominations, and wins, later, Dare kicks off her fifth series August 22 with the publication of The Duchess Deal and she's once again a RITA finalist, this time for Do You Want to Start a Scandal, one of my favorite books of 2016. (read my Top Dish review)
|Eloisa James:Literacy Autographing 2010|
Eloisa James sure looks excited and with good reason. Those are two awesome EJ books she's holding! Have you read her newest, Seven Minutes in Heaven? Janga and I chatted about it in our February 2017 Just Between Us feature. Eloisa has a new series beginning this fall with the October 31 release of Wilde in Love, which features one of my all-time favorite covers and step-backs!
|Step-back (inside cover) of Wilde in Love|
Catching up with the lovely Emily March/Geralyn Dawson at the Harlequin party...which was fabulous! Are you reading Emily's Eternity Springs series? Stop by June 30 when Janga and I chat about the newest Eternity Springs novel, A Stardance Summer in a Just Between Us feature.
Chatting with one of my favorite authors, Monica McCarty. She's been an autobuy for me since the publication of her debut book.
I've loved McCarty's highlander heroes but I'm looking forward to meeting her Navy SEALs in her upcoming (present day) Lost Platoon series. It all begins with the September 5 publication of book one: Going Dark.
The Avon party was held at the Living Seas Aquarium in Epcot. What a beautiful venue! Enjoying the party are Jeanne Adams, Terri Garey and Sarah MacLean.
Are you as excited for The Day of the Duchess, the third book in MacLean's Scandal and Scoundrel series as I am? It publishes in two days!
Here I am with my favorite Brit, Anna Sugden.
Have you checked out Anna's hockey hunks yet? A Perfect Strategy was released in February.
You may think Anna Campbell and I spend a lot of time hugging and laughing at conferences. You'd be right! I'll miss her at next month's conference but she's back in Australia after three months jaunting around England, Scotland, and Belgium. Check out her gorgeous photos at her Facebook page.
Don't forget to also check out Anna's newest Dashing Widows novella, Catching Captain Nash. It releases June 30!
Besides being one of my all-time favorite authors, Lisa Kleypas is also one of the sweetest, most genuine people I have ever met. And gorgeous. The woman is gorgeous.
Are you reading Lisa's new Ravenels historical romance series? The third book, Devil in Spring released in February and the hero is the son of fan-favorite hero, Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent from Kleypas' Wallflowers series. You can read my review here.
Debbie Mazzuca captured my attention with her debut book, Lord of the Isles, a paranormal historical romance. After meeting her in person, I was even more captivated by the sweet, genuine person she is.
Now writing as Debbie Mason, she's become one of my go-to authors for heartwarming contemporary romance featuring humor and emotion. Her next book, Primrose Lane releases June 27 and it's another winner in her Harmony Harbor series.
Anytime I get to see Julie Anne Long in person is a cause for celebration. I adored Long's historical Pennyroyal Green series and am head over heels for her new Hellcat Canyon contemporary romances. She won the RITA last year for the tenth book in her Pennyroyal Green series,
It Started with a Scandal. (Top Dish review) She's a RITA finalist again this year for her first Hellcat Canyon book, Hot in Hellcat Canyon. (Top Dish review)
Book three in Long's Hellcat Canyon series, Dirty Dancing at Devil's Leap, will be out August 29. I've had it on pre-order since January 11. Yes, I love her writing that much. :)
|Roxanne St. Claire 2010|
I'm a long-time fan of Roxanne St. Claire's books. I discovered her during her romantic suspense, Bullet Catchers years then followed her into her Barefoot Bay contemporaries, including her Timeless (Barefoot Bay) spinoff trilogy featuring sexy silver fox heroes, and her romantic suspense Barefoot Bay Undercover quartet where we finally got the long-anticipated story of fan favorite, Gabriel Rossi. One of St. Claire's sexy silver foxes brought her a RITA nomination this year for Barefoot at Midnight. We'll have to wait until Thursday, July 27 to see if she brings home another pretty gold statue.
While I've loved all of her books, for me, it's St. Claire's current Dogfather series, centered around a large, boisterous, loving, Irish-American family in North Carolina and the dogs they rescue and train, that has wrapped up my reader's heart with a great big bow. And, for St. Claire, a dog lover and animal rescue proponent herself, these stories and the fact that she's donating a portion of book sales to a no-kill rescue organization in her home state show what a warm, loving, and huge heart this woman has. Start with Sit...Stay...Beg, then move on to New Leash on Life and the soon to be released, Bad to the Bone.
|Kristan Higgins 2010|
Kristan Higgins was a recent discovery for me when I first met her in 2010. I adored her book, Too Good to Be True which was a RITA finalist that year. Kristan won the RITA and kept her promise to celebrate (fully clothed) in the center lobby pool at the Dolphin (see photo of fountain at top of this post), much to the delight of all who witnessed the event. Except, perhaps, the hotel staff? (grin)
In the years since, I've come to know Kristan better and am happy to report that in addition to being an incredibly talented author, she's also one of the kindest, strongest, funniest, and most genuine women I've had the honor of meeting. Her next book, Now That You Mention It, will be out in December of this year.
If you're in the Orlando area, you too can meet some of your favorite authors this summer. RWA will sponsor the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing on Saturday, July 29 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. ET. Admission is free and all proceeds of book sales will benefit literacy organizations. As recently reported, in 2016, RWA reached $1 Million dollars in donations to benefit literacy organizations. For a complete list of the authors who will be signing, click here.
Have you ever visited Disney World? What was your favorite attraction?
Are you a hugger? You've probably guessed from the photos that I am so be prepared if we ever meet in person. ;-)
Will you be attending next month's RWA conference or the Literacy Autographing? If so, I'd love the opportunity to meet you!
What author(s) would you most like to meet and what would you ask them?
I have a package of books and swag looking for a home. One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 p.m. ET, June 26 will win! (U.S. only)