Fellow reader - and B&R committee member - Donna Finlay picked me up at the airport Friday morning and was my host for the day. She took me to the adorable town of Grapevine where I could have spent the entire day browsing the shops. Spices and Teas and Pastries...Oh, My!
Friday night, I joined good friend Suzanne Ferrell and her husband for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. The food was delicious, the ambiance made me feel like I was in old Mexico, and the company was, as always, superb. I love catching up with old friends! If you haven't read Suzanne's terrific romantic suspense novels, I highly recommend them. Her newest, Close to Danger was just released October 10.
|Janna MacGregor and Valerie Bowman|
On Saturday, about 30 authors and readers gathered at Spring Creek BBQ in Garland for some down-home Texas deliciousness. The conversation was lively, the smiles, beaming, and the food, superb. Janna and Valerie both have new books coming out on October 31. Be sure to check out The Bride Who Got Lucky and The Right Kind of Rogue. I loved both of them!
|Julia London, Cindy Nord, PJ, Mary Jo Putney|
Following lunch, we all headed for Barnes & Noble at the Firewheel Town Center where 20 romance authors signed books with B&N generously donating a portion of all book sales to the Literacy Center. Smart, talented, wonderful women gathering for a good cause. Such fun!
|Jo Davis, Kari Lynn Dell, Elizabeth Essex, Cheryl Etchison|
After the signing, we were on our way to the Buns & Roses VIP Authors' Reception at the home of committee member, Karen. What a gracious hostess she is! See that quilt over there? It was made by committee member, Wanda and included each of this year's authors. All 30 of them! The quilt was raffled off at the Tea on Sunday. Alas, I didn't win but not for lack of stuffing the box with raffle tickets. ;-)
Sunday brought the main event: The Buns & Roses Tea. What a fun time! I met online friends in person for the first time, caught up with friends I didn't know would be there, and made new friends, something I always enjoy. Here I am with the fabulous Lenora Bell! Are you reading her books? I love them! I already have my calendar marked for her next book, What a Difference a Duke Makes, due out in March.
With one of my all-time favorite authors, Sabrina Jeffries. I'm so excited for her next book, The Secret of Flirting, due out in March. Baron Fulkham finally meets his match!
|Sabrina Jeffries & PJ|
|Diane Kelly and D.D. Ayres|
You just know there's mischief brewing with these four!
|Tracey Livesay, Ilona Andrews, Cathy Maxwell, Cheryl Etchison|
In addition to the Tea, Sunday afternoon also included the auction of several donated items (really good items!), the raffle of the quilt and a Kindle Paperwhite, and a book signing with all thirty authors. Each person in attendance at the Tea received a beautiful Buns & Roses Autograph Keepsake book (designed by Lyndsey Lewellen who designs fabulous romance covers) which the authors happily signed. The B&R committee thinks of everything!
One of the special highlights of attending events like this is connecting with online reader friends...
|Ladies of the Facebook Old School Romance Book Club|
A special highlight of the afternoon is the unveiling of the Buns & Roses Bear. Each year, adorable stuffed bears are donated, then costumed by a volunteer in a theme connected to that year's guest speaker. The bears are pre-sold and any still available are then sold at the Tea in a high-energy process with women all over the room madly waving $20 bills in the air and hoping to take one of these cuties home. This year's magic wizard bear (Isn't he adorable?) was themed for the speakers, husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews who gave an inspiring speech about the impact of literacy on their lives. By the way, if you have not yet discovered their books, I highly recommend anything written by these talented writers!
Because it's all about the shoes...
And the laughter...
|PJ & Cathy Maxwell|
And the cake...
I love when people come together for fun and a good cause. Buns & Roses combines the two in an event that is not to be missed. I had the best time and am already hoping for a return visit.
What was your last adventure?
Have you participated in any "events for a cause" lately?
What authors would you most like to meet in person?
One randomly chosen person will receive a signed book and the Buns & Roses Autograph Keepsake book. (U.S. only)
One randomly chosen person will receive a signed copy of Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews and a 2017 Buns & Roses Bear. (U.S. only)