Large or small, one aspect of romance conferences remains the same. The shoes! Whether you're attending a conference of 2,000 people or one of 200, romance writers and readers know how to rock the fabulous shoes and of course, your intrepid Romance Dish photographer was on the hunt for the best of the best to share with you.
Here's a look at some of the photo highlights of the 2013 M&M Conference.
Terry Poca kicks off our Shoes of M&M 2013 with these awesome gold delights. As conference co-chair, Terry was everywhere and comfy shoes were a must but who says comfy can't also be fabulous!
Heather Snow, Jean Willett and Elisabeth (E.E.) Burke light up the room with their beautiful smiles! Heather and Elisabeth were both double Maggie Award finalists this year. Jean is a three-time Golden Heart finalist.
The 2013 M&M "Sister" photo! PJ with the beautiful and talented Nicki Salcedo (her debut, ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS will be published by Belle Bridge Books later this year). We first met at the 2009 M&M conference and immediately bonded. We call ourselves the M&M twins and I couldn't ask for a better sister if I'd special ordered one.
Shoe alert! I can always count on Tamara LeBlanc to wear some awesome shoes at M&M. I spied these during Deb Dixon's workshop and pounced...er...politely asked if I could please photograph them..the minute the workshop ended.
Hanging out with my roommate, Louisa Cornell (unpublished Maggie finalist) and Romance Bandits Trish Milburn (published Maggie finalist) and Nancy Northcott (former Maggie winner).
Jennifer McQuiston and Romily Bernard hosted a party with signature cocktails to celebrate their new books.
Jennifer brought along one of her heroes who was quite a hit with the ladies!
Cowboy boots are always in style. These were worn by conference attendee Meda White.
And speaking of books, we love these silver ones!
The lights went out in Georgia (not the whole state but the entire city of Norcross where M&M is held) for more than an hour shortly after this photo was taken but Jennifer and Romily never missed a beat. Great party, ladies!
GRW President Anna Steffl wore these gorgeous pumps. Love that color! Even better, she got the shoes for an amazingly low sale price. We ladies do love our bargains!
Deborah Smith, a New York Times bestselling author, had the audience laughing uproariously over her "crafts gone wrong." Here's an example of a great idea that didn't quite make it to the finish line. It's supposed to say, "Southern girls say..." As you can see, the stitching gave it an entirely different meaning but, according to Deb, "Southern girls may sag but they never flop!" By the way, she ordered 20 shirts...and sold zero. Two of them went home with lucky people in the audience.
Deb Smith signing a "sag" shirt for Jennifer McQuiston.
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston and former GRW President, Maggie winner and Golden Heart finalist Nicki Salcedo led a terrific workshop on leading a balanced life. These two very busy ladies had some great ideas for getting it all done and keeping your sanity in the process.
New York Times bestselling author Haywood Smith is a lovely lady and a long-time GRW member. You can't spent more than a couple minutes with her without smiling. It just isn't possible. :)
I'm not sure what I like better, the shoes or the pants. They're both pretty awesome as is the person wearing them, USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris.
Maggie finalist and 2013 RITA finalist Pamela Hearon's nail polish was as cool as her shoes. In truth, I loved them both!
One of the highlights of Moonlight and Magnolias is the literacy book signing. Signing for the first time this year was Terry Poca, debut author and co-chair of this year's conference.
Cool shoes come out for the book signing too. Here's a pair worn by Melody Johnson who was attending her first M&M conference.
Heather Snow (a double Maggie finalist) came all the way from Kansas to sign her historical romance trilogy, Sweet Enemy, Sweet Deception and Sweet Madness. Have you read them yet? They're wonderful! Sweet Madness is one of my best books of 2013.
A conference highlight: the amazingly talented Kim Killion (she designed our banner!) brought her staff to this year's conference, including two of her cover models, Harvey Gauden-Stables and Scott Nova. The guys were great sports, posing with numerous people throughout the weekend and never losing their smiles!
Debut YA author Romily Bernard and women's fiction/romantic thriller/paranormal author Marilyn Baron. We love these ladies!
Do you attend romance conferences or conferences of another type? Do you check out the fabulous footwear? Do you still rock the high heels or, like me, have you entered the sneakers and flip-flops phase of life? One person leaving a comment (U.S. and Canadian addresses only) will receive a signed copy of Summer is for Lovers by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston.
Check back this afternoon for highlights from Saturday night's gala Maggie Awards dinner and ceremony. We'll have beautiful dresses, gorgeous shoes and, of course, more shots of our handsome cover models!