Friday, August 1, 2014

What Happens in San Antonio - Part Four

Friday is fun day!  Also fatigue day. By now, the feet are sore and, in my case, the knee is swollen but this is the RWA National Conference and we soldier on.  (Many thanks to my roomie, Lisa for trekking to other floors to fill my ice bag!)  Here's a photo of Lisa and me:

Friday was another early day as I had a 7:30 breakfast with the fabulous Teresa Medeiros over at the Menger Hotel.  Didn't encounter any ghosts in the supposedly haunted hotel but saw a lot of gorgeous architecture.  We had a wonderful visit, laughed a lot and savored a delicious breakfast, especially (in Teresa's case) the bacon. *grin*

Beautiful stained glass in ceiling of old lobby at the Menger.

Teresa, savoring her last piece of bacon.

I've enjoyed Theresa Romain's books and "known" her online for a few years but hadn't had the opportunity to meet her until this year's conference.  What a fun, sweet and obviously talented lady! Lisa and I joined Theresa for lunch Friday at Luciano Ristorante next to the conference hotel.  The food was delicious (so good I forgot to take a picture) and the company was even better.  Theresa's next book, Season for Desire will be out October 7th.  I can't wait.  I love this series!

Four more publishers had signings on Friday, giving conference attendees more photo ops and free books. These signings are more crowded and the rooms smaller than the Literacy Signing but the books are FREE! Here are a few photos from Friday's signings. Again, you can view more of the photos I took in the RWA albums at my facebook page.

RITA finalist Beth Andrews

Talented - and sexy - Julia London strikes a pose.

The always smiling Sheila Roberts.

New York Times Bestselling author Marie Force.  If you're thinking of going to the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Atlanta in October, Marie will be the keynote speaker.


Sophia Nash is gracious, gorgeous and sweet as can be. I hadn't seen her in several years and it was so wonderful to reconnect.

If you've ever wondered if competing New York Times Bestselling authors get along, this photo of Cathy Maxwell and Jennifer McQuiston should answer that question.  These two are a hoot!

Check out the bracelet that one of Virginia Kantra's readers made for her.  Each charm is one of her book covers.  Isn't that cool?

For those invited to the publisher parties, Friday night's anticipation is second only to that of Saturday night's RITA and Golden Heart ceremony.  Each publisher hosts a party or dinner (typically offsite) for their authors and invited guests.  For the Avon party, which I attended, we were taken by river barge to the site of the party. Pamela Spengler-Jaffe, Senior Director of Publicity and Brand Development at HarperCollins Publishers, and her team once again planned and hosted an outstanding party that was enjoyed by all in attendance.  A highlight of the party, other than the delicious food and drinks ( I was partial to the coconut shrimp and prickly pear margaritas) were the creative "word bubble" fans, decorative accessories and the green screen where you could have your photo taken with a choice of five backgrounds which ranged from sweet to hot.  You know I wasn't about to pass on that!  LOL!

Toni Blake and Julie Anne Long ready to party the night away!

Cathy Maxwell, Katharine Ashe, Sara Jane Stone and Maya Rodale ride the river barge to the Avon party.

I would have been happy eating nothing but the delicious shrimp all night, washed down with a margarita, of course!

Carey Baldwin, Lisa Lin, PJ, Tessa Dare and Sarah MacLean.  Was there any doubt we'd choose this background?

With Cathy Maxwell and two San Antonio librarians.  We had a lovely time chatting with them!

One of my favorite photos of the whole week.  How can you not love having your picture taken with the incomparable Susan Elizabeth Phillips?

Returning to the hotel after the Avon party, the first person I saw was author Kieran Kramer who came charging up to me and said, I need an Oprah shot!"  Huh?  What?  Oprah?  Okay!  I'm game!  Um, what's an Oprah shot?  Turns out, this is an Oprah shot.  I like it! So now I know how to take a selfie.  Hold the camera above me and look up.  Much better than the straight on shots I'd been attempting.  I tried it after returning home and it works great! Also disguises those pesky double chins. *grin*

Seems I wasn't Kieran's only  When she got home she combined her Oprah shots into this video.  The woman has no shortage of talent!

So that's it for Friday - a fast, fun, fabulous day.  Join us tomorrow for the final RWA blog featuring a Bandit breakfast, more signings, a terrific multi-author lunch, the excitement and glamour of the RITA / Golden Heart ceremony and what I know many of you have been waiting for all week:  the Shoes of RWA!


Do you believe in ghosts?  Have you ever stayed in a hotel that's haunted?

Bacon, sausage or pass the fruit, please?

Had you heard of the Oprah pose?  Have you tried it?

If someone made a bracelet for you, what charms would they choose to best describe you?

What word bubble would you choose for a photo shoot and what author would you choose to to be in the photo with you?

One person leaving a comment will receive a signed copy of Small-Town Redemption by 2014 RITA finalist Beth Andrews and a signed copy of What the Groom Wants by 2013 RITA finalist Jade Lee.  

Comments for the giveaway will close at 12:00am Saturday, August 2nd.  (U.S. and Canada only)


  1. Bacon and fruit. Ophra pose????? Charms - family and baseball related stuff.
    Patty B Coral

    1. Ophra pose?????

      I know! That's what I asked too but I love the way it turned out!

  2. Another wonderful report, PJ! I'll pass on the margaritas, but I love coconut shrimp.

    Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever stayed in a hotel that's haunted? Only when I'm in Charleston and Savannah.

    Bacon, sausage or pass the fruit, please? Fruit please, doctor's orders.

    Had you heard of the Oprah pose? Have you tried it? No, but your photo is great.

    If someone made a bracelet for you, what charms would they choose to best describe you? A heart (romance lover), a magnolia (Southern to the core), an open book (absolutely addicted), and a mortarboard (academia).

    What word bubble would you choose for a photo shoot and what author would you choose to to be in the photo with you? I'd avoid the photo shoot. :)

    1. I've never felt closer to ghosts than during a night tour through a Savannah cemetery.

      Doctors take away all the fun, don't they? It's fruit for me too these days.

      Love the charms you chose, Janga. They would perfectly represent the wonderful woman that you are.

  3. Fruit but I love me some home fries! Bubble is way to hard to pick one but considering what is coming on Saturday, I might pick Diana Gabaldon . And charms.... Book for sure an OM charm and sun

    1. I grew up eating home fries for breakfast but nowadays I only enjoy them for lunch or dinner and only on rare occasions. I do love fresh fruit though and we had lots of it while at RWA last week.

  4. Great review of the RWA..
    I love bacon, but I love sausages and fruit too.. Never stayed in a place where ghost reside. An Oprah pose has been done a time or two.. A bracelet for me would be showered with the faces of all my "kids" as it would represent Love.. If there was to be a bubble over my head, it would say "Triplets" and posing with me would be Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins... because we all have a great sense of humour and adventure..

    1. Love your bubble idea and I can pretty much guarantee that time spent with Higgins and Shalvis would be full of fun and adventure! :)

  5. I've never stayed at a haunted hotel (that I know of) but growing up I spent many sleepovers at my friend's house that was haunted. There were so many unexplained things that happened in that house...scared the bejesus out of me!

    Bacon please. Everything is better with bacon. Wrap it, stack it, mince it, even dip it (in chocolate)...anyway is good with me.

    I've never heard it referred to as an Oprah pose, but yes that's a portrait photography trick for shooting women. Shooting above makes them look thinner. For men, shoot below the hip looking up to make them look larger.

    Oh charms! I love my Pandora. Let's see...a camera, a wine glass, and a book just about covers me. But they have to have bling on them. I like sparkly.

    Hmm my bubble would say PARTY and I would like every available author in the picture with me.

    1. Everything is better with bacon.

      Yes. Yes, it is.

      I love my Pandora. Let's see...a camera, a wine glass, and a book just about covers me. But they have to have bling on them. I like sparkly.

      You forgot the Talenti Gelato charm! You and I would both have that one. ;-)

    2. PJ, this is a wonderful overview of your time at the RWA conference in San Antonio--and I feel so lucky that I got to spend time with you! You're such a wonderful person! I loved my chocolates! Thank you! And you're a ray of sunshine wherever you go. Thanks for allowing me to take this splendid photo of you (thanks,too, to Oprah, LOL!!!) and for letting me include you in my video. It will bring back tons of fond memories for me, and hopefully for everyone who was in it, and even some people who were not!! I think romance writers are the nicest, most fun group EVER! And when you get us together with readers, oh can't beat that!!! XOXO

    3. No to ghosts.
      Yes, please, to crispy bacon.
      Had not heard of Oprah pose, but I like it and Kieran's video.
      I have several James Avery silver charm bracelets. (He is a Texas Hill Country jeweler.) On my family bracelet, I'm represented as a tiger. Other family members are represented with different animals or symbols.
      Thanks for another fun post, PJ!

    4. I had a wonderful time visiting with you, Kieran. Thanks for my "Oprah" photo. I love it! :)

    5. LSU, I had to go Google James Avery. He does beautiful work. He also has a store in Charlotte. I am so sunk. LOL!

  6. Almost like being there. I would choose the word "thanks" and have a picture taken with Julia Quinn.

  7. turkey bacon, sausage and fruit.

  8. No I don't believe in ghost but I do believe in angles watching over us.bacon,.No I never heard of the Ophra pose .Eloisa James charms would be great.It looks like you had some great company.have a great time

  9. I believe anything is possible and I'd love to meet a friendly "ghost" but haven't as yet that I know of lol. Bacon!!! No and no to the Oprah pose lol. My charm bracelet today would have babies, cats, books, cups, wine glass, playing cards and a computer on it lol. I do have one that I got at 16 and added to it quite often - it had sweet 16, a typewriter, wedding rings, and many charms from all our travels. Many had moving parts. I lost one and felt so bad I stopped wearing it (plus it was getting heavy lol) but I still have it. Bubble would say "read" and author, Grace Burrowes. U.S.

  10. no, no, fruit, no, food

  11. I do believe in ghosts. I grew up in an old farm house with our resident ghost, George. We dug out the "rock" that was the short sidewalk off our side porch and discovered it was a tombstone. George died in 1865. Our current house is an 1898 victorian farmhouse. So far, family and former residents have reported seeing 3 or 4 ghosts. I haven't seen them, but have felt their presence. One of our daughters had a frightening experience with one, but all the other experiences haven't been threatening.

    Pass the fruit, but make sure there is plenty of bacon to go with it. I have heard bacon referred to as the candy of meat. Have to agree. We go to breakfast buffets just so I can put my "bacon low light" out. It is embarrassing to admit how much I can eat.

    Haven't heard of the Oprah pose and selfies aren't really my thing.

    A charm bracelet would have to have mountains, books ( Garwood's THE PRIZE cover on one. It was the first romance I ever read) with a variety of covers (mostly historicals), a car (I love road trips), a Highlander in a kilt, a cowboy, and little people for my children and grandchildren. The highlander in the kilt is my DH.

    Word bubble - READER or LOVES BOOKS in front of library shelves or the Highland mountains. Too many authors I'd like to have a photo of.

  12. I do and I have - Flamingo in Vegas.

    And Bacon please with a fruit chaser.

  13. USA

    I prefer many different kinds of fruit.

    Charms: heart, open book, guitar, collie dog, diploma, University of Wisconsin Bucky Badger or a W, starfish, mermaid, state of Wisconsin shape, state of Florida shape, bike, canoe, 1 girl, 3 boy silhouettes

    I have never stayed in a haunted hotel. I do believe in spiritual beings.

    I own a flip phone. I've never taken a selfie. I've never heard of an Oprah pose until today.

    Photo- nature lover author Jill Shalvis

    I've really enjoyed the synopsis of your RWA trip. Thanks for the photos and the story!

  14. YOu soundeed like you had a great time Charms...chicago cubs, books family and my dogs and cats. We have a haunted hotel near here called the Baker. Haven't been there yet so haven't met any
    I dont' do selfies just not my thing KK I am not!!! IMO she loves herself too much... I would like a pic with SEP or Catherine Coiulter

  15. Bacon? Sausage? Fruit? about all of the above?
    Never heard of the Oprah pose, but I love what Kieran did with those pix. She is multi-talented!
    Never stayed in a haunted house/hotel and never met a ghost!
    Looks like you all had a great time partying! Can't wait to see day 5 and the RITA winners.

  16. We love bacon in our house! We eat a lot of supper-breakfasts, if that makes sense. But, we also like sausage and gravy over bisuits or toast.
    I don't really believe in ghosts and will NOT watch paranormal shows or movies. I don't like to be freaked-out, LOL!
    Never heard of the Oprah pose, and since I can't take a good photo, my selfies would probably end up showing my feet or ear.
    Many years ago, I had a little girl make me a charm bracelet for Christmas. I love it and still wear it. It has little red apple charms in-between pencil, notebook, eraser, and heart charms.
    I think I would have a phrase bubble. One of three: 1) That chocolate is mine. 2) 5Teach 3) Shary's Mom.
    Thanks for the recap, PJ!

  17. Hi PJ! Great conference posts! I have totally heard of the Oprah pose, but my problem is that I always forget how to do it :-) It was so wonderful to meet you! Have a lovely weekend.

  18. I'm pretty fond of bacon. Charms to describe me would be a chocolate kiss, charms for my kids, books, a syringe because I ran lab tests for 23 years, one of the purple ribbons to represent Fibromyalgia, and something to represent my husband's years of military service.

  19. Thanks for all the pictures. Do you think shoes often reflect someone's personality?

    I've read Crazy Little Thing Called Love and No Good Duke Goes Unpunished.

  20. I have never stayed in a place that was haunted but it would be an interesting thing to do. I prefer bacon, if I have a choice.