Saturday, the final day of RWA15, brings with it a mixed bag of feelings. There's exhaustion (We've been running at full throttle all week. We were bound to hit the wall sometime.), anticipation (for the excitement, glitz and glamour of the RITA/Golden Heart Awards Ceremony), and sadness (as we bid friends farewell, exchange hugs, and promise to keep in touch via social media until the next conference). There's also joy which was what I was feeling when I met one of my favorite people for breakfast early Saturday morning.
Teresa Medeiros is not only a wonderful author but also a kind, funny, generous woman. We've bonded over pets, books, chocolate and bacon. Mmmmmm........bacon!
My voice may have wobbled a bit at first but I quickly found my stride and had a lot of fun. (Sitting next to Sarah Wendell helped!) The room was packed, the audience engaged and enthusiastic, and it helped greatly that my wonderful friend, Louisa Cornell sat in the front row to smile and cheer me on.
Many thanks to Nancy Berland for her confidence that I could be a positive contributor to her wonderful workshop.
Having survived the workshop experience, I headed off to the Montlake signing for more books, chat time and photo opportunities.
The lovely and multi-talented Anna DeStefano.
Tiffany Snow's romantic suspense novels are getting great reviews!
I'm a fan of Gerri Russell's historical romances and looking forward to reading her new contemporaries.
I've known Terri Osburn since back when her writing was still a dream. I get fluttery butterflies of happiness for her each time I see her signing her books.
A lake, a hug and This Thing Called Love. Can't wait to read Miranda Liasson's newest!
Kim Law's Montana Cherries, released this week, is deeply emotional and my favorite of her books. I highly recommend it!
Holly Jacobs' books always touch my heart.
Can't wait to dive into Melinda Leigh's Minutes to Kill. Love me some romantic suspense!
I had a great time interviewing Nancy Herkness earlier this month and thoroughly enjoyed her newest book, The CEO Buys In (first in a new series) so I was, of course, looking forward to meeting her in person. She's a delight!
So glad I ran into historical romance author Alison DeLaine! Her next book from HQN, A Promise by Daylight, comes out August 26th. I'm counting the days!
Loved catching up with YA author Marni Bates (I adore her) while waiting in line. She's recently returned from a two month backpacking trip through Europe, exploring out of the way places and meeting her fans (she has many). Her photos are breathtakingly beautiful!
After re-packing my suitcase (everything fit!), shipping out the books I had gathered (more giveaways for you!), charging my camera battery, and taking a short nap, it was time to start getting ready for the big night. Lights! Cameras! Gorgeous gowns and shoes! It's the RITAs!
Jane Porter and friends.
Double Golden Heart finalist, Sharon Wray.
RITA finalist Inara Scott.
Carolina Romance Writers support Golden Heart finalist Tracy Poole (she won!)
Besties Lindsey Faber and Toni Blake looking gorgeous.
Stephanie Janulis and 2015 Avon FanLit Winner Eve Marie Perry
RWA President Cindy Kirk
Sharing a table with Sharon Sala and Barbara Vey. We clean up pretty well, don't you think?
With my fabulous roommates, Lisa Lin and Lenora Bell. Lenora won the 2014 Golden Heart for historical romance and will have her debut novel published by Avon in the spring of 2016. Lisa is part of the 2015 Avon FanLit competition. I have confidence that one day I'll be buying her book too!
RITA winner Tessa Dare with best friends and critique partners Courtney Milan and Carey Baldwin. There's a whole lot of talent in that photo!
Suzanne Enoch and Karen Hawkins with "Chocolate Rita."
With the lovely Laura Lee Guhrke.
So excited for my friend, Juliana Stone who won the RITA for her YA novel, Boys Like You.
Golden Heart winner Kimberly Buckner.
The beautiful and supremely talented Sonali Dev. Her next book, The Bollywood Bride comes out September 29th.
There was no food at this year's awards ceremony so by the time we were seated at Junior's - after 11:00 pm - our crew was beyond hungry and in a comfort food frame of mind. Lenora opted for the cheeseburger (it was huge) while Lisa went with chicken nuggets.
I savored my steak fries and cheesecake.
And the charming Miguel was our waiter extraordinaire!
We headed back to our room, pleasantly full, happy, and ready to go forth and share the romance love until we all meet again next summer in San Diego.
And that, as they say, is a wrap!
What's your favorite midnight meal?
Will you be attending the 2016 RWA conference in San Diego?
Sky-high heels or comfy flats?
Which romance sub-genres do you enjoy reading?
One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment will receive a package of books and swag from my RWA conference stash.
(U.S. addresses only)