Friday, July 31, 2015

RWA 2015 - - Back to the Big Apple: Part Five

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!

Another emotion tagging along Saturday morning was nervousness. As anyone who has met me in person knows, I'm not shy about speaking in public, however, I admit to being a wee bit nervous about taking the microphone Saturday morning. Nancy Berland of Nancy Berland Public Relations, Inc. had asked me to be part of a panel presenting a workshop titled The Experts Share: The Hottest New Trends in Romance Publishing. (my first workshop gig) I was honored to share the stage with John Charles (RWA's 2002 Librarian of the Year who has reviewed for Library Journal, Booklist and the Chicago Tribune), Library Journal's Managing Editor Bette-Lee Fox, bestselling author and USA Today's Happy Ever After blogger Joyce Lamb, Library Journal's Kristin Ramsdell and Smart Bitches Trashy Books' Sarah Wendell.

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.



Glorious shoes!

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.

2015 Avon FanLit Winner Eve Marie Perry and friend. 

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)


  1. What a wonderful week of memories you have PJ. Thanks for sharing the great pics.
    And I'll be going to Junior for that cheeseakenext time I'm in New York.
    Carol L
    Lucky70 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Hope you've enjoyed going along for the ride, Carol!

  2. What a fantastic week you have given us, PJ. I wish I could have heard that panel. I've loved sharing your conference experience. Thank you.

    There are some gorgeous shoes in those photos. I love looking at the sky-high heels, but it's strictly flats for me these days. As for my romance reading, I love both historicals and contemporaries, but I read a smattering in most other sub-genres as well.

    1. Wish you could have been there for the panel too, Janga. In fact, I wish you could have been on the panel!

  3. Oh, they should have served you food :) Cold pizza is a great snack. I'm not usually a shoe person but I went all out for my daughter's wedding and got a pair of heels that matched my dress (and purse) - black background and flowered. It really made the outfit and I got a lot of compliments on them. Historicals are my favorite and they can have any subgenre such as suspense or fantasy or whatever the author dreams up. Thanks for all the pics.

    1. I've eaten plenty of cold pizza in my time!

      Those heels sounds lovely. Sadly, my feet don't allow me to wear them anymore.

  4. Pasta & spicy red sauce! Cowboy boots first - flats next, I love historical & contemporary, women's fiction- then suspense.
    Currently my answer is no to San Diego, in the future it may change.
    Another super blog!

    1. Thanks for popping in, Cathy! I love cowboy boots. Bought an awesome pair some years back while visiting Texas but had to give them away when my feet went the way of bunions. Had fun wearing them when I could though! :)

  5. Definitely an indulgent dessert like chocolate cake. I love the photos and those heels are wonderful, but I would have to wear flats for comfort. I enjoy historicals and family sagas as well as contemporary novels.

  6. Midnight would be lovely to have tea and scones. I enjoyed the photos and the shoes are fab. I wear shoes which are comfy, but love high heels. My favorite genres, and sub-genres are mysteries and historicals, as well as fiction that is memorable.

    1. I have it on good authority that the scones served with our tea on Friday were amazing. I couldn't have any (gluten intolerance) but they sure did look yummy!

  7. My favorite midnight food is a Taylor Ham and cheese on a bagel with a side of well done fries with brown gravy. Typical Jersey diner food :)

    Now I won't be at RWA next year, but RT is looking good right about now. If you're going, we might have to get some gelato! I loved seeing all your pictures, and especially the shoes. Now that I can wear heels again, I am so giving up the flats - lol. And the sparklier the better!

    1. I've never had fries with gravy. I'm guessing I'd love it. Probably too much. lol

      I won't be at RT next year but I have my sights on 2017!

  8. Thanks for all the pictures. You go to so many conventions as a blogger, but do you have any desire to try your hand at writing?

    I like heels over flats.

    1. I've been asked that question many times, Kim. Right now, I'm content with blogging and reviewing but I soak up info in conference workshops and haven't closed the door on the possibility of writing. You never know. ;-)

  9. 1) Fresh, home-baked chocolate chip cookies and ice water.
    2) Unfortunately, no.
    3) DEFINITELY comfy flats
    4) Historical, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, PNR/UF

    Thanks for another great summary! Have a restful weekend.

    1. Is there anything better than fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies?

  10. You do the best wrap-ups! Thank you for your endless support, and getting a picture of me that I don't hate. lol I finally wore really cute shoes to the awards and I never saw you that night. Dang it!

    1. Thanks, Terri! There were a lot of people I didn't see awards night. The set-up is not designed for people watching!

  11. 1) cheese & crackers with a wee bit of dessert wine
    2) probably not (unless I win the lottery!)
    3) comfy flats!!
    4) Historical - especially Medieval

  12. I love the look of high heels, but wear flats or sneakers or sandals for comfort.
    Dessert for a midnight snack only if with company
    Contemp Romance
    Dont think I will be attending the 2016 awards.

    1. I love the look of high heels, but wear flats or sneakers or sandals for comfort.

      Right there with you, patoct.

  13. Favorite midnight snack is pizza. Need some flats or gym shoes. Depending on my mood is contemporary or mystery romance. Sorry I won't be attending 2016 in San Diego.

    1. I practically live in my gym shoes. Nothing says "happy PJ" like comfortable feet!

  14. Yay! Terry Osburn! I also adored Tessa's & Julianna Stone's winning books! Congrats to you, PJ, for your contributions to RWA! I keep seeing photos of more people that I missed at the signing! I generally read historical or contemporary romance, but some young adult, "light" erotica & new adult. I also have a soft spot for cowboy stories, like Carolyn Brown's or Donna Alward's.

  15. Again, a wonderful set of pictures, PJ! I love attending vicariously since I have no idea when I'll make a RWA. My favorite midnight food all depends on what I'm craving -- I'm one of those people who is all about eating what I want at any given time. I'm more of a flats or better yet boots with low or no heels person. I'd be the one holding my high heels in your pictures. ;-) As for subgenres: Historical is my top one but I do love certain contemporaries - especially ones with cowboys. :-D

  16. ooooh... another awesome line up! Thanks for sharing :) My fav midnight food kinda depends on my cravings.. I tend to be more of a hot pocket/chicken nugget than an ice cream eater. Unfortunately no plans to go, but it's on my bucket list to go to one eventually :) Definitely comfy shoes. I live in my sketchers for work and my Teva sandals for all other times. I'm a big paranormal reader. I love seeing how authors "reinvent the wheel" so to speak on age old tropes. But I do go back and read a broad spectrum of historical, suspense, and contemporary romance too.

  17. I have enjoyed the pictures this week. What a fun week you've had! Thanks for sharing.
    If I had a late night snack, it would probably be something sweet like ice cream or cheesecake.
    I prefer historicals and flats to heels, although I love heels. I'll probably never go to a RWA, but I would love to attend one.

  18. What wonderful pictures, happy, happy, happy and beautiful ladies all having so much (well-earned) fun. While RWA 2016 is all the way across the country, I doubt I will attend. However, yes, PJ, RWA 2017 is definitely looking good!

    I don't know when the last time was I wore heels. Comfy flats are my go-to any day.

    I rarely eat anything really late at night but if I did, I would probably go for some ice cream.

    I enjoy inspirational/Christian, chick-lit, historical, and any other type of romance sub-genre that tickles my fancy. They all look good. I just wish I had two sets of eyes!

  19. Hi I'm a little late, PJ, but wanted to say what a fun wrap up! You're the best and I was so lucky to room with you this year. You really showed me and Lisa how it's done :) I loved my sparkly heels but I think my toes are still hating me. I'm a flats girl all the way :) xoxo!! - Lenora

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