Hey, gang--I'm still recovering from a week at the Romantic Times Conference in Orlando, but I had a great time.
Harlequin celebrated its 60th anniversary by hosting a Mashed Potato Martini Bar luncheon (cool idea for a buffet!) and giving out awards to lucky readers. They also had a display of Harlequin covers through the decades--I saw lots of people getting their pictures taken beside a cover that spoke to them somehow.
We also had a Harlequin/Silhouette authors panel, which included editors from Kimani Press and Spice, as well as Randall Toye. Yours truly, Anna DeStefano, Joanne Rock, Olivia Gates, Brenda Jackson, Caridad Pinero, Beth Ciotta, Amanda McIntyre, Catherine Mann and Linda Conrad also made appearances there. (hope I haven't left anyone off!) That workshop was well attended--we answered questions about the lines from readers and aspiring authors alike. The authors had put together some nifty gift bags to give away there, too.
I'm pleased and proud at the continued growing success of the SOS Military Mixer. We had a bigger crowd than ever this year, honoring our country's veterans, active military and their families. Harlequin donated some books to give away in goody bags to our honored guests (thanks to my editor Allison Lyons for helping with that!). We had representatives from all branches of the service, sang their military hymns (From the Halls of Montezuma... I was worried I'd be the only rep from the Marines and singing a solo--but thankfully, three retired ladies who had served or been married to vets eventually came up to join me ). Semper Fi! A big thanks to Kim Lowe, the crackerjack volunteer who organized the reception, and to my fellow sponsors, which include Harlequin authors Rebecca York, Elle James, Dana Marton, Delores Fossen and Catherine Mann, as well as Sherry James and Robin Rotham, who write for another publisher.
And finally... my big news? I won an award! I had to give a speech and everything. What a true honor, especially since it was presented by Jill M. Smith, who reviewed my very first book for RT back in 1997--and loved it!! But, I won a Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Suspense. Cool, yes? It's for Intrigues and Blazes and paranormals alike--my body of work. Yikes! That all makes me sound older than I feel. But I was truly honored to receive it. If you promise not to notice the double chin that mysteriously shows up in photographs, that's me with my award just after the ceremony
Several other Harlequin authors won awards as well, for Career Achievement (yay! Kylie Brant!) and individual books (go Debra Webb, my good buddy!) and kudos to Sara Mitchell (a delightful lady I made friends with at the massive RT signing--she won for Best Steeple Hill Historical of the year), and many more, of course. Congrats to Harlequin for the great showing at RT!
We're doing all right for a sixty-year old gal, right?
Anyone else have stories to share from RT?
OUT OF CONTROL--Blaze--April 2009
PULLING THE TRIGGER--Intrigue (Kenner Country Crime Unit)--June 2009
RT Career Achievement Award Winner in Series Romantic Suspense!
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