First, Jean and Stephanie have their very first publishing contract with Crimson Romance! (Welcome to Crimson, ladies!)
Second, my oldest daughter found out she's having a baby boy! (Making that grandson #3 for me and LTC.)
And third, I was offered my third contract at Crimson Romance. This one for my first contemporary, LOST TREASURE, CAPTIVE PRINCESS. I had only known about it barely 5 minutes before Jean called me with her amazing news. We squealed on the phone together. Dreams do come true. (Right, Jean and Stephanie?)
But numbers 1-3 aren't all. Life had more surprises for Lesia and me. During the RWA Conference, we had the great fortune to meet some fantastic people, and not only meet them but get the opportunity to chat with them. Big difference!
I had the honor of sitting with Shana Galen, Sarah MacLean, Sara Ramsey, fellow Crimson author Nicole Flocton and about 3 other writers on Tuesday night. (Thanks for the invitation and the drink, Shana!)
Let me start by saying the Cocktail Guru presentation was a hilarious success and our table was the liveliest table in the room! There, we were joined by Daco Auffenorde and new friend, Katherine Matzen, as well as 3 other great ladies who helped to make our vodka tasting a blast. I had to bow out early as I had to attend a Crimson Romance gathering for dinner, but before I left, our entire table had pictures made with the Van Gogh Vodka Guru, who made us the Honey Pom Pom, Dutch Chocolate Desire and Best Billini Ever vodka drinks. (My fav... the Honey Pom Pom, a combination of Pomegranate and Vodka. Yummy!) Of course, since I had to leave, I didn't see Lesia and gang drink more than one each. LOL!
Thanks to Mary Moore's gracious invitation, we attended Nora Roberts' pre-Rita party. We got to shake her hand and thank her personally, drink champagne, eat fabulous hors d'oeuvres and talk to Kerrelyn Sparks, Pamela Palmer, Rhonda Nelson and Vicki Lewis Thompson, among others, as we gazed out upon Anaheim's mountainous landscape. Oh, and we shared an elevator with Heather Graham too.)
Again, thanks go to Mary Moore for inviting us to the Avon party in Newport Beach, where we had great conversations with Lorraine Heath, Patrick Brown from Goodreads, Carla Swafford (our Heart of Dixie & Southern Magic chaptermate), imbibed smoking/bubbling Lemon Drops, ate tender Salmon and Prime Rib, and watched ice cream transform before our very eyes. Oh, and lest I forget. We had our pictures made with a buff fireman too. (Cinderella got his info. I'll let Lesia explain her new nickname and shoe.)
And then, after we gave Kerrelyn Sparks and her daughter our seats when no seats could be found for the 50 or so guests without a seat at the Rita's, we celebrated an after-party in the bar, where Christopher Keeslar and Michelle Klayman, editor and CEO of Boroughs Publishing, and Boroughs' authors Stacy Weber and Sara Dailey (Jean & Stephanie's friends), Joan Bird, Lyn Austin and Christie Craig joined us at our table. Plenty of laughs and stories were passed around until 1 a.m., Sunday morning. It was a fantastic night, one I will remember for the napkin parlor trick I perfected to the astoundment of all!
And here's the proof! Oy!
Sunday morning, tired and sore-footed, Lesia and I arrived at the airport for our flight back home. With time to spare, we hobbled in search of sustenance at the Starbucks counter. Then, knowing we had a couple of hours to waste, we sat in a pizza area to eat. Lo and behold, but who should we sit next to? The one and the only, exceptionally gracious and generous Christina Dodd, and her daughter, Arwen. Later, we were joined by Susan Andersen, who entertained with 50 Shades of Baby and a wickedly funny comment about a blurb from one of her books that consisted of misspelled "shifting thighs." Muahahaha!
Have you ever been to a conference? Have you ever met someone you admire?