NYC! My adventures at the RWA National Conference (with photos!)

Plus a Preview of One Night in Provence

Happy Hump Day!  I’ve finally recovered from the RWA Conference in New York City.  What a week!

For those of you who aren’t familiar, every year the Romance Writers of America hosts an annual meeting for its members.  Over 2000 of us gather to attend workshops, connect with colleagues and celebrate the best books in our genre.  This year was particular exciting as we saw Rita Awards for Outstanding Fiction go to two black authors. It was the first time in 37 years that a black author received the honor.  How wonderful to see that barrier broken not once, but twice.

Since my week was chock filled with events, I thought it would be treat you to a pictorial of my adventures.  A special thanks to my buddy Shirley Jump who took most of the photos.  And an apology for looking like the crazy photobombing lady in many of them.  (And for the bad formatting.  I suck at pictures in WordPress.)

New York, New York! It’s a Wonderful Town

Nothing like starting your week with a view of the Empire State Building as you step off the train!


Jenna Bayley Burke and I started the week with a visit to the Break Bar where, when you finish your drink, you toss it against the wall. We also spent 15 minutes in the special Wrecking Room smashing glasses and beating a printer to death. So cathartic.


Let The Shenanigans Begin


Tuesday was a group lunch at the famed Russian Tea Room. From left to right (back row) Nina Singh, Me, Jenna Batley-Burke, Donna Alward and Fiona Harper. (Front row) Shirley Jump and Lesley Mager Mathews. We followed up lunch with a special surprise for Shirley…

…A Bridal Shower! We’re thrilled she found her soul mate.

I received a service award for my work with RWA. It was an honor to be included with these two amazing women – Gina Flurherty and Courtney Milan


A Destination Bride celebration! Donna Alward, Nina Singh and I posed with our titles.











You run into the nicest people in the elevator. In this case, it was the Maine Chapter. They are always nice.


Congratulations to Kennedy Ryan, the first black author to win a Rita Award for Outstanding Romance Fiction. I can’t wait to read her book, Long Shot!


Every year, the authors from Harlequin Romance gather for a breakfast. It’s the only time we see each other all year. It was so exciting to see authors like Jessica Gilmore, Scarlet Wilson, Sophie Pembroke and Christy McKellan. They traveled all the way from the UK. And then there’s Michelle Douglas who popped on over from Australia for the event!













Jenn Probst and I started in this business at the same time. Now she’s a bigwig keynote speaker. And it’s WELL DESERVED!

Harlequin Party Time!  

This year we celebrated 70 years of Harlequin novels. Authors were encouraged to go retro so I did my best Daphne from Scooby Doo imitation.  As you can see, the evening featured shenanigans and dancing (and champagne)











Finally, no RWA trip would be complete without our traditional Saturday night dinner! Here we are following a fantastic Turkish meal. We were exhausted, but so glad to be together.

There you have it!  My week in New York.  Believe it or not, I did attend some fabulous writing workshops and had a terrific meeting with my agent regarding a new writing project.  (Just to prove the event wasn’t all drinking and fun.)

And As Promised….

Tomorrow, One Night in Provence, my Destination Brides novel hits the shelves.  You can read a sample of the novel – along with samples from the other three novels, by clicking on the photo below.  I’ll share more about the book tomorrow!



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