September 2008 – I left my heart in San Francisco…

Well, perhaps not, but I had a fantastic visit there. I started out my ten days doing touristy things. I went down the coast to Monterey and Carmel, I had a day in Yosemite (VERY smoky!) and a day in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys (very boozy). Then I had a couple of days catching up with romance writing friends (especially my darling Romance Bandits) and seeing a bit of SF itself. What brilliant shopping! I went so wild, I needed a second suitcase to bring home – although some of that, of course, was all the wonderful books I got at the conference.

From the literacy signing on Wednesday evening (you can see a video here), everything was an absolute whirl and my feet hardly touched the ground. Here’s a couple of photos from the signing. The first one (above right) is with fabulous young adult writer Vanessa Barneveld. The second (right) is me with books and prominent RITA flag (currently decorating my office!). Thank you to everyone who came by. It was a blast of a night!

Also on Wednesday evening, we had the inaugural Bandita bash which was a huge crush as they say in the best Regencies. Here’s a photo of me with mega-talented Harlequin Presents author Jennie Lucas (below far right). And a cute picture of the world-famous Golden Rooster, the Bandita mascot, getting a glint in his eye as he surveys Donna MacMeans’s corset purse. He is a saucy young fellow, our chook!

Thursday and Friday were just a social whirl. Highlights included the prize ceremonies on Thursday night and the Golden Network Booting Out Ceremony for those who have been published since they finaled in the Golden Heart. Not to mention a huge amount of schmoozing that was fantastic fun. The Friday night of the conference is always one of my favorite events – it’s the Avon Family dinner, this year held at the very glamorous Mandarin Hotel. Here’s one of my favorite photos from the conference. That’s me with stars Jenna Petersen and Julie Anne Long.

Saturday is the lead-up to the big awards night which was fabulous fun. Congratulations to all the winners!

I can’t wait for next year’s conference in Washington DC!

CAPTION Here’s two fun photos – the first is me with the gorgeous Toni Blake and her gorgeous ballgown (left), the second (above) is me with Romance Bandit pals, Donna MacMeans, Kirsten Scott, Susan Seyfarth, Christine Wells and Jeanne Adams.