Romantic Times Conference 2008

I just returned from the Romantic Times conference last night. I found Pittsburg, what I saw of it, a very beautiful city downtown. The river ran right past the hotel and the opposite bank is so high the locals call it a mountain.

The highlight of this conference for me was of course the booksigning and meeting old and new friends whereever I went. I signed No Regrets, which you all know was my American Title finalling book for the 2006 contest. I sold out!!!! squeeee!!!!

I was especially grateful to the ladies who bought my book including booksellers and those who brought my book from home, what a humbling experience. I am also grateful to Rebecca York, a very gracious lady, who was my only signing companion, since I was the last person on the list, and we chatted throughout the four hours of the signing.

I severely damaged my car while driving around Pittsburg looking for the hotel, losing the bottom door panel of the car when I made a tight turn and hit a very high curb. I heard it go clunk, but there was no stopping in the middle of such a busy city. It wasn't until I got to valet parking that I saw what I had done. A huge strip of skirting gone from my beautiful grand prix.

As you can imagine, I was so mad at me. And kept thinking about that big piece. Maybe I should find it. But I didn't have a clue where it had happened by the time we had driven around the down town twice. But I couldn't let it rest. So I put on my running shoes and walked the nearby streets.

Well I finally found it. Some kind person had picked out of the road and put it against a building on the sidewalk. It was at least six foot long, but made of fibreglass, so I picked it up and marched back through the fancy downtown core of Pittsburg with it under my arm, trying to look as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Lord knows what the valet guys thought when I calmly asked them to put it in my car, which of course had disappeared to who knows where valeted cars go. But he smiled sweetly, and said yes ma'am and leaned it against his booth.

And I marched into the hotel with cheeks blazing. Anyway when I told my husband what I'd done, I was able to announce with some pride that I had the missing piece. No, I'm not going to tell you what he said. lol. Actually he was much calmer about it than me.

After such an inauspicious start, the rest of the conference was great. Busy. But very enjoyable. I met lots of old friends and made some new ones who I hope to meet again, either here or on line.

I had lunch with writers I admire very much, Gaelen Foley and Barbara Pierce. Both historical writers and both of them were getting awards and I met them in the line up for lunch and they asked me to join them.

My critique partner Molly O'Keefe received an award for best superromance of the year, so that was a thrill and thoroughly deserved might I add. Here she is making her acceptance speech.

There was so much packed into four days, I can't really begin to tell it all in such a short space. But I did want to share the flavor of it all with you. I guess I will leave you with one more image, the blue fairies! This is me and Helen Scott Taylor the latest American Title winner at the Fairy Ball. Who said writers are introverts?

I will announce the winners of my draw for a copy of Brides of the West on Thursday. Until then, Happy Rambles.