Um, Thursday. Yes, that’s right. I’m tired just trying to remember! Okay, so Day 3 (officially Day 1 of conference) dawned bright and early when someone had a hair-brained idea to have breakfast at 7:30am. Bear in mind this is really an hour earlier for me. And I had to get up even earlier than that to be there.

So, breakfast with the HMB newbie loop! What fun! Fiona Harper and Donna Alward are officially on the list of people who make me giggle. Especially Donna. Good gracious. But do you think I managed to take even one picture of any of the lovely women present? No, it was too early.

After breakfast is a bit of a blur. There was Janet Evanovich and a great Q&A about her writing life, and then at noon it was time to meet the other Presents authors and editors in the lobby for drinks before adjourning to the Lebanese Taverna for lunch at 1:00. Here’s a pic of me and Janette Kenny, who just debuted with the fabulous Pirate Tycoon, Forbidden Baby:

Jan Kenny and me

And Kate Walker and Jennie Lucas, looking all cool and elegant:

Kate Walker and Jennie Lucas

Lunch was fabulous; we talked quite a lot, ate Lebanese food, and discussed our favorite books: Harlequin Presents.

Probably the biggest highlight of my day, aside from spending time with such wonderful people, was my tour of the Washington Post. This was a special tour for HMB authors and editors. We walked around the very quiet newsroom, saw Bob Woodward’s office, met a Pulitzer-winning journalist, and peeked into the offices of the late Katharine Graham and her son, Don Graham.

HMB authors and editors at Washington Post

Best of all, we sat in on Story Hour, which is when the various editors of each section get together and discuss the stories for the next day, what will appear on the front page and why, etc. In fact, they made a change while we listened in and a story about President Obama speaking to the NAACP moved to the front page while a story about the Maryland GOP’s financial woes moved to the Metro section. The reasoning was fabulous and it was a fascinating discussion to be allowed to listen in on. I’ll never look at the WP the same way now that I’ve sat in that room and watched the paper come together on screen.

The day finally ended with The Golden Network Dessert reception where I was booted to alumni status for having sold a book in 2008. (We won’t discuss my brief appearance at the Harlequin Pajama Party or the trek across the lobby in leopard print pajamas that preceded it. The shame, the shame.)

Now do you see why there’s so little sleep happening at conference? It’s non-stop activity. But I wouldn’t trade it!

Tomorrow, the Harlequin Party…..

Duh, just when I said I didn’t have any pictures of the ladies from breakfast, three of them are in this photo with me. Donna Alward is beside me (I’m in the yellow Hawaiian dress), Fiona Harper is all the way at the other end, and Barbara Wallace is all the way at the back, half hidden by Shirley Jump and editor Kim Young. For a much better explanation of who is in this photo, see Donna’s post at The Pink Heart Society.