So where was I? I think I’m up to Thursday. Woke up bright and not too early, got dressed, and headed for the Mills & Boon meet & greet. This is where I got to talk to other authors, the editors, and some of the Harlequin executives. It only lasts an hour, but the hour flies — especially when I spent at least 20 minutes of it talking shoes with Shirley Jump. That woman is gorgeous, y’all — and she knows her shoes! Shirley and I could go shoe shopping anytime. πŸ™‚

I also typed an update for The Pink Heart Society into Michelle Styles’s mini while there, and even managed to stay over into the next meet & greet that was hosted by some other Harlequin entity while I talked to familiar faces as they came in. I seriously didn’t know I’d landed in another meeting. It was hilarious to realize I was there 20 minutes beyond the M&B time, but I quickly scooted off at that point.

Next came lunch and Nora Roberts’s speech. First, our very own Carole Mortimer (Harlequin Presents author extraordinaire) got an award for her 100th book — though she’s way beyond 100 now. The Presents authors gathered at a table close to hers to cheer her on. Then Nora took the stage and wowed everyone with her straight talk and her advice to “embrace the hard.” Writing is hard work. Publishing is hard work. It’s never been easy and it never will be easy. To succeed, you have to embrace the hard. It was a fabulous speech. If you’ve never been to conference, I highly suggest that when you do go, you march straight to the always-scheduled “Chat with Nora Roberts” and soak in that woman’s wisdom for an hour. Amazing lady and very inspiring.

After lunch came the wonderful, amazing, fabulous Presents tea hosted by Jane Porter. We went to the Grand Floridian resort, which looks like Churchill Downs to me, and sat in a beautiful tea room where they brought us sandwiches, tea, scones, and desserts. I was so full by the end of tea that I knew there was no way I would eat dinner later.

After tea, I met old friends in the lobby and chatted for a couple of hours before I had to change for a champagne party thrown by Carole. After the champagne party, I had another reception in another hotel and then the Harlequin PJ party where I talked to more people and finally met Wayne Jordan — who smells really, really good, y’all! I think Wayne thought I’d been tipping back the drinks, but I hadn’t and I swear he smells wonderful. πŸ™‚

So, it’s a mind-boggling schedule, isn’t it? I was busy from the time I woke up until I went to bed that night — and, unfortunately, Janette and I decided that talking until 2 am was a good idea. Why, I don’t know, because we both had to get up for the Harlequin booksigning early the next morning.

I still don’t have a camera cord, but here are a few pictures that people have been kind enough to share with me.

From left: Kate Hewitt, Janette Kenny, and me at the meet and greet.

Sandra Marton, me, Kimberly Lang, and Jennie Lucas at Jane Porter’s Presents tea

The whole gang at Jane’s tea.

Have you ever been to high tea? Or have you ever been so scheduled that you don’t even have a down moment to yourself? Let’s talk conference, tea, or schedules — or whatever you want, really! And yes, I’m giving away more prizes — books, swag, and maybe even a tote bag. Leave a comment for a chance to win!

Edited to add: The winner is Kathy Schindler! Kathy, the random number generator must have known all about your last minute conference issues, because your number popped right up! Email me with your address so I can get the books to you. lynn AT lynnrayeharris DOT com