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Romantic Times (part 1)

I went to the Romantic Times Convention in Las Vegas last week, and am belatedly reporting in. 

It was my first time at RT and I only had a vague idea of what to expect. It wasn’t my first time in Las Vegas, but it had changed a lot since I was here fifteen years or so ago, as a backpacker. Bigger, glitzier, and everything coming in a super sized version.

There were more than three thousand people at the RT Convention, so it was pretty amazing that I managed to meet up with some of my friends, and meet some new people as well. On the first day there was a reception for international authors in Kathryn Falk’s suite on the 51st floor. The  pic above is the view from the balcony — stunning, eh?

I met lots of Canadian, British, Australian and New Zealand authors there. In the pic below, with me are Keri Arthur, Helen (a Scot living in Asia), and Tasmina  Perry from the UK.

The next day I participated in a “Meet the Authors From Downunder” event with Keri Arthur, Nalini Singh, Khloe Wren and Nikki Flockton. We ran a quiz with plenty of prizes and giveaways, including Tim-tams on the table and a bag containing books and one of these little fellows. Lots of fun. 

I had a bit of a feather thing going on — which won’t surprise some of you. But this time I managed to infect a few other people.

 

 

I coaxed Mary Jo Putney and Patricia Rice, the other two wordwenches attending RT,  to join me in wearing feathered hats for our historical authors’ panel Rakes Rogues and Warrior Poets. Here we are.

And here is Keri Arthur,  also  be-feathered. This was at the Berkley signing, where Berkley gave all the authors hot pink feather boas to wear. They’re a bit hot and prickly around the neck, so I wrapped mine around my hat, as usual, and convinced Keri to let me wrap hers around her head . . . Suits her, doesn’t it?

Despite the large size of the convention, I kept running into friends and meeting new ones. Here I am with Susanna Kearsley, Nalini Singh, and Meljean Brook — and a signed teddy that’s going to be auctioned for a good cause.

 

I also met and caught up with a range of favourite authors. Here I am with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, feeling like a gushing fangirl

And I really did gush all over C.L.Wilson, whose wonderful fantasy books I’ve raved about before. It was a thrill to meet her, and even though I have all her books at home, I had to buy another one so I could have a signed copy. 

And here is Susan Mallery, whose “Screw the Muse, I’m on Deadline” talk has helped many a friend get a book in on time. I told her so, too.

 

 

In my next blog, I’ll tell you a little more about  the convention and also how I skipped a day of the convention when friends took me a drive out into the magnificent country outside of Vegas.

Coming to Romantic Times?

Are you going to the Romantic Times Convention in Las Vegas?

If so, I hope you can drop by and say hi. It’s my first RT convention and I’m really looking forward to it. 

I’m involved in two panels — on Wednesday morning, it’s Meet the Authors from Downunder with my friends Keri Arthur, Nalini Singh and Khloe Wren.

And if you’re one of the first 100 people to arrive, you’ll get one of these little fellows in your goodie bag. And possibly a tim-tam.

Then on Thursday afternoon at 1.30, I’m on a Historical Hero panel with Mary Jo Putney and Patricia Rice and we’re talking about Rakes, Rogues and Warrior Poets, and how to create delicious heroes.
What’s a warrior poet? you ask.
You’ll just have to come along and find out.

Unexpected blooms

I’ve always loved frangipani (plumeria) flowers, ever since I was a kid and my big sister had them in her bridal bouquet. So pretty and such a lovely fragrance. They don’t readily grow down south (of Australia), where I live — they’re more of a tropical plant. But some people manage, and I’ve been trying for years to get one to flower — without success. It hasn’t died, but that’s the best I can say of it.

When a friend of mine moved house a few years ago, she was delighted to find an old frangipani bush growing in her garden. Several years passed but it never flowered for her. She moved it, tried planting it in a different position, but still not a bud in sight. 

A few months ago, in frustration, my friend ripped her frangipani out. She was about to throw it in the green recycle bin when she decided I might want it, so she stuffed it in a plastic bag and dropped it over to me. I thought it would never grow. It was just a couple of thick old sticks, no leaves and barely a root to its name. So I bunged it in a pot at the front porch and forgot about it. 

And lo . . . I have flowers! There they are in the photo above — only two so far, but more coming. And they smell divine. So at the moment at my front door I have a few late gardenias in bloom and frangipani. Bliss.

Mind you, my original frangipani has more leaves than ever this year, but not a single bud of flower. I live in hope, though, that my new plant will encourage it.

Are you a fan of fragrant flowers? What’s your favorite?