The last couple of hours on Saturday afternoon were allocated for book signings, goodie room visits and Author speed dating sessions. I had decided against book signings on Saturday afternoon as I figured that most people would try to see Mary Janice Davidson and Sherrilyn Kenyan that day. The queue for the goodie room was also huge. I wasn't really 100 percent sure what to expect in the goodie room, as when I have heard them talked about in some of the overseas conferences they have sounded like loads and loads of books and other goodies. There were a few books there, but they were mainly extra copies of the books we had already received in our conference satchel. There were lots of little bits and pieces, quite a few bookmarks, some pens, badges, candles amongst other things.
By far the least attended was the author speed dating session which is I guess a bit disappointing, but then in another way it was quite good for the few of us that were in there because it was really very casual and intimate. One of the people who I was intending to catch up with over the weekend was Tez Miller and it turned out we were sitting right next to each other for most of the session! Among the authors who we heard from were:
Alison Stuart- historical romance set in 17th century.
Amy Andrews - writes Mills & Boon Medical category romance
Elisabeth Rose - writes for Avalon Press and Wild Rose Press, and has great covers
Jess Dee - Samhain author
Margaret Tanner - writes romance with Australian settings in different periods
Tracey O'Hara - who showed us her awesome cover for her book that is due out later this year.
Melanie Milburne - also writes category romances, and had us all giggling with stories about talking to her surgeon husband in the middle of operations.
I snuck out early as I really wanted to get Alison Stuart's books and get them signed...mission accomplished, then back to the hotel for a chat and to get ready for dinner! Now I had a plan. I had managed to get myself a bed with a couple of friends, and so the plan was to pop open the champagne whilst getting ready and then go off to dinner. That's not quite how it worked out however! The champagne didn't get opened until after I got back from dinner, but we still managed to get through it!
During the day I had had a brief chat with Kat from Book Thingo about sitting together at dinner, so I was sure that I would have at least one person I knew to talk with. I needn't have worried though, because we were sitting with Kat and her librarian, Samhain authors Jess Dee and Lexxie Couper, and several other ladies and it didn't take long a all for everyone to start chatting away. It is fair to say that we had a blast, and guaging by the noise from the other tables they were all having a blast as well.The dinner started off with some antipasto which was nice, but nothing to write home about, the main courses were either chicken or lamb. I liked the chicken but the salad/vegetables it came with were a bit strange and I am pretty sure that the beans were a bit cold when they weren't meant to be. The highlight food wise was definitely dessert, although it did seem a bit of a travesty to watch the young ladies over the other side of the table leave some of the scrumptious mini cakes from Brunettis and watch them go back to the kitchen. I think the only reason they didn't come around our side of the table was that it was going to be a bit awkward watching the five of us squabble over who was going to have which cake! I must schedule a vist to Brunettis for some full size pleasure before too long!
The conversation flowed, the wine flowed, and there was much levity to be had. Most heated discussion was around the very profound topic - who are the hottest Aussie men! Of course, Hugh Jackman got a mention, as did Jessie Spencer, Eric Bana, Adam Garcia and a few others. Unfortunately, a few of the discussions had at dinner need to stay at dinner, because, well some of them may not be exactly safe to read! LOL!
During dinner there were several awards given out. Unfortunately, we were sitting a bit towards the back, oh, and I was too busy chatting to take photos of everyone! The winners were:
- Sherrilyn Kenyon’s ACHERON for Best Paranormal Romance
- Anna Campbell’s UNTOUCHED for Best Historical Romance
- Melanie Milburne’s THE MARCIANO LOVE CHILD for Best Series Romance
- Biana D’arc’s LORDS OF WERE for Best e-book
- Stephanie Laurens for Best Romance Author
Kat also won a great prize for writing the book review voted best by members of the Lounge during the lead up to the conference.
Just as we were all dispersing Kat grabbed me and said "We have to get a photo", to which I inwardly cringed, but outwardly agreed! Turns out Kat can make almost anyone look good! The photo that she has up on Flickr is probably the best photo I have seen of me for a while!
Back to the hotel where there was lots more chatting and laughing and drinking with the girls, along with some strategic planning on how we were going to tackle the signing room on Sunday!
I won't get to finish tonight, but there is not much more to tell. I will save Sunday's tale for a bit later.