The Harlequin Valentine’s Day Ball

I was lucky enough to be invited to Harlequin Australia’s Valentine’s Ball. It was held in Sydney at Belmondo, with stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

We flew up from Victoria and stayed in The Rocks . This is the original part of Sydney settled by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788 with some of the oldest buildings in the country. DH went to the office on Friday afternoon and I pottered around looking at the glorious buildings and Sydney Harbour. Then I had a nap and tapped a few words of chapter two on my Alphie.

We transformed into our black tie personas and headed downstairs to meet Amy Andrews and her lovely husband, and Fiona Macarthur. Medical authors rule! We had a drink and toasted Amy who had just received an email that morning that she’d sold a book and no revisions! YAY.

We walked to Belmondo, including up the 46 Argyle steps. (photo) The ladies were given a gift which I assumed was choccies. There was red carpet and you had to pause for a photographer to snap you!

Then we negotiated the ‘line up’ and we met the Harlequin Australia team. Shook a lot of hands. Then we got a drink and I chose bubbles …how unusual I hear you say.

There were about 10 tables of ten and each table was named after a dance. The authors were all at one table and there were only a few of us…Melanie Milburne, Amy Andrews, Fiona McArthur and Annie West and me! Again, all medical authors …well we’ll claim Melanie as she has written some meds but she and Annie are Presents.

Fiona M opened her ‘choccies’ and it turned out to be his and hers matching watches!

Food…Entree was either Home Smoked Chicken with asparagus and endive salad with citrus dressing or goats cheese and capsicum tart, tomato confit and aged balsamic.

Mains: Herb crusted blue eye cod with Peperonata, Saffron Emulsion
or Loin of Amelia Park Lamb, wrapped in Prosciutto and Spinach, roasted garlic, Lemon Thyme, sweet potato puree, pea and mine infused lamb jus.

Dessert: Bittersweet warm chocolate fondant with mascarpone ice cream or raspberry New York style cheesecake.

At the end of the main meal two dancers from ‘dancing with the stars’ came out and danced the rumba and later the cha cha.

We danced and talked. The balcony offered great views of the Harbour Bridge.

I talked to quite a few Harlequin people and I know who I speak to about extra copies of books, help with promotion etc. Also spoke to the Customer Service Manager from McPherson’s who prints the Aussie copies and he invited me to go and see my book being printed! That happens in Maryborough in Victoria.

Also chatted with some lovely women who stock shelves of books who told amazing stories of women waiting and ripping open boxes looking for books when they arrive at Big W , Kmart, Target etc.

I signed a man’s chest! ….rather drunk partner of someone but hey, never been asked that before!

So all in all it was a fun night.

Click here for photos


5 thoughts on “The Harlequin Valentine’s Day Ball

  1. You SIGNED A MAN’S CHEST! Now, if we ever make a list of the perks of being a romance author, that needs to make the top ten 🙂

  2. Hey, Fiona,

    What a hoot, seeing our photo on your website! It was such a great night – I can recommend it completely (another incentive to be published with Harlequin)!

    The company was excellent, and the food and the music and especially, the warm feeling of belonging which was quite special.

    But Jenna, signing chests isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – getting that darned biro to work …


  3. Hey Fiona – Ball sounded so good on your blog I want to go back and do it all again!!
    So nice to finally meet you and Norm and Annie and Geoff. And what a great pic of you and Annie.
    Sorry we missed you snooze heads for breakfast the next morning but we had a blast at the Ball.
    But alas…it’s back to the real world and a book I have no idea about yet – eek!

    Amy Andrews

  4. Fiona, sounds as if you had a FAB time! Gorgeous food and… tell me you didn’t use a biro to do the chest signing. Isn’t it meant to be in lippie or something?

    (Oh rats, now I have a lightbulb going off in my head!)

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