Sydney Conference; Romance Rocks 2014

IMG_0449.JPGWhat a big four days! I’m home from sunny Sydney, back to the chill of southern Victoria and dreaming of warmer days and being able to walk outside wthout wearing a coat 🙂 I spent Thursday through Sunday at the Romance Writers of Australia’s annual conference. Spending time with writers is always a treat because they totally understand that you have characters in your head that talk to you 🙂


I attended the Harlequin dinner on the Thursday 10352137_301880429992009_1546999131968551872_nnight where, among others,  I sat with fellow authors Melanie Milburne & Nikki Logan and with Sam Joice from the Harlequin Australia. It was great to hear all the industry news as well as catching up with old friends and making new ones 🙂 The food was yummy too and there was plenty of champagne, which is my book automatically makes it a good party!


IMG_0430.JPGFriday, I attended James Scott Bell’s writing workshop and came back with some great questions to ask my characters. I’m hoping these questions will help me out with my current stuck scene!  Friday night was the Destiny Publishing Cocktail party. The theme was Leather and Lace and I poured myself into my great aunt’s lace dress…I wore it as a skirt… and my friend’s leather jacket. I teamed it with lacey stockings and little black boots. Nothing like a new bra to pull things together! Who knew I had a cleavage 😉

Saturday, saw the conference start in earnest. The incredibly entertaining Cherry Adair kicked things off and reminded me it’s always good to revisit your writing goals each year. After morning tea it was my turn to present. After having nightmares that my Mac Pro wouldn’t talk to the AV, I was thrilled to see that it did and that Ryan Reynolds didn’t look green…always a good thing!  I wasn’t expecting  many people because Cherry Adair was presenting at the same time so I nearly died on the spot when James Scott Bell wandered in and sat down. I’d just come to terms with that when Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books fame strolled in, along with Malle Vallik, a VP from Harlequin Entertprises. So no pressure, right? !  Fortunately, Boy Wonder had made my presentation look fab, tying all the colors from the Wedding Fever trilogy covers into the template. Oh, and we had Ryan so of course everything was going to look great!


That afternoon we had the ARRA book signing and I was very excited to catch sight of my Australian print copies of Saved By The Bride. They’re in B format paperback, which is medium size and they look great. They’ll be on shelf in Australia and NZ in September!


I had some chocolates, fridge IMG_0435.JPGmagents and postcards to give away but good writing mate Alison Stuart had cup cakes with her book cover on them! It sure helps to have a talented cake maker in the family! Don’t they look fantastic? Oh, and the book, Gather the Bones is pretty good too!



My roomie, the ever-enthusiastic Jennifer Kloester was signing advaced copies of her second YA novel, The Rapunzel Dilemma. Following on from The Cinderella Moment, which is set in Paris,  I’m looking forward to this one set in London.

There were 80 authors there in total and a big thank you to ARRA who did an awesome organizational job. I’m looking forward to attending their readers’ conference in Canberra next March 🙂

The awards dinner was great and I sat next to Roz Groves, who writes the blog, My Written Romance. I didn’t win the RuBY, which wasn’t a surprise to me but I am thrilled that Lucy Clark’s Harlequin Medical Romance took out the short, sweet category 🙂 The gorgeous Sarah Mayberry, carried off TWO awards winning the Ella and the RuBY. Congratulations to Sarah!    Escape Publishing hosted the after party and I danced for 90 minutes in high heels with no side effects. Obviously, going to the gym pays off. Guess that means I have to keep going…. 🙂  As you can see I was having so much fun talking and dancing that I didn’t take any photos!

Conference also means that for three days I wear more good clothes and more makeup IMG_0429.JPGthan I do for the rest of the year combined 😉  Today, I’m back in the warm fleeces and the ugg boots and trying to find my concentration.  I may need a nap!

A big thank you goes out to Shannon Curtis and her fabulous conference team for another  wonderful conference. Next year, the conference is in beautiful, elegant Melbourne. Can’t wait!


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