By Jennie Lucas
Since I joined RWA in 1999, I've heard tales of the fantastic Harlequin party held every conference on Friday night in a glamorous ballroom. This year the Harlequin party was held at the San Francisco Four Seasons Hotel. To the left is a picture of Sharon Kendrick (in pink) and me (in green).
As a new Harlequin author finally able to attend the party, I'm obviously biased, so I'll try and act in my usual restrained, stoic manner...I think this was possibly the best party in the history of all recorded time!!
The ballroom was huge, decorated with San Francisco landmarks like palm trees and an enormous Golden Gate bridge over the bar. (The image to the left is what the ballroom looked like before the Harlequin invasion!) Speaking of the bar...I had no idea this party would have free drinks. Free booze?! Are they crazy?? Don't they know we're writers?!?
To the right: Olivia Gates, new Silhouette Desire author, glamorous in her floor-length orange gown from Cairo--one of the best dresses of the night IMO!
The dancing was fast and furious, and the floor was absolutely packed. A jolly but dangerous place with elbows and feet flying. The DJ was incredible. I spent four hours on the dance floor and I literally had trouble walking the next day. (Now that's when you really know you've had a good time!)
Here, Harlequin authors are honored for achieving the career milestone of 25 or 50 books published! (I recognize Holly Jacobs to the left. Can't wait to read more from these great authors!)
And then there was the legendary Sandra Marton, in a class all by herself! She received a silver Tiffany keychain to honor the occasion of her 75th published book. Wow!
To the right is a picture of Sandra accepting her Tiffany box from Craig Swinwood (EVP Retail Marketing & Sales) and Loriana Sacilotto (EVP Global Publishing & Strategy).
Handsome guys are always in demand on the dance floor, where the demographics are generally 95% female. (And 100% talented!) Here's Randall Toye, who helped us dance the night away.
And (continuing our tour) to the right are some gorgeous dancers--didn't get their names, sadly--cha-chaing their way across the ballroom to get to the dance floor. The song might have been "Dancing Queen", or possibly my current fave, "American Boy". (Did I mention how great the DJ was? He did a great mix of classic crowd-pleasers along with more modern stuff!)
To the left: CONGA!
To the right: fab Harlequin American author Trish Milburn, just gotsta have her conga!
And then one of the ten-foot-tall palm trees fell over. I was too much in the dance zone to really pay much attention, but hopefully no one was too knocked over by the avalanche of paper mache. Here's a photo of the defective tree being carried out by some hunky guys, courtesy of Harlequin Historicals author Michelle Willingham.
To the right, senior editor Linda Fildew looking radiant. Editors Suzy Clarke (in black) and Sally Williamson (in green) from the Richmond office are dancing behind her.
Um, no, all those drinks on the table couldn't possibly belong to us... (from left) Carole Mortimer, Jennie Lucas, Jessica Hart (standing--she also got her 50-book award that night!), Susan Stephens, and Trish Morey. Also, that girl in white in the upper left corner is Silhouette Desire author Laura Wright. (Thanks to the wonderful Jacqueline Baird for taking the photo!)
To the left: 2008 RITA finalist Jane Porter!
To the right: Presents authors Kate Walker, Abby Green and 2008 RITA finalist Heidi Rice (in blue).
So, did you find yourself in any of the photos? (Would you admit it if you did?) Thanks for an amazing party, Harlequin authors (and Harlequin!). See you next year!!
Jennie Lucas's third Presents novel, Caretti's Forced Bride, is on sale now in the U.S.