Last week Romantic Times Magazine held their annual Booklovers Convention in Chicago. If you have ever gone to an RT convention then you know what a treat this gathering is. The written word, the readers and authors are the focus of this wondrous affair. This year was very special for so many reasons. First and foremost because the folks at RT bestowed a great honor upon me, the Warrior Woman Award. Secondly, because my super husband was at my side. And finally, because it was my first conference in almost two years and it felt amazing to be among the people who love books the way I do.
Since Chicago is also the home of the Colby Agency, of course my husband and I had to do a little exploring. The first day we kidnapped dear friend and author BJ Daniels and took the train downtown. We enjoyed the vibrant city landscape and devoured Chicago style hotdogs! The tulips (you know how I love tulips) were in full form and so, so beautiful! That night was the Grand Central Publishing dinner where I met lots of other amazing authors who write for GCP and two fabulous editors, Selina McLemore and Latoya Smith.
We started day two off with breakfast and the awesome Cindy Gerard! The one and only MSW sisters gathered for lunch! And then it was on to the Awards Presentation. I tried really hard to stay calm and not get emotional. My efforts failed miserably! Since we were seated well before the ceremony began, there was some time to kill. Who better to kill it with than Cindy Gerard and Charlaine Harris? What a treat! I got my picture taken with Charlaine (for my daughters of course). My youngest kept texting me and asking all sorts of questions about the “True Blood” lady. It was lots of fun.
The ceremony began and many were honored, including Sue Grafton and Charlaine Harris, with pioneer awards. The lady seated to my left, Cindy Gerard, also received one of these prestigious awards. Cindy, the sneaky pete, also turned out to be the presenter of my award! A clip featuring the beautiful and talented L.A. Banks was shown. There was not a dry eye in the house after watching that most precious captured moment. Then that darned Cindy had to get up there and say a bunch of stuff that had my husband and me bawling. I don’t know how I managed to get up on that stage and say thank you. As Cindy and I walked off stage, she whispered, “Did you see that? You had a standing ovation.” I had no clue. I cried some more but somehow managed to get through the photos.
The gorgeous and talented Karin Tabke also received an award for her phenomenal writing talent. I was so pleased to be there to see her honored!
That night was about the man who helped me survive the tragedy that changed my life so dramatically. My husband of nearly 38 years went above and beyond the call of duty and continues to do so. We went out to Nick’s Fish Market. I do not eat fish! But my husband loves it! So I wanted him to have the best Chicago had to offer and this was the place. It was amazing. The food and the service were spectacular. Once again we dragged BJ with us. And it was just a fun, fun time. A moment of reflection on how we survived by hanging on to each other and with the outpouring of support from beloved friends.
Our final day at the convention began with two incredible ladies from Harlequin, Dianne Moggy and Glenda Howard. My husband and I also dropped by the book event where hundreds of authors were preparing to greet readers. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to participate. It will be a while yet before I will feel comfortable attempting that feat. We did pick up companion guides to the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries for our daughters, signed by Ms. Harris. The girls were thrilled!
Before leaving the Windy City, we took the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. It was just amazing. The tour guide regaled us with the city’s fascinating and colorful history. What a way to end the day!
We had a wonderful time but we are very glad to be back home (our dogs are happy too)!
Tell me about your most beloved, funniest or whatever travel adventure! One lucky commenter will win a $25.00 Amazon giftcard!