The best part about Nationals, for me, is getting to see everyone in person. I always look forward to reconnecting with my dear friends and RWA roomies, Jeannie Watt and Jamie Dallas. They're my rocks and I can't imagine RWA without them. For those of you who are new to my blog (or to my writerly history), Jeannie is the incredible western romance author who befriended and mentored me years ago...and wouldn't let me leave a Harlequin Heartwarming open house (where, at the time, Senior Editor Victoria Curran was taking pitches) until I pitched an idea. That pitch turned into my first sale and debut, The Promise of Rain. You can re-read the details of that Call story here.
I absolutely loved getting to see all of my other friends, including the lovable and unstoppable Harlequin Heartwarming crowd (I like to call them the Heartwarmers). This is an amazing group of women who are like one big family. This year was extra special because I finally got to meet Heartwarmer Catherine Lanigan in person. Catherine and I have been Heartwarming blog sisters forever now and we clicked from day one. She's simply a gorgeous, genuine and an all around phenomenal woman who I'm honored to know. Getting to meet and spend time with her in San Diego was the highlight of this trip.
In fact, Catherine and I were thrilled that our awesome Heartwarming sis Kate James made it to Nationals! We had a wonderful time hanging out and catching up :).
|Rula and Catherine Lanigan at the Harlequin Signing
|At the RWA Literacy Autographing
|My besties Jamie Dallas and Jeannie Watt
|Me and Jamie
|Jeannie Watt, me and Cheryl Harper
|Kate James, Elizabeth Heiter and me
|Me and the lovely Roz Denny Fox
|Roz Denny Fox, Kate James and Catherine Lanigan
|The ever fun loving Carol Ross, Anna J Stewart and Cari Webb
|Marion Ekholm, Amy Vastine and me
|Me and girlfriends Catherine Lanigan and Kate James
|Kate and Catherine
|The sweet Cheryl Harper and me
And at the RITA/Golden Heart ceremony...
|Robyn Carr accepting her award
|And just to show you how much fun the Harlequin party is. I present you with the Heartwarmers.
There were more pics and a repeat of a selfie from two years ago for old times sake, but I need to hunt them down for a part two to this post!