Parties, parties, parties

    Another late-night check-in...

    My mom arrived today in Dallas. Her flight was delayed by weather, putting a slight kink in our plans. I'm so excited that she's here. It means the world to me to have her here tomorrow night, regardless of whether I win the RITA or not.

    We arrived late to the Dorchester author dinner. Dorchester publishes my historical novels, and I've always loved the friendly feeling of their dinner parties. We had Tex-Mex at a place called Monica's, giving me a chance to introduce my mother to Bonnie Vanak, Nina Bangs, Brooke Borneman, and lots of others from Dorchester.

    Chris Keesler spoke a few words about Ronda, and I found myself trying not to cry into my fajitas. Everyone raised their glasses spontaneously and drank to Ronda.

    We missed you, Ronda, dear.

    Afterwards, we changed into fancy clothes and headed off to the Harlequin party at the Fairmont. One of the highlights of RWA every year are the publisher parties and dinners. Usually held on Friday nights, they give publishers the chance to take their authors out and treat them to drinks or dinner. And the biggest, best party is always the Harlequin party. It's THE party to crash, and so many people do.

    The years I've gone, the party has featured a DJ and lots of great dance tunes, plus a cash bar and a wonderful buffet of morsels and desserts. Picture 300 romance authors dancing together with their friends, singing and having a wonderful time. As I told my mom, "This is almost exclusively women, and they're just here, being happy and having fun." It ROCKS!

    We met up with Bonnie Vanak, Gennita Low and Emma Holly and — YAY! — The Asian Persuasion. Su and Leiha from RBL were there, looking gorgeous as always. We danced our butts off, and they were sweet as sugar to my mother. We got her out on the dance floor (photos to come) and boogied with her. She wore a hot red dress that she'd bought especially for the parties here, and we had a blast!

    I got to introduce my mom to a host of celebrity authors. I also got to introduce her to Sara Megibow, who once worked with me at the paper and now works as an assistant to Kristen Nelson (an agent). She is related to me distantly, something we discovered completely by accident after we'd already known each other for a couple of years. My mom had been really excited to meet her.

    Seeing everyone again and introducing them to my mother — Bonnie, Kristie J, Emma, Su, Leiha, Gennita, Patrica Potter, Sharon Mignery, Robin Owens & ect. — and just letting loose for a while is so fun! I told my mom that I like the life Pamela Clare lives and prefer it to the one her journalistic alter ego lives. At least Pamela Clare gets to have fun!

    We took a limo — a nice, black limo — back to our hotel when we had danced ourselves out. I told Bonnie to get used to it. There will be lots of limos in her future.

    Tomorrow night are the RITAs. Am I nervous? YES! I've burst into tears a half-dozen times since being here, and I know I'm going to be keyed up tomorrow night. I don't know how to avoid being emotional about something like this. Heck, I cry over nothing. But the RITAs?

    My boys continue to text message me several times a day with good wishes for tomorrow. They're not the only ones. So many friends and even strangers have either called or texted or sent emails offering good wishes, and it means so much to me.

    So thanks to all of you for your caring and kindness and encouragement. It really does mean the world to me. And I will keep everyone posted. The RITAs are 8-10 p.m. Texas time — that's one hour ahead of Colorado. I think it's Central Time zone here. I probably won't be able to post on my blog until late.

    Either way, I'm proud of Surrender, and that's what matters most.

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