Friday, July 20, 2007


Hmm…How to follow all these conference posts? Unlike everyone else, I came back with a head cold and lived on decongestants for six days. I’m just now starting to see the other side of it. I turned in my American on time and spent time recuperating by going to see Harry Potter and Ratatouille.

I think a lot of what got me was the hotel was a brisk 68 degrees, and outside it was a balmy 98 degrees. The temperature differential ate me alive as I was in and out a lot, including spending all day Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway.

I have to admit, I did skip the RITA/Golden Heart ceremony in favor of going out with a friend of mine who lives in Garland, TX. Carrie and I have been friends since our sophomore year in high school where we ended up sitting next to each other in Mrs. Folsom’s 10th grade English class. We went out and celebrated my birthday, which was yes, Saturday, July 14. We went to the top of the Reunion Tower in the restaurant there and revolved around the city for a few hours along with my friend Joyce Adams Counts.

Now back at Kirkwood High School, Carrie and I were what you call goody-two shoes who were worried about our GPAs. To Mrs. Folsom, we were two who listened tried to learn. In fact, she would use us to break up her troublemakers or talking. For example, she’d move Carrie over a few rows. I’d wait a day, go to her desk and tell Mrs. Folsom I was tired of sitting by the door and would like to be by the window—in that empty seat over by Carrie. Surprisingly enough, this worked about eight times, like when I got tired of the front and went to the back, etc.

Mrs. Folsom, however, wasn’t as washed up or as oblivious as a few of the D- kids in the class thought. Case in point was when she snapped at two boys in the back one day and told them to stop talking. One of them smarted back, “Well, what about Carrie and Michele? They’re up their gabbing away” (we were in the two seats closest to her desk) to which Mrs. Folsom replied, “When you have an A, I won’t hear you either.”

Now that I’m a teacher myself—high school English no less— I often tell this story to my students. Carrie is a music teacher. So we’ve been friends forever (bridesmaids in each others’ weddings) and because she doesn’t have much reason to get back to St. Louis since she has no family there anymore, I try to see her when I’m in Dallas. (PS--I'm the one on the right in the photo above.)

For more pictures of my trip, feel free to pop on over to my blog at


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Conference excitement continues

Like everyone else, I’m talking about the conference. It’s been four days since I came home from the Dallas and I’m still energized. (Especially now that I’ve caught up on sleep. ☺).

What a fabulous time!

It’s always wonderful to see old friends and make new ones (hi, everyone!!). We Harlequin American authors gathered for an editor and author get-together that was crowded—maybe cozy is a better word?— but enjoyable. We don’t all know each other, and putting faces with names is always fun and interesting.

Touching bases Kathleen Scheibling and Paula Eyklehof and all the editors is wonderful, too. I am happy to report that Harlequin American is doing very well. Hooray! Kathleen loves our blog enough to mention it at the Spotlight: Harlequin seminar. She recommended that people visit. So be sure to post often—a Harlequin editor might be reading your comments.

Best of all, I came back eager to get to work. I have rolled up my sleeves and jumped into a new story, and am having a ball with it.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference in San Francisco.

Ann Roth
Summer Lovin’ Anthology: A Reunion Story, June 2007
Mitch Takes A Wife, August,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Echoes of Dallas 2007

If anyone reading this blog hasn't come to the conclusion that we love going to RWA conference each year, they haven't been paying attention. But of course everyone has been, so I'll add my .02 and echo the others here about what a wonderful experience the conference is, and this year was no exception.

My first conference was in Dallas in 1996 during the same dates in July. I was in shock when I arrived in Dallas that first time. Authors whose books I read were normal people, leading everyday lives, just like me! I walked around with my mouth open in awe, I'm sure. I had just become an RWA member and the opportunity of being with so many others excited me. I had even stumbled into a chatroom for romance authors, where I met a Golden Heart finalist for that year. Kathie DeNosky and I had only exchanged two or three emails when we met face to face in Dallas in '96, but we became critique partners and dear friends. This year, eleven years later, we were roommates for the first time. It just seemed fitting.

As a newbie to Harlequin American this year, it was wonderful to meet many of the other authors on this blog at conference. They are all the lovely ladies I knew they would be, and I hope we have the chance to spend more time together, both here on the blog and at future conferences.

Ladies of Harlequin American, I lift my glass to you all. Readers of Harlequin American, the next toast is to you for reading our books.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Authors and editors and books—oh, my!

You've probably noticed a trend in the blog posts this week, and I'm going to continue it.

I've just returned from the Romance Writers of America annual conference, held this year in Dallas, Texas, where I had the great luck to run into many of your favorite Harlequin American authors and be wined and dined by our wonderful Harlequin American Romance editors.

Well...okay, I drank water. (grin) But I ate enough to make up for the lack of calories from alcoholic beverages. I talked enough to develop a sore throat and raspy—though sexy—voice. And I partied enough to satisfy me until next year!

The best news I brought home from the conference is that romance is going strong in the marketplace, with 2006 sales up substantially from the previous year. Of course, when I shared the info with my husband, he said he already knew it, based on the ever-increasing size of my To Be Read pile! Then he moaned about the fact that, if only I'd asked, he could have saved me the price of the plane fare and the conference registration!

No way, I told him. So much more went on during my five fun-filled days in Dallas!

Picture two thousand-plus women and a handful of men, all focused on learning, networking, partying—and collecting autographed books.

Imagine seemingly endless days and nights of chatting, networking, partying—and getting to sleep way past the usual bedtime.

Believe me when I tell you, much as I enjoyed myself, I am more than ready to return to my usual routine.

Even better, I'm bursting with energy to write—and my husband surely can't moan about that! ;0)

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chicago Sight-Seeing

Happy Monday and a warm welcome back to the authors who spent last week at the RWA conference.

While some authors "partied" in Dallas I hosted a houseful of guests from San Antonio. We spent one day in Chicago sight-seeing. Chicago is such a beautiful city with so many gorgeous old buildings. We visited the Sears Tower--always fun to see people paying basketball and tennis on the rooftops of buildings! Then we hopped a water taxi and made our way over to Michigan Ave for some hard-core shopping--can't beat $2 a person and the boat is a lot safer than a cab.

For those of you who remember the old Saturday Night Live skits….we had lunch at the famous Billy Goat Tavern

Ever hear of the "Curse of the Billy Goat," also known as the Cubs Curse?Do you recall the Saturday Night Live sketch in which a short order cook would yell out to incoming patrons: "Cheezborger! Cheezborger!No fries, cheeps! No Pepsi, Coke!"?

Here's a tidbit of info on the Goat:
The original Billy Goat Tavern location was "born" in 1934 when Greek immigrant, William "Billy Goat" Sianis, purchased the Lincoln Tavern. Billy Goat bought the tavern for $205, with a check that bounced but was later repaid with sales from the first weekend. The tavern was located across from the Chicago Stadium (now United Center) and attracted mainly sports fans. Sianis became known as "Billy Goat," when a goat fell off a passing truck and wandered inside. Sianis adopted the goat, grew a goatee, acquired the nickname "Billy Goat," and changed the name of the bar to the Billy Goat Tavern.

As I ate my cheezborger that afternoon I thought what a great setting for an American book. Who knows, maybe one day I'll think up a Billy Goat plot.

Our day ended with a few hours at the annual Taste of Chicago event, then a long train ride back to the suburbs. During the ride home I concluded that Chicago would be a wonderful setting for an American book. Yes, the city is huge but it's comprised of smaller communities throughout and the people are warm and friendly.

This is the final week of my e-harlequin daily serial, True Confessions. If you haven’t checked out the story of Pat and Dolly, two characters from my upcoming August release, Ryan's Renovation (The McKade Brothers) I invite you to stop by and join in the discussion.

Have a great week everyone!

The Preacher's Daughter *Summer Lovin* June 07
Ryan's Renovation *McKade Brothers* Aug 07
For The Children *Hearts of Appalachia* Oct 08

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Everything in the Garden

To many romance writers, the month of July brings to mind the annual Romance Writers of America national convention, which ended yesterday in Dallas. I usually attend, but this year family commitments ate up too much of my writing time.

Not a bad thing, right?

My younger son graduated from high school last month and starts college in August at the University of Arizona. Older son (a senior at Vanderbilt) is spending a rare summer near home on a computer internship at Harvey Mudd College. My mom – ceramic sculptor Sylvia Hyman – is celebrating her 90th birthday this year. She has a major exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and is the subject of a DVD, “Sylvia Hyman: Eternal Wonder,” by filmmaker Curt Hahn (available at

So here I am, between celebrations and at home in California, writing away. In addition to getting more pages done, there’s another advantage to staying home: enjoying my garden.

Every year, I experiment. That means growing a never-before-tried vegetable or variety, moving the zucchini to a different location, and so on. Unlike conventional square gardens, mine is scattered among a variety of planting beds with a variety of light patterns and drainage.

Whatever I did this year seems to be working. Plenty of zucchini – I love it! – and enough tomatoes without overwhelming me like last year. Delicious eggplant, tons of basil (even my younger son has learned to love pesto), lots of cucumbers, parsley and lettuce, which amazingly hasn’t bolted (gone to seed) in the 90-degree heat.

The only disappointment is the green beans. Whatever variety I planted turned out to be bush beans instead of pole, and only provided two meals before pooping out. I’ve replanted with my longtime favorite, Kentucky Blue, which hasn’t yet germinated. If you have favorite varieties of vegetables, please post them so I can try them next year! (I’m willing to consider all suggestions).

My cat’s enjoying the garden too, digging around the edges and chasing grasshoppers. Since he has cancer, this will probably be his last summer, but fortunately he’s unaware of that. Like all cats, he lives in the present, greeting me with meows when I work outside and hurrying over for a cuddle.

Lots of things grow in my garden. Including love.