What’s more hope-filled and uplifting than a romance novel? For October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, one hundred romance authors (including me!) have conspired to bring some love and happiness to cancer survivors and their families in the Send a Little Love campaign.
If you have any loved ones who might be interested, send them over to Romance Has a Heart to check out the many romance books offered. Hurry, because supplies are limited!
Last week, author Caroline Warfield sat in for me on my regular Tuesday post because I was on my way home from the Historical Romance Retreat in Spokane, Washington.
HRR was by far the best reader event I’ve ever attended. The Davenport Hotel and Davenport Tower were first class facilities, a very good value for the cost.
I decided to drive to the conference so I could see two states I’d never visited, Oregon and Washington.
And I had a two-state bonus! Spokane is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Idaho, so on the quiet Saturday morning of the conference my husband and I drove to Coeur D’Alene. Once we arrived there, we noticed Montana wasn’t much further across the Idaho panhandle, so we drove to Montana! Just a nice, Saturday morning jaunt.
After the conference, we drove home down Route 395 through Eastern Oregon, all high desert alternating with mountains covered with tall pines–and no cell phone service between towns! It was beautiful, and at times unnerving since we went miles and miles without seeing another vehicle or building (or, um, restroom!).
We did find a very comfortable room at a Best Western in a little town called John Day, Oregon, and had dinner at The Outpost.
And, as it turns out, John Day was a real character from my historical period. Here’s a bit about him from the menu at The Outpost:
But back to the conference! On Thursday night we met the authors in the Marie Antoinette Ballroom and walked across the street to the Bing Crosby Theater for a vintage movie, along with gifts of vintage candy and a vintage Harlequin romance.
Friday offered workshops, including a fabulous presentation on Civil War weapons and fashions by author Cindy Nord and her husband. We all met for High Tea in the afternoon, and Gaming Night in the evening, followed by absinthe tasting.
The absinthe tasted like watered-down Sambuca to me. The rum drink favored by Charles Dickens was good, but the apple drink that was Jane Austen’s favorite tasted like vinegar!
Saturday morning was free, and the afternoon was taken up with the book signing, then we all went off to get ready for the grand ball that night.
One of the big stars of this conference was the hotel. You can see from some of these pictures just how incredible the decor is. This historical hotel fell into decay and was revived in the late twentieth century. If you ever happen to visit Spokane, it’s a must see.
So without further ado, here are more photos from the conference:
The HRR was amazing and I’m marking my calendar to attend against next year!
I love historical hotels, especially when they’re updated and comfortable! What about you, readers? Do you like a hotel with some history? Do you have any recommendations for favorite historical getaways?
Images: Sending Some Love Meme, courtesy of romancehasaheart.org; HRR Meme, courtesy Delilah Marvelle; all others, the author