Take a Chance
Or How I Came to Have Breakfast in Bed With International Cover Model
Life can be full of surprises and little adventures, if you are open to them and take a chance.
I’ve found this to be particularly true of my experiences at the Romantic Times Booklovers Conventions (or RT as it is affectionately known.) This convention brings together readers, authors, agents, editors and many other industry professionals as well as the RT magazine staff for several days of nonstop events and many opportunities to network, to meet readers, or simply to have fun at the nightly costume parties.
The first year I attended, RT was held in St. Louis and because it was close enough to drive, one of my critique partners and I decided to go see what it was all about. Neither of us knew much beyond what we had read in the magazine. I saw Bobbi Smith was having a contest for beginning writers, so I decided to take a chance and entered my western historical. We were at one of the dinners when the announcement came. My manuscript was a finalist and I was called up on stage. Later, Bobbi told me the story really started in chapter three. I took it home and revised it.
The following year, I decided to take a chance and entered that revised manuscript into the American Title II contest, where it was a finalist. The contest was put on by RT magazine and Dorchester Publishing and was similar to American Idol. Voters would go online and vote for their favorite and the winning manuscript would be published by Dorchester Publishing. By the time the RT convention arrived, I was there with several of my ATII sisters awaiting the announcement of the winner and the unveiling of her book cover. I also met the agent I had signed with two weeks before.
The third year I attended, my western historical manuscript A Desperate Journey had sold to Samhain Publishing and was out as an eBook. I was at the RT convention signing at my first eBook signing.
The fourth year, A Desperate Journey in print and I was able to sign at the big book signing on Saturday. I was on panels in Bobbi Smiths writers program and Judy McCoy’s writers program.
This year was my sixth time attending the RT convention and once again I decided to take a chance. International cover model Jimmy Thomas was at RT selling raffle tickets to raise funds for a local animal shelter. The cause called to my heart so I donated and bought a few chances. (Hmm anyone noticing the take a chance theme here?)
The winner of the Breakfast in Bed with Jimmy Thomas raffle would have Jimmy Thomas bring their breakfast of choice, prepared by the hotel to the hotel room where he would sit in bed with the winner while you both enjoy breakfast and conversation together. During this time, his photographer would take pictures.
Raffle ticket proceeds go to PuRRfect Solutions Feline Rescue in Los Angeles. For the last three years Jimmy has run this raffle to raise funds for the animal shelter.
You might think with the good luck I’ve had at previous RT conventions and as good as RT has been to me; I wouldn’t have been so surprised when I won the raffle. But there I was sitting at my table signing books during the big book signing on Saturday along with over three hundred romance novelists when one of my raffle tickets won! I could hardly believe it and even checked the number two more times to be sure I had really won!
Just when I thought the RT convention couldn’t get any better, suddenly there I was making plans to have breakfast in bed with International Cover Model Jimmy Thomas.
We planned to have breakfast the following day. Luckily my flight home wasn’t to leave till late in the afternoon so we could do a late breakfast. All I needed to do was decide what I wanted for breakfast, call it in to room service and Jimmy would take care of the rest.
Sunday morning I did the usual girly thing, looking in the mirror, wondering do these pajamas make me look fat? Do the polka dots make me look like a twelve year old? And wondering if anyone ever thinks about having their picture taken in their pajamas when they are buying them. I know the last thing on my mind when shopping for pajamas is whether I’ll be wearing them in bed with a famous, handsome cover model! This adds a whole other category to that advice mothers sometimes give on always wearing clean underwear. So, ladies, you just never know!
Soon my breakfast arrived, but it was too early, before Jimmy did. They were supposed to wait until he arrived. When I told him he said, “I’ll take care of it.” And he quickly took charge, just the way a hero should. There’s just something about a man who will take charge and take care of things. That’s hero material in my book. ;-) And it was particularly nice because having worked in the travel industry I’ve done my share of complaining about hotel issues and fixing things. So it was really nice for him to take over so I could relax.
Breakfast looked and smelled delicious. When Jimmy’s food arrived we discovered we had both ordered exactly the same thing! Egg white omelets with asparagus and cheese, hash browns and whole-wheat toast. He then insisted I take the warmest one instead of the one that arrived early. Jimmy is thoughtful and a true gentleman.
I was nervous about the camera, even though his photographer Bruce said, “Just pretend I’m not here.” I told him that wasn’t so easy. But soon Jimmy and I were talking and laughing and I wasn’t as nervous.
Life is full of surprises and this was one of the better ones. Breakfast in bed with Jimmy was a lot of fun and made a great memory I’ll always treasure. It's amazing what can happen if you just take a chance.
To learn more about Jimmy visit
he is also on Facebook
and to see some of the covers he has been on or to order prints, please visit www.RomanceNovelCovers.com
A big thank you to Jimmy for a fun breakfast in bed and special thanks to Bruce Heinsius for taking great shots to capture the moments. You both were wonderful for making me feel more at ease and making the event both fun and memorable.
And to all our readers out there, remember that good things can happen if you just take a chance!
(To see more pictures of Jimmy and me, please visit the photo section. Thank you!)
Love and Light,