On Monday (7th March) I flew to London with my husband and mother. We took two trains to Kingston to meet my daughter (who is at university there), enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Bishop, made our way back to our hotel, changed, took two more trains to London and then went to One Whitehall Place for my photos as a nominee in the Contemporary Romantic Novel category of the 2016 Goldsboro Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.
Okay, now that sounds as if I was fully engaged all the time, but when you've spent years sitting behind laptops writing, editing, editing and yet more editing, you might dream of your book being published (beyond exciting) and possibly sort of dream that it might be nominated for an award, but you never truly believe that it will be. So, Monday night was a dream come true and a little surreal.
I met up with Hazel Cushion, my wonderful publisher; fellow Accent Press nominees, Jane Jackson and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma and Accent Press authors, Lynne Shelby and Carol McGrath.
I also caught up with many other friends, made new ones and chatted to Sophie Cousens, who lives in Jersey and was nominated for the Romantic Comedy award.
Many glasses of pink champagne were quaffed, Fern Britton presented the awards to the winners assisted by Jane Wenham-Jones and the RNA chairman, Eileen Ramsey.
Iona Grey won the The Goldsboro Books Romantic
Novel of the Year presented by David Headley, MD of Goldsboro Books and Fern Britton, with her book Letters to the Lost. Everyone had a fabulous, chatty and fun evening in the glamorous Readers and Writers Room.
We returned to Kingston and the next day shopped, enjoyed lunch at Carluccio's and then said a brave farewell to my lovely daughter and took more trains back to Gatwick for our flight home.
Now I'm back home again, and catching up with the washing. Oh the glamour...