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Where did the last week go? 😳

For those who may not know, last week I took my daughter with me to the Historical Romance Retreat down in Riverside, California. Staying at the Mission Inn is a treat all in itself but throw in other historical romance authors, along with some marvelous readers, and you’re in for a fun time. Arriving from the Bay Area a couple days early gave us a bit of free time before all the madness began.

By Wednesday, we were up on the third floor with Period Finery getting fitted for gowns. VJ Dunraven and her staff are true marvels and half the fun of this retreat was spending time with them again. I am always amazed at the gowns they create not only for their models but for those to rent for retreats like these. Hair appointments and make-up were also available so we could really be pampered to our hearts content!

For Jessica, it was her first time in period costumes (at least since her drama classes in high school) and I was lucky I could get her out of there. Of course, I also ended up springing a surprise photo shoot on her. I just couldn’t resist. She looked too beautiful not to take advantage of the situation. And… I might have embarrassed her a bit in front of one of the models but that’s a mother’s job, isn’t it? Needless to say I just know the pictures Mary took are going to be priceless. I can’t wait to put her on one of my covers!

I must admit, I think I took more pictures of her than I had her take of me. But you can’t put a price tag on the joy on your daughter’s face when she is having such a fun time. Memories for a lifetime… I just love spending time with her.

Jessica Makens with Michael Foster
Anatolii Shtapenko

You can see why we ladies tend to get a bit distracted when we have such handsome men wandering around at the evening events!

Period Images models. Photo credit unknown

Breakfast with some wonderful readers and author Caroline Warfield.

A workshop about writing gossip with Bluestocking Belles Caroline Warfield and Elizabeth Ellen Carter. I will admit I more or less played Vanna White and passed out candy. Talking in front of people is NOT my strong point!

From Afternoon Tea…

Photo bomb! With Katherine Bone and TJ London

To Harlots & Highwaymen…

The fabulous Renee Bernard

And also Tiara Friday which started last year at the Historical Romance Retreat! Those tiara’s were a last minute purchase and I was lucky they could get delivered on time!

And Friday’s Speakeasy was raided! Oh my!

Just out of prison. Watch out for this gangster! With Katherine Bone
My stunning daughter. I cried when she came back up to the room.
Belle Caroline Warfield and her Beloved.
Belle Elizabeth Ellen Carter and her husband.

And no retreat would be complete without a book signing open to the public. It was so wonderful to see familiar faces and those who took the time to come over and say hello!

The Great Book Exhibition

Our last evening event was a Grand Ball. We were sad to see it end!

Pretty in lavender. Honestly – she’s that tall and I’m not standing in a hole!


Casey was a true sport while I had this little fan girl moment (well… maybe it was a little bigger than intended). I have a premade cover purchased without even having a book for it and its my current screen saver on my phone. People told me to stare at him while they took our picture but I’m afraid I just couldn’t pull it off. Thank you, Casey, for the laughs! 🤣 😁🤣

with Casey Cathcart

And the Golden Ticket winner and our reigning Queen for #HRR2020 was Judy Reed. It couldn’t have gone to a nicer lady and she was so thrilled. Congratulations Judy!









I have so many pictures that we took that the majority are posted on either my Facebook profile or my author page. Feel free to tag yourself, my lovelies.

Photo credit unknown

And with the last breakfast, we all said good-bye and took off in our cars or to the airport. If you’ve never gone to this retreat, I can’t recommend it enough. You’ll have so much fun that you’ll be like we were when we finally made it home… exhausted but with a huge smile on our faces. We loved every minute of this retreat and can’t thank Renee and her staff enough for putting on such a wonderful event for us.

Until the next time… thank you all for the wonderful memories that will last a lifetime!