Deep in the Heart of Dixie

This past Saturday, I had the privilege to be a guest author at the Heart of Dixie RWA Chapter Readers’ Luncheon, and what a thrill it was to be included in this wonderful affair!
The HOD ladies (and even a couple of gents) certainly know how to throw an event!  The luncheon, held at the Von Braun Center in the heart of Huntsville, Alabama, was perfectly coordinated and included a Meet-and-Greet that allowed the authors and the readers ample time to not only meet each other, but to get to know each other as well.  The lunch itself included a delicious breast of Honey Almond Chicken that had me passing up the vegetables and dessert just so I wouldn’t miss a bite of the entrée.

After lunch, the real fun started.  The guest speaker was J.T. Ellison, who did a splendid job of entertaining with her dynamic key note adress.   After that, each author had provided a giveaway basket based on the theme of our choice.  This year, I filled an Izod tote with everything needed for a splendid day at the beach, including, of course, a copy of my latest Harlequin Superromance release, THE SUMMER PLACE, which takes place on Kentucky Lake.

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After the Author Basket Giveaway, loads of other donated themed baskets were raffled off.  Out of six people at our table, we had four winners, and there was a lucky lady at another table who won three baskets!

At the end of the day, a booksigning was held with the proceeds going to restock an area library that lost so much during the devastating  tornado of two years ago.

I love visiting with the HOD chapter and being a part of their gathering.  They are a lovely group of friendly, genteel writers in all stages of their writing careers who go out of their way to make everyone feel welcomed.

And, on that account, they certainly succeed.  I know the luncheon had to be a great deal of work, but it came across as flawless with no glitches that could be discerned by the eyes of those of us in the audience.

I was always taught that’s the mark of a true Southern lady: to make her guest feel that everything has been taken care of and there’s nothing she’d rather be doing than spending time with you.

So if you needed to donate a themed basket, what theme would you choose and what are a few things you would include in it?