Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Gathering of Roses

Calvin and I attended The Wild Rose Press Writers' Retreat in Asheville, NC last weekend. Our journey there was arduous: a late flight, missed connection, hours on standby moving from gate to gate, hoping to catch the next flight. Instead of arriving in Asheville at 3:20 in the afternoon, we got there after midnight. Calvin's weary expression as he sits in our room mirrored mine. We were exhausted.

The retreat was held in a quiet, lovely, secluded mountain setting. Birds sang just for us. Leaves slowly rustled to the ground. Brief rain showers everyday kept the area a deep, vibrant green.
Many workshops were scheduled on topics from writing a synopsis, to crafting a query letter, to how to attract an editor in the first 10 pages of your manuscript, to self-promotion. Here Rhonda, co-owner of TWRP, is asking if anyone has a synopsis for her to read and critque to the group.

Rhonda and RJ, along with all editors attending the retreat made themselves accessible to us all weekend for questions, private chats and readings. I was fortunate to have the beginning of my romantic suspense, Mona Lisa's Room, read by an editor from the Crimson line (romantic suspense line at TWRP).

On Saturday, we toured the Biltmore Estate, America's largest home. The place was breath-taking, full of artwork and antiques. Calvin and I had a great time in the gift shops, too. We each tried on hats--

Calvin did buy a hat, but not this dandy straw job.

What do you think? Is it me?
We had enough trouble getting through security at the airport on the way home. Can you imagine my trying to get through wearing this bad boy?

TWRP arranged for a private buffet at the Deer Park Restaurant on the Biltmore grounds. The food was fantastic and the desserts to die for, especially the key lime pie.

Wrapped around the special events of the 3-day retreat were sweet moments of laughter, conversation and encouragement from all who attended. We became acquainted, but more importantly we became a sisterhood of writers.

Our final night there, Rhonda and RJ gave out doorprizes ranging from goodie bags of books, shirts, candles and water bottles to homemade quilts to cameras to Sony eReaders. We were treated like family--cherished family. You can't ask for better than that from your publisher.


wlynnchantale said...

Love the hat! I gotta get one the next time I'm out. All you need now is the frilly parasol.

Anonymous said...

The WILD ROSE PRESS RETREAT was great, wasn't it?

Loved spending time with you and your husband at TWRPR. Can hardly wait to get my hands on your book and Mr. Calvin's Paris book too.

All the best, Annette

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

What a great blog, Vonnie. And thanks for the pictures. Wish I could have been there.

Melinda said...


What a great post. I would have loved to attended. That hat is totally you.....

I hate all the problems you encountered but I can see you and Calvin had fun. Yes, The Wild Rose Press is a great publisher.

Walk in harmony,

Rachel Brimble said...

Great post, Vonnie!

Wish I could have been there - after the awful journey you and Calvin had, it sounds as though you had a fab time.

R x

Lilly Gayle said...

It looks like everyone had a fabulous time! Thanks for posting, Vonnie. I so wanted to go the workshop, since I live in NC and have never been to the Builtmore House, but I used up all my time and vacation money visiting my daughter in Germany over Easter. As it turned out, I was sick all weekend anyway, so I would have been miserable. But so glad you had a great time! And the hat looks great on you!!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Vonnie,
Loved the blog. Sounds like you had a wonderful time once you got there. I only wished I could have attended too, but Australia too far away.



LaVerne Clark said...

Hey Margaret - Do you think we can tempt TWRP downunder?! Maybe the next five years? : )

Wish I could have been there too Vonnie! Looks like you all had a ball. There is nothing like sharing with other like-minded people something you're all passionate about. So inspiring.

I thought Calvin looked rather dashing in his hat! And probably a wise move on your part not to get that gorgeous one you modelled so well - I can hear the grumbles now from your fellow passengers on the plane!

Maeve said...

It looks like a grand time was had by all!

Laura Kaye said...

Oh, man, you made me wish even more I could've been there! Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing!

Linda LaRoque said...

I wish I could have made it but it conflicted with our yearly family reunion. I missed last year and didn't dare miss again this year. Looks like you all had a lovely time and I love hubby's hat and yours too. I've always wanted to tour the Biltmore Estate.

Marie Tuhart said...

Great hat, Vonnie. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, I too wish I could have been there. TWRP is a wonderful publisher.

Lynne Marshall said...

thanks for the blog, Vonnie. Loved the hats! so sorry about your travel woes, but I'm glad the weekend made up for it.

Wish I could have been there! I've visited the Biltmore estate and loved every room. Unfortunately, this year the timing was off. My daughter graduated from her Nurse Practitioner program last Friday and we were in Boston.
Enjoyed the post!

Jill James said...

Vonnie, what a lovely recap of the weekend. It was so nice to meet you and your wonderful husband. Love the hat!!

I'm so glad I finally arrived and got to meet everyone.

Mary Ricksen said...

I'm so glad everyone had a good time. And sad and a tad jealous that I didn't get to go. I do love Asheville, but...
It's wonderful to have such support!

Mona Risk said...

Vonnie thank you for sharing the TWRP retreat and for the pictures. I hope you bought the black hat. It's gorgeous.

Krissy said...

I'm so glad you have such a good relationship with your publisher!

Cherie Le Clare said...

Thanks for posting these photos, Vonnie - it helps us share the weekend with you - it's such a pain living halfway around the world sometimes with international air travel being so fraught with hassles these days - good on you for being so intrepid:)
Must be great to be able to put names to faces. Was my editor - Christine Kuczmynda - there?

Valerie Mann said...

I can vouch that you and Calvin were exhausted when you got to Lutheridge. But you were both so sweet, not a tired snarl in sight! Calvin is such a gentle man and you are so gracious! I am very glad to have met both of you!

Denise said...

Enjoyed your post and especially enjoyed meeting you and Calvin at the Retreat! It was a real "treat," wasn't it? Glad you two made it home safe and sound and hope to see you again soon! Take care.

Denise Golinowski