Last week was the Romantic Novelists' Association Pure Passion Awards Lunch. Every previous year I have arrived early and scurried around putting out place names or tying balloons on books or doing anything else I was asked to in order to get the room ready.
This year was different. Yes, I arrived early - but then was ushered into the Author's Room and given tea and hugged the other shortlisted authors and had my photo taken. [Shortlisted Love Story of the Year authors shown with lovely chairman, Katie Fforde] It was all a bit surreal, really. At any moment I was expecting someone to draw me apologetically to one side and tell me there had been a mistake and I wasn't supposed to be there after all.
Once all the photos had been taken and we had caught up with one another, we were released into the wild - sorry, the anteroom - for a glass of champagne and even more catching up with masses of pals. The Royal Garden Hotel was jammed! Amazingly, my editor managed to find me (they are such a clever breed) and we moved into the gorgeously decorated main room for lunch.
Fair Deception didn't win - that accolade went to Nell Dixon's deserving Animal Instincts, published by Little Black Dress - but it was such a wonderful day the awards seemed the least of it. And one of the very best bits was this dessert: 'Pure Chocolate Passion'. created especially for the 50th Anniversary.