When The Heart Dreams 2017


Last February, I had the opportunity to present a little workshop at the first When The Heart Dreams conference. This event was an opportunity for romance readers and authors to mix and mingle for the weekend. As an independent author, I thought participating in this event would be a good way for me to be among some popular and celebrated authors, and to chat with romance readers about the kinds of stories they like to read. I also figured maybe a stranger would actually by my book. Up until then, I was pretty sure the majority of people who’d purchased A Second Helping were related to me in one form or another. WTHD was my chance to expand my audience.

Not too long before the conference date, I was asked if I would be interested in doing a workshop. Nothing major, just some kind of game with the attendees. Not sure why they asked me to do a workshop, I said, “What kind of game?”

The organizer said, “Anything you want. One presenter is doing a sexy chair dancing class.”

I had an idea what chair dancing was, but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to sound like an idiot, so I didn’t ask. Instead, I said, “Um… I… uh…. Let me get back to you.”

I called my younger sister and ask her about chair dancing. She took a pole dancing class, so I figured she must know about chair dancing. And she was much safer than Googling the answer. That was out of the question. There was no telling what would pop up, and I just didn’t need to see something I couldn’t unsee.

It turned out that chair dancing was out of my league. I’m too lazy for all that work. I’m more of a “let’s do this” kinda girl, which has worked out fine for me over the years. I decided to leave the physical education classes to the experts.

A day or two later, I contacted the organizer with my workshop idea. I know food, and I know love, so the logical thing for me was a class discussing the relationship between food and love. And to keep things interactive, I offered to make a bunch of cupcakes so the participants could learn about and taste the flavors that trigger that lovin’ feelin’. She was excited about the idea, and For Food and Love was born.

I was the unknown on the list, so I didn’t expect many people to attend my workshop.  At first that prediction was true. I had maybe five women in my room when I started my discussion. I did a few jokes, got a few laughs, and then the real fun began. Once I got going, the time flew by. We were having so much fun laughing and learning that people stopped by the room to see what all the commotion was. Let’s just say that what I lacked in chair dancing experience, I more than made up for by keeping it real with a chat about relationships, marriage and sex. Not only did I nail my talk, but it turned out to be standing room only and my cupcakes were amazing! I also gave away some really cool door prizes, because I’m a big-time re-gifter.

And guess what!

My workshop was so popular that I was asked to come back to the 2017 When The Heart Dreams conference as one of the featured authors!

Here’s a preview:

2:30pm – 3:30pm
Workshop: “For Love and Food”  This workshop is back by popular demand!

Since the beginning of time, man has been motivated by two things: food and love. “For Love and Food” is a fun, interactive workshop that explores the relationship between food and love, and how they are connected. Participants will also learn how hormones and chemical reactions that affect our emotional attachments to loved ones are stimulated by food, and how these reactions heighten the sensations of well-being and comfort.  Not for the bashful!

Facilitator: Andria Gaskins, author of  A Second Helping

On February 11, 2017, the second annual When The Heart Dreams Conference will feature award-winning, New York Times best-selling authors and me! How cool is that?!  Maybe this time around I’ll be inspired to whip out a chair and do a little interpretive dance. That probably won’t happen, but I will make a bunch of brownies and share.

When The Heart Dreams 2016

Mark your calendars for a day of big fun. I hope to see you there.









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