This past Sunday, I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Kell’s Bookmark Clique Christmas themed long lunch/party alongside 32 avid romance readers and authors from all over the country; some of whom made the trek from as far as Queensland and Canberra for the fabulous event.
This year, the lunch was held at Casa Ristorante, an Italian restaurant smack dab in the middle of Darling Harbour and while the meal was lovely and the cocktails kept flowing, it’s the people that make these events so memorable and a highlight of my book year. A fact that was clearly evident by the cheers erupting from everyone as each new guest walked through the door; it was probably lucky we had hired a private room with our screams of excitement, laughter and the general chatter of 32 women speaking excitedly all at once, non-stop for hours on end.
Thanks to some beautiful hand made bookish decorations by Kell, the room and tables looked stunning and kind of magical; the perfect place for us to chat for hours on end.
The fun didn’t stop there however, as each attendee got spoiled rotten by Kell, the group’s fearless leader, with these beautiful hand made book flowers.
While everyone’s favourite Di from Di’s Dazzling Dezines, aka the world’s most creative superstar, gifted everyone these beautiful pink bookmarks.
Di’s is you girl If you ever need anything book related made (shirts, pillows, bookaroos/protectors, coasters, bookmarks etc… the list is truly endless!
Kayla from Flossy DESIGNED gifted everyone the cutest hand made earrings:
And Penny surprised everyone with the most out of the world cupcakes! I got the pink one and the white one is Kates!
As well as general catch up, food and wine, and way too much laughter (as if there could be such a thing!), we traditionally do a randomly assigned Secret Santa at the Christmas lunch, whereby every attendee is to gift one of their favourite books of the year so far; I received MR. MASTERS by T.L Swan as my secret santa book.
Aussie Author Jennifer Ryder also gifted attendees with an Advance Readers Copy (ARC) of her new upcoming book SING IT SAM that is due for release on the 12th February 2019. It sounds amazing!
There were also lucky door prizes galore, with gifts donated from Cliquesters, authors and readers alike. I won a copy of new-to-me Aussie Author Karen Dean’s book LOVE’S DANCE, which I’m intrigued by and can’t wait to dive in.
Kat T. Masen also got up and told everyone about her new book box – Books Ever After – which is a special curated book box featuring signed special edition books by Australian Authors and signed book plates by International Authors. This new business venture sounds amazing, and is perfect for anyone who loves book boxes and wishes Australia had more of a variety available here!
As you might have guessed, the event was amazing with friendships spanned all over the country united by the love of books and all things romance. While the food was good, the cocktails even better, and the sheer amount of gifts/goodies totally surprising and overwhelming (I still can’t say thank you enough!), the entire party/event would not have been the same without the people there.
In all honesty, the 31 women who attended are some of the bravest, most creative and ingenious women I have ever had the pleasure to meet. They are selfless with their time, energy and love and it feels like one big family reunion every time we get together. While a number of people have attended various other events in the past, it was fantastic to see some new faces embraced whole heatedly within the clan and I hope they had as amazing time as I did.
What’s more Kell from Kell’s Bookmark Clique really out did herself with this event, thinking of every little thing and covering every whimsical element that made sure we all had the best day imaginable. I also want to give a shout out to Kell’s inspiring speech about the group of women gathered there, where we celebrated the new business ventures of members, cheered on the success of the authors and were treated to some top-secret-squirrel-behind-the-scenes information for some things in you-had-to-be-there-moments.
All in all, the long lunch was the perfect way to kick of this festive season and to empower and build up those in the room, and I can not wait to the next get together hopefully in February of 2019 at Books By The Bridge!