Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weather forecast for the conference next weekend

Since we are experiencing three-digit temperatures this weekend in Phoenix, I wanted to reassure our attendees and publish this official forecast for next weekend, graciously sent by Susan Lanier Graham, our conference  co-coordinator:

According to Accuweather, the forecast is as follows:

Thursday: High 79/Low 63 Sunny
Friday: High 90/Low 58 Sunny
Saturday: High 79/ Low 58 Sunny
Sunday: High 81/Low 63 Sunny

That should be ideal springtime weather in Arizona! Don't forget your swimsuits if you want to enjoy the pools. :-)

Susan Lanier-Graham
Freelance Food, Wine & Travel Writer

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PSYCHIC READINGS by Deborah Wellborn at the conference!

Positive answers and insights that will light up your life!

Deborah Wellborn, The SunShine Psychic has been practicing her "positive-practical-potential" approach to astrology and psychic readings, throughout the Southwest for more than 20 years. She is the witty author of astrology columns and heart-warming articles for Singles Profile Magazine,, and Practical Spirituality. Her background in theatre brings a warm, entertaining style to her readings, radio appearances, workshops, speaking engagements and life.

Deborah will be providing readings throughout the conference weekend. Her schedule fills up fast. Please contact her directly off the loop at SunShinePsychic@aol.com_ (mailto: ) or call her at 602-881-0436 - Fint out more about her at

Readings are 15 minute slots. Yes you can sign up for more than one!

Conference special $20 (normally $25) Cash or check accepted. Readings will be in the Hospitality Suite and other areas. Watch for signs.

Weekend reading schedule

Friday - 9am - 12noon, 2pm - 6pm, 9:15pm - 11pm
Saturday - 8am-930am, 530pm-7pm, 9pm-11pm
Sunday - 12noon - 4pm

We all need a little luck in our careers.
See you there.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Official Desert Dreams Blogger and speaker
Find Vijaya's books on Amazon at:

Friday, April 13, 2012


Linda Style, contest coordinator, is happy to announce the five finalists in the Desert Dreams 2012 Realizing the Dream Contest. This contest was reserved to those who registered early for the conference and the deadline closed in January.

In alphabetical order, let's give it up for:

Kerrie Droban - THE WATER'S EDGE
Libby Hougland Banks - A FAMILY OF HER OWN
Patricia Friedrich - A MODERN WOMAN
Shanyn Hosier - BRIMSTONE
Leslie Jones - NIGHT HUSH

CONGRATULATIONS one and all! The winner will be announced during the conference.
This contest was judged by the featured agents and editors from the conference, and the winner  will definitely get many opportunities during the conference. In the past, many winners did get a publishing contract as the direct result of entering and placing or winning this contest.

Well done!

Linda Style, Coordinator, Realizing the Dream Contest - Desert Dreams Conference 2012
THE MISTAKE SHE MADE, still available online - 4.5 Stars Top Pick RT " original story with wonderfully compelling characters."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to dress for this conference?

Traditional business attire is not always suited for the late April weather in Arizona. Scottsdale, despite its fashion reputation, is much more relaxed than the East Coast. Understand that you will be walking outsite in a rather hot sun, along swimming pools with sunbathers, then you'll enter a very cool, air-conditioned convention center.

You may want to wear short sleeves with a light sweater or business jacket, with layers you can shed when walking outside from the rooms to the convention center. Above all, you want to be comfortable, especially if you have to pitch your book to an agent or publisher. In previous years, a few agents and editors even took their appointments under an umbrella at an outside table in 90 degree heat. You never know where you are going to be.

Nylons, so prized in New York, are a nuisance in the Arizona heat. Do not wear casual shorts for the events, of course, but you may want to wear sandals rather than boots, a nice summer dress rather than a business suit (with a jacket or sweater on the side). Business casual is the word in Arizona, with the emphasis on casual.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Information about Chaparral Suites Scottsdale

If you are staying at the hotel:

Check in at the hotel's front desk. Check in time is 3 p.m. The hotel can't guarantee an early check-in, but if your room isn't ready, they can hold your bags at the valet desk so you can continue on to the conference. As soon as you check in, continue through the hotel (follow the signs - you'll be making your way from the West Complex to the Conference Center in the East Complex). At the conference center, you will pick up your packet, which contains your name badge, a program, and other information you need for the conference.

If you are NOT staying at the hotel:

Take the Loop 101 to Scottsdale. The Chaparral Road exit is a few miles south of the Shea exit and a few miles north of the Thomas exit. Exit on Chaparral Road and drive west. The hotel is on the Northeast corner of Chaparral and Scottsdale roads, where Chaparral ends. The best place to park, with direct access to the conference center, is by using the entrance off Chaparral Road - look for it on the right after you cross Miller.

Food & Drink Info (for the hotel):

Breakfast: Hot cooked-to-order breakfast is served in the Clubhouse daily. You can dine there or take breakfast back to your suite. (Make sure you take your room key with you to breakfast.) Breakfast service starts at 6 a.m. Friday and at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Complimentary Afternoon Cocktails: There is a daily reception in the Clubhouse from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with complimentary cocktails. This is not affiliated with the conference, but is for all Chaparral Suites guests.

Poolside Drinks & Snacks: You can order drinks and snacks while you enjoy the pool. Telephones are located outside the Gazebo and Hacienda next to the pools. The operator will assist you.

Room Service: Room service is available 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Fourth Floor Grille: The resort's restaurant is located on the 4th Floor of the bridge between the East and West complexes. Lunch is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner is 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fourth Floor Sports Bar: The bar is located next to the restaurant. Open 11 a.m. to midnight.

Transportation Information:

Airport Transfers: When you arrive at Phoenix Sky Harbor, collect your bags then use one of the white courtesy phones in baggage claim to call the hotel. The operator will tell you where to meet the shuttle.

To return to the airport, schedule your return ahead of time. The shuttle runs every hour, on the hour, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. by appointment. Keep in mind that it takes about 20 minutes to get to the airport and you should arrive 2 hours before your flight departs because Sky Harbor can get busy.

Dollar Car Rental: There is a Dollar Car Rental located in the northwest corner of the Hotel Lobby. Cars are available for rent and are on the property. Dollar is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Hotel Services:

Gift Shop is on the south side of the main lobby. It is stocked with gifts and snacks. Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Tennis Courts are on the East side of the complex (next to the conference center). Information is available at the front desk.

Washers and dryers are available at two locations in the resort, one in both the East and West complex.

Fitness Center is in the East Complex, upstairs by the Tennis Court. Guests must be at least 18 years old. Equipment includes treadmills, exercise bikes, universal equipment, stair machine, free weights. The center is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask on the loop, at the front desk, or at the conference desk.