Christmas Visits

Welcome to Travel Bug Tuesday!

One of the bestest parts of the holidays is visiting with friends and family. 20141223_091522Especially when you actually like them! So it was when I trekked over hill and dale and through mud and sleet in bare feet…Well, okay…So I really packed a bag and shoved it into the car trunk before heading up the freeway, but still…

Anyhoo, I got to spend some wonderful quality time with my lovely writer pal Fiola Faelan! We talked writerly stuff and life stuff, and I was reminded yet again how incredibly lucky I am to have amazing people in my life. And that includes you all!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for leaving a message or two. As I continue on this publishing journey, your presence here means more to me than I could ever express!

Happy travels,

Ring Keepers

Happy Fashionista Friday! (It’s about FREAKIN’ TIME, too….)

My closet is a wreck. I know you all don’t believe me, since I am, after all, one of the most organized writers around (*snort* Trust me on this. And I’m not brave enough to post pics. Not yet, anyway….)

I’m constantly on the look-out for something – anything – that’ll help me stay organized. So it was on a recent Vegas trip with some high school gal pals (*waves at Notre Dame High School Class of ____* Did you think I’d tell you? 🙂 ) when we walked into a shop that had this:


So cute! And so perfect! And they were SHOES that I know Mr. A couldn’t claim were part of my collection wardrobe options. I thought of all the rings I could store on a pair of these, how well I’d be on my way towards organization a la Martha Stewart….Or my good friend, Jenny, who scours Pinterest for all these awesome homey-stuff ideas. (I secretly hate her. Ssshhh. JK, Jen!)

I reached for one of these just as I heard Mr. A talking in my head (wish he’d quit that). “But you only have three rings, sweetheart.”

He was right. Rats.

Ah, well. Guess I’d better change that. Ring shopping, anyone?

Have a great weekend!




It’s Travel Bug Tuesday!

I’ve done a fair amount of traveling in my life, but some of my fave places have been in my own imagination. Have you tried it? It’s a lot of fun! Sometimes, it’s even more fun than actually doing the stuff you thought about in the first place. (Case in point: not jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is valid, no matter how many times I’ve made that jump in my head!)

So on a recent trip girl-trip to Vegas *waves to Notre Dame High School gal pals*, La Muse took advantage of the sights and sounds and smells and feel and tastes around us. Take, for instance, the night I gazed outside my hotel room and saw this:

20141012_020305Initially, La Muse saw what I suspect most do: Knights in shining armor … ladies in gorgeous gowns … maybe even a huge ball celebrating the birth of a new monarch.

But then she added this: within the castle walls was an uber secret ginormous library known only to the princess. She’d spend HOURS locked within its walls,while  castle-life continued (how else was she supposed to buy more books?). There was an endless supply of chocolate – grown in her magical garden, natch! With decaf Americano to go with it in the morning, to be replaced by Cab Sauv at night, the library was Heaven on Earth!

At least, it would be for one perpetually busy writer-type who’s on the verge of pouting ’cause she doesn’t have enough reading time, but who shall otherwise remain nameless…. *Whistles up at the ceiling – is that a spider up there?*

What do you see when you look at the above photo? Please share!

Happy travels,

Fashionista Friday: The Mother Ship Calleth

I was at a conference recently, in a city that has one of my fave shoe-shopping places. And not one of the tiny versions, but THE MOTHER SHIP.

Fortunately for me, my best shoe-shopping gal pal happened to be at the same conference. Guess what we did at lunch that day? Heh. 🙂

It was a no-brainer, really. I mean, who needed food when the Mother Ship called? She sent invisible, beacon-like signals all morning, like a faraway siren calling us to her. Really, we didn’t have a choice. Never mind that we were both in high heels and had to walk four city blocks to get there. Pfft. A little pain was nothing. I mean, this was the Mother Ship we’re talking about here.

When we got there it was like coming home. *Sigh* Rows upon rows upon rows of shoes. And in really cool styles, too. Top that with the smell of leather the fact that the shoes fit, and it was a wonder either one of us left the store at all!

The best part? We got back to the conference in time to have lunch. But that’s another blog post. . .. 😉

What’s your mother ship?

Happy shopping,

Travel Bug Tuesday: One Night in Vegas~How it Ended

(If you missed last week’s post on the adventures of erotic historical romance author Delilah Marvelle, click here.)

When I found Delilah I knew the evening wasn’t over. After all, we’re talking about Ms. Marvelle!

The two of us crossed the bridge away from the hotel-with-the-bar-that-served-the-evil-absinthe. All the while she gushed about her *awesome* experience. Bartender . . . Other dudes . . . Learned a lot . . . Research . . . Everyone so nice. . ..

Me: Glad you had a good time. Watch your step.
Delilah (looking at the stairs like it was the most brilliant thing she’d ever seen): I want to go for a run. Let’s go for a run! Now!
Me: Not a good idea.
Delilah (pouting): Why not?
Me: It’s the middle of the night, the strip is packed, and we’re not in running gear. We need to wait ‘til morning.
Delilah: We could change.

And that was pretty much the tone of the conversation, which included her hitting me up to go dancing, or to head to another bar. All this wrapped around exclamations of how *amazing* she felt. And giggles. Lots and lots and LOTS of giggles.

Glad one of us felt that way. I just wanted to get her back to the room.

We finally entered the casino doors to our hotel, so I thought we were in the home stretch. Not quite.

Now, it probably wouldn’t have been such a surprise if I’d actually visited the casino at night, but did you know half-nekkid girls dance on these elevated stages on the casino floor? Even in six-inch heels their legs were right about eye level with dudes (and dudettes). How were Blackjack players supposed to concentrate on their cards? No wonder the casino raked it in.

I stared. Couldn’t help it. Unfortunately, neither could Delilah.

Delilah (pointing as she made a beeline away from me): I want to dance with them!
Me (grabbing her hand and practically dragging her): I should let you. Then I could take pictures and post them. But there’s a good chance you’ll get arrested. We need to get you to the room.

That dragging thing? Did it the entire way through the casino. Along with some serious whining about just wanting to have some fun. Seriously.

Once in the elevator, she insisted on pushing the button for our floor. I figured it was harmless.

And then a pleasant, elderly gentleman entered the elevator. You know the kind. Like a grandpa with kind eyes who’d play ball, and make you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and tell you all about the old days. Got that picture?

Delilah (to same gentleman): What’s your room number?
Gentleman (Pauses. . .. Absorbs her question, then turns me): Gee, they usually ask you what you’re doing tonight, first.
Me (cringing): Yeah. Sorry about that. She’s not well.
Delilah (laughing so hard she’s doubled-over): I’m fine, I’m fine.

Sure. About as fine as propositioning grandpa. Thankfully, our floor was before the other guy’s.

At the end of the night, I finally got her to bed. Took away her phone for a bit so she wouldn’t drunk-post anything. That was a trick and a half. She giggled like a child then finally, finally went off into la-la land looking ever-so-innocent.

So much for her being a grown-assed woman who could take care of herself. . ..*sigh*

Any guesses how many bags of Peanut M&M’s that Jessica Adams, the heroine in my debut book, MERGER OF THE HEART, would’ve consumed? Here are your choices:

Although I gotta admit I’m curious about absinthe, about what Delilah thought was so *amazing* about it. Since I’m headed back to Vegas later this year, I wonder if curiosity will override my good sense? Any bets out there?

Happy eating,

Travel Bug Tuesday: One Night in Vegas

It all started with a plan.

Not my plan, mind you, but that of my super-talented Vegas conference roommate, Delilah Marvelle . . . who always seems to find ways to smack into adventure (read: trouble). Delilah writes erotic historical romance, and craves any bit of knowledge she can get about how her characters might have lived. So I’m never surprised when she goes after research material. Hence this particular evening.

Her text message: “There is a place that does absinthe. I have to go. Will you go with me?”

Absinthe? Uh. . . no. Wasn’t that drink illegal? (By the way, Delilah does plan to post the history of absinthe, so check her blog!)

20140624_211650I’d planned to go to a really rousing game of bingo with other Entangled Publishing authors in our publisher’s suite.

So. Delilah, being who she is, went without me. Without anyone, actually. (What can I say? We opted for bingo.)

But I first made sure to note where she was headed, the time she’d be back, her promise not to talk to strangers or weirdos – at which point she reminded me we were in Vegas, which meant her agreement would equal a boring evening so why bother to go? *Sigh* I hate when she makes a good point. . ..

Through most of bingo I’d get some sort of an update – she even sent me a picture.  2014062495220234Still not sure what this is so you’ll have to read her post to find out.

Anyway, all was well until this exchange at 10:31 PM –

Delilah: “On second one. OmG, awesome.”
Me: “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

Then nothing. Nada. Lights out. Not a peep.

I wasn’t concerned. After all, she was a grown-ass woman who was capable of taking care of herself. Right?

Then again, this was Vegas.

I got to thinking that as far as stress levels went, for the Peanut M&M-eating heroine in my book, MERGER OF THE HEART, this whole adventure would’ve started out as a one bag crisis (eaten because she couldn’t decide which lounge outfit should be worn to the bingo game), then quickly escalated to two bags with the last of Delilah’s texts.

But it only got worse.

Join me at the next Travel Bug Tuesday as the adventure continues. . ..



Finding Inspiration . . . In Letters

No, not letters as in the alphabet.  Letters as in e-mail text on actual paper.  With a pen.  Preferably a nice one.    P1120847

Several years ago, a bunch of my gal pals and I put together the perfect excuse for a party – we were writing letters.  To ourselves.  (Can you imagine that much estrogen in one room, at the same time, writing letters?  Complete with Mimosas?  It was GREAT FUN!)

I’m not sure where the idea came from, but it’s one that’s proven effective over the years.  Believe me, anything with testosterone disappeared each time we announced our plans.  🙂  P1120850

(Apollo’s the exception.  He’s cool.  He not only hung around, but provided lots of inspiration and a ton of encouragement!)

Besides an excuse to visit with gal pals, our letter writing party was an opportunity to provide ourselves with some quiet time.  Reflective time.  A chance to see where we are, where we want to go in the following year, and how we’d get there.  (Yeah, we do get serious every now and then.  Fortunately, it doesn’t last! 🙂 )

And so it was that a few of us again got together this past year.  P1120846Over glasses of wine, and a beautifully set table at a friend’s house, we laughed, we toasted, and we wrote.

Hopes.  Dreams.  Words of wisdom and encouragement.  We made promises and kept our secrets.  And we had a blast!

In a few months we’ll likely get together again – to read our letters.  Oh, we keep the contents pretty private, but we still manage to laugh out loud at some of our angst.

See, what I’ve learned is that, in the end, no matter how HUGE life seems, from the perspective of time, it all turns out okay.  And isn’t *that* something worth celebrating?


Celebrating Gal Pals!

A few weeks ago I got together with one of my gal pals – I do try to make time for that as much as possible.  And especially if wine’s involved.  As we shared a bottle and commiserated over the “busy-ness” of life, it occurred to me: what would I ever do without one? (A gal pal, not the wine.  *Sheesh!*)

Every girl needs at least one gal pal, someone she can spill all her deepest, darkest secrets to and know she won’t be judged.  Someone who you know will have your back no matter what, and will even post bail.

Ummm. . .. Unless she’s in there with you.  Not that I’ve ever been in that scenario, of course.  Although a couple of times we’d been politely asked to leave.  (Note to our hubbies: we were not crashing a party – we were sampling the music.  That’s all.  And for the record, we were NOT thrown out, either.)

But the best part of having a gal pal is that she helps keep your sanity intact.  Kinda like having a therapist.  Only cheaper.

So to my gal pals, I raise my glass to you.  Thanks for the laughs, the love, and for always being there.  May you all find yourselves in the starring role in one of my stories!  😉