Renaissance Fair Fun!

Another week has gone by already. Where is the summer going?

This past Saturday my family attended a Renaissance Fair. It was the first time my town’s ever hosted one and there was no way I was missing out.

I’ve been to several fairs over the years. My very first one was while I was in college in Washington, DC. My sorority sisters and I attended the Maryland Renaissance Festival. It’s still one of my favorite college memories.

First stop, King Henry VIII’s court pre-Ann Boleyn.

One of the best part of a Renaissance fair is the cheeky humor.

These are roses made from feathers. I had them scented with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Mmmm.

A tall and imposing Templar Knight. Impressive!

Where else can you find zombie gnomes being gunned down by “gnomeland security”?

Overall, a good time was had by all. Anyone else ever been to a Renaissance fair? If not, what other fun places have you visited? And please visit me at the Scribes – Don’t Fear the Reaper!

Gone Fishin’

Happy Friday everyone! I’m on a much needed vacation this week so I don’t have a much to say.

Instead I offer a series of photos of my favorite places. For vacation I like to take day trips with younger son. Older son is entrenched in the teen-man cave and hubby doesn’t have as much vacation time as I do. But we don’t mind. We have plenty of fun without them.

Freeman Farm, Old Strubridge Village, Sturbridge MA
Stonington Point, Stonington, CT – This movie theater facade was added for the movie Hope Springs (Meryl Streep/Tommy Lee Jones flick).
Yankee Candle Flagship Store – Deerfield, MA

If you have a moment, I’m blogging over at the Scribes about – Decisions, Decisions.

How about you? Where do you like to go for fun and relaxation? 

Icebergs, Owls and Lobster Grilled Cheese!

IMG_1662 - Copy (2)

Happy Friday! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribe for Wacky Days!

Last Friday, my family and I had a fun day. Naturally, we visited the one place we can all agree on – Mystic, CT.

First stop- Mystic Aquarium!

The newly opened Titanic exhibit:

Did you know that jellyfish have no organs?

For lunch we visited Olde Mistick Village and enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches at the Bleu Squid.

I ate a lobster grilled cheese while looking out this window. They make awesome cupcakes too.

We saw more owls. And brought a few home too!

Our last stop, Downtown Mystic. I visited my steampunk owl. He is still there at Whyevernot. He’s $445.00! Maybe someday he will be on super sale. Or I’ll win the lottery…

Overall, a wonderful, lovely day!

Owl Love You Forever

Happy Friday everyone! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today and meet guest author Donna Shields!

In case you haven’t noticed before, I have a thing for owls. When I updated my blog, the first image I reached for was an owl. I found the owl to the left at a shop in Mystic, CT called Whyevernot. The only reason this guy isn’t in my collection is because he cost $149.00.

I’m pretty sure my owl obsession began with my youngest son and his first stuffed owl – Oogles. We found Oogles sitting alone on a shelf at Old Sturbridge Village. He (yes, he’s a boy), was already looking a bit man-handled. My son reached out from his stroller and latched on.

Over the years, Oogles has had many adventures. He even has his own Christmas hat.

This is Oogles

Oogles is still with us and he still looks a bit care-worn, but he is well loved all the same.

From there we (younger son and me) steadily began acquiring more and more stuffed owls. But we didn’t stop there.

We moved onto to glass ones, owl mugs, owl lawn ornaments. Owl Christmas ornaments. You name it – we probably have one with an owl on it.

Lest you think I’m totally crazy and need a hoarders intervention, I don’t have a zillion of them. Not yet anyway.  Although if you did come to my house, you wouldn’t have to look far to find an owl.

I even have owl business cards

I’ve often wondered what makes us gravitate towards certain animals. When I was growing up I had a thing for unicorns (what teenage girl doesn’t have a brief fling with the lovely unicorn?) and a later I really liked penguins.

I know, I know. I’m strange!

But admit it. We all like some things more than others. And for me, it’s the owl and their soulful eyes and quiet presence. They are silent predators in the wild. But in my house, they are my constant watchers.

And they’ll be my companions as I begin my next adventure.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing my next book. Since the release of Mystic Ink and the positive reception, I’ve decided to write the next book in the series – Mystic Storm (one of these days I will complete Devil’s Advocate!). This is Zephyr’s book. God of the West Wind. I won’t say more than that. If you read Mystic Ink, then you know why he’s up next.

Until next time, remember – Owl love you forever!

Time to share. What’s your favorite obsession? Anything you like to collect? Any owl lovers out there??

Welcome to Mystic….


Happy Friday! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes – Tattoo You.

Well, it’s finally happened.

I’m officially a published author!

MYSTIC INK is on sale now from Soul Mate Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Paper copies should be coming in late 2012. I appreciate all the help, encouragement, and support from everyone. Please drop me a line and let me know if you enjoyed the book!

Today, I thought I’d take you on a tour of the book’s setting, real world Mystic, CT.  Mystic is not an official town, but rather a historic district sandwiched between Groton and Stonington. Even though Mystic doesn’t exist as a political entity, it’s a real, vibrant community.

Lovely historic Main Street

Mystic’s two main tourist attractions are Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium (where an important scene takes place in the book).

Throughout the novel, many of the places in the book are real: Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream Shop, Elm Grove Cemetery, S & P Oyster House, and the famous Mystic drawbridge.

The Mystic River Bridge

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream. Nix and Cal get help here from an unlikely source.

The Ice Cream – Fabulous!

Some places are based on a real buildings that I modified for my own purposes. Fawn’s Pawn’s, Devlin Ward’s pawn shop, is modeled after an old factory site that is really a restaurant complex. Toro’s Pizza is my take on the famous Mystic Pizza.

Be on the look-out for Satyrs

The building that inspired Nix’s tattoo shop, Mystic Ink.

Tattoo anyone?

In reality, if you visit Mystic, you’ll find out that there is no tattoo shop in this building.

Anyone recognize this owl? He’s not in MYSTIC INK but he was in a storefront window in a shop called Whyevernot.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and the pictures. And, if you are ever in the area, be sure to visit Mystic, CT!

What books have you enjoyed based on the location? And do enjoy books where the location is as much a part of the story as the characters?

Kitty, kitty, kitty

Meet Pepito!

Happy Friday! Don’t forget to visit me over at the Scribes today – A Legend In Your Own Mind.

...and Madeline. Kitty in a box!

Today, I thought I’d try something different. All of my other pet blog posts have been after my beloved babies passed away. So rather than wait. . .

. . . I’d like you all to meet my two lovely cats, Madeline and Pepito. And yes, they are named after characters in the children’s book, MADELINE by Ludwig Bemelemans.

I’m happy to say these two are alive and well. The thirteen year old brother and sister pair keep me on my toes.

Anyone with cats will tell you that they never really get too old to play or get into things. I can’t count the number of times I’ve woken up to find my pens and pencils all over the place . And yarn, watch out! It must be hidden away lest I find it wrapped around every chair leg in the house.

Every Sunday, Pepito and I tussle over the newspaper. I try to read it and he tries to sit on it. See how that works?

I am the King of the Newspaper.

And there isn’t a  plastic bag that Pepito doesn’t like . The one below is from Pier One Imports. Both Maddy and Pepito loves to lick plastic bags. Does anyone else’s cats do this?

Plastic bag, anyone?

Like all cats, they think they own the house and, by extension, me. Pepito tends to get in my face while I’m at my computer for my day job. Once the day job is over, they switch off and Madeline becomes my new velcro attachment.

She thinks that my writing chair at the dining room table is hers. I’ve written many things while sharing half of my chair with her. Honestly, she is so cute. Sometimes I can’t kick her off…

This is my chair!

They are the only two pets that have made it into one of my books – Ascension. Two cats bear a striking resemblance to my kitties. Because I write paranormal, there is more to them than meets the eye. Sorry, but you will have to read the book to find out what the secret is.

One of the things I love about cats is that they tend to leave you alone, unless they want something. And they sleep for hours on end. Some days I wish I could do that too.

Ahh, the life of a kitty....

Tell me about your  four legged friends.  And, seriously, does anyone else’s cats lick plastic bags?

The Daily Grind

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today for – Whip it Good!  

Now that the holiday season is in the rear view mirror, I’m mostly back on schedule. Taking the week off after Christmas is a double-edged sword. I always think I’ll be so productive, but in the end all I do is shop and have fun with my sons.

Not that I’m complaining. We had a great time last week doing fun things like seeing a movie (the new Sherlock Holmes – much better than the last go around). I cherish every moment, since they’re teenagers and I’m lucky they still speak to me. My oldest is eighteen now, so I realize that one of these days, he won’t have as much time for old Mom.

Needless to say, I didn’t make much progress with my writing goals. But, I did purchase a single serve coffee maker. See the lovely photo – that’s my new favorite appliance.

I’m a relative late-comer to coffee. For years and years, I drank tea, eschewing all coffee. I didn’t try my first real cup until I was in my thirties.

Yes, I survived college and young motherhood with no coffee. I’ve always loved the smell of coffee. Growing up, my Mom’s Mr.Coffee machine would dutifully gurgle every morning in our house. But, I never drank it. I didn’t want to become a coffee junkie, always needing caffeine to function – like my mother.

I’m naturally caffeinated and a morning person – who needs it, right?

Before you think I’m a complete freak, I do love tea. And for many years I drank it black, no milk or sugar. Until I discovered flavored tea and Splenda. Suddenly french vanilla tea tasted a whole lot better with sweetness. Around the same time, I tried flavored coffee.

Hated it! I always drank it with milk and Splenda (or sugar).

One day, I realized that the coffee wasn’t the problem at all. It was the milk. I didn’t add it to tea, so why was I adding it to my coffee. Because everyone else did. DUH!

As soon as I eliminated the milk, I liked coffee much better. And, as an added bonus, when I joined Weight Watchers a few years back, black tea and coffee are zero points!


Which brings me to the lovely Keurig  machine. I’m the only tea and coffee drinker in my house, so it made sense to purchase it (nice rationalization, I know, I know).  I don’t need a big coffee maker for one person. It never ends well when I drink an entire pot of coffee. And hot water from the microwave and instant coffee isn’t as much fun.

Besides, I love to relax with a nice mug of tea or coffee while I brainstorm. Yes, I realize that caffeine is not ideal when in the creative mind – but it doesn’t seem to hamper me one bit.

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a hot drink and have an endless variety of flavor choices.

I love my nifty machine.  It makes hot water too. Is there nothing the Keurig can’t do?

Ahh technology. . .

Sadly, the Keurig can’t write my next book. Only I can do that. Back to the grind!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure beverage? And what specialty gizmo has caught your fancy?

Something Old and Something New

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes – I Heart Ebenezer Scrooge!

Since the holiday is fast approaching, I don’t have much to report this week. I’m excited to be on vacation all next week and I hope to make progress on Devil’s Advocate. I had worked on it way back in May and June, then stopped to write The Undead Space Initiative.

Now, I’m in the process of getting back into the groove and submerging myself in the story. I’m excited about this one because it’s based on the very first novel I ever attempted to write. The book was never fully completed and it’s bugged me that I never finished it.

Let’s face it. I had no idea what I was doing back then! It’s better if that story never sees the light of day. Yet, I couldn’t forget my heroine. Devil’s Advocate is my attempt to breathe new life into her.

I still have some decisions to make – first person POV or third? Urban fantasy or romance?

(Who am I kidding? Romance always sneaks into my books.)

Whatever I decide, I’m hopeful to add another manuscript to my completed pile!

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season! Leave me a note and let me know how you plan to spend the holidays!

Hits and Misses

Happy Black Friday everyone! Please be sure to stop by the Scribes and check out – You’ve Got a Friend in Me.

I mentioned a few weeks back that I’m participating in NaNo. I hit the 50,000 word goal on Day 20. I plan on finishing the novel by 11/30. That will make two completed novels in 2011 – The Undead Space Initiative and Redemption (book 2 of my Aethera series).

Sadly, I did not get to finish plotting The Devil’s Advocate or Mystic Storm (sequel to Mystic Ink). But, hey, there are so many hours in a day. And I’ve learned a lot about my writer self this year.

  • I’m not Nora Roberts or Dean Wesley Smith, capable of pumping out high volume, superior quality manuscripts nearly out of the gate. Plotting and characterization takes time (for me anyway). I have to be totally on-board with the characters and plot, otherwise, I can’t finish the book.
  • I can write a novel in a month. I did it twice. See above – I have to know what is going to happen in my books. I don’t need to know the how or even the why. Those details can come out when I write. I don’t have my million words in yet. But I’m working on it.
  • If there is a zombie apocalypse, I won’t survive long-term. I like modern conveniences way too much.
  • I love Twitter. A lot.  See my post here – Twitterpated.
  • Oh, and the big one, I can sell a book!

    A new day is dawning

I won’t be kicking back anytime soon.  I have a busy 2012 coming up, including promo at other blogs, working on edits for Redemption, writing other books, and I’ll be CT RWA’s new Media Director.  Busy, busy.

How’s your 2011 going? What are you looking forward to in 2012?