Let me be the first to tell you, if you haven't experienced Venice or Paris, please consider doing so!
I just returned home from a trip of a lifetime! What sold me on this experience was the ability to actually ride on the Orient Express!!! Venice and Paris were second in comparison!
We flew out of Orlando, Fl Saturday afternoon and arrived in Venice 9 am Sunday morning. Jet lag? Nah... mostly we slept on the plane. The hotel recommended we stay awake during the first day and to sleep that night to avoid possible jet lag. It worked! Oh and in case I do not mention it later, Merrits Travel was with us and they are truly, without a doubt, an amazing company!
So Sunday, we basically checked in and had the afternoon and evening to ourselves. My husband, John, and I ventured to St Mark's island. OMG was it amazing! We ate at the Florian! If you have not heard of this place (it's okay, I hadn't either) it is the second oldest restaurant in Venice/St Mark's! We ate outside on a white linen table while an orchestra played. AMAZING! I had this delish queshe followed by a chocolate cake. John had a chilled chocolate pie. His was much better and I threatened to steal it! LOL! The rest of the afternoon into the evening was spent walking the square. It was a rough terrain and included many bridges, which we found out were equivalent to our blocks (we have blocks, they have bridges). Oh, and daily, Venice is sinking. There is a plan in place with their government but they have yet to start the upgrades.
Monday we did an excursion of St Mark's square with a tour guide. I highly recommend this. We ventured over the Bridge of Sighs. As romantic as some people assume this bridge is, it is truly not. This bridge connects the Doge's (pronounced DO-ja) house to the prison.
The Doge's palace was remarkable! We also toured St Mark's church. Some claim St Mark is the protector of the island. Well maybe it is now, but it wasn't always the case. A few of the Venician's went over to where St Mark was buried and stole him! They brought his remains to Venice and buried him, renaming the island St Mark's. His remains are still buried there to this day. You'll also see lions with wings, which serve as the protector image of the island.
Crossing over the bridge of sighs took us to the prison. It was still used up till after WWI. That's roughly around 1920. We toured the prison and took a few pictures. There's no windows, no bathrooms, nothing. Just holes in the walls to pass food. Imagine living in something like this... It made me shutter while walking through it.
Tuesday our ventures took us to Murano and Burano. This had to be my favorite part of Venice!
Murano, known for its glass blowing, did not disappoint! We were able to attend a glass blowing demonstration, then toured the shops. We bought a few pieces of jewelry and some trinkets for John's office. Next, we traveled to Burano. I LOVED this village! The homes have many colors! Each color represents how many families live there. So a three room home could hold up to three families, thus, three different colors. Known for its lace making, we toured a small shop and watched lace being made. I ventured up to another two floors of the shop and looked around. One of the sales ladies followed me and we got to talking.
I asked her what the significance of the masks in Venice meant. I had heard it was a big tradition, but what did it truly mean?
She told me the week before [Lent] they celebrate Carnavales (Carnaval). So 2017 it will be February 25-28. Do you recall the legendary Casanova? According to this woman, Casanova started the tradition of the mask wearing. He appeared at a ball wearing a mask and refused to remove it. He danced with many women and had his ways with a few of them (per legend). He continued this year after year and the tradition was picked up by other men. They would wear masks and visit the brothels. Eventually, women began wearing these masks (remember Eyes Wide Shut?). So there you have it, the reason for the masks. Oh... and yes, this has triggered a NEW story! I bought a mask from this store that is egg shell white, with white lace, and beautiful white feathers. I'll take pictures to show you soon! I also purchased a black lace fan. I can see these two beauties come together as a possible book cover!
Eventually, our trip to Venice did come to an end, but the trip was far from over! We then found our way to the Orient Express!!!
We set off from Venice and traveled through five other countries: Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany and landing us in France! It was an amazing journey! If you are able to book yourself a train ride, you MUST consider this train! Smooth ride, fabulous employees, and doing an overnight stay is a MUST!!! This was a bucket list item and I'm so thankful I was able to do it!
Once we arrived in France, we were escorted to our hotel...no scratch that... PALACE! Yes! Hotel Le Meurice had been classified a Palace! THE HOTEL WAS RIDICULOUS IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE!!
Our first day there, we drove all around. Saw the Moulon Rouge, stopped at the Eiffel Tower and saw many other destinations.
I took pictures of statues that included King Louis XIV (more on him later) and Joan of Arc.
We did a walking tour of Paris and OUCH!!! It was a LONG days travel! Did I mention we walked around 6.5 miles a day? Yeah... sore feet!
One of my favorite stops was the Palace of Versailles. King Louis XIV to be precise. His palace was something I never thought I would get to see in my lifetime. Truly an amazing sight! We were able to venture to the maze gardens and witness the water gardens come to life (first picture)! These are rumored to be holy water and have been told to bring about healings. I did not venture close enough to find out myself, but managed to take amazing pictures (to come soon!) We also were able to learn about the living estate for Marie Antoinette, but not able to venture to it. Below is a picture of her estate (picture 2).
The Palace of Versailles took me back to the stories of Henry XIV with his blue stocks and red heeled shoes. Did you know the Louis Boitton shoes were red bottoms were inspired by the King? If not, now you know!
Next, we ventured to the Lourve and viewed the Mona Lisa. It was truly remarkable seeing her painting in the flesh! It was protected behind glass. Did you know DiVinchi had other works of art as well? He had quite a collection and I found it odd so many patrons passed these by. They were just as beautiful as his Mona Lisa.
The Lourve, it would be impossible to visit the entire museum in ONE DAY. I mean, it is almost as large as Versailles! We were not able to venture to the other museum due to lack of time.
Eventually, the trip came to an end. We flew home Sunday and we were so happy to be here! We missed our kiddo terribly.
As stated above, more pictures to come soon! I was able to go live using Facebook time to time and I hope you enjoyed the adventure with me! It was fun to do!
Till next time please keep reading and leaving reviews. Pictures soon!!!
Who doesn't love the smell of a new book? The glue on the spine. The fresh pages. The euphoric aroma of getting lost in a story?
Let's not even get started with older books!
My point here is, online parties. I'm doing them, as well as in person! 2017 my calendar is beginning to fill up! I hope to see you at one of these fantastic events! Click here to check it out!
I'm going to begin to phase out some of my older books and bring more stock of my newer stuff. I'll let you know for sure when that begins to happen.
As far as parties, how often do you attend online parties? Do you participate? Do you get your winnings? If it's an ebook, do you read it and leave reviews? I love having the parties, but I've come to find, more often than not, people who win ebooks are not reading them. Why? It's a free ebook to you. All we ask if for you to leave a review. Consider letting the author know you'd like to send the book to a friend if there's no intention of reading. No offense will be taken; consider this, a new to us reader! Seriously, we'd love that. Sometimes life keeps us busy from reading (trust me, i get it). So read that book and leave a review. Referrals are a GREAT way to show appreciation!
NEW BOOKS ARE COMING! NEW BOOKS ARE COMING! NEW BOOKS ARE COMING!
Okay so yes, new books are INDEED coming soon! I'm working on The Power Here, the sequel to Symphony of Night (spin off of Chronicles of the Fallen series). I'm about 3k words in right now and knowing me, I'll go back and rewrite the first chapter three to four times before I'm happy with it. HA!
I'm also going to be working on book three in the Special Ops series, Ranger, and four, Seal, soon after The Power Here is completed.
Some have asked if Marianne and I will do a sequel to Dragon Master. We'd definitely love to, so let's get those ebook sales going! We would love to tell you more about Lanxston, Sebastian, Jamie's sister... oh yes, let's do this! Get Dragon Master today!
Events, events and MORE events! As 2016 is coming to an end for me, I have one more event left on the books, Beach Babe Book Blast! It's in Tampa and I hope to see you there! I had a great time with the group last year and am looking forward to a fantastic time again this year! Contact me about ticket information and I'll see you there!
Make sure to read to the bottom! I have some new book news to share!!!
Humans already wants us out of their realm. If the stone falls into the wrong hands, all hell will break loose. Samuel, the first of the Fallen, wants the stone and plans on using it to his advantage. When chaos erupts, the humans will find justification for their fears, and the supernatural will be forced to fight back.
My allies are few, and my enemies great. Will I be able to stop Samuel and save the world, or will we be lost along with the humans?
AND NOW... THE NEW NEWS!
The sequel to Symphony of Night is underway! The title, The Power Here, will bring Kai back into the story (you met him in SoN) and introduce you to two new characters; Felix and Angelica.
Kai, the resident Oni Demon, is recovering from the heartbreak of losing Jac. She left with Rowan on her new adventure to Valhalla in Symphony of Night. Kai, now on his own, is getting ready for another battle he didn't see coming.
Felix, the badass motorcycle club were-panther, is determined to bring Kai out of his slump and get him laid! Or die trying (LOL!)
Angelica, the seductress banshee has crushed on Felix from afar and recently friended Kai.
When tragedy strikes Felix, it is up to Kai and Angelica to bring him back to civilization without losing themselves in the process. When Angelica embraces her power, the strength of it scares her so much, she feels as if she's going to lose herself to the darkness. That is until an unlikely ally finds her way back to the trio.
Along the way, Alex and Lisa (remember them from Chronicles of the Fallen?) will make an appearance! I'm so excited to write for these two again!
So who's ready for The Power Here??? If you haven't read Symphony of Night yet, now's your chance (link above)!
There's a LOT happening in August for book releases; not just from me but from other authors as well. I'm also traveling to Savannah for Authors After Dark book convention. I hope to see you there!
Readers will be first to get their hands on paperbacks of Dragon Master, Sniper, and Symphony of Night! Check out the stories below!
Are you getting excited yet? Can you feel it building inside you? Will you explode if you don't get your hands on Brody and King Tryst RIGHT FREAKING NOW???
Trust me, I feel the SAME way and I WROTE THE STORIES! i WANT TO HOLD THEM IN MY HANDS! And by them, I mean the books of course. haha!
Debuting at Authors After Dark event in Savannah, GA will be Sniper, book two in the Special Ops series, and Dragon Master, new book I co-wrote with the award winning author, Marianne Morea!
I'd love to hear from you; thoughts, feedback, if you licked your computer (and how many times). Give it to me! Also, if you would like to reserve yourself a paperback at AAD, please let me know. Till then, look for the stories to hit your ereaders first week of August!!!
I'm arrived home from the Sassy in Jacksonville event. It was small, fun, and the readers attending were fantastic! Everyone seemed genuinely excited to be there. During the signing I was able to reconnect with local readers I knew, met knew to me readers, reconnected with a reader I met last year who came specifically to see me (and y'all I fangirled her HARD for this!) and reconnected with an old friend and his wife. After the event, 9 of us in tow went to have dinner at an Irish bar, allowed an Irish man in a kilt to hit on us (IT WAS FUN!) and had a fantastic time! Laughs and howls were eminent! On our way back, we relaxed, stretched then had a great game of cards against humanity. In all, FANTASTIC!!
Now on to a subject I wanted to touch base on: the do's and don'ts of cons. Some of this may seem redundant others may be reading this for the first time. I've posted about this topic before, but the circumstances were different.
OK... and now for the don'ts:
To close, behave yourself. if there's something you don't like, voice your opinion to that person in a tasteful manner. Don't be mean about it. Don't walk around talking smack. And for all sake here, don't talk smack to readers. Seriously, don't. Always remember, do something good, they'll remember you for it, connection is made, and they'll tell your friends you're awesome (or amazing, or fantastic). If you're nasty, cruel, mean, and talk smack? Yeah, they'll remember you for that too. You pick how you want to be remembered.
Sniper Cover Reveal!
By now you may have already seen Sniper's cover reveal. How do you like Brody? I love this cover! Fellow author and cover artist extraordinaire, AD Roland, brought my visions of Sniper to life with this amazing, hot cover!
I'm so very excited about this story! Check out the synopsis:
Sniper Tom Brody enjoys his life in the Special Ops. He also enjoys his best friend, Antonella, maybe a little too much. Brody and Antonella have an agreement: friends to never cross that line.
Toni has hidden her feelings from Brody for as long as she can remember. Both want to cross the line, so much so, they act on it just before his next deployment.
When life appears to pick back up upon his return home, tragedy strikes. When an idle threat becomes a reality, Brody will encounter a fight he never thought he would have to face; search and rescue for the woman he loves.
Look for Sniper, coming August 2016!
Sassy in Jacksonville!
June 3rd I'm driving up to Jacksonville for the Sassy in Jacksonville event! If you're in the area, or surrounding areas, please come by and see us! I'll have all my books in print with me! We'll be at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront. Click on the link to get hotel directions! I hope to see you!!!
By now you may have read Delta Force and met Logan Saunders, witnessed the brawl that happened after a training mission, the 'intimate' bathroom sex scene (poor Sterling), oh and the one-night menage... yeah if you've not read this story, you DEFINITELY need to get on this!
Miranda gives Logan a run for his money when it comes to control. I mean, the woman will sit on her bed and do things to herself, and not allow Logan to play... simply watch. I mean, hot, right? (you seriously need to read this!)
Many have expressed a real interest in Sniper, and getting to know Brody better. Oh boy... how do I explain to you how naughty this man is, the lessons in how to become a submissive, the plugs, the wands... oh my! Brody is a serious lover and man... the love he has for Toni is very special... epic! He will push her boundaries in a way that set her up for a serious fall. But this is okay. Why you ask? Because, he will be there on the other side... to catch her. YES!!! I love this man!
Yesterday, I was working with fellow author and amazing cover designer, AD Roland. We went through images of who could potentionally be on the covers of Ranger and Seal. Well ladies and gentlemen, the images have been selected and she's setting up the covers as I type this! I can't wait to share them with you! Watch for the cover reveal of Sniper, book two in the Special Ops series, coming soon!!
So there's this book I've been co-writing with author Marianne Morea. You may have heard us talking about it at The Novel Experience in Atlanta, or maybe read about us writing it via social media. We're closing in on finishing it and thought, why not share some of it?
Who's ready for a sneak peek into Dragon Master? The two chapters attach introduce you to King Tryst, Jamie, Luke, and Sebastian Lord Dragon. Get ready because this story is a WILD RIDE!!! This sci-Fi/Fantasy will make you re-think what we know about magic, vortexes and the like! Get ready because this story is unlike anything you've ever read before!!!!
Click here to grab the sneak peek into Dragon Master!!!
Special Ops News and Information
Delta Force has been released a little over a month now. People have met Logan and enjoyed his story. Heartache followed by becoming a stubborn asshole to meeting the woman of his dreams who changes his life forever... Well let's say Delta Force invokes a lot of emotion!
OMG he's a beast! -- Amazon review
Holy Hannah! I figured I read a little before I go to sleep...well I could not put this book down and finished! -- Amazon review
[She] carried him when he didn't know he was being carried. -- Amazon review
This book is full of emotions, it makes you hopeful, cry, laugh, pissed and then happy. -- Author Lily-Ann Johnson, author of Blondie's Hero
What's next? Sniper is coming out mid-summer! If you've read Delta Force then you've met Tom Brody. Brody's story is told in the next installment and let me tell you... it's HOT!! Where Logan reclaims his life in Delta Force, Brody teaches his girlfriend, Tony, how to live life in the world of BDSM!
I've been planning out book three, Ranger, recently, and this story will take me into a very dark place. As thought on this story, plotting it out, and listening to the voice of Ponce (you'll meet him in Delta Force), I'm touched, moved, and scared to death to write this story. I chatted with a friend today about his story and before I could even tell her, I was on the verge of tears. Once I gained control of myself, she went a little nuts with me! It's dark story telling, more so than I have attempted before. So a part of me is excited to venture down this unknown road, while the other is fearful to considering knocking on that door. Once the door opens and I decide to walk through it, there's no going back. That is the exciting, and fearful part of it all!
You've also seen posts where I'm writing a book with Marianne Morea. Well we're closing in on being done! It may happen this week! Dragon Master is happening and our goal is to have it ready for Authors After Dark! We're both very excited about this story and cannot wait for you to meet King Tryst, Sebastian Lord Dragon, Jamie, Luke and Rowena!
Books, Books, and more... Returns?
There's been post among post recently of authors having books bought and returned. Maybe it's because the reader doesn't like it, maybe it was a duplicate purchase (although Amazon prevents this if you've already bought the book) or maybe the cost of the book is just too much.
Is 99 cents or the amount of $3.99 too much for someone's budget? Let's take a look at this and see...
Book for $3.99 is a one time purchase fee and the ebook you get to keep for the lifetime of your Amazon (or however you read through) account. (unless Amazon et al changes their dynamic, this is the way it is.)
Maybe the toilet paper was so good, but it was $1.00 more than the average? Would you use the toilet paper then return it to the store? Of course not! How embarrassing would that be! "Excuse me, Joe Q. Public. I wiped my ass with this, but I think it should be free, so I'm returning it."
Oh, and let's not forget Starbucks. If the latte is so amazing, would you drink it, then demand your money back because it was too expensive? Would you pee and demand a refund because the latte is now out of your system and you think, "it should have been in my system at least another full day." Imagine taking a bottle of pee to the Starbucks counter... Eww... just as bad as returning poopy toilet paper. Disgusting, right?
SO WHY IS IT OKAY TO RETURN READ BOOKS? GO TO THE LIBRARY AND GET A FREE BOOK!!! Don't tell an author to make their books free! We spend a lot of our time away from home writing these stories, time away from our families, and put so much effort into them. Whether you enjoy them or not, do not steal by reading and returning. If you loved it, leave a review saying as much. If not, we'll take that one to two star over a return any day. Please, for all things holy, stop returning our books!!!
My first event is behind me for 2016, the Novel Experience Event in Atlanta. If you missed it, you sure missed a great time! My next event will be in Jacksonville on June 4th! I hope to see you there! To check out my next in person appearance, go to my events tab (click here).
Sassy in Jacksonville (June 4th) is a one day mass signing. We'll be right on the beach so I hope to see you there! I'm setting up two outings; one Friday night and one Saturday after the signing. I hope to see you there so we can hang out! Go to my events page for more information!
Next will be Authors After Dark in Savannah August 3rd through the 7th. This will be the last and final AAD event so I REALLY hope to see you there! I'll be releasing Sniper, book two, just before the event! I'm also co-writing a book with Marianne Morea called Dragon Master! Both books we plan on having available at the event!
You know who else is planning a release during AAD? Sherrilyn Kenyon! She will be joining us the entire week! She'll be releasing a book in her series and wants to celebrate it with you!
Click on my events tab for more information!
Finally to end the year on a high note, I'll be back in Tampa for Beach Babe Book Blast November 12th! Join us for this one day mass signing! Last years event was outstanding and I'm expecting good things to come around again! Click on my events tab for more information!
That's all from me for now. It's a lot, and a lot needed to be said. Make it a fantastic day and leave that review for the books you've read, don't return them, get excited with me for Sniper and Dragon Master, and I'll see you at the next event!
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