Enhancing your Romantic Getaway!

Whether your getaway-for-two is over Valentine’s Day or not, by land or by sea, you can enhance your romance wherever you go — without spending a fortune. Here are some inexpensive and easy tips: Find a garden. It could be right there at your resort, in a park near your hotel, or part of an […]

via Easy Ways to Enhance Your “Getaway” Romance — I Luv2cruz!

It’s Snippet Sunday!

Hey, readers,

Here’s a treat for you today. I’m inviting authors of all kinds of genres to share a tempting snippet from one of their books to give us a quick peek into their story. It’s a fun way to get a look at new authors and books you might not have discovered.

If you’re an author, please post in the comments a short paragraph or few lines to give us a hint about your book and writing style. (No erotica. One buy or website link only, please)

I’ll start. Here’s a snippet from Barefoot Days, book three in my small-town women’s fiction trilogy. Coming soon!

John gave a barely perceptible nod, and walked past Mary.

Mary stepped to the counter and gave her order while frost settled in her chest. What in the world was going on? She couldn’t remember offending anyone – recently. Mentally, she ticked through the various committees she served, trying to pinpoint an issue. She came up empty, but she was no stranger to drama. The slightest ember could erupt into flames with but a whisper of hot air.

Find books one and two here!

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

Hello, everyone! Thanks for visiting the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop! Spring has sprung, and we’re celebrating! Visit all the authors on the tour for great gardening tips, recipes and a chance to win some fantastic books and prizes!

Here’s my tip:

Location, Location, Location!

My tip is more about how to enjoy your garden than growing or protecting it. If you’re considering a water feature, here’s something you might want to think about:

yellow birds

Birds love water features. Now, you may love birds, but do you want them on your patio? Trust me. You don’t.

My husband and I installed a water feature a few years ago. We thought we had the perfect place for it –– a small cut-out in our patio, at the edge, near the house. We’d be able to see the feature and birds from inside the house. And, of course, we’d hear the water bubbling pleasantly when we were outside on the patio. We like the birds, and I love the sound of the water.

The problem? It’s not a good location. A couple of times a year there must be something the birds eat that makes them very thirsty. They converge on the water — and patio — in great multitudes. And they leave a little something behind. Yep. Bird poop. Everywhere. On the patio, the chairs, the pillows, the cushions . . . ugh.

I was prepared for the annual winterizing and refilling. But I wasn’t prepared for the constant clean-up detail. Consider placing your feature a little farther out where birds can perch on trees or shrubs rather than patio furniture. Choose wisely, friends! And enjoy your outdoor space!

 

PRIZES!

Leave a comment (and your email contact info in case you are a winner!) to enter the giveaway drawing. To be eligible for the Grand Prize, you MUST visit and comment on each participating author’s site!

GRAND PRIZE: We are giving away a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a 2nd prize of $25 gift card. Woo-hoo!!

DARLENE’S PRIZE: I’m offering two prizes:

  1. a signed paperback copy of one of my novels plus author swag. Please note, will be mailed to U.S. resident only.
  2. a digital copy of one of my novels — international eligibility

For “extra” entries in my giveaway, follow my blog or my Facebook page!

Darlene’s Facebook

The Tour ends April 16th at 11:59pm EST. Tell your friends!

 

Visit all the participating authors, and leave your comment!

Good Luck, and Happy Spring to all!

Click on the link below to see all authors

AUTHORS

 

 

Survive and Thrive . . . novels for women

Hello, friends!
As I mentioned last week, I’ve met so many interesting people in the world of writing and publishing. To me, it’s always fun to meet new authors, and learn about their journey. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Charmaine Gordon, author of women’s fiction and romance, and her newest work, When Double Becomes Single Again. Welcome, Charmaine!

Charmaine -10 sATURATED_pp8x10g-72y
Darlene,
Thanks for inviting me to your blog today. As strangers we are starting from scratch and that’s often a good thing. If we were in a bar, we might say “Come here often?” but no we’re in outer space, both authors who write about women who survive and thrive. If you don’t survive, you’re in big trouble and yet many women are too weak to stand up and make a life for themselves after a drastic situation has happened. I’ve been there and it’s a scramble to put on make-up, dress well, go to work and keep your head up. I recall when my first husband died suddenly, the psychologists on the radio talked about men liking younger women. I looked in the rear view mirror to see an attractive woman-ME-and decided I was okay and not to worry. A year later, I married a sweet guy and we’re happy together. At 84 that’s a stretch.

I often wonder where a story comes from. For me. I sleep write and stories blossom but in the case of When Double becomes Single, this story is part of my real life-at least the beginning. I cried a lot and eased up as the heroine learned to become single after being married about thirty five years. She talks to him at night the way many widows do, her dogs keep her company and she works the business they started when they were young. Eventually she blossoms. That’s where my heart sings. And not to worry, there is an HEA.

Excerpt: When Double Becomes Single Again

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The touch of her husband’s lips on hers warmed Sharon Michaels all the way home from the hospital. Remembering his whispered I love you before she left released a cascade of tears. She groped in her bag for a tissue, found none and used the sleeve of her good winter coat as a blotter. Mac would fix Barry. Their favorite doctor always knew the magical potion to apply. Even when Fred, their difficult teenager now in his thirties, started using marijuana and refused to stop, Mac knew what to do. Tough Love was the prescription. No driver’s license and other privileges allowed until he straightened out. So Barry’s bad cough should be easy like the croup. Hmm. Fred still held a grudge against us. Get home and go to sleep.

Exhausted after hours visiting with her husband at Community Hospital in Suffern, New York, Sharon stripped and pulled on flannel pajamas. Too tired to shower, she brushed her teeth, washed her face and slipped under the comforter on this chilly night. The phone rang. She picked it up. Mac Bloom, the family doctor said something she couldn’t quite hear.

“Crisis? Is that what you said? What do you mean crisis? I left him at the hospital about an hour ago. We kissed and said I love you the way we’ve always done for thirty six years.”

Their doctor for many a long time sighed. She heard urgency and sadness in his voice. “Sharon, is anyone at home with you?”

About Charmaine . . .
Charmaine Gordon writes books about women who Survive and Thrive. Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Six books and several short stories in three years, she’s always at work on the next story. The books include To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission and The Catch, and her series of Mature Romances, The Beginning…Not the End, including the stand alone novellas, She Didn’t Say No and Farewell, Hello and her most recent series, River’s Edge Stories where the town motto is Kindness to Strangers.

“I didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, I’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. I learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, I was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand-in leg model, my first job giving me entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, I began another career and creative juices flowed.”

Where to find Charmaine…
Facebook
Twitter
Website

Purchase on Amazon

Hello, friends! OcWedding Bands 99 cents adcasionally, I like to have guests on my blog to share their work, an interesting story, travel tips or experiences you might enjoy.

Today, I’m excited to host a fellow RONE Award finalist, Ev Bishop. Like me, Ev writes romance and women’s fiction, and she’ll be meeting and greeting readers at the InD’Scribe convention in Palm Springs next month. Dozens of authors will be attending. If you live in southern California, or just want a trip to a warm and sunny destination, come join us!

Ev’s romance novel “Wedding Bands” is currently on sale. Here’s a peek:
Wedding Bands by Ev Bishop, River’s Sigh B & B, Book 1

Ditched by her high school sweetheart, Callum Archer, on the night they’re supposed to elope, Jo Kendall casts out on her own, brokenhearted.

Over the years, Jo reels in a life she loves, centered on the outdoors, fishing (favoring a lucky wedding band lure), and her fine dining restaurant—a life that crashes away when her husband and business partner cheats her, leaving her bankrupt and alone.

Then her uncle dies, bequeathing Jo and her sister, Samantha, his rural property. Jo returns to Greenridge, determined to build a new business and permanent home—without the help of a man. Unfortunately Samantha wants her inheritance in cold, hard cash and hires a lawyer to get it for her, a lawyer who turns out to be none other than Jo’s long-lost love, Callum.

Jo’s fledgling plans—and her heart—are at risk once more.

If Jo can fight her insecurities, she might end up with a wedding band that doesn’t come with a sharp hook. But should she risk everything she’s worked for, yet again? Before she can decide, she needs to know: can a lost love truly be reclaimed?

Get your copy for 99 cents!

Have Fun . . . Stay Safe!

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Hello, everyone!
I was telling my favorite travel agent about my book club gals’ recent getaway to Branson, and she offered to send along some expert travel tips for women. So if a girls’ getaway is in your plans this summer (and I hope so!), here are a few reminders for having fun and staying safe. Happy travels to all!

1. Staying Healthy — advance planning is key. I always gather up a small bag of supplies as sort of an “emergency kit” with items such as a packet of Kleenex, some cough drops, tube of Dramamine pills, sheet of Pepto-Bismol tablets, tiny bottle of hand sanitizer, handful of Band-aids, tube of Neosporin, and some sort of headache remedy.
Get your prescriptions filled, too, and keep all of these items in your carry-on. Since you can’t carry onto a plane liquid items of more than three ounces, be sure to pack in your check-bag some sunscreen and insect repellant as well.
These are especially important for international travel, because you don’t know how easy/difficult it might be to find such items at your destination and they will certainly cost a lot more (on my last trip with friends someone had to buy cough drops and they were four Euros for a pack of 8!).
In most places, quality hotels, resorts, and restaurants are going to have water and tea that you can safely drink, but do purchase bottled water from the hotel or at a store (not from street vendors) to have while you’re out. But don’t avoid water, because letting yourself get dehydrated will make you feel sick. Go easy on the alcohol. Eat meals and snacks when you get a chance and resist the urge to worry about your weight! You need energy! Feeling too-hungry in the middle of the day will zap the fun right out of you and make you feel queasy.
And I must mention: never, ever approach an animal, either wild or domesticated.

2. Personal Security — let someone know your itinerary – what are your flights, where are you supposed to be and when, hotel names, etc. Working with a travel agent is a good idea, too, for smooth coordination of logistics and records of each reservation detail. I wouldn’t put all this information in your check-bag, but a note with your name and the phone number of your next stop inside would be helpful to your airline/tour operator/cab company if your bag were to be misplaced.
Everyone knows about safeguarding your room keys, not disclosing your room information to anyone outside of your group, and using in-room safes for jewelry, small electronics, and travel documents that you don’t want to carry with you while you’re “out and about.” Never leave your purse, camera, or phone unattended. A cross-body bag that you can hold in front of you is the best accessory to take.
Stay together as best you can, and wear comfortable shoes that you could run in to escape a mugger or pickpocket. People romance about the idea of getting “off the beaten path,” but seriously, it is much better for your sightseeing value and for your safety to stick with the “touristy” areas.

3. Security of Possessions — file a report with your airline immediately, before you leave the airport, if your bag doesn’t show up on the carousel! You are entitled to certain expense reimbursements in the event of delayed or lost luggage, so look up those policies on their website and be prepared to stand firm for your rights just in case. Also on that website – information on restricted items, which will certainly be confiscated if you mistakenly pack them (forget about your aerosol hairspray, sorry).
Never pack your travel documents, medications, electronics, valuable jewelry, or anything you can’t live without for a day or two. Leave your designer clothes behind. I’ve had items stolen from checked bags – new bottle of fragrance, new tube of toothpaste (!?), fancy face cream – so now I never take anything new, and I tuck tampons around my expensive personal-care products that I can’t live without (TSA and airline employees won’t touch them!).
Look out for each other – lost on our trip: a pair of sunglasses, a cap, and a jacket! If we had all been alert to check the back of a chair, glance under the table, or give the area one last go-over we wouldn’t have gone off and left them.
And last, don’t over-fret about things (lose a bag and have to buy a couple of new outfits? Oh darn… ) Maintain a sense of perspective on the very slim chance of anything bad happening – of course you want to be prepared and use common sense – but you really want to relax and enjoy your trip!

Tips from Janet McLaren, Travel Specialist
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
972-231-0066, 1-866-592-7351
jmclaren@cruiseplanners.com
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