My favorite time of day when I worked at a day care was story time. That’s why it is important for me to write books the children will love & the teachers won’t mind reading. I have three children’s books out right now with two more on the way.
Last week I had the privilege of reading to the preschool age class, The Butterflies. They enjoyed my titles; The Mixed Up Easter Bunny, Gilly’s Day At Sea & Sharie’s New Friend. I wish I had more books to read to them. They inspired me to write more!
These books along with my young adult novella, Feel Free to Fly & my Christmas Anthology, An Unorthodox Christmas can also be found on Amazon. Everyone keep reading!
A Moning Maniac is a fan of Karen Marie Moning and her Fever series! I’m swiftly becoming a maniac myself after finishing the 3rd installment in her fantasy-thriller where the Fae are the bad guys. Not all fairies have wings and grant wishes some are the creatures nightmares are made of. If you are looking for something new to read I encourage you to start with book one, DarkFever!
White Wine Wednesday
Chateau Morrisette- Our Dog Blue White blend
The tasting notes read “Aroma: Melon, Citrus, apricots, flowers. Palate: Sweet, firm acidity. Finish: Soft. Semi-sweet blend of Riesling, Traminette, Vidal Blanc. Serve Chilled. Pair: Barbecue, Spicy Foods, try over rice with a slice of orange.”
I heard much about Our Dog Blue well before I ever tried it. To my surprise it was my non-wine-loving friends who were ranting about it. In Virginia Chateau Morisette is a well known Virginia winery. Their wines can be found in grocery stores and at times the liquor store. This particular one I believe does well because it is delightful. Drink it chilled and you are instantly on vacation. The tasting notes are quite accurate if you sip it slowly enough to appreciate all the flavor notes.
Chateau Morrisette has a number of wines I enjoy! If you see the label with the Labrador on it, you are bound for a treat![Top]
TBT Roanoke, Virginia
Roanoke is a city nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains. I think of it as the blue bowl, this is because when you look around in each direction you are surrounded by mountains in the distance with a bluish hue. There is a large star on one of those mountains and that is why myself and many others refer to it as the Star City of the South.
Before visiting Roanoke Virginia, I had been to the Virginia coast, I had been to southeast Virginia, central Virginia, and northwest and northeast Virginia. I had never been to southwest Virginia. I didn’t think there was anything there but farm land and a few big universities. The first time I visited Roanoke I was in for a pleasant surprise.
It was a city, albeit a small, historical railroad city but a city none the less. I felt like it was hidden by the mountains and the plains out of site. But no, due to the railroad Roanoke is not out of sight and has been around for quite some time.
It has a great farmers market on the weekends and has boutique shops and many restaurants downtown. It’s impressive that this small southern city has many different types of ethnic food you must keep your eyes open for them in order to try them all.
I love staring up at the big star on Mill Mountain and looking over at the classic Dr. Pepper and H&C coffee lights from the heart of downtown. If you go for a visit you must go up to the star, do a little hike and maybe even visit the zoo there. There is also a modern art museum, railroad museum and a bunch of new breweries opening! Enough to keep you entertained for the weekend. This is the town my husband is from and it is turning into one of my favorite places to visit.
Wine Wednesday RED
2010 Danais Cabernet Sauvignon
Brad Smith-Napa Valley, California
The label reads 2014 SF Chronicle Gold
I tried this lovely wine at Silenus Vinters in Napa. The smell was refreshing and relaxing I wanted it to be a candle. On my 1-5 Scale I gave it a 4+ for flavor and smoothness. At the time I tasted it, it was being sold for $36 a bottle.
I now use the vivino app on my cell phone and it will tell me the nearest place I can purchase a certain label. See if it is near you and give it a try. This is a good one to sip alone or share with friends!
Three Sisters Island Trilogy
Nora Roberts is a new guilty pleasure. You may laugh that I say new when she’s been around for a while and has written more than 100 novels-but she’s new to me! I enjoy reading her witch books. They have magic, the right amount of romance and good always triumphs over evil. Her latest series is the Dark Witch trilogy. I’ve only gotten around to reading the first one. I enjoyed the storyline, the horses, the men. Thankfully I had not read Gallaghers of Ardmore, like so many other fans have and I was not tainted by the similarities between the two.
I’m not writing today about those though. I’m posting about the Three Sisters Island Trilogy. At this point in time I’ve completed Dance Upon Air and Heaven and Earth. I’m such a sucker for 3 sisters, being one of three myself. When you add the elements Earth, Wind, Fire… (Nora where’s Water?) It really gets me going. Nora Roberts characters have their struggles, their character flaws, accomplishments and failures. Despite being a fantasy trilogy the 3 Sisters and the people they share their lives with are quite lifelike. I look forward to getting around to reading the final book. I will probably pick it up fondly at a used book store and crack it open while sitting on a blanket overlooking the sea <3[Top]
Throwback to Brownsville
If you have never heard of Brownsville Texas the next chance you get google it. It is in the southernmost tip of Texas on the border of Mexico, an area referred to as the Rio Grande Valley. When visiting, it may feel you are in Mexico due to the majority population of Mexican Americans and limited English speaking restaurants, stores and hospitals. You must visit with an open mind and taste for great food!
I was there on a travel nurse assignment. During the interview process for this job the manager informed me that 90% of the patient population did not speak English. That’s great! That will give me a chance to practice my Spanish I remember thinking. However, I was not prepared to use my Spanish while ordering food, while finding things at Walmart nor trying to get my car washed. It was a bit of a culture shock to be there for 3 months. I think by the time I adjusted it was time to move on to the next exciting place. I often think about going back.
People always ask me about the Tex-Mex and I tell them I tried Tex-Mex in Austin. Brownsville has authentic Mexican food. My husband (then fiancé) and I fell head over heels for real tacos pastor, barbacoa & pollo. We will be honest and tell you Menudo is not our thing no matter what everyone swears up and down about in Brownsville. I encourage you to try for yourself. You can find Menudo everywhere even at gas stations.
In Brownsville I tried Ceviche for the first time ever. Ceviche is white fish that is “cooked” by lime juice. When it is done properly it is delicious. The margaritas could be ordered rimmed with candied chili powder and were great for washing down Ceviche.
At first glance Brownsville looks like nothing more than your average suburbia. It has every chain store and restaurant that you can think of but mixed in are hidden gems. For a little more culture, you must head downtown (like in most cities). If you don’t have your passport stay clear of customs and the border. Downtown you will find old buildings, plaques full of Mexican & American history, museums and the zoo. Then surprise, there are more restaurants, cafes, and bars. Don’t be surprised if you gain weight during your visit.
In Brownsville Texas is Palo Alto Battlefield. It is a National Historical Park that is worth a visit. It is the site where the first battle of the Mexican-American war took place. At the time, Texas, or Tejas was part of Mexico. This war changed the borders of the United States and Mexico. Palo Alto Park is a lush combination of desert and prairie and is home to many different species of animals in the Rio Grande Valley. I’d like to revisit the park again one day.
One last thing I will leave you with, be sure to bring your tote bags. This was the first experience I had living near coastal waters where stores charge for plastic bags. Some stores charged as much as $1 a bag. Brownsville is close to the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Every effort to keep plastic away from our waters is necessary.
There you have it! Brownsville was quite the experience and I hope one day I will have the opportunity to go back![Top]
La Vida Vampire-Book Review
By: Nancy Haddock
This book caught my eye immediately at the bookstore. It lured me in by means of a vampire and a title in Spanish. I’m a sucker for vampire novels, and I’m ever still learning to speak in Spanish. Put those things together and you have my interest. Next I turned the book over and read the synopsis and it takes place in St. Augustine Florida. I love St. Augustine, ok no more needed I bought the book.
Francesca is not your ordinary vampire. She enjoys curling up on the couch, watching reruns, surfing and takes online courses. She is adjusting to life in this century and it is not easy for her. There’s old romance new romance and a murder that all take place in picturesque St. Augustine.
I have read my share of vampire novels. This book did not quench my blood lust for a vampire tale, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. The characters are fun; the storyline was easy to follow without being too predictable and it had some history! That’s all you need for this easy read.[Top]
Alexandria, Virginia throwback
It’s Thursday, so I’d like to share a throwback memory with you. I love Alexandria, Virginia. More specifically I find I love Old Towne Alexandria. Alexandria has a specific charm to it, with the quaint roadways and alleys made of cobblestone and all the lovely brick homes. It is full of colonial history and haunting stories and I enjoy all of this. Alexandria was once a large port of call, being right on the Potomac. The boats that visit and reside there now are beautiful sailboats and yachts and of course water taxis.
During my short time spent living in Alexandria, (six weeks to be exact), I enjoyed riding the metro into Washington D.C. and seeing the museums. I even hopped on a boat to Georgetown a couple times. I also enjoyed the quiet places Alexandria had to offer, to think, or to be seen and to people watch. During those short six weeks I did more writing than I’ve done in the last three years. One story turned into a published children’s book. I do say, it’s an inspiring place to be![Top]
Dwellers of the Rainbow~ Book Review
Dwellers of the Rainbow
The Fremont Culture in Capitol Reef Country
There are many theories about the Fremont people. They were named after the Fremont river which runs through eastern Utah (check) and are dated back to 900 A.D. This book is a sneak peek into the discoveries of the Fremont culture; how they lived by what they ate, dressed in and passed their time. I took away from this book, the Fremont thrived and survived in the harsh, unpredictable rocky country of Utah. This was one of the first books I’ve read in its entirety about a specific Native American culture and it has left me wanting to learn more about the Fremont and other native cultures.
Recently my husband and I had an opportunity to visit some of these beautifully, rugged places in Utah and learn about the Fremont and even saw some of their rock art. Their rock art is in the form of petroglyphs (carved in rock), or pictographs (painted on rock), and was so unique to see. No one knows if these particular petroglyphs and pictographs are telling a story, revealing “hunting magic,” or simply doodles of a past culture. This originally sparked my interest in the Fremont people and I’d like to read more.[Top]