Tag Archives: #amtraveling

A busy day in #NYC and #RWA2019

 

Today was the official first day of the conference, but nothing started until 2 pm, so i took advantage of the beautiful day and toured around the city a bit.

Visited the place where I spent many a happy day as a NYC college student, The New York Public Library on 42nd street and Bryant Park

Okay, go ahead and laugh, because my eyes really do look crooked int this photo!

I passed by my favorite street address in all the world

and two buildings I’ve visited more times in my life than I remember.

SO when the festivities began at 2, I spent the rest of the day learning, networking, eating, and visiting with the best people in the world: My romance sistahs from from and near!

Today is the INDIE BOOK signing, so if you’re attending, look for me! I’ve got free books!

Until next time ~Peg

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This tired #worldtraveler is still Blogging away…

Last week I was pretty much on radio silence (except for promoting my 7.2.19 book release) because I was vacationing in London with family. One of my brothers-in-law hails from the country and we figured he’d be the best tour guide we could find.

We were right!

For those of you who have flown to any place in Europe, or points east of the US, you know the time change is a bitch. And it was. The first day I felt like I hadn’t slept in 10 weeks. But I rallied thru. The houses of Parliament were first, followed by the Tower Bridge.

A quick bite to eat in a local pub and it was off to bed.

Sunday we tackled the Tower of London

A few heads rolled in that place.

This was the view from out hotel – The London Eye.

One of the highlights of the vaca was a day trip to the Canterbury. We didn’t hear any tales, but we saw some great sights and had a proper high tea in a teahouse.

I even found the best titled book store EVAH!

So, that’s a little taste of what we did for a few days. More to come in following blogs. I’ve got to sleep now because I’m still on UK time!

Until next time ~Peg

 

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#bookrelease featuring #WRPbks Author Jean Grant, A Hundred Breaths

You all know I lovelovelove when one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs comes for a visits and brings me info on a new book they’ve got releasing. Today, JEAN GRANT is visiting and telling me – and you ! – about her new book release A HUNDRED BREATHS available today! First, Jean’s giving us a little insight into how she does her research for the book. Then, stick around because she’s got a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from the book to whet your reading appetites!!

Here’s Jean…..

Researching Culture and Setting: Viking ships, Abbeys, and Enchanting Castles

Like any novel, I take my research seriously! A Hundred Breaths delves into the Norse culture and I was fortunate to tour an actual Viking ship, the Draken Harald Hårfagre, last year. When I heard this ship was coming to a port near us (Mystic, CT, and only an hour drive away), I messaged the captain and booked myself tickets. The researcher in me squealed with delight. The ship did not let me down. I asked questions, got to walk along the deck, and my sons got to “steer” with the steerboard. This ship was built as a fully working replica based on much research of Norse vessels. The crew was handpicked and sailed it cross the Atlantic Ocean. Exploring the vessel gave me a taste of what it must have been like to sail the ocean as a Viking.

 

Gwyn and Simon’s journey in A Hundred Breaths also takes them to Dryburgh Abbey. I had loved Scotland for years, and in 2008, finally planned a visit there. One stop was to visit the lowland abbeys. I’ll admit that Dryburgh Abbey was an idea from a previous manuscript (ahem, a “practice one”). With a bit of brainstorming, and since I had already done the research and visited the rosy stone abbey, I worked this setting into part of the story. Though much in ruins, a few of the sidewalls remain. Echoes of yesterday blew on the wind (aye, wet wind…did I mention it rained during our entire trip to Scotland?) as we explored this ancient landmark. It was eerie, exquisite, and inspiring.

Aside from the moors and machair of the Western isles, the other key location for the series is Eilean Donan Castle. This castle originated in the 13th century, becoming the future seat of Clan MacKenzie, and has been burned, attacked, and rebuilt numerous times. The sun shone on us during this visit, and right before a tour bus unloaded, we snapped some picturesque shots of this highly photographed romantic Scottish castle.

Next on the wish list? To get to Uist, Lewis, and Harris on our next trip to Scotland (we made it to Skye, and it was a soaker), visit some standing stones, and find out if I can also feel the earth’s hum within them…and for the hiker in me, I would enjoy the multi-day trek along Hadrian’s Wall.

A HUNDRED BREATHS

 

1263, Scotland

Simon MacCoinneach’s vengeance runs deep. The blade is the only way to end the blood-thirsty Nordmen’s reign upon Scottish soil. His soul might be lost, but the mystical Healer he kidnaps from the isles could be the answer for his ailing mother…and his heart.

Isles-born Gwyn reluctantly agrees to a marriage alliance with this heathen Scot in return for the sanctuary of her younger brother from her abusive Norse father. Her brother’s condition is beyond the scope of her Ancient power, for larger healings steal breaths of life from her own body.

As Simon and Gwyn fight to outwit her madman father and a resentful Norse betrothed, Gwyn softens Simon’s heart with each merciful touch. Gwyn’s Seer sister foresees a bloody battle—and an end to the Nordmen—but Simon will also die. Will Gwyn save Simon on the battlefield even if it means losing her last breath?

Excerpt 

“I’m your wife, and still I am guarded?”

Simon shrugged though she couldn’t see. He’d given up on excuses. “What must I do to prove I won’t flee? I signed your marriage contract. I said my vows.” Her voice broke on those words.

Was she crying? He laid the tray of food on her table and approached. He didn’t touch her, as much as he wanted to link his arm within hers as they’d done during their walks. He reached inside his ganache and withdrew her small, simple dagger. Unadorned with jewels or carvings, it possessed a bone hilt and a blade worn from use. Likely from tree limbs, flowers, and household use. His smith had sharpened it and cleaned the hilt.

“Here,” he said, placing it in her lap. Gildy had retrieved the sheath from Gwyn’s laundered gown.

Gwyn stared at it, her fingertips dancing butterfly wings hovering over the hilt. After a moment, she drew her hand around it and pulled it from its leather sheath. She rose and whirled on him, the dagger pointed out before her, barely pressing into his chest.

He didn’t retreat as he met her fiery, misty gaze.

She made no move to remove the dagger’s tip.

“A smidge to the center, Gwyn, and you’ll be square over my blackened heart.” He held her glower. The heat blazed in her entrancing blue eyes like the devil. He fought a smile.

Buy links: 

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Google Play

A little more about Jean Grant….

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

Social Media links:

Website  //   Twitter //  Facebook //  Goodreads // Bookbub //  Amazon Author Page

Peggy here – Jean, thank you so much for being my guest today. Good luck with A Hundred Breaths and all of your other endeavors!

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Leaving on a jet plane….

If you get the John Denver reference, you know where I’m heading today. A week of workshops, friendship renewals, motivation, and hopefully some book sales and new readers. Hee hee – I had to put that one in!

Any hoo….

I’m sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight to leave and thought I’d check in and let you know that the rest of my posts this week will be coming to you livelivelive from Denver, CO and the #RWA2018 conference. Stay tuned for daily updates – sometimes more than 1! and for tidbits from the conference.

This year, the event is even more special because my dear writing friend and NHRWA sistah, LISA OLECH, is a Rita Award nominee. I can’t wait to cheer her on and scream with glee when she wins!!!

SO, wish me safe travels and I’ll check in soon! Be well and look for me here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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So…Iceland, part III

Food is an integral part of my life. Really. I get HANGRY often, like every 1-2 hours. So when we were in Iceland I needed to eat on my regular schedule. Unfortunately, after day 1 of paying the unbelievably ridiculous prices for food costs there, I had to amend and alter my usual eating habits.

Case in point: This bowl of Mushroom soup in a bread bowl cost 1,950 Kronurs, or $19.50 American. Add in the soda for $6.50

and a simple lunch for the four of us was over $100.00.

Case in point 2: The place we ate this meal was voted the # 1 food spot in all of Iceland according to YELP( my daughter and niece are big viewers of reviews for everything.)

A bowl of sliced chicken ( with some really spicey spice that I didn’t know it had until I took a bite and then gave the entire thing to hubby to eat) some plain salad greens and cardamom noodles plus a bottled water was 2,200 Kronur total so $22.00. I didn’t even eat it because of the spices.

Case in point 3: There are typically Western eateries in Iceland as well as the traditional faire. The prices, though, are strictly unAmerican. This was the Krispie Kreme vendor in the supermarket we shopped in on day one so we could keep groceries for breakfast in our AirBnB:

Now, the last time I had a Krispie Kreme donut was in Las Vegas about 15 years ago. It brought on a gall bladder attack so violent, I needed emergency surgery to remove the organ. First and last time I ever had  a Krispie Kreme. I think I remember that donut costing $1.50 ( Plus $20,500 for the surgery I needed after). In Iceland, each donut was 699 Kronur, so $6.99. For one friggin’ donut. I don’t know how in the world Icelanders afford to live, much less eat.

Maybe that’s why every native we spotted was so skinny. Really. Not one obese person did we spot anywhere in the country we traveled. Charge way too much money for the food and people don’t eat as much.

Food for thought, eh?

When I’m not bemoaning the cost of food in foreign lands you can find me hereTweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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So…Iceland

Last week I promised I’d share some memories of my recent Iceland trip and I’ve finally gotten a moment to sit down and put something together. This was a trip orchestrated by my daughter and which included myself, hubby, darling daughter and one of my fabulous nieces. This is us at the start of the trip. Notice the excellent and wicked expensive hiking boots we all have on. Necessary for walking, hiking, and basically existing in Iceland.

On my last blog I shared the things I liked and didn’t like so much about the tiny island. One of the things I had trouble with is the weather. I rained everyday. Every. Single. Day. All day. So we spent a great deal of time in the car, traveling to sites. One of my favorite places was to a waterfall, about 50 miles from downtown Reykjavik. Touring a waterfall on a warm, sunny day would have been bliss. On an already 45 degree, raining and windy day it….wasn’t. But it was fun! We actually got to climb up the perimeter of the waterfall and go behind it. I filmed a few seconds of our time as we stood behind the powerful rush and took a bunch of photos.

After the waterfall we drove to a LavaRock Tunnel. Think Carlsbad Caverns, but in Iceland. We went down into the bowels of Iceland about 60 meters ( 180 feet for you Americans, like me!!). I have to tell you, I was scared. Of so many things, but the biggest thing was the fear of being trapped underground should the lava shift and fall in on us.

You can see from this picture that this is the start of the “tour.” There is a huge whole in the ground where snow routinely falls into all year long. Notice the black rock we maneuvered over – that’s lava rock. 1,000,000 year old lava rock. Okay I’m not sure that’s how old it is, but you get the idea. It didn’t form last week. Not even last century! And yes, those are hard hats with lights attached to our heads. Second biggest fear? The lights would burn out and we’d been in total and complete darkness and unable to find our way back to the beginning of the cave. Told you I was scared!

On the last day of the trip we spent the day sightseeing in Reykjavik. Since it was yet another cold, rainy, and windy day, we figured we’d museum hop. 

I was able to take one picture before my daughter silently pointed to a sign that said “photography prohibited” in eight languages. Ooops. One cool thing about the city: tucked into sidestreets and painted along the sides of buildings and random houses, are dozens of street art painting. This one was my favorite:

It covered the complete side of an office building, so to get some perspective on it, the entire mural was about ten feet wide by 30 feet tall. Impressive!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the food and some other places we went. Here’s a hint: it was rainy and cold. (Heehee)

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Bad Wifi makes for an unhappy blogger…..

So the last time I blogged I was waiting for my flight to leave, bound for Orlando, Fl, and RWA 2017. The wifi in the airport was primo. 

After a long, hot, sweaty, and annoying wait for my shuttle car to arrive at airport pickup, I finally arrived at the Walt Disney Resort- Dolphin Hotel. Answer honestly: does this look like a dolphin?

Doesn’t it kinda look like a nice pufferfish? You know – the ones that kill you by injecting tetrodotoxin into your bloodstream if you eat the wrong part of it??

This is the sister hotel, the Swan.

Yeah. Aptly named, I think.

Anyway, I digress….

I arrived safe – sweaty – but sound, checked in and went to dinner with some of my chapter mates from NHRWA. To bed early and then a big day to start the conference off with a bang. Right away Wednesday a.m. I registered to make myself official.

This is me, all official:  Sorry that my eyes look crossed. I never know where to look when I take a selfie! Hee hee.

 

After checking in I happen to spot one of my writing besties, Marianne Rice and the amazeballs RaeAnne Thayne, so of course we had to have a picture!

A few workshops that first afternoon and then an evening to network. The Swan/Dolphin resorts are linked to what’s called The Disney Boardwalk, so a few of my chapter mates and I again went to eat. Lots of walking and eating at this conference! I got in my 10,000 steps a day, PLUS. It’s Dinsey, so of course, we paid through the teeth for a simple Italian themed dinner, but, oh well. Like I said, it’s DISNEY!

I’m going to do individual blogs for the next week or so to let you know some of the highlights of the trip. Here’s some hints: the blogs include using your creative brain – and not for writing, and total fan girl moments that changed my life!! Hee Hee. Hope you’re intrigued.

Off, now, to do six loads of laundry then grocery shop for the week because, you know….life.

You can find me here now that I’m home:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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#RT2017 day 1, reflections

Yesterday was the first day of RT in Atlanta, and it was an abbreviated day. No morning sessions, or parties, or anything until 2:30 pm. I got my name tag, figured out all the rules and regs about the book signing, etc. I look a little cock-eyed in this picture, but I’m official, so that’s all that matters.

Since I’ve never attended an RT convention before, I attended what was called  RT CONVENTION VIRGINS. Yeah. It’s just like it sounds. A packed room full of people ( writers, readers, bloggers, industry folks) who have never….experienced RT before. You thought I was going to say something dirty, didn’t you? Admit it!. Anyway. It was an hour filled with stuff you need to know to have a good RT experience. The number one thing all the presenters said that will make your experience memorable and worthwhile? Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Yeah…I know. Maybe it’s the nurse in me but I thought this was just something common sense-y everyone knew.

Apparently not. Stories of people fainting while standing in line or getting urinary tract infections ran the gamut during the talk. Okay. So, of course, I drank. A lot. But I do anyway.

The next thing on my agenda was something called Naughty and Nice. Hosted by a bunch of authors, it was supposed to be an hour of mingling with cover models, sampling Peach bellinis, and tasting dark chocolate. I say supposed because I never got into the event. The one thing I wish the VIRGIN committee would have told me was that you need to line up, like, an hour before the event starts ( hence the fainting, dehydration, yadayadyada). I got to the event space at 4:50 for an 5:15 start and already the line was into the next state. They only admitted 150 people and I was, like, number 482. So, yeah…didn’t get that experience.

Two sessions down and I’m feeling a little…let down. But not to worry. CINEMA CRAPTASTIQUE was on the agenda with the amazeballs Damon Suede. This one was a blast, peeps, especially since I helped stuff goodie bags for the participants and was able to include some of my swag!Anyway, the movie that was watched was the turkey GLITTER starting Mariah “I’m a DIVA from Hell” Carey. Damon ran commentary the entire time the movie was on and I can tell you I needed to change my underpants when I got back to my room because I laughed so much I peed a few times! ( all that f**king water to keep hydrated!)

Today is jammed packed as it’s the first full day of the event. I’m meeting with a potential Literary agent, attending a few classes and then a big party tonight that my publisher KENSINGTON is co-sponsoring called ROMANCE ROCKABILLY. I’m sure I’ll have lots to tell about that on tomorrow’s blog!

I’ll be posting pix and live Tweeting during the event so you can find me here if you’d like to experience RT life vicariously!!:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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A little more ranting about #AirTravel

So, today is day 1 of RT2017. Registration is later and then activities and classes begin…more on that, well, later.

But first. After a long ass hauling day of travel ( see the previous blog) which saw me arriving in Atlanta, I made it to my hotel after waiting almost 30 minutes for my scheduled shuttle bus – don’t even ask! – up to my room and when I opened one of my suitcases, I found this:

Really??!!

The placard this was in was the luggage I had all my book swag and makeup in. Did the TSA really think I was going to commit mayhem with my business cards? Cause rampant panic with the handpainted shopping bags I painted MYSELF to give out during the FAN-tastic day event? Maybe they thought I’d knock someone out with the extra books I brought just in case I ran out at the official book signing, and not have any left for the Sunday event? Hmmmmm? I know – they probably thought I could do physical harm to someone with my eyeliner pencil.

Rid-ic-u-lous!

Post-911 air travel really sucks wind. Loud and badly!

Oh well. At least they didn’t confiscate anything. I would have really been pissed if my deadly mascara or eyeliner wouldn’t have been where I packed them.

This will be – I promise – the last rant for the week.

While I’m in Atlanta at RT, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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RT 2017 Bound

As I sit in the airport and wait – patiently, which is not my strong point! – for my plane to whisk me away to Atlanta, GA and my very first RT Convention, I am struck by several thoughts.

  1. It took forever to get to the airport from my house!!! I don’t remember it taking so long before, but it was probably because the main road I have to travel on is one lane and it was “rush hour” traffic this morning. Which, in all honesty, is a ridiculous moniker for New Hampshire, but…. By the time I got to the airport, during a ride my GPS told me would take 75 minutes, it actually took over 2 hours and I had to pee sosososososososo bad!!! Plus I had to walk from long term parking because the bus had just left when I arrived and the schedule said it wouldn’t be back for 20 minutes. WE all know how much I hate to wait, so…
  2. It is so much HARDER to travel via plane now than it used to be in the pre-911 world. I know we are almost 16 years past that horrible time, but I’m one of the lucky ones who can remember when you didn’t have to get undressed to get thru security, when you could carry a filled water bottle through the viewing machine and not have to spend $5.00 to get a new one on the other side of the security line. I remember what it was like before the lines to go through the security check took about 5 minutes instead of 50. I also remember what it was like before I needed to have an invasive xray prior to getting through the line. And since I’m ranting,  I remember what it was like to not have to throw away $60.00 face cream at the beginning of the line because I forgot to pack it in my stowed luggage and it was now over the ounces limit to bring on board the plane. Seriously, was anyone every subdued in the air by Estee Lauder Renewal cream???
  3. I remember what it was like to be able to stretch my legs out in the plane and not feel as if I wasn’t going to be able to stand due to lower leg blood loss when I finally stood at my destination. Or get a blood clot from immobility.
  4. I remember when we got food- edible food – on flights. Now I consider myself lucky if I get a pack of five peanuts.
  5. I remember what it was like for me to go to my very first romance writing conference, RWA in San Antonio, 2014. I was sososososo excited, even with all the above bulls**t at the airport. I was going to a conference of my tribe, my peeps. Women ( and a few men) who loved reading and writing the same kinds of books as me. I can’t tell you how accepted I felt. Probably for the first time in my life.
  6. Now, as I embark on my very first RT, I’m remembering how excited I was at the 2014 time and I can truly say I feel the same way now as I did then! New experience, new writers to meet, new fans to develop, new bloggers to – hopefully – make a  favorable impression on.
  7. So, despite all the complaining in numbers 1-4, I am really happy I’m going on this trip. It’s a long ass haul from where I live to Atlanta, and I’m doing it solo, no hubby-wingman with me, no members of my RWA chapter to sit on the plane and commiserate with. Just me and my laptop…my ipad….my cell phone… and the dozens of books I uploaded to my kindle.

Follow me as I blog and tweet about my RT experience here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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