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Veronica’s #WritersDiary, A Brief #Escape…

This past weekend hubby and I decided to escape the confines of our #lockdown life and take a much needed drive along the beach. We popped the top on the convertible and headed over to Laguna Niguel to one of our favorite spots–the Ritz Carlton. We’ve spent many an evening there celebrating special occasions, and I love sitting outside at the cliffside bar to take in the ocean views and spectacular sunsets. This was my first venture out of the house for pure recreational purposes since the #lockdown began in March. I felt a little giddy as we donned our face masks and hats and started our seaside excursion.

To our delighted surprise, the hotel was open and actually quite busy. The main restaurant (still dreaming of my charred grilled octopus dish from my birthday meal in January) and bars were closed. They did have a deli area where you could buy food and drinks and take them out to the patio area. We decided on two light beers and sunshine. It was strange being on the patio looking down at the surfers and sunbathers. People were practicing social distancing which was good, but not many people were wearing masks…. The terrace overlook wasn’t very crowded, and I missed the cacophony of the conversations and laughter we usually heard from times gone by. I noticed how clean the sand looked from our last visit in January. The water looked gorgeous too, almost like a Caribbean green/blue. We clinked our bottles and enjoyed the views, feeling the wind against our cheeks. It felt good to be out in the world again.

V at Ritz Laguna

I had a few laughs with my face masked picture above. I suppose my #lockdown hair is getting a bit unruly and the grays are definitely starting to show, but hey, against that gorgeous beach background who’s looking at the hair, LOL!? Anyway, it was a glorious day to be back with the living, and we’ll be back very soon I think. It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

backdrop banner with books

Book 5, Double Trouble, is getting ready for its publishing close-up and I’m super excited! Final edits are being made and I can’t wait to ‘give birth’! Just as the prep for Mistletoe in 2019 meant that it was basically Christmas here at the Barton abode for most of the year, for the 2020 Double Trouble #lockdown, I’ve been experiencing the, ahem, joys of being with child as Gemma and Kyle deal with impending parenthood in this latest tale, LOL. The good news for me is that I got to ‘eat’ virtually through my character and miraculously avoided too much of a #quarantine 10. I have to tell you though, I am still craving spicy cornbread and candied kumquats–stay tuned!

a young girl reading fragonard 1771

A space based threat that sucks the life from you this week from the writers of Twitter…

Author Ellie Douglas, Leech, 5 STARS

John Lancaster is on his 70th voyage to the super Earth-like planet, Sol. He and his team have been on a multi-year series of missions to collect samples from the planet in preparation for human occupancy. He misses his wife and daughter immensely, but knows in the long run his work and prolonged absences will be worth it to his family. When he and his team investigate a meteor shower that deposits little black rocks on Sol’s surface, he takes one of them as a souvenir for his daughter, Lucy. Back on the ship, heading back to Earth for a brief stop, a kidding episode with teammate Nico leaves the rock in pieces, with a black goo oozing from the rocky center. As they clean up for the landing on Earth, the alien goo is forgotten as Nico sets out for a fast food gorge and John lovingly mails the rock specimens to his daughter as her Sol souvenir.

A quick earthly turnaround has the crew once again on the voyage back to Sol for the next expedition. An unplanned encounter with an asteroid storm stops the ship in its tracks, but that is the least of the crew’s worries. One by one the members of the crew are stricken down by a gooey extraterrestrial parasite that thrives on its victims flesh and blood. Will the survivors be able to find the scourge and destroy it? Or will they all succumb to its deadly hunger?

A terror filled hunt for the hunted makes for a page turning tale; Author Douglas once again delivers deadly chills and thrills and an ending that will leave you wondering! A suspense filled read, highly recommended!

Next up in the #reading queue:

bookem with authors

3 Authors dish about books, life and your next must read—meet authors Bibiana Krall, Veronica Cline Barton and Amy Reade!

#BOOKEM is a collaboration of three authors ( think brainy Charlie’s Angels with a mysterious twist.) We want to help spread love during this difficult time, make you laugh and get you reading!  Stay tuned and give us a follow @BOOKEMchannel!

Welcome to my world. Enjoy your #week and #weekend friends!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. If you’re in the southern California area, a visit to the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel is highly recommended! Lovely property with spectacular views–Gemma and Rikkhe approve 🙂

ritz carlton hotel photo

Photo courtesy of the Ritz Carlton Laguna website

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