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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, #Anniversary #Roadtrip, Las Vegas Style!

Another week, another great #roadtrip to Las Vegas! Time to get #inspired by everything over-the-top, including the gorgeous desert sunsets that shimmer & shine from the mirrored buildings. In the next few days we’ll be heading to the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip to begin the celebrations for our 20th anniversary! It’s a few weeks early, but hey, after twenty years, why not take as much time as we want to reflect on, and celebrate the journey we’ve been on together the past two decades? I’m ready for some great R&R, retail and restaurants, to brighten our stay–and Las Vegas has plenty to offer. I can’t wait to go to Giada’s (Giada DeLaurentis) for character Jillian’s (Mama) favorite appetizer, bacon and sausage wrapped dates, #Yummo.

We’ll be guests at the Venetian hotel again this year. We love staying in their Venezia Tower, tucked away from the crowds in the main hotel and casino. There’s lots of nooks and crannies to explore and cuddle up in for #writing and #reading. The pool area  is gorgeous, perfect for some fun in the sun. On the #hygge front, I can’t wait to see the gorgeous décor–it’s over the top, but #hygge is all about finding the style that makes you happy, and for me, it fits the bill. I’ll be soakin’ up the ideas this trip for my next book–I have a hunch there will be a few things (food, cocktails, décor) from this #anniversary #roadtrip that make their way into the next story! It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

AmQuerying Mistletoe Mayhem Yuletide at Castlewood Manor Cover VCB

#AmQuerying: I just wanted to give you an update on my querying process. I have to say, it is taking more time than I had originally planned. By the time you select the agencies and agents you want to target, you’ll soon find that doing the research on your agent, understanding the submission guidelines, and then putting together your submission material is quite the time sink. None of my submissions to date have been the same–each agency/agent seems to want different things be it the #query letter, the #synopsis, or the #manuscript (or parts there-of: ie first 10 pages, first 3 chapters, first 50 pages…you get the idea). All I can say is when you’re scheduling your tasks, make sure you allocate the time for each submission, they’re all different. Feedback projections range from three-twelve weeks, and you may not hear anything at all (assume a pass). Don’t forget that tracking spreadsheet–a must (at least for me) to remember what items you sent to each agent.

#AmMarketing: Like many of you, I follow Morgan Wright (@byMorganWright) on Twitter, and love her #writerslife inspiration and insights. She’s always upbeat and her tweets make me smile. I signed up for her newsletter, and was pleased to learn she’s now offering #bookcover animation services to give your covers a bit more pizzazz for your marketing and tweeting/posting efforts. Check out her services here (Pssst, there’s a #promo offering going on until September 1st!):

go away reading

Romance under the stars from the #writers of Twitter this week…

Author Shanna Swenson, Escape from Abundance: the Abundance Series, Book 3, 5 STARS

Cole Callahan is on the run–his past makes him the prime suspect in the murder of his best friend. He is out to make a new life, and to try and escape the haunting memories of finding his murdered friend. He ends up at the Kinsen ranch to work and save up for his next run, and is soon in awe of a family system filled with love and support. Little does he know his heart will be captured by the owner’s daughter, Dallie–but as their romance and passion heat up, will she ever be able to understand and accept his troubled past? And most importantly, will he?

Dallie Kinsen is about to enter a new life path as she spends her last summer before college on the ranch. Her dream is to become a veterinarian, but will her dreams be dashed for her new love? Author Shanna Swenson takes us on another drama filled journey in this latest tale of romance, mystery and intrigue with the folks in Abundance, Texas. Dallie’s parents, Nat and Jack, support and give others the benefit of the doubt, but when it comes to their daughter, no one is above their family law.

As the detectives close in, Cole knows his time is limited. Has he been set up, or is he guilty? Will his desperation lead to tragedy? Or will love heal the ravages of violence and a tragic past? A great read that keeps you glued to the page ’til the very end with many twists and turns. Author Swenson delivers again, and I can’t wait for the next journey to Abundance!

Next up in the #reading queue;

downton abbey movie cast poster

The Countdown Begins! (movie poster courtesy of the DailyMail)

Less than T-minus 30 days ’til the movie of my dreams makes its debut in the U.S. Yes, I am talking about the Downtown Abbey feature film! I’m polishing my tiara and bringing out the faux furs for this premiere–there’s so many great storylines in the movie’s trailer, I can’t wait to see what happens. I watched the PBS special Downton Abbey Live this past Sunday and enjoyed getting the cast’s reaction to different events and characters in the movie (Everyone adores Dame Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess, me too! 🙂 ) Check out what the DA cast has been up to here:

Hemnigway and bailey bar tending guide writers cocktails

A #Writers Bartending Guide, Who Knew?

Just in time for the Las Vegas #roadtrip, a little #CocktailInspiration (CI) from some of America’s great writers (I know several #writers on Twitter who I’m sure would have their own contributions–we should do our own #writers of Twitter compilation, anyone, anyone?). This little gem is a delight to read and the illustrations and author side stories add to its charm. Some faves:

  1. Truman Capote–Screwdriver (Vodka, Orange juice)

  2. Djuna Barnes–French 75 (Gin, Simple Syrup, Lemon juice, Champagne)

  3. Hunter S. Thompson–Greyhound (Vodka, Fresh grapefruit juice)

  4. Lillian Helman–Daiquiri (Rum, Lime juice, Simple syrup)

  5. Robert Benchley–Orange Blossom (Gin, Fresh OJ, Simple syrup)

  6. H.L. Mencken–Stinger (Brandy, White creme de menthe)

This would make for an interesting pub crawl…#Cheers!

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

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas–one of our favorites if you’re in the area–love those gondolas! Gemma would approve 🙂

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