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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, Christmas at the Castle & Enchanting #Reads

#HoHoHo, not much longer now friends, Christmas is just around the corner. This week we made a road trip up to San Simeon, in central California, the location of the stately Hearst Castle on the Enchanted Hill. This was a special trip for me to see Hearst Castle at nighttime–regular tours are held during the day only. During the holidays, they offer their Twilight Holiday Tour, and I’m so glad we opted to do this! The settings, décor and stunning lights made this nighttime tour truly magical.

Now I started the feature picture with the view of the Neptune pool because this has always been one of my favorite locations of the estate, and I have never seen it at night. I have to tell you, the pool lit with sparkly lights adds to its magnificence! I could have stayed here the whole tour looking up at the stars, smelling the evergreens, and listening to the waves in the distance…but who am I kidding, I was dying to get into the main house to see all things #Christmas, Hearst Castle style!

indoor pool HC2

Christmas trees were decorated with the original lights and ornaments used during Mr. Hearst’s time. Most rooms featured at least two trees–lights and poinsettias were used abundantly. I’ll end the pics with the Roman indoor pool, our final room of the tour–it looks so glamorous at night with its irridescent tiles glistening–can you just imagine the holiday gatherings that were had here over the years (is that Cary Grant peeping around the corner…)? It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:


I’ve been trying to highlight the books I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year by genre. There are so many fantastic reads and authors, I just want to do my bit by showcasing them. I will say that next week for the Christmas Day post, I am doing something I’ve never done–highlighting what I consider to be the Top 3 Reads of 2019–there were many to choose from, but I know these three tales and the authors will enchant you! In the meantime, to help get you in the magical #holiday spirit– here are the #fantasy, #poetry, #humor, #satire books and their authors whose books I’ve had the pleasure to read this year–check them out!

Author Kerri Davidson:

go away reading

Chills and ghosts of Christmas this week from the writers’ of Twitter…

Authors D.B. Carter, S.J. Lomax, Derek R. King, Natalie Reeves-Billing, Winter Chills; Ghostly Tales for Cold Nights, 5 STARS

Chills and thrills in this collection of wintery short stories by authors D.B.Carter, S.J. Lomax, Derek R. King, and Natalie Reeves-Billing–perfect for a cold evening read as you snuggle by the fire! The tales include:

  1. Departures and Arrivals by D.B. Carter: Holly arrives at a dark, cold train station, seeking refuge from the winter winds and an overwhelming sadness. The station is empty or is it? As she waits for the midnight train to arrive, spirits of the past emerge as tragic past events are revealed. Will good will or nefarious intentions prevail?

  2. The Christmas Card by D.B. Carter: Phil and Jo receive a Christmas card in the mail, providing inspiration for their Christmas décor. Jo is a woman possessed, recreating in detail the setting of the card–wanting a perfect Christmas photo. The night of their Christmas picture reveals deadly secrets of the past–and a chilling revenge that waits in the dark…

  3. The Holiday Party by S.J. Lomax: Nick is taking Marcy to a Christmas get-together to meet his college friends. The weather is frightful and the drive treacherous, but thankfully they make it in time. Marcy is a little overwhelmed meeting all the friends and takes a breather outside, where she meets a late arrival to the party. When she goes back inside, shocks and chills await…

  4. The Carolers by S.J. Lomax: Kenneth sits in his living room watching the television with his cat Murphy when he hears a knock at his front door. Carolers await, wanting to sing him a beloved song. A bittersweet tale of a family’s enduring love..

  5. Defying Convention by Derek R. King: A Christmas journey to a country house takes an unexpected twist, as the somber truth of years past are revealed…

  6. Go With The Wind By Natalie Reeves-Billing: A grandmother’s death saddens a family, killing the joy of the holidays. A mysterious note leads grandson Nathaniel on a journey to his kin, where an unexpected gathering awaits…

A terrific read for the holidays–highly recommended!

sensational writers and holiday recipes

Still time to get your copy, just in time for the #Holidays!

All kinds of holiday yummies in this delish collection, get your #FREE copy here:

Garland gray check jpeg MM

And finally,  a bit of endless #writer self promotion 🙂

Have a fabulous #holiday! If you’re in the mood for #cozymystery #books #royals #romance #actors #fashion and #food (Cherrywood Hall could give Hearst Castle a bit of #Christmas decor competition, #JustSayin)–may I suggest? (Print copies now available!!)

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

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. Stay tuned for next week’s special Christmas edition where my Top 3 Reads of 2019 will be revealed, with some special words of inspiration by their #authors!  Gemma and Rikkhe most definitely approve! 🙂

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