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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, “Enter These Enchanted Woods, You Who Dare…”

I think this line from the poem, The Woods of Westermain, by George Meredith is a perfect lead in to describe our visit to the enchanting Butchart Gardens during our stay in Victoria, B.C. We spent a chilly afternoon walking along the paths, taking in the magical garden vignettes of this botanical paradise. You truly felt as if you had been transported into an enchanted forest, filled with whimsical settings and fairy inspired creatures. The only thing we were a bit early for is their extensive rose gardens–filled with topiaries, arbors and the wave of fragrances I’m told you get when they are in bloom. I guess we’ll just have to come back in the summer!

This week I’m especially grateful to fellow #blogger and #writer, Jessie Cahalin. She nominated me and 10 other bloggers for the Sunshine Blogger Award, an honor that was totally unexpected but a great #writerlift indeed! Check out her own inspiring nomination write-up here:

I’m paying it forward by nominating eleven bloggers I love to tune into as well–see the post below↓ to read my answers to Jessie’s questions, and see who I’ve nominated! It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

4 books with new apple award crowns flags

Stay tuned–I’ll be doing the #bookcover and #title reveal next week for my current #WIP! So excited for you to see it! (and read in June, 2020!)  🙂

go away reading

Psychological suspense and family drama from the #writers of Twitter this week…

Author S. S. Bazinet, Traces of Home, (OPEN WIDE MY HEART Book 1), 5 STARS 

Lea Ferguson is a troubled soul who increasingly is lashing out at those who are close to her. Memories of a cruel past and abuse are pushing her to the brink of sanity. She decides to leave her family and fiancé, surgeon Matthew Howell, in a desperate attempt to start anew, believing their lives would be better off without her. Fate deals an unexpected hand and Lea’s plans are changed forever when she is hit by a car, causing her to lose all memories of her past life. Dr. Eric Lloyd is horror struck when he accidently runs over Lea, and is determined to see to her recovery when no one contacts the hospital about her. He and his kind hearted mother take Lea into their home, showing her a peaceful way of living that is free of the dark visions that once consumed her.

As the seasons pass–Lea thrives with Eric and his mother. Her fiancé Matthew struggles with her disappearance, and is shocked to learn a private investigator has finally located her. Their initial reunion does not go as expected, and leaves everyone upset and dejected. Lea decides to return home and confront her family and fiancé to see why they are so disturbed with her, and also to learn the details of her past life, which has obviously caused those who love her much pain and anguish.

Psychiatrist Paul Glass is called in to the Ferguson home, with Lea’s parents, fiancé Matthew and Eric and his mother in attendance in a bid to get the past exposed so that Lea can heal once and for all. When the emotions start flowing, everyone in attendance is impacted as their own secrets and fears are also revealed. Will this group ever be able to heal the wounds of the past and move on with their lives and loves? Author Bazinet takes us on a psychological journey that both chills and moves you as the tangled webs of emotions and life experiences are unraveled. A thought provoking, suspense filled read, highly recommended!

Next up in the #reading queue:


The Sunshine Blogger Award, Nominated by Jessie Cahalin, ‘Books in My Handbag’!

What a delightful surprise to learn I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award from one of my fav bloggers, Jessie Cahalin!

The Sunshine Blogger Award empowers bloggers to celebrate other bloggers who are creative and bring positivity to the blogging community.

Jessie sent me 11 questions to answer for this lovely nomination:

Which three photographs would you present to capture your life? Feel free to include these in this post if you can. 

I picked these 3 photos to capture where I am right now:

1.Hampton Court Palace–my favorite royal abode and a magical setting for some favorite scenes in my last book, Mistletoe and Mayhem, Yuletide at Castlewood Manor. It always make me happy to visit there when I’m in the UK.

2. Fragonard’s painting of a ‘Young Girl Reading’ was a beloved painting in my Aunt Elmira’s house. I was enchanted from the first time I saw it as a little girl, because I also loved to read. I was finally able to track down and acquire a copy of my own.

3. Our cats, Daisy and Ebbie–bundles of furry love that grace our home and hearts.

I believe laughter is one of the best tonics in life. When was the last time you could not stop laughing? During my southern state trip visiting with my friends Brenda, Bibiana, and sister Gayle–tonic for the soul! Honorable mention–reading Elijah Barns’ book, The Shadow Cutters.

Explain the last act of kindness you showed to a friend or stranger. I met a lovely woman (Glenys) during our trip to Victoria who loved to talk about all things writing. We had an inspiring chat that warmed my heart knowing that my little books just might make a difference. She received a copy of Mistletoe and Mayhem to read and hopefully enjoy, I received the inspiring gift to carry on with my writings! 🙂 #WinWin

Do you prefer the winter sun or the summer sun? Explain your response. Winter sun, definitely. Living in southern California we are inundated with hot summer sunshine most of the year. A cool/cold winter sun is a delightful change!

Describe your perfect Saturday evening. I love going out to dinner with friends, catching up on all the happenings and enjoying the company (and a cocktail or two). 🙂

What sorts of characters do you prefer to meet in novels? I like characters who take the lead and get things done. They may have quirks or have a meltdown now and then, but in the end you can count on them to do the right thing.

Give one sentence of advice to yourself when you were sixteen. Never doubt your instincts, you were right the first time.

Is there a friend from the past you would love to get in touch with and why? I did just meet up with a girlfriend I’ve had since 7th grade (hey Brenda), and it was such a fun time catching up on the happenings of the past 30+ years. It was like no time had passed at all–true friendship. She’s an avid reader of my series too, and always gives me great feedback!

What is your food heaven and food hell? I’m too old to have time for food hell, only heaven these days. 🙂 I love dishes representing the locales I visit–fresh is best!

Share your favourite recipe. I love homemade soups, especially those with fresh veggies. My recipe changes everytime I make a pot, LOL–depends on what’s in the fridge!

If you could travel back in time where would you visit and who would you take with you? I’d take my favorite traveling companion, my hubby Bruce, for an afternoon tea at Dame Agatha Christie’s home in Devon (Greenway House). I’d love to pick her brain on all things writing and getting the details of her fascinating travels with her husband.

Jessie, thank you so much for this lovely nomination! Here is a list of my 11 Sunshine Blogger Award nominees who lift me with their wit, knowledge and adventures:

  1. Bibiana Krall:

  2.  Jessie Cahalin (sorry for the double tag but you are a fav!):

  3.  Jena Henry (another double tag but I love your posts too!):

  4.  Molly Shea:

  5.  Jamie Lewinger:

  6.  Jungle Red Writers:

  7.  Margaret Lindsay Holton:

  8.  John Dolan:

  9.  Soulla Christodoulou:

  10.  Shanna Swenson:

  11.  Bryn Donovan:

My 11 questions for the nominees (List who you were nominated by, feel free to answer or not in one of your posts, and nominate your 11 blogger nominees if you’d like to spread the blogger love (don’t forget your 11 questions) 🙂 )

  1.  A fav travel destination?

  2.  Favorite outfit or fashion accessory?

  3.  A subject you’d like to learn more about?

  4.  Architectural style that fits your personality?

  5.  Are you better writing or speaking?

  6.  Do you think aliens exist (the truth is out there!)?

  7.  What’s your proudest achievement (non-family)?

  8.  3 photos to capture where you are today (Question inspired by Jessie C.)?

  9.  Top 2020 goal?

  10.  Winter snow or sun and sand?

  11.  Outlander or Downton Abbey or ???

Thank you to all my Sunshine blogger nominees for sharing their creativity and positivity! 

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

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. So loving Outlander, Season 5–such a great series! Gemma and Rikkhe approve 🙂 Je Suis Prest!

Veronicas ridge

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