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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica's #WritersDiary: Happy Mid-Year!

"You love but once, you might as well be amusing."

Coco Chanel

Well, hello July---and a very Happy Mid-Year to you! In keeping with Ms. Chanel's sage advice, today I'm offering an amusing, plethora of salutations! For my US friends, I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July! A happy Canada Day for those who dwell up north! For my all-things-holidays lovers, Happy Christmas in July! And for those of you who prefer to live in the moment, a very Happy Summer! #Whew

I actually enjoy this time of year when we enter the second half. It's time to dust off those January resolutions to see what survived as a 2023 goal and perhaps give the initial list of aspirations a refresh.

So, now that we're just over six months into the year, 'how you doin'?'

For the first half of 2023, I was excited to embark on several travel and writing journeys & milestones... I'm glad to say we had a stellar time in 👈Asheville and Gatlinburg in March.

And sailed the high seas of the Arctic in May and June... 👇

Since last time, we've traveled to Solvang for our annual play at their outdoor amphitheatre (Jane Austen's Emma--a fabulously fun performance!) and had a fiery night under the stars at the Ritz for the 4th of July (more on this below).

Our next travel adventure will be to Las Vegas for some desert fun under the neon lights. I'm looking forward to seeing the sights and experiencing some yummy meals during our stay. I also can't wait to see the progress on the latest, out-of-this-world, lunar-themed casino---Moon World Resort's 1/75,000 replica of the moon!! It's located right behind the Venetian Hotel where we'll be staying this trip. (Anita and H.E., I'll be thinking of you--pics to come!)

Coming up in August, we'll be under the stars for the Laguna Pageant of the Masters. At the end of the month (and over the Labor Day weekend), we'll be in San Diego for the Bouchercon mystery conference. I also want to spend more time on Coronado Island while we're there---love this quaint, little beach town with its stunning views!

We have a few more road trips during the holiday season planned (Paso Robles and Big Bear), but I'm super excited to get my dash of Christmas cold in the Canadian Rockies at one of my favorite Fairmont hotels, The Castle in Banff Springs! This will be our first trip here since lockdowns--I can't wait to visit again... #Brrrrr

As for the 2023 writing goals? I'm pleased to have published Murder on the Runway: Fashion Week at Castlewood Manor in February. The scary tales for Bibiana Krall's and my book 4 in The Haunted Series are in editing (due to release on Labor Day). I can honestly say this collection is turning out to be a Halloween fav! #BOO

Finally, the pens are being prepped to begin book 9 in my cozy mystery series... How far will I get? This story is developing, but I have a strange feeling both Gemma and Rikkhe will be keeping me on my toes to 'git 'er dun', LOL (yes, both of my cozy sleuths will be together again in this next tale)!

I've also started outlining by 2024 query project, lots to do on this one!

All things considered, 2023 has turned into a very entertaining and productive year--even with the daily trends of WWIII and apocalyptic mayhem popping up on Twitter (I'm still on the watch for the aliens, BTW).

Wishing you a most glorious, second half of the year! Happy Mid-Year! It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

Beat the heat with a chilling, holiday mystery!

See where it all began with The Crown for Castlewood Manor! Experience explosive drama at Yuletide with Mistletoe and Mayhem (the ending still brings a tear to my eye...)! Settle by the firepit with some cozy tales that will curl your mistletoe with the Hygge & Bisous Holiday Mysteries---Chtistmas Bizarre and A Novel Noel! Celebrating Christmas in July, these 4 eBooks will be just 99 cents for the month of July! #HoHoHo

Romance on the canals of Venice and a grand world tour with the queen of mystery this week from the writers of Twitter...

Author Tonya Penrose, Venetian Rhapsody, 5

"Yet something was captivating about his face..."

A chance encounter places PhD student, Sofia in a romantic quandary, she's seen the perfect man--but her days in Venice are soon coming to an end. When she meets her handsome muse, Eduardo, in yet another setting with friends, sparks are definitely flying between them. Is Cupid lending a helpful hand, or setting them up for heartbreak?

Walks along the canals, gondola rides under the stars, and exploring the magical antiquities of Venice provide the perfect setting for romance to bloom. Life commitments and destiny, however, sometimes throw a few curve balls, upsetting even the most noble of intentions. Will Sofia give up her dream assignment as a museum curator in Boston? Will Eduardo refuse to follow through on a revered, family arrangement, breaking his father's trust? Only time, with perhaps a fateful helping hand, will tell...

Author Penrose delivers an enchanting frolic set in a city filled with romanza! Charming meet cutes, witty exchanges, and heart-tugging dilemmas will keep you in giggles with an occasional tear or two as Sofia and Eduardo journey down love's path. You'll feel like you've been transported to the lovely streets and canals of Venice. This is a must-read, delightful romance--highly recommended!

Author Agatha Christie, The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery, 5

In 1922, mystery queen Agatha and her first husband, Archie Christie, embarked on an exciting journey called the British Empire Exhibition Mission, traveling to the Commonwealth countries around the world. Readers get an inside glimpse of the inspiring tour through journal entries, letters, and pictures documented by Agatha during the almost year long trip abroad.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this intimate collection, penned in the voice of an author who I greatly admire. As she travels across Africa, Australia, India, New Zealand, Pacific Islands (including Hawaii--Dame Agatha was a surfer!), and Canada--she details her experiences and thoughts. I feel certain many elements of this grand tour made their way into her later stories, a treat for those of us who enjoy details 'behind the scenes'. An entertaining and informative read, highly recommended for Dame Agatha fans!

Next up in the reading queue:

Author Vera Day's #NewRelease, Congratulations!

4th of July at the Ritz!

Wowza, wowza--another fab evening at the Ritz in Laguna Niguel! A delish dinner and the best views at the beach! We had a grand evening and a convertible ride home listening to tunes... A wonderful evening under the stars....and fireworks!

The surf was beautiful...

Welcome to my world. Until next time, have a good one!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. This 4th of July, our family remembered our #DAR Revolutionary War Patriot, Jonathan Cressey... Gemma and Rikkhe approve 💖👑

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