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Veronica’s #WritersDiary, It’s 2020, #HalfTime!

I featured a version of this view at sunset⇓ in my second blog post of the year, ‘Let’s Get This Decade Started!’ It’s from the Raya terrace bar at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel–which is turning out to be Hubby’s and my fav spot to chill on a sunny afternoon these days. The views are impeccable, the food and drinks #yummo, but most of all it just feels so good to sit outside with the wind blowing in your face, hearing the sound of the ocean waves and listening to real humans talking again. So, here we are at the end days of June, halfway through this #pandemic year–I thought I’d try and remember some of the good things I was expecting waaayyy back in January, LOL–feel free to jump in with your comments and dreams!

  1. First off I wanted to remember the excitement I think most of us had at the beginning of the year–it was a new decade, the “Roaring 20s’ part deux–go back and look at your Twitter timelines and I think you’ll find most folks were pretty excited. It wasn’t just any New Year’s Eve–we were transitioning into a new phase of the millennium, and all the hopes and promises that might bring. Let’s hope for the 2nd half of 2020, we can get some of that New Year’s exuberance back in play!

  2. Traveling the world–we made a great start in January and February, enjoying our southern state #roadtrip and Victoria adventure. I had great expectations of visiting new places during our Scandinavian/Russian #Viking ocean cruise…obviously the last trip was postponed (rebooked for June, 2021). For now, I guess ‘We’ll always have Savannah…” (my apologies Casablanca) will have to do, LOL. Just maybe though, I’ll be surprised in a bit…

  1. The great thing in 2020 that I have no complaints about is my #writing journey–in fact, I would say the #pandemic led to greater than expected productivity! I finished Double Trouble, Showtime at Castlewood Manor (coming #July4th!); am working on three short stories for an upcoming anthology with Bibiana Krall (Hearth Fires, coming this fall!); Book 6 in My American Almost Royal Cousin Series is in the works (coming end of 2020!); and I have a few more yet to be named efforts in the works. I think 2020 will be one of my most creative #writing years yet–who knew?

I’m holding out for great things to happen in the 2nd half of 2020 that will lift the human spirit. As they say, ‘It ain’t over till the fat lady sings…’ 2020, I’m listening….it’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

Double Trouble crown always wins

The #bookreviews are rolling in…

Thank goodness for the beta readers who took their precious time reading the ARC for Double Trouble! I’m very grateful and thought I’d share a few of the #Bookreviews that are up on Amazon and Goodreads as I prepare for the #July4th book launch:

  1. There is always a lot of champagne, fantastic fashion and yummy food courtesy of Mama’s romantic partner Chef Karl. (Mama is a famous Hollywood film star and Gemma’s fantastic mother as well.) The list of memorable characters and scandalous conundrums will keep you smiling. Lavish parties, cocktail hour, a film set with cast and crew and fantasy life are the perfect tonic for the escapist mystery and women’s fiction reader.But there are also new characters (babies on board) and relationships on the horizon. Two new adult characters round out the memorable cast. One is a city sophisticate and the other a down-to-earth and quirky young woman who has psychic gifts from the great beyond.

The best thing about this series is that you will feel as if you live in a British mansion and are a personal guest at the over the top parties and hob-knobbing with royalty. There are a few dead bodies though, so watch out for envy, revenge and good old-fashioned jealousy… I would be remiss not to mention there is also magic, love, family interference and loads of fun.

I have read the entire series and just love feeling like part of the story as Gemma and Kyle move into another important phase of their fairy-tale relationship together.

  1. I have read all of Veronica’s books. I jumped at the chance to read an advanced reader’s copy. This series has cemented my feelings about reading cozy mysteries in general, I love them. Without being too gory, there are lots of clues to try and figure out whodunnit! Veronica’s dialogue really shines for me. She makes me laugh so much and my eyes even sweat every once in awhile. The characters seem so alive to me and I was very glad to find there was another dog in the story. The first one is on safari in South Africa. The foods are my next favorite part, some of those sound so good. Gemma’s favorite in this book would be mine also. But for different reasons. The action is clear, scene setting is fun. It is wonderful to see many of the same characters again, they are starting to feel like old friends. I award 5 stars to “Double Trouble”! You can’t go wrong with this series or this book.

Doesn’t get much better than that! Thanks to all who have supported me through this process–I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me! xoxo

a young girl reading fragonard 1771

Mystery on the Hudson this week from the #writers of Twitter…

Author Victoria Benchley, The Gallery of Ghosts: A Marsden Murder Club Gripping Psychological Mystery Suspense Thriller Book 2 (The Marsden Murder Club), 5 STARS

For members of the Marsden Murder Club, the reunion in the Hudson River Valley is bittersweet as they investigate the murder of the son of a prominent family friend of MMC founder, Bunny. The family is shaken by the violent death of son, Jack–will his mother Jewel, former fiancé Summer or brother James be able to provide needed clues to help find his killer? Charlotte Swain returns to lead the sift through the history and clues, but will the trauma of the last case and memories of her father return to haunt her?

The Manitou Inn is filled with history and was the dream venture of the murdered son, Jack. The MMC members stay at the inn as they investigate strange movements and footprints in the attic, a mysterious hidden tunnel, and a cagey inn employee that seems to be set on hindering their investigations. Detective Will Harrison gives a NYPD assist to their sleuthing, causing sparks to fly between him and Charlotte, will their fact finding take a romantic turn?

Corruption, vintage photographs, an academic breakthrough, and a family’s nightmare keeps you guessing as the MMC members weave their way through the clues. A surprise twist at the end will have this reader back for more! A great series, highly recommended!

Next up in the #reading queue:

Bookem banner with pics

Join me later today on the YouTube #BOOKEM channel at 1:45pm (EDT)!

In my ‘Let’s give them somethin’ to talk about’ chat today it will be all things Double Trouble, #Lockdown bling, and I’ll be featuring author D.B. Carter’s book, The Wild Roses! See you soon 🙂 :

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

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. There’s still time to pre-order your copy of Double Trouble, Showtime at Castlewood Manor! Gemma and Rikkhe most definitely approve! 🙂

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