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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica's #WritersDiary #January Reflections

January has always been a fun month for us to travel--the #holidays are over, a #NewYear started, and it's a perfect time for me to enjoy a few weeks of cold weather. I thought I'd share some of our January pics from prior year travels since we're all kinda stuck in #lockdown mode these days. The feature picture⏫ is the Silfra Fissure in Iceland where I spent my 60th bday. We snorkeled in the 34 degree, ancient, iceberg waters that narrowly separate the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The little red dots in the water above are goggles of the snorkelers getting used to the cold waters once they plunged in. I still marvel at it's purity and majestic beauty--that's how it became the scene of a famous #engagement in one of my books....

Bruce and I both enjoyed the chilling plow through the waters very much and with the long johns, dry suit and wetsuit layers you could barely noticed the cold (except for your face, the outer layers of your skin were frozen❄ just for a bit) Our trip also included a visit to the famous, Icelandic Blue Lagoon, where we enjoyed #cocktails in the steamy thermal pools...

Fast forward two years...So hard to believe that right around this time last year as the roaring 2020's began with such promise, we were embarking on our Southern road trip, starting in Atlanta (Hi Brenda!) and then driving east to ⏪Savannah (Hi Bibiana!), then Charleston, Ashville and Knoxville (Hi Gayle!).

This #January, there aren't any physical #trips in sight for now (#California now has a new advisory that limits driving anywhere >120 miles from your home unless an emergency, #scary), but the nice thing about being a #writer and #reader is that you can still travel anywhere your heart desires when you read a #book! This past week as a reader, I've been on the shores of #Cornwall and in the Wicca woods of #England. As a writer, I've been sunning on the shores of #Bermuda and am now drinking afternoon tea in #London.

This pic of the tea room⏪ at the Savoy still dazzles me with the gold gazebo housing the grand piano and the stunning stained glass rotunda overhead. I enjoyed our trips there so much and have featured this lovely locale in a few of my books. I have a feeling Gemma and Kyle just may be paying another visit to this famous tea room soon!

I can take satisfaction that in this time of uncertainty and unsettling advisories/mandates, there are some things a mutating #virus, combative #politics and the raging mouth pieces on social media can't touch (really, there are a number of people that need to have a word with themselves, #JustSayin). The memories and ideas of my #imagination remain untethered, #free to roam where they may. I've granted myself permission to refresh and recharge...ready to create!

I know the past weeks have been tense for many in these early days of 2021. The #hope is that this too shall pass, hang in there and #breathe. It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

Oh Baby! Twins in the City: Playtime at Castlewood Manor, Coming Q12021!

What a fun time it has been, reconnecting with the characters I love! We've been on #holiday in #Bermuda and are now back in #London, ready to find a city home. Of course, we've had the first, ahem, casualty and the plot twists are churnin'...Our favorite friends are back and some new ones too. One thing I've thoroughly enjoyed in this tale is the incorporation of a short story from Hearth Fires, w/ Bibiana Krall. The scary tale, Vintage Vibrations, has a new life as a play in this new story. Mama, aka actress, Jillian Phillips is about to embark on a stage career while the feature film production for Castlewood Manor is on hiatus...what can possibly go wrong?💖👑

Mystery on the shores of Cornwall this week from the writers of Twitter...

Author Penny Hampson, The Unquiet Spirit, 5

When historian Kate Wilson is bequeathed a lovely home from her godmother, Win, she travels to the town of Falmouth in Cornwall, excited to begin a new chapter in her life and move forward from a recent heartbreak. Win died in strange circumstances with many thinking her passing the result of a dementia, linked mishap. Kate isn't quite sure and when she finds a painting from the past at the house, she begins to believe there is more to her godmother's demise than first thought. Early encounters with a handsome, moody man sends her heart racing one minute and outrage bubbling over the next. When she learns Tom Carbis lives in the house next door, Kate is torn---will this new found acquaintance be friend or foe?

Kate's new home holds many fine memories, but the unexplained cold spots, a door that mysteriously locks and the haunting aroma of rosemary soon send her into a sleepless frenzy. Is her imagination in overdrive, or are other forces at work? When Kate takes on a research project for a client who she later learns is Tom's mother, a heartbreaking story from the past emerges. Kate and Tom become an unlikely duo as they investigate the strange occurrences around the house and find out more details of the tragic story of the past. Are the unexplained happenings caused by the spirits of the days gone by, or modern, nefarious entities at play?

Unrequited love, revenge and the emotional ties to the past make for a haunting tale filled with twists and turns. Danger lurks in many corners from the past and present--will Kate's fate be sealed before her new life begins? I thoroughly enjoyed the story and its characters--a highly recommended read!

#BOOKEM is Back!

We're starting off the #NewYear with guest, Cynthia Raleigh! Join her and Bibiana as they talk research and innovative ideas for #writing in these #lockdown times! See you soon...

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

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. Hold that February 14th date❣ STARZ channel is debuting Men In Kilts, featuring some of our favorite #Outlander gents! Gemma and Rikkhe most definitely approve! 💖👑 Pssst, click the link⏬😍you won't be sorry...#JustSayin

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