• Veronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, July #SummerNights and #Earthquakes!

We’ve had a few exciting moments over the 4th of July holiday weekend of the shake, rattle, and roll variety! For the first time in many, many years we had two large #earthquakes rumble through: mid-morning on the 4th (a 6.4) and the evening of the 5th (a 7.1). Luckily where we live in Orange County we just experienced several seconds of rolling movements–enough to set the chandeliers swaying and causing waves in the pool to splash over the tile surround. It’s a bit unnerving when you first feel your house move—the cats zooming up the stairs gave me a first clue that something was amiss, but then I felt the movement myself (kind of like sitting on a plate of Jello) and saw the chandeliers start to sway. Here’s a clip of the waves lapping over the side of the pool:

So far we’ve felt a few aftershocks, let’s hope the worst is over! This week is a fun one with family visits and early birthday celebrations for Hubby. We love the outdoor entertaining time, sitting under the stars and enjoying the #summernights. The sunsets in July have been spectacular so far, and we’re looking forward to some more stunning scenes when we take another #roadtrip next week to central California. It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

#Amediting #AmRevising #AmQuerying

#Amediting/#AmrevisingMark Schultz is using his hyper-speller powers with Book 4 this week! The final manuscript will be ready to send out very soon. It’s comforting to know that I will have a professionally scrubbed document to present for querying. Editing/Proofing does make a difference! If you have any doubts, check out Mark’s services here:

https://www.wordrefiner.com/learn-more.html

#AmQuerying; I’m getting my packets together to submit and I’m so excited! Query letter content, check! Synopsis, check! List of Agencies and Agents focusing on #cozymysteries, check! Manuscript, almost check! And finally, a spreadsheet to keep track of where I have submitted, what was submitted and when, and response, check! Fingers crossed–I’m ready!

#Amreading #AmReviewing

Suspense, mystery and intrigue that takes you around the world from the writers of Twitter this week…

Author John Dolan, Restless Earth, (Karma’s Children Trilogy, Book 1), 5 STARS

Private investigator David Braddock is back in the U.K. to attend his father’s funeral, dealing with words left unsaid and family sorrows of the past. He’s pondering an uncertain future–which may or may not include a new love interest, and could involve a move from Thailand back to his British roots. Private First Class Sam Trask is haunted by the hideous memories of an appalling action committed by deranged colleagues during his wartime duty in Iraq—memories that are slowly eroding his mental state. A secret request from a retired, ailing lawmaker to trace an unscrupulous, globetrotting cad and an ironic twist of fate unites the investigative paths of these two men. As the events play out, will either live to tell the tale?

Author Dolan takes us around the world in this intriguing, suspense filled mystery to catch a conniving, psychopathic man who takes great pleasure in inflicting emotional and physical pain and anguish to the women in his life, leaving a few who pay the ultimate price. We’re on the streets of Bangkok as James Fosse continues his self-absorbed mission of hunting down unsuspecting victims to feed his cruel, manipulative urges. As the clock ticks, he’s ready to pull off his ultimate, devious scheme, but at what price? Will anyone be able to stop him?

This is a masterfully told tale that captures your interest from the beginning, filled with life story dramas, details of events and surroundings that pull you right in, and many twists and turns, page after page. The surprise ending will keep you coming back for more in this series! A captivating summer read (great any time of year), highly recommended!


Next up in the #reading queue:

https://www.amazon.com/Only-Beginning-Shell-Zanne/dp/107463697X

https://www.amazon.com/Loftus-Irish-Phantom-Bibiana-Krall/dp/1075597536

#Roadtrip ahead, #Hygge style….Solvang!

For over twenty years, Hubby and I have made an annual pilgrimage to the cute little Danish heritage town of Solvang, California. Solvang is approximately 40 miles north of Santa Barbara off the 101 Fwy—a gorgeous drive along the coast and through the surrounding hills.  What better way to get in that #Hygge frame of mind–you’re in the start of central California’s wine country (remember the movie Sideways?), with wine tasting opportunities galore, a stylish Chumash Indian casino/resort, and charming eateries serving fresh local delicacies. And did I mention the bakeries that are on every corner, tempting you with sweet treats fresh from the oven? I love walking the streets of this quaint little town–lots of cute shops to keep those credit cards smokin’ (and burn off those calories)!

The main attraction for us is the outdoor amphitheater in Solvang where each year the PCPA Pacific Conservatory Group puts on spectacular plays and musicals throughout the summer. There is no better evening than sitting under the stars and watching a live performance, IMO–the actors have been fantastic. This year’s treat is the musical Million Dollar Quartet, when a twist of fate brings a young Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins together at a Sun Records recording studio. I cannot wait to put on my blue suede shoes and do a little dancing under the stars!

On the #Hygge food front, no mystery here!

What better way to celebrate solving a dastardly deed than scarfing down a delectable dish? In my #cozymystery world my characters love to eat, especially when it’s Chef Karl’s creations at Cherrywood Hall (Gemma most definitely approves)! The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook is a delightful compilation of appetizers, breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes from mystery writers (and some characters) from sea to shining sea. Who wouldn’t love Ellie Hatcher’s Rum Soaked Nutella French Toast? Or Lea Wait’s Murderously Good Maine Chowdah? This cookbook is a fun read in itself, and will soon have your mouth watering! It can be found at #Amazon and other fine sellers.

Welcome to my world! Have a fabulous rest of your #week and #weekend everyone!

Crowns and Kisses,

Veronica

P.S. If you’re ever visiting Solvang in the summer, make a date with a play–you won’t be disappointed! https://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/live-theater-nightlife/  Gemma would approve 🙂

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