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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!

I’m back from Dallas, ready to get down to business (yes, even the eyes are bigger in Texas)! The #Bouchercon2019 mystery conference was outstanding, and I can’t wait to get into some serious writing for my new series. On #Halloween, the first day of the conference, my crazy bat lady hat was a hit–my fave author Rhys Bowen loved it and I think even James Patterson was moved, LOL. The panel sessions were so informative, covering topics such as:

  1. Magical McGuffins: a mysterious object or place in thrillers that is not part of the plot. It adds complexity or ambiguity to a storyline.

  2. Red Herrings: something that throws a reader off track (off the scent). A good ‘aha’ moment, can be used to introduce historical elements into a story. Examples–weather, location, wrong identities.

  3. Settings: It’s another character in the storyline. Keep the details in there–make the reader feel part of the scene (whether it’s a real location or another world).

  4. Adapting your book to the big and small screens (not as easy as it sounds…). Be prepared for a very long process.

The panels were comprised of fellow mystery #writer participants—it was really great to hear advice and stories from your peers on their successes and struggles (You are not alone!). I laughed, learned, and walked away with many new ideas. One thing I know for sure, I’ll be heading to Sacramento next year for #Bouchercon2020 in October!

So now it’s back to the real world, preparing for the release of my book, and reading the fantastic new #reads from authors I follow on Twitter. And as always, keeoing my eyes on the prize…It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

white christmas background garland with 3 MM formats all i want for xmas

It Won’t Be Long Now….#HoHoHo

I’ve completed the final read through of the proof this week and production is in the works. The release of Mistletoe and Mayhem, Yuletide at Castlewood Manor is scheduled in the next 10-14 days. You can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, eSentral, Scribd, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Copia…and many other sites. I love this story and I hope you will too!


A heartwarming tale from WWII, and magical wit this week from the #writers of Twitter…

Author Kathleen Harryman and Author Lucy Marshall, The Promise, A Historical Romance Novel, 5 STARS

Five young friends face the horrors of the second world war in Author Kathleen Harryman and Author Lucy Marshall’s The Promise. Rosie and Will are in love, facing the heartbreak of separation brought on by the looming of World War II. Childhood friend, Jimmy is always close by their sides–when Will decides to enlist, he is right there to support him through thick and thin. Will’s sister, Betty, is a shy nurse whose skills will soon be in demand at the convalescent home set up in their village of Whitby. Tom, a former childhood friend whose life changed with the suicide of his father, longs to join Will and Jimmy in combat to escape a life he has come to dread, but fears leaving his mother and young sister behind.

The conflict of war changes the course of many lives as we go through the years. A bizarre accident leads to a new love. Shyness and strict Catholic upbringings test a new relationship. The war shows the soldiers the horrors of life–their perspectives forever changed.

A brutal final conflict alters the friends’ destinies forever. Who will live, and who will be blessed with a relationship for the future? The Promise is an outstanding, bittersweet tale that shows the dramatic impact of war on the people who live through it on the battlefield and home front. A great read, highly recommended!

Author Sheila Patel, The Magic Vodka Wardrobe, Book 4, 5 STARS

The ladies are at it again in this latest Magic Vodka Wardrobe short story from Author Sheila Patel. A trip down under,  a run-in with the James Bond fan club,  a targeted treasure hunter, royal wedding mania, World Cup fever…as the months roll by, the zany antics in the wardrobe and neighborhood  never end (nor do the cocktails)! Author Patel keeps the witticisms coming as we’re updated on current events as seen through the blurry eyes of the gals, whether its the weather (The Beast from the East), holidays, sports, heroic rescues, O2 outages, Brexit, birthdays and births–nothing manages to escape the attention (or commentary) of these ladies!

Book 4 in the series is a delight to read, filled with loads of laughs and witty humor page after page. We even get a special chapter from guest author, John Dolan in this read, adding to the shenanigans. I always love coming back to The Magic Vodka Wardrobe to relax and unwind–a very fun tale sure to make your Holidays brighter, #Cheers!

Next up in the #reading queue:

sunset coming home from las vegas
sunset at 30k feet
sunset in the clouds

Sunset at 30,000 feet, return flight from Las Vegas

I had to include these photos from out trip. Our flight home from Dallas went through Las Vegas. These stunning sunset pics were taken on the way back to Orange County, I’ve never seen such beautiful colors and formations in the clouds!

Malice Domestic _32_Color_Flyer-FOR_WEBSITE1

And if you can’t get enough mystery in your life….

The upcoming 2020 Malice Domestic conference, to be held May 1-3, in Bethesda, MD, was highly recommended to me by several people at Bouchercon, especially for cozy mystery fans and writers. I’m checking it out!

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

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. I’ve been reading a few outstanding ARCs from writer’s Shanna Swenson and Bibiana Krall, their books are also coming soon just in time for Christmas! Lots of great #reads this Holiday season! Gemma and Rikkhe approve! 🙂

Stars Over Abundance cover reveal Shanna Sweson
TheGetawaypromo Bibiana Krall
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