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Veronica’s #WritersDiary, Little Things, Big #Moments…

Final week of August and we’ve been enjoying our time in Las Vegas. The lights make everything sparkle and shine, even when those pretty slot machines keep, ahem, taking your money. The feature pic is a big sparkler, the solar farm in the Mojave Desert on the California border before you cross over to Primm, Nevada. (This Ivanpah Solar Power Facility is huge, covering over 3500 acres with mirrored grids–words/pics don’t do it justice.) The hotel designs have been fun to scout and explore. I’ve been on the prowl for great design concepts to use in my next book, and I think I’ve found some great inspiration. The food and drinks have been delish–and the desserts, #Yummo! With all this beautiful city of opulence has to offer, we’ve also taken time to visit places off the beaten track and take advantage of the beautiful desert surroundings. No lights here except for the bright sunshine and stars!

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We took a short drive out of the city limits to visit the Hoover Dam. I’m always amazed to see this gigantic man made monument constructed in the 1930s. It looks majestic against the bright blue waters of Lake Mead. We try and come out here to check on the water levels each visit–thankfully they’re a bit higher than years before, but there’s no doubt, water in the west is becoming a scarce commodity.

On the way back from the dam, we drove along the Lake Mead National Recreational Area and stopped for lunch at Lake Las Vegas. This is a gorgeous home community with beautiful landscaping, great walking areas, and mesa views that take your breath away. I’m almost tempted to look at places here to ride out our golden years–if only I could figure out a way to adjust those desert temps (107-108 degrees each day)! The message is that a trip to Las Vegas doesn’t have to be all glitz and glam. Take some time to drive around the desert sites and take in the views. This is one bet where you will be a #winner! It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

AmQuerying Mistletoe Mayhem Yuletide at Castlewood Manor Cover VCB

#WritersTips #1: Remember the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is? I’ve recently been getting phone messages on the home line from people who have claimed one of my books has been spotted as an Amazon best seller list and they want to present my works to directors and producers. I’ve never returned the calls–I could tell the caller was reading from a script, and I could hear other calls being made in the background. A Google check of the number confirmed my concerns, it was from a telemarketing firm whose aim in to get your money (and lots of it) before anything is presented! #WriterBeware is blog that I’ve found to be extremely valuable with their insights and tips given the number of scams out there. I’m not saying to not talk with people who want to promote your books, but take some time to confirm their background and qualifications. Check out what #WriterBeware has to say on a major scheme:

#WritersTips #2: Are you thinking of a #Holiday book release? (I’m keeping this in my hip pocket for Mistletoe & Mayhem, Yuletide at Castlewood Manor). I found this BookBaby blogpost very helpful for planning/timelining efforts if you’re thinking of self publishing in this #holiday timeframe. Nov 15th is the magical date, 41% of eBooks and printed books are sold between Nov 15th-Jan 15thCheck out the BookBaby post and tips here:

#AmMarketingI am so loving the animated #bookcovers from the fabulous Morgan Wright (@byMorganWright)! They give the covers a pop of fun–and Morgan was right, they do attract more interest in my tweets and posts. Check out her services here:

Making their blog debut:

go away reading

The #writers of Twitter once again delivered, the #Zombies are evolving this week…

Author Ken Stark, Stage 3 Alpha, 5 STARS

In the second book of the Stage 3 series, we’re back in San Francisco, this time with Sarah, who’s on the hunt for her little red haired niece, Mackenzie. Time is running out for Sarah and her medical colleagues as they make the decision to flee to safer ground, but are soon overwhelmed by the zombie alphas that are wreaking havoc on the city. As they run and hide in the streets of San Francisco to try and get away from the flesh eating killers–they soon realize the odds are not in their favor. Is anyplace safe in this new world order?

The zombies are evolving, making Sarah’s quest to find her niece even more precarious and dangerous. As her battle to survive continues, she experiences the loss of friends, and the wrath of the flesh eating swarms. A brutal encounter provides her a temporary safe haven, but she soon finds the cruel militia leaders are only out to save themselves. Have decency and civility been eliminated?

Human conflict and zombie aggression make living in these times a survival of the fittest. Sarah escapes to continue her quest to find her niece, but is it a loss cause? Author Ken Stark delivers another suspense filled tale, full of twists and turns and gut wrenching decisions and actions that keep you guessing ’til the end. A thrilling read (be forewarned, there are explicit details with the zombie attacks and slayings), highly recommended!

Next up in the reading queue:

Vintage Spirits cocktails

#Cocktail Frame of Mind

Okay, okay–I know I’ve been a bit consumed with cocktails lately–and the #books I’ve bought recently have plenty of inspiration! I feel it’s my duty as a #writer to do my due diligence, researching lovely libations for my, ahem, characters to consume. Rumor has it that the Cherrywood Hall estate is putting in a gin distillery next to their vineyard, so it’s the least I can do to make sure I describe the cocktails in the story realistically. 🙂

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails was a lovely find, filled with cocktail recipes I’ve never heard of (and the names!)–beautiful pics and posters of days gone by. Take a look at some of my faves:

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Room With A View..

I’ll close with a video clip I took of the view from our room. We’re right across the way from the Mirage hotel, and have a perfect view of their volcano feature on the Strip. It goes off at the top of each hour—exciting to watch!

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

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. If you’re in the southern Nevada area, drive on out to see the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Gemma would approve! 🙂

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