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Veronica's #WritersDiary: Neptune Cruisin'; The Viking Journey Begins!

"Make voyages. Attempt them. There's nothing else."

Tennessee Williams

God morgen, from Norway! I am so pleased to report that today I'm writing from the decks of the Viking ocean ship, the Neptune!

After a ten-hour flight from LAX to Amsterdam (that airport was quite the cra-cra experience), and then a hop-skip-and jump to Bergen, we were able to get a few days of walking in before we set sail up the lovely Norwegian coastline and over to Iceland.

One of our fav things to do in Bergen is to take the funicular up the hilltop for stunning views of the city harbor (our Viking Neptune is the large ship in the upper right of the photo). We had a beautiful morning visiting some old favs and new, walking the streets, and letting the Nordic hygge set in...

A must do stop is the local Starbucks--the building is classic in Nordic design and a perfect hangout for bibliophiles and weary travelers needing a reboot. Books are all around on the windowsills, with comfy leather couches to sit back, read, relax, and do some caffeine re-fueling as you plan the next trek...

The Bergen harbor has stunning views and loads of yummy eateries. The fish markets offer tasty creations made from the local catches-of-the-day, a seafood lovers delight! 😋🐟🦞

The Norwegians celebrated their national day, Syttende Mai on May 17th--as part of the celebrations, a carnival set up around the harbor for thrilling rides and carnival kitsch. My fav featured the pirate skull with a crown (of course)--the colors were fab! 😍

Speaking of fab, let's talk about the BergenBors Hotel bar... We stayed at this lovely hotel before boarding ship. Its stunning bar and restaurant area had breathtaking murals and architectural details. The grandeur of the room was off the charts--I sat looking up at the murals and moldings on the columns and ceiling as I sipped my Sidecar (our barkeep made a mean one). My writing little-gray-cells were in seventh heaven--I have a feeling the details of this room may make an appearance in book 9 of my cozy series. Gemma was quite impressed! Pssst..the OH may be doing some bedroom painting and wallpapering at Cherrywood Hall West this summer as well... #HintHint #HoneyDoProject

The parks were gorgeous with their Syttende Mai flowers...

Love the building architecture and sculptures around town...

Even the golden arches of McDonald's were quite stately 👉

And, of course we found the Irish pub 👆 🍻 #Skol

Our first international trip since lockdowns, let's get this #InspirationResearch cruise started! It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

A futuristic, techno-thriller and a gruesome find leads to a hunt for a killer this week from the writers of Twitter...

Author Bibiana Krall, Quantum-C, 5

"Hope is a bi-product of chaos. Not in the beginning, but after the air-locks close and someone, somewhere finds a way to blast through the noise."

The world as we know it has certainly evolved in the year 2121, with many changes for the masses. The natural beauty of trees, water, and mountains has been replaced with concrete and indoor, container living. Human nodes are connected to the all-powerful system that tracks and governs everything you do. "Time is units. Units are time. We are one." Brief escapes to the metaverse, Delirium, offer a brief respite from the sanitized existence, but are carefully monitored. Minerva is about to risk everything for a chance at another way of living. Is there any way to break free from omnipresent governance? Or, will her desires and life be snuffed from existence?

In this third book of the Aether Series, Author Krall weaves a masterful and prophetic glimpse of the future, laying out a world of circumstance that may become a reality sooner than we think. Technology rules every move--will humans rebel? Or be sucked into an artificial existence filled with bizarro entities and transient pleasures? If given the choice, what would you choose? Quantum-C is a techno-thriller drama with chilling scenarios...and the choices humankind faces in the not too distant days to come. A highly recommended read!

Author Elly Griffiths, The Crossing Places, 5

Forensic archeologist, Ruth Galloway is called away from her duties at the university to help the police with a disturbing find. Detective Chief Inspector Nelson believes the remains found in a desolate area may be those of a young girl who disappeared years before in an unsolved case. Dr. Galloway identifies them as belonging to a girl from the Iron Age period--a determination that triggers a new archeological dig in the area, much to the relief, and frustration of DCI Nelson.

The detective's case haunts Ruth as colleagues from her past return for the new dig. When another girl goes missing in a similar fashion as the girl from years before, everyone is on high alert. As Ruth and DCI Nelson resume their search, disturbing clues from the previous case come to light. Is there a serial killer on the loose amongst them, poised to strike again? Will they find what happened to the abducted girls?

Author Griffiths pens a clever whodunnit that will keep you turning the pages as the hunt for the missing and a killer exposes deadly secrets and brings grisly danger to all. I thoroughly enjoyed this thrilling read and can't wait to get to the next book in the series. A suspense filled tale, highly recommended!

Next up:


Maybe it's the lure of traveling the Arctic seas, but I have gone ga-ga for the magnificent, carved figureheads adorning wooden ships of yore (and those restored) lately!

The busty beauties and godly figures (the god of the sea, Neptune is in the feature pic, standing on top his trusty merkid 😁🧜‍♂️) have captured my imagination...

I have a feeling one of these enchanting, carved figures might be making a Halloween appearance... This story is developing...

Velkommen to my world for the next 15 days. Until next time, have a good one!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. "Oh, the places we'll go...the things we'll see..." Lovely Bergen, it was a pleasure to visit here once again... #Takk Gemma and Rikkhe approve 💖👑

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May 25, 2023

I'm so glad you're finally traveling internationally again! My daughter had a couple only-in-Amsterdam experiences at the airport you were in, so I'm a little familiar with it. Love the photos--can't wait to get to Norway sometime.

Bibiana's story, which I haven't had a chance to read yet, sounds chilling. It's on my TBR, very close to the top! If I know Bibiana's writing, it's sure to be exciting, thought-provoking, and disquieting in all the good ways. And Elly Griffiths can be always be relied upon to provide a solid, well-constructed, and terrific story.

Have a great trip!


May 25, 2023

I’m so happy you finally got to go on this cruise! Amazing photos! Congrats to the featured authors! Here’s to journeys via books and boats!

Veronica Cline Barton
Veronica Cline Barton
May 25, 2023
Replying to

Pretty happy to be here, Jeane, LOL! We're having a big time--more pics to come. Enjoy your week, xo. 💖👑


May 24, 2023

Thank you so much for supporting my new release, Quantum-C! Oh my gosh Bergen looks fabulous. I love cities that are walkable And so pretty! It’s now on my extremely long bucket list! Enjoy every minute, can’t wait to hear about Longyearbyen!

Veronica Cline Barton
Veronica Cline Barton
May 24, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much, UberHappy and congrats again on your fab new release! We're in high seas now--hope the Dramamine kicks in soon! 🤓 Have a great week--I'll be trying to see those seeds!! 💖👑

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