Highway 154 off the 101 north in Santa Barbara takes you through some beautiful hillside settings with many vistas to pull over and enjoy the scenery. This is one of my favorite drives on the way to Solvang, winding down the 2 lane road and seeing the back country leading to the Santa Ynez valley. The feature picture today is from one of my fave vista views, panning the beautiful Santa Barbara coastline (and you can even see Santa Barbara Island out in the distance (part of the Channel Island chain)). The view here is absolutely breathtaking and a real treat to visit if you get the chance.
Today is Hubby’s birthday (29 and holding as he now says 🙂 ) We’re off for dinner and a play date in Solvang, a perfect #Hygge style getaway to sit back and chill a bit in the California countryside. We have our favorite Irish pub to visit for lunch (yes, an Irish pub in a Danish inspired town); a gastro feast at the 246 Restaurant, where the best and freshest of local produce and meats is served with a flair (with local vino options perfectly paired); and our musical play at the amphitheater under the stars. A perfect #roadtrip to celebrate and enjoy the turning of another year. Happy Birthday, Bruce! It’s Wednesday, time for DearDiary:
#AmRevising: I’m working through the ‘REFINED’ version of my manuscript which has been handed over by the @wordrefiner himself, Mr. Mark Schultz! I am amazed at the things Mark catches, even after all the previous edits and reads. His word refining services are top notch and will give you a higher quality document to submit, no doubt about it! Check out Mark’s proofing services here:
#AmPublicizing: Book publicizing is one of the marketing efforts I just have not focused on to date. I’ve done some ads and Twitter/Facebook campaigns (and will be doing more in August with Womens Writers, stay tuned). I have not sat back and scoped out al the other areas including book tours, radio/TV/press outreach, signing events etc in a systematic fashion. There are specialists in the area and Paula Margulies is one I’m following. I picked up her book on Amazon recently–it has some great tips to ponder as you begin to plan your efforts. You can take a look here:
Author Shell Zanne, Only the Beginning, 5 STARS
To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than a beautiful collection of poetic verse that embraces your imagination and emotions, carrying you away like a warm, gentle, mental breeze. Author Shell Zanne’s Only the Beginning does just this—taking you on an enchanting journey of the mind, body, and soul—pondering and musing on the topics of love, seasons, playtime, hope, spirit—to name just a few.
Each topic area is filled with a medley of poetic vignettes and spiritual bits of truths and wisdoms that touch your heart, and fill your mind with inspiration, wit, and hope. Her collection passages are ones to contemplate over time, or read when you need a tender mental lift.
This book is a gift you will pick up and read again and again. A beautiful collection that lets you sit back and reflect on memories, feelings, life and all its possibilities. Treat yourself to a heartwarming, inspiring reading experience–highly recommended!
Author Bibiana Krall, Loftus Hall; Book 2 in the Irish Phantom Series, 5 STARS
A woman, paralyzed with fear and uncertainty, alone, drawn to the storm laden cliffs that beckon her and her unborn child. Elizabeth has a destiny whose time has come. The dark phantom wants his child to fulfill his prophecy. The crumbling ruins of Loftus Hall waits for them, housing the spirits of yesteryear, biding their time to unleash their torment and claim the rule they long for. A twist of fate intervenes as a young couple adopt Elizabeth’s baby before the phantom can claim it. But one should never underestimate the draw and determination of the darkness…
Mary O’Brien survived an evil encounter with the spirit world and a fatal fire at Corvus Hall that nearly drove her to madness. She’s now married to a man she loves, blessed with a beautiful daughter. Playdates with friends and work that she enjoys has given her a new lease on life—until the visions and haunted fragments of another being return, with her dreaded ravens watching every move. An accident with an ancient book unleashes a prophecy that threatens to sweep the area–will Mary and her friends and family be able to ward off the foretelling before it takes away the children they love, eradicating everyone in its path?
Author Bibiana Krall once again takes us on a suspense laden journey into the realms of the spirit world with this latest tale, based on ancient legends and Irish folklore that dabble into the mystical world of phantoms and unfulfilled prophecy. Can a parent’s love stop the dark being before his powers are realized? Will the haunted spirit of a former nemesis lend a helping hand? Or hasten the doom? “Enter if you dare“, the corridors of Loftus Hall… a great read that will keep you guessing (and gasping) ’til the end!
Next in the #reading queue:
Bring on the cocktail #Bling!
We’ll be shakin’ these cocktails in fine style with these beautiful crystal embellished bar accessories thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law! The blinged out shakers sparkle and shine and are just perfect for this crown inspired gal. And Orange Cream Pop vodka? Who knew? #Yummo!
On the #Hygge food front–The Cat Who…Cookbook!
Author Lilian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who mysteries have been one of my favorite series to read. I loved her main character, James Qwilleran, Qwill, and his beloved Siamese cats, Koko and YumYum. This was one of the first series where I not only had a great mystery to solve, but also got to salivate as the characters enjoyed their food as well! As Qwill traveled the upper Michigan peninsula, we were treated to the culinary delights of his favorite restaurants. The Cat Who…Cookbook is a compilation of the many delicious foods featured in the Cat Who.. books. Broccoli Parmigiano, Maus House Apple Pie, Sorrel’s Steak Au Poivre…you get the gist, #Yummo! What a great way to re-visit the stories you love—enjoying the fave dishes of your beloved characters!
Crowns and Kisses.
P.S. Hello from lovely, Solvang, California! We’ll be dancing under the stars tonight! Gemma would approve 🙂