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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica's #WritersDiary: Southern Road Trip #InspirationResearch!

"Road trips are the equivalent of human wings. Ask me to go on one, anywhere. We'll stop in every small town and learn the history and stories, feel the ground, and capture the spirit. Then, we'll turn it into our own story that will live inside our history to carry with us, always. Because stories are more important than things."

Victoria Erickson

Hard to believe it's been three years since our last southern states road trip. I'm hoping this time no viruses or global shutdowns occur! For this upcoming journey, we're visiting the lovely states of North Carolina and Tennessee and taking in the fantastic views of the Smoky Mountains.

While in Asheville, we'll be staying at the Biltmore hotel on the grounds of the estate.

I love everything about this venue--the gardens are breathtaking and the hotel first rate. I'll be taking furious notes this trip--dreaming of the settings for book 9 in my cozy series. Gemma and family have some southern surprises sure to curdle your grits in this next tale!

I'm looking forward to touring the grounds and buildings of the estate once again and be inspired. There's something about roaming the rooms of a castle...

I'll be catching up with friends and family on this new adventure too--I can't wait for the laughs and conversations to begin! I'm fairly certain a few tidbits from these chats will make it into the writing reserve tucked away in my little gray cells... Who and what will be in the next story? 👀📚

Here's to great travel memories and the stories they spawn! What trips are you looking forward to? It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

It's a Murder on the Runway Zoom book party, March 31st!

I'm still planning on hosting a Zoom call with readers of my latest cozy tale on March 31st. It will be at 6 PM PDT, 8 PM CDT, 9 PM EDT (ooh, a late-night Friday party, LOL). Wear those tiaras and stilettos, and of course, have a lovely libation close-by as we talk about this latest tale. LMK if you'd like to attend, and I will send you a Zoom invite. There may be some great giveaways too... #JustSayin Hope to see you! 💖👑👠

#AmReading #AmReviewing

Mysteries galore this week from the writers of Twitter...

Author Amy Reade, St. Patrick's Fray, 5

Jewelry shopkeeper, Lilly Ashraf has hit the St. Patrick's Day pot of gold when she receives a supersized order for wedding keepsakes from a young couple who soon will be tying the knot. Her design plans hit a snag when the future mother-in-law barges in wanting to know the details. She holds the purse strings and wants control, placing Lilly in an awkward position.

When the meddling soon to be in-law meets a deadly end, Lilly is on the case, although one or more people may want her sleuthing to stop since she's a suspect herself. In addition to solving this mystery, she also must contend with the upcoming adoption proceedings for her husband, Hassan's and her new baby, Leith. Life's dealing the couple some tough obstacles when the baby's biological grandparents arrive on the scene and a deadly virus runs rampant at the care home where her dementia riddled mother resides. Will Lilly be able to juggle her sleuthing and family demands before more tragedy strikes?

Author Reade adds another baffling whodunit to the Juniper Junction holiday mystery series. I've thoroughly enjoyed the characters, settings, and family and friend dramas offered in this series. Sit back, grab your green libation, and let the clues unfold. A great read for cozy mystery fans!

Author Emma Davies, Death at Beresford Hall, 5

The darling of the hit show, Country Cooks Cook, Miranda Appleby, seems to have it all as she prepares for the popular Christmas edition episodes. Her holiday sparkle is disrupted however, when she starts to receive threatening letters. Caterer Francesca Eve and her sidekick Adam are asked to conduct an undercover investigation as the filming commences. Will they find out who is behind the cruel threats?

All is not what it seems on the set. Secrets emerge and rivalry in the competition is fierce. When tragedy strikes, Fran is pushed into the baking spotlight. Will she and Adam uncover the dangerous charade being played by one of them before another deadly deed occurs?

Author Davies weaves a clever whodunit that ticks my list of favorite things. Who doesn't enjoy the holiday baking shows and a whodunit to solve with a Christmas theme? I thoroughly enjoyed this behind-the-scenes mystery--well done to the author, a highly recommended read!

Next up:

Author Cathleen Maza's #NewRelease in her fabulous Haunted Savannah series! Get your copy here 👇 Congratulations, Cathy!

San Diego sight-seeing and GRITConn!

We had a fabulous time visiting this SoCal urban paradise and attending the super-inspiring GRITConn event hosted by Dr. Summer Watson et al a few weekends ago. As the rain poured down outside, we were treated to inspiring talks and exercises to unleash our creativity! Fighter pilots (female no-less, don't mess with these gals!), sports greats, writers, and people who made major changes in their lives to fulfill their dreams were on the jam-packed agenda. There was no way you could leave the meeting and not be inspired! It was also great to meet Dr. Summer in person, and catch up with my fabulous, southern creative, Bibiana Krall!

On the Sunday after the conference, the rain took a hiatus for a bit, and we were treated to a glorious, sunny day. The OH and I headed over to Coronado Island across the bay from the city to enjoy this coastal town with loads of charm and stunning views. I have a feeling I'll be back here soon...

Welcome to my world. Until next time, have a good one!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. Wishing you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day, may your wishes come true, and blessings be bountiful! 🍀🌈 Gemma and Rikkhe approve 💖👑

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