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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, Tis the Season for Some Almost Royal Fun!

Happy December (and yes those are some newly acquired almost royal crown jewels)! A new month with lots of fun things to come–including more foods to gobble down (fruitcake and gingerbread–I love it) and holiday cheer (Starbucks chai tea eggnog latte’s here I come)! I hope you are having a wonderful start to your holiday season. Mine so far has been filled with firsts—a really bad cold that took me out for a few days (so over Nyquil cocktails #JustSayin), and I have my first Christmas dinner to attend this week (let the parties begin)!

One advantage of being under the weather is that I had plenty of time to read and get started on the Deadly Receptions marketing plan! Time to pack up the bags too—I’m headin’ cross country to the cold northeast next week….It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

DeadlyReceptionsV6 red with black

I’ve just started my marketing planning service pack with BookBaby. They work with Smith Publicity to help authors like myself structure a marketing plan for your new book offerings. To date most of my efforts have been ‘I’ll do it when I learn about it’…it’s time to call in some professional help! I’ve filled out a questionnaire and will be receiving a structured plan to execute, and consultation with my project manager for this service pack in the next few weeks.

I’ve also decided to do the social media platform service to better structure my Twitter and Instagram accounts to promote my books. Lots to do before the end of the year but I think  having a plan to work against will be much more effective for me. I’ll post some of the recommendations in a later post and will be tracking the results in 2019. I’m anxious to learn what works, and what doesn’t…

a young girl reading fragonard 1771

So thankful to have had books to read this week, as I curled under the Christmas tree. Once again, the Twitter writer community came through and I was able to read (and review) two more books; one full of laughs and fun, and the other a thriller page turner!

Author Sheila Patel’s The Magic Vodka Wardrobe, 5 STARS

Such a fun read! Author Sheila Patel takes you on a zany journey with Shaz and her family as they enter the magic wardrobe each night to dance, have a voddy (well maybe not just one), and ponder the day’s events. The characters are enchanting–you feel like you’re part of the family as you read, a welcome guest to this cozy hangout (I want the bedazzled shoes too!). A great storyline with lots of laughs–can’t wait to read the next one! Highly recommended!

Author K.Z. Howell’s, Dream State, 5 STARS

Author K.Z. Howell takes you on a thrilling, suspense filled tale that makes you question whether or not you want to dream again! The premise to utilize and develop the dream methodology of Edgar Cayce had me intrigued from the start. Suspense builds as Professor Bench and his team’s research reaches new levels in the Dream State—but is it a power that should be known and expanded, or stay hidden for the greater good? Years pass, and a former research associate, Dr. Kendra Mills, now with the NSA, decides to expand the concepts using any means necessary–including the capture of the original research team to use for her nefarious research. Lots of suspenseful thrill and chills until the very end. A great read!

Next in the reading queue (I am trying to read as many author’s works as I can this month—if you would like your book read and reviewed, let me know and I will put it on my #TBR list):

xmas rockettes

Time for some #InspirationResearch…NYC, here I come!

Next week I’m headin’ cross country to the Big Apple to delight in the cold weather (Note to Old Man Winter—please don’t revert to summer temps while I’m there!) and the city’s beautiful Christmas lights. I’m super excited–it’s been a while since I’ve been to the city, although I feel like I was just there—NYC is featured prominently in the Deadly Receptions; the Debut of Castlewood Manor storyline.

We’ll be visiting Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park, the Plaza hotel, the shops on 5th Avenue (Tiffany’s here I come–hope to eat at The Blue Box Cafe!), and see the fabulous Rockettes. May even take a skate at the beautiful Bryant Park….Stay tuned for lots of pics!

xmas holiday cheer

Speaking of holiday cheer….

Reading Sheila Patel’s The Magic Vodka Wardrobe inspired me to once again do a little ‘voddy’ home brew for the holidays! Simple recipe and great flavors! For this batch I used:

  1. 1 bag fresh cranberries

  2. orange peel from 2 oranges (just the peel, no pith please!)

  3. juice from the 2 oranges

  4. sugar (to taste–I used approx. 1/2 cup)

  5. 1 cinnamon stick

Add ingredients to a sauce pan and heat to boil (you will just begin to hear the cranberries start to pop). Take off heat and cool down. Add ingredients to a glass jar with sealed lid (mine are from Amazon, approx. 2 quarts). Pour vodka over mix to top of jar. Close lid and refrigerate for 1-2 weeks. Use straight up or in martinis or with a splash of prosecco….The fun thing with this is that you can experiment with a variety of flavors (and base liquor, rum or bourbon would work too)–I’ve made lemon/star anise and apple/cinnamon. This is a great base for a spiced up wassail or mulled wine too. Tie a ribbon around the lid and voila–a very nice gift 🙂 #JustSayin

Welcome to my writer’s week–have a good one and enjoy your weekend!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. More from the Big Apple next week! Gemma would approve 🙂

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