Hi ho, hi ho, it was off to Las Vegas we go! This past week it was such a treat to escape for a few days to meet up with my baby sissy and her husband. After 15 months of almost daily phone calls during the #lockdown, we seized the chance to meet up in person with Gayle and Keith at a not too distant stop on their cross country tour to celebrate Keith's recently retired status (and baby sis's bday, she turned the big 6-0 on March 28th!).
We planned our get-together on the shores of Lake Las Vegas, just outside the gleaming lights of the Strip. We thought it best to play it safe and stayed in a locale where it was less crowded so that we could responsibly, socially visit and chat. The community area at the lake is charming with its Tuscan villa theme and décor. The restaurants were first class and provided a delicious and relaxed, culinary experience.
Caesar Palace⏬ Mirage ⏩
Huge snaps to the hotels on the Strip in Las Vegas! Their social distancing and mask policies were effective and I felt comfortable touring the different hotels. It was not as crowded as usual--restaurants can only fill to 50%--they hope to operate at full capacity by the end of May. We definitely are looking forward to go there again for our anniversary in September. There's nothing like this playtime city and they made sure to make everyone feel welcome.
We finished our visit with dessert at the Eiffel Tower restaurant at the Paris Hotel on the Strip. The ambiance and views are spectacular and the Crème Brule was ooh-la-la! It's our fav place to go for a magnifique, culinary experience and we had loads of giggles and laughs as our rendezvous came to an end. It was truly a needed escape and a relief to know that you can still have fun, visit and stay safe.
The lights are shining bright in Vegas, a true signal that the world is opening up once again. It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:
My Latest #Book Baby Will Be 2 Weeks Old Tomorrow! 💖👑
My how fast they grow...The trip to Las Vegas was a great way to to celebrate the release of my book and I'm so excited my sister is reading Twins in the City on her cross country tour. Thank you again to everyone who has #read my latest #cozymystery tale and left a #bookreview! I have another fabulous 5⭐ #bookreview to share from Sue-Ellen Welfonder--thank you, thank you!
Gemma and her friends are back and the sixth book in Veronica Cline Barton’s delightful ‘My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series’ is a real show-stopper. Proving her mastery with a pen, the author outdoes herself in this irresistible romp across London, one of the world’s greatest and most-loved cities. Of course, the story opens when Lady Gemma and her husband, Sir Kyle, and their twin daughters are on holiday in Bermuda. Sun, sand, and sea are a bonus for travel-hungry readers. The ritzy resort island comes to life as vividly as Cline Barton’s take-you-right-there settings in Merry Olde.
Lovers of the genre (and Gemma fans) are in for a treat in Twins in the City: Playtime at Castlewood Manor. Along with a delicious mystery and much excitement, old friends are met on the page even as new ones appear, all of them leading the reader on the dazzling kind of adventure only Cline Barton can create. Film stars, royals, Scottish nannies, and family spirits (the ghostly variety), keep you reading deep into the night because this is one of those books you just don’t want to put down. It’s that wonderful, that much fun.
Other reviewers will surely detail the plot, so I’m only sharing why I enjoyed the story so much. I’m a huge fan of the series, both because of the heroine, Gemma, and her family and friends, but also for the author’s voice and style. She weaves a brilliant, fast-paced tale, hooking you with mystery and suspense, but also enchanting you by letting you ‘see’ the settings. Along with the mystery, she gives readers just the right amount of romance, feels, humor, and always a smashingly perfect ending. No one does the genre better and every time I finish one of these books, I start looking forward to the next.
Special perks in this one: The house-hunting jaunts to some of London’s most iconic areas: Belgravia, Notting Hill, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Kensington Palace Gardens. Rubbing elbows with royals (a well done and delightful ‘shadow-version’ of the real ones). A cute inclusion of yoga guaranteed to bring chuckles to yoga-loving readers. Teddy, the adorable goldendoodle. The oh-so-fun paranormal bits starring Figgy McEwen, the psychic Highland nanny, occasional visiting orbs, and, of course, Pippa, the much-loved family matriarch who looks in now and then from the other side of the veil. There’s a lot more to love, but I don’t include spoilers. I will guarantee that cozy mystery fans and Anglophiles will love this book.
Bottom line: Grab a Pimm’s, rub your hands together, and let Gemma and her friends entertain you! Highly recommended.
A #cozymystery classic this week with an almost-royal vibe...
Author Dorothy Sayers, Whose Body (Lord Peter Wimsey Book 1), 5⭐
A surprising find in a bathtub and a missing businessman send Lord Peter Wimsey on a quest to find a killer and solve a mysterious disappearance. Aided by his colleagues, they investigate the scene, looking for clues as to who, what and why. A cantankerous detective is perturbed by the sleuthing gentleman's observations. Will his pride thwart Lord Wimsey's insights?
Lord Wimsey perseveres, with his faithful butler, duchess mother and detective sidekick lending their clever skills and cheeky conversations to fill in vital gaps to solve the mysteries. A classic whodunit filled with whimsy and charm.
Next up in the #reading queue:
It's a #Q1 Wrap!
Join Amy Reade, Bibiana Krall and me later today on the #BOOKEM YouTube channel as we talk about Q1 experiences and what's next for Q2---lessons learned and celebrating new releases! See you soon!
Well, Our Viking Ocean Cruise was Cancelled Again...
The world is slowly opening up, but not in time for our cruise scheduled in June--so nyet Sweden, Russia, Estonia or Denmark this year. Viking notified us last week that they will not be doing any cruises until July 31st. Trips to Russia, Ukraine and Alaska will not be available until 2022. So for now, it looks like our travels this year will be limited to the U.S. We're keeping a close-eye on this, hopefully the cruise industry will have better luck in 2022!
#RIP His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021
During a trip to #London, on March 16, 2017, a small wave from the departed Prince and the Queen absolutely made my day. Blessings to the royal family...💖👑
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. A final clip from our trip to Las Vegas from the beautiful Wynn Hotel. Gemma and Rikkhe approve💖👑