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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, Well Hello #September!

What a long #weekend–Labor Day, the churning of monster storm Dorian, and changing of the guard as we leave August and the fineries of summer, and welcome September with the colors of autumn. I’m ready for that #autumn frame of mind, and I can’t wait to have my first pumpkin spice latte of the season (they are here)! It’s always interesting transitioning to a new season. Temperature wise here in southern California we won’t have any dramatic changes for another month or two, but I’m already pulling down the summer décor and getting out the golds and oranges. I’ve been drooling while reading my Mackenzie Childs catalogs–I love their Courtly Check pattern, be it on pumpkins, napkin rings or readers (my signature specs). I think it’s the mix of colors and patterns that enchant me, and I can’t wait to bring in some new fall pieces for the house. Speaking of whimsy…

While we were in Las Vegas we went to the Bellagio hotel on the strip to see their fabulous conservatory exhibits. Each season they bring in a new theme whose pieces are totally comprised of flower petals, moss, and other plant components to create their majestic vignettes. This summer season the theme was La Dolce Vita, and we were treated to several theme creations that made you smile in awe. I was amazed at the details and scale of these creations (the conservatory encompasses over 14,000 square feet)–the pictures don’t do them justice. The swan was about 6 feet tall and 8 feet in length, the decorative majolica style plate was over 7 feet in diameter. The colors and patterns were simply divine. If you are in the Las Vegas area, this is a great place to visit and there’s no charge–unless, ahem, you happen to go into the charming garden store behind the exhibits, #UhOh… It’s Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

AmQuerying Mistletoe Mayhem Yuletide at Castlewood Manor Cover VCB

#AmQuerying: I’m sending out more queries to agents this week–I have had one rejection (very nice though, and she invited me to #query again to her). For those of you who are interested, Hallmark Publishing is having their open submissions now through midnight September 30th, 2019. You don’t have to have an agent, you send your synopsis and manuscript directly to them. I’m sending Mistletoe & Mayhem, Yuletide at Castlewood Manor in for consideration–it’s not a 100% fit for all their guidelines, but could be tweaked if accepted. Best Wishes to all who participate! Their content guidelines, genres and submission process can be read here:

#WriterTipFor all you #writers who are not represented by an agent, and have an unpublished, completed manuscript ready to go, #PitMad is on tomorrow, September 5th, from 8am-8pm EDT. It’s a great process and you’ll have the opportunity to RT those works you think rock! Remember, ‘LIKES’ are for the agents/publishers, so please just Re-tweet to show your support. Get those 280 character pitches ready! All the rules and guidelines can be found here, Good Luck!:

#AmMarketingHere’s the last of my #bookcovers that have been transformed through the creative animations by Morgan Wright(@byMorganWright). I’m very much sold on doing this–it makes such a difference in your tweets and posts. You can learn more about her services here:

Making its blog debut:

a young girl reading fragonard 1771

Family drama, heartbreak, and hope from the #writers of twitter this week…

Author Brenda Guiton, At The End of the Sentence, 5 STARS

Kirsty Wilde is about to embark on a journey that will change her life. A deathbed confession by her mother leaves her numb and filled with questions. She finds out that Rick, a cruel, violent criminal who made life with him unbearable, is not her father. She longs to get away from her old life before he gets out of jail and start fresh. With her new found knowledge of her true parentage, she decides to reach out to a man she’s never met. David Atherton gets the shock of his life when a package is delivered to his office. As he reads the note enclosed, he finds that he has a daughter he has never known of, by a woman he once loved in his past. Kirsty Wilde waits in heartbreaking turmoil for a response–she longs to meet David and learn of a relationship she never knew of–but will he want to meet her? She’s ashamed of her past and hides it, and is even more afraid of the violent Rick.

Author Brenda Guiton takes us on a family’s journey as they meet the young woman who has so dramatically entered there lives. David’s wife Diane is torn between resenting Kirsty’s intrusion into her family, yet empathizes with the daughter who has faced so much drama and hardship. Hannah is torn by the knowledge she has a sister–she’s been a very privileged only child, will she resent Kirsty, or embrace her? David is kind and tries to form a relationship with Kirsty, but is it too late to forge a bond with a daughter he never knew?

Family drama, tragedy, romance and a strange twist of events culminates in a violent showdown. Will the secrets of the past and a man bent on cruelty bring everything crashing down? This is a bittersweet tale of a family in flux, and the spirit of hope that may unite them. A great read, highly recommended!

Pssst! Making Its Debut Tomorrow: Author Emmy Bennet’s Different Shade of Wynter!

Next in the #reading queue:

Paris Eiffel tower LV

Parlez-vous Francais?

Just as I love everything British, I am also a Francophile, loving all things French, and especially the city of Paris. I traveled to The City of Lights the first time when I was 49 years old, and the city absolutely stole my heart. I’ve been back many times since that first trip, and I’m always enchanted. I joined the Alliance Francaise organization here in Orange County to learn more about the French language and culture, and I’ve met some wonderful people who share my love of the country, food, and wines. There’s several programs and events scheduled throughout the year and it gives you a chance to experience the French things you love without a 10 hour plane ride. There are AF chapters in cities around the world–check out the ones near you:

For my next #cozymystery series, my main character shares both a French and Danish heritage. I’m going back to the classroom this week to resume my #French lessons, and to up my je ne sais quoi a bit for this character. A #writer’s research is never done!

Speaking of French…(and cocktails 🙂 )

Had to show our lovely dessert from the Eiffel Tower restaurant at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas—a Grand Marnier soufflé, sorbets–can you say #Yummeaux! And once we waddled back to the Venetian, we hit our favorite little French bar at the Bouchon for a tutorial on all things absinthe. All I know is, I want one of those absinthe drip fountains (hint, hint Hubby)!

Welcome to my world. Enjoy the rest of your #week and #weekend friends!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. The Bellagio Conservatory, a gorgeous place to visit if you’re in Las Vegas! Gemma would approve 🙂

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