Monthly Archives: February 2012
As I promised earlier today, it’s time to share the deets on the Harko/Hart/Sharp (sorry, we’re a modern family) gang’s recent sojourn to the great and historically rich city of Boston, MA.
With my full-time job and my two daughters in school, we don’t find much time for “family vacations”. with my two daughters off from school this week, I decided to treat them and take the week off from work as well.
We discussed options for short trips (ones we could afford) and the Boston Aquarium came up as an option. Pete and I booked a room at the Marriott Custom House which according to Google maps was smack next to the Aquarium and Quincy Market. Plus it was better for Pet and I than a standard hotel room with two double beds, as it was a suite. Private bedroom with king and a fold out queen bed for the girls. Kitchenette for breakfast. I’m now thinking mini fridge and microwave. Rock on. I can make good coffee when I get up. Book it, baby!
We even had the forethought to make an online reservation (omg, I’m such a net geek sometimes) at the nearby, and supposedly famous, Union Oyster House, also within walking distance of the Custom House the night of our arrival in Beantown.
Now for the fun part, the actual trip. (Fasten your seatbelts)
The first thing I have to say about Boston, is this. Never, EVER, drive in Boston. I cannot even begin to explain the maze that makes up the streets of this city. Before I went, I thought, “How hard can it be? I’m from New York.” Welp… it was NOT pretty. Picture Pete driving, me looking at a pittance half marked piece of map we got off the hotel site in a maze of one way streets curving and merging from every conceivable direction. The girls did mention they saw two vagrants, and were disturbingly excited by this apparent coup. They went on to explain that we didn’t see them “because you were too busy yelling at Pete.” (In my defense, he had just almost run over a pedestrian taking his life in his hands by crossing against the light)
We literally spent an hour driving in circles trying to find State Street, only to finally find it but it’s a one way street leading away from the part of it we needed to be on. Are you freaking kidding me?
The gang was quite pleased to finally manage to find the traversable end of State Street and were able to find our lodgings at the Custom House. YAY!
I have to tell you, the place was GORGEOUS. Far beyond my expectations based on the website information. Turns out, a “resort” facility. As you can see in this first pic, it comes complete with its own clock tower. The green strip above the clock face is the lookout. More on that later.
Our room was on the 19th floor and check in was a breeze. Valet parking. You had to pay extra for parking, by the way ($39 for the overnight). The lobby was beautiful, with a three-story domed ceiling. The girls nabbed a snap of that. Check it out.
Sweet, right? It was what I would imagine the inside of the White House dome might look like.
The hotel is also quite secure. You needed your room key to operate the elevator up. Smart and helped ease my concerns on the choice we had made sight unseen (basically).
I mentioned earlier we were on the 19th floor, right? Well, let me tell you, the view from the windows of the suite was killer! Here’s a quick menage.
The room itself was just as impressive. I would show you nice pics of that, but apparently I didn’t take any that didn’t contain my dear, Pete in his undies and Shelby’s Silly Balloon Hat (more on that later, too). This is the only one I managed free of rated PG-13 material. It’s the view of the room from its entrance foyer (yes, it had its own posh little foyer inside the door).
Oh, there’s the Silly Hat I mentioned. I promise we are almost to that part of the trip. Patience, eh?
Once we arrived in Beantown and settled out stuff, the gang headed out to explore Quincy Market and see if we could really reach the restaurant we’d made reservations at on foot. I did not relish the idea of more city driving. been there, done that.
Considering it was the dead of winter in the Northeast, the weather was wonderfully accommodating. A cold brisk wind, but certainly not the chilling temps expected in the region (like the rest of this winter has been). We toured a row of shops and indoor carts, not really paying too much attention. Just getting a lay of the land, as it were.
Pete was ready for a beer and I wanted some sort of snack, having only had sandwiches we’d packed for the drive. A beer sounded pretty good to me, too.
We headed into the Salty Dog Tavern. It seems we entered the bar side, so we were directed through the think kitchen area in the center (dish station, I believe) into the back where the tables were located. It was small but quaint, and the gang took a load off and had a bit of fun.
I didn’t tell you I had a normal family or anything, right? I should tell you all now — if you didn’t know this already — my daughter, Shelby is quite unique. She refuses to take a “normal” picture. So, you will not see one here.
Pete had a beer, but they didn’t have Corona, so I opted for a soda. The girls had sodas as well. We ordered a bucket of clams to share and Casey (who doesn’t eat seafood, really) had an order of fries. Pete added some Oyster Stew and I had a bowl of New England Chowder. I guess, technically, Boston Chowder in this case. ($65 for the whole kaboodle) Tasty vittles and the server was friendly and efficient. Casey and Shelby came up with a saying while we were there, though I couldn’t tell you now why. The Salty Dog, Where Anything Can Happen. (*shrugs* not sure – they’re kids, after all)
That’s all for now. I’ll finish up the fantastic clan adventure in another post tomorrow. I can’t be hogging all your time with my silly family slide shows.
If you have been to these places and have experiences to share, or just want to post a comment or question on the trip so far, just drop me a line. 🙂
Until, tomorrow… and the saga continues.
You might think that being this is Wednesday, I may have once more forgotten my Tuesday Task Tally. I swear, I did not. I was actually in Boston enjoying the sights with my family yesterday, and was having too much fun to break free to post on the blog. But, I am here now.
To begin, I will do as I am supposed to, and give a run down of my writerly tasks this week. The neat part, is I really only had one big task this past week. My cover reveal (on 2/20) — which went swimmingly well.
On that note, I would like to extend some special thanks to the following bloggers for helping me get the word out about my novel. You should definitely check out and follow these blogs if you don’t already.
I am still “working” on a short story I started for the J. Taylor Publishing “Make Believe” anthology. Getting closer to the deadline on this one, so I really should get it in gear.
Stop by later for a fun post about my family’s adventures in Boston this week.
I cannot believe the day has FINALLY arrived. It has been near torture waiting to share the cover art for my debut novel with you all. But, time marches on, no matter how slowly, and the 20th of February has arrived. YAY!
Ladies and Gents — the cover for my novel, due out in June 2012 from Inkspell Publishing.
From the Back Cover:
There is no denying the call of the sea.
Elysandra Winters has always yearned for a life of adventure on the rolling seas and is willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill her dream. When her Privateer father continually refuses to allow his only daughter to sail, Ellie defies him, disguises herself as a boy, and goes in search of a captain who will give her a chance to prove her worth.
Thanks to the cursed selkie blood coursing through his veins, Daniel O’Rourke needs the sea to survive. After giving up on his humanity and spending three years in seal form, he decides to give his human side another chance. Daniel goes in search of a job and a sense of normalcy, earning himself a position aboard Captain Winter’s ship, The Surf Runner. However, his new captain’s first assignment has nothing at all to do with sailing, and everything to do with his headstrong young daughter.
Years later, when the leader of a band of bloodthirsty pirates murders Captain Winters, Daniel and Elysandra’s lives come crashing back together with the force of a hurricane. Both experts in deception, they must find a way to trust each other if they are to have any hope of hunting down the captain’s killer.
I absolutely LOVE it. The girl fits Ellie so perfectly, and the designer, Naj also managed to give me a little Daniel (selkie) out in the ocean by the beautiful ship.
Be sure to add the novel to your Goodreads To-Read list.
What do you all think? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by for another installment of Six Sentence Sunday. This week’s post is special for me, as the cover reveal for my debut novel is tomorrow. (A Hearty SQUEE for that)
Without waiting for an answer, she[Ellie] headed down the dirt road, keeping her gaze focused on the path ahead and as far from the distracting Daniel as possible.
On a good day, the trek to Newquay was long. The trip with Daniel that morning was pure torture. Neither spoke a word, the silence between them stretching into an impenetrable chasm. Each time Ellie considered breeching it, her thoughts fled, palms got sweaty, and her ears burned. She’d already made enough of a fool of herself on the beach, she saw no reason to add to the humiliation.
Hope you enjoyed the snipit. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, and click the banner at the top of this post to visit with the other participant sites.
Thanks again, my friends, and Happy Sunday!
First of all, HAPPY VALENTINE”S DAY, EVERYONE!
I have actually had a relatively calm week this time around. I have really rocked through most of my publisher’s requirements at this point and have found I actually have had some time to get other things done, like catching up on critiques for fellow authors, some reading, and a new story.
Here is this week’s task list and progress:
Tasks assigned by my publisher:
1. Finish editing rounds of Call of the Sea – DONE – final copy has been sent on to my editors. I guess this means the novel is done – like really, actually finished. Squee!
2. Write a blog post for the publishers blog. – IN PROGRESS – Ideally I would like to finish one of these each week. So far though, I have only sent one in.
Tasks I assigned myself:
1. Contact Book bloggers and reviewers to try and set up some guest posts, interviews and other promotions for Call of the Sea – IN PROGRESS – I have managed to set up one Author Spotlight and am working on more.
2. Finish up with the coordination of the cover reveal on Feb. 20th. – DONE (basically). I’ve set up all my bloggers and author friends with the image and blog postings have been scheduled and advertised. (weee!)
3. Write, write, write – IN PROGRESS – Need to get the first draft down for Destiny’s Trial (WT) for the J. Taylor “Make Believe” anthology.
4. Catch up on reading and reviews. – IN PROGRESS – The review blog over at Bex Book Nook has been slightly neglected and I am hoping to correct that little issue.
5. Play with Flash and make a Book Trailer for Call of the Sea – STILL CONSIDERING – Not sure if I want to eat up more time doing this one. As much as I love playing with graphics, I think this one may be more of a time eating distraction than I need at the moment.
6. Go see STOMP at the Palace Theater with the bo-hunk and my daughters on Saturday night – WAITING – Okay, this one is absolutely not writing related, but I’m super excited about it all the same.
I think that’s all the big stuff I have going on this week. What about you? What sorts of things are on your task list this week?
As you can see, I have already managed to mess up my goal of tracking my tasks as the weeks go by on the road to the release of my debut novel, CALL OF THE SEA. I just realized while driving into the office this morning it was Friday and I had not posted my Tuesday update.
For those of you who had been anxiously awaiting it and whose lives I have ruined by my lack of planning, I offer heartfelt apologies.
Without further ado, here was Tuesday’s list of tasks.
Tasks Assigned By My Publisher:
1. Finish final edit rounds with editor, Melissa Keir. – Done
2. Touch base with publicist RE: Cover Reveal event on 2/20 – Done
3. Write Acknowledgements Page and Dedication for novel – Done – Submitted for review and finalized.
4. Goodreads – Stop by Group Discussions and Interact – In Progress (not sure this one ever gets checked as done)
Tasks I Assigned to Myself This Week:
1. Catch up on Scribophile crit lists and pay back those who helped me when I was pressing to get CotS polished. – Almost there/slowly catching up
2. Marketing efforts for fellow Inkspell authors – Support publisher run events and marketing efforts. – In Progress and Ongoing
3. Hook up with other authors and bloggers to share in reveal of cover on 2/20. Coordinate postings. – Done
4. Write the middle section of the new short story I’m working on. – Barely started. This is the weekend plan.
5. Post on Task Tally on Tuesday, not Friday (working on it 😛 – maybe next week I will get this one right.)
So that is it from this end. What did you work on this week?
I was one of the lucky few who managed to get on Ms. Adams’ beta reader list, so got a look at this one before it released to the masses. As usual, I am in awe of Jocelyn’s ability to weave a compelling and romantic tale.
I would highly recommend this novella to anyone who loves a good romantic read. If you have a zen for fairy tales, then this one is a can’t miss.
As most of you who stop by regularly know, (since I can’t stop talking about it most days) my debut novel is releasing in June. Due to this fantastic bit of good fortune, I have been up to my eyeballs in CALL OF THE SEA for months and months. This week I sent the first round of edits to my editor, so I have been able to put Daniel and Ellie out of my head for a day or so. It’s been wonderful for my creativity.
This week’s six comes from a short story I have finally been able to focus some attention on. It has a darker feel to it that CotS, so I have really enjoyed spending time with the characters of DESTINY’S TRIAL (working title).
Hope you enjoy the snipit. 🙂
Torches lined the ancient stone walls of the wide antechamber, casting an eerie yellow light about the space. The flickering light caught on the two metallic suits or armor stationed on both sides of the archway at the other end of the foyer, making them appear as if they’d been dipped in gold.
Hesitant steps carried her across the lobby. The only sounds accompanying her were the soft click of her boot heels and the murmur of her cloak brushing over the polished marble floor.
You can do this. It’s what you’ve worked your whole life for.
As always, feel free to share your thoughts on today’s offering.
Be sure to click on the banner at the top of this post and drop in on the other authors with teasers for you this week. You never know. You just may stumble across your new favorite author.