Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Fun at Disneyworld

Steve and I flew down to Disneyworld with our daughter, Misty and her little girl, Guinevere (we call her Gwen) in early December.
At the airport, all ready to go!

This was Gwen's second trip. Two times to Disney and she's just turning four. A real veteran mousketeer! She knew what to expect this time so she was all ready for the weekend with her Minnie outfit and stuffed toy. This time the trip was better structured with pre-ordered "fastpasses" and reservations for dining. The food was terribly expensive, but we had good meals. We went to the Wilderness Lodge (a replica of the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone Nat'l Park) for breakfast the first day then took the free paddleboat across the lake to the Magic Kingdom. Our most favorite meal was a complete turkey dinner served family style at the Liberty Tavern (Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom). The food was great, especially the Johnny Appleseed cake with ice cream for dessert, but beware, the bill for three adults with tip was $125. (Gwen missed her nap that day and slept through the whole meal...)

Our first day at the park was a weekday, so attendance was mild. We got on a lot of rides right away and didn't have to stand in line very long for character pictures. Gwen's favorite characters are Tigger and Pooh!
Gwen with her best friends

Since her birthday is in a couple weeks, we registered Gwen as a birthday

Gwen at Crystal Palace
girl and, my, did she love that. Everywhere we went, she got little gifts and whenever a park employee saw her birthday button, they said, "Happy birthday, Princess!"

The first thing we did as soon as we entered the park was mosey on over to the hat store on Main Street and try on mouse ears. I mean, everyone does that, don't they? It's fun to try on all those hats and the Disney people are really good about taking your picture (even though they know you're not going to buy the ears!!). Getting our picture taken while wearing the latest mouse ears is a tradition for us.

Me, Gwen and Misty
Here we are in the hat shop getting our ears decorated. The white squares on Misty's forehead are price tags. She had no idea they were showing! I guess you could say that she's wearing Minnie Pearl-style mouse ears.

Disney has this really cool on-line app called "My Disney Experience." With it, you can make dining reservations, get fastpasses to your favorite rides and make other appointments. Misty set up our entire weekend on it about 6 months before we went!

Character breakfasts were the most fun and this time we went to the one at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Gwen got her fill of pictures and hugs from all the characters and some even signed her autograph book.

On Friday night we attended a special event called "Mickey's Christmas Party." There was a special parade, shows and after dark, the fantasy castle was completely lit up with icicle-type lights. Sorry, I know this picture doesn't do it justice, but it was the best my camera could get. In real-time it was fantastic.

But the best event of all this year for us was the Pirate's Bazaar over in Adventureland. Misty made an appointment for Gwen to get transformed into a mermaid. The idea went over fine until we arrived
Gwen with her pirate scarf and pink eye patch around her head.
at the bazaar and two pirates walked out. Ha-ha. All of a sudden the mermaid idea went up in smoke and the pirate look was on! Gwen is not one for girly things, that's for sure. She loves action-adventure and when Jack Sparrow came over to get his picture taken with her, she absolutely fell in love!

By the way, the makeover session, complete with makeup, nail polish, temporary tattoos and a bag of accessories (including a big plastic sword--that got purposely left behind...) only cost about $37. By Disney standards, that was a steal. Value in kid fun and memories~~priceless.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sweet Romance Reads: Bell Ringing - It's all in the Family

Sweet Romance Reads: Bell Ringing - It's all in the Family: My brother started bell ringing for the Salvation Army about ten years ago. Dave is a friendly guy and has no problem talking to strangers...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sweet Christmas Kisses - Celebrating our USAToday bestseller status!

Sweet Christmas Kisses is now a USAToday bestseller and we're giving away a lot of fun prizes at Sweet Romance Reads to celebrate!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Sweet Romance Reads Release Day FB Party

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's all in the family - Labor Day Fun

These are two of my grandkids, Guinevere (Gwen) and Gabriel. They came over on Labor Day for a visit and had a great time at Grandma's house. Gwen loves to snoop in all of Grandma's jewelry and wear her beads. Gabe loves to put his hands and mouth on Grandma's mirror-wall in the dining room and laugh at his reflection. Grandma's house is super fun. So much to get into!

I bought a talking Woody doll and a big red race car for Gabe at a garage sale, but he was more interested in Gwen's purple plastic wheelbarrow and kid gardening tools. And that Fisher-Price corn popper that drives everyone nuts...

Gwen, on the other hand, zeroed in on the Woody Doll and wouldn't give it up. Oh, well. Who knew?

They climbed into the big wheelbarrow for their mom to take this picture. Gwen is wearing my Mardi Gras beads--the first thing she looks for when she comes over.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Coming Soon! A new inspirational romance by Denise Devine

Free! Watch for it in July...

Book one in the Forever Yours Series
Preview is available on Denise's Diary

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Romancing the Lakes Romance Writers Conference, Aug 1-2, 2014

This is a really great conference. I went last year and had such a good time! The price is only $100 and the rooms at Mystic Lake are very affordable. If you're an author, there will be a book signing during the day on Saturday. Editors will also be taking pitches.

Romancing the Lakes 
Second Annual Conference

Road to Publishing

AUGUST 1 -2, 2014
Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel
Prior Lake Minnesota
It All Starts with an Idea,
Continues on to Learning Your Craft 

 Arrive with a Manuscript
Key Note Speaker:  Mary Wine
Session Presenters:  Mary Wine, Rosanne Bane and Jess Lourey.
Conference Features: One and two-hour sessions, contest awards, silent   auction, networking and book signings.
August 1
Friday Night: Meet and Greet at Hotel buffet (not included in registration fee). Fireside Chat after dinner with keynote speaker Mary Wine.
August 2:
Saturday:  Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages included in registration.

All authors attending can bring their books to sign and sell during the conference.
Set your own price and, handle all monies and transactions. All book signings will be held in the same room as the conference.

                  Editors will be attending the conference and will take individual 
or group pitching at any time during the conference. No pre-registration is required.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Holy Vet Bill, Batman, Kitty is sick!

She looks kind of grumpy here, but she sure was clinging to me today at the vet clinic. Poor Babygirl has a urinal tract infection! She sits for five minutes, trying to pee and nothing comes out. I know how that feels when I have a bladder infection and it ain't fun. I noticed her sitting in her box last night, ignoring my call for a treat. That surprised me. Then today I saw her doing the same thing in the flower garden and then trying to pee again a couple minutes later. So much for getting any yard work done before the storms came this afternoon.

It's pretty hard to get an appointment on Saturday because everyone closes at noon, but I found a vet in Cambridge that was open until five. Babygirl cried in the carrier all the way there. I felt so bad for her. When I got there, she was clinging to me and trying to hide under my arm. But when they gave her the ultrasound to get her to pee, they said she was very sweet. Hmm...she must be sick! She's usually Little Miss Hissy Fit. "Don't touch me, don't pick me up. Lemme bite your ankle. Growl, growl..."

We got the drugs, I paid the bill and we went home. The patient is convalescing now and eating albacore tuna as a reward for taking her antibiotics like a good girl. What a life.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mom's Day Bash is today!

Don't forget!

Join the Mom's Day Bash today, May 8th at #SweetRomance Reads on FB: Games, Prizes, Free Books! #MothersDay

1pm to 3pm Eastern Time

Go to the event link above to sign up, then join us on the FB page at 1pm for two hours of fun.

See ya there!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mom's Day Bash at Sweet Romance Reads

Join the Mom's Day Bash May 8 at #SweetRomance Reads on FB: Games, Prizes, Free Books! #MothersDay

Friday, April 4, 2014

This Time Forever, an Inspirational Romance

Now available on Kindle.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Juan Pablo - Hero or Horrible?

In the twelve years that The Bachelor has been on TV, I have never watched it—until this year. Why now? Maybe because my writer's mind decided that it might be good research for a future plot, or maybe because I was just curious. I don't know, but what I saw the first night disappointed me. Many of the women were so clich├ęd with their prima donna behavior, their vanity and the way they sucked up to Juan Pablo. But then, I'd never watched this show before so maybe that's what the attraction is—a bunch of women fighting over a man. 

But why this man? 

First off, why couldn't he comb his hair? It always looked like he'd slept on it the wrong way and didn’t feel like bothering with it once he'd crawled out of bed. Another thing that bothered me about him was the way he seemed to be performing for the camera all of the time, but didn't really know his lines. His speech carried a of repetition, like, "it's okay, it's okay…it's not a problem." Thirdly, he treated all of those women like they were Barbie dolls, like it was all a game and not a serious conquest. Well, yeah, I guess it IS a game, a different kind of TV game show with mega sponsors, but it's not supposed to LOOK like a game, is it? Isn't he supposed to make you fall in love with him and make you wish you were one of women he was courting? Isn't that what a hero is supposed to do? To me, he seemed just a tad immature, as though he really liked the make-believe part the most. 

I only watched the first show all the way through. After that, I kept tabs on it by watching the commercials. Really! They tell you more than you'd think they would, but the producers do that because they want to tantalize you enough to tune in. Not me. Just give me the finale and let’s get it over with. 

So I tuned into the last show for the second half-hour, right when the two finalists, Clare and Nikki were being transported to the spot where Juan Pablo was going to pick one lucky girl (or, as it turned out—one unlucky girl). To be honest, I was rooting for Clare, but when he dumped her and she told him off, I suddenly knew she'd done the right thing. Something about him didn't seem right, I'd known that all along, but when he gave her the bad news then leaned over to kiss her like business as usual, I could see that he had no qualms whatsoever about letting her go. It was all about the game… 

Finally, when he gave Nikki the rose, he told her he wasn't comfortable with asking her to marry him and he never said that he loved her. That put a damper on the "happy ending" aspect, for sure, but what happened in the follow-up interviews put the final touches on this fiasco—I mean finale! 

The final show aired four months after the last episode was taped. In the follow-up interview, we saw that Juan Pablo and Nikki Ferrell are supposedly still together, supposedly optimistic about their future and supposedly happy. Really? Is it just me, or is he immature and is she insecure? He still hasn't proposed. He still hasn't even told her he loved her. But he's happy because he's sleeping with her?

Is this your idea of a true hero?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Don't Wait! Get Hooked with #MFRWorg Authors

Don't Wait! Get Hooked with #MFRWorg Authors! (via MFRW Authors)

Welcome to Book Hooks, the weekly meme hosted by the MFRW Authors Blog. Authors, we'd love for you to join in. Sign-ups open each Sunday right here on the MFRW Authors Blog. Readers, here's your chance each week to get hooked on a new book! Authors…

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Beatles

The Beatles influence spread across the entertainment industry (via CBS News)

Theater and film director Julie Taymor and writer/musician/comedian Neil Innes talk about the wide ranging impact The Beatles had on the arts and the world of music beyond their own genre. Anthony Mason hosted the discussion as part of the CBS News…