Thursday, March 28, 2019

Yee Haw! Meet and Greet, Texas Style!

We've been home several days now, and I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep and get my facial muscles to let go of the silly grin.

Yes, we that good of a time in Texas!

We started off with Tex-Mex and a bunch of Roz's friends from high school. The food was excellent, and the laughs wouldn't stop.
Jean and Roz at El Fenix in Plano, TX.

The next day, was the HomeRun Author Event at
Globe Life Park (Home of the Texas Rangers baseball team)
in Arlington, TX.
The stadium was absolutely beautiful! However, a new one with a retractable roof is under construction right across the street!

Seeing the field made me long for the season to begin!

The book signing was held in the Jack Daniel's club at the stadium.

Jean and Roz with 'ole Jack Daniel himself!

Here we are at our tables.

 When the signing was over, we gathered at Sports & Social, a nearby restaurant.
We were joined by friends, Pat, Sandy, and Sharon.
I think the wait-staff thought we were nuts, but we had a great time just chatting and catching up.

L-R, Pat, Jean, Sandy, Roz, Sharon

As we were leaving, we saw this beautiful rainbow!

The next morning, we met a friend of Jean's, Trisha Faye, at Denny's for breakfast.
L- Trisha, R- Jean

I couldn't resist taking this photo of a photo on the wall. It reminded me of our Road Trip logo with the pink caddy. We were destined to meet there, right? LOL

After breakfast, Jean and I went in search of bluebonnets. For those of you who don't know, they're a weed, but also the Texas state flower. It was a little early for them to be blooming in the Dallas area, but we weren't to be denied. Going on tips we received from several locals, we found them! Aren't they spectacular?

Before we knew it, our time in Dallas was up. I was up before the mockingbirds to catch my flight back to New Jersey.

We're busy planning our next road trip. I hope you can come along!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Harrisburg or bust!

   Wow! What a fabulous time we had on our stopover in Harrisburg. First, we went to the amazing bookstore, Cupboard Maker Books. If you haven't been there, then you've been missing a unique reading experience. 
   First, the mural painted on the side of the building will stop you cold. Giant, colorful books painted on the wall will tantalize you. And when you go in, OMG! They are second only to Barnes & Noble in the number of books they carry. 
   And the books are organized to perfection; shelved by category and in alphabetical order. Still can't find what you're looking for? Ask the owner, Michelle. I swear she knows every title of every one of the thousands of books in her store--and where to find them. The books are mostly gently used with prices you can afford. 
   We discussed having a signing event at her place in the spring. I can't wait to go back and browse. It's one place I'd love to be locked in over night. Maybe even for a week. Awesome.
   Then we set off to meet readers. Setting in the rockers in front of Cracker Barrel, we were pleasantly surprised when Tina approached us. After introducinig ourselves, we went inside and got a table. Not long after, Michelle, from the bookstore, joined us. 
   With so much talk about books, we barely had time to look at the menu. Michelle begged off early as she had to run a book club meeting. Tina stayed.
   It wasn't long before the discussion became more personal. We shared stories, laughed, and got to know her. Roz and I signed and gifted a book or two to Tina, who was pleasantly surprised and pleased. We ate and sipped sweet tea with our new friend until well past dessert. 
   Tomorrow morning, we will say farewell to the lovely capital of Pennsylvania. Roz will head to Richmond for the RomCon conference, while I will return to Lake Huntington. 
   We had a wonderful, whirlwind, romance-book road trip in Harrisburg. New friends were made, and new ideas bandied about. Where will we stop next? Stay tuned. It may be your home town!

Bye, bye Harrisburg! Thanks for a fantastic time! 

Friday, September 21, 2018

3 Zany Women on a Gray Day

This week was all about getting away from it all to get some writing done, and what better place to go than upstate New York?  After some arm twisting, Jean agreed to host our mini retreat at her summer house in the Catskills. The summer season is over for most folks so for the last few days, Jean, myself and our good friend, Rose C. Carole pretty much had the small community all to ourselves--at least in regards to humans. We spent a lot of time out on the deck watching the birds stock up before winter sets in.
Those are yellow finches, which happen to be the state bird of New Jersey. Since Rose and I both live in New Jersey it was a rare treat to see the little guys since they seem to have all moved north!

Don't get me wrong, we did get some work done. We spent time talking about the publishing industry, shared marketing info and bounced ideas off each other when we weren't laughing our heads off. We might have had a drink or two and ate a few too many snacks, but what's a retreat if you can't break a few rules?

Speaking of...
There might or might not have been a tomato heist at the community garden. Just because these two were tiptoeing around after dark with their cell phone flashlights doesn't mean they're responsible for any missing tomatoes.

All work and no play leads to writer's block. To keep that from happening, we picked a dreary, dismal, dare I say, gray, day and took off in search of literary inspiration. Our first stop was the Zane Grey Museum.
To get there, we had to cross what is probably the most unique bridge I've ever seen. The Roebling Bridge was originally constructed as part of the Delaware and Hudson canal. Yes, it was a water passage that allowed ore boats being tugged along the canal to cross the Delaware River. It's now a one-lane auto bridge.

The Zane Grey Museum is housed in this lovely structure which was home to Zane and his family for many years and in which he wrote many of his most famous works. An avid fisherman and outdoorsman, he had only to walk out his front door to fish the Delaware river.

The museum, though small, proved fascinating. We spent a good deal of time there learning about Zane's life. 

Did you know...?

1. Zane Grey played baseball. He went to the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship and later played minor league baseball on several teams, including the 1898 New Jersey Colts.
2. He was a dentist. He earned his degree at U. of Penn thanks to that baseball scholarship. He opened his practice in New York City in 1896. He wrote in the evenings and played baseball when he could.

3. His first name was Pearl. I couldn't find any information regarding where the name came from. If you know, I'd love to hear the story!

4. Television shows, The Lone Ranger and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon were adaptations of Zane Grey novels.

5. Though not critically acclaimed, his books sold an estimated 17 million copies during his lifetime and many remain in print to this day.

As romance writers, we loved seeing the recreation of the study in which Zane wrote many of his most famous works, including Riders of the Purple Sage.

We could have stayed at the museum all day, but we had another stop in mind, so off we went to Grey Towers (do you sense a theme here?) in Milford, PA.
Because we'd spent so much time at our first stop, we missed the 'on the hour' tour of the house but we took the time to see some of the spectacular grounds, vowing to come back again for a look inside the place!
Grey Towers was the home of Gilford Pinchot, the founder of the USDA Forest Service and two-term Governor of Pennsylvania.

That's a big front door!
Rose and Roz

We'd worked up an appetite so we had some lunch at a nearby restaurant and called it a day.

Our next stop is in Harrisburg, VA on Oct. 4th.
Dinner's on us at Cracker Barrel.
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Our first official Writers on the Road stop in Honesdale, PA has come and gone. 

The book signing was part of the larger community event, Steampunk Honesdale, celebrating the area's industrial heritage. I was fortunate to be greeted upon my arrival by this steam engine! I wish we'd had time to take a ride in the vintage rail cars trailing behind the engine, but alas, we were sort of busy at the book signing.

The weather was perfect and people were out enjoying the day. We saw lots of strollers and dogs and even a few people in Steampunk costumes - including one dog in costume! Sorry, we sort of forgot we were supposed to be taking photos, but Jean did take this one of me and some of the other authors.

When we weren't talking to readers we were admiring a tie-dyed wedding gown for sale across the street and dreaming up stories we could tell about the bride who would choose such a dress. To our delight, the artist put the dress on for a bit! I can't imagine myself wearing a tie-dyed gown for my wedding but it would be lovely for someone. You, perhaps?

After the signing, Jean and I strolled around a bit, had some bratwurst served by a guy who spoke a little English and a lot of German, then made out way down the street to the Wayne Hotel Wine Room. Since we both had to drive home, we opted for iced tea and dessert. We fell on our decadent chocolate cake (me) and hot fudge sundae (Jean) like ants at a picnic and before we could even think about taking a picture, they were gone!

We had a great time. Wish you had been there to share the experience.

Catch us at our next stop?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

ROAD TRIP TO...Stockbridge, MA

   April, 2018
   Ever have a place you wanted to stay, in your salad days, but couldn't afford? The Red Lion Inn was that place for me. I'd been dreaming of it for years. So when the chance to pass through Stockbridge and see it in person, on my way to a conference in Massachusetts came along. I jumped at it. 
   It wouldn't be half as memorable if I did this alone. So I called Roz Lee, a dear author friend, and asked her if she'd like to take a road trip with me on our way to the con. She agreed. I picked her up and we wended our way through the backroads of New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts to end up here. 
   I quivered. There it was. 
   "Let's go in," Roz said. 
   We moseyed up to the desk. Roz asked about room rates. Imagine my shock when the woman quoted a completely reasonable price that became cheap when divided by two. That was it! We checked in. Here's our room:

Dripping with charm, The Red Lion Inn invited exploration. There were all sorts of public rooms where a writer could steal away and get a few words down. Some even had fireplaces! Like this one. 

The Inn had been lovingly restored. Wallpaper and artwork in keeping with the period made me feel like I had entered another era. 

Along with history, came comfort. With chairs, sofas and loveseats everywhere. 

They even had a sun room furnished in white wicker! 

Roz and I enjoyed a meal in their tap room. There was much to see there. Walking down the halls, you could feel the history as you tread the same paths of so many who came before. 

Antiques abounded, adding flavor to the decor. 

Even the artwork is reminiscent of people of an earlier era. 

Being the camera bug that I am, I could hardly snap fast enough to capture all there was to see. 

I vowed to return when I could spend a couple of days there, trying out each public room to see which was the best for writing. 
I can't think of a more inspirational place to write an historical romance. I have one percolating in my mind. When I'm ready to write, I'll be scheduling another off-season excusion, for a longer stay, at the Red Lion Inn.

   We couldn't stay in Stockbridge without a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum. What a place! It had zillions of his Saturday Evening Post covers, most organized by decade. What a fascinating visual history of our country and people! 

   We did a breeze-through because we had other places to go on this road trip. But I've earmarked it as a place I want to visit again. 

   The road trip to Stockbridge was fabulous. And traveling with Roz was the icing on the cake. Stay tuned for more about our next road trip. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

And, so it begins.

We'd bandied the idea around for a while. Even took it out for a test drive a few months ago - just in case it turned out we couldn't stand each other's company for more than a few hours.

The test drive was a huge success so we decided to give our hair-brained idea a bit more thought to see if we could come up with a solid plan.

I don't know if I'd call the plan solid, but it is a plan. It goes like this:

Jean and I pick places we want to go. Could be a reader or writer conference. Could be a museum or any other place of interest. (We're open to suggestions - see the Contact Form on the right? Fill that out. We'll read it. Promise.) 

We invite our reader friends to join us for...whatever. Wine? Dinner? Coffee? We pick up the bill.

Everyone has a good time. We blog about it later on. Yep. Right here on this blog.

That's the plan we concocted this morning over a hearty breakfast at the Settlers Inn in Hawley, PA. 
Only non-alcholic beverages were consumed during this planning session.
I swear.

Many thanks to the staff of Settlers Inn for not throwing us out in the rain.

That's it.

What do you think?

Want to join us on one of our excursions?

You'll find all of our upcoming stops on the 
Our Next Stop is... page.

See you on the road!
 Roz & Jean