Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move

Transportation shapes our lives, allowing us to go on the move.  Going to a location by ship, rail, air or road transports us long distances from home in relative comfort.  Manny and I taxi from the airport to our hotel.

On the Move via Taxi

In Boston, Massachusetts I did not rent a car, but I moved along via  the T (metro) to the city, and meandered on foot along the red brick road indicating the Freedom Trail.

Boston Underground T

Throngs of sightseers and Boston natives moved along with me on the Freedom Trail, some on bicycles, a few motor in vehicles, but the bulk of them moved on foot.

Freedom Trail 2

Loud music and a crowd gathered in a square outside Faneuil Hall, the “Cradle of Liberty,” stopped many people on the move as they took time to listen, watch and participate in a street performance.

On the Move FT3We take the ability to move wherever we wish for granted.  Across the street from the Freedom trail towered four plexiglass columns, seeming out of place among all the 18th century brick buildings that marked the beginning of the freedom experiment in the New World.

On the Move FT4

I detoured off the red line, still on the move to explore the incongruous structures.  A blast of warm air hit me as I moved into the first one as though I opened the glass door on my fireplace.

On the Move HC2

Mesmerized I read the quote and then gazed through number after number printed on the tower wall. Trapped in the mid-twentieth century  symbolic chimneys of Auschwitz,  I fixed my eyes  on the Freedom Trail of the eighteenth century, and twenty-first century people on the move across the street.

Auschwitz chimney

Only in the total absence of freedom does one recognize the true value “On the Move”.

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Reviews and Recommendations

A few weeks ago I read Breathing on Her Own published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas written by Rebecca Waters, a friend in a Facebook writers support group.  This book struck a chord with me because one of my friends in Visalia has gone through much of the same trauma.

Breathing on Her Own

Breathing on Her Own doesn’t sound like a lightweight romance, and it isn’t.  Waters walks us through the difficult healing process of a mother whose married adult daughter is paralyzed after a car accident.  WARNING:  Do not have unprotected sex if you think that parenting ends when your child leaves home at the end of… high school…  college… when they get married…

Molly Tipton, an active church-goer and Christian, battles God as she goes through the healing process after the car wreck.  Her daughter had been drinking, and the weather was bad.  Who got the blame for the accident?  God, of course.  It was HIS bad weather that made the road slick.  Well, maybe it was the “girlfriend” with Laney, she had always been a bad influence, but she died instantly, so it was hard to keep blaming her.

After the weeks Laney lingered in the hospital, Molly struggled through numerous changes and tribulations. That first night in the hospital watching her daughter struggle to breathe on her own, Molly never suspected that the caring officer, Officer Steadman, would later charge Laney with the manslaughter of one of her closest friends.  Molly and her husband, Travis, shared responsibilities for Laney’s children as the road to recovery wound around Obstacle Mountain.   When Laney left the hospital still unable to walk, Molly and her husband had hard financial decisions to make that threatened their retirement plans as they tried to help her daughter’s family cope with living with a disability.

 

Accidents are only a second away from any of us.  As she reached out to help , Molly discovered that her own life needed overhauling.

I recommend this book.  It’s an easy read, but then it’s not!

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A few days ago I told you that I switched to iPage. The switching procedure takes ended up being more complicated than I thought it would to switch, but I wanted to save $200 or so.  The service was great.  Eva called me, and answered my call.  However, I returned to WordPress because I had to transfer my own data to the hosting site.  Because my paid membership expired, I couldn’t do that and take my pictures.  I discovered that WP has a less expensive product to host the website, and give more room for storing my pictures.  I jumped on that train, and I’m back in business at WP.  For my simple purposes the $99 program is enough.  Just thought I’d share.

Travel Theme: Close Up

A year ago I took my first and only photography lesson with Mike’s Camera Shop and learned how to use F-stops.  Reading an article about F-stops the other day reminded me that I forget to spin knobs and click buttons before I shoot pictures.  So often my close up pictures aren’t excellent.  During our class we got really close.

SFW Wildflower class20130420_74r

Sometimes I got a little closer to the little hairs on the stem than I did to the blossom.

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“It’s all in the composition,” says Leanne Cole.  That was before my first, and only lesson with her.  Life keeps getting in the way.  I have Australia – lessons with Leanne on my bucket list, though.

SFW Wildflower class20130420_40r

I think the shadow on the top flower resembles the 1970s cartoon, Gumpy, jumping off a roof, or sneaking up on someone.

For more Travel Theme posts, click here.

I hope you enjoyed today’s travel theme, “Close Up.”  If you did the traveling was all yours.  I stayed close to home!  :)  What is close to home for you?

WordPress Photo Challenge: Letters

The Pennsylvania Railroad Museum didn’t bother to post their rules in any language but English.  That may have been their downfall.

Manny can't read

Sometimes the letters aren’t right when you take a picture, and you have to make some changes.

Fugitive Manny2

For more stories and pictures about letters click on the WP image.

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Changes: The Constant in Life

We love seeing old things.  They may be beautiful or ugly, useful or not, but they are interesting because we have changed.  In order to for things to remain viable, we need to make changes to them from time to time.

New Castle 1r

I have changed my blog, and moved it to iPage.  I loved the chat service that WordPress offered with their premium package that I bought, but it was more expensive than I wanted to pay this year.  So far I am very impressed with iPage.  Eva called me to see if there was anything I needed, and sure enough, I had let my domain name expire.  So I changed that, and now I’m renewed, ready to go.  There may be changes on my site, that I don’t understand yet, but I’m still alive and well, and hope you are too.  :)

Word Press Photo Challenge: On Top

I like to be on top of things.  So does my cat, Scardy Kitty.

Scardy on top

Other animals feel the same way.  Maybe they feel safer if they are on top.

on top of the piling

To be on top signifies power, visibility, and with-it-ness.  Seldom is there a church or a government without a spiral or a dome.  We look up to and admire the tops of those buildings.

Church Top

Here is a church tower I saw at the picturesque town of New Castle, DE

Old South Meeting House

This Bostonian Congregational or Puritan church, the Old South Meeting House, where Boston’s citizens met and demanded their rights from the British officials has an aspiring top.

on top of the MA Statehouse

Governor Samuel Adams presided over building the new Massachusetts State House in 1795.  At the time leaders claimed that this beautiful building held the top, most prominent position in the nation. Notice the gold dome.  No one knows how much it cost; they probably paid top dollar for it.

Top2Workers like to be on top of their work.

on top of the train Supervisors like to be even higher.  We stood on top of a bridge at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum overseeing the work of these workers chipping ice into the cooler car.

on top of the horse

Manny is growing up to be a top-notch bear.  He loves to climb on top of things.  Hal suggested that he needs velcro to stay on top.  Maybe that’s what we all need.  What do you think?

Click here to see more examples of “on top.”

 

 

Book Review: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Writing the romance novel in November, ushered me through a hidden door from a room I thought I knew well, the Writing Room. My scores on tests throughout my training and career in education, convinced me I knew how to write, spell, and that my knowledge of grammar probably out classed Strunk and White – a good argument against multiple choice tests.

A romance site that helps new writers write the genre of romance recommended Stephen King’s book, On Writing:  A Memoir of the Craft.  I devoured every word, making more notes and highlights that I have ever made in my kindle.  I noted vocabulary and description.  He writes honestly without worrying who might be upset reading it, as long as it is true to character.

skonwriting

Stephen King started writing at about the same age I did, around age 10.  I entered a writing contest looking for new talent.  When the rejection slip came back, I wadded it up and threw it away.  Not Stephen King.  He began his lifelong collection of them.  He nailed them to his wall, and counted them as a step up to the next level of achievement.  What I learned from Stephen King is that you have to push yourself to publish.  Eventually you learn what you are doing wrong, if you keep working at it. I wonder what might have happened if I had kept trying to publish my writing.

Stephen King’s advice shot me right in the forehead.  In my first composing enthusiasm, I opened myself for the inevitable criticism that accompanies first drafts.  (duh) I was so excited when I wrote Girls on Fire that I sent it to anyone who was kind enough to take a look when it was fresh off my fingertips.  I discovered that it put one person to sleep, the grammar appalled another reader, and my main character had way too many character flaws.  That’s all good information, but there was more eye-opening to come.  After reading several books on how to write, I shudder because I know there are many MAJOR errors remaining after the fifth or sixth draft.  Master writer, King operates differently.  “Write with the door closed… When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story. … Once you know what the story is and get it right – as right as you can, anyway – it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.”

“Let’s say you’ve finished your first (fifth or sixth, in my case) … If you have someone who has been impatiently waiting to read your novel… then this is the time to give up the goods … if, that is your first reader or readers will promise not to talk to you about the book until you are ready to talk to them about it.” (p. 210)  Then he tells us impatient novice writers to let it sit at least six weeks before we start talking about it with the reader(s).  Finally, it’s time to do the real editing work, most of which has to do with character motivation.

King noted when to ignore your first readers.  “Some will feel Character A works but Character B is far-fetched.  If others feel that Character B is believable but Character A is overdrawn, it’s a wash” (p. 216).  Leave it be – yeah!  Another hint, “As a reader, I’m a lot more interested in what’s going to happen than what already did” (p. 224). “Everyone has a history and most of it isn’t very interesting” (p. 227) (No wonder my reader fell asleep!)

King’s wise words made my fingertips itch, and my brain dry up for the moment while I try to absorb his advice. In my humble opinion, every new writer, and some of us experienced ones, should read this book.

Boston in Mourning

Boston mourned April 2-5 for two firefighters who lost their lives battling an apartment fire on a windy day.  Many people came by to drop off flowers read the memorials left behind to honor their heroes.

Fire fighters memorial1

Firefighters pulled Lt. Edward Walsh 43, and Michael Kennedy, 33, from the basement at the rear of the building.  Both Walsh and Kennedy worked on Engine 33/Ladder 15 out of the station at Boylston and Hereford Streets, less than a block from the Sheraton Hotel where we had our NCSS meeting. 90.9 WBUR.

Firefighters 2

Fireman’s Prayer

When I am called to duty, God, wherever flames may rage, give me strength to save some live whatever be its age.

Help me embrace the little child before it is too late, or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout, and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling to give the best in me to guard my every neighbor and protect their property.

And if according to your will I have lose my life, please bless with your protecting hand, my children and my wife.

Station 33

When Matt picked me up, we drove by the apartment on the way out of town.  It amazed me that fire devastated the brick building.

fire

Sometimes I take life for granted.  Tragedies make me take stock and think about the gift of life I have.  My prayers are with families who lost so much as a result of the fire.

Boston Herald

The Oldest Original Church Structure in the United States Still Used for Worship

Old Swede church 1

Spring arrived in Delaware coaxing daffodils and crocuses to bloom in the ancient cemetery outside Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.  Sun warmed my bare arms, and a light breeze rearranged my hair as we ambled among the crumbling tombstones towards the large stone church.

old swedes church 3

Colonial settlers may have built earlier churches, but those buildings fell down or out of use. Hal and I missed the 300th Anniversary Celebration at Old Swedes Church. This original stone structure, cemented together with crushed oyster shells mixed into the mortar, sprang to life in 1698.  The pattern of small stones, hand-carried by women parishioners, added strength and sparkle to the walls.  The pattern reminded me of ships or rafts in a fast-moving river.

 

old swede church2

Graffiti artists began working on the edifice in 1711 making it their own.

Some things never change.
Some things never change.

Calligraphers etched their marks in the door as well as the stone walls for over one hundred years.

old swedes church6

I couldn’t substantiate this 1697 piece of church gossip, on the internet, so it must be true.  In a church bustling with young life, when the new twenty-nine year old single pastor, Erik Bjork, arrived from Sweden, he began a building program.  Of course, he needed his own parking space.  We entered the church through what had been his reserved “barn door.”  He drove his carriage inside the barn door entrance to the church.

Old Swede church 9

According to our guide, his ride attracted the most eligible bachelorette in the congregation.  Other carriages drove under the front overhang, dropped off the riders, and drove on through.  Bjork stayed with his Christina congregation for seventeen years before returning to Sweden.

old swedes church 7

Inside the church, nearly one hundred years passed before artisans added stained glass windows.  This one attracts interest because young Jesus appears to carry a cross.  We approached the window so we could see the measuring marks along the t-square Jesus must have used as a carpenter’s apprentice.

Old swedes church 8

As we moved through the church, the guide fed us more facts that I could digest.  He and Hal discussed the abundance of eagles adorning Episcopal pulpits.

Old Swedes church10

“An ornamental eagle sales agent must have passed through all the New England churches in the early 1800s,” Hal suggested.

We stayed over twice as long as the 30 minutes needed to tour the church recommended by the Triple A Tour Book for Delaware and New Jersey.  We enjoyed many personalized stories we couldn’t read online.  We finished by meandering through the graveyard photographing crumbling tombstones of individuals who made history in early Delaware.  We wondered what made some famous, earning them shiny big headstones, and others remained obscure.  More questions drove us home to research in silence.

M.B. may have been the first person buried here, but no one knows anything about him or her.
M.B. may have been the first person buried here, but no one knows anything about him or her.

“Thanks to you, I learned a lot.” Hal told me at 9:30 in the evening.  Then he punched me in the ego.  “See what I found out about the new National Park in New Castle,”  he said as he handed me a new printout.

 

Discovering Delaware – Historic New Castle

My mother’s only cousin, Hal,  insisted that I needed to learn more about the hidden historic treasures in Delaware.  The 70 degree temperatures and spring sunshine today made exploring and photographing Delaware a delight.

“If you love Colonial Williamsburg, Marsha, you will enjoy Historic New Castle, DE., established in 1651.”

Newcastle DE1

“First order of business, Marsha, you HAVE to eat at Jessop’s Tavern.  You get to experience colonial life.”

DDays Tavern

Our food came in pewter bowls and plates served by servers  in colonial costumes.

Mannys first bite

After lunch our eyes soon became as glutted as our stomachs. Stumbling along uneven brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets, we admired preserved, and not restored, colonial architecture.   One house caught my eye because the patterned brick front differed from smoother faced brick on the surrounding homes.

Ddays home

As it happened, the owner came out of the home at the exact time we walked back up the street.

RichardDay

Of course, I asked him a question, “Do you live here?  I love the brick pattern on your home.”

“It was built in 1690, the oldest one still standing.”

Ddays patterned brick

“New Castle is so quiet and peaceful,” Hal commented.

Historic State park

Richard’s left eyebrow raised slightly.  “That is changing.  In March we voted to allow New Castle to become a National Historic Park. Delaware was the only state that didn’t have one.  I used to own the Arsenal Restaurant on the Green, but the government didn’t renew my lease.  They have other plans for it.”

Arsenal

A half hour later he escaped our barrage of questions.  A few minutes later I saw him again, conversing with one of the servers at his restaurant, Jessop’s Tavern.

jessups tavern2

 

 

Back Before Gluten-Free There Were Parker House Rolls

Natural leaders in history social studies groups remember facts and tell great stories. Past President of CCSS, Greg Spielman, is that kind of leader.  Some men would hesitate to take five women clubbing and ghost hunting in Boston after 9:00 p.m., but not Greg.  He rose to the challenge.  The way to a woman’s heart is through bread.  So he took us to the Omni Hotel, and began wowing us with his fun facts.

Omin 1
I found the Omni Parker House Hotel again during the day on the Freedom Trail.

“Right here is where Parker House rolls began.”  he said as we walked into the hotel out of a light rain.  He and Sandra ran through the streets, while the other four of us took a cab.  They beat us.  He ran his hands through his wet crew cut to dry it out.  We thought for sure he had made these stories.

“In fact, Malcolm X was a bus boy here in the 1940s.”

“Nooooo.” Five women disputed him.

“Right Greg, you’ve mixed up your facts somewhere.   Malcolm X?  This doesn’t seem like his style.”

“It gets better.  Ho Chi Minh was one of the pastry chefs making famous Parker House rolls.”

You are pushing it, Greg.  Really?”  You could cut the disbelief with a pastry knife.  Two famous people working in one restaurant?  Not at the same time, of course.

“John Kennedy loved this place.  In fact this is where he made his first public speech.  He was at his grandpa’s birthday party.  You know his grandpa, John F. “Honey” Fitzgerald, Irish-American Mayor of Boston?  Of course, you do.  So anyway, guess where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie Bouvier?

“Not here at Parker Restaurant?”

Yep, and there’s more.  Ever heard of Boston Cream Pie? … Right here.

What five women couldn’t resist stories of love and power and Boston Cream pie and Parker House rolls?  We followed him, turning right into a magnificent hallway into the “Last Hurrah Bar.”  The Omni Hotel on 60 School Street is “America’s longest continuously operating hotel,” Greg quoted the fact sheet before we knew there was one.  He had it memorized.

We sat around a couple of tables on comfortable chairs.  Michelle ordered a kahlúa cream drink for dessert at the Last Hurrah Bar.  That sounded good to me, too.  If you are more literary than I am you’ve probably read Edwin O’Connor’s 1956 Pulitzer-Prize winning novel called The Last Hurrah about federal penitentiary inmate, MA governor and U.S. Congressman, James Michael Curley.

Omni 2

How has Greg had time to learn all this stuff?  How does he remember it after he learned it? Those questions have answers. After he gets back to CA, he will return to Boston with a group of way more high school kids than I would know how to handle in Boston.  He will tell them these fun stories, without the kahlúa cream, of course.   Have fun Greg.  I know your travel group will!

 

 

Flash: Old Ironsides is White Oak

I must be my father’s daughter since I can’t ever pass up the opportunity to get on board a ship, whether it goes somewhere or it doesn’t.

USS Constitution 1

The USS Constitution is still a commissioned ship manned by humorous navy docents.  I wonder if having a sense of humor comes as part of the package when one joins the navy.  Most navy vets I know tend to have a “dry” sense of humor.

uss contitution2

The first one told us about the upper deck and the construction of the ship, which is 10% original.  The second deck docent instructed us on the daily lives of 500 sailors living on hard tack and grog.

ussconstitution3

Some of the visitors had difficulty with the height of the ceilings in the “day of sail.”  These guys all adjusted in their own ways.

uss constitution4

Hope you are having a great weekend.  What are you doing this weekend?  My friend’s son, Matt, is picking me up soon, and driving me to see more sites outside of Boston.  :)

Boston with Eunice

Eunice’s mother asked her why she was going to meet a “perfect stranger.”

Eunice and Marsha

Eunice answered that I wasn’t a stranger, and I added that I’m not perfect either.  We had so much fun getting better acquainted.  She picked me up at the Kennedy Presidential Library where Manny and I spent a couple of wonderful hours browsing at our own rate through the exhibits.

Manny at JFK Library
Boy did Mom make me watch a lot of movies in there!

From there we dropped her boyfriend off at a park where he could search for hidden treasures.  He found a cross.

Ron's hunting gear

I threw the stick for JT.

JT and her stick
That’s what I’m talking about!

Manny tried to ride her, but JT thought he was her toy.

JT meets Manny
Yeah, put him down here. (hehe)

She didn’t bite Manny, but it was clear that she would rather have Eunice throw him so she could play fetch than have him ride on her back.

JT and Manny2
Really, he’s not a toy? What good is he then?

JT finally got a little disgusted at having to pretend to be friends with Manny, but don’t tell Manny that.  He was a little amazed that someone didn’t immediately think he was better than opening day of clam season in Boston.

JT and Manny3
Come ON, Mom. Do I have to be nice to this bear?

We had a wonderful lunch at Chili’s near Braintree, MA, then picked Ron back up at the park by the JFK Library.

Manny visits the USS Constitution She suggested that I start my Freedom Trail hike at the USS Constitution, so after some parting pictures, we went our separate ways.  Thank you Eunice for such a wonderful adventure.  It was a great treasure meeting my second blogger friend in person.  :)  See you in November!  :)

 

Word Press Photo Challenge: Street Life

When I read that challenge, I thought, “I’ve visited lots of streets in the last two years I’ve been blogging and photographing.” In fact I just arrived in Boston, so I’ll be sharing some of my own pictures by tomorrow.  When I think street life, I think about people on the street.

Randy street walking

Randy looks like the only living person in the world as he ambles through a residential neighborhood near where we used to live in Indianapolis.  The picture documents life in the suburbs. Even today, as it was when we were kids, living on this street exemplifies the easy-going, quiet, safe, and not-making-history kind of life.

Toes?

When I think life on the street, I picture people crossing streets, playing instruments, dancing, and watching others.

SFW SF 2013 Thai Dancers022

These Thai dancers made history – memories for themselves and many onlookers.

SF Walking Tour #2

This guide explained history as we walked the streets of San Francisco in a guided tour about Alfred Hitchcock.

Foothill street lifeHowever, Puppy Girl wants you all to know that humans are not the only ones who inhabit and enjoy street life.  This is Road 197 where we walk every day when I’m home.  On this side we have somewhat living grass, and on the other side.

Coyboy Joe

Another side of street life.

George close up
hehe Look who’s doing all the work. I ain’t stupid, Cowboy!

 

 

 

 

Reviewing Reams of Irresistible Romances

We visited the revitalized Visalia Electric caboose at Mooney Grove Park today.

Visalia Electric Caboose

Many of my Tulare County Historical Society friends asked me what I have done since I retired.

“Blah blah, and by the way I’ve written a book.”

“Oh, what kind?” Their eyes light up. (probably a history of something in Tulare County)

“A romance.” Their eyes unlight.  “How nice.”

Writing a romance is not easy – even for dummies.  I’ve read Writing Romance Books for Dummies book as part of my market research and learning process, and I’ve learned that there are so many different kinds of romances.  Additionally, I learned that most of the readers are well-read, well-educated, intelligent females.  “Jess!”  This book is a great place to start if you are serious about writing, and it will help you avoid the pitfalls I fell into as I wrote, then maybe you wouldn’t have to spend so much time rewriting.  I purchased a whole library of books for writers, but I’m not going to review them because, unless you are going to write books, you wont be interested in them.  Besides I haven’t read them yet!  hehe  :)

Here is the list of romances I’ve read in the last month.

Rating

1-10

Title & Author Review
7 Waking Up Married, Mira Lynn Kelly Connor meets and marries the girl of his dreams who spontaneously wore a tee-shirt with the words, “GOT SPERM?” sprawled across the font.   When Megan woke up in Vegas married, and throwing up the drinks from the night before,  she was ready to right the wrong immediately. However, Connor told her he wouldn’t give her a divorce until she tried the marriage.  This definitely can be categorized as a contemporary romance.
7 Hidden, Catherine McKenzie This suspenseful romance begins with the accidental death of husband/friend, and reveals the depths of the lives his death devastated. The reader plunges from one point of view to another.  It was confusing for the first few chapters because the author bounced back and forth in time as well.  Nonetheless, it was a page turner.  This definitely can be categorized as a contemporary romance.
5 Killer Cupcakes, Leighann Dobbs Lexy moved into her grandmother’s house right next door to a handsome investigator.  Unfortunately, she became the object of his investigation when her former boyfriend died as a result of poisoning after eating her cupcakes.  This definitely can be categorized as a contemporary romance.
5 Cupid’s Curse, Kathi Daley Zoe’s father falls in love with the wicked witch of the West, and when someone dies, Zoe steps out of her animal rescue business to help the police solve the murder.  She determines that the wicked witch, not only killed the victim, but that her dad is in danger as well.  The author keeps the reader guessing until the end to find out if her theory was correct.  This definitely is categorized as a contemporary romance.
6 Bang! You’re Dead, Debra Salonen With a heroine named Judy Banger, this can’t be anything but an erotic comedy.  Poor Judy is old by romantic standards, but brings home an really old guy who treated her with respect and concern. They have graphic sex, and he dies.  As much as this isn’t my kind of romance, if you could even call it that, it is very funny.  This definitely can be categorized as a erotica, but leans heavily into comedy.  It is contemporary as well.
3 Sneakers, Sandals, and Stilettos, Natasha Deen I had to stop reading this book in the middle, and I lost interest and never went back to it.  It might be great.
9 Chasing Fire, Nora Roberts This suspense romance spins two romances.  The primary romance blazes between daring, young, beautiful Rowan Tripp, lead “smoke jumper”  and a rookie “smoke jumper.”  The second, and less combustible romance develops around Rowan’s single parent/father, Iron Man Tripp, a retired “smoke jumper.” The nearly 500-page book moves swiftly through mishaps, murders, and near accidents.  Amazingly, I solved the murder successfully, which is unusual for me.  This definitely can be categorized as a contemporary romance.
7 Shotgun Bride, Linda Lael Miller Kade McKettrick needed marry to please his father and earn the right to inherit his property, so he ordered six brides.  By the time they arrived in early March, 1885, he had fallen in love with a feisty hotel clerk who worked for his sister-in-law.  The two of them fought through many rugged, wild-west adventures fighting off bad guys, and nearly getting killed.  This book had two other minor romances brewing at the same time, and several tragedies.  I never realized there were so many cowboy romances until I read the Writing Romance book.  This was my introduction to this genre.

About fifty percent of books written today are romance.  Romance sells, and even if the book is classified as a different genre, there is usually some romance woven into the plot.  The books listed above classify as romance first, and historical or suspense second.   I hope this ream of romance reviews helps you pick out your next good read.  But save room in your romance-reading schedule for Girls on Fire when it comes out!  :)

 

 

 

Boston Here I Come

I have the fortune to be going to the historic city of Boston on social studies business.  I’m extending my stay since I have never been there, and live in CA, so I’ll be there from April 1-8 then on to Philadelphia and Delaware from April 8-15.  Thanks to Google Images for all the pictures.

Boston at night2

I’ll be arriving at 11:00 p.m., so I’m sure the city will look beautiful. For me it will just be 8:00.  I’ll be raring to go!  However, I’m alone, so I’ll  get settled in my hotel, and maybe write a post or two with Manny.  The good news is that I’m going to get to visit blogger friend, Eunice at NutsForTreasure while I’m there.

I investigated a couple of blogs.  Free choices of interesting sights to see abound.  Many friends told me to walk the Freedom Trail which starts at the Visitor Information Center in the Common.

Boston Common

I must see the Mapparium, a walk-in, three-story-high, stained glass globe.

National_Geographic_Wallpaper_-_Christian_Science_Mapparium_display1

I’ll enjoy visiting the Museum of Fine Arts free on Wednesday after 4:00 p.m.  If I tour the Samuel Adams Brewery from 10:00-3:00 beforehand, will I have more fun, or fall asleep on the floor? zzz

Museum of Fine Arts

Maybe I should explore the Massachusetts State House the war ship, USS Constitution, and the Old North Church instead.  Most of them open at 10:00 also. I’ll have plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast while I get used to the three hour time difference.

Old-Massachusetts-State-House

If you have been to Boston, or lived here, what would you suggest for me to see, or are you a blogger friend who lives there?

Mom better not forget me this time!
Mom better not forget me this time!

 

 

 

WP Photo Challenge: Reflections

These birds lined up on the log and posed for this picture so beautifully.  Were they preening for the morning, admiring their own reflection?  As I watched them, others pulled out their own cell phones and admired them as they reflected into the water along Bob Jones Trail on the way to Avila Beach.

IMG_2500

If I were a painter, I would paint this picture.  Have a beautiful day.  :)

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