Europe Trip–Part 1

25 Aug

Memories. Some are kept in one’s soul forever, never to be shared. Others burst open our hearts and we can’t find peace until we do what we were meant to do from the moment we build them: share them with the world.

It’s been a week since I returned from my trip to Europe–Romania and Italy to be exact–and I’m still trying to recover from it. Not the sleeping pattern (which gave me grief only when I went to Romania, but not here back home), but trying to browse through memories, feelings and emotions I’ve witnessed and felt during my trip. I wish I could hold onto each image, each step I took, too afraid that time and space will dust them into oblivion until they’d end up shelved somewhere in my brain.

I’ve never journaled a trip so bear with me; I’ll try to make these sharing interesting enough for you to come back for the next one.

For today I decided to share a few  facts about this trip:

  1. Our itinerary included: Bucharest and Black Sea (Romania); Rome-Verona-Venice- Milan-Mantova (Italy).
  2. We’ve been on ten flights.
  3. We had screaming babies on all ten flights therefore I haven’t slept on any of the flights (yeah, talk about exhaustion as its best).
  4. We lost one connection in Munich so we had to buy new tickets.
  5. I watched eight movies during the longer flights (Houston to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Houston) and i can only remember one title (Crazy, Stupid Love, which was actually funny).
  6. I took over thousand pictures; I had to delete some apps from my phone to make room for more. Patrick took about the same amount on his phone. I regret not taking a real camera (Iphone takes decent photos but not as clear as a camera).
  7. I played cards and “table” (a Romanian game) with my dad 6 hours every day for 4 days while at the Black Sea.
  8. I rekindled with friends from high school, one who lives in Italy and one who became a famous actress in Romania.
  9. I went to my first soccer game, cheering for my all-time favorite team, Steaua Bucuresti. They had a great game, but weren’t able to score.
  10. I had more than one glass of wine, one night in Rome…

And now I leave you with a few photos all taken before flights… enjoy!

IMG_3265 IMG_3214 IMG_3244 IMG_4675 (1)

Where I’ve been…

21 Aug

In my last post I promised to reveal where I was on vacation so here I am telling you all the big secret… I’ve been to Romania and Italy and soaked my soul in the goodness of my parents, hugged my relatives and laughed with my friends. I had an incredible trip I hope to never forget!

I have so many memories, some tattooed in the folds of my heart, some on my brain’s  “screen” and some in pictures. I decided to write in episodes my entire trip, but for now I leave you with a bunch of photos.

Enjoy!IMG_3691 IMG_4372 IMG_3214 IMG_3266 IMG_3291 IMG_3395 IMG_3634 IMG_3899 IMG_4224

 

Guess where am I?

28 Jul

Here? . . .

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Or here . . .

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or here . . .

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or here . . .

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Stay tuned and I’ll tell you all about it upon return ;)

Fellow Writer James Moushon stops by!

21 Jul

About two years ago when I went to the Tucson Festival of Books I met James Moushon, a fellow writer whose interest in other writers’ works blew me away. For two days he buzzed through the tents in search for other writers and their books and made tons of connections. This year once again he stopped by and I was excited to reconnect.

Soon afterward James invited me for an interview on his blog. For more about on that you can click here.

As a thank you for his kindness and efforts I invited James over to my blog with an introduction about his work and an excerpt. James’ the stage is all yours!

I spend a lot of time writing my novels and my blogs. I’m at that time in my career that giving back and helping other authors has taken top priority.

This morning I’m sitting here with two sets of short-stories being edited, a novel rewrite I am working on and a new novel that needs to be typed. And what do I do, I spend the first three hours of my day blogging about other authors and their new books. Rewards are in the eye of the beholder.

My Latest Book is Game of Fire. It reached Number Two on Amazon during a promotion in the Mystery Espionage category.

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Blurb:

An explosion and fire rocks a Southern California mall and it is quickly determined it is arson. The timing of the incident is special because it interrupts the Tet New Year’s Festival and Parade in Little Saigon, an area just east of Long Beach.

Had the old wounds of Vietnam been opened again or was there a different game being played?

Enter veteran CIA Agent Jonathon Stone. Already in pursuit of the gun-running Minh family, he connects with a special FBI task force to assist in the investigation of the explosion and Minh quickly becomes their number one suspect.

Stone teams up with FBI Agent Jodi Shannon to pursue the people behind the arson fire. Jodi is a serious, no nonsense agent who leads the FBI Arson Task Force. While she fights to solve the mystery, she also fights Stone’s advances. As always, he tries to mix business with pleasure.

As the game takes its twists and turns, Stone’s assignment leads to a shootout in Las Vegas and a car chase down the coast of Southern California.

Jonathon Stone battles his love for gambling and drinking and the ladies to help solve the Mystery of the Game of Fire.

Game Of Fire is the third book in the Jonathon Stone Mystery Series.

Excerpt 

I started reading the front page. A large picture of a fire jumped out at me. Now I know why the television was turned loud this morning. I turned my attention to the TV in the front of the room. I watched the fire scene as the firemen sprayed the structure with large hoses. That looked bad.

I stood and walked closer to the TV. I knew the area of the fire. I recognized it from the large mall sign in the parking lot in front of the complex. We had closed a surveillance op there just five months ago.

I returned to my table and started reading the paper.

2/18/2007, Orange County Daily News

FIRE MARS TET FESTIVAL IN GARDEN GROVE

Last night at around ten o’clock, a fire broke out in the Le Hi Shopping Mall on Bolsa Ave. in Garden Grove and quickly went out of control, completely destroying the complex. Hours earlier the street in front of the Mall was filled with party-goers celebrating the Annual Tet Festival Parade. There were thousands of people along the parade route in the Little Saigon area during the day….

I got up and moved closer to the TV again. A fire chief was giving a briefing.

“Good morning. I am Eddie Lam, Garden Grove Fire Chief. I am here to report on the fire last night at the Le Hi Shopping Mall. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. It appears that something exploded or caught on fire which immediately hit the gas line and spread rapidly through the complex. Multiple fire departments responded, but there was little they could do, but contain the fire from spreading to surrounding structures and neighborhoods. We were lucky that the crowd from the parade had dispersed already.”

“Was anyone hurt?” one of the reporters asked.

Fire Chief Lam continued, “There was one casualty reported. The victim was a male, but at this time he has not been identified.”

“How many fire departments responded?” another reporter asked.

“Fire and police units from Garden Grove, Westminster, Huntington Beach and Long Beach responded to the three alarm fire. One final note. It is expected that the area will be cleared for tonight’s Chinese New Year parade. The Westminster Parade is scheduled to start at 6 PM today. I need to go. We will try to keep you updated as much as we can.”

The fire chief turned and disappeared into the crowd.

There was a video store in the mall that the Agency had been watching for over a year. Our group had been waiting for an international terrorist named Tay Minh to show up. We had shut down the surveillance when chatter had placed him living and operating in Hong Kong.

About the same time our CIA undercover operation in downtown Long Beach had been compromised and the staff was scattered to the wind. I had stayed in the area and become an at-large asset.

Since then I had caught a couple overnighters as we call them. It had been about six months since my last full assignment. That was okay with me, but I did miss the action. At least I got to do some gambling and continue my drinking and running around with my on-again, off-again girlfriend, Jill. She was a cocktail waitress at the Ocean Queen Casino which seemed to make things more complicated at times. She still bought my cover as a freelance writer, but she didn’t understand why I was always carrying a gun.

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Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: James Moushon – Mystery Writer

Twitter: @jimhbs

E-Mail: jim@jamesmoushon.com

Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author’s Blogs:

eBook Author’s Corner

eBook Author’s Corner

Mystery Reader’s Circle

Author Description: I am a published writer in the electronic document field.
Starting over 20 years ago, I helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars.
In 2003, I changed my focus to ebooks and their development.

I am the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. I have published three books: ‘Call Off the Dogs’, ‘Black Mountain Secrets’ and ‘Game of Fire’.
I am currently wearing Two Hats. I am a mystery writer and book publishing blogger. I have spent the majority of my adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing mysteries.

HBS Author’s Spotlight

The blog’s purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 450 authors to date.

HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

The HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre.

eBook Author’s Corner

The Corner is a collection of Author advice and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today’s ever changing world of book publishing.

Who I was I’m no longer today

14 Jul

Back in the day I could never leave the house without makeup. Needed to take the trash out? Buy a loaf of bread? Go to a movie? Hang out with friends? Always, always put makeup on.

Today my morning routine is done in less than thirty minutes: teeth brushing, hair (straightened or curled), clothes on, and off I go.

Back in the day I could never fathom wearing anything other than high heels. The higher the heels the better. Long or short walk, uphill or downhill didn’t matter–always in heels. Today my choice of shoes are flip-flops and flats.

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Back in the day I always accessorized accordingly. Shoes matched my purse, colors and patterns were meticulously picked. Spent tons of money and followed whatever trends in style.

Today, a pair of yoga pants and a t-shirt is my preferred attire when home. I still own clothes I wore ten years ago.

Back in the day, I couldn’t imagine letting people know I love writing, too mortified of being judged.

Today I have published five novels and have several other stories in work.

Back in the day I could get angry and combust in flame in a second, my Latin temperament part of me as my own skin.

Today, I don’t take myself seriously; in fact I’m the first to laugh at myself.

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Back in the day I was too busy creating an image I wanted people to know me for. 

Today comfort, inner peace and embracing who I am are the rules I live my life by.

Is it evolution, development or . . . growing wise?

Lazy Days Of Summer–$250 Cash Giveaway

9 Jul

lazy days of summer 250

Lazy Days of Summer $250 Cash Giveaway

July 6th to 26th

An Amazing Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!

We’re giving away $250 in Paypal Cash.

 

Sponsor List

I Am A Reader
Unshelfish
The Discerning Reader
Raven Haired Girl
Author Camelia Miron Skiba
TMBA Corbett
Rachelle J. Christensen
Krysten Lindsay Hager, author
Heather Boyd
Author Dorothy Dreyer
Free Bookster
Rae Lori
The Late Bloomer’s Book Blog
Laurie Treacy, author
Kindle and Me
Glistering Bs Blog
FaeBooks
Jennifer Faye, Romance Author
Bookworm Lisa
Simple Wyrdings
B. Kristin McMichael
Tim Hemlin
Literary Winner
Diana’s Book Reviews
Magical Cool Cat Mysteries
LeahSay’s Views
Author Inger Iversen
J.C. Whyte
Heather Gray

 

Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash (alternately the winner can choose a $250 Amazon.com Gift Code)

Ends 7/26/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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Happy birthday, America!

4 Jul

I wish you courage to speak up.

I wish you courage to fight for your land and people.

I wish you freedom.

4th of july