Meet Me in Tampa!

Looking for your next great read?  Love to have fun in the sun?  Join me this Sunday, July 16, in Tampa for the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention!

I understand that about 40 Indie authors will be there, chatting with readers and signing books.  I’ll have copies of RESISTING RISK, LUKE & BELLA, and LOST & BOUND.  I’ll also have some free swag.

Admission to the event is FREE, and you can buy tickets to the VIP after party where there will be food and an OPEN BAR.  Just imagine, sipping cocktails and chatting with your favorite Indie authors.  Sounds amazing, right?

Check out the official Facebook page of the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention.  And if you’re going to be anywhere close, please stop by and say hello!

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #5

Happy Weekend, everyone!  Hope your 4th went well.  Mr. R ended up making two trips to the fireworks store, and suffice it to say, we had plenty of things that went BOOM.

Friday was Date Night, and being the middle of July, it was time for Shakespeare by the Sea, the annual outdoor performance at the Carlin Park Amphitheatre.  This year’s play was one I’d never heard of, Love’s Labour’s Lost, but as always, it was lots of fun.

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We enjoyed pizza al fresco and shaved ice, but, tragedy, we forgot the wine.  On the upside, there’s wine in the fridge for tonight.

After the show, we headed back home by way of A1A, driving along the beach.  There was a beautiful, nearly full moon, and we stopped along the way to take a look.  We were not disappointed.

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All in all, it was a fabulous evening.

I hope you’re enjoying this hot summer night.  It’s the fifth installment of the Summer Songs series, and I’m pulling out an old favorite.  Remember that summer when we all walked like an ‘Egypt-she-in’?  I say, let’s do it again!  Who’s with me?

You know you want to do that sideways head bob.  While you’re at it, hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #4: A 4th of July Two-fer

Happy July!  Here in the States, we’re celebrating the long Independence Day weekend.  It’s the ultimate summer holiday, with cookouts, picnics, trips to the beach, and fireworks.

There’s a lot that divides us Americans these days–politics, ideologies, and hateful, vile rhetoric, to name just a smattering.

But I’d rather focus on what unites us–good food, fun, pride as a nation, and good old rock ‘n roll.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous this weekend, rather than getting baited into some pointless social media debate, we put down our electronics, went outside, shared a hot dog and a cold beer with a neighbor, and enjoyed fireworks set to a soundtrack of great music?

Mr. R and I will be in lawn chairs on the driveway, watching all the neighborhood fireworks.  I hit the bargain bins, so we’ll be the dorks wearing the blinky jewelry.  Actually, I’ll be the dork wearing the blinky jewelry.  He’ll be sitting next to me, rolling his eyes.

But maybe that’s what it’s about.  Agreeing to disagree, embracing our differences, and appreciating that variety is, in fact, the spice of life.

I’m bringing you a two-fer for week #4 of Summer Songs.  I couldn’t pass up John (he’ll always be Cougar to me) Mellencamp, despite the fact that they’ve commercialized the crap out of this song lately.  And Phil Vassar’s American Child is a sentimental favorite.

Be careful out there.  No drinking and driving.  No holding a firework and blowing off your hand.  Haven’t you seen them do that on all the morning talk shows?

Enjoy your holiday, and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

4 Stars Out of 5

I hate working out, y’all.  Not a fan of sweat.  But I’ve been doing it.

Back in the fall, I registered to attend the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention which is happening July 16.  I’ll tell you more about that later.   Right now, my point is that I realized that by July, I wanted to look more like a svelte, sexy romance writer, and less like Jabba the Hutt.

To that end, in January I started being careful about carbs, eating lots of salad and veggies, and walking away from bread and pasta.  And I’ve lost over 20 lbs so far.

Most days, Coach Kozak from HasFit on YouTube kicks my ass, but today I wanted to do something different.  A little investigation led me to a bunch of virtual treadmill videos.  They make it seem like you’re running someplace magical rather than in your living room.  And yes, I could just run outside in the neighborhood.  But it’s summer, y’all, and it’s HOT.

So today I took a run along the beach in Queensland, Australia.  It was beautiful, and I nearly forgot I was running.  The half hour passed quickly.  I would give the video 4 out of 5 stars.

Why did I dock it a star?  We passed a bar TWICE and the fucker refused to stop.

Saturday Night Serenade–Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2017

It’s back again–HBO’s annual special, their broadcast of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for 2017, held earlier this month.  This year’s inductees are talented and diverse.  The class of 2017 includes Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Journey, ELO, Yes, Joan Baez, and Nile Rodgers.  Rolling Stone posted tiny snippets from the ceremony on Instagram the following day, and if those little tidbits are any indication, we’re in for a great show.

While I appreciate all of the inductees, Journey and ELO hold special places in my heart.  Journey always takes me back to my college days.  Don’t Stop Believin’ has become a part of our cultural landscape, as a song in its own right, but also as the last thing we heard as The Sopranos headed off into the sunset.  And have you ever seen the Broadway show, Rock of Ages?  Journey’s quintessential anthem is the show’s finale.

But that seemed like a way too easy pick for this occasion.  So I went to one of my all-time favorite ELO songs, Mr. Blue Sky.  Mr. R disagrees with me, he’s not a fan of the Electric Light Orchestra, but I say he’s wrong.  Which he sometimes is when it comes to music.  I mean, he likes Bread for corn’s sake!

I hope you join us, and probably a couple of other people, tonight as we relive the glory days with some of rock’s royalty.  It’s a great way to spend a few hours.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–I Feel Fine

Yesterday was a big day.  I hear there were some kind of goings-on in Washington, D.C.  I don’t know.  I took a bunch of six- and seven-year-olds to Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach.

Florida Power & Light (FP&L) has a power plant located right beside the Intracoastal Waterway not far from the Riviera Beach Marina.  It’s been there for years.   I don’t even pretend to understand exactly what it is that they do there, and I don’t really care to research it that deeply, but suffice it to say, something about what they do produces what they call “warm water outflows” into the Intracoastal.

On cold days, the manatees that inhabit that section of brackish water between mainland West Palm Beach and the island of Palm Beach are drawn to the warm water the plant puts out.  They’ve done it probably since the plant began operations.  And the manatees have always drawn crowds of people who want to catch a glimpse of the gentle giants in their natural habitat.

About a year ago, FP&L decided to accommodate the lookie-loos.  They built a beautiful new visitors’s facility called Manatee Lagoon.  They have a small museum complete with gift shop and cafe (natch), and while they’re open to visitors six days a week, they also offer educational programs for school kids.  And it’s all FREE.  Which is perfect.

I picked the date back in May, hoping that January 20 would be cold.  Seems a safe enough bet, right?  Average highs that time of year should be low 70s, but the mornings should be much cooler.  Of course, yesterday’s high was 81.  Yeah.

But it was an amazingly beautiful day, and the staff could not have been nicer or more accommodating.  They took the kids to a large meeting room and gave them pertinent information on their level, even allowing them to handle some manatee bones.  Then we were taken to the observation deck where, yes, thank goodness, we saw a couple of manatees.

So, like I said, big day yesterday, right?

This song has echoed through my brain all week.  It seemed the right one for tonight.  Mr. R. and I are still living in reno limbo.  We couldn’t really call our home relaxing right now, but it’s starting to come together.  Can’t wait to show you a week’s worth of improvement, but that’s another post for another day.  Hope you and yours feel fine.

Happy Saturday night!