What’s On Your Mind

This is an area for anyone to post what’s going on in their lives. It’s an off topic area to let it all hang out. Within reason. ;-)

My Space Or Yours

So, my stepson and I were contemplating putting up a My Space page for me and we have pretty much decided not to. My daughters have My Space pages and I periodically check out what’s going on in their lives. I know a few of their friends and when I read about the stuff they’re doi

ng, it’s like, “Does your mother know?!”

From what I’ve gathered, the object of My Space is to collect as many friends as you can. I don’t know a ton of people. My two dearest friends live in Florida and DC and neither would be interested in logging on to say they’re my buddy. Locally, my lady friends are from my church. We meet Wednesday mornings for our Bible study . . . and I’m not seeing them as posters on My Space.

That leaves the readers of my books to be my “friends.” Given it’s a challenge to keep my blog updated, I’d like to propose I nix the My Space deal, and we use the blog for any comments you have. I’m going to start a comment area for “What’s On Your Mind”. I don’t care what you post. Even if it’s the fact you’ve blown your diet again (I’ll be posting my “me too” right behind you), or the washer broke, or you don’t know what to get your great nephew for Christmas. Let’s use that thread as an off-topic for any of you to air your thoughts about books and life.

Ciao Italia – Part II

We spent a week at the Amalfi Coast of Italy, in a small town called Ravello. We stayed at the Hotel Caruso. The views of the water and lemon groves were postcard perfect.

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This is the coastal town of Amalfi. We had lunch on the wharf. This is also where we caught the ferr

y to Capri.

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Standing on the steps of the Catholic church in Amalfi. The bones of Andrew are buried underneath the church in a large crypt-like room. We were able to tour the room and listen to the history about the church.

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The spectacular coastal town of Positano. Remember the movie UNDER A TUSCAN SUN? I believe this is the beach where Diane Lane had lemoncello. That is one strong drink!

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This is a figure cast in stone at Pompeii. When the site was excavated, the bodies were hollowed out and a substance poured in form the body shapes. All the artifacts behind this body were discovered as well. Pompeii is preserved in ways that is unbelievable.

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This was a cistern in Pompeii. At one time, it was a part of someone prominent’s home. The tile colors haven’t been restored, nor has the coloring in the wall plaster. This was simply amazing.

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Our little town of Ravello where we stood on the top of the town square. It was on a hillside with a Catholic church. When you walked down these steps, there was an open market. We bought fresh olives, cheeses, crackers and a bottle of wine and sat on our private patio and ate lunch. The view from our room patio was of the ocean, and the hotel’s lush gardens.

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My husband knows I love to cook so he signed us up for a private cooking lesson with the Hotel Caruso’s 5-star chef. The other couple that took the class with us were from Minnesota. We learned how to make homemade pasta and a delish sauce. I’ll post the recipe in an upcoming blog. This chef Masimo (I’m sure I’m spelling that wrong) was on Italy’s top cooking show on TV.

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A view of the Hotel Caruso’s “infinity” pool. That means the railing where I’m standing goes straight down on the other side. You swim in this pool and the edge is a cliff that is a drop off into nothing but a lemon and grape arbor below. It was a bit freaky–but we loved swimming in here and enjoying the mountain and ocean view.

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This was one of the many “markets” in Italy. The selection of cheeses and meats are many and the quality is wonderful. We never ate so many delicious cheeses and we loved all the varieties of olives. The natural ones were actually the best.

Italy is truly a wonderful place to visit! We’d like to go again!

Ciao Italia – Part I

Throughout my writing career, I’ve had a propensity to write about Italian characters. I’m not sure why–I’m Swedish/Polish. Perhaps it’s because I love Italian food. This past May, I was able to travel to Italy for a romantic getaway. We had a fabulous time. The sc

enery and food were beyond description. The people were generous and kind. Loved all the olive and lemon trees. We never had a bad glass of wine, ordering the house red for, usually, less than five Euros.

Here are some photos of our trip.

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This is what I call two geeks at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. The marble statue work was amazing.

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This photo doesn’t do the artwork justice. This is the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel. We spent a day touring the Vatican with a fantastic American guide.

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This is us in the lobby of the Hassler Hotel. It’s where “Tom and Katie” had their wedding reception. An interesting story . . . So Greg and I go to use the business suite. He was going to check e-mail and I went in to see the results of the Indy 500. There were these two guys in there. They were gi-normous in beautiful three piece suits, good-looking men of color. We were like–oops, sorry to intrude. Mind you, this room was the size of a small walk in closet! They both said no problem. So here Greg and I sit using the computer and after the fact, we asked the bellman who those distinguished guys were. One was a body guard. The other . . . the President of Cameroon!

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This is the view from a restaurant called La Pergola. It’s at the Cavalieri Hilton in Rome. A reservation here should be made three months in advance. Thanks to my dear friend, Millie Criswell, for letting us know about this gem! XO

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This is us on the balcony of La Pergola, having a drink before we’re seated at our table. The dessert was a work of art. A sterling silver cabinet (about 5″ tall with drawers) was delivered to us by the chef, and each drawer was filled with a bite-sized candy, cake or chocolate.

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The incredibly beautiful Isle of Capri. The shopping was very exclusive and high end. We had a wonderful pizza lunch on a patio terrace and watched the street vendors below.

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The geeks are back! Us on a scooter on Capri. It was a blast to “putt-putt” around the island on that scooter. We got to see one end of it to the other. Gorgeous weather. So clear and to have the warm breeze on our faces.

To be continued . . . next up, the Amalfi Coast. I could die and go to Heaven in Ravello. It’s simply the most beautiful little town. Ciao for now!

The Real Thing

This past summer, my husband and I took a trip to Boson and New York with our pastor and his wife. They’re a delightful couple and we enjoyed taking in the historic sites. We walked the streets of Little Italy in Boston, amid rain storms that stopped as soon as they started. During one such dash into a bakery (where else would I take shelter in the middle of a downpour? LOL), we ate canoli’s and as I looked out the window, I saw a sign that made my mouth drop open. You can see by the photo what it is. If you’ve read ALL THE RIGHT ANGLES, you’ll figure out the connection. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was the “real” thing. A figment of my imagination come to life. Who knew?!

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Top 100 Books

I’m hobbling into the office. I can’t wait to get this cast off.

While I’m laid up, I’m trying to do more reading than I normally do. Right now, I’m halfway through Lisa Kleypas’s SUGAR DADDY. I really like her writing. I must read more as I do enjoy it. It’s just that I never sit still long enough to invest the time. There’s always something that needs to be done at my house (or so I think it does–my husband begs to differ.)

What are some of your favorite books? All About Romance is hosting a poll right now on the top 100 favorite books by readers. You should check it out. I’m looking forward to seeing who comes out on top and I’m going to definitely check out their books.

http://www.likesbooks.com/top1002007.html

Guest Blog by Greg – Stef Ann’s Husband

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Hi everyone,

Thought you may wish to see why Stef has not been on her computer much since mid week. She has been resting with her foot up in the air. She had surgery on the bottom of her foot, and will have to be off of her foot for a few weeks. (The goofy tubes are a new type of ice machine supply, they recirculate ice water from a small ice chest to the wound)

With that said, anyone out there got any “quickie” husband cooking recipes you may wish to share, she is balking at the take out burritos I brought home at lunch (not really, she has been extremely grateful for any of my help) Have a great weekend, Greg

About The New Look

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Hi, thanks for visiting. I have a new look at my website and I hope you’ll enjoy looking around. On the ABOUT page there’s a photo of me and a fabulous woman. I thought I’d introduce her to you on my Blog. That’s Valerie Gray, my awesome editor. She’s so great to work with. That photo is of Val and I at RWA’s RITA awards in Dallas this past July. LUCY GETS HER LIFE BACK was a finalist. It was a lot of fun to attend the event with my editor and my husband.