Sunday, April 24, 2016

Philly's Hidden Treasures/Part Two

When planning a trip to Philadelphia and considering a museum, the most popular choices are Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Science, and of course, Philadelphia Museum of Art (Thank you, Rocky, for running up those steps).

The above mentioned are fabulous places to visit, but Philadelphia has several equally awesome venues that travelers should consider adding to their list. If you decide to visit, please check websites or call ahead as hours of operation may vary depending on the time of the year.

Fireman's Hall Museum of Philadelphia

Located in Philadelphia's Olde City, visit and learn the history of Philadelphia's Fire Department, originally a volunteer organization when founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1736. The musuem is proud to display fire-fighting equipment, antique uniforms, and photographs. There are also talks on fire safety. FMI,

Rosenbach Museum and Library

Tucked away on a small street in the Rittenhouse Square area, this museum holds thousands of pieces of rare literature and fine art. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, but am embarrassed to say I didn't visit the Rosenbach until recently to see "Down the Rabbit Hole: Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland." FMI,

Elfreth's Alley Museum

With 32 houses standing, Elfreth's Alley in the Olde City district, is our nation's oldest residential street. Built in the 1700s, most of the original residents were artists and craftsmen. These homes remain private residences with the museum house located midway on the block. A visit to the museum will give you a sampling of the early residents' daily lives. Two of my favorite annual social events are the Alley's "Fete Day" in June, and "Deck the Alley" in December. FMI,

Do you have any hidden treasures in the city where you live? Please share. 

Have a great week, Everyone!

(LOVE statue photo c/o; Fireman's Hall photo c/o; Rosenbach Museum photo c/o; Elfreth's Alley photo c/o

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Philly's Hidden Treasures/Part One

When travelers visit Philadelphia, their itinerary always includes the big stops like Independence Mall, The National Constitution Center, The Betsy Ross House, The Liberty Bell, and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Yes, these are the show stoppers and places to see.

But, Philadelphia has many tourists' gems that sometimes are not (and should be) on a sightseer's schedule. I thought I would use this week and next week's blog post to give these awesome sites a "shout-out!"

Reading Terminal Market

Located at 12th & Arch Street (across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center), Reading Terminal Market is the country's oldest farmer's market. A majority of the businesses are family own and range from eat-in and take-out restaurants to merchants selling flowers, bakery items, seafood, books, and produce. Reading Terminal Market conducts tours and hosts special events such as cooking classes, movie night, and book signings. For more information check out their website and calendar,

East Passyunk Avenue

One of the longest standing business routes in the city, East Passyunk Avenue is affectionately referred to as Philly's new "restaurant row" thanks to the slew of new dining spots that have opened in recent years. An oldie -- and goodie -- is Marra's Italian Restaurant. The business, operated for eighty years, is now owned and managed by the founders' grandchildren. Marra's makes a great pizza and a delicious Mediterranean Salad. Also on East Passyunk Avenue is FUEL who serves the best pumpkin cheesecake ever!

Gee, I didn't intend to give food recommendations, but I just couldn't help myself. Along with the restaurants, there are lots of  shops along "the Avenue" from clothing to jewelry to gift boutiques. Check out East Passyunk Avenue's website,

Head House Square 

Located on the 400 block of South Second Street in the city's Historic District. A college professor once told me that the dwelling was originally a fire house back in our founding fathers' time. The houses surrounding the square are from the 18th and 19th century and are a mixture of commercial businesses and private residences. Head House Square is popular during the Spring and Summer for holding a variety of Flea and Farmers Markets. FMI,

Next week, I'll give you the lowdown on museums. But, in the meantime, if I were to visit your city, is there a gem tourist attraction hidden away that you would recommend? Please share.

Have a good week, Everyone!

(xoxo photo c/o; Reading Terminal photo c/o terminal; East Passyunk Avenue photo c/o; Head House Square photo c/o

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Conference Update!

The Spring weather brings conference opportunities, feedback on our work, and networking with our peers. Take a peek at what events may be coming to your area.

2016 Spring Fling Writers Conference; Sponsored by Chicago North RWA; May 20th-21st; Hyatt Schaumburg, Schaumburg, IL; FMI,

Cleveland Rocks Romance Conference; Sponsored by NEORWA; May 21st; Strongsville Holiday Inn, Strongsville, OH; FMI,

2016 Annual RWA National Conference; Sponsored by RWA; July 13th-16th; San Diego Marquis & Marina; San Diego, CA; FMI,

All Write Now! Writer's Conference; Sponsored by Southeast Missouri State University; July 16th; University Center; Cape Girardeau, MO; FMI,

NYC Writer's Digest Annual Conference; Sponsored by Writer's Digest Magazine; August 12th-14th; New York Hilton Midtown, New York, NY; FMI,

Moonlight & Magnolias 2016 Writing Your Life Changing Novel; Sponsored by Georgia Romance Writers; September 29th-October 2nd; Hilton Atlanta Northeast, Peachtree Corners, GA: FMI,

(photo c/o

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Time for Phillies' Baseball!

Baseball, for real -- games that really count -- begins this week. The Philadelphia Phillies start the season tomorrow, April 4th, in Cincinnati against the Reds. The home opener, at Citizen Bank Park, is Monday, April 11th with the San Diego Padres.

If you followed the Phillies during their training camp in Florida, you know this team gave true meaning to their pet name, the "fightin' Phils." For this group of Phillies, the game is not over until the final out! A fan can get pretty comfortable with walk-off wins!!

Here's to my team, wishing all the players good games, good health, and good wins! Go, Phillies!!!

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photos c/o

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Taking Time Off...

This Sunday is Easter Sunday, and I'm taking a break from writing and blogging to spend some extra time with my family. I'll post again on April 3rd.

To everyone, those who celebrate this holiday and those who observe another, my best wishes for a blessed, peaceful, and happy week.

(photo of Snoopy and his bunny friends c/o

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Welcome, Spring!

Although I'm typing this post with a cold drizzle tapping at my Philly window and a hint of wet snow later in the day, today is actually the first official day of a most welcomed season -- Spring!

Along with Daylight Savings Time, there are lots of reasons to rejoice today. For starters, the weather forecast insists this "winter leftover" will be gone by tomorrow morning. Then, of course, there's Phillies' BASEBALL! Spring also brings lots of awesome Neighborhood Spring Festivals, Flea Markets, and I trade in my Starbucks coffee for Rita's water ice.

What are your favorite things about Spring?

(photo c/o

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's all in a "Crimson" Book Cover...

When Crimson Romance first released Magic Moment, I received many compliments on the book's cover. My mom commented that the man and woman "gazing at each other over the ocean" was a "romantic moment." During my blog tours, many comments related to the impressive book cover, and my reply was that I'd pass the comments over to the Crimson folks. What it all adds up to is Crimson Romance has some awesome behind the scenes folks who come up with remarkable book covers. Covers that compliment the book and give readers an idea of what's on the pages.

Most readers will browse through a book if the cover is attractive. Recently, I was going through Crimson's catalog and realized that the book cover creators probably seldom get a well-deserved "shout out." I had the idea of putting together a list of impressive Crimson Romance book covers, but the list was getting too long.

Eventually, I've narrowed it down to my top five (in no particular order). Let's give a round of applause and "high five" to the fabulous folks at Crimson who conceive this awesome book covers.

Protecting His Heart
by Dana Volney

When a mission goes sideways and leaves seasoned spy Arabella Nox with valuable information and a terrorist on her heels, she seeks out the one person on earth she hopes won’t betray her: the husband she hasn’t spoken to in years.

Felix Ibarra thought he’d put his past behind him, so he’s shocked when Arabella shows up naked in his bed, warning him of an imminent threat. Then, to make things worse, she gets a job with his firm, Wyn Security, behind his back. It’s clear there’s more to her story, but trust doesn’t come easily to either of them.

Can Felix and Arabella work together to banish a mutual enemy, or will the deep emotions that tore them apart the first time be their undoing once again?This sexy cat-and-mouse game between former lovers will keep you on your toes all the way to the surprising ending. 

Buy Link:

by Lynn Crandall

Reeling from the recent Project Powering battle with the evil Nexus Group, were-lynx and veterinarian Lara Monroe struggles with thwarting the group’s plans to eliminate her colony while dealing with her own traumatic past. Still, when her fellow colony cat—and secret crush—Booker Chase needs help, she’s willing to use her special healing touch to help him survive his emotional hell.

A formidable were-lynx and a physician, Booker has his hands full helping patients who were seriously injured in the battle. But nothing can repair his soul, broken from the loss of his wife and the PTSD from his service in Afghanistan … or can it? Now that his good friend Lara is standing by him in his emotional struggles, he’s finding there is more to their connection than he realized. But dare he open his heart?

In the epic conclusion of the Fierce Hearts series, the colony takes its biggest risk of all to shut down the Nexus Group forever—will Lara and Booker survive to take their second chance at love?

Buy Link:

The White Lily
by Susanne Matthews

The Harvester is out there...watching, waiting, biding his time.

FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe lives in dread that one day the man who tortured her when a case went bad will find her again. So leaving her sanctuary in Quantico to join the Harvester Task Force in Boston is her version of hell. But the Harvester is kidnapping babies, and Lilith's profiling skills may mean the difference between life and death for the most innocent in society.

Australian millionaire and former member of the New Horizon commune Jacob Andrews returns to the United States searching for his sister. Instead of the happy reunion he expects, he discovers she is dead and his twin brother may be responsible. He agrees to lend his law enforcement skills to help find his former cult leader before the man can implement his plan to kill millions.

Now uneasy partners, Jacob and Lilith must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. But when Lilith's greatest fears materialize, will Jacob be able to set aside his anger and save the woman he loves?

Buy Link:

Ringing in Love
by Peggy Bird

With a business to grow and a teenage son to raise, Catherine Bennett doesn't have time for a social life. Besides, after her husband left her for another woman, she's not exactly thrilled at the prospect of opening up her heart again. But when she leases office space in Dominic Russo's building, she can't keep her mind - or her eyes - off her new landlord. Only problem is he happens to be a known womanizer . . . and her professional rival.

Unfortunately for Dominic, Philadelphia's most eligible bachelor is definitely in a dry spell. He hasn't dated in months, contrary to the rumors, but convincing career-minded Catherine that there's more to him than his reputation will be a challenge. Since she's determined to focus on work, he offers her an irresistible chance at winning a huge contract if she partners with his company.

But will mixing business and pleasure make for a happy New Year's Eve?

Buy Link:

Summer Promises
by Laura Simcox

Scenic designer Carly Foster just started her last summer theatre job, and at the ripe old age of twenty-nine, she promised herself it would be a working vacation in the mountains of New Mexico – with no romance allowed. She’s finished with the “drama trauma” of theatre romance: her love life has never been beyond Act One because she can’t stay away from tortured artists. Not this time.

But luck is so not on her side: she’s stuck in a touristy ghost town with a charming bodyguard who’s flirting with her just to relieve his own boredom: Asher Day, the producer’s brother recently returned from New York City with an armload of empty canvasses and a vanload of attitude. A sexy painter who won’t talk about his past? So typical. But Carly is determined not to experience a repeat of her past relationships. If only Asher could live up to his wounded artist persona, she could kick him to the curb and stick by her goal to stay away from the type of guy who stomps on her spirit.

But the magnetic pull she feels from Asher is irresistible: he has inner strength and compassion, not to mention a heart-melting wink and kisses that leave her sleepless. If Carly can’t keep the drama in the theatre and out of her personal life, not only will she have bags under her eyes, but her heart will never survive the summer.

Buy Link:

Feel Free to check out Crimson Romance's complete catalog, along with all the Adams Media Bookstore reads, and sign up for Crimson's free weekly newsletter at

Have a good week, Everyone!