Saturday, October 31, 2009

It was dark and stormy...

I thought this would be appropriate for Hallowe'en. This is what it was like the morning we were leaving Rome. That is the sound of pouring rain and yes, that's lightning. It was about 6:30 in the morning.

Fortunately for us, we left the storm in Rome.

Trick or treat, everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - Hallowe'en is teh evil

Okay, maybe I shouldn't actually blame Hallowe'en for the failure to lose much weight this week. Maybe I should be blaming my inability to resist mini-chocolate bars and when they run out, still craving chocolate and buying full-size bars myself. Oh, the weakness!

Couple that with not exercising every day (sore muscle one day, company on another) and...139.4 this morning.

Here's the thing I've absolutely learned: exercise alone won't make me lose weight (or I wouldn't have gained an ounce on our trip). You can diet alone and lose weight, but it goes faster and I feel better if I exercise consistently.

I've also learned that it's very easy to fall off the consistent exercise wagon. I really had to convince myself to get on that treadmill yesterday. I was glad I did, especially since I won't be today, but it's easier when it becomes a habit.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Movies and Learning

I've been learning how to upload our mini-movies from Italy, how to rotate them, as well as setting up a web page for our tour group that will not be available for general viewing, although some of the videos, like this one from Capri, eventually will be.

Yes, that's me talking. And yes, the part of Capri I really wanted to see were the cliffs from which Tiberius tossed off his enemies (or people he thought were his enemies.)

That day it poured rain in the morning, then cleared up, which is why I'm also muttering about the sun and later, in this video at Villa Jovis, the ruins of one of Tiberius's villas on Capri, I have my scarf around my head. You'll also hear such clever banter as, "You're taking a movie?"


And yes, that's a rooster crowing.

I've also uploaded pages from our trip for Urbino, which has the most amazing ducal palace (and really, have you ever heard of this town?), as well as Gubbio, which has the second-largest still-standing Roman amphitheatre. I had no idea these places existed, let alone were so fascinating. My bad!

And here's something I've realized. I've been writing for over twenty years, and I still can't say, "I know all about writing dialogue." Whereas something like working with video and uploading it? Once you learn how to do it, you know how to do it. You don't sort of know. Or have a clue. You know.

That's one thing that makes writing a harder job than others. You don't simply learn a skill set and you're done. No matter how much I wish that were so.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Movies from Italy

If this works, this should be a video from Pompeii.

Today's project

is trying to figure out how to upload videos on this blog and on my website. Now, I know how to do it (click on the icon, etc), but mine aren't loading, so I have to find out why. I suspect I need a different format.

(b) figure out how to rotate the videos. Many need to be rotated 90 degrees. This is a problem we obviously didn't foresee.

and (c) how to make small ones larger. The first videos are very small and so almost useless in terms of actually seeing anything.

(Perhaps (d) - how to remove the sound. We didn't think it would record sound. Although it might make for some inadvertent humor.)

That's this afternoon. This morning, I'm working on my outline. In the meantime, here's hoping I can do all that with the videos, because they turned out even better than we hoped.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More pics from Italy

I've decided that unless I want to spend weeks documenting our trip on this blog, my website and twitter, I'm going to have to limit where I post the pictures. Which means, I'm going to post the majority of them on my site. I'll note when I've added more, and post a link. Today, I just finished doing the page for San Marino, which is one amazing place - an independent republic within Italy, built on top of a mountain. To see more, go here.

I also started outlining my next book, tentatively titled THE HIGHLAND HEIRESS'S KISS. It's a sequel to the book I just submitted, THE HIGHLANDER'S KISS. Once again, my hero is a lawyer, and let me add, he looks darn fine in a kilt.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Killer Fatigue

Here I am outside the Pantheon, which was wonderful and interesting and really cool.

What you can't tell from this picture is how exhausting this trip was. "Killer fatigue" is a term used on the internet to describe the state of the racers in The Amazing Race after they've been on the race for awhile, and let me affirm, it's real and it impacts your mind. I tell you, by the end of our trip, I would walk by a street, note the name on the sign and then ten feet away, couldn't remember it. When we were asked for the name of our hotel in Rome, my mind went completely blank. And that was our second day there. Add in jet-lag and ooooh, boy!

It's taken me a week to sleep in until 7 a.m. and only this morning have I felt like myself.

This week, I'll be going through our pictures and posting them on my site. It's going to be a slow process, because there are a lot of pictures to go through and label. For instance, from one day in Rome, there are 144 pictures. And then there's the time it takes to figure out what all of them are. Some are obvious (the Vatican); others, not so much (the statue of Giordano Bruno). I may post some more on my blog, or I may just post a link when I've added them to my site, because it really is time-consuming, and I want to get ready for NaNoWriMo. I'm not going to register officially. However, I am going to try to write two scenes a day, starting Nov. 1, for my next book. If I don't have revisions for the one I just submitted, that is. To prepare, I bought large-size recipe cards, and next week I hope to get an outline done, and also hope to add more than the basics I already have in the synopsis.

So even though I won't be actually writing, I'll be working and spending lots of time on my computer. I think I'm just about finished with the Rome pictures. On to Monte Cassino!

This is the outside of the Pantheon. The inside is beautiful, with different colored marble. The artist Raphael is buried there.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Still Available!

Although I've been rather preoccupied by my trip, I should note again that I do have a new release this month.

The Welsh Lord's Mistress, is a short novella available from eHarlequin.


Bron yearned to be with Trefor ap Gruffydd for years—and even more so after he returns home from exile a handsome, hardened warrior. Brons's hopes are raised when she sees her desire reflected in Trefor's eyes...only to be crushed when she learns he is to be married to another woman!

Terfor's duty demands that he marry a rich woman who can help his family's estate, not a servant like Bron. Yet Bron and Trefor's passion is too powerful to be denied. But if Bron is willing to give up her virtue to become his mistress, can Trefor sacrifice his honor to make her his wife?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - post-Italy, pre-Christmas

I expected to put on weight over our holiday in Italy, and I did. That said, I didn't expect to be walking as much as we did, especially uphill. I tell ya, Tuscany is hilly! I was really, really glad that I'd been losing weight by walking and using the treadmill, or I shudder to think how tough those days would have been! Frankly, I think the tour brochure should have said something about the terrain, because if I did have mobility issues? It would have meant sitting out a lot of the local tours.

I must also confess that some of the weight gain was due to eating too much candy when we got home. I have issued a directive that in future, no Hallowe'en candy should be purchased prior to October 31. It's not like the stores are going to run out! I also only walked one day this week, due to continuing jet-lag.

So, what is my weight today? 139.4.

What is my new goal? Below 135 by Dec. 25.

I may walk this weekend, I may not, but I'll be back to it starting Monday. And I'll be inflating the exercise ball again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Brokedown Bus

On Day 2 of our tour through Italy, our bus broke down, leading to an unscheduled pit stop in Dolo. That's our bus driver, the amazing Pepe, trying to figure out what's going on.

However, it turns out that Dolo is on the river Brenta, and was used by wealthy Venetians as a summer getaway, like the Hamptons. So there are many lovely villas there, like this one.

We also spotted some of the local fowl.

Then it was on to Padua. You know, until this trip, I really didn't appreciate how important and wealthy Italian cities such as Padua, Mantua, Verona and Venice were. Really, Two Gentlemen of Verona? Would be like Two Gentlemen from Manhattan, whereas I always thought of it more like Two Gentlemen from Milwaukee.

(That's me in the white hat on the right.)

Next that day was Bologna. I think we lost time here because of the earlier delay, but it was still interesting. They have a lot of covered walkways in Bologna.

There were a few surprises when it came to street names there. Like this one. What's the story with Via Malcontenti, I wonder?

Being Canadian, naturally I couldn't pass this without a photo!

There are lots of fountains in Italy, but this one was one of the more...ahem...unusual.

On a historical note, this is the Basilica di San Petronia and you can see what a building looks like under the marble cladding. See all those holes in the bricks at the top? That's for the bronze pins used to hold the marble in place. The Colesseum used to have marble on it, too, but it was taken to use for the Vatican, and the bronze pins used to hold it in place were melted down.

So why wasn't the basilica finished? It was started in 1390 and work continued for over a hundred years, when a proposal was made to enlarge the church so that it would be even bigger than St. Peter's in Rome. The pope at the time (Pius IV) wouldn't allow that, so work on the exterior was stopped.

We ended the day arriving in the independent republic of San Marino, which is on top of a very high hill. We took lots of pictures there, so I'll save San Marino for another blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back to work, slowly

No more wandering around Venice (as I am on the left) or the rest of Italy for me. It's back to reality and "catch up with secretarial stuff" day, plus laundry day and, if my still somewhat cloudy brain will cooperate, start thinking about the next book. I've already done some of the secretarial stuff, because I'm still not back on my regular wake-sleep schedule. It's amazing how much you can get done before 9 a.m. when you wake up at 4 a.m. I do note that I currently have a cup of coffee close beside me, although I generally prefer tea.

Recently, the good folks at Harlequin have posted about my crafts and recipes on Facebook and MySpace, which I still can't figure out how to back into! That's one of my secretarial tasks this week.

Speaking of coffee and tea, though, kudos to Italy for the generally fine cups of tea. I know they're into expresso there, but let me tell ya, those expresso machines also insure that the hot water for tea really is HOT. None of this lukewarm business! And the teapots in restaurants are generally at least two cups. That was an unexpected bonus.

Here are more pictures of Venice, from our first day. In the more popular areas, it really is wall-to-wall people. Further away from Piazza San Marco (which was slightly flooded by the time we returned), it's less crowded.

This is how crowded parts of Venice were - and we were there in the "slower" season, ie. not the summer. I can't even imagine....

The Rialto, where I have been twice, not "many a time and oft..."

The Grand Canal

A not-so-grand canal, but this gives you an idea of what most of the canals in the city are really like - really narrow.

Wash day in Venice!

Actually, hanging washing out the windows is extremely common in Italy. They have special contraptions you attach to your balcony to do so.

How could I not include a picture of a gondola? Having seen just how narrow those canals can be, the design of the gondola and method of propulsion makes a lot more sense to me now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I lost my Tower!

Oh, woe! I've lost my silver Leaning Tower of Pisa charm! I bought myself two nice souvenirs, and that was one of them. The clerk put it in a very lovely little red envelope. Which we then used for the camera memory card when we bought a new one (because although the hubby assured me we had plenty of space on the memory card, once we got to Italy and his inner artiste took over, it turned out...not so much). I put the charm in an empty zipped pocket of my purse. I remember seeing it there. Then I did something with it when we got back to the hotel and I forgot all about it until I remembered my charm bracelet this morning.

And now...I can't find it. I think I put it in one of the little bags that had a magnet in it. But my mind has gone totally blank. I have taken all the little bags out of the recycling bag and searched them. Three times, the last one tearing them apart. One had a hole in it, so...maybe it fell out? I shook out all the clothes. I search my husband's suitcase, the camera case, the little red envelope with the memory card inside.

Nada. Nothing. Zip. My Tower has gone astray.

So, note to future travelers: be careful when repacking small objects. And maybe make notes for future reference. And take along a larger capacity memory card than you think you'll need.

Now, on a better note, and speaking of packing, I did a couple of things right this trip.

See that little black purse? If you've seen me at a conference, you may recognize it. It's great for trips, because while it's small, it's square, so it's large enough for a passport, change purse, glasses case, pack of tissue, lip gloss and Advil (which I am never without when I travel). It has a three-compartment front pocket, including one that zips completely around, so you don't have to go fishing for your wallet in the main part when you want to buy, say, a tacky fridge magnet or some gelato.

Here it is close up.

The other thing I did was take that pink scarf. As you can see from this close-up, it's quite wide. It's also fairly fine, made of some kind of cotton and I think I paid about $5 for it on sale. Here's the thing: it could be a scarf, a head covering, a shawl and, in a pinch, a hand towel. As you'll see from pictures to follow, I found a lot of different ways to wear it. In fact, at the end of the trip, one of my fellow travelers commented on that - he wondered how many scarves I'd brought! Just two, I explained - this one, and a square one I wore precisely once.

Here's what I mean:

Wondering if I'm going to show pictures of the famous sites? Oh, you betcha! As I said, we took a ton. But just FYI, these scarf pictures were taken in this order:
Rome, Castel Gandolfo (the Pope's summer residence), Monte Cassino, Pompeii, Capri, Florence, Verona and Venice (on a gondola).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tired but happy

We're back, after a great, but exhausting, tour of Italy. Fortunately, we had excellent weather - it only rained one morning.

As you can see, on Day 2 I decided to start a collection of what I refer to as my "tacki magneti," fridge magnets from every place we went. Unfortunately, I didn't come up with this notion until the end of Day 2, so I missed magnets in Padua and Bologne. I'll identify them individually in blogs to come.

Just to show how busy this trip was (and perhaps you can see/guess where some of the magnets are from), here's the itinerary:

Sunday, Oct. 4 - arrive in Venice. We had a couple of hours before meeting the tour director and the rest of the group (which turned out to be a good one!), so we took a local bus into the city and wandered around. Venice is amazing, but oh, the crowds!

Monday, Oct. 5 - Venice to Padua to Bologna to San Marino (first magnet - San Marino).

Tuesday, Oct. 6 - San Marino to Urbino to Gubbio to Assissi area (talk about yer medieval wonderland of towns and castles! I was in heaven!)

Wednesday, Oct. 7 - Assissi to Viterbo to Rome. Imagine a tour bus full of reveling foreigners from Canada, the UK, Australia and the US after a dinner out with free-flowing wine warbling YMCA on the bus, which then turns a corner and...there's the Colosseum! Whew! Mind-blowing!

Thursday, Oct. 8 and Friday, Oct. 9 - jogging through Rome, including the Forum, the Colosseum, St. Peter's and the Vatican museum, including the Sistine Chapel.

Saturday, Oct. 10 - Rome to Monte Cassino to Pompeii to Sorrento (could have stayed a whole day in Pompeii alone!)

Sunday, Oct. 11 - Boat trip to Capri. Instead of joining the tour, my husband and I wandered off on our own to see the natural arch, the ruins of one of Tiberius's villas, the cliff where he had his enemies tossed and a hiking path that was one rocky, steep walk.

Monday, Oct. 12 - Sorrento to Orvieto to Siena (alas, not nearly enough time in Siena!)

Tuesday, Oct. 13 - Siena to Pisa to Florence.

Wednesday, Oct. 14 - More Florence. You wander around Florence, turn a corner and what the --? It's the Duomo! And what a Duomo it is!

Thursday, Oct. 15 - Florence to Mantua to Sirmione to Verona. Sirmione, on Lake Garda, was a magnificent surprise. Lake, Alps, sunny day - just lovely.

Friday, Oct. 16 - Verona to Vicenza to Venice. Vicenza is the one place we stopped that had no tacki magneti that I could find.

Saturday, Oct. 17 - more of Venice, including the flooding Piazza San Marco (for which they are prepared with wooden walkways - a new experience!). Also, of course, had a gondola ride.

Sunday, Oct. 18 - long flight home with a change in Amsterdam. Got home about 3 a.m. Italy time, 9 p.m. Toronto time. Yes, I'm still jet-lagged. I did gain a couple of pounds, but nearly as much as I feared, what with all the climbing of stairs and steep hills.

We took a gazillion pictures. More on that, as well as anecdotes and clothing travel tips to come!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

This is the day we, like the ladybugs, fly back home. I'll probably be too tired to blog tomorrow. But I hope to have plenty of adventures to blog about in the coming days and pictures, too.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - I wonder

how I'm doing in Italy? Will the walking/touring/hiking up mountainsides balance out the gelato/pasta/wine? Time will tell...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trefor and Bron

One of the great things about writing my Undone, THE WELSH LORD'S MISTRESS, was the chance to give two secondary characters a happy ending when I otherwise might not have had the chance. Trefor was the brother of the hero of THE WARLORD'S BRIDE, and Bron was a servant who clearly, at the end of that book, had a "thing" for Trefor. It was fun to give them a story, and since there was obviously already something going on, it made it easier to develop their relationship in the shorter format.

Often when I'm writing a novel, I create a secondary character who may not wind up getting his or her own book, but I still think of as fully formed people who deserve a happy ending. Sometimes I eventually get to write about them, as with Drury and Buggy, but there are others who linger on the edges of my mind, as if they're waiting behind the velvet rope. Maybe I'll get to write about them someday, in some form, but until the time or format is right, they have to wait.

Here are some examples:

Charlie Grendon and Eleanor from THE VISCOUNT'S KISS and the other books in that series
Lachlann, from BRIDE OF LOCHBARR

I recently had an email asking about the hero's half brothers in THE DUKE'S DESIRE.

Are there any other secondary characters from my books you've wondered about?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Aspiring Author Columns

Every so often, I change my website. I add new material, like the recent pages listing my books by time period and describing my workshops. I also take other pages down, because I feel the material is old, or I want to use it in other ways.

Awhile ago I took down the links to my aspiring author columns. Some of this material is being published by the Toronto Romance Writer's newsletter. However, the material is still on site, so today, while I'm still running around the Italian countryside, I'm providing the link to the index page, which has links to all the articles, as well as my "What I've Learned Along The Way" columns.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Miss Snark, font of agently wisdom

Back in the days when I was new to the world of blogging, I found the blog of a literary agent who went by the pseudonym of Miss Snark. As per her name, she did not mince words when it came to talking about publishing, writing, query letters, etc. She was a font of wisdom who told it like it is.

Then, much to my chagrin as well as plenty of other people's, she retired. She felt she'd said all that needed to be said. I still miss her, but bless her heart, she left her blog in cyberspace, where you can still access it.

So if you are new to writing, or have never heard of Miss Snark and are an aspiring author, I send you her way. Read and be enlightened.

Monday, October 12, 2009

More Thanksgiving treats

And really, what would Thanksgiving be without sweet desserts? I know pumpkin pie is traditional, but if you're like me, a pumpkin pie may be easy to assemble, but it seems to take forever to bake.

So, instead, I offer what may be the easiest cheesecake recipe in the world. It's even easier if you use a store-bought graham cracker crust.

You will need:
a graham cracker pie shell, baked and cooled
8 oz. cream cheese (light will work)
1 cup icing sugar
1 envelope Dream Whip
1 tin cherry pie filling (I see no reason you couldn't use blueberry, if you want to try something different.)

1. Cream together cream cheese and icing sugar.
2. Prepare Dream Whip as per package instructions and fold into cheese mixture.
3. Put filling into cool crust.
4. Spread cherry pie filling on top. Chill.

Speaking of treats, I wonder how much gelato I'll have eaten by this stage of our Italian Adventure?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Green Salad

Speaking of Thanksgiving and recipes, no family get-together of my clan is complete without what is called, simply, the Green Salad. The green does not refer to plants. It's lime Jello. Where my mom got this recipe, I do not know. And really, who thinks of combining lime jello, cream cheese and pineapple? But it works!

You can make this in a bowl, or in a blender. I prefer the blender version, but family purists insist on the bowl version, as it allows for the occasional surprise chunk of cream cheese.

You will need:

1 small package line Jello
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup table cream (this recipe is not for the cholesterol-challenged, obviously!)
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup boiling water

1. Add boiling water to Jello; stir until dissolved.
2. Add cream cheese and blend.
3. Add cream and pineapple; stir.
4. Pour in mold and chill overnight.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What's Thanksgiving without cranberries?

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. I'll be celebrating by over-eating in Italy.

However, one of the truly great things about Thanksgiving, along with the turkey, is cranberry sauce.

In the spirit of giving thanks for all the good things I have in my life, here is my mom's recipe for cranberry sauce. (Note: it makes a lot!)

4 cups cranberries
1 cup water
2 cups sugar

1. Boil cranberries and water for 10 minutes.
2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
3. Bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and pour into molds or dishes (suitable for hot items). Let cool and serve. Store in refrigerator.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Blog of a BobbleBoss

You know, there are days I really miss working in an office. Perhaps not so much as when my kids were babies. Then, there were days I would have sold my soul for a simple coffee break. Just think, fifteen whole minutes to drink a cup of coffee!

Now, I spend a lot of time alone. Most of the time, I don't mind. I enjoy quiet and I was never into group work. In fact, I loathed and despised it, because it always seemed that the people who got the work done were penalized by having to work with people who didn't care whether it got done, or how well. Yep, still on the bitter buss about that!

Nevertheless, there are days when I think it would be so much fun to have folks to chat with and do things like this.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Just a reminder

while I'm running around Italy...

The Welsh Lord's Mistress, my Harlequin Historical Undone (short novella) is now available at eHarlequin.

Don't have an ereader? No problem! Scroll down to the bottom left of this page at eHarlequin for free software.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Guest Blogger Kate Bridges: About Champagne

While Margaret is off exploring Italy, let’s share a toast to her trip.
Champagne has always intrigued me.

Rumor has it that when the French monk, Dom Perignon, first tasted the champagne he created, he said, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!” Whether he actually said it or not, it’s a great description of this sparkling wine.

 French Benedictine monks were the first to create champagne in the 17th century. The drink is named after the Champagne region of France where they lived. One of the monks was Dom Pierre Perignon (1639-1715). Some say he was the very first monk to discover champagne, but the topic is controversial. During those times, monks produced wine because it was blessed and used during Mass.

How was champagne first discovered? Because of the cooler temperatures and shorter growing season of the grapes in the Champagne region, the grapes were picked late in the year and fermentation was often cut short. Nothing much happened to the wine over the winter, but when the weather got warmer in the spring, a second fermentation process automatically began. This second fermentation created natural bubbles of carbon dioxide. If the champagne was stored in barrels, the effervescence escaped. But when stored in bottles, the way the monks stored it, the bubbles were trapped inside. Hence, champagne was born.

Cheaper versions of sparkling wine—some produced in North America—have the carbon dioxide bubbles injected directed by machine. This is not true champagne.
The first bottle of the brand name Dom Perignon was produced in 1936–named after the famous monk.

How do you celebrate a special occasion? I’m not a big drinker, but often when I have something to celebrate—like a new book hitting the shelves—my husband will take me out for dinner. I have a new novel hitting the stores in November called ALASKAN RENEGADE. It’s set in the coastal town of Skagway and it’s about the town nurse, Victoria Windhaven. When she sets off on a dangerous medical journey through the Alaskan wilderness, she’s forced to ride with a man from her past—bodyguard Brant MacQuaid. There’s an excerpt on my website

What kinds of things do you like to do when you celebrate a milestone or something special?

Cheers, Margaret!

Order ALASKAN RENEGADE at Harlequin - already available in ebook format or pre-order at Amazon.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tune in Tomorrow...

for my special guest blogger!

Sure hope my feet are holding up as we traipse around Italy...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Oh, teh kittehs!

Like many people, we have cats. Sadly, we lost one of our cats this summer. We'd had Eeky since was a kitten, and she lived for 16 years. We miss her terribly.

Somebody sent me this link to cheer me up. It's Dreaming of Kittens and boy, are they cute!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

PR pictures

One of the things writers have to do, once they get published, is provide pictures of themselves to their publishers.

I hate having my picture taken. I'm also a notorious "blinker," but it dawned on me that it was, perhaps, about time I had a new one done. It helped that I discovered the best man at my son's wedding is a good photographer. So, thanks to Tom Panasiak, I have some new pictures to send to Harlequin.

A reminder: I'm out of the country, so won't be commenting on comments until after we return.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Off we go!

This is it! We're off on our tour of Italy. I'll be back October 19, with pictures and stories to tell and probably having consumed way too much gelato!

But do visit my blog while I'm gone. There will be posts, including one by a special Guest Blogger on October 7.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - arrivaderla!

My book is done! It has been sent to New York!

And I have the extra poundage to prove it!

See, it was too short, so I had to do another draft (making a grand total of 6). And when that happens? I reward myself with coke and chocolate. Worse, I don't take time to exercise. I managed only 1/2 hr. on the treadmill, in total, this week.

So it was no surprise to me that this morning, the scale read 136.0. Oh oh.

We leave on our tour of Italy tomorrow and I really don't know what to expect, weight-wise. There will be gelato, but there will also be much walking around. I'm especially looking forward to hiking up to Tiberius's villa on Capri. So I may stay the same, I may gain, or I may lose. We'll see when I return in two weeks.

One thing's for sure - I'm not going to give my weight a moment's thought. I'm going to enjoy myself. It's been a hectic, busy, stressful, weird year so far, and I need the holiday, from work, from the computer, from "real life." We're also going because my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this year. I think that warrants a gondola ride.

In the meantime, I've scheduled blogs to appear while we're gone. Now it's time to pack!

Until later, when I should have some stories to tell and pictures to show.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Welsh Lord's Mistress is on sale today!

My Undone short novella, THE WELSH LORD'S MISTRESS, goes on sale at eHarlequin today. You'll find more information about the story and an excerpt on my website.

THE WELSH LORD'S MISTRESS is a story of unrequited love set in medieval Wales and features two characters from my last medieval novel, THE WARLORD'S BRIDE. However, as with all my books, I assume nobody's read the prequels, so this story should "stand alone."

It's also been brought to my attention that some people assume you need a special ereader to read an ebook. Not so! As long as you have a computer, you can download an ebook. Harlequin has made this easy by providing free downloads of software. They also have a section called "New to Ebooks?" that provides more information.