Travel has been on my mind a lot lately. Among other trips, last year I took an Alaskan cruise with friends and family, and went on some really great small tours from the ship. I hope for more cruises in the near future.
But this year—at the end of last month—I took a wonderful whale watching bus tour down Baja.
During the days, we mostly got to observe the Baja landscape, which was largely desert and mostly uninhabited. We saw it from the bus, and we also took brief hikes to look more closely at the plant life. We spent nights at different, but similar, hotels.
One day we also drove through an amazing, large bird sanctuary—osprey nesting on tops of poles, cormorants, herons, egrets and more. Loved that.
But the expedition was all about the whales!
Hey—can you guess that I love animals? Dogs especially, but I really enjoy wildlife, too.
No writing on this tour. Most times when I travel I bring a laptop along, but there was no time or location where I could work. But the break was worth it
We had three inlet tours of approximately two hours each, plus time on the water getting into those inlets, on small pangas in the water—open boats that seat about ten people. Of course we all wore life vests. Two tours were out of San Ignacio, and one off Guerrera Negro. We saw whales most near San Ignacio. They were gray whales who’d migrated to that area for the winter; summers they spend off northern areas like Alaska—though I don’t think I saw any during our Alaskan cruise. And in the winter, these whales mate and have babies, which we sometimes saw—although baby whales are huge, too.
And guess what! The whales were also people watching. They came over to the pangas to meet us—and let us pet them. Some people also kissed them. Gray whales have barnacles all over their back—and lice within them, too. But feeling the soft, rubbery skin of these huge and friendly animals? Amazing!
So now I’m back home and working on some Harlequin Romantic Suspense books that were on temporary hold before. Of course I enjoy writing them. But my mind is also working on determining a way to use what I saw on the whale tour in a story or two or more.
My first new book of 2020 is a February release. It’s Colton First Responder, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense book.
Yes, it’s one book in the HRS long-lived series about the Colton family, which is large and has family members living in branches all over the country. A Colton is a hero or heroine in each of the books in that series, so it contains a lot of highly romantic members. And of course they’re romantic suspense books, so those Coltons keep getting involved in relationships… and suspense, including murders.
It’s my second Colton book, and I don’t have any more planned, although that could change. Meanwhile, I will have more HRS books coming out, though I don’t know if any will be published this year. So Colton First Responder may not only be my first book of the year, but also possibly the only one.
I mentioned last month that I wouldn’t be going to many, if any, conferences this year, although I attended four last year. The one I wasn’t sure about when I wrote my last blog post here was the Romance Writers of America National Conference. Since then, I’ve made up my mind—I’m not going. There has been a lot of controversy in RWA lately, and I’m hopeful things will eventually be worked out enough for the organization to survive. But because of the controversies, Harlequin will not be attending the conference, hence my decision not to, either.
Despite all the stuff that’s going on, I have renewed my membership in RWA and my local chapters. I’ve been a member for a long time, and hope to keep it all going.
How about you? How is your year going so far? Looking forward to anything in particular soon?
I know it’s the sixth of the month and you’re probably tired of hearing Happy New Year, but it is my first post here on A Slice of Orange for 2020. I could also say Happy New Decade, although I know that the new decade probably starts in 2021 instead, but I like the idea of 2020 being the new beginning.
So what’s up this year? For me, I’ll have at least one more Harlequin Romantic Suspense book, Colton First Responder, published in February. I’m working on two more HRS books but I don’t know when their publication dates will be. And so far, I don’t have any more cozy mysteries in the hopper, after the demise of my most recent publisher, Midnight Ink, but I do have some ideas I’m working on.
Last year, I attended four or five writing conferences. This year? I’m not sure how many I’ll attend–but the possibility exists of none. Sigh. I enjoy them but two of those I went to last year that are local are held every other year. Others? Well, I might jump in but there are reasons I may not–such as I may not attend Malice Domestic since I’m not currently writing a cozy mystery, nor do I have any recent ones to promote. Maybe the Romance Writers of America, though.
So how about you? What are you up to this year? More writing? More reading? More traveling or attending conferences? More enjoyable things?
Have fun no matter what you do!
November is over. That’s notable in many ways, including that we’re now in the final month of this year.
And for me, one of the notable matters is that I’m no longer Author of the Month on A Slice of Orange!
I was so delighted to have had that honor last month. The blog website mentioned it with wonderful graphics showing quite a few of my books. I saw it posted several times on Facebook, and I posted it myself, as well.
It was a good month for it to happen. I had a new book released then: Colton 911: Caught in the Crossfire, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense book. As I mentioned here last month, it was my first book in the HRS long-lived series about the Colton family, which is large and has family members living in branches all over the country. A Colton is a hero or heroine in each of the books in that series, so it contains lot of highly romantic members.
And now? Well, my next Colton book will be a February 2020 release: Colton First Responder.
Anyway, thank you so much to A Slice of Orange, and to Marianne Donley, for the delightful recognition. I loved being Author of the Month!
I’m excited to say that this November is the month for release of my latest Harlequin Romantic Suspense book. I love them all, of course, but this one has a special twist to it.
It’s my first in the long-running Colton series for HRS.
What’s that? Well, the Colton family has been around for many years as part of HRS. It’s large and has branches all over the country, and it seems that many of its members get involved as either heroes or heroines of romantic suspense stories, usually one a month.
My book is Colton 911: Caught in the Crossfire. In it, the hero, Casey Colton, is the family member. He’s also a Deputy Sheriff in Sur County, Arizona, the story’s setting. Casey is told to go help find some cattle rustlers who have stolen some very valuable black angus cows from the town selectman.
And who’s going to help him? The story’s heroine, Melody Hayworth, a ranch hand who works on the ranch from which the cattle were stolen.
You can guess how the two of them have to get along together during many days—and nights—alone on the cattle’s trail. And… well, it is a romance, after all, despite there being suspense in the story. They need to stay careful and professional and… well, help to take care of each other.
I’m also particularly excited this month to be the Author of the Month on A Slice of Orange.
Gee, this November is one fun month!
Four blind dates in five days. I can’t believe I agreed to this.More info →
When Petra Baron goes into the fortuneteller’s tent at a Renaissance fair, she expects to leave with a date to the prom.More info →
By day they had been fierce rivals in a collegiate golf competition, but at night . . .More info →