Visiting Alaska: The OMG Beauty of It All

Hey, y'all! It's been a while. *waves* But I've been away for good reason--a ten day vacation/cruise to Alaska! : ) This was definitely a bucket list vacation for me. I've wanted to go to that part of the country for so long. Plus, there's nothing more tempting to me in the heat of Texas summer than the cool Northwest. But I have to say that the vacation far exceeded my expectations. There's beautiful. And then there's jaw-dropping, OMG, gorgeous. There were times on this trip that I couldn't believe what I was seeing was real. It was like postcards everywhere you looked.

And we got to see awesome wildlife too! A bear, some mountain goats, salmon swimming upstream, tons of bald eagles, and even whales off the side of the cruise ship. Amazing.

So, since I'm now playing catch up with work, I thought I'd just stop in and share some photos. These were all with my iPhone and have no filter on them. I couldn't put captions underneath each because I had to load the pics in gallery format, but this is from beginning to end.

We left from Vancouver on a Disney cruise then sailed to a glacier (Endicott Arm). I'm not sure how I expected a glacier to look, but wow. Then we went on to Skagway, where we took an 8 hour excursion into the Yukon Territory and took the White Pass train through the mountains. Then we went to Juneau, where hubs made me canoe FIVE MILES to a glacier. (See the picture when you scroll of hubs looking particularly smug because the view was so beautiful once we canoed over.) Last, we went to Ketchikan where we went on a rainforest walk and saw a ton of wildlife.


A panorama from the ship.

A panorama from the ship.

Have you been to Alaska? If not, what's on your bucket list?

Photos from RWA and a New Release!

Hi, everyone! Well, I'm back from my fourth RWA Nationals. It was a fantastic trip, and it was so much fun to meet so many people I only know through the Interwebs. First a quick reminder, NOT UNTIL YOU BELIEVE, Part 7 of my e-serial is out today. We're almost to the end! So for those of you waiting to get them when they're all out so you can read them back to back, next week is the week! :)

Here are some highlights from the trip...

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with Darynda Jones, Eloisa James, Debra Holland, and Robin Convington at the Golden Network Retreat (a chapter of RWA for Golden Heart finalists). The lineup for teh retreat was fantastic. It kicked off with a great talk from Susan Elizabeth Phillips and then a lunchtime speech from, yes, the Nora Roberts. Here's Nora during her speech:



Then that evening was the HUGE booksigning for literacy. Thank you to all who stopped by and said hi to me or bought a book! :) The event raised over 50k for literacy charities, so it was a great success. Here was my view from my spot. (Isn't my RITA flag pretty? It's now sitting on my desk.)



On Friday, I did my BDSM 101 for Writers presentation with the lovely Tiffany Reisz (and her sock monkey). We had a full room and a great audience. It was a lot of fun even though we had too much info and ran out of time. Here's a picture courtesy of author Miranda Baker:



Then, of course, on Saturday night I was a nervous wreck because MELT INTO YOU was up for the RITA award in Single Title Contemporary Romance. For those who don't know, the RITAs are like the Oscars for romance writing, so it's a big, exciting thing to be nominated. 

Here I was before the ceremony when I still had hope, lol...



Alas, I didn't win, but I truly was just over the moon to be nominated. An erotic romance has NEVER been nominated in that cateogory so that was a huge deal for me. Here was my view from my spot in the audience. My one goal if I won was not to vomit standing up there on that stage in front of 2000 people. o.0



After that, it was time to fly back home with my big pile of new books:



And though I was sad to leave all my friends for another year, I did have a nice surprise waiting for me on my doorstep when I got home. Look at the pretties...



So now back to my normal life of no makeup, living barefoot, and typing away on my keyboard. : )