May 27, 2015
I had fully intended to give y’all an update on our trip in real time, as it was happening. Unfortunately, my laptop didn’t think that was a very good idea. Last Tuesday, when we were in south Texas, the computer “updated”. After that, getting on the internet at the hotel—at any hotel—just wasn’t happening. When I got home, I discovered that the laptop could be used online here just fine. So I’m going to take the thing in and have it looked at. Yes, even though I simply don’t seem to have very good luck with laptop computers. I have to at least try.
In the meantime, we had a fabulous trip. What a joy it was to be back in the United States—back in Texas! I love the United States and I especially love Texas—as you likely quessed since I have a soon-to-be 25 book series set in that state.
I love Texans. I love their sense of getting ‘er done, no B.S. At least, many of the Texans I’ve come to know have that attitude. Step up, take responsibility, and move on. Love it.
Our initial two travel days, the first from home to the hotel in Buffalo, and then the second, the actual flying, went wonderfully well. On paper, we had nearly an hour and a half between flights. In reality, we got off the first plane and just a few minutes later boarded the second. But that was okay, since it meant we were all that much closer to Dallas.
We rented a car at the airport—I’d reserved one ahead—and had just one small miscue, but otherwise, we found our hotel without too much trouble. Fortunately we were on the road from airport to hotel just before afternoon rush hour.
In case you’re wondering, no, we didn’t rent a GPS with the car, nor did we take one with us. I’m going to file this under the heading of men not liking to ask for directions. Mr. Ashbury shook his head vehemently when the question arose at the rental agency, and I am ever the dutiful wife. That said, I can promise you going without modern technological navigational assistance is not a mistake I will make again. Next time I go to Texas, or anywhere I plan to rent a car, I am updating and taking my Garmin with me.
While in Dallas we stayed at the Belmont Hotel. We weren’t making an appearance at the RT Convention this year, but our hotel was only a 7 dollar cab ride away from where it was being held. I know that, because on Friday morning, I headed over to the Hyatt Regency to have breakfast with my good friend and fellow author and OWG alumnus, D. B. Reynolds. If you enjoy reading paranormal fiction, you absolutely must read her series, Vampires in America. The ninth book in the series came out at the end of March, and she’s hard at work on book number 10.
D. B. Reynolds is one of the most talented writers I know, bar none.
Friday and Saturday evening, we attended the “get together” for the street team of my good friend, Heather Rainier. Heather was gracious enough to allow me to tag along, as many of the people in her street team, are also in mine. For those wondering, a “street team” is the Internet equivalent of a fan club.
It was such a thrill for me to meet these wonderful women who read my books. It was truly an honor to get to hug them and chat with them and get to know them better. We all had a rollicking good time. Laughter absolutely abounded. I feel so very, very lucky. I not only get to do what I love, on a daily basis. Other people celebrate what I do. Thank you, Ladies and Divas for such a wonderful memory that will live in my heart forever.
On Sunday morning we headed out, destination what I call Rainier Land. We stayed in a hotel close to where Heather and her family live, and spent the next few days simply being together. We’re truly good friends, and a bonus for us both is that our husbands get along so very well. The men folk hadn’t seen each other for a couple of years. My beloved really respects Mr. Rainier. I was also very happy to see the younger Rainiers. What great kids!
Together, they’re a truly awesome and inspiring family.
Getting to spend several hours with my publisher was precious beyond words. This woman changed my life forever by saying “yes”. She has also never steered me wrong. I hold dear her words of advice. She’s not only a caring publisher, she’s business savvy. I’m honored to be one of her “Siren-exclusive” authors.
Mr. Tuffy was excited to see us when we came home, of course, and we were just as glad to see him, too. We’re unpacked, my beloved has returned to work, and the dog is “Tuffy on duty” on the front porch—when he’s not dozing on my writing desk. Memories of our time away are still vivid, and my heart is full to overflowing from the experience. Where I am right now is special, too.
As the song, and saying goes, be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.