CruiseAntiguaWe had a little excitement on our recent cruise. Just after 6AM before we docked in Antigua, the ship’s emergency horn sounded.

“Well, that’s not good,” I said to the DH as I bolted out of bed.

A young sounding female voice came over the loud speaker announcing that she was the officer of the watch and there appeared to be a fire in one of the engines.

“Not good at all,” the DH agreed. (He remained in bed. Being of Norwegian descent, he’s not easily excited about things–whether good or bad.) Then, someone apparently woke our captain and in sleepy, halting, heavily accented English, he gave orders to evacuate several crew decks.

“Even more not good,” I said.

CruiseAntiguaAtlanticWe were assured by the voice from the bridge that no action by guests was required.

“Yeah. Tell that to my insides,” I said as I pulled on some capris and a t-shirt.

The DH remained in a prone position while I stepped onto the balcony to see that we were dead in the water and drifting. We were only about 15 miles from Antigua and if the call to abandon ship was given, surely we’d be rescued fairly quickly. Surely.

Since no action was required the voice kept assuring us, I mentally packed a backpack of essentials–our passports (which drawer had I put those in?), my meds (Guess I could leave the vitamins behind), warm clothes (what warm clothes? We were headed to within 12 degrees of the Equator. I hadn’t brought warm clothes!)

Then just as I was working myself into a full blown worst case scenario, the ship’s remaining engines sputtered to life, the captain came on the speaker to assure us that there had been no fire after all, just an engine that had belched out some vapors. We’d be late to Antigua, but everything was fine.

CruiseAntiguaNelsonDockYardWhen I left the balcony and came back into our cabin, I was happy to see that the DH had gotten dressed. Finally, he’d taken our situation seriously.

“Not really,” he said. “It’s time for breakfast and they won’t let me in the dining room without pants.”


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A Rake by Any Other NameIt’s that time again! A Rake by Any Other Name hits the bookstore shelves on November 4th! Strap on your cyber-stilettos and come with me on a jaunt to some of the hottest romance blogs around. You’ll enjoy sneak peeks at my Regency-set answer to Downton Abbey, random stuff about me, and of course, a chance to win at every stop.

Here’s my itinerary for this week:

Nov. 3: HarlequinJunkies
Nov. 4: JauntyQuills
            Elizabeth Boyle’s Blog
Nov. 5: FreshFiction
Nov. 7: From the TBR Pile

Mark your calendars and plan to join me each day! I look forward to hearing from YOU!




BookFairyI’ve been trying to ignore Pinterest for some time now. It seems like something I could tumble into and groggily emerge hours later with nothing to show for it but a smile on my face. Not good when I have book deadlines to meet.

But I couldn’t resist peeking at some of the clever costumes bookloving folk are coming up with for Halloween. Just had to share a few: share a few:

This darling Book Fairy look totally rocks–and would be perfect for the Fairy Ball at the RTBooklovers Convention next May.. Only problem is that wings are devilishly difficult to pack in a carry on!

halloween-costumes-for-kids-19 (2)

Love book-centric costumes for kids. Looking for something for your little boy AND your dog? What could be better than Harry Potter and “Fluffy?”


HalloweenMaryandLauraAnd for the girls, it’s hard to beat this Laura Ingals Wilder with her older sister Mary from Little House on the Prarie. When my girls were small, we read the whole series aloud. Sweet memories.




Of course, when looking for inspiration, why look further than the classics? This little Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland even has the scowl down pat. I’d paint the roses red rather than face that, wouldn’t you?





And how about this Legolas, the coolest of the elves from Lord of the Rings? If this lad wasn’t a Tolkein fan before, he will be now.



Halloween IshmaelLastly, if you’re at work today and need a quick costume, this idea is nothing short of brilliant, IMO. From the first line of the immortal Moby Dick, this pithy costume is not only simplicity itself (all you need is a nametag!), it will let you know which of your co-workers actually crack a book once in a while!  

Have fun tonight and stay safe if you’re out and about with trick-or-treaters!



Plaid to the Bone

Ghostly Fun!

Ever wonder how ghosts are made? Find out how Callum Farquahar became the ghostly steward of Bonniebroch Castle in Plaid to the Bone!

Get it now for your:

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo