Travelogue Tuesday–Puerto Rico part five

FullSizeRender(22)On Saturday, June 13th we enjoyed one of our favorite days in Puerto Rico hiking in the El Yunque National Rainforest doing many of the things my characters experienced in Surrender to Peace. We took a bus ride 45-50 minutes to El Yunque where we hiked the La Mina Trail to La Mina Falls.

The greenery was gorgeous, and I used this sign in my story so took a picture of it.  It has a picture of a crab saying “No littering in my house!” and “Pack it in, pack it out!” which is what Benigno told his followers on the trail.FullSizeRender(24)

Several in our group did get in the water at the Falls which was very cool. Chester climbed out pretty far on the rocks without getting wet.IMG_3259(1)

Then we hiked out the other trail Benigno led Joy on–The Big Tree Trail. FullSizeRender(25)

IMG_3722Next we climbed the Yokahu Observation Tower. Here we are at the top of the tower with the cloud-covered mountains in the background.FullSizeRender(26)

FullSizeRender(27)We also saw flamboyant trees and heard but didn’t see coqui frogs. I will write more about them next week.

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Saturdays with Friends–Deborah Piccurelli

Picture of Me (6-17-14)Sorry I am late posting this interview with Deborah Piccurelli, but it’s a great one, so I hope you enjoy and visit her site, too.

1. Tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books? I have always had more than one favorite book—then and now. But when I think back, they all had a thread of some kind of suspense and intrigue. Even when I was very young, like 6. We had a book of stories with Barbie and her friends as the characters. Out of all the stories in that book, the only one I remember is a story about Halloween night and an elderly woman whose house no one wanted to go to for trick-or-treat. There were rumors that she was a witch and her house was haunted. Somehow, these teenagers ended up at her house, found out she loved children, and was an upstanding citizen. But they helped her when some of the neighborhood boys came around knocking over her trash cans and harassing her. If that’s the only story I can recall from that book, then I know that’s where my interest in suspense began.

2. Great memory! What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?I have so many favorite Scriptures, but what comes to mind, at the moment, is Jeremiah 33:3:

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” I’m at a point in my life where I feel the need to know everything that He is willing to reveal to me.

3. If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose? Off the top of my head, maybe Alaska. I don’t know how I’d be able to stand it, though, because I’m one that always feels cold, even when other people are comfortable. Lol!

4. Alaska is beautiful! I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don’t like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing? What I don’t like about technology is that it was meant to make life easier by saving lots of time. For me, that is entirely untrue. It takes more of my time than I’d like to give it. But there is no denying the fact that it does make it easier to write a book.

5. As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone? As a writer, I have had to become bolder than I’ve ever been before. Also, I’ve had to develop a thick skin (as all writers must do), because not everyone likes what I write, or my writing style.

6. What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you? I think it’s probably what many beginning writers already know: Begin to build an audience before you even finish writing your book. When I started, it was at a time when the internet was just becoming popular, websites were popping up and blogs weren’t even a thought. Since I was very green, I didn’t have the foresight to understand how important that was. Especially since publishers were leaving marketing and promotion to the authors, more and more.

7. HUSH_LITTLE_BABY_COVER LARGER (8-5-15)Do you want to add anything about your books such as how to order them? The simplest way for people to find various ways to purchase my book is to go to my website at There are links for each book, including one to buy Hush, Little Baby directly from the publisher at a 25% discount. There is also info on how to purchase my latest release in eBook format, Love Comes Calling. But if you would like to go to Amazon and check out reviews first for either of those novels, you are certainly welcome to do that.Cover_LoveComesCalling Final (3-5-15)

Thank you, Rose for hosting me on your blog today. I thoroughly enjoyed it! So glad to have you Deborah, and hope this is the first of many visits!

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Travelogue Tuesday–Puerto Rico part 4

FullSizeRender(18)When we left El Moro, we went in search of the statue La Rogativa which Joy Worth, my heroine in Surrender to Peace photographed. This famous bronze statue represents a British blockade that occurred in 1797. The bishop led a “rogativa” (large marching procession calling on God) made up of mostly women singing and praying. The British believed reinforcements had arrived to protect San Juan and fled, saving the city from British rule.

From there we walked down the Paseo De La PrincesaFullSizeRender(17) (the old jail) which also was featured in my book, a beautiful park-like area along the waterfront with several neat art exhibits. While there we also saw the Piragua stand FullSizeRender(19)(shaved ice cones) where my characters ate.

Next we met our group and fun guide, Luli, at Carli’s which was one of the restaurants FullSizeRender(20)where Joy and Benigno dined. Then we set out on our Flavors of San Juan tour where we sampled custom-made popsicles in ice cream flavors (Yum!) and FullSizeRender(21)made authentic mofongos with our own mortar and pestles at Rosa de Triana. After several other courses including raw fish (cerviche) We were certainly NOT hungry when we finished, and also felt like we had a great sample of the “Flavors of San Juan.

Hope you’ll come back next week for another of my favorite tours–the El Yunque Rainforest.

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Below is a link Deborah Piccurelli sent of a slide show she made of her books, mine and a couple other romance writers. Hope you will check it out and find some more great reads to finish off your summer or start your fall!

You can flip through the covers in less than a minute and then read the story blurbs in another minute.

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Tuesday Travelogue–Puerto Rico part three

Friday was another bright, sunny day. First we ate a BIG breakfast at the hotel buffet.  We were now rested up and comfortable enough to take a city bus from our hotel, the Intercontinental San Juan, to tour Old San Juan, the part of the city that is over 5oo years old!

FullSizeRender(8)The bus ride only cost seventy-five cents, and was an experience! Every seat was taken when we boarded, and it took us almost an hour to go seven miles with stops every block or two along the way. We both stood for half the trip, then a young lady worked it out for me to have a seat when someone exited the bus. The bus cleared out enough for my husband to finally find a seat, too, later. FullSizeRender(9)

We exited at the bus terminal and walked to San Cristobal, one of the old forts on the island. On the way we stopped to snap a shot of this statue of Christopher Columbus, or Cristobal Colon, as FullSizeRender(10)he is known there.

Then we boarded a trolley to take us to El Moro, an even larger fort on the far western end of the island. One thing we didn’t know when we started out that morning was that this day was the last day of school for all the students in San Juan, so they all took field trips to the forts and other historic places, and we had to follow the school buses through the narrow streets. Finally we got off and walked the rest of the way to El Moro. FullSizeRender(11) Hope you can see the students flying their kites on the fort grounds.FullSizeRender(12)

We took many more pictures than I can share here of this very interesting fort–FullSizeRender(13)one of the four lighthouses, FullSizeRender(14)an old cannon, FullSizeRender(15)and the tracks for the cannons from up above. This day was so full I will have to post the other half next Tuesday. Until then, buenas noches! Good evening!

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Tuesday Travelogue–Puerto Rico Part Two

FullSizeRender(4)We flew into San Juan, Puerto Rico on a Wednesday evening and were met by someone from AAA who drove us to the hotel. On Thursday morning we awoke for the first of our four full days on the beautiful island. We ordered breakfast from room service and ate while looking out at this spectacular view from our 16th floor balcony, mesmerized by the ever-changing blues, greens and grays of the ocean and sky. Continue reading

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