Friday, March 7, 2014

Fridays With the Crew!

Hello, hello! Happy first Friday of March!
Can you believe how fast the year is going?

Today, I'm bringing you awesome inside information from several of the ladies here. I'm heading to a spring break vacation and I figured I'd ask everyone to talk about a vacation they'd had, want to have, will be having or one their characters are involved in.

For myself, by the time you read this I will be in Turkey touring Istanbul with some friends from work. This will be my first time out of the country in 4 years and I'm so excited! I intend to soak up all the cultural information I can, take plenty of notes I'll set a story there one day. Why Turkey? It's a spring break trip set up through my school and the price was so right I couldn't pass it up. But don't worry! I'm not chaperoning kids. I just get to play tourist!

While I'm there I will be taking a break from writing work. I'll be reading and then writing if and when I want to on a completely new and excited story. (No, not the one set in Turkey. Not yet!) As much as I love my jobs as a teacher and as a writer, I do need a break every now and then. When I get back I hope to be able to share pictures and stories about the trip!

Clover....Already enjoying her own vacation!

One of the exquisite scuptures.
Here I am in the coolest spa ever.
My best spring break memory is not from college days but from only a handful of years ago.  considering the winter most of us is had, you’ll probably think it very weird! I was so fortunate to live in Alaska for three years (2005-2008) and one of my very favorite annual trips was a March drive to Fairbanks for the World Ice Art Championships. The very first year we visited this amazing event is a time I’ll never forget. It was the opposite of a typical fun-in-the-sun trip to the beach because it was 28-below zero and we were visiting an ice park, where master sculptors from around the world were competing for top honors. We bundled up head-to-toe and spent three hours gawking at amazing works of art, crawling through ice mazes and slipping down ice slides. Believe it or not, we didn’t miss the heat at all—it was that phenomenal an experience. We ended up attending this three years in a row, and I’d go again in a heartbeat!

Heather....Already enjoying her own vacation!

Detective Inspector Flynn Rhys is mad,
bad, and dangerous to know.

Off to London for the new Gentlemen of Scotland Yard spin-off series!

I'm making plans to return to the UK this Spring/Summer. London is one of my favorite cities to hang out in, plus I get to do a lot of book research while I'm there. This trip I'm investigating a number of curious areas in and around the City of London proper. Well known to Londonphiles but almost no one else, these strange/odd locations include Magpie Alley, Savage Gardens, French Ordinary Court, and Bleeding Heart Yard. 

Bleeding Heart Yard: Legend has it that the courtyard's name commemorates the murder of Lady Elizabeth Hatton, the second wife of Sir William Hatton, whose family formerly owned the area around Hatton Garden. It is said that her body was found here on 27 January 1626, torn limb from limb, with her heart still pumping blood.

Click for more on the new series: Codename: Dragon

Maureen....Already enjoying her own vacation!

My favorite spring breaks have been at the Florida beaches off Sarasota. Beautiful, relaxing, warm (after the cold winter). Mostly, it's the special family times. I live in Kansas now, but grew up in Florida, so these trips also spark lots of wonderful memories. 

As for where my characters would spend their spring break. The books I write are set in the 19th century American West. 

My characters believe they are living in the most exciting place at the most exciting time. I don't think they'd rather be anywhere else. 

Back then, Kansas was a desired destination, as you can see from this poster proclaiming it to be the "Garden of the World."  

This spring break we're taking our 13-year-old daughter to Chicago. We love the "Windy City" and wanted to share all the sights with her. 

She's particularly interested in going to the art museums and seeing the Chicago School of Art. 

Here's to hoping the weather cooperates. I've about had my fill of snow this year. This winter, Kansas has NOT been a Garden spot. More like an Arctic plain.


What's your best spring break memory & why?  Unfortunately, I worked through spring break after turning 15. So no cool stories from when I was younger. I sent two of my kids to Europe when they were in high school. And ironically, I traveled to the beach twice with my daughter while she was in college. (Exciting for her, right?) 

Do you have any a trip coming up in the near future? Where & why?  Tim and I traveled to New York City in January. It’s work for him and I normally have lunch with my editor and just enjoy the city. I have a ton pf pictures on my Facebook Page. Kourtney flew up for a 48 hour movie location tour. My favorite spot was meeting the owner of the brownstone used in a scene from HARRY MET SALLY.  Learning the history of the brownstone was really cool.

The best trips for me are last-minute-let’s-get-out-of-here-trips. I have several business/writing trips planned—Shreveport, New Orleans, San Antonio. I’m ready to just take off for the weekend in the opposite direction of any traffic. OR an unplugged vacation back to a Florida beach. 
...Okay, I’d settle for anywhere right now.

Lara....Already enjoying her own vacation!

Trips I’m looking forward to...

Located smack dab in Southern Colorado, I’ve been privy to a harsh, long winter of snow, snow, snow, or just darn cold!  So a trip I’m very  much looking forward to is Left Coast Crime in lovely Monterey, California.  Not only is this a fabulous reader conference, it’s my opportunity to connect with writer friends who I don’t get to see often enough. 

So excited to moderate the New Author Panel, sit on the Not Your Perry Mason type novels, moderate a law enforcement panel , and sit on a panel called, The Voices in our head, Our Protagonists and what they do.

A better week I can’t envision.  A beautiful setting, warm climate and the chance to connect with readers and friends.  Ideal!

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Patty Stout Gammons, Deb Julienne, Mary Behre & Jessica Scott
Get Lost on Facebook    or   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories
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So what about you? Do you have a vacation memory you want to tell us? Or your dream vacation plans? Come on! You know you want to share, too!


  1. Donnell, is that really the coast of California? I could have sworn it was the coast of England! Maybe now that I look closer, it's different, but so beautiful.

    And Jillian, you have dangled new places in front of my eyes. I now have to go follow in your footsteps.

    1. Great job, Alexa!
      Nice seeing the pictures and discovering more about everybody !

    2. Patricia––I keep discovering secret tunnels, underground rivers and curious rows. Like Holywell Street––heart of Victorian London's pornography business. Although the original street of shame is no longer, you can still skulk around the area!

  2. Great job everyone--I'm thoroughly inspired (and the tiniest bit envious) of all the big trips planned for this spring: Istanbul, London, Iconic cities, California. Hope everyone travels safely and refills the well so we get more fantastic stories!

  3. Hey crew members, glad everyone is having a wonderful spring break. Thinking of you!

  4. Great to read everyone's plans! I'm spending my spring break moving, which isn't fun, but it'll be nice when it's all over! :)