My New York – Niagara Falls – Washington DC Adventure

I recently travelled to the US and Canada for quite an adventure. Here’s the story of my trip…

Some trip facts:

smiths

Me and my family <3

  • Other characters in my real-life story include my husband Nathaniel & 13 year old step-daughter Chloe.
  • We flew approx. 7,000 miles there and back.
  • We drove 1127 miles in our rented Toyota RAV4 (driving in the US & Canada was a dream compared to the UK).
  • We walked almost 46 miles in 8 days.
  • We visited/travelled through New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario (Canada), Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and D.C.

Day 1 – Saturday

Me in Washington, D.C.

Me in Washington, D.C.

We were a pretty excited threesome, flying from Heathrow to Newark. I enjoyed the airplane food (just like Zach in my first novel!) We collected our rental car and drove towards NYC. It was dark and we noticed Manhattan lit up as we approached – the new World Trade Center (a.k.a. Freedom Tower), and the Empire State Building standing out among all the other skyscrapers. The skyline is so familiar from all the American TV shows and movies we’ve seen, yet it is kind of surreal to actually be here.

Driving through Manhattan was much easier than I imagined, and we found our hotel quickly. Nathaniel went to a local store and came back with cinnamon and sugar flavour Pringles… not my thing but Chloe loves them. Exhausted, we are now going to bed, excited to start our holiday (vacation!) properly tomorrow…

Day 2 – Sunday

It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to walk to the Rockefeller Center, and the walk in itself was pretty cool – you see so much more walking than you would on the subway. We looked up at the skyscrapers, saw yellow cabs, lots of people everywhere, hot dog and pretzel vans were on the corner of each block. It was just like I remembered it from my last trip here nearly 20 years ago … Chloe kept saying “I love it here!”
Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

We reached Rockefeller plaza and watched people ice skating … then went inside to go to the “Top of the Rock”. The staff were very friendly and amusing, making jokes. After successfully passing security, we rode the elevator which has a clear ceiling so you can see how fast you’re travelling up – 45 seconds to get to the 67th floor.

central park from top of the rock

View from Top of the Rock

The views are amazing as soon as you walk out with Central Park in one direction, and the Empire State Building in the other -just awesome.

empire state building from top of the rock

View from the other side of Top of the Rock

I’m not sure I’ve seen Chloe as happy since we went to Disneyland, Paris – she’s wanted to visit NYC forever. She kept saying she couldn’t believe we are here (I felt that way myself on my first trip, about the same age as her).
My favourite tree in Central Park

My favourite tree in Central Park

After spotting all the famous landmarks and taking a million photos, we travelled back down the elevator and walked from there to Central Park. As soon as you step inside, it’s peaceful – despite being surrounded by busy roads and Skyscrapers. We walked up the east side, stopping for a hot dog from a van on our way for lunch.

Next, Grand Central Station. As we walked in Chloe said: “It’s just like in Madagascar!”
More photos, then another walk – to the Empire State Building. Although we’d seen it from our hotel and Top of the Rock, standing on the side walk looking up is still pretty amazing. We paid a quick visit to Macy’s – the largest store in the world, and after enjoying a great dinner, we headed back to the Top of the Rock for our night time viewing. It was much quieter now, and we went straight up to the top deck.
Top of the Rock view at night

Top of the Rock view at night

NYC at night is very different than during the day. You see different things, and Manhattan is pretty amazing all lit up. We could just about make out Laby Liberty, lit up on her island. I usually prefer a mountain view to a city one, but it was really rather beautiful.

A quick stroll to Times Square – busy and crowded but cool to see … and now we’re back at the hotel, exhausted – but wow, what a day.

Day 3 – Monday

A yummy breakfast … then a cab ride to Battery Park, which is being re-landscaped, but looks like it’ll be lovely when complete. The queue for the ferry boat, despite the fact that we pre-booked (thankfully!) was long and the security staff were rude and abrupt, which spoiled it a little (they may do this every day but this is a once-in-a-life time trip for most – I wanted to yell this at them but I’m British and reserved so I just took their rudeness and rolled my eyes, of course).
Manhattan from Liberty Island

Manhattan from Liberty Island

Lady Liberty up close

Lady Liberty up close

The ferry ride itself was a bit crowded with school kids, but when we got on the island our day improved. We walked around the perimeter – the view of Manhattan is very impressive and we were bathed in glorious sunshine. Seeing the Statue of Liberty up close – really the most iconic recognised statue in the world, which stands for everything I love about USA – liberty, freedom, spirit, the American Dream – was just awesome. We had a nice lunch there before moving on.

Next, Ellis Island – which has so much interesting history about the “peopling” of America, and reading about diversity of the people who came through looking for a new start was rather inspirational. We sat for a while on a bench in sunshine – looking out at the views of Manhattan again, eating ice creams – you’d never believe it was October!
As our return ferry approached Manhattan, I spotted my friend Sam waiting for us. Sam and I met on a student exchange trip back in 1995 (almost 20 years ago!) and we’ve kept in touch ever since. I haven’t seen him for 5 years before today so it was great to give him a hug and catch up.
9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial

Now a merry foursome, we walked to the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero. I visited the Twin Towers with my school mates and Sam back in ’95, and went to the top, so going back there when those towers have gone was really quiet weird, sad and surreal. But I loved the fountains, which cover the footprint of what used to be. The names of those who lost their lives are cut out of the sides, and we spotted a white rose – the staff there put a white rose besides the names on their birthdays. There’s something quite lovely about that. It was rather moving.

Walking Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Brooklyn Bridge

Next, we walked to Brooklyn Bridge and crossed over on the wooden board walk, which was pretty cool. The sun was setting and the view was pretty… Once in Brooklyn, we found Grimaldi’s – a famous pizza restaurant. We ordered a large pizza between us, choosing one topping each (Italian sausage, onion, garlic and pepper with mozzarella cheese) – it was very yummy indeed.

After filling ourselves with pizza we walked down to the water, it was dark by now and pretty cool to see the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan all lit up. The Empire State building was changing all different colours.
Manhattan from Brooklyn

Manhattan from Brooklyn

Another hug for Sam and we were bidding him farewell and in another cab back to our hotel. It felt like it was about 11pm, so I was pretty shocked to see it was much earlier. What an amazing two days we’ve had.

Day 4 – Tuesday

Time to move on… we picked up our car and drove for a few hours before stopping at a Walmart. Chloe said “I love it here!” – the variety is pretty overwhelming. She stocked up on sweets and candy that you can’t buy at home, particularly excited about the different flavours of M&Ms and Pop Tarts.
Then, we continued our journey to Niagara, which despite taking several hours was really rather beautiful due to the fall trees – beautiful shades of red, orange, yellow, browns – stunning.
Niagara Falls - wow

Niagara Falls – wow

We passed into Canada via the Rainbow Bridge and got our first sights of Niagara Falls – wow. You can see all the photos you want and watch videos, but seeing it with your own eyes is so different, it’s just spectacular.

We drove through Niagara ON, passing lots of hotels, gift shops, casinos, and restaurants to the Marriott Fallsview hotel. We’d paid extra for this hotel, and hoped it was worth it. The valet took our car, we checked in, and went up to our room on the 16th floor… Wow, was it worth it. The view was so amazing that Chloe and I just started giggling happily. There are floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of both the American and Canadian falls.
After pulling ourselves away from the window, we went and had dinner at Applebee’s, which was delicious. Love it here.

Day 5 – Wednesday

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Why go and eat breakfast in the hotel restaurant when you’ve got this amazing view? We opened some Pop Tarts, pulled the chairs to the window, and ate in our room looking out at Niagara. Just amazing. We then walked down to the falls, there’s a ballustrade all along and you can walk from Horseshoe Falls down to the Rainbow Bridge. We kept stopping to admire the views and take yet more hundreds of photos. Next up: the boat trip.

Now, when they give you a red poncho, you kinda wonder if you need it. Then later on, you’re so grateful you didn’t turn it down. We boarded the boat opposite Bridal Veil falls, which are pretty amazing, even if they’re overshadowed by the Horseshoe. Almost as soon as the boat starts off, you get wet from the spray – and everyone screams and squeals, and there’s lots of laughter. We were really wet, but it was rather thrilling.
So on the boat went, towards the Horseshoe falls – and they get you pretty close – it was choppy with lots of spray, and you get a face full of water – it’s a better thrill than any theme park water ride I’ve ever been on and totally exhilarating. We got soaked. I’d been holding my phone up to video and take photos and even got water up inside my sleeves. We laughed a lot. Amazing.
After a gift shop visit, we walked back towards the hotel and the sun came out, slowly drying our cold wet clothes. We took yet more pics and walked right up to the top of the falls where the water travels over. It’s so fast… again, you have to see it with your own eyes…
Niagara Falls lit up at night

Niagara Falls lit up at night

Back at the hotel, we got some panini’s and hot chocolates and sat looking out of large glass windows at the falls. Then, up to our room to just chill, mess about, and admire that view some more. There was a lot of laughter that afternoon. When our stomachs started to growl we headed out and walked through town for a while and got some dinner.

Back at the hotel, there was less spray tonight so you could see the lights on the water a bit better. Very pretty. They shine different colour lights at the water, which change regularly; red, white, blue, yellow, green, purple.

Day 6 – Thursday

Niagara from our hotel room at sun rise

Niagara from our hotel room at sun rise

Eating breakfast in your hotel room while watching the sun rise over Niagara Falls = just awesome. Time to move on again, though.

The drive to Washington DC was really quite something. We passed a lot of beautiful fall trees, rural villages and very typical American small towns, just like you see on the movies with the porches and wooden slating, shutters, and flags out front. Most homes were decorated for Halloween which was pretty cool. We saw a lot of snow mobile signs and one place had them for sale like you might at a car dealership.
After driving through New York state, Pennsylvania, and Maryland we finally came to DC. There was a lot of traffic but we eventually got into the centre and passed the White House and Capitol building which were pretty cool, can’t wait to see them in the daylight tomorrow. The hotel here is lovely and the staff very welcoming. We got a take out pizza and ate it in our room. Cannot wait to explore here some more tomorrow.

Day 7 – Friday

The Capitol

The Capitol

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

After some delicious cinnamon French toast at the breakfast buffet, we set off this morning to walk all around the centre of Washington DC. We saw the Capitol building, the Washington monument, the White House – front and back & with Halloween decorations – and went to the White House visitor centre. Stopped for lunch at a nice little place … then on to the WWII memorial – really amazing, they should have something similar in London – then the infamous Abraham Lincoln memorial which I loved, then the Martin Luther King memorial, and a good look at the Jefferson memorial from across the Tidal Basin.

White House Halloween Decorations

White House Halloween Decorations

Loved this :)

Loved this :)

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

All of these sites are so iconic and recognisable and it’s so cool to see them for real. The architecture in Washington reminds me a little of London. I really, really like it here, it’s just kind of clean, quiet, and elegant. So glad we came here.

Day 8 – Saturday

Panda at the National Zoo

Panda at the National Zoo

Grabbed a quick breakfast from Starbucks this morning, picked up our car and drove to the Smithsonian National Zoo – where we headed straight to the Panda enclosure. There aren’t many places you can see pandas, especially a cub. The zoo is free entry, and it’s very open and relaxed. We were delighted to see three pandas including baby Bao Bao, up in a tree. So cute.

More time in a gift shop, and a quick visit to see a few other animals, then we went to a large shopping mall in Virginia for a wander around before returning to DC … This afternoon we went to the Air and Space museum in the national mall, which was really cool … lots about war planes, the Wright brothers, moon landings, exhibits about the universe – all very interesting and I’d like to go back and spend more time there.
Dinner tonight was at the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington. Pretty cool. Chloe loved it.

Day 9 – Sunday

My travel buddies, Nathaniel & Chloe :) <3

My travel buddies, Nathaniel & Chloe :) <3

Breakfast and then the drive back to Newark Airport – so sad to be leaving, it’s been such a whirlwind, fast holiday and we’ve seen so much in just 9 days! We drove through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey and arrived at Newark a little early… plenty of time to read in the airport and now we’re just about to fly home. What an amazing trip, what amazing things we’ve seen and I’m so happy to have shared it with Nathaniel and Chloe – two awesome travel companions :)

The End.

Thinking of taking a similar trip? Feel free to email me for tips :)

Guest post from author Nancy Jardine

Today fellow Crooked Cat author Nancy Jardine is taking over my blog for a guest post:

How comfy is your genre butt-cushion?

Some authors find themselves a neat little genre niche, they pop into it and continue to write there, happy as a burrowing bunny. Other authors don’t settle into place so easily. If they’re like me, they’re trying out caves, tents and corners of old houses seeking the perfect place to spend the next writing phase as they produce work in different writing styles and across sub-genres. This isn’t necessarily due to a scattershot mind- it’s more of finding butt-comfort in many different locations and writing as the heart dictates.

Does the idea of different butt-cushions appeal to you?new crannog pic

What’s absolutely spectacular about butt-comfort writing is finding a publisher – like Crooked Cat Publishing – who accepts those different writing styles because they choose to publish quality work across diverse genres. The Crooked Cat Publishing cradle of authors has produced an amazing variety of work in a very short time. I’m delighted to be one of them, and reading a newly published Crooked Cat novel is a treat I look forward to when I can snatch some precious reading time.

However, appreciating the variety that’s produced by Crooked Cat doesn’t mean I want to try to write in every one of those diverse writing styles. I don’t see myself as forming a dystopian cushion dent, a political thriller one, or a pure fantasy one just yet – though who knows?

How many genre styles would you be prepared to write in?

To date, my personal butt-dents are in squashy moss-filled cushions in Celtic roundhouses, Ancient Roman tents and Roman Fortresses- in my Celtic Fervour Series of Historical Romantic Adventures (Crooked Cat). For Topaz Eyes – a mystery thriller (Crooked Cat), I needed to sit on a deep-filled cushion. The hidden jewellery cache contained in it prodded and poked me very regularly till I got the details of the complex family tree structure, and the murderous and grasping family members, smoothly into place.

Two of my contemporary novels are in between first and second publishers just now. One is a contemporary mystery set in an old Yorkshire manor house: an antique tapestry cushion was perfect for this ancestral based mystery. The second is a contemporary mystery thriller with humorous romantic elements. This needed a large and squashy cushion with a humorous ‘highland-hero image’ adorning it- this writing being a real mix of romantic sub-genres.

Where’s my current comfort to be found?

A cushion I’ve completely butt-flattened recently has been filled with a curious mixture of bracken and polystyrene chips. This time-travel for early teens zips from present day back to third century AD Scotland. Picking out the jagged bits of bracken from my butt is almost complete, though it has been a painfully slow process.

I’ve a new filling for Book Four of my Celtic Fervour Series of historical romantic adventures (Crooked Cat Publishing) – my current WIP. It’s now got heathers as well as mosses and brackens since my Garrigill warriors are heading even further north in my far northern Britannia of AD 84. I might have to top it up a few times as I conduct more research, to ensure I give my readers an authentic backdrop. I want them to be able to really live the lives of my characters during this ancient era. I don’t fancy adding any stones to the filling but the ancient brochs of northern Scotland are very interesting structures and are begging to be included!

In the corner of my writing area, there’s a trio of tartan covered cushions dating from 1850. A complex family tree adorns them: the ancestral details of my family saga. This tree is easier to read than the one in Topaz Eyes (Crooked Cat) since the names are mostly Scottish and not German and Dutch, but the structure of the plot is also a complex challenge. The first cushion for book 1 isn’t dusty at all because as soon as I sit on it and ponder, my resident 24/7 grandchildren find me another occupation. It’s a nice springy cushion, though, and accommodates me every now and then.

What about you? Got a nice place to sit?

12Feb2014Find Nancy Jardine at:

Blog: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com

Website: http://nancyjardineauthor.weebly.com

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1hLgWT7

Twitter: @nansjar

Also found as Nancy Jardine on Pinterest, Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn …and many more places.

 

Nancy’s Crooked Cat Bookstore Page: 
http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/index.php?route=product%2Fmanufacturer%2Fproduct&manufacturer_id=24

 

Amazon US author page http://amzn.to/RJZzZz

Amazon UK author page http://amzn.to/1ehiqSt

*Celtic Fervour Series – 3 full length reads for less than £5 from Amazon UK.*

 

Guest post from author Jane Bwye

Today I welcome fellow Crooked Cat author Jane Bwye to my blog for a guest post. Over to you, Jane:

janeThe art of writing is like any other art. If the muse hits, the words flow steadily onto the page and foolish is the person who ignores the impulse; for the time can flee, never to be recalled…

…Or that’s the mystic’s view, and aren’t we all mystics at one point or another in our lives? I defy anyone to deny they have experienced the feeling.

But who hasn’t ignored it at the dead of a wintry night, when a soft pillow and a warm duvet cocoons them in easeful luxury – at their peril? It is a transient gift, capricious. But I have learned in the past year that it can be cultivated like any other.

A musician requires hours and hours of practice and aching fingers; painting needs an abundance of time, contemplation, experimentation and a mountain of material to discard; a singer has to practice long hours to strengthen the voice, open the throat, raise the diaphragm and produce the impeccably tuned note at a given time; the dancer suffers agonies from broken toes and bunions in order to pirouette with effortless ease and create an airy impression of faerie lightness.

At the beginning of this year, when I realised I was, amazingly, a REAL author, I resolved to act like one and practice my craft in public. My blog is regularly updated twice a week. Yes, I know that every Tuesday I host a different author – but we have to interact also – network with each other to advance our skills and keep in practice. On Fridays it has become less and less of a burden as the weeks progress, to dig out old diaries and pictures and tell of my travels round the world.

Comparatively speaking, only a tiny insignificant fraction of the world actually views my blog. But, amazingly, that matters less to me than obeying the urge to be productive, whether or not I am feeling like it at the time. One reader is always better than none.

That also goes for times when I respond to invitations to be a guest on other blogs. Like now. This piece has disturbed my peace for many weeks, grating on my conscience and causing despair and procrastination. Now, at the eleventh hour before dawn on a Sunday morning I suddenly pick up my pen and it writes for me. In a flash, 400 words appear of their own accord.

Take them as you will.

Visit Jane’s blog to read more about her and her books >

New Chick Lit novel: Independent Jenny

Well hello! Today sees the launch of my third romantic comedy book Independent Jenny. It’s now available as a paperback or e-book from all good online book sellers :)

Here’s a free extract … [Jenny’s husband Ross has moved out after confessing his infidelity, and he’s come to visit with his brother, Aiden:]

Independent Jenny…on Sunday at six, the doorbell rang and there, acting like a formal guest outside his own home, was Ross and just behind him was Aiden, smiling awkwardly. I knew he’d be feeling weird about this but I was glad he’d tagged along. Ross gave me a quick hug and went into the kitchen with a bag of Chinese food. Aiden gave me a hug too and whispered in my ear:

“How you doing? I told him he’s an arse, you know.”

“Thanks Aiden.”

He smelled nice. As he pulled away from the hug, our eyes locked and suddenly I thought: why hadn’t I gone with Aiden, instead of Ross? He wasn’t as lazy or selfish enough to ever cheat on a woman. We looked at each other for a moment and something sparked in my chest. Then, as if he’d heard the flame ignite, he looked alarmed and walked away quickly.

What was wrong with me? Was I really that much of a mess that I was now getting a crush on my brother-in-law? I sighed and went through to the dining room, where Ross was getting out plates and glasses. We sat and tucked into the food and drank the wine. Aiden and I did most of the talking, mostly him asking me about my week, about seeing my sister, and so on. It felt staged and strange and I kept wishing Ross wasn’t there so we could just talk normally and I could tell him how I really felt about my week. Aiden had always been a friend to me, but somehow Ross’ actions had now put a divider up between us.

“I’ve had a manic week,” Ross butted in while I was talking about Sadie.

“Oh yeah?” I asked, sipping some wine. I hadn’t eaten much and was on my third glass. It was quickly going to my head and somehow, Aiden was looking more and more attractive compared to his cheating, lying bastard of a brother.

Ross started talking about work and I listened while nibbling on a pancake roll. Now that I thought about it, I remembered that Aiden had hinted he liked me when we first met, at their parent’s house the first Christmas I’d spent with them. Ross had a headache on Christmas Eve, and went to bed early. Aiden and I sat up late talking and he’d said something like;

“Ross is a lucky guy. If I’d met you first…”

Or something like that. And we had a moment. We nearly kissed. Or had I imagined it? I’d only been seeing Ross a few months and I felt guilty about it the next morning. But I didn’t see Aiden again for a long time, and by then Ross and I were more serious and, well, I hadn’t given it another thought. Until now.

I looked at Aiden as Ross continued to bore us about his job. I couldn’t help but notice how cute he was, now I looked properly. He glanced at me then back at Ross. Then he glanced at me again. Was I staring? I went back to looking at Ross but I couldn’t resist.

I imagined kissing Aiden and my heart fluttered. Was it just the wine or did everything suddenly make sense?

Find out more about Independent Jenny here >

Review of Wish I Was Here

So last night I went to an advance screening of Zach Braff’s new movie Wish I Was Here. I was one of 46,520 backers who helped fund the film via crowd-sourcing (and I LOVE that I was a teeny tiny part of this … I mean, it’d be a 19 on the end of that figure without me, right?) Read this previous blog on why I backed Zach Braff’s movie here.

Wish I Was HereNow, although I didn’t get to meet him (I’ve met him before so I can’t complain … too much), it was fantastic to see Zach at the screening. He came out beforehand full of energy and spirit, and said hi to everyone. He thanked us for backing the movie and said if we like a particular part of the film, we can know we contributed to that part – “if you see a prop you particularly like, you can say: I frigging paid for that prop!”

Then the movie started… and I was a little nervous. I mean, I trust Zach – I wouldn’t have given him my money if I didn’t – but after all this waiting, was it really going to live up to my expectations?

Yes, of course it did. It exceeded them, which you wouldn’t think could be possible if you saw how psyched I was before we went in.

Now, enough waffle I hear you say, what about the movie? What happened?

I’m not going to give a bunch of details about the story, but Aiden (played by Zach) is in a bad place. His father is dying, his brother’s unhelpful, he doesn’t have a job and his pursuit of his life’s dream isn’t happening, his wife isn’t particularly happy and he’s got two kids to feed. Although the movie centres around him, the whole family have their own little tales to tell…

It’s about family, relationships, the pursuit of your dreams, spirituality, death, life…

It made me cry … but it also made me laugh. A lot.

It made me feel the way I did the first time I saw Garden State (Zach’s first movie) and when I saw All New People (a play he wrote and starred in): Uplifted. Inspired. Motivated.

But enough about me and how it made me feel. Let’s talk about YOU. You should so go see this movie. It’s out in the UK this Friday, 19 September. Go see something honest and real and moving … You’ll love it.

Finally … in the unlikely event that Zach should read this blog, I have a message for you. If I had met you again, I’d have told you that your movie is absolutely amazing, thank you for allowing your fans to be a part of it, and thanks for the inspiration. You went out and made your dream come true; and each time I encounter something new that you do, it inspires me to work that bit harder on my own dreams. So: thank you a thousand times over.

Enough with the cheese … Readers: Independent Jenny – my third novel – is out on Tuesday! Woo-hoo! :)

Interview with author Isabella Louise Anderson

Today I have Isabella Louise Anderson joining me for an interview. Isabella’s novel The Right Design is out now, and I for one can’t wait to read it! Welcome to my blog, Isabella!

Firstly (I always ask this!) how long have you been writing fiction and what first inspired you? I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but didn’t really start taking it seriously until March of 2010. After I took a Gotham Writers’ Workshop class, I was inspired more than ever to become an author.

The Right Design Isabella Louise AndersonTell us something about The Right Design: In 2011, I wrote “The Right Design” during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It was my first time to try to win, and on day thirty, though I was exhausted, I was thrilled to say that I wrote a book in a month.

I see the novel is mostly set in Palm Beach, is that a favourite spot of yours? No, I’m more of a country girl, who loves living Texas, but since my family has a vacation home in Palm Beach, it seemed like the right place for the storyline to take place.

Tell us a bit about your main character, Carrie? She’s worked for everything she has, and is very successful in her career as an interior designer. Carrie is also very close to her sister and brother-in-law, and would do anything for them. Carrie is a very independent woman, though at times, and in certain situations, she can be vulnerable to a man. She’s the kind of woman who would like to give people a second and third chance, but after Roger cheated on her, she just can’t trust again.

And what about your next book, what can we expect? **SMILES** My next book, “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop” is very different from “The Right Design.”

Here’s just a quick summary:

“Florist owner, Khloe Harper is focused on creating original and exquisite arrangements for her clients, not upon the fact that she’s single. However, on one of her busiest days, Derek walks into her shop. He immediately mesmerizes her with his charm and striking good looks. The next day, he has to leave for an unknown amount of time. As they get to know each other through phone calls, emails, texts, Khloe can’t get him out of her mind, or a possible future together. However, her dreams of thinking she’d found the one are shattered when a woman’s voice answers his phone, leaving Khloe heartbroken.

Determined to get over Derek, Khloe concentrates on her work, and her customers: Gabriella, a widow who begins dating again; Richard, a married man who’s having an affair; and Connie, an insecure woman who sends herself flowers from her imaginary boyfriend.

What will Khloe do when she learns the truth about the woman on the other end of the line?; Will Gabby move on with her life, and accept a proposal?; What bomb does Richard’s wife drop on him, and will he try to save their marriage?; And will Connie’s lie be revealed?”

I’m can’t wait for this release, and am working really hard to make it the best it can be. I’m hoping to publish it at the beginning of 2015!

Sounds fab, I look forward to reading that too! Who’s your favourite author and why? Emily Giffin is my all-time favourite Chick Lit author. After I read her book “Something Borrowed,” I knew I’d finally found the genre that I loved to read, so I tried to write one. It didn’t work that well, but I kept trying, because it’s certainly not dying. :)

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do? Besides writing, I love to spend time with my hubby, our cat, and read! :)

Thanks so much for joining me, Isabella :)

About Isabella:

Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with working on her next book.

She created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies!  She loves featuring authors and their books.

Currently, she lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.

Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.

Visit Isabella’s website >

Connect on: FacebookGoodreadsTwitter.

Buy The Right Design:

Amazon – US: Kindle … Paperback … Amazon, UK …  Amazon, Canada … Barnes & Noble 

Sneak Peak: Meet some of the characters from Independent Jenny

Well, with just two weeks to go, I thought I’d write a little about the characters you’ll meet if (when!) you read Independent Jenny.

First up – JennyIndependent Jenny

Jenny thinks she has it all; her own photography business, her loving husband Ross, a nice house, a golden retriever, and great friends… until Ross confesses that he’s cheated on her. With some girl from a bar. Ugh.

Ross

Everyone makes mistakes, right? Can Jenny overcome Ross’ infidelity and get back to their life together?

Aiden

Ross’ brother. Who is cute. Very cute. Turns out, he’s had a bit of a thing for Jenny for quite some time… Will Jenny feel the same way about him?

Shane

Jenny’s best friend, always ready to give advice. But will she listen to reason? It seems unlikely.

Hayley

Jenny’s oldest friend. Hayley thinks a girly holiday is the answer to Jenny’s problems. But Hayley has an ulterior motive, and a whole side-story of her own.

Will

Jenny’s old boyfriend, who, for the record, she wasn’t in love with. She hasn’t seen him since he went off to university and although a few sparks fly when she sees him again – he’s married.

Finally… Wentworth

Jenny’s trusty golden retriever. What will he make of all this? Should Jenny forgive Ross? Should she give Aiden a try, or is that going to be too complicated?

Find out in 2 weeks…