My head was swimming with images…
I have just returned from a fabulous two-week vacation in Europe that included three days on Madeira, two days in Lisbon, Portugal and environs, seven days on a river cruise on the Douro River in northern Portugal and two days in Salamanca and Madrid, Spain. I am so glad I took lots of photos, because the time sped by so fast my head was swimming with images running into one another.
Even for a writer, it’s difficult to put into words the exhilaration and awe of viewing buildings, art and breathtaking landscapes, which until now I’ve only read about. Wishfully I could have a lot more time experiencing them, unfortunately, when participating in an organized endeavor like this, you keep moving, heading off to the next place. But I have a long list of places to revisit in the future, so I can spend more time truly enjoying them.
I smiled mysteriously or provided a nonspecific response…
When others in our tour group discovered I was a published author, they asked if I planned to use what I’d seen on the trip in my books. Did I already have a plot in mind? Would I base any of my characters on them? Some even suggested plots for me. I’ve learned to anticipate questions like this, so either I smiled mysteriously or provided a nonspecific response; it’s their way of identifying.
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Besides taking in the scenery, I did a bit of people watching, observing some of my fellow travelers for the mystery series I’m developing about retirees. They came from all parts of the U.S. and from all types of backgrounds. I was particularly impressed with their boundless energy. They mounted hills, descended narrow walkways and negotiated aged cobblestone streets much better than I. I knew I was out of my league at the first church we visited. We had the choice of taking the one hundred steps to reach the tower or walking around the base and meeting the rest of the group there. I chose the second option until I discovered I was the only one. So, I bit the bullet and took the steps. Not a wise choice. The backs of my legs ached for days afterwards.
I tried to simply be a tourist during the trip.
I really did. But with my new book, Don’t Toy with Me, coming out in a little over a month, I couldn’t resist firing up the laptop during down time and working on promotion. However, my only choice of work space in that small stateroom was a round table, about fifteen inches in diameter, so none of my sessions lasted long. I reluctantly had to admit that was probably a good thing. After all, history, culture and incredible drink and cuisine called. Time to simply enjoy.
Barbara Barrett skipped a midlife crisis by writing romance novels at night when she wasn’t at her day job as human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. The first took longer to complete than she likes to admit. But after that, the words flowed, especially after she joined the local chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Her first book was published in 2012. Since then, she has added eight more full-length novels and one novella to her portfolio. She has recently begun the “UnderWright Productions” series about executive producers Bart Underwood and Jordan Wright. The pair will continue to appear in secondary roles in subsequent books, each featuring the production of a different genre of television show.
Barbara is married to the man she met her senior year at college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren. Now retired, she is a resident of Florida, although she spends her summers in Iowa, her home state. She earned her B.A. degree in History from the University of Iowa and her Master’s Degree in History from Drake University.
When not in front of her laptop creating her next story, she travels, collecting background for future books, most recently visiting the Hawaiian Islands, Madeira, Portugal and Spain. When not on the road, she plays Mah Jongg, knits, and enjoys lunches with friends.
Don’t Toy With Me
Repossession of your car in Los Angeles is like breathing without lungs. It can make an unemployed management consultant like Jordan Wright do crazy things, such as accept a job beneath her skills on a reality competition show and pretend to be a spy for a competing outfit.
Even though he sees through the undercover story, the show’s executive producer, Bart Underwood, is intrigued by it as well as the woman spinning her tale. Creativity is not one of his strong suits, and he has found himself in over his head with this new production. Unable to ask directly for Jordan’s help, he takes advantage of her need to prove herself in hopes she’ll rescue his baby. But despite their growing attraction to each other, even she can’t save a reverse beauty pageant titled Ugly as Sin.
When several stunts go awry, she suggests a new approach, challenges based on toys designed by Bart’s toymaker uncle. Though interested, Bart must first deal with his useless partner, who has been blackmailing him to stick around. The man’s resentment of Jordan threatens to not only disrupt her growing involvement with Bart but also risk the viability of the new show, Don’t Toy with Me.
Website and blog: http://www.barbarabarrettbooks.com
Facebook author page: http://bit.ly/2aXZvG9
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