wandering: venice

venice. venice was a life long dream, and everything i had ever imagined italy to be.

we arrived by train, and wove our way through the maze of cobblestone streets to find our b&b; a gabled Victorian with a rooftop view. everything was bustling; bright flags whipped in the wind, water taxis sped by, and vendors sold paintings and carnavale masks on the streets. our gps wasn't working, but between my husband's navigation skills, and my precious little crash-coursed italian, we found our way to our lodgings. stopping every hundred feet or so to admire the view, or snap a photo.

venice was grabbing pizza and pasta (like you do), eating gelato, and listening to the bells chime from Saint Mark's square. It was wandering in and out of shops, admiring vibrant blown glass, hand-crafted puppets, and intricate masks. it was strolling around Saint Mark's with eyes wide in wonder, waiting for the sun to go down.

it was jumping in a gondola after dark and listening to the quiet swish of our gondolier's paddle strokes; laughter echoing from cafes, accordion music trembling in the stillness. it was staying up late and laughing and talking and more gelato and watching the only american movie that happened to be on.

venice was tiramisu by the water, watching the boats come and go. it was taking a taxi around the island and seeing it all from the water. it was arriving at the airport by boat. at a dock. which has to be one of the coolest things i've done.

venice was, in short, beautiful beyond belief.

is Italy on your "must see" list? have you already been? (if i haven't already convinced you, venice needs to go on your must-see list ;)) where was the last new location you explored like an over-caffeinated indiana jones? i want to hear all about it in the comments below!!


Book 2 Celebration Giveaway!

Hey sweet soul!

SO I FINISHED BOOK 2. not gonna downplay, I am preeeetty darn pumped about it. It's off to my editor, and I think it's pretty safe to say that I cannot WAIT to share it with you guys. the sweet reviews and messages of support I've gotten from you guys on The Blood Race has been....pshshhh, just absolutely mind-blowing. as a writer, my greatest desire is for readers to enjoy my book - and get something out of it; to be impacted in whatever way they may need the most. in essence, to bring the light. and also for you to just be like "HOT DANG THAT WAS A GOOD READ WHERE IS THE NEXT ONE I NEED IT IBFIGBERGN"

which....is what a lot of you have been saying. so if you're one of those, don't worry - I've got you covered!

In fact, this is what this post is all about: CELEBRATING BOOK TWO

because this December, I'll be doing 3 things:

#1 Revealing the TITLE of book 2 in The Blood Race series
#2 Revealing the COVER of book 2
#3 revealing a very, very exciting little extra surprise that book 2 contains (this one I REALLY cannot wait for)

SO, what better way to celebrate all of this than to do a giveaway? (yeah, there's no better way. don't even waste time thinking about that one)

This is the deal:

I'm giving away signed copies of The Blood Race (plus some other cool prizes) to 6 winners. (So there's SIX chances to win, not just three.)

2 awesome peeps will receive the first place combo - which includes: a signed copy of The Blood Race, an epic fantasy quill pen + ink set, & a fantasy bookmark

2 fantastic peeps will receive the second place combo - which includes: a signed copy of The Blood Race, AND, a gold-trimmed steampunk journal.

2 amazing peeps will receive the third place combo - which includes: a signed copy of The Blood Race & a super sweet fantasy bookmark to go with that.

and, of course, I'll make it easy for you... you can enter right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

the giveaway runs Nov 1 - Dec 17! oh, and remember to share it w/ friends if you love me. 

i love you guys so so much. i'm so blessed and touched by each and every comment, review, and read you guys give me. storytelling is really my life... this is what i do. i wouldn't know how to live any other way. so the fact that you guys are picking up what i'm putting down? nothing could mean more.

enter & win something & have a happy day