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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Murder suspect or hurricane. Which is more dangerous?

Hi Chrys and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Chrys Fey

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I was twelve-years-old when I developed and started writing a series of books. From that moment on I knew I had to be a writer because nothing else would satisfy my heart.

What book are you reading now?

The impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. After reading so many adult books, I like to read some young adult every now and then, and this one caught my eye.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?

30 Seconds is a romantic-suspense that’ll be coming out from The Wild Rose Press sometime this summer. This story revolves around a doctor who comes home from pulling an all-nighter at the ER and is suddenly thrust into a war between a police force and a deadly mob. There is nail-biting action and heart-pounding romance.

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?

I enjoy drawing fashion designs, penning song lyrics, reading, listening to music, baking bread, and cooking pasta.

If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?

Oh, now this is a fun question! I have a heroine I’ve written with countless powers and I think my most favourite power she has is how her hands erupt with neon green flames. She can throw balls of flames too. I would love that!

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?

Don’t let rejection get you down. Stay positive, keep writing, and use that rejection as kindling.

 Blurb:

*Hurricane Crimes is a short story.*

After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he's trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.

As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?

Excerpt: HURRICANE CRIMES

On the television set, which was fighting to stay alive, was breaking news. She caught bits and pieces of it as she emptied the bowl of blood-tainted water and threw out the cloth. It was about a high-speed chase that had occurred about a half-hour ago. Beth shook her head. Apparently, Donovan wasn’t the only idiot driving around during a hurricane.

She went back into the living room and began replacing all the medical supplies into the first-aid kit. Behind her, a reporter was explaining that the driver of the car was believed to be a murder suspect.

“The name of the—”

The lights flashed, prompting Beth to snatch up her flashlight.

“Donovan Goldwyn.”

Her fingers went cold around the plastic tube as ice frosted her veins. She straightened her spine and turned stiffly to the television, her heart wasn’t beating in her chest. On the screen was the picture of the man who was right now changing in her bedroom. Above it was a caption in bold letters that read—SUSPECT.

She gripped the flashlight in her frozen fingers. Her heart thudded fearfully. She stared into the immobilized violet eyes through the glass.
           
“Oh my god,” she gasped.

She had brought a murderer into her home!

Bio:
Chrys Fey’s debut, Hurricane Crimes, was published by The Wild Rose Press. Mid 2014, she will be coming out with her second romantic-suspense eBook, 30 Seconds. She created the blog Write with Fey to offer aspiring writers advice and inspiration. She lives in Florida where she is ready to battle the next hurricane that comes her way.

Author Links:
Google +: www.google.com/+ChrysFey   

Book Links:


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Maria draws on the law to shape her books

Hi Maria and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Maria Imbalzano
What inspired you to write your first book?

I read a lot and my go to books are generally romance.  About fifteen years ago, I was reading a novel by a New York Times bestselling author and was annoyed with the fact that she told us something and then repeated the information three pages later.  I thought, ‘we are not stupid readers. We got it the first time.’ From there, I decided I could do this. Of course, I couldn’t. I learned very quickly that it’s not as easy as a reader may think. But I joined New Jersey Romance Writers and went to countless seminars and conferences, trying to incorporate what I learned into the manuscript I was writing. It has taken me a lot of time, effort and persistence to get to this point, but I have loved every minute of it and look forward to continuing the process for a long time to come. 



When did you first consider yourself a writer?


Ten years ago, I won the New Jersey Romance Writers “Put Your Heart In A Book Contest” in the Long Contemporary category for my manuscript, “Weekend Diaries.”  That was a major contest and one of the judges was Kristen Hannah.  I met with her after the conference and she said some very nice things about my manuscript.  Soon thereafter, I signed with an agent and thought I was on my way. While several editors from different publishers were somewhat interested, it never turned into a contract. However, that ‘win’ gave me the confidence to keep at it and recognize that I would be published someday.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written six manuscripts.  UNCHAINED MEMORIES is my fifth and the first one to be published.  The first two books will probably forever sit in my drawer.  However, my third, WEEKEND DIARIES, is my favorite and I plan to revisit it soon. It’s the story of a NYC divorce lawyer, Samantha, who learns of her husband’s infidelity. She is devastated and they separate.  Sam heads to the Jersey shore for a well-needed leave of absence from work and her life.  Four of her high school girlfriends each take a weekend to visit and help her deal with her problems while they shed some light on their own lives and issues. After coming to terms with her pending divorce, she meets a local attorney whose past had intersected with her and her friends ten years earlier. A shocking secret comes to light which threatens not only the hero’s and heroine’s relationship, but that of her friends.

In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

I love contemporary, single title romance. I am familiar with the present and as they say “write what you know.” It’s closer to real life and it’s easier to draw from real life experiences – whether my own or someone else’s.  While I will read historical, I know nothing about that era’s lifestyles and it would take an enormous amount of research and studying to learn it enough to write about it.  I suppose I don’t have enough creativity to write paranormal since I would have to build my own world.  Besides, I don’t like to read paranormal, so I know I wouldn’t want to write it.  Contemporary romance is the place for me. 

Do you belong to any non-writing organizations?

Since I am a lawyer, I belong to several bar associations as well as the Mid-Jersey Collaborative Law Alliance. I am also a member of the Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance.  In addition, I sit on two boards. I am the Chair of the Special Events Committee and board member for Thomas Edison State College Foundation and I am a board member of Dress for Success Mercer County.  With regard to the latter two organizations, I am very involved in their fundraisers including The Thomas Edison State College Foundation Grande Ball, their golf outing, Dress for Success’ Cocktails for a Cause and Power Walk.

Do you see writing as a career?

I work best – at anything – when I’m under pressure and don’t have enough time in the day to get it all done.  I fear that if I didn’t have my day job to contend with, and had all day, every day to write, I would not be as efficient as I am now.  Of course it takes me two years to write a book, but I definitely know myself, and while I might cut down on that two year time frame, I would not have enough pressure to keep me in my chair at the computer.  Then again, if I had a three book deal with a major publisher with due dates (and a really nice advance), I could definitely see writing as my only career.

Maria Imbalzano is a matrimonial lawyer in central New Jersey where she not only uses her law degree to navigate her clients through the court system, but her psychology degree to guide them through their personal struggles. While writing motions, legal memoranda, and briefs is fascinating, it pales in comparison to creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys.

In addition to practicing law and writing fiction, Maria enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters either at home or at the Jersey Shore.

Blurb from UNCHAINED MEMORIES:
 giving them a voice, and advocating for their rights. She couldn't do it for her mother, so she does it for others, even if it means losing the love of her life.

Dr. Clayton Montgomery believes in working hard and playing even harder, until he reconnects with Charlotte. Barely noticing her crush when he tutored her ten years ago, Clay has a chance to make up for lost time when the beautiful lawyer comes back into town...until he discovers her chosen career path.

Now, philosophical differences soon become a reality and Charlotte is faced with the choice of representing a client against the hospital and against Clay. Will Charlotte give up her career and her tribute to her mother for a second chance with the man who got away?

Excerpt UNCHAINED MEMORIES

He called on his memory, pulling up their very last encounter.
“I’m leaving for college today.” She stood tentatively in his office doorway, her crystal blue eyes so expressive in their sadness. “I wanted to thank you for all your help, especially with physics and calculus. I never would have done so well without...you.” She avoided his eyes as her voice trailed off, choked with tears.
His heart constricted, startling him. He hadn’t anticipated the day she would no longer be around; trailing him at the hospital, asking incessant questions, teasing him for being so serious. His life was on overload with his internship, not allowing him to realize the time he dedicated to her was not just tolerated, but treasured.
He walked around the desk, intending to give her a friendly hug, but when he took her in his arms something changed. Her familiar flowery scent awakened his senses as if he’d been in a deep sleep and he closed his eyes to heighten the aroma. Her body fit against his like a shadow. He fought the confusing stimuli. This was Charley, his former patient and pupil. But that wasn’t who he held close, who he breathed in. When had she become more than that?
Charley hugged him hard, laughing through tears. “I hate good-byes.” Before making her escape she added, “Dr. Collins has my information at school. Call me sometime. Let me know what you’re up to.”
Clipped, hasty words said with a matter-of-factness meant to cover up the emotions she plainly felt. The same emotions that had just blind-sided him.
Then she turned and walked away, her new life ahead of her.
Clay’s lips touched Charley’s forehead as they circled the dance floor. He closed his eyes, taking in the smoothness of her skin. Before he could stop himself he asked, “How’d you like to go out to dinner one night next week?”
She pulled back to look at him, as if to gauge his sincerity, or perhaps his motives.
“I...I don’t know. Maybe.”
Disappointment moved through him. Why was she being hesitant, cool? It wasn’t as if she didn’t know him. Christ, he’d spent countless hours tutoring her. Even more time talking to her, being her friend, so she wouldn’t feel so alone.
Could a decade erase all that and make them near strangers? He didn’t think so. The second he’d realized it was her tonight, the years had melted away. They’d fallen into easy conversation. Since she was back again, why couldn’t two old friends reconnect?
In no time, the song ended and Charlotte slipped out of his arms. “Thanks for the dance. I better get back to my table and say my good-byes.”
He held onto her hand. “Don’t go.” He didn’t know what else to say. It sounded so pathetic. But he didn’t want the night to end. Confusion pulled at his brain. Why did he want her to stay? Why was she so anxious to get away from him? They’d had a nice talk earlier. All he’d done now was ask her out to dinner. But if she wasn’t interested...
She gave an apologetic smile. “Even though it’s the weekend, I have to go into the office tomorrow. Prepare for trial on Monday.”
He had to work tomorrow, too. Yet, he wasn’t letting that interfere with spending more time with her tonight.
He released her hand. It wasn’t his style to push. “It was really nice to see you again, Charley.” More than nice.
Indescribable.
“If you change your mind about dinner, give me a call. You know where to find me.” He raised her hand and kissed her fingers. “Good-bye, Charlotte.” Backing away, he headed for the door, an unfamiliar feeling of pure disappointment assaulting the pit of his stomach.
Maybe it was all for the best. He didn’t have time to rekindle an old friendship. Hah! Who was he kidding? He didn’t want to be friends with her. His forte was casual affairs with beautiful women. But that wouldn’t be right for Charley. She deserved more.
And unfortunately, he didn’t have more to give


Links:

For more information go to:

Website

Facebook

To purchase UNCHAINED MEMORIES go to:

Amazon 

ITunes
The Wild Rose Press
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Barnes & Noble.com

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All Romance

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The woman who influenced Mariah's writing


Hi Mariah and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.

Mariah Lynne
I enjoy reading about strong women. I guess if we look back over our own lives, one woman would stand out in that department. For me, it was my mother. We lost my father when I was thirteen. Her parents were immigrants and she was the eldest of seven. There was no college in her future, but she was certainly smart enough to go. She married young, at 18, and helped my father in business. When he died, she didn’t give up. She sold the business and our house moving us into a small two family house where she could collect rent against her expenses. She then went to work. Back then, the choices for women were very limited so she worked in an upscale independent retail store where she managed the housewares department. She made sure I finished high school and graduated from college. I learned a great deal about life from her. Lessons not taught in school; perseverance, money management and to believe in your own ability. I can’t think of a stronger woman.


Anyway, I guess in a subconscious way, she influenced the way I think about my female characters. In my newest novella, THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE (Taliesin Publishing), Amelia Augusta Ethrington, Duchess of Abbington and fourth in line to the British throne, is strong willed, independent and not willing to relinquish the authority to her duchy to a husband. She is considered an old maid in her mid- thirties.
Ahead of her time in romance (unlike Mom – have to add that), she has trysts with wandering knights and gigolos, men with whom she need not have a relationship. One man, a Traveler with designs on the famous Abbington jewels, romances her, steals her jewels, taking them to the present for his own profit. Amelia awakens to find her jewels gone and her trusted guard murdered. Now she must be brave, bold and strong to have her trusted seer help her travel to the present, find the scoundrel, and reclaim her jewels before her rival heirs take her duchy from her. One problem, she meets a handsome appraiser from the Smithsonian and is faced with the biggest decision of her life. True love or her duchy?
Detective Brianna Breeze in THE LOVE GYPSY is a Ft. Myers Florida homicide detective who is known for solving difficult cases because of her perseverance, intelligence, experience. She is smarter than her male counterparts and has problems in the relationship department. Her idea of speed dating is to flash her badge for a quick interrogation. Her best friend Tessa tricks her into seeing Raya Light, The Love Gypsy. A handsome muscular man wearing a black leather jacket and 50s hair bursts in their first meeting. This stranger captures her interest. Raya warns her not to get involved with him.
A present day murder, a mysterious vintage car registered in the past, and a smoking gun complicate the puzzle. Brianna doesn’t know if her lover from the past is a murderer or a savior, but she must be brave and risk time travel to find out.
Bold strong female characters and their dilemmas captivate our interest while adding fun to any story. I hope you will take the time to read about mine.

Excerpt: THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE
 It didn’t take long for his carriage to reach the riverfront. We stopped. Ryan leaned over and kissed my cheek whispering in my ear.
“Let’s go back to my room. It’s just upstairs. You can tell me what your secret is in private. I trust you and hope you trust me.”
Ryan helped me out of his carriage. We climbed the one flight of steps up to his room. Once inside, I sat down on the bed and stared out the window before giving him a serious look.
“This is not how I planned to tell you. I hoped to wait until we saw if the necklace was genuine. You must listen to me before passing judgment. I hope that you will still want to keep me in your heart afterward. ”
Ryan closed the drapes before sitting down next to me.
“Amy, how could I help but keep you in my heart no matter what your secret is?”
He squeezed my hand as I touched his lips with the gentlest kiss. Ryan filled me with a deep passion. I was ready to reveal my desire for him. I hoped he felt the same way. I knew what I wanted and decided to show him how I felt in a special manner. Standing up, I slowly removed Starr’s silk floral sash and placed it around his neck. I stepped back to dance the seductive dance of the gypsy women who camped outside my childhood manor house grounds. They had always looked graceful, bracelets jingling, ribbon colored skirts twirling as they turned and twisted by their campfire in the moonlight. They seduced traveling knights and lesser royals hoping for romantic trysts out of their coin. I had heard the gypsy’s haunting songs and desired to get a better look. I became quite good at sneaking out night after night, hoping not to get caught. I watched them dance, hiding in some nearby bushes. One night, a beautiful gypsy spotted my hiding place and grabbed me. To my surprise, she had me stand and taught me their dance.
I wanted my necklace but strange as it sounds, I wanted Ryan more. I removed my blouse first, touching his face with its soft perfumed cotton. I swirled, kicking off my shoes and stepping out of my skirt. I seduced him taking off each undergarment until I stripped myself bare. His face flushed with reluctance but finally gave in. He stared at my naked body, his eyes intoxicated with passion. I have been with enough men to know he liked what he saw. Holding onto my hand, I pulled him up and helped him disrobe. His body was as muscular as a bull’s. We lay down together. His touch was gentle, making my body desire him more. We made sweet love until we became so tired, we both fell asleep. Our nap was all too brief. Ryan was the first to wake up. He whispered my name, “Amy, wake up sweetheart.”
I stretched remembering where I was and what I needed to tell him. My feelings for him made it more complicated now.

Ever dream of traveling through time? Mariah Lynne does. She writes stories that take her readers along on exciting journeys. Travel to distant times and beautiful places with strong-willed independent heroines whose memorable tales will entertain with twisted plots that dabble in the paranormal. 
A Graduate of Syracuse University, Mariah lives on a beautiful Gulf Coast Island in Florida. When she is not writing, she enjoys swimming, traveling and spending time with her husband and dolphin hunting dog, Max.
http Website: www.MariahLynne.com
THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE
BUY LINK TO PUBLISHER:
http://www.taliesinpublishing.com/the-duchess-necklace-p18.php
BUY LINK TO AMAZON:
BUY LINK TO BARNES AND NOBLE:
   Or



Monday, February 3, 2014

Mary's books have magic about them

Hello, Mary and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.
Author Mary Gillgannon
What inspired you to write your first book?

When I was in my early 30s, I had emergency back surgery. It was very scary and I remember thinking, I could die. And then immediately thinking, I can’t die. I can’t leave my children… and I haven’t written a book yet.

That’s when I realized how important it was to me. It still took me a while to get going. I wrote poetry, then started a complex historical novel based on my husband’s Irish family heritage. I didn’t get too far before I realized I was over my head. Not to mention the story was pretty depressing. Then I started working at the local public library and discovered genre fiction, in particular, historical romance. It seemed perfect for me. I loved history and especially relished the romantic, relationship part of historical novels.

I set the romance in my favourite time period, the era of King Arthur. As I was doing research, I came upon a Welsh king named Maelgwn the Great. He appeared to have been a very complex and charismatic individual, and I decided to base my story on him. Once I found my hero, the rest came easy, and I wrote Dragon of the Island in less than a year.  

Since then I’ve written books in the medieval and Regency eras, as well as time travel and mainstream historical fiction.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Morgan Llywellyn’s Lion of Ireland and The Horse Goddess and Sharon Kay Penman’s Here Be Dragons all fed my passion for history, romance, the Celts, Ireland and Wales. Mary Stewart’s King Arthur series (The Hollow Hills, The Crystal Cave, etc.) entranced me with their Celtic lore and subtle magic.

Do you consider writing a career?

I’ve always had a “day job” working in a public library, so I’ve never relied on writing as my main source of income. Which is a good thing, since this is a tough business and only a few of my writer friends are completely self-supporting with their writing income. In that sense, I don’t think of writing as a career, but more of a passion and an intrinsic part of who I am.

When you’re young and your life is unfolding, it’s all very exciting and intense. As you get older, things get a little more boring and humdrum, even if you’re happy and have a good life. Writing for me is a way to experience that excitement and passion of being young and falling in love and finding your destiny, over and over again. I live vicariously through my characters and it adds an extra and very satisfying dimension to my life. I hope I’m able to share some of that experience with my readers.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I’ve written seventeen books altogether, a handful of which are still not quite ready for the light of day. Someday I will go back and rework them and figure out what they’re supposed to be. In fact, my current WIP I started almost 15 years ago. It took that long for the story to really develop and blossom.

In general, my favourite book is the one I’m working on. But if I had to pick one, it would be my first book (Dragon of the Island) because that’s when I discovered the magic. That moment when my characters came to life and became real before my eyes.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?

My most recent published book is Saint Sin, a sexy Regency historical romance. I have another Regency romance as well as a time-travel romance that are currently being reviewed by editors. Currently I am working on a fantasy romance. Although I’ve had paranormal elements in several of my romances (and I’ve written the first book in a fantasy series that’s still developing), this is the first time I’ve really developed a complete fantasy world. My heroine is a member of a magical race and my hero completely human, and the conflict between their different heritages is the main focus of the book (besides the love story, of course). I’m really having fun with this one. It’s called The Magic in the Mist.

Have you ever travelled to a place and come away with a story unexpectedly?

When I visited Ireland for the first time, we explored a bit of the north-eastern coast and the Glens of Antrim. I knew afterwards that the hero of my book The Dragon Bard, was going to end up there and fall in love with an Irish queen. Dessia came to me so strongly. It was like she appeared on one of the green hillsides in all her auburn-haired glory.

EXCERPT - SAINT SIN

Ariella returned to the bedchamber and looked around. Where was the safebox? Where would a man keep his valuables? A landscape painting on the wall caught her eye. The colors were rich and vibrant and the scene almost magically alive. But what she noticed even more was that it was hanging slightly crooked. She went to the painting and lifted it with one hand, then felt underneath with the other. Her fingers encountered the edge of a door set into the wall. Excitement raced through her, then turned quickly to dismay as she heard the door behind her open. She released the painting and whirled around. A man entered and gazed at her in surprise. “Who are you?” he drawled. “And what are you doing in my bedchamber?”

Ariella froze. She expected him to approach her angrily. Instead, he leaned against the doorjamb and regarded her with a bemused expression. It took her only a moment to realize he was drunk. Quite so, in fact, gauging from his demeanor. His dark eyes were heavy-lidded and sleepy-looking, his tanned skin slightly flushed. He wore no coat and his ascot was half-untied.
His dishabille unnerved her. The way he held himself was both languid and alert. He reminded her of a panther, all fluid nonchalance, until it sprang and sank its teeth into its victim. The image seemed very apt. St. Cyr reminded her of a wild beast. Or a fallen angel. Beauty masking wickedness. Saint Sin, indeed.
Ariella's acquaintance with noblemen had previously been limited to two types: The boyish fops her brother associated with and the portly, older gentlemen who leered and asked her to dance. This man was a different sort altogether. Not young. Not old, either. He retained the grace of youth, and yet it was overlain with the weariness and cynicism of age. Despite his degree of intoxication, this man was no fool. She knew instantly he wasn’t someone to trifle with.
“So,” he said. “Are you going to tell me what you're doing here? Or should I guess?”
She licked her dry lips. No plausible explanation came to mind. None.
He moved suddenly, coming to stand a few feet away. Her heart stopped. “Mmmm,” he said. “I assume that means I’ll have to guess. Let me think. I come to my bedroom to discover a beautiful young woman waiting for me. What could it mean? That I've died and gone to heaven and she's my reward?” He shook his head. “Doubtful. Very doubtful. Or, perhaps she wandered in here by mistake, looking for the water closet?” Ariella opened her mouth to agree, but he went on, “Yet that would seem very unlikely since there are half a dozen water closets between here and the ballroom. No, I think you must be here for something else.”
He moved nearer, his gaze assessing. She surveyed him as well, observing the faint lines etching his elegant features. The long, lean power of his body. The way strands of his raven hair had escaped the black ribbon tying it. Another oddity. No men she knew wore their hair in a queue.
He still held a half-empty wine glass, cradling it in graceful fingers. “Mmmm,” he said again, with a kind of feigned amazement. “You're dressed like a Cyprian more than a lady, but then it's hard to tell about such things these days.” Smiling tightly, he added. “Many ladies of my acquaintance indulge in behavior more suitable for a street corner doxy.”
He slowly circled her, perusing her body. By the time he came to stand in front of her once more, Ariella's heart was thudding in her chest like a drum. The key to the safe, concealed in her left hand, seemed to burn her fingers.
“Yes,” he said. “You make a delightful fashionable impure. The perfect blend of refinement and sensuality.” His gaze surveyed her once more. “But, the question remains, what is a luscious demi-rep doing in my bedchamber?” He raised his eyes to her face.
Ariella remained frozen, like a rabbit trapped by a predator. Then, all at once, the words came tumbling out. “I was sent here ... by a gentleman friend of yours.” It was only a half-lie.
His puzzlement seemed to intensify. “Sent here? As a gift?” He stared at her. Then a slow smile spread across his face.


Bio and links are:
Mary Gillgannon writes romance novels set in the dark ages, medieval and English Regency time periods and fantasy and historical novels with Celtic influences. Her books have been published in Russia, China, the Netherlands and Germany. Raised in the Midwest, she now lives in Wyoming and works at public library.
She is married and has two grown children. When not working or writing she enjoys gardening, traveling and reading, of course!
 Links

Amazon link for Saint Sin:  http://amazon.com/dp/B00ETN38AI