Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Things I learned on my recent mini vacation

I. AM. HOME.  It was a lovely trip, but next time, I think I'll fly instead of drive.

I learned a lot about myself and my family, as well as the east coast, whilst on my min-vacation. I'll take this moment to share a few of those exciting, thrilling facts.


  1. My brother David is far more patient than I am. Who knew?
  2. Out of the three of us (brother David, brother Dan, and me) David is the most sane. I know, it surprised the hell out of me, too!
  3. My grandson has got to be the most well behaved 4-year old on the planet. No melt downs, no tantrums, nothing, until the last two hours of the trip home. Wait, that was me melting down, whining, and having a tantrum. My bad.
  4. There is a significant difference between Apple Maps and Google Maps. Google Maps wins, hands down. If Apple Maps says it will be a two hour drive, double that for all the idiotic side streets she will take you down. Seriously, from Delaware to New Jersey, we drove side roads for half the trip. THEN Apple Maps wanted to dump me back into Philadelphia. Why??? Thank God daughter had Google Maps and the patience of Job. She got us the hell out of Cherry Hill, NJ and to Booktrader in Hamilton, NJ before I had an aneurysm. Did I mention I'm not a good traveler? 
  5. My daughter Emilee is growing up. I forget that far too often. She's beautiful, smart and feisty. I forget that she is a mother now and all grown up. Still, she is my baby and always will be. I was so glad that I finally got to take her to see the ocean and New York City.
  6. My future sister-in-law, Tammy, is adorable and her driving skills blew my mind. Someone in NASCAR really needs to give this girl a ride. Seriously.  Don't believe me? Ask her to take you on Delaware's 'Autobahn' sometime. 30 seconds in and you'll know exactly what I mean.
  7. I no longer travel well. In the future, if a trip looks like it would take more than 6 hours in a car, I shall fly. I don't do well on 18 hour car rids. Not well. At. All. 
  8. I'm an ugly person when sleep deprived. I have submitted formal letters of apology to my brother and daughter. My grandson however, thought it was quite funny that Grandma said 'naughty words', so he doesn't get a letter of apology. He gets a hug. And a pony for being such a good kid.
  9.  The east coast of our country is breathtakingly beautiful. If you ever get the chance to drive through the Allegheny Mountains -- by choice or on accident like I did -- take it! I saw the most beautiful country by accident. I think the only reason brother David didn't strangle me was because we were traveling down the side of the aforementioned Allegheny Mountains. I think it was his first near-death experience and had I erred by so much as an inch ... 'nuff said. 
  10. Vinegar on french fries. Just typing the words makes my mouth water. I have a case of malt vinegar on its way here. Don't think I'll ever be able to put catsup on french fries ever again.
  11. Ocean City, Maryland was amazing! 
  12. The best day of my life that I ever spent with my brothers, was Sunday, May 17, 2015 in Ocean City Maryland. No matter how old I get, I'll never forget that day.
  13. A sausage biscuit in Delaware is significantly different than a sausage biscuit in Illinois. In Illinois, it is a biscuit (usually buttermilk) with a breakfast sausage patty, scrambled eggs, and a slice of 'orange' American cheese. In Delaware it is two Kielbasa sausage links tucked between a fried egg and white American cheese on a Kaiser roll. Still yummy, but totally different. Helen's Diner is cash only. 
  14. Before Saturday, I did not know it was illegal to pump your own gas in the state of New Jersey. 
  15. Before Saturday, I also did not know there existed a city where you could not under any circumstance make a left turn going down the main drag. Yes. New Jersey again. 
  16. I have the best readers and street team, bar none. I had a wonderful time in New Jersey at Booktrader. If you live near Hamilton, New Jersey, you have to visit this awesome bookstore! Ask for Joan. She is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet! If Joan's not there, Barb can help you and she is just as nice!
  17. People in New Jersey don't buy just one or two books. They buy every book you wrote. In all series. Blew. My. Mind. 
  18. In Delaware, it is perfectly acceptable for a police officer to stand along side any road and point at you to pull over. He needs no radar gun, no probable cause. He points, you pull over. It is as simple as that. I find that quite odd.
  19. The nicest people I've ever met in my life all work at Harrah's Casino and Racetrack in Chester, PA. Seriously, these people were awesome! They thought it was a travesty that I'd never had a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, so they hooked me up.
  20. I like Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. Especially the ones you get in Philly!
  21. New York City is big. Even bigger than my Midwest, right-brain could imagine. I found a K-Mart across the street from Madison Square Garden. Blew. My. Mind. 4 stories tall. My mom would have loved that!
  22. The best General Tsoa's chicken on the planet can be found at Gingers Chinese Restaurant in New York City. Not sure of address. It was a few blocks from Penn Station. 
  23. Author Tarah Scott is even more amazing in person than she is on FB. Love her to pieces! 
  24. I enjoyed riding the train from New Jersey to New York, as did my four-year old grandson. If I did live out east, I'd take the train wherever I had to go. It was much nicer than I thought it would be.
  25. The best ice-cream on the planet can be found at Dumser's in Ocean City, Maryland. It doesn't matter what flavor you choose, it is delicious. I recommend their Italian lemon ice or the orange swirl.
  26. It is next to impossible to get a coke product at restaurants in Delaware. After a day, my daughter and I were starting to look for black market Coca Cola dealers. "Psst, dude, can you hook a girl up with a caffeine free diet coke?" I swear it was easier to find black tar heroin. 
  27. My brother David has the most wicked sense of humor. 
  28. I like east coast pizza better than Midwest pizza. 
  29. The bug population passed, say, Indiana, is significantly less, than here in Illinois. We had to wash the windshield twice before we got out of Indiana. Did not have to wash it again until we hit Indiana on way home. Another odd fact. 
  30. The Bay Bridge going from Maryland into Delaware needs to be renamed. I recommend HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THE BRIDGE CURVES AND DIPS AND I HAVEN'T UPDATED MY WILL REMEMBER I'M AN ORGAN DONOR AND IF I EVER MAKE IT OFF THIS BRIDGE ALIVE I WILL KILL MY BROTHER DAN FOR NOT WARNING ME!!!!!! Just a thought.
  31. I have the most amazing family. My brothers, my kids, my grandkids, my husband ... I am one blessed woman. I knew that before, I sincerely did, but this trip just cemented that belief. 
  32. We all miss my mom. This was one trip she would have enjoyed. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Readers Vote for RONE's

Its that time of year again! Rone Voting.
What is a RONE? RONE stands for Reward of Novel Excellence, from InD'Tale Magazine. Its kind of like winning a Grammy! ;o)
The first round of voting started a few weeks ago. In round one, readers vote for their favorite novels in several different categories, from YA to Fantasy and Sci-Fi to Mysteries and Historicals.
The top six vote-getters in each category will then move on the the second round of judging. Winners will be announced at the InD'Scribe Conference that will take place in Palm Springs, California in September. 
This week -- Week Five -- you can vote for your favorite Historical novel. 
Frederick's Queen has been nominated for the Historical: Pre-Medieval Category! It is so exciting and nerve wracking at the same time! It is a huge honor just to make it to this first round. But I can’t move on to the second round without your help.
Voting in this round ends May 17, 2015. 
To vote, visit the InD’Tale Magazine website. You will also find a complete list of rules and more information. 
There are lots of great novels to vote for this week. One of the nice things about being an indie author is that we authors do support one another. Some of my dearest friends are up in the same category as Fredrick's Queen, so I know the choices this year won't be easy. So vote from your heart. ;o) Just making it through this round will be an honor. 
The competition this year is fierce! It is such an honor to be included amongst my author sisters. 
Thank you all for your support!!
Hugs,
Suzan

Thursday, December 18, 2014