Miami & Palm Beach

Miami & Palm Beach

The second-to-last stop on our Southeast Coast Road Trip was Miami. I skipped right over this part of the trip and wrote all about Cuba (see parts 1, 2, 3, and 4), but I wanted to make sure I shared about this part of our journey too.

We stayed two nights in Coconut Grove. Our hotel did not have this view! read more…

Cuba – Day Four

Cuba – Day Four

Varadero – a resort town on the 20-kilometer Hicacos peninsula

For our second daytrip we decided to go to the closest fancy beach, Varadero, a little more than two hours east of Havana. To the north of the peninsula is the Gulf of Mexico. To the south is the Bahia de Cardenas. The peninsula is so narrow that, at some points, you can see both the gulf and bay from the road. read more…

Cuba – Day Three

Cuba – Day Three

For those who have been to any other Caribbean island, what’s remarkable about Cuba is its size. It is much bigger than, say, Puerto Rico.

Three hours to the west, in Pinar del Río, are the tobacco farms. Four hours to the south and west is the town of Cienfuegos on the southern coast. We decided these destinations were too far to make for a relaxing day trip. Instead, we chose to stay in the province of Mayabeque (which is the eastern half of La Habana, shown above) and selected, at random, to visit the towns of Güines and Zaragoza. read more…

Repost: On the Term ‘Bodice Ripper’

Repost: On the Term ‘Bodice Ripper’

This post originally appeared on my Goodreads page in 2014. 
On May 2, 2014, the New York Times reported the sale of Harlequin Enterprises to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The NYT reporter opened his piece by writing that when the acquisition was announced, “cheap jokes inevitably started to fly. It was, needless to say, a bodice-ripper of an acquisition.” After a few more jokes of this nature the reporting got, one might say, serious.

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Havana Cuba — Day One

Havana Cuba — Day One

Title Image: Spanish Embassy on San Francisco Square

So … last Tuesday morning when I woke up, I had no idea I would be in Havana, Cuba the next day. But that’s what happened. Here’s how:

Friend and co-author Phillip called me to say he had a last-minute invitation to attend a roundtable discussion of “El futuro del español en los Estados Unidos” at the Spanish Embassy in Havana on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m – and did I want to go? read more…

On First-Person Narration

On First-Person Narration

I originally published this article on my Goodreads page (come follow me!), but I realized I have not talked about all the misconceptions surrounding the romance genre here, so I’m reposting this blog for you all to read today.

It is a truism that many first novels are written in the first person. This narrative choice makes sense for a couple of reasons. For one, the first-time novelist is probably bursting with the story of a particular character with a particular point of view that he or she is just dying to tell. For another, it may well be the case that handling a single point of view is easier for the first-time novelist than juggling multiple points of view. Now, nothing precludes a first-time novelist from tackling multiple points of view. I notice here only a first-novel tendency. read more…

Day Tripping in Central Florida

Day Tripping in Central Florida

Take a morning walk along the St. John’s River in Sanford, an easy 30-minute drive north of Orlando.

On our road trip from Charlotte NC to Miami, the third stop (after Charleston and Savannah) was St. Augustine, Florida. Established in 1565, it’s the oldest continuously settled city in the US. It’s also a fun tourist town with its shops and restaurants and inns. read more…

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

Title Photo: The Battery – Charleston, South Carolina

My friend, Delia, came all the way from Bucharest, Romania to attend the Gender, Sexuality, Feminism and the Romance Novel symposium, which I hosted at Duke University on February 10. (More on that event in a later blog.)

After that it was: ROAD TRIP! read more…