Posted in Authors, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, What's Up With Maria, on 19 March 2013, by , 4 Comments

authorsI’ve had one of the best weekends in a while, spending it with 200 plus romance authors at the SoCal RWA Conference in sunny Santa Ana, California!

You might wonder what happens when you get this many women (and a few brave men) together for a weekend conference. We have fun! Oh, there are the traditional workshop sessions that deal with writing such as The Basic Guide to Weapons, Baiting your Story, and Writing Action Scenes; but more importantly, is the networking or interaction with the authors. Everyone is so friendly and full of helpful advice.

Top Seven Memories from the Conference:

1. Spending time with friends

It’s great to see your friends at monthly meetings, but nothing enhances a friendship more than getting to spend quality time with them. We spent so much time laughing! So much so, we even received a noise complaint. Nothing compares to feeling like a kid being reprimanded with friends – Louisa Bacio, Nikki Prince, Sabrina Sol, Erin Pryor, and Elise Scott – early on a Saturday night (9:15)!

2. Christie Craig’s session: Using Humor in Your Writing

Christie had us rolling on the floor sharing stories from her life that have made it into her books. Her life truly follows the “I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried” adage. Thanks for the laughs and advice, Christie!

3. Meeting Barbara Vey

If you love to read, Barbara is the lady to follow! She has her own blog (, hosts an annual Reader Appreciation Luncheon in Milwaukee and is contributor to Publisher’s Weekly. Along with providing fantastic social media tips, she an all around hoot!

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Posted in Authors, Hotel, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, What's Up With Maria, on 13 March 2013, by , 0 Comments

Ingenious Travel with Jll ShalvisJoin more than 50 romance authors in Santa Ana this Sunday, March 17, at the Doubletree by Hilton from 1:00 p. m. – 2:30 p. m.

As a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), I’ll be attending the SoCal RWA Writers Conference this weekend. Can you thing of a better way to end the conference than a book signing with so many amazing authors? Meet some of your favorite romance authors and discover new ones! You’ll find books in all genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Historical, Inspirational, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Young Adult and mash-ups that combine several genres in one novel.

Books will be for sale through Barnes and Noble or from the authors themselves. Bring your e-readers, smart phones and tablets and buy your favorite authors’ books online as you talk to them!

Additionally, as part of the book signing, we’re offering opportunity drawings for a Nook and a Kindle. There will be a little work involved like talking to your favorite authors, but isn’t that why you’ll be there? Tell your family; tell your friends and come on down to meet all of these fabulous romance authors.

This is one signing, you won’t want to miss!

Attending Authors:

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Posted in Authors, Ireland, Sports, Theme Vacations, Uncategorized, on 28 February 2013, by , 0 Comments

Last week we told you about our upcoming trip A Jane Austen Tour:  Seascapes and Landscapes with authors Syrie James and Laurel Ann Natress taking place this September.

We want you to know about two other literary trips we have coming up as well.

erin-mccarthyAuthor Erin McCarthy’s Speed Reader Weekend is taking place June 28 – 30, 2013 in Sandusky, OH. Come hang with Erin and a number of her author friends (Kathy Love, Shiloh Walker, Jayne Rylon and others) for a weekend of laughs, races, and Cedar Point.  Not only will there be swag handed out, but you’ll also get a sneak peak at Erin’s newest book in the Fast Track Series:  Full Throttle!

Irish Cemetary - FB Ad Urban Fantasy Ireland takes place the week of Halloween (October 26 – November 2, 2013) and is perfect for all those who love the paranormal and urban fantasy. Where else is there to spend when the veil between worlds is the thinnest? Who’s your favorite paranormal or urban fantasy author?

All trips are filling up, so be sure to register today! Contact us with questions.

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Posted in Authors, Theme Vacations, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, on 19 February 2013, by , 0 Comments

Isn’t it wonderful when Jane Austen lovers get together, sharing the joy that her books bring to so many?

What if there was a tour designed just for that purpose?

Join famed Austen inspired Authors Syrie James and Laurel Ann Nattres on a ten day tour of Jane Austin’s England. On this journey we’ll visit the homes and estates of Jane Austen and her family, including Godmersham Park, Chawton House Library, and Chawton Cottage (where Jane Austen wrote her mature masterpieces); tour the seaside towns of Lyme Regis, Ramsgate, and Portsmouth; walk The Cobb; explore Oxford and Winchester; then on to Bath to participate in the beginning of the world famous Jane Austen Festival!

Be a part of this wonderful adventure, join us on A Jane Austen Tour: Seascapes and Landscapes.

Will we see you in London this fall? Click here for all the trip details and to reserve your seat today!

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Posted in Authors, Books, Gift Ideas, Golf, Holiday, Uncategorized, on 19 December 2012, by , 0 Comments

Are you done with all your holiday shopping? I am, well almost! Here are five great gift ideas for your friends and family.

  1. Books – A no brainer, right? Well for those who like to read it is. Instead of giving just a book (or a few), partner them with a travel mug, the recipients favorite coffee or tea flavors and maybe some cookies or biscotti. (Click here for a yummy holiday biscotti recipe.) Package it up in a basket with a big bow and you’re set. Gift done!


  1. Garmin Approach S3 – the full-featured sports watch and golf GPS in one, perfect for the golfer in your life. This watch comes pre-loaded with over 14,000 USand Canadian courses and can measure individual shot distances along with calculating  the golfer’s exact distances to the front, back and middle of the greens – all in real time.
  2. Davidsbeenhere Travel Luggage Scale – never get charged for an overweight suitcase again. This handy little gadget has an easy to read LCD screen, will measure weight up to 110 lbs. and is powered by a 2032 lithium battery (not included, so don’t forget to purchase the battery).
  3. Innergie mCube Slim 9zzzz5 95 Watt Universal AC Adapter with USB – You can charge or plug in virtually anything from notebooks, to mobile devices, and whatever electronics that need power. It’s great for travel as it comes with a number of adapters (all in a carrying case), you may decide to leave your other chargers at home.
  4. National Geographic Talk Abroad SIMCard – The perfect gift for someone taking their next holiday abroad! This card allows you to roam seamlessly from country to country with one phone number while still enjoying excellent rates. You’ll definitely want this card if you’re traveling in Western Europe as it offers unlimited free incoming calls.


These are just a few holiday gift ideas for your loved ones. Contact us today if you’re in need of book recommendations or travel destination ideas! We’ve got some great trips coming up in 2013!





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Posted in Authors, Ireland, Theatre, Theme Vacations, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, on 8 November 2012, by , 1 Comments

Just finished reading Karen Marie Moning’s, ICED, which takes place in Dublin, Ireland. So much history, culture and folklore: Celts, and Druids and Faeries oh my! Oh Dublin, how I want to visit thee!

This got me thinking…if you go to Dublin, what are the top five literary things you should do/see/experience while there?

1. The Old Library at Trinity College — Not only is the library itself amazing, but no visit is complete without seeing the “Turning Darkness into Light” exhibition which leads you to the infamous Book of Kells. It was written in 9th century Scotland and arrived in Ireland in the mid 1600’s. Trinity College has been its home since 1661.

2. The Dublin Writers Museum — Be sure to visit the restored Georgian mansion where you can explore and enjoy Dublin’s literary celebrities. What a way to experience literary history, through the books, letters and portraits of Joyce, Shaw, Wilde, Yeats and others!

3. Dublin’s Literary Festivals — Dublin hosts a number of literary festivals throughout the year. The Dublin Writers Festival takes place in late spring (May/Jun). You’ll find a number of literary greats doing readings, presenting workshops, etc. They even have readings for children! The Bloomsday Festival is held June 16th every year. This festival is all things Leopold Bloom from Ulysses. Don’t forget the Mountains to the Sea dlr Book Festival, which presents the very best of Irish and international writers reading from their work!

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Posted in Authors, General Travel Information, Movies/Television, Seattle, Uncategorized, What's Up With Maria, on 20 September 2012, by , 6 Comments

Like with any other big city, there is so much to do and see in Seattle, Washington, also known as the Emerald City.  My sister and I have wanted to visit the Pacific Northwest for quite some time, Seattle especially, and were finally able to do so! Why Seattle? It’s the home of many great musical acts (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains) and writers (Richelle Mead and Yasmine Galenorn).

Most of Day 1 was spent in the area known as Seattle Center, which is home to the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, the Experience Music Project and many other attractions. With only so much time in the day, we focused on the these three:

Space Needle

The Space Needle was constructed to be the main attraction at the 1962 World’s Fair. (Americans who attended witnessed the debut of white chocolate, touch-tone phones and microwave ovens. It’s also where Belgian Waffles were first introduced to the American public.) Today, the Space Needle receives more than 500 visitors a day. It’s only a short 45 second elevator ride up the 520 feet to visit the observation deck for some spectacular views of the city. A definite must do! Avoid going mid-day if you can, the Space Needle is busiest between 11am and 5pm.

The Seattle Space Needle

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Posted in Authors, Girlfriend Getaways, Hotel, New Orleans, Theme Vacations, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, What's Up With Maria, on 22 August 2012, by , 16 Comments

The Authors After Dark convention in New Orleans was absolutely AMAZING and I am so looking forward to next year’s convention! The Royal Sonesta Hotel, this year’s venue, was the perfect location for the urban fantasy and paranormal con. We were right on Bourbon Street and in the center of all the action.

This was another total fan-girl experience! Not only did I get to reconnect with some of the authors I met at the Romance Writers of America Conference, I was able to meet some of my other favorites! These authors never cease to amaze me, their personalities are priceless!

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Posted in Authors, Girlfriend Getaways, New Orleans, Theme Vacations, Uncategorized, What's Up With Maria, on 8 August 2012, by , 6 Comments

Do you have a favorite author whose books are set in New Orleans? Though many have written about ghosts and other paranormal goings on of the French Quarter, one of my absolute favorites is Sherrilyn Kenyon.

My first visit to New Orleans was two years ago. The draw, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series. Who wouldn’t be interested in seeing where Greek gods, soul-sucking vampires (Daimons), and those who kill them while protecting the human race (Dark-Hunters) interact in modern day. (Her newest book in the series, Time Untime, was released today. This particular story takes place in Las Vegas, so that’s for another day.)

It was a total fan-girl vacation! I researched the various locations mentioned throughout Kenyon’s books to see which were real then sought them out once I was there. Most were restaurants, so needless to say, I ate well.

I’m headed back to New Orleans tomorrow for the Authors After Dark conference, featuring 80 paranormal and urban fantasy authors. Sadly, Sherrilyn isn’t attending. However, I will reconnect with her and her characters by going back to dine at Brennans and The Acme Oyster House. And, who can go to the French Quarter and not go to Café Du Monde!

What book based city would you like to visit? Contact Ingenious Travel to plan your fan-girl or fan-guy vacation today!

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Posted in Anaheim, Authors, Baseball, Football, Hockey, Uncategorized, What's Up With Maria, on 31 July 2012, by , 12 Comments

The Romance Writers of America conference was AMAZING! Not only did I get to sit in on and moderate incredible panels, I got to meet some of my favorite authors, too! And the literacy fundraiser was a complete success raising over $50,000 for three Orange County charities:  ProLiteracy Worldwide, Read OC, and Literacy Volunteers – Huntington Valley.

I’m a die-hard sports fan and got to meet Jaci Burton who pens the Play-By-Play series sports romance books for football, baseball, and hockey. Her newest football book, Playing to Win, comes out September 4th.

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