Arthur Ellis Award Winners & an Upcoming Event

Books, Craft fairLast Thursday, the winners of the Arthur Ellis Crime Writing Awards were announced at a gala in Toronto. You can see the list of winners HERE, and congratulations to all!

This week we’re driving up to Vernon, BC to take part in the 34th annual Creative Chaos summer craft fair. It’s been about three years since I last attended, so I’m looking forward to going back. Touted as the largest summer craft show in western Canada, there’s certainly a lot of cool stuff to purchase.

The fair has clear guidelines about handmade products, so I’ll be selling only my self-published mystery titles, which is fine. We always turn these out-of-town excursions into mini vacations and make sure to visit a winery or two while we’re up there. Lord knows, you can never have enough wine and cool crafts to buy. For more information about the fair, check out this link.

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Back From a Whirlwind Vacation

Deb on Tour Bus-1Well, it’s back to the grind, but at least I feel more rested. No major sunburn on this trip, and tons of great memories. Even as we boarded the plane, my husband and I weren’t sure what kind of vacation we were going to experience. We just went with whatever we felt like doing, which turned into tours, walking, shopping, meeting up with my husband’s former coworker who’s now living down there, and of course lounging by the pool.

 

 

As you’ll see from the photo, we took a tour of the city, exploring both poorer and wealthier sections of Puerto Vallarta, plus a restaurant meal in the jungle, shopping at an amazing jewelry store, and a tour of a tequila distillery. I’ve never been a fan of tequila until now.

Mexico-2We spent time just exploring the touristy, but fun Malecón area, with plenty of souvenir shops, restaurants and a beautiful ocean view.

The only mishaps were hubby’s two falls. One took place during his early morning run, when he tripped over a brick on the sidewalk. (There are a more of them then you’d think). Those who’ve been to this area are well aware of the uneven surfaces, ongoing patchwork jobs, and some very steep curbs. Happily, he only wound up with some scrapes.

The second mishap was on a hike with his buddy, following the up-and-down trail along the coastline. Somehow, he managed to fall again, this time landing on his back, which remained sore for the remaining two days of our trip. He saw his doctor this week, and he’s fine. Healing nicely, in fact, and will be back to running soon.

Mexico-1The last mishap turned into a bonus. We were about to board the Air Transat flight home when they abruptly cancelled the flight. Long story short, we wound up with a free night at the Sheraton, three free buffet meals, and decent credit toward our next trip. Given that we didn’t have to return to work for four days, an extra day in warm and sunny Puerto Vallarta was worth the inconvenience.

Would I go again? You bet. I felt safe, the people were friendly, and the weather unbelievably good. I’m already anticipating next year’s trip!

#am blogging By the Time You Read This

My husband doesn’t like traveling. Other than taking our kids on short summer vacations, the occasional long weekend for ourselves, and writers’ conferences for me, we’ve only been in an airplane together twice in thirty-five years. Finally, trip number three has arrived.

This is our 30th wedding anniversary year, and as a gift to me, we’re going someplace warm. Just in time too. As you’ll see from the photo, this is what I’m leaving.

Snow-2

 This is what we’re going to!

Porta Vallarta

Yes. Puerto Vallarta! It still seems surreal. It won’t be a long trip. Both of us have day jobs and other responsibilities, yet even he is thinking that this could be the beginning of a new era for us, if all goes well.

So, with new passports, pesos in our pockets, and shots up to date, we’ll be on the plane by the time you read this. I’ll be completely off line for a little over a week and won’t be blogging for a couple of weeks, so if I don’t respond to comments, etc., please forgive me. I’ll catch up with you when I return.

#amblogging: This Year’s Vacation

Bark and I, winery, Okanagan Falls

As much as I love writing and editing, every now and then I’ve got to stop and take it easy, and this week there was no better place than Penticton, B.C. My family and I spent a quick, eventful five days away, enjoying one another’s company and trying new things, in particular, some of the many wineries along the Naramata Bench.

Joie Winery, Naramata Bench

If you’re a fan of wines, this is a terrific stretch to explore, with over 40 small, highly individualistic wineries nudged together in the hills and valleys overlooking Okanagan Lake. We found that stopping to taste wine at four wineries per afternoon was plenty. Many of the wineries allowed us to sample four to six wines, so you can imagine how the consumption added up.

Kanazawa Winery

Unfortunately, many businesses along the Bench are losing business due to fears about the ongoing wildfires. Penticton, while hazy during our first three days there, is out of the danger zone as I write this, and still going strong. The raised water levels this spring are receding and as you’ll see below, the beaches are coming back. It had been five years between visits to this lovely area. I won’t wait so long next time. Lakeshore Drive, Penticton

By the way, if you’re looking for a great place to stay, try Haven Hill Guest House. We had a great time there.