Room with a View: Chicago, Illinois – Stop #3 on Juliette’s Journey of Literary Inspiration

IMG_20150718_170722697A few weeks ago, my husband and I took Juliette’s Journey of Literary Inspiration to a whole different level.  We packed the car and headed west to discover new and exciting American treasures.  Our plans began to take shapes months ago, selecting cities and sights representing iconic landmarks and places of interest that have inspired some of the country’s greatest writers and artists throughout the years.IMG_20150718_203031714_HDR

Often referred to as the “Windy City,” Chicago, Illinois was our first stop. This bustling metropolis hugging the shoreline of Lake Michigan is truly a sight to see.  Our hotel room overlooked the Chicago River offering us a spectacular view of skyscrapers and water traffic.

Exploring the city by foot and by boat allowed us to embrace many features only Chicago has to offer.

IMG_20150719_121830785_HDRWe walked along Lake Shore Drive, marveling at the myriad of sailing vessels dotting our trail as we approached the Field Museum of Natural History.  After viewing a number of exhibits, we toured a special exhibit Mammoths and Mastodons devoted to the discovery and analysis of mammoth fossils uncovered around the world.

Next, we experienced the magnificence of the city from the perspective of the lake, on our 30-minute Lakefront Speedboat ride.  Boarding from the Navy Pier, this thrilling tour captured the vibrancy and excitement of this special place.  Being on the water always starts my creative juices flowing and this adventure was no exception.IMG_20150719_144457950_HDR

Water, in all of its forms, whether it be a waterfall, a pond, a lake or an ocean, fills me with a sense of calm and peace, challenging my imagination to soar with possibilities.  As we jetted along the lake at top speed, the vast expanse of open waters gave me a rush and sense of freedom — the power to believe anything is possible.  The euphoric high lasts long after one’s feet touch solid ground again.

IMG_20150719_171619768As if that were not inspiring enough, the next day, we boarded Chicago’s First Lady for the official Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise.  Our volunteer docent educated us and our fellow passengers on the history and various architectural styles reflected by the buildings (residential and commercial) adorning the banks of the Chicago River.  From Daniel Hudson Burnham’s Chicago Plan, classical chevron design of structural supports, and the Chicago School to modern day influences of the Second Chicago School, illustrated by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Fazlur Khan with their structural system of framed tubes, the skyscrapers reflect the evolution of this city.IMG_20150719_175834057

From architectural genius to literary excellence, the city of Chicago has produced, educated or influenced some of our nation’s greatest writers, poets, screenwriters and journalists. Among this vast group, I will only mention a few notable individuals/works worthy of addition study including:

  • Robert Welch Herrick (American Novelist) April 21, 1868 – December 23, 1938
    • Web of Life (1900)
    • Franklin Pierce Adams (American Columnist) November 15, 1881 – March 23, 1960
      • Baseball’s Sad Lexicon (“Tinker to Evers to Chance”)
      • Carl August Sandburg (American Poet, Writer and Editor) January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967
        • Corn Huskers (1919)
        • Ernest Miller Hemingway (American Author and Journalist) July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961
          • A Farewell to Arms (1929)
          • Sidney Sheldon (American Writer) February 11, 1917 – January 30, 2007
            • The Other Side of Midnight (1973)
            •  John Michael Crichton (American best-selling Author, Physician, Producer, Director and Screenwriter)  October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008
              • Jurassic Park (1990)
              • Scott Turow (American Author and Lawyer) Born April 12, 1949
                • Presumed Innocent (1987)

Much as Chicago has shaped these individuals in unique and important ways, I have been forever touched by this remarkable shining star of the Midwest.  Join me next time for another installment as we continue our cross-country journey!

Happy Travels!

As always,


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Chincoteague Island – Stop #2 on Juliette’s Journey of Literary Inspiration

A Taste of Love (Juliette Hill’s Shorts Book 1) by Juliette Hill

Also available in the UK and on Nook, Kobo and iTunes!

As many of my readers know already, this year is a very special one.  This year, I’ve embarked on a continuing journey of literary inspiration!  I’m searching the country for interesting and unique spots where I experience invigorating surges of literary inspiration and discover other writers, craftmen and adventurers that have been touched and inspired by these same environments.

My journey began in my home state of Maryland on its Eastern Shore on Kent Island where I found inspiration and fascinating history about one of the state’s earliest settlements and their residents’ livelihoods as watermen and hunters.

Browsing through one antique store in Stevensville, I came across many hand-carved duck decoys and an old postcard from Chincoteague Island, Virginia, known for their beautiful wild ponies that roam the island.

Chincoteague, of course, is the setting for Marguerite Henry’s award-winning story, Misty of Chincoteague.  This became a children’s classic, and my sister and I received Ms. Henry’s books as gifts when we were growing up in the 1960s and 70s.  What better way to get reinspired about my writing than to visit the very setting that led her to write this charming story.

I recently enjoyed a spectacular weekend on this special island with my husband, experiencing the charm, warmth and peacefulness of this small community.  The setting itself is picturesque and one feels as if they’ve stepped back in time on this quaint and historic island!

IMG_20150411_151753803We checked into our hotel along Main Street and set off on foot to explore interesting shops and restaurants close by.  About a block away, we first encountered Miss Molly’s Bed and Breakfast, the inn where Marguerite stayed while writing her novel.  There’s even a statue of the horse, Misty, nearby.IMG_20150411_152215024

Further down Main Street are restaurants, gift shops, boutiques, a book store and the library.  I can just picture the famed writer embracing the inspiration of her surroundings and the incredible views of Chincoteague Bay.  I certainly appreciated the serenity of such a location.

Moving further about the island, we explored the Museum of Chincoteague Island where we learned more about the islands special history, the ponies, the storms, the oysters and local craftsmen as well as prominent island residents.   Craving more, I came across a book in the gift shop that I had to have, Once Upon an Island: The History of Chincoteague by Kirk Mariner.

IMG_20150412_120116379On Sunday, we took our adventure directly east to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague Lighthouse, Virginia.  The seashore on the island remains in its natural state, with miles of beautiful deserted beach.  I found a old oyster shell while I was beachcombing.  The lighthouse is amazing and I actually made it up fifty of the one hundred seventy-five steps.  Guess what that means? I get to go back! Yay! IMG_20150412_112447375

Anyway, when it was time to leave we took a leisurely drive off the island, back over the Maryland line, and followed the coast up to Ocean City, passing more quaint and historic towns along the Eastern Shore.  From Ocean City, traveling along the coastal highway, we passed through Fenwick Island, Delaware and on to one of our personal favorite spots, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Once there, we finished off our true Del-Mar-Va experience with brunch at Victoria’s restaurant in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel.

IMG_20150412_144303358Brunch naturally included a cup of Cream of Crab soup, a staple served in our fictional restaurant, Montgomery’s, in my collaborative romantic women’s fiction series, Captain’s Point Stories written as Charlotte Kent with writing partner and publisher, Annie Acorn.

In a nutshell, I had a blast on my second stop on this year-long journey of literary inspiration.  Next stop, Cambridge, Maryland, to explore more about life on the Chesapeake Bay,  local waterfowl decoy craftmen,  local history and boat building!  Stay tuned!

Wishing you safe, pleasant and always inspirational travels!

As always,



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A Taste of Love

A Taste of Love (Juliette Hill’s Shorts Book 1) by Juliette Hill

Also available in the UK and on Nook, Kobo and iTunes!

In honor of my Valentine’s Day release, A Taste of Love, a sweet, contemporary romance centered around two young chefs struggling to open a New York City restaurant on, (um, you guessed it,) Valentine’s Day, this blog post explores different expressions of love.

As the old saying goes, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  In my own life, as in my writing, I have found that to be oh so true.  My husband and I always enjoy celebrating this special day with a romantic dinner for two, which always includes chocolate-covered strawberries and select other confections symbolizing “the tastes of love.”

This year, we went one step further and chose to stay in and create a delight of a menu together to signify our deepening culinary connection, as do the chefs in my story.  We worked together to replicate Annie Acorn’s special Valentine’s Day menu!

Since I usually do most of the cooking, for my husband to actually participate in the meal preparation was a welcome treat, not to mention a very romantic gesture.  Cooking together was refreshing and exciting, reminding me of the time when he last cooked for me, a delectable meal of steak and baked potatoes, courtesy of his parents’ toaster oven, when we were dating thirty years ago.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, which can be experienced any time of year, I encourage you try out Annie’s special recipes and feel the love!  Then pick up my latest release and let the sparks fly!

Wishing you Happy Cooking and a Taste of Love!

As always,


Pen & Ink 2014 (Pen & Ink Writers’ Resources) Edited by Annie Acorn

Also available for Nook, on Kobo and iTunes!

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Kent Island – Stop #1 on Juliette’s Journey of Literary Inspiration

A Taste of Love (Juliette Hill’s Shorts Book 1) by Juliette Hill

Also available in the UK and on Nook, Kobo and iTunes!

In case some of you didn’t catch me on the Ron Shaw Show this past Monday, January 26, I’d like to fill you on my latest big project for 2015.  I’m calling it Juliette’s Journey of Literary Inspiration!  Basically, I’m travelling around the country, throughout the year, exploring highways and byways off the beaten path.  At each selected destination, I hope to learn more about the local culture, people and places of interest that make these stops truly precious and valuable contributions to our American way of life.

IMG_20150119_110207060I chose Kent Island, Maryland, as my first stop.  This destination, just across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, less than two hours from my home, has always seemed a charming place we passed on our way to the beach every summer. A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I made Kent Island our primary focus for a trip to the historic and colorful region of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

After checking in to our waterfront hotel, we drove along Main Street, also known as Maryland Route 18.  All along the road, we saw the iconic landmarks of the summer season, waterfront restaurants and hangouts as well as charming shops and businesses on our way to the small town of Stevensville.  There, we discovered a fantastic antique shop Stevensville Antiques, and I felt like I was in treasure hunting heaven!

Among the wonderful inventory of local artifacts and Eastern Shore treasures, several things caught my eye.  The first was a book, THE FORGOTTEN SEVEN: The Decoy Carvers of Kent Island, by Hugo Gemignani, reprinted and sold by the Kent Island Heritage Society, Inc.  I’m so excited to learn more about this art form, which spans generations of residents of the island.  I purchased a hand-painted, Mallard duck decoy signed by artist Jane Rinker, which I will tell you more about in a future post.

We couldn’t leave Kent Island without trying Annie’s Paramount Steak House’s award-winning Cream of Crab soup.  You only have to read my collaborative writing series with Annie Acorn (as Charlotte Kent) to understand the significance of this particular delicacy to our Captain’s Point Stories series.IMG_20150118_161820467

Look for more follow up posts in the coming weeks as I explore a few other unique destination on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula.

Happy Travelling, Exploring and Treasure Hunting!

All the Best,


Pen & Ink 2014 (Pen & Ink Writers’ Resources) Edited by Annie Acorn

Also available for Nook, on Kobo and iTunes!

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Happy 2015!

Annie Acorn’s 2015 Valentine’s Day Treasury (Annie Acorn’s Valentine’s Day Anthologies) Edited by Annie Acorn

Also available in print, for Nook, on Kobo and iTunes!

Dear Readers,

Happy 2015!

2014 flew by so fast, I barely had time to blink!  I’m excited about starting off 2015 with a bang, totally pumped about all my goals for the New Year!  I usually like to make resolutions, but last year’s got left in the dust, as new priorities and projects sidetracked my best intentions.

This year, I’m turning those old resolutions and wishes into new action items and goals.

#1.  Complete all WIP’s still in progress.  Namely, the next three sequels in my popular CHRISTMAS SHOPPE MAGIC series including: CSM Times Two; CSM Strikes Again; and CSM and More.  Additionally, I’ll be completing a short story or novella, IT HAPPENED IN PARIS (working title), for my collaborative CAPTAIN’S POINT STORIES series.

#2.  Finish up my first WIP in my new contemporary, inspirational romance series:  LOVE, INN STYLE.  A delightful romantic series of love stories revolving around fictional country inns, quaint bed and breakfasts, cozy mountain lodges or boutique hotels.

#3.  Join me on my nationwide journey (throughout the year) in search of inspiration for blog posts, new stories and books, as I travel the backroads of our country finding jewels of regional history with local heritage as the backdrop.  JULIETTE’S JOURNEY OF LITERARY INSPIRATION

First stop:  Kent Island, Maryland

Second stop:  Chincoteague Island, Virginia, and Assateague Island, Maryland

#4.  Complete my genealogical journey of discovery through scrapbooking my family’s heritage and cataloging my parents’ treasure trove of memorabilia.

#5.  Start Juliette’s Love of Cooking Blog (Culinary Tour of my cookbook collection)

#6.  Continue my beloved PINK LEMONADE DIARY series as I take teen protagonist Vicki Gray on her next adventure as she navigates the world of high school with her BFF Jess by her side and continues her blossoming friendships with Danny and Chase.

#7.  Continue my collaborative work with Annie Acorn on our contemporary women’s fiction, family saga series set in a fictional town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Books 5 and 6 should be completed for our readers in 2015.

#8.  Continue to learn and grow as a writer, always improving my craft and telling each story from the heart.

#9.  Connect with my readers through events, interviews and guest blogs and appearances.

#10.  Support other writers in their journeys to tell their unique stories!

Thank you again for all the support you’ve given me throughout the years. I look forward to continuing our literary journey together through my blog posts, stories and books!

Happy Reading,

Your friend,


Pen & Ink 2014 (Pen & Ink Writers’ Resources) Edited by Annie Acorn

Also available for Nook, on Kobo and iTunes!

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Interview with Chrissie Parker in Honor of Her New Release “Among the Olive Groves”

ATOG_Amazon_SmallToday, One Vintage Heart welcomes Author Chrissie Parker in honor of her newest release Among the Olive Groves.

Chrissie lives in London with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry._MG_2415

Chrissie is also an Author.  Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013.  Chrissie is currently working on two sequels to Integrate called Temperance and Retribution.  Both will be released in 2015.

Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.  Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.

Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University.   She also likes to read, collect books, make bracelets and listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her website

Here’s my interview with this talented writer.  Please enjoy!

Juliette:  In what genre do you usually prefer to write and why?

Chrissie:  I write in two genre’s, Thriller and Historical Fiction. I like writing both genre’s for different reasons. With my Thrillers I can just write the story, they don’t need a lot of research, and because they are complete fiction, I can let my imagination wander a lot! My historical Fiction novels are usually set somewhere specific, with a fair bit of historical information included, so they involve a lot of research and fact checking, but it’s exciting as I love learning about history and it means I get to combine my love of writing and history.

Juliette:  Please tell us what inspired you to write Among the Olive Groves, your new release.

Chrissie:  Among the Olive Groves was inspired by a conversation I had with a local on the island of Zakynthos when I was there in holiday about 9 years ago. We were talking about the island and the subject of the war came up. They mentioned something specific that happened to someone living on the island during the war, and it stuck with me. I wanted to write about the island, the wonderful people and what happened to islanders during the war. Greece has also been through a very tough time in the last few years so I wanted to show people what a great place it is to visit.

Juliette:  What would you say has been your biggest challenge as a writer in today’s Indie Author market?

Chrissie:  I have had many challenges, but have managed to overcome most of them with a lot of hard work and support. I think my biggest challenge has been getting people to read my work. I hate ‘selling myself’ but it’s an important part of what I do. When you write a book, it sometimes seems like the hardest bit is the process of writing-editing-publishing, but I found that hardest bit was actually getting my work read. Sometimes you can feel like you are a very tiny fish in an ever increasing ocean, and it can be hard to be seen and heard. I think the key is to think of it like a business. Not only do you have to put the time in, but you do have to invest a lot of time and effort. I think the key thing is engagement, it’s about gaining readers through being yourself, but by being approachable and not via hard sale. I am slowly getting a good readership, and it is all through that reader engagement; taking time out to answer messages, talking to them about normal things and getting them involved in the process. In the lead up to the release of Among the Olive Groves I posted in my book group on facebook every day. I told them what I was up to in regards to the book, I posted photos of my trip to Zakynthos as well as interesting links about the island. I love reader engagement and it’s now one of my favourite things about writing, I love hearing from people who have taken a chance on me and enjoyed what they have read. I value each and every message, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my readers.

Juliette:  As an avid reader, which authors have been among your literary influences throughout your life?

Chrissie:  I read all sorts of books (I actually own over a thousand, two hundred of which are about history and archaeology), but I think my biggest influences have been Agatha Christie, Belinda Jones and Nora Roberts. Agatha’s books are so clever and well written, and she had a passion for archaeology just like I do. Belinda writes funny, heartfelt women’s fiction that is set in exciting locations, and Nora writes great suspense, and has published over 200 books!

Juliette:  What is one thing about yourself that you’d like your readers to know that they won’t find in your bio?

Chrissie:  I used to work for a touring covers rock band as their wardrobe mistress. I used to look after the costumes and do the onstage/offstage costume changes. We played universities, theatre’s and corporate gigs, and it was a lot of fun!

Juliette:  Do you have a favorite or special story you’d like to share about the journey to write and publish Among the Olive Groves?

Chrissie:  I think the most special thing about this book is the support I have received. When I initially wrote Among the Olive Groves it was just another book, but during the process so many people became involved, most of whom live on the Island of Zakynthos, or who love the place and visit it every year. Their excitement about the books forthcoming release and their continued support has been truly overwhelming. They are the nicest group of people I have ever met, and Among the Olive Groves wouldn’t have been possible without them. So in a way it makes the book even more special, as a part of it belongs to them.

And, finally:

Juliette:  Now that Among the Olive Groves has been released, could you tell us a little about any of your other works in progress or future projects?

Chrissie:  Yes, I am writing two sequels to my first book Integrate called Temperance and Retribution, both will be released next year. I am also working on some more historical fiction set in Jordan and Egypt, and hope to write another book set in Zakynthos in a few years time.

Juliette:  It’s been a pleasure talking with you, Chrissie.  Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me.  Among the Olive Groves is a truly amazing and well-written book that I’m enjoying very much.  Best wishes for much success with this, your newest release and wishing you continued success in your writing career!

To contact Chrissie, check out her social media links:

Facebook –

Twitter – @Chrissie_author

Blog –

Pinterest –

Goodreads –

Happy reading and writing!

As always,


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Palm Beach Splendor New and Old!

Love’s Surprise (Captain’s Point Stories Book 4) by Charlotte Kent

Also available in the UK, on NOOK, Kobo and iTunes!

Pink Lemonade Diary (Pink Lemonade Memories) by Juliette Hill

Also available on NOOK, Kobo, in the UK and on iTunes!

0613141221aAs many of my loyal readers and followers know, I love history and I love to travel. Combining the two on my recent vacation was easy to do, especially with our stay in Palm Beach, Florida.

The city is steeped in history, with much of it arising out of Henry Flagler’s interest in the area and state in general.  Whitehall, the winter home of Mr. Flagler, founding partner in Standard Oil and mastermind of the Florida East Coast Railway, was the primary focus on our tour of Palm Beach, this year.

The juxtaposition of the splendor of the guilded age elments that the Flaglers commissioned for the house against the raw and wild landscape of the yet untamed reality of a developing state accentuated the progress of man versus nature, embodying artistic mythological symbolism throughout the entire structural presence.

Touring the interior, one can feel the care, love and attention that went into planning every detail on such a construction project and all of the past generations that had passed through its rooms.  The technological inovations coupled with the artistic interiors included in Flagler’s home highlights the sensibilities of this modern and progressive thinker, businessman and innovator whose influence on business, society and the ultimate development throughout the state of Florida is one to admire and learn from.

Happy Travelling,


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South Carolina’s Low Country Yields High Literary Inspiration!

Love’s Surprise (Captain’s Point Stories Book 4) by Charlotte Kent

Also available in the UK, on NOOK, Kobo and iTunes!

Captain’s Point Stories Box Set by Charlotte Kent

Also available on iTunes, KOBO, for NOOK and in the UK!

0606142039aAs my husband and I embarked upon the first leg of our annual vacation trek, 2014, to our beloved Florida, we decided to do something different this year.  What, you ask, could that possibly be?  To make the journey a destination-rich experience in and of itself!

First stop – picturesque Beaufort, South Carolina!  Already steeped in literary and movie-making history, this town truly delivered on all thing quenticentally associated with the region’s Low Country traditions.  We arrived at our historic bed and breakfast, the Rhett House Inn just in time for arrival champagne and the nightly dessert service.

As we sat on a comfortable settee, sipped from our refreshing glasses of bubbly on the majestic wrap-around porch, and were surrounded by hundred-year-old trees draped with Spanish moss, the atmoshpere and ambiance of our environment swept my mind away to a different era, to one of historical significance, remarkable ideals and stories from the past. 0607141008a

The gentle, warm breezes soothed my tension-filled soul and immediately lulled me into a relaxed frame of mind, renewing my creative juices, encouraging them to flow as they have for many writers before me.

Romantic tales of Southern ladies and gentlemen filled my head thus challanging my creative talents to complete the many stories that my imagination demands be told. Always a romantic at heart, my visit to South Carolina’s Low Country, short as it was, will inspire my writing for many years to come!

Happy Travels,


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Shining a Light on Vintage Philadelphia

Finding Christmas Love and Other Stories (Juliette Hill’s Christmas Romances) by Juliette Hill

Also available on iTunes, KOBO, for NOOK and in the UK!

Captain’s Point Stories Box Set by Charlotte Kent

Also available on iTunes, KOBO, for NOOK and in the UK!

2014-01-26 14.25.27Staying true to my vintage theme, this year I will be highlighting a few of my favorite objects gathered during various “treasure hunting” trips to flea markets, antique shops and unique spots.  This week, I want to tell you about the Neverout Insulated Kerosene Safety Lamp that I found at one of the coolest shops that I like to frequent, The Old Luckett’s Store in Leesburg, Virginia.

The lamp had all the rustic appeal, with its time-worn and occasionally dented brass exterior, that I was looking for that particular day in 2012, while I perused the shop’s interesting and eclectic collection of vintage, re-purposed and new items.  Doing a little on-line research, I discovered that the lamp is an old bicycle safety lantern, patented by the Rose Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, Pa.  The lantern has a large, round lens that opens at the front and smaller round red reflectors on the back and one side, with a mounting bracket for attachment to a bicycle.2014-01-26 14.26.22

I can only imagine the interesting history and stories behind this object.  By the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, as the bicycle became a more prevalent form of transportation, the need arose for some sort of illumination for nighttime riding.  My research revealed that bicycle lamps were manufactured by major American lamp makers as well as lantern makers, including the Rose Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia.  This article on bicycle lamps and lanterns from the website of The Lampworks of Hurleyville, New York, I found particularly interesting:

That the lamp was manufactured in Philadelphia was particularly exciting to me because both of my husband’s parents grew up there in the first half of the 20th century.  While transportation options had progressed at the time of their childhood and early adulthood, it sparked my desire to find out a little more from my mother-in-law about what it was like growing up in that city during the 1930’s and ‘40’s.Mom and Dad

She told me that one of her fondest memories was viewing the Mummer’s Parade from her uncle’s courtroom chambers at City Hall.  She remembers his annual catered affair, complete with a variety of delicious food and drink.  Sipping hot chocolate and watching the participants march by adorned in lively costumes, many playing their stringed instruments, she peered out of the massive picture windows on the Second Floor each New Year’s Day.

Her favorite place to visit was the Franklin Institute.  In fact, my husband remembers his parents taking the family there a few times in the 1960’s.  On one occasion, there was an exhibit allowing patrons to walk though a man-made mock-up of the human heart, where they could observe and listen to all of its inner workings.  My husband was so taken by it that, when the family went on to the next exhibit, he stayed behind and went through it many more times.  His father and mother were horrified when they didn’t see him with their other children.  Retracing their steps, they finally found him in the care of the heart exhibition’s hostess.  The exhibit’s technology, with its vivid sights and sounds, had totally captivated his impressionable mind.

2014-01-26 17.52.25More recently, my husband and I have enjoyed many lovely trips to Philadelphia over the years, the last one including a horse-drawn carriage ride through the historic district.  Touring the city by way of this long-standing traditional form of transportation is truly an experience worthy of the rich history embodied by its iconic landmarks.

Whatever the means of transportation, whether getting around the city by bicycle in the late 19th century or by car in the early 21st century, Philadelphia, the city and its vintage treasures have timeless stories to tell.

Happy Exploring!

All the best,


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New Year’s Resolutions = Action Items for 2014!

Finding Christmas Love and Other Stories (Juliette Hill’s Christmas Romances) by Juliette Hill

Also available for NOOK, in the UK, on KOBO and iTunes!

Turning New Year’s resolutions and goals into action items is my top priority for 2014!  I always have a long list of New Year’s resolutions every year.  This year, I want to make them happen.  All the put-off resolutions from previous years have moved to the forefront, and I’m committed to accomplishing each and every one with the help of my blog.

You may be wondering, how does my blog factor into tackling my New Year’s resolutions. Well, one resolution is to blog more…so, I think that can be done by blogging to document my progress on some major goals.

First, I love vintage objects–finding them, learning more about them and imagining stories centered around their particular history or qualities.  Each month, I’ll blog about a different vintage find that I’ve discovered during my “treasure hunting” expeditions.   Whether it be at a flea market, an antique store, a re-purposing store, or picked up while traveling, I’ll let you know where I found it and what interesting information I’ve uncovered about it.  This might even include a connection to some aspect of my family’s history, which brings me to my second major goal for 2014 – researching and documenting my family history and my husband’s family history.

My husband’s mother’s family has Italian ancestry and immigrated to the United States around the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, while his father’s parents were born in Ireland.  Both my parents grew up in the South, and I’ve begun researching my mother’s family from Georgia and my father’s family from Mississippi.  My father’s sister was also very interested in family history and published several books on the subject.

Researching and documenting family history brings me to goal/resolution #3, memorializing my findings in a series of scrapbooks.   Years of mementos from my life, plus fabulous and interesting finds from cleaning out my parents’ house will be included.  Just how many scrapbooks this project will take, I don’t really know at this point.  I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I told you that I probably have over one hundred boxes, bags and bins waiting for my perusal.  Now is the time!  I’m motivated, and I’ll keep my blog followers updated on all my progress.  What seems like a daunting but worthwhile task will go a lot quicker and be a lot easier if I share it with you!

This leads me to goal/resolution #4, the last that I will share with you at this juncture.  I think these are more than enough to fill my plate and occupy any spare time that I’ll have from writing, editing, reading and reviewing.  Goal/resolution #4 synthesizes the three others by providing inspiration for writing new compelling characters and story lines rooted in my signature theme of generations teaching each other how to love, how to laugh, and how to cry, as we navigate the paths and crossroads that are the essence of our lives.

Join me on my year-long trek to tackle these major goals and resolutions that will enrich my life and hopefully yours as well!

As always,


Captain’s Point Stories Box Set by Charlotte Kent

Also available for NOOK, in the UK, and on KOBO!

Posted in January Blog | Comments Off on New Year’s Resolutions = Action Items for 2014!