The Las Vegas Strip: Before and After #Covid19

We’d posted a video we’d taken before the Covid-19 shutdown, which you can see here. (Btw, the music playing is my original Screamie Birds music.)

But we also wanted to capture what the Strip looks like after shut down but before it opens up again so we drove down the Strip started from the North end near Encore and Wynn, making our way South to Mandalay Bay. You can find that video here.

I have to say, seeing the Strip this way was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. You might remember the story of the first time I saw Las Vegas. We’d driven in from our home in Southern California because my step dad was trying to quit smoking and he thought playing craps would keep his hands busy – lol!

There we were parked on Fremont Street back when you could, and my brother and I were sitting in the car while our mother either sat with us or watched us from the slot machines just inside the doorway of a casino. Remember those days when people left their kids in the car and it was considered perfectly okay? Whoa! Right?

Anyway, I remember doing my homework when Vegas Vic caught my eye and I was completely mesmerized by the neon and thought “bright lights, big city–that’s for me!”

My life in Las Vegas has also inspired two novels set in Las Vegas:

LUCKY’S LAST CHANCE (previously published as THE TOM JONES CLUB)

“I can tell what kind of man he is by the wine he drinks.” – Lucky

International wine director Lucky Stryker, the “Lucky Lady,” is lucky in the boardroom, but unlucky in love. But when Lady Luck spins the wheel of love, Lucky cashes in on a red hot sizzling romance. But when her past catches up with her, she is forced to answer these questions, “Can her heart keep the promises her body has been making?” and “Is this her last chance to finally get lucky in love?”

Breaking News: I finally got publishing rights reversal from my publisher and this book will be released with a new cover and title – Lucky’s Last Chance – publishing date TBA.

DEJA VU AT THE BLUE DIAMOND SALOON/FRENCH MARTINI

Nikki Durrance escaped the worst nightmare of her life when she fled Las Vegas for San Francisco, leaving her husband behind at the Blue Diamond Saloon to build a new life. So when the perfect Dr. Mike Fischer proposes, she accepts. But when her new Mr. Right begins to transform into a guy just like her ex-husband, she begins to question everything, including her sanity.

Nikki longs to trust Mike, but with an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu, Nikki’s fear propels her into discoveries of betrayals and underworld connections that will send her running for her life again.

(Released as Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon and French Martini)

BUY NOW on Amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback.

 

What to Do When You Can’t Cruise (#cruising #cruise #lovers #cruisers #fiction #amwriting #cruisehour)

My cruising friends are really anxious to get out on the high seas again, granted all is as safe as can reasonably be expected. So when I can’t cruise, what do I do? I write or read about cruising. Check out my cruising novels now published with more on their way.

NOVELS:

REAL WOMEN WEAR RED

rwwr_cover_flops_150.jpg“I may dye my hair blonde, I may drink pink drinks, but I am not doing pink toe polish. Red, that’s my color. After all, real women wear red.” – Cyn

When 40-something Kate “Cyn” Francis changes her name, her hair color, and her age in order to snag a younger man on a Caribbean cruise, the last thing she expects is to fall overboard for a Cary Grant look-alike. But this is not your ordinary cruise.

Sandy Brown, 20-something and eager to get over a broken heart, is also looking for love.

Millie Evans, having recently sold her publishing empire, is on a succession of one-week cruises, looking to reconnect with a past love. But this is no ordinary love boat.

Three women, three generations, all connected in an unexpected way. And it’s more than sharing the same motto that “real women wear red.”

AVAILABLE NOW on Kindle and in Paperback.

 

REAL WOMEN GO HAWAIIAN/REAL WOMEN SING THE BLUES (Published under both names)

RWSB_new_cover_125

“In that moment, I knew I could no longer be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there Blue Hawaii was calling my name.” – Robin from Real Women Sing the Blues

When the women of Real Women Wear Red return from their Caribbean cruise, each woman must deal with the consequences of secrets shared onboard ship.

Millie’s secret sends Robin reeling all the way to Blue Hawaii, and she finds herself chasing Moondoggie and singing the Blues. This sets off the “Millie Domino Effect.”

Millie chases after Robin and Monterey Jack chases after Millie.

Cyn joins Robin and Millie on the cruise when her “Cary Grant” gets too serious too fast. And Sandy runs to Cyn for motherly comfort when her shipboard romance blows up.

Four women, four islands, and a seven-night cruise to Paradise. Is there life after they go Hawaiian or will they end up singing the Blues?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle and NEW for Paperback.

The Walk Through and “When Will Disney Theme Parks Open and When Will We Cruise Again?”

We had our walk through yesterday and it wasn’t the strangest experience doing this for the fifth time but with us all wearing masks. And let me tell you, it was hot and stuffy and sweaty and I thought I would faint wearing a mask for that long (two hours). I thought for sure the home builder rep would think I was sick and had a fever – lol!

While I was originally onboard with the idea of wearing masks at Disney (imagine the cute Disney designs), I’m rethinking my desire to wear one at all for more than a trip to the grocery store (which Rich does anyway, so I’m not even doing that). So the question is, “If/when Disney parks open soon, do you or will you go? The same for cruise ships.

Like us, you’re probably reading all the articles and watching videos on new restrictions as they develop with thoughts of what a Disney theme park may look like and how the cruise world may change forever. How do you feel about that?

I’m not sure how I (we) feel about it. I don’t need parades, fireworks, meet n greets or buffets. But I’m not sure a vacation with too many restrictions will feel like a vacation. Of course, I’m also not sure if we should change things so drastically and so permanently during an temporary crisis. Sure, maybe in the interim to save the parks and cruise lines, but not in the long term.

In the short term, though, if you’re like me and like to travel and cruise and read about travel and cruising, you might want to check out my novels, which are often set on cruise ships or some other fun location (like Las Vegas). I highlighted them in today’s post here: If You Can’t Cruise (or Travel), Do the Next Best Thing.

French Martini & Cocktail Video (Inspired by Disney, Cruising, Las Vegas, California, Florida)

With the release of French Martini on Kindle, I was inspired to create a video looking back at our life through cocktails – lol! This was so much fun to put together (PS – a link to a recipe for a French Martini is in the video description). Enjoy! Also, please subscribe, like, and/or comment on the video. Thank you!

Oasis of the Seas: 22-Second Video Gone Viral?

You may or may not know we have a YouTube channel for Two4Disney – it’s mostly videos we’ve uploaded for ourselves or for others who happen to stumble upon them. Our views are anywhere from 0 to 7 – lol!

So imagine my surprise when our 22-second video of Oasis of the Seas started climbing in substantial views (for us). As of right now, it’s received 1807 views! (Now over 4300 – keeps growing.) In our world, it’s gone viral – lol!

When I noticed the interest, I created a longer video of that ship, but it’s not really getting the views. I have a suspicion the shorter video is on a playlist and that explains the views.

Oasis of the Seas (22-second video)

Oasis of the Seas, Part 2 (longer video)

Btw, if you love cruising, you might want to check out my two novels set on cruise ships – Real Women Wear Red (Book 1) and Real Women Sing the Blues (Book 2).

Now if only my sales would go viral. 🙂

 

Sharing Positivity in the Writing, Disney, and Cruise Communities

During this difficult time, I noticed that writers are actively seeking out other writer’s books, asking where to buy them, and cruise/Disney vloggers are actively uploading vids that are uplifting. I love this.

One of the cruise vloggers (Scott Singer Cruises) I subscribe to uploaded a vlog from his 2019 Alaska cruise this morning. I noticed it really picked people up. For me, too. So I started sorting through some of my travel and cruise videos and uploading them.

And why not combine both – my love for travel, cruising, and writing books set on cruise ships and other touristy locales. Here are some links you night be interested in:

Travel Blog (Two4Disney) – Covers Disney, Cruising, Las Vegas, and other Travels with a link to my novels, too.

Two4Disney on YouTube – A few of our travel adventures uploaded in small bites. More to come. Not much of a channel yet, but why not subscribe and let’s build this thing together.

Screamie Birds Studios – My writing/music web site where I keep you up-to-date on my latest music and fiction creations.

 

Dreaming of a Pool

As our frequent moves can testify (basically from California/Las Vegas to Florida and back three times), there’s always this in-between time when trying to get settled after a cross-country move. I’m usually not very productive during one of those transition periods. I never feel that much at home in my office or studio. So I usually flail about, blog a lot, and generally do whatever my anxious brain will allow me to do.

This time was different. For one thing, for most of the time here, I had access to a fabulous casita. I loved it! I was so productive out there. In fact, it was the best part of this rental house. it felt normal – new carpet, even. Until the sliding glass door started becoming irregular and unreliable. Concerned that it would get stuck open, allowing the cats to get out, we stopped using it. Especially since the owners won’t fix it (we also discovered they’ve put this house up for sale – we discovered this when a realtor texted to set up a showing).

Anyway, back to the casita. I moved my studio into the “dungeon” – that room on the first floor that’s always cold and where the cat litter is situated in the attached bathroom. As a tri-level, the living room and kitchen are on the second floor, the level where my casita was located (over the garage).

Even though we’re in-between, I still participated in 2 FAWMS (February Album Writing Month), 1 50/90 (write 50 songs in 90 days), and 1 Rocktober (perform classic rock songs). That’s pretty darn good. I also finished writing draft 1 of a novel, although I haven’t really been able to focus on finishing draft 2.

But now that we may or may not be 30 days from closing, I’ve kinda lost all focus on anything other than blogging – lol!

And I’ve gotten totally distracted and off topic. I called this post “Dreaming of a Pool” and I’m thinking this one would look pretty awesome in our backyard: