“Traveling the World with Mom”

“On Tuesday, we flew over the Great Pyramid…”

Wouldn’t that be something to do even if we didn’t have travel restrictions? A.L. Renna’s delightful children’s book Traveling the World with Mom shows us how it can happen, with a little imagination and our local library.

Growing up in small-town New England, I loved my visits to my local library. The library in my Swift River Valley series, set in small-town New England, is modeled after my hometown library, with a touch of other libraries I’ve enjoyed. Nooks and crannies, history, perso… Read More

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Daffodils…need I say more? :-)

Our daffodils are poking up out of the mud, a sign of spring on our Vermont hill. I’ll post photos once they’re in bloom. In the meantime, I gathered these photos of daffodils in the Cotswolds (top, near where I placed Oliver York’s fictional country home!), the Netherlands (middle) and Ireland (bottom). They make me smile and I hope they will you, todao, as we go forward into the rebirth of spring. Take care!

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An Irish castle walled garden in spring

It might be mud season on our Vermont hilltop but elsewhere spring flowers are in bloom. Like so many of us, I’m an armchair traveler at the moment, but a few years ago we arrived in Ireland early on an April morning and wandered in a walled castle garden filled with spring flowers. It was snowing in Vermont when we took these photos. It snowed here last week, too. Hm. Enjoy!

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Irish walks

With gyms and just about everything closed, many of us are tying on our walking shoes and heading outside for a wander. I love to walk, whether at home in New England or on our travels. I’ve come up with countless scenes and descriptions for my books while I’m off in the Irish hills. Here are photos of some of my favorite trails. I find them inspiring and soothing during this challenging time, and I hope you do, too.

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Welcome, Spring!

Spring is here. It’s a welcome time of renewal, rebirth and new beginnings…and green grass and flowers. We had snow last week and more snow on the way this week, but I see signs of spring everyone here on our Vermont hilltop. I love these photos we took last spring in Scotland (Edinburgh and Isle of Skye). I hope you enjoy them. 

Take care, everyone!

Carla… Read More

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Chocolates, jewelry, a candlelit dinner…I love them all, but I have a special place in my heart for flowers. We were in Edinburgh in late May/early June, in time for the famous blue poppies at the Royal Botanic Garden. They’re popular, and for good reason!

The gardens are also well-know for their rhododendrons, many still in bloom when we were there.

Maybe I’m drawn to flowers on Valentine’s Day because I’m usually on our snowy hilltop in Vermont! It’s beautiful, but I do love the colors of Valentine’s Day, whether o… Read More

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Merry Christmas from Vermont!

Christmas is fast approaching. Lively, busy days for so many of us!

We just bought our Vermont-grown tree and plan to decorate it on Sunday. Off to Christmas afternoon tea tomorrow at the Inn on Boltwood in Amherst, MA, an annual event with my mother, my youngest sister (I have three sisters!), my daughter and my two young granddaughters.a copy of Declan's Cross and The Angel with a 2020 Calendar

Be sure to take a moment to enter my holiday contest. (US only). I chose the calendar on a recent trip to Ireland. It features watercolor illustrations of Irish hedgerows and farmland. Aren’t they beautiful?

The winner will also receive signed hardcove… Read More

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Ireland writing getaway

Just popping in with a few photos from my “hideaway cottage” on the southwest Irish coast. I’m here with Joe for a few weeks to hike, read by the fire, enjoy the wonderful people and surroundings and write. Rain, wind, sun, whiskey, cows, stone walls, great food, great scenery…and Halloween. We’ll see what comes of all this creative inspiration!

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Winding Irish Country Roads

Exploring country roads is one of my favorite activities on our visits to Ireland. We love seeing the sights–we’ve toured museums, distilleries, historic houses and castles–but there’s nothing quite like taking off down a twisting lane, wondering where it goes and what we’ll see along the way.

Maybe my love of twisting country roads goes back to my rural New England childhood. My folks would pile all seven of us kids into the car and go for a drive, often to the nearby Quabbin Reservoir. It’d be harder to pull off these days with so many people needing se… Read More

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For a perfect getaway…books!

I love to write on getaways to hotels, inns and cottages, but reading? A must, and a special pleasure. I always have a print book with me (as well as my e-reader) on the road, but what fun it is to discover books on my various stays. Bedside Reading pairs luxury hotels with up-and-coming books. Oh, my. How perfect! Rival’s Break is a featured novel this summer, and I couldn’t be more honored and thrilled. Here it is in the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental New York.Quite a reading spot! Thank you!

When signing at Turn the Page Bookstore in picturesque Boonsboro, MD, authors are invited to sig… Read More

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