Monday, May 19, 2014

Bahia Honda Travelogue and Rebel ARC Giveaway!

By Cheryl Brooks

Since my last post here on Casablanca, I've done a bit of traveling. And no, I didn't make it to New Orleans for RT this year. However, I will be attending Lori Foster's RAGT in Cincinnati June 5-8. Registration is full, but the signing on Saturday from 3 to 5pm is open to the public, so if you're in the Cincinnati area, be sure to drop by! I'll be signing print copies of my Unlikely Lovers series as well as books 1-9 of the Cat Star Chronicles. I'm also putting together a raffle basket that includes all of those books, plus an ARC of Rebel, so if you're registered, be sure to drop a raffle ticket in the bag! I will also be participating in a panel discussion on erotic romance on Friday at 12:30 in the Blogger Lounge.

After that, it's July and RWA nationals in San Antonio! I've never been to Texas, so I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe not as wild as RT in New Orleans, but I'm sure we'll have a fabulous time!

In April I took time out from writing my upcoming erotic cowboy series, Cowboy Heaven, and went camping with some friends at the Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys. If you've never been to the Keys, you need to go at least once, if only to see the color of the water. Pictures don't do it justice. You really have to see it with your own eyes!


I've never been much of a camper, 
but camping on the beach is an experience like no other. 
Not too many insects (mainly due to the incessant wind), 
the view is incredible,


interesting critters visit from time to time,


and you'll spot birds you certainly don't see in Indiana!


The sunsets are spectacular...


and the moonrise even more so.


Best of all, when you can't sleep,
you can look up through the window in your tent
and watch a lunar eclipse without getting a crick in your neck!


There are cool little restaurants to have a delicious lunch.

And you can visit the spot that appears to be the end of everything
 in Key West,


where you'll see fabulous trees...


and stop to rest on the Courthouse Deli bench. Two of my readers who live in Key West spotted this picture on Facebook and invited me to lunch. We had a lovely time, but none of us thought to take pictures!


Eventually the time comes when you have to pack up your gear and head home. 


Our campsite looks kinda lonely without us, doesn't it?


We celebrated our departure with lunch at the Islamorada Fish Company.


Then we drove all the way to Indiana in a 1999 Silverado
with a severe vibration that turned out to be a bad universal joint.
Scary at times, but we made it!

Where are you going on vacation this year? Have you already been, 
or are you still anxiously looking forward to it? 
Post a comment telling us where you've been or where you're headed this summer for your chance to win an advance copy of Rebel! Be sure to include your email address so I can contact the winner!


Contest closes Tuesday, May 2oth at 9am EDT!

60 comments:

  1. Wow, I thought I packed a lot of things when I went travelling but you definitely look a lot more prepared! I'm going to finally see the Grand Canyon.

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    1. I saw the Grand Canyon on a side trip from Las Vegas a few years back. That's another thing you have to see for yourself! It's amazing!

      My pal Suzie is the one with all the camping equipment and such. I'm just along for the ride. And yes, she is ALWAYS prepared for just about anything!

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  2. My travel plans involve going through a large number of books, *sigh*.
    While I have some fond memories of camping when I was younger, my back and knees have vetoed any idea of breaking out the tent & sleeping bag. If it was an option, I'd head for the California Redwoods. The Pacific might not be that pretty blue and it's certainly colder than Florida, but it's incredible.
    Vlettel@cox.net

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    1. I'd never done any camping until I went to the Keys last year. I was more experienced this time, and we were sleeping on inflatable mattresses, but I still didn't get much sleep. :(
      I've been to Anaheim, but I only saw the Pacific from a restaurant patio. Didn't even get to walk on the beach. Seeing the Redwoods is on my bucket list!

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  3. That is my idea of camping...on the beach with ocean sounds...Congrat's on all your releases and have fun in Cincinnati!

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! Hope to see you in San Antonio!

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  4. We love Florida. We went to St. Augustine in January. The beaches are beautiful and the historic downtown area has great shopping. But my favorite place to go in Florida is Sanibel. I think we will go back in September.

    I am going to RAGT. Can't wait to meet you. So glad to hear you will have print copies of the Cat Star Chronicles. I need a print copy of Slave, love all the books in that series but Slave is my favorite!

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    1. Yay! I'll be looking for you at RAGT, and I'll be sure to save a copy of Slave for you!

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  5. totally forgot my email. jennyann1975@sbcglobal.net

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    1. LOL! I forgot to mention that I'd been to Sanibel and Captiva both. It was about thirty years ago, but I'm guessing it's still beautiful!

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  6. I went to Grand Turk in February. Loved it! Carin mawmum at gmail for com

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    1. Grand Turk sounds fabulous! I went on a Caribbean cruise when I was about 22 years old. Those were the days....

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  7. We spent a four day weekend in the Columbia River Gorge, OR a week ago. It was great and beautiful! lorimcphetridge@hotmail.com
    Lori McPhetridge

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  8. we r just taking little trips we went to ft William henry this weekend next month we r going camping then in july we r gonna go to a rodeo I cant wait for that one then we will do the state fair u looked like u had a great time in fl if your ever in ny let me no I would love to meet u corytj1@gmail.com

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    1. We've been doing more day trips lately. Sometimes we forget there are lots of cool places close to home. I think RWA Nationals is in NYC again next year. Maybe you can make it to the Literacy Signing, which is open to the public.

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  9. Oh, looked like a great trip. It's been a while since we've been on vacation but I have memories of many wonderful ones. This reminded me of the many times I went to girl scout camp with my daughters. And what a gorgeous cover!!!!!

    catslady5@aol.com

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  10. Great Pics Cheryl. Most likely we'll be heading down again to the Lanesboro, Mn to visit the Amish. We're heading soon to Door County, Wi for Cherry Blossoms. This fall I'm taking author Terry Spear into the BWCA and Wild Wolf Country of Ely,Mn. I need a copy of Rebel to finish my collection. dmf747@comcast,net

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    1. Thanks, Donna! You could visit the Amish around here, too! Have fun with Terry!

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  11. Cheryl, Love your books and will take any you wish to send my way! Where is Cinci will you be in June? Would love to stop by! Take care and hopefully see ya in June!

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    1. The RAGT is at the Cincinnati Marriott North. The booksigning is open to the public from 3 to 5 pm on Saturday, June 7th. Hope to see you there!

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  12. This time last year my san and I were touring the NW. We flew in to Seattle and picked up a rental car. We visited the Space Needle, the Oregon coast, and more mountains than we can count, including the Rockies, and several battle fields. The highlight of our travels was Yellowstone. What an amazing place. My 38 year old son got to see snow for the first time in his life, high up on one of Yellowstone's mountains. Wildlife.... wow! Bison, mule deer, sheep, mountain goats, and we saw bear (a mother with 3 cubs!). I am so glad that you got to enjpy the Florida Keys. My 2 kids and I used to tent there quite often. Have a wonderful summer!!

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    1. Sounds great! I've never seen the Rockies, but it was one of my father's favorite places. Interestingly enough, the books in the Cowboy Heaven series are set in Wyoming. Guess I need to go there and check it out, huh?

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  13. Cheryl, I enjoyed your photos and description of your travels. I'm psyching up to ride from Indiana to L.A. with my filmmaker son. Long drives are not my favorite thing, but good conversation makes the miles fly by. Here's hoping that is the case, anyway. lol Would love to read your latest book along the way. :) cathyshouse (5) at aol

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    1. Sounds kinda like our trip to the Keys. We took turns driving and had a bed made up in the back seat of the truck. Sleeping REALLY makes the miles go by. Have fun!

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  14. Gorgeous pictures. I was in Key West a few years ago. I'll see you at RWA. We'll have a blast.

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  15. Loved the pics! Camping is fun! I missed RT and instead went to Colorado for rest, relaxation, and my friend's birthday. Headed for Wyoming in August to spread my dad's ashes in the mountains.

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    1. We went to Gatlinburg a couple of weeks ago, and decided we should see the Rockies next year. Colorado might be on the agenda.
      On a side note, the heroine of book 2 in my Cowboy Heaven series goes out West to scatter her father's ashes in the Tetons. Guess your father liked the mountains as much as her father did. :)

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  16. Hubby and I just bought a motor home and we are hitting the road. Our first trip, the first stop is a writers/readers conference in Phoenix, AZ call Arizona Dreamn' then it's off to Arlington, TX for the George Strait concert. Then it's a stop at Carlsbad Cavern, Roswell, NM (the hubs) Flagstaff, AZ and a final stop in Laughlin, NV.

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    1. Sounds like quite a trip! Hope you enjoy it! I KNOW you'll enjoy George!

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  17. This summer our whole family is going on an Alaskan cruise! So excited! We have never taken a large vacation like this but since the kids will probably be out of the house soon, we decided that it was time!
    robmwmj at gmail.com

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    1. We thought about doing the Alaskan cruise three years ago, but wound up going to Ireland instead. Have fun!
      PS I'm beginning to wonder if my kids will ever leave home. One is moving to an apartment in June, but I'll believe it when I see it!

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  18. Looks like you had a great time. We are going to Arlington to see a Rangers game.( A hometown boy who played ball with my son in high school plays for them) then on to San Antonio. Kelly_mann at Hotmail dot com

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  19. We aren't going anywhere big this summer, but last summer we went to Cayon Lake, Texas and it's sooo gorgeous out there!!!!! We go with my mom and step-dad and all the siblings/step-siblings. We have a great time with everyone. Next year when we go there will be 2 babies with us, so it'll be really fun to be able to see how much they've grown by then. amber_sue2002@yahoo.com

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    1. There's a lot to be said for staying home. My yard gets so out of control when I'm gone!

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  20. I am not going on a vaca this year. I plan to clean out my garage and just read as many books as possible. Schools out so I am looking forward to some good ole R&R, :-).

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    1. We need to clean out our garage too, Valerie. We used to do it every year, but it's probably been at least five since the last time. Ugghhh......

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  21. I am vacationing right now in Sanibel, Fla with my two sons. I love it here because of the shelling, the beautiful beaches and the peace and quiet! Love your books and would love to win an ARC. Thanks for the chance!

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  22. Hey Cheryll *waves madly*
    We got back last month from 19 days away taking a cruise along Mexico's West Coast ~ Baha and then drove to Yuma AZ for some much needed dental work in Algodonez Mexico just over the border. So my vacation was Mexico in 2 places, lol. Coming home we visited dear friends in San Diego CA and SIL in San Clemente then flew home to Eugene, OR. It was nice to relax and get some much needed sun :-). Glad you had a great time in Florida! Best wishes on Rebel's release.

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    1. Hey, Glittergirl!!
      Wow! You've been busy! Sounds like you need a vacation to recover from the vacation!

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    2. It's all good although it took a few days to catch up, lol. I forgot my email so in hopes of winning here it is ... glittergirl54 at ymail dot com

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  23. Not sure yet

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Lots of good ideas here. Maybe you'll be inspired!

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  24. So far my only summer plans are for a family day of wild animals and rollercoasters at Six Flags in Vallejo, CA.

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  25. I've camped at Marathon and stayed at a B&B in Key West - both were fantastic vacations, although recently we've been traveling to see family in SD. I've had Bahia Honda on my "someday" list for a while.

    oland dot k at gmail

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    1. Bahia Honda is a great place to camp, but it's really hard to get a campsite. My pal Suzie is very dedicated!

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  26. Cheryl,
    Your pictures make me want to go to Florida. You look like you all were having a great time. This year is going to be fun for me and my hubby because last year at this time I was anticipating having both of my knees replaced. All went well, and now I can walk like I did when I was younger (now I just need the energy boost of a five year old...LOL) We live in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, only 30 miles from Mt. Rushmore and this year we are going to play tourist in our own backyard. Where else can you go 60 miles east and be in a barren, desert like moonscape, then travel 20 miles north to the beautiful flat prairies. Turn and go west and Yellowstone is just a stone throw away. And in the southern hills, well, it's not Florida, but we do have some wonderful lakes that have great beaches for swimming, boating, water skiing and fishing. It is a great place to vacation and the best part is that if I don't want to camp out, home is only a short distance away. I would love to have a copy of Rebel to take camping with me, it could join the rest of my collection of your books. And Cheryl, if you and your family ever want to come up to the Black Hills, let me know I would love to play tour guide for you all. Enjoy your week. kandismg@knology.net

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  27. Thanks, Kandis! SD sounds like the place to be!

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  28. We are going to Pensacola Beach, FL in August. We love shelling! Love your pics. Thanks for sharing.

    Holly Smith

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    1. My e-mail is hollyann1975@aol.com.

      Holly Smith

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    2. Any shells I find seem to stay in my beach bag until the next time I go to the beach. Can you tell I never find any good ones? Hope you find lots of keepers!

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  29. I've lived in Florida for 30 years and have never been to the Keys (I'm a bad Floridian, I know). But I would definitely like to go sometime. I will not be doing much traveling this summer as I'm nearing the end of my dissertation but I am taking my mom to our family reunion in Texas. Would love to take Onca with me while I visit the relatives. freakgrly at aol dot com

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  30. LOL! I wouldn't call you a bad Floridian, Megan. No matter where you live on the mainland, it's a long way to Key West! Have fun in Texas!

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  31. And the winner is...
    Wendy Norris Roberts! Check your inbox for an email from me! Congratulations!

    Thanks to everyone who entered!

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