New Home – The Sunshine State

July 24th, 2016

I’m trying to adjust to a slower speed. This is challenging for a NY girl.

I’ve moved from my long-time home in New York’s Hudson Valley to the coast of Florida.  My driver’s license makes it official.  In the heat of July, I am enjoying writing indoors and find myself developing new routines.

You can't beat the sunsets here.

You can’t beat the sunsets here.

I’ve been swimming first thing in the morning and then getting to my office to write.  In the evenings, I walk the beach.  The Skimmer birds and the Terns are raising their young near the sea grass and I enjoy the raucousness of their parenting.  Those babies are always hungry.

I think the climate agrees with me.  I got my proposal in early for book #3 in the Harlequin Intrigue series APACHE PROTECTORS: TRIBAL THUNDER.  And I’m hoping to have the draft for that story completed this week.

The copy edits for book #2 EAGLE DANCER are done and so are the final edits for book #1 TURQUOISE GUARDIANS.  Those stories arrive in January and February 2017.

I’m turning my attention to my September release, a Western historical, THE WARRIOR’S CAPTIVE BRIDE.  My editor is encouraging me to enter this one in the Rita Awards from Romance Writers of America. That’s good feedback.  I’m looking forward to the September 1 release and hearing from my readers if they agree.


 

Daytrip – Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at Bronx Botanic Garden

July 22nd, 2016

Visit the Garden

Jenna Kernan exploring the @NYBG rose garden

Jenna Kernan exploring the @NYBG rose garden

Last month I said that water brings me calm and so is a favorite destinations when I need to relax.  A very close second is a visit to the garden. Any garden, but especially the New York Botanic Garden (@NYBG) in June because…ROSES!

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A spectacular rose-covered arches lead into the garden

I’ve never met a garden I didn’t like.  The NYBG or New York Botanic Garden is a gem.  I missed the May visit which is spectacular for azaleas.  But I did arrive in perfect time to visit the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden.

The scent of roses fills the air.

The scent of roses fills the air.

Completed in 1988 by David Rockefeller and named for his wife, “The Rose Garden has received many international awards, and is considered to be among the world’s best rose gardens.” according to the NYBG site.

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June Means Roses

Roses require lots of TLC – the Bronx Botanic Garden has a really great blog with lots of great information for gardener to help roses thrive.

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The central arbor is draped in climbing roses

Rose Watch!

The NYBG website has a rose color meter called ROSE WATCH!  How happy was I to visit on a week that had 80 percent peak color.  They weren’t lying.  Magnificent in color and scent.

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Yes – this is a purple rose.

 

 


 

Getting Out on the Water

June 28th, 2016
Schooner Argia takes daily cruises

Schooner Argia takes daily cruises

I find the water very calming.  When I need to reduce my stress level, I seek the closest body of water.  One of my nearby aqueous destinations is Mystic Connecticut.  This is a river that leads to the Long Island Sound.  There is so much to do here that this river port makes such a great day trip or weekend getaway.  These are the top attractions:

Underway on the Argia for a sunset cruise.

Underway on the Argia for a sunset cruise.

This time I took a cruise on the sloop Argia which gave me a very different perspective on the town and some interesting history and trivia on the area.  The seaport staff helped me in the past learning about historic equipment used in cartography.

Three masted tall ship rises above Mystic Seaport

Three masted tall ship rises above Mystic Seaport

That information was used in my second Historical, Turner’s Woman.  Now I can say that I’ve done all of these and also enjoy walking the charming main street.  Watching the drawbridge rise and lower.  It is a bascule bridge, which is basically a huge pendulum with counter weights that are impressive in action.

The historic Whaler's Inn sits right in downtown Mystic, CT

The historic Whaler’s Inn sits right in downtown Mystic, CT

When I posted on Facebook that I’d been to Mystic, some friends asked where I stay.  I like The Whalers Inn because it is central to the town and I can walk to restaurants, around the historic homes that line both sides of the river and all the way to the seaport.

Beluga Whale swims at the Mystic Aquarium

Beluga Whale swims at the Mystic Aquarium

I was there 24 hours and came home ready to get to work, my stress level is way down and I’m smiling as I write this because I’m already planning my next visit.


 

Take a Walk – Central Park Saturday

June 4th, 2016
Author Jenna Kernan with statue of Hans Christian Anderson in NYC's Central Park

Author Jenna Kernan with statue of Hans Christian Anderson in NYC’s Central Park

How was your Saturday?  I enjoyed the sunshine and a lovely walk in  one of my favorite NYC spots, Central Park.  I walked from the Metropolitan Museum of Art all the way down to the Plaza at the Southeast entrance.

 

Walking a shady grove past artist and vendors in NYC's Central Park

Walking a shady grove past artist and vendors in NYC’s Central Park

There are so many statues, grottoes, lakes, ponds, rocks and buildings to explore.  There’s even a zoo, a castle and an outdoor theater.

Beautiful Iris bloom beside a pond in NYC's Central Park

Beautiful Iris bloom beside a pond in NYC’s Central Park

I love visiting familiar favorite spots and poking around to discover new sights.  If you haven’t been, you must go. Wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera.  You will not believe the size and all the wonderful places to visit without even leaving the park.

Turtles!  NYC's Central Park has plenty of wildlife.

Turtles! NYC’s Central Park has plenty of wildlife.

The Dairy is a great place for information and that perfect Central Park t-shirt.  Mine was so old, I had to replace it.

The Dairy is a great place for information and that perfect Central Park t-shirt. Mine was so old, I had to replace it.

Rent a boat or enjoy the fountain as you name all the movies that have been filmed on this spot.

Rent a boat or enjoy the fountain as you name all the movies that have been filmed on this spot.

On my way up to the Chess House where locals and out-of-towners settle for a game of chess or checkers.

On my way up to the Chess House where locals and out-of-towners settle for a game of chess or checkers.

 


 

Sedona Visit & Vortex

June 1st, 2016
Shadow Wolf & Hunter Moon made the climb to Cathedral Rock with me.

Shadow Wolf & Hunter Moon made the climb to Cathedral Rock with me.

Sedona has been on my bucket list for some time.  It exceeded my expectations.  There are a few places I have visited that are truly breath-taking.  This is one.

Photos and descriptions of those red rocks at sunset just do not do justice to the majestic beauty of this place.

Twisted tree in Sedona, Arizona seen on Jenna Kernan's hike

Twisted tree in Sedona, Arizona seen on Jenna Kernan’s hike

The natural splendor of Sedona is reason enough for a visit, but in addition to the absolutely amazing rock formations, there are Vortexes.  I went there not really knowing what a vortex was, aside from the general understanding that it is a place where the earth’s energy is either magnified or released.  The website Wild Sedona says that a vortex is ” a place, usually on or near an interesting rock formation, where people have reported feeling inspired by a beneficial source of energy.”  As they suspected, I was skeptical but open to an experience.  I’m always up for a trip outdoors that involves hiking boots and vast quantities of drinking water.  The only thing I like better is one that also involves a rock hammer.

Author Jenna Kernan at the saddle of Cathedral Rock vortex

Author Jenna Kernan at the saddle of Cathedral Rock vortex

If you pay attention, you will notice that in certain places the trunks of the trees begin to twist.  Before visiting, I thought to my clever self that this must be due to wind.  I believed this because I have seen trees on the coast in the Northeast that are twisted and bent by the savage winds.  But these places are not subject to any particular winds that would not affect the trees growing in close proximity.  Yet they twist.

I visited three vortexes.  Two on purpose and one by accident upon arrival on our first hike.  The first was at Bell Rock.

Jenna Kernan at the Bell Rock Vortex

Jenna Kernan at the Bell Rock Vortex

I paused in the vortex without knowing it.  It was the only place we stopped on the hike.  Why there?  It was beautiful and it just felt right.  Only after sitting and having some water did I notice the twisting trees.  I could not leave without promising myself to return someday because I did not want to leave.  Promise made, we continued on.

The Cathedral Rock vortex left me energized

The Cathedral Rock vortex left me energized

The second vortex was reached after making a great climb up Cathedral Rock to the saddle.  You can reach the vortex from the parking lot and do not need to climb, but I the view is worth the effort.  This place was devoid of trees but was one of the most magnificent vistas I’ve ever seen.  I wanted to linger and did delay for as long as possible.  But the day was heating up and we still had to climb down.

Jenna Kernan at the Airport Vortex in Sedona, Arizona

Jenna Kernan at the Airport Vortex in Sedona, Arizona

The last vortex we visited was Airport Vortex.  This was very easy to reach and, for me, was the most peaceful.  Where Cathedral Rock was exhilarating (perhaps because I did not die on the ascent), Airport Vortex just made me want to linger.  Sitting on the trunk of a twisted tree, I felt a deep sense of calm and found myself smiling.  I’m not generally tranquil, but there I certainly was and felt completely at ease with my surroundings.

Sedona's red rocks at sunset

Sedona’s red rocks at sunset

My experience in Sedona has left me believing that there is power in those red rocks and the wide blue sky.  If you get a chance to go – grab it.  If you visit, don’t forget to pack water, hiking shoes and an open mind.

For more on Sedona: Visit Sedona website