All posts by Loni Lynne

Welcome Home–to Spiridus House


 Hello! Loni Lynne here today. I have been working lately, not only on novels but on novel ideas (pardon the pun). I will let my post explain it all but this is something I’ve been working on with all my heart for writers/authors and the great people in the industry that I’ve gotten to know as ‘family’ over the years of writing professionally. I’ve learned so much (and there is so much more to learn) that I wanted to share it and pass along the chance for everyone to share their wisdom, wit and support to each other in this crazy wild ride we share. So I bring to you my article, explaining a bit about me and about Spiridus House:

SHlogo3-mergedandcroppedI have  been writing longer than I can remember, dreaming about the ability to write and someday be published by the big publishing houses. Thirty some odd years later and I’m published but the industry isn’t what it used to be. Six years ago I started writing professionally. Three years ago I was finally offered a contract with an Indie Publisher. An exciting day for me, for sure!

But then came the ‘work’ and I don’t mean writing the next novel. I found out I had to be my own marketer, get my name and my books out there to the readers. I listened to my friends and mentors in my writing groups, read blogs and books on how to market, what you needed to have, etc.  But as things changed, so did my ability to stay up to date, find the links and programs I needed and spend countless hours on the Internet hunting for just the right people and links to get me where I needed to go.

I just don’t have the time. Not if I want to write, too. Which is my main goal.

So after months of having this idea niggling (is that a word…I like it, so it’s MY word) at the back of my brain, I decided to do something about it. I have met so many writers and authors in the same boat as I am, but I’ve also met wonderful people who serve the writing industry.  Why not combine the two into one site in which both people can socialize and network?

Spiridus House is a network based site in which there is no one person. It is a home for each of us, sharing ideas, about our skills and what we have to offer each other.

Spiridus House is looking for you to become a family member if you:

  • are a fiction writer or author (any genre as long as it is fiction or related to fiction writing)
  • design websites and graphics
  • format ebooks and print novels
  • run a book blog
  • plan online parties
  • review books
  • promote
  • design covers for books
  • anything and everything having to do with the world of fiction writing and publishing (focus is on those who self-publish and are Indie Published but all are welcome to share)


Spiridus House is looking for all offers and price ranges in the service industry. Pages for links are set up to guide you to someone who can help you and your budget. We are looking for pro-bono workers just starting out, all the way up to professional grade businesses who’ve been in the industry for many years. This way, depending on your budget as a writer/author you connect with someone who can help you and in return, receive your business to grow.

We are also looking for those of you who could share  your experience and information in insightful blog articles and formats. Please see the contact page for further information.

I hope you find this house a friendly, helpful place in a business where working alone is essential, but where feeling alone is never an option. I look forward to growing our house by sharing ideas on how we can make Spiridus House a strong foundation in the ever changing world of writing and publishing.Loni Lynne1



Loni Lynne


Please check out Spiridus House at


Immortal Wounds–A Novella Idea

I have never been one to write ‘short’… that’s for sure. Just ask anyone who receives a letter or message from me, four page letters and full detail messages. I get irate when my children respond to my texts with ‘K’ and ‘Yes/No’.  I want details, people! I had a love/hate relationships with my English teachers in high school. Only 10 page report on the British Monarchy? *sigh* Yes, I was one of those, nerds/geeks.

So when an issue came up with my work in progress, Immortal Angel, in which I needed to introduce the couple’s situation before the actual story took place I came up with a ‘novella’ to do just that.

Some would say it’s more of a novelette since it’s roughly a 16,000 word little piece of work. But God, did I have a blast writing it!

Now I want to do more…but after I finish Immortal Angel, now.

So without further ado, I would like to present my little story which is now out on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and a few other sites provided by the wonderful people at Draft2Digital.

Cover4 fixed copy--smaller   Immortal Wounds

(A Guardians of Dacia Novella)

  Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone…

Vietnam never stopped for Mike Linder—and it never will. As an immortal being, Mike is    doomed to face his issues of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder he suffered in combat for  eternity. The darkness in the seventy year old vampire is swept away by the sweet spirited  Christina Johnston who he is called upon by his boss to protect from clan enemies. But  keeping his sunshine around would only lead to extinguishing her light, permanently.

 His Sunshine…His Only Sunshine…

Tina Johnston always believes the glass is half full. The eternal optimist, she wants to help  Mike find the peace from his horrors of war and she believes she’s the one to give it to him.  Unfortunately, Mike won’t let her. Haunted by his past and suffering terrors mixed with his  present, is she strong enough to endure his tortured past? Can she heal his Immortal Wounds?

Rated R—Language, graphic combat scenes, spicy sex.

Available only on eBook format at these fine stores, for only .99:

  Amazon. Nook, Kobo, Scribd

I hope you enjoy!

Immortal Angel to be released, March 30, 2015

(God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise) 🙂




The Solitude of Writing–It’s ALL Good!

Writing to some may be considered a lonely profession but for me…it’s never lonely. Which is not necessarily a good or bad thing–it just is.

Working from home to write is not all it’s cracked up to be (no, I do not spend time in my jammies–unless it is a snow day or I am sick).  But you would think I would get a heck of a lot of writing done in my secluded basement office typing away all day long.


Working from home has some people thinking you have all the time in the world to do things like, run errands, pick up sick kids from school, volunteer for that PTA thing, go on field trips, housework, pick up prescriptions, make doctors appointments…

WAIT! That sounds like the job of a stay at home mom! (Well, technically in a round about way, I still am even though my girls are grown now.)

So when the hubster asked if I would like to go with him on one of his month-long business trips to do nothing but stay in a hotel room all day while he is at work what did I say:


“Won’t you be bored?”

“I have two books I’m working on, marketing, social media, updates to my website/blog, reading, reviews and a few millions of other things that come with being a self-published author…I don’t think I will have time to be ‘bored’, sweetheart.”

Just the past few days in this ‘boring, extended stay hotel’, I have achieved more of my goals than I could have done in two weeks at home in my office. I also don’t have to worry about taking time to drive to the gym, as they have a fitness center only around the corner from my room. Breakfast is free (though I’m Gluten-Free I’d really love to have one of the waffles but settle for yogurt and fresh fruits and occasionally scrambled eggs if I am in the mood). I have a kitchenette that I have fresh strawberries, bananas and milk for lunch and Kind bars for snacks. When hubs gets home, my day ends and we share quality time.

So am I a bored, lonely, social recluse?

YEP! And I’m loving every minute of it.

Hey everyone, I’ll be back on Facebook as soon as I post this…still have a few minutes of social time before I get back to the novel! LOL


Distilled Spirits Release

Yes, the long-awaited sequel to Wanted: One Ghost is finally going to be out. And I couldn’t be more excited!

What started out as a short story (that became revised and reformatted) on our site back in October of 2013 is now a full-fledged novel about Wanted: One Ghost’s hero, James Addison’s former tavern lady, Millie Taylor.

Millie is still haunting his old stomping grounds, Old Town Tavern and Inn but she’s got ‘spirit’ all her own. Here is a snippet from Distilled Spirits:

Didn’t believe in ghosts? Well that was a fine, “How do you do!” Millie sat quietly in the rafters looking down on the two men discussing business.

She huffed in disgust, blowing a curl out of her face.

As handsome as the new guy was he was also a royal pain in the arse! He and his crew were fixing up her tavern. They’d poked and prodded the old girl, painting and tearing out parts and pieces and replacing them with others. Now they were discussing renovating her old room. It had been updated a time or two since she’d originally been here in the 1700’s. What was wrong with it?

 The Rogers had been the owners of the Old Town Tavern and Inn since before she came to the colonies. She’d watched as each generation took over, seeing the differences and similarities throughout the years. Dave reminded her of old Hank, the man who hired her off the boat from England. As tough and burly as he looked, he was a good man with a kind heart. He’d married his high school sweetheart, Claire, and they’d raised two fine sons. But when Claire died over five years ago, a little bit of him died, too.

Why he’d turned to Jillian Chambers, their local accountant, in the following years, Millie would never know. That woman had more talons than a falcon and for some strange reason, very few facial expressions. For as youthful as she tried to be, she looked a bit odd and it didn’t help that she never really sDistilledSpirits-1600x2400upported Dave in his efforts to make something of the tavern. The woman hated the place with a passion and made sure everyone knew how she felt in words and actions.

The scrape of wooden chairs alerted her to the end of the meeting between Dave and the younger man. From her perch she could get a good look at Sean. What she’d seen of him this past month, he wasn’t someone she’d kick out of the haystack. She grinned at the wicked thought. Perhaps that was why she found herself in his room today. But what was it about him that intrigued her so? Was it the way his blue trousers formed to his limbs? Or the jacket and shirt that hugged his chest? He pulled the look off very well.

His sandy colored hair was short, trimmed close to his head, not long and tied back as men wore it in her day. But there was something rugged about the look and it suited his muscular frame and his angular jaw. Millie’s fingers itched. Oh, to be able to trace those lines.

Still, it perturbed her that he didn’t believe in ghosts. She would really like to be able to speak to him about the tavern, let him know what it meant to her that he was helping Dave with renovations.

Well, if he didn’t believe in her then she’d just have to find some way to make him believe.


Distilled Spirits releases Monday, December 15th and is available now on Amazon for pre-order and Wanted: One Ghost is available for just .99 until the end of the year. So you can enjoy Wanted: One Ghost and read Distilled Spirits soon after!

You can catch up on more information about Distilled Spirits on these sites and links:

Loni Lynne’s website:

Loni Lynne’s Facebook Page:

Loni Lynne’s Twitter Page:

Loni Lynne’s Goodread Page:

Loni Lynne’s Mailing List:


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone out there from Loni Mermaid and her sisters at the Mermaid Lagoon!



Interview with Cover Model James Rizzo

This next few weeks will be an exciting time as I officially reveal the cover of my sequel to Wanted: One Ghost, Distilled Spirits. I knew I wanted the wonderfully talented Taria A. Reed to create my cover again since she’d done such a fantastic job on Wanted: One Ghost. As I anxiously awaited her design, I couldn’t even imagine what she’d come up with. When I saw the proof I was floored! I couldn’t have picked a better cover. She captured my characters Millie Taylor and Sean Lightfoot beautifully. See for yourself!DistilledSpirits-1600x2400

James Rizzo1

Those eyes are so captivating!

I asked Ms. Reed who the models were and she told me. I wanted to thank them for such a fantastic job. My ghost, Millie Taylor is portrayed by the lovely, Liana Young and her hero, Sean Lightfoot is portrayed by the very handsome, James Rizzo.


I’ve been lucky enough to have the gorgeous James Rizzo with me today. I still can’t believe he is the cover model for my latest novel, Distilled Spirits. How fantastic is that!! Taria Reed seemed to know what I had in mind for my hero, Sean Lightfoot, when she created the cover with James.


So James, I’m going to get right to the meat of this interview. I have an inquisitive mind. I love to research the characters in my books—so I figured it might be fun to ‘research’ the man who portrays Sean Lightfoot for my book cover. As a reader of romance, I like to think that the model actually is the character in the book. As a realist, I know that is not the case so I’d like to see what it is about James Rizzo that makes a perfect character for many romance books.


Loni Lynne: Okay…I need to know (I’m probably old enough to be your mother but humor me), just how young are you?


James:   I turned 35 on November 14th 


Loni Lynne:  Happy Be-lated Birthday, by a few days. 🙂

(Okay, maybe not old enough to be his mother–aunt maybe). I’ve lived all over the United States Michigan, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Hawaii and Maryland, where were you born and did you move around a lot growing up or did you stay in one place?


James:  I was born in Wilmington, DE, where I resided until I went to College in 1998.  My first big move was to Maywood, NJ to pursue modeling and acting in New York 12 years ago.


Loni Lynne: Since I lived all over the country growing up I ended up going to 13 different schools in 12 years. I loved English Literature, American History and Art. What were your favorite classes in high school?


James:  My favorite classes would have to be health and science- such as biology, and chemistry.  I’ve always been very creative and fascinated with the human body.


Loni Lynne: You’ve modeled for some great book covers. How long have you been modeling and what made you decide to pursue the career?


James:  I have been modeling since I was 20 years old.  I decided to pursue it after competing in body-building for almost 3 years.  I realized I didn’t want to be grotesque with custom clothes so I decided to trim down and pursue acting/modeling. My first transition from Body-building to modeling was when I participated in a Wilhelmina “South Beach Superstar Search”in Miami, Florida.  I won the 2003 top promotional model category and have been doing it ever since.


Loni Lynne: No doubt you won! You would’ve gotten my vote.

Fate has a funny way of leading us where we need to be, how did fate lead you to be a cover model? Do you see yourself modeling ten years from now? Where do you see yourself then? Or are you like me and ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ as far as life goes?


James:   I have always been a someone that believes in overcoming life’s obstacles through hard-work and dedication.  I can usually accomplish anything I put my mind to.  My persistence in a very competitive industry allowed me to become a cover model.  I see myself living in California as a working actor 10 years from now.  I will continue to model because it has always been a passion.


Loni Lynne:  We’ll definitely be looking for you in film and TV.

When you posed for Taria Reed (my fabulous cover artist), did you realize you would end up on the cover of Distilled Spirits? What’s the process for doing a photo shoot?


James:  I was not aware I would end on the cover but Taria did mention that she had a few covers lined up for me.  Taria originally discovered me through Model Mayhem, which is a great site for discovering new talent for any project. The process for doing a photo shoot usually consists of photographers and models sharing a mutual agreement as far as type of shoot, location, and time frame.  The shoot should be convenient for both parties and the details such as wardrobe etc. should be discussed beforehand.  I am very experienced and easy to work with.


Loni Lynne: Distilled Spirits is a paranormal romance based on a 200 year old ghost (Millie Taylor) who is brought back to life, kind of, by our hero (Sean Lightfoot). Do you believe in ghosts? What would you do if you were to encounter a friendly entity?


James:  No, I do not believe in Ghosts but if I encountered one, it would certainly change my outlook about the deceased.  I watch Horror movies frequently and they never scare me, just find them entertaining.


Loni Lynne: You’ve been on the covers of so many great romance novels, I am just going to come out and ask…Do you ever read any of them? If so, do you see yourself in any of the characters?


James:  Its funny you mentioned that. I tell my mother all the time, “I’ll keep making them, you read them.”  She’s a pretty quick reader and enjoys most of the novels.  My mother usually gives me her synopsis upon completion. Sometimes she mentions how certain characters relate to me.  I always tell her when I’m shooting another one because she likes to say “looks like I have some more reading to do!” haha


Loni Lynne:  I can imagine she’s delighted to see you on the covers. She must be very proud.

It took me a while to find my Mr. Right and live happily ever after for 25 years and looking forward to at least another 25. (Okay, yes…do the Math! Like I said…I’m old.) What about you? Have you found Mrs. Right? Or are you still looking for that perfect someone?


James:  I have not found Mrs. Right yet.  I will be honest; I’m extremely picky and want to make the right decision. With over 50% of marriages resulting in divorce, I certainly don’t want to rush and regret it later in life.


Loni Lynne:  Good thinking. When the right one comes along, it just clicks and you know they are the one.

My ideal date would be a quiet dinner with my hubby downtown and then walking around holding hands on a brisk fall night. (His though is different—he’s such a guy!) I need to know, are you more of a romantic kind of guy or do you prefer a simpler form of dating?  Any great romantic ideas to share? What would you consider the ‘perfect date’?


James:  I would consider myself very romantic for the right woman.  I have cooked dinner for Valentine’s Day before and surprised women with flowers.  I really need to be into the girl for my creative/romantic side to come out. The perfect date for me would have to be sharing a variety of favorite food- Italian dishes, seafood, and dessert followed by a lounge with a fireplace, sharing a bottle of wine.

James Rizzo4

A strong jawline–a dependable man.


Loni Lynne:  (Wow! That would be ‘perfect’. Fanning myself…)

Okay, now for random questions, shootin’ from the hip!



  • Color:  Blue
  • Food:  Steak
  • Movie:  Anything Inspirational – last movie was “Fury” with Brad Pitt
  • TV Show:  Married with Children
  • Actress and Actor:  Scarlett Johansson/Denzel Washington
  • Holiday:  Christmas


Loni Lynne: Okay back to some pertinent questions again—If you had your way, where would you like to live? Cabin in the woods/Penthouse apartment in the big city/or a bungalow by the shore? And why?


James:  I love the summer months and growing up I would go boating on the weekends with my family.  We use to go to Maryland and make a whole day of it- barbecues, water-skiing, jet skiing, and tubing. I enjoy a warm climate all year round so I would probably want to live in Malibu, CA or Hawaii in a beautiful beach house.


Loni Lynne: In your own words, describe yourself (internally—we know you are extremely good looking on the outside) J.


James:  I am a very good-hearted person and my friends and family know I am dependable. Loyalty is the biggest attribute my family and I share.  Italians are known for this.

James Rizzo3

Look at that smile…it’s in his eyes, too!


Loni Lynne:  I agree. I think those attributes show through in your photos. It’s the strength in your jawline and the smile that reaches your eyes that tells the truth.

If you could pick one thing to change the world, what would that be and why?


James:   I wish I could stop the violence in our society and raise more awareness about gun control.  There are entirely too many shootings in schools. Children should stay more active in sports and extracurricular activities.


Loni Lynne: A very real issue in our society. It breaks my heart to hear and see it so often in the news.


Thank you so much James for being here today and sharing with us. I know you are very busy and taking time out to talk with us means so much. And again, thank you for being such a great cover model! My book really looks great with you on it!


If you have time to stop by and answer questions from my readers, we would love to hear from you!


 See more of James Rizzo at Taria Reed.

Days Like These…

Okay, I have to admit lately this video makes a ton of sense to me.

With a recent book release, Immortal Heat (self-published), Distilled Spirits, the sequel to Wanted: One Ghost coming in December, and the sequel to Immortal Heat, Immortal Angel to be written and released in January my head is about to explode! But it’s for the Greater Good….’the Greater Good’.

So if you see me around with a weird smile on my face…it’s just the Zoloft taking effect.  (LOL).

Seriously, it’s a great time but crazy. Trying to wear all the hats in a business (and anyone who tells you being an author isn’t a business should be boiled in peanut oil and salted…because they are NUTS!) is not an easy task. That is why there are so many ‘helpers’ out there (and no, I don’t mean the happy pills).  There are editors, agents, and promotional specialists who are out there to help take the burden off some of our duties and they are a godsend!

I also have my daughters who are big helps when I need my kitchen cleaned because I’m on deadlines or meals prepared. But still, the job can become overwhelming. I’ve always been a person who deals with To Do Lists, and even they are starting to look like a jumbled mess of manuscript needing to be edited.

So yeah, it’s a job and days like these…well they happen.

What do you do to get through “Days Like These” ?




Immortal Heat is Hot and Historical

I am excited to finally have the very first book I started writing five years ago (when I decided to go professional as a writer) ready for release!Loni Lynne 5 p12756ta105474_25

Immortal Heat was so much fun to write. It started out when I began researching my family heritage. My paternal grandfather was actually Romanian by birth. For years I couldn’t find out much on Romania due to the fact it was a communist country and at the time, the Internet wasn’t even around. Now with the handy little tool you can not only research a place you’ve never been but virtually go there via Google Maps.

The more I delved into the history of Romania I found some fascinating story lines. I didn’t want to do Vlad Dracul since he’d been done so many times so I delved deeper–all the way back to Pre-Roman conquest when Romania was known as Dacia.

What I found out about Dacia was that the Dacians were a mystical people. Their clans went into battle carrying flags and banners in the shape of dragons to scare off their enemies. Until the Romans second conquer–(the first attempt failed)–they were protected by the dark, mysterious forests that surrounded them. Other countries refused to cross the Danube because they were afraid. Even the god they worshiped, Zamoxlis considered his warriors ‘Immortal’.

What great fodder for a paranormal novel, right?!  I was so excited!

As I worked and researched further, I read about their folklore and found an interesting creature known as the Zmeu. A shapeshifter who would turn into smoke, sneak into a woman’s bedroom and seduce her, take her to his lair only to have the handsome warrior come slay the Zmeu and rescue the fair maiden. The Zmeu could shift into any form, but he was known for his human abilities and those of a Balour or Dragon. He was the equivalent of the ‘boogeyman’ to children in folklore.

But I didn’t see the Zmeu as evil. I figured if he was ‘Dragon’ then he might have been a gift from the gods to go into battle with the Dacian warriors. His kind might have even been sacred. So I created him as my ‘hero’ and Draylon Conier (pronounced Con-yea) came to life. Think of raven black hair with electric blue eyes and just enough shadow of scruf to make you think of waking up to just a touch of whisker burn– 😉 .  There are some pretty serious scenes that my beta readers think are pretty smokin’. So yes, there is HEAT in this book–more ways than just the title.

Immortal Heat is the first book in my new series, The Guardians of Dacia and also my first attempt at self-publishing. I had so much wonderful help in creating this book, a little secret, my daughter Jengi created the cover and my good friend, Magda Alexander helped me with formating and self-publishing support. I have a wonderful editor, Judy who worked diligently with me to make sure all the loopholes were covered–not easy in a paranormal where you create the world to work for you.

So without further ado–I present Immortal Heat, Book 1 in The Guardians of Dacia series!

ImmortalHeat-bookcover2 (VTCSwitchbladeRomance)2 copy revised

The Guardians of Dacia Series

Romania has been called the mystical land of paranormal beings and creatures of the night. Before the Romans conquered their land, Dacia was a mystical land of magic and folk-lore until one man and his army destroyed the closely woven fabric set by the gods between man and beast. Now, cursed by their gods over two thousand years ago, one immortal clan struggles to maintain their private world while still learning to live and protect their human brethren while their enemy seeks power to destroy the new world.  But as the clans face extinction, a new generation of Dacian blood emerges to unite the clans once more. The world as they know it may never be the same.


  Immortal Heat

Dacian Historian…

Determined to study ancient Dacian folk lore abroad, Marilyn Reddlin’s plans are cut short when she is abducted by a dark haired stranger who insists she’s in danger. The only danger she’s in is losing herself to her abductor’s inexplicable seductive energy. Draylon Conier teaches her there is more to Romania than myth and fairy tales while sweeping her into a wild adventure of paranormal mystery and intrigue.

Dacian History…

Thousands of years trying to pay back a debt, Draylon Conier is finally able to do so. Sent to capture a young, American student who is in danger while in Romania, he just has to send her back home. Easy enough for him. Unfortunately, Marilyn Reddlin is determined to thwart his every attempt—even telepathy. But there is more to her than meets the eye and the closer he gets to her, the more danger she is in, not only from the ancient immortal Dacian clans he’s trying to protect her from, but also his own sexual need.

History just got a lot harder.

They must find out what connection Marilyn has to Dacian history before Draylon destroys her when she succumbs to Immortal Heat.

Immortal Heat is available for Pre-Order on Amazon. The release date is October 6, 2014!

To read an excerpt click here: Immortal Heat and The Guardians of Dacia


Guilty Pleasures

Ever feel guilty about something that gave you great pleasure?

There are so many days in which we give to others that when we take time to do something we want to do, we feel guilty–or at least I do. A perfect example was last week:

My mom recently moved back into the home she was raised in up in Northern Michigan and I went up to see her for a week along with my youngest daughter. We drove twelve hours from Western Maryland to Northern Michigan and had a great time, just the two of us. It was our first ‘mother/daughter’ trip.

Now originally we were going up to help my mother paint and unpack but it ended up becoming a vacation of sorts. My sister who lives up there, near my mom, came over for the week. We spent days traveling to the towns I’d lived in when I was younger, out to my grandparents property, and up to see the sights at Mackinaw Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes and Grand Traverse Light House.


The Grand Hotel, Mackinaw Island, Michigan


I did manage to put together most of my mother’s library (5 huge bookshelves in one bedroom) but there are still boxes of books (I get my love of literature from her). Still, part of me feels guilty that I was only able to do that much.

When I returned home, part of me felt guilty for spending money on my trip when it could have gone to something else and then I stopped…


My baby girl sitting in The Grand Hotel

Why should I feel guilty about enjoying myself with my family? I splurged so my daughter and I could tour the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island–something I’d never been able to do when I was younger. But now I’ve been inside, took pictures, sat in the white rocking chairs on the worlds longest porch with my daughter and gazed out over the Straits of Mackinaw (where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron come together and the Mackinac Bridge rises in the distance to the right and Round Island Lighthouse is seated to the left).

The day couldn’t have been more beautiful. Daughter and I even braved the trek up Sleeping Bear Dunes, that week, (while my mother and sister opted not to–chickens! LOL!) to see if we could view Lake Michigan on the other side. We traversed up the main dune and over a few more, but when other visitors told us there were still a few more dunes to trek we decided to head back down as it was getting late and we were exhausted. Still we had a blast, worked up an appetite and slept so well that night!


The Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinaw

So when I questioned my spending habits I tallied up the cost (which wasn’t a whole lot but I could’ve saved it for other things), and then tallied up the memories that were made…Priceless!!

What have you done for ‘guilty pleasures’?


A wind blown Loni Lynne at The Grand Hotel, Mackinaw Island, Michigan




I’m Back and Better Than Ever…

Mermaid Loni Lynne here and ready to go (after some technical difficulties due to a loose nut in front of the keyboard)! I am so happy to be back among my sisters in the pond! They welcomed the prodigal fish home with open fins and excitedly flapping tails.

I am back from a hiatus in which I had to take for health issues and working on my well-being. But everyone’s well-being is important and we as a society tend to take it for granted.

Little things we disregard about ourselves could lead to serious things if not treated and looked into. But weariness, stress and lack of a proper lifestyle are easy masks to fall back on. We’ve heard ourselves say it… “Oh, I’m just stressed. That’s why I’m not sleeping well.”

Just because ‘stressed spelled backwards is desserts’ doesn’t mean we should take it in stride. We have to fix the issues of our stress and move forward.

Because of a stressful block of time, I had been put out of commission. A visit to the hospital put me on the track to finding I had not only a hiatal hernia in my esophagus (which causes me to have esophageal spasms when stressed–think of getting a tortilla chip stuck in your esophagus and it not going up or down–that is how it feels without anything in there). Not fun! I couldn’t eat or drink for nearly a week without pain. Swallowing was a major issue.

My doctor ordered some tests and a procedure to take pictures of esophagus. In his findings he found the hernia but also something worse…I had Celiac Disease. I had been destroying the very vital villi lining of my intestines (the part that takes in the nutrients into our blood stream). Because of this I was anemic, tired, irritable…just not feeling well at all. I couldn’t function, my brain was sluggish as was my body in general.

How long had I been suffering? I don’t know. Long enough to feel the negative pull on my body.

That was a year ago, almost to the day. I had a follow-up with my doctor and even though I still must maintain a strict Gluten-Free (no wheat, rye, barley) diet, I was given an 8 on a 1 to 10 scale of success. My doctor was impressed and said to keep doing what I’ve been doing. My body is slowly repairing itself…as long as I don’t give in to Gluten.

I’m trying very hard to use that same lesson in issues with Stress. If I don’t feed myself a diet high in stress (gluten), then I can repair my stress issues.

I’ve organized my writing schedule to fit in with my personal schedule. It is a job to me so I treat it as such. Just as any professional would do, I keep a day planner of my writing, so I have six to eight hours a day (not everyone can do this), I take breaks to exercise, drink plenty of water and work on domestic things as needed. By the time my dear hubby comes home, I’m finished with my day, also.

Recently, I took a workshop with the wonderful Candace Haven on Fast Drafting. She had some great ideas about how to pump out your book in two weeks. The word count was my issue but knowing I can (and have) pumped out 1,000 words an hour and knowing I have time scheduled for just that purpose…I can get quite a bit done in my writing. But I am also going through edits, marketing, promotional, etc.

Just like a real job, schedule the time for each item to do. I love lists and marking items off as they are done is a major triumph in my days.

But remember to take time to enjoy your time, your health and well-being (mentally, physically and emotionally). If you don’t, the things that mean the most to you will suffer…leading to more stress.

One thing I’ve always done to keep stress at bay…hugs. Hugs and touch have been known to be cure-all for many issues and lowers blood pressure which is a big stress kicker.

So I used to say, ‘Raising my cup of French Vanilla Cafe to you’ (which I can no longer have)…I will nowLoni Lynne 5 p12756ta105474_25 end with, “Wrapping my arms around you in a hug.’ Perhaps it will help with just a bit of stress in all of our lives.

Wrapping my arms around you in a hug,

Loni Lynne

My European Experience

I made it to Germany on Friday, August 2!

After a seven hour flight from Baltimore to Frankfurt, Germany I was met by my husband at the early hour of 1020 (Germany time) which was six hours ahead of my normal time. Though I did manage to get a couple of winks in on the overnight flight, I was exhausted during the drive from Frankfurt to Landstuhl which is approximately an hour and a half drive south. Believe it or not, I slept on and off while my husband drove about 120mph on the Autobahn! ( And that was in the slow lane!)

We arrived at the wonderful Hotel Rosenhof in which he’d been staying in for a week already and I was greeted warmly by the owner, Sue, Andy and Oscar, the dog and general greeting and security presence. A lovely European style bed (close to the floor, memory foam-type mattress with a duvet cover nearly had me asleep again before dinner. But hubby had me unload my luggage, took me on the tour of the quaint town of Landstuhl, got me hooked up with a cell phone that I can use here in Europe, and then we returned for dinner at the hotel.

Now, here is my real issue lately, I was recently (as in three weeks ago) diagnosed with Celiac Disease which, though more and more common, I’m still getting used to. I have been instructed to go on a strict Gluten-Free diet for the rest of my life to heal and prevent more issues in the near future. This means no wheat, barley, rye or other wheat forms of foods. The one good thing, I was never really a bread and pasta person (I know–weird) but it’s amazing how many foods are made with wheat gluten or prepared around wheat gluten. I have to be very careful in not cross contamination also.

But I’ve also noticed how many things I’ve eaten in the past ARE gluten-free all ready. (Cheese Curls!!!) So I’m not too worse for wear. Also, eating whole foods like, meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables is very satisfying and easy to do. Especially here. The menu and morning buffet is a wonderful variety of meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and creamy

yogurts. I’m learning I can fill up just as much on them as I could eating waffles/pancakes and pastries. So, Friday night I had a wonderful steak cooked to perfection with garlic butter and pesto sauce and pan seared potatoes.

My hubby had a large beer–but since I couldn’t have beer (hops/wheat) I opted for a drink (I’ll have to get the name again) but it was a combination of wine/champagne fresh mint and a hint of lemon. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the night as it cooled down to a comfortable 83 degrees. I felt mellow by my second glass finished off with a wonderful sorbet and fresh fruit dessert. Ahhh, what a life!!

Went in to shower and get ready for bed but the brisk exfoliation of the free-flowing shower rejuvenated my senses enough to enjoy the evening with hubby’s friends and co-workers. They had been kind enough to think of me on their trip to a chocolatier’s to pick me up gluten-free dark, stone-ground chocolate which is delicious!! (Yes, I’ve been savoring it in pieces–but I did share.) They also introduced me to a wonderful appertif of fig vodka! I am not a vodka drinker in general but we toast the end of the night with a shot that you SIP–it’s so smooth and refreshing.

Needless to say, I slept well my first night in Germany! 🙂

Day 2

I awoke on Saturday morning refreshed and ready to go exploring! After an amazing breakfast of fried egg, sliced meats, creamy brie, fresh fruit and yogurt I was ready for anything! Hubby and I drove up to Burg Frankenstein (Castle Frankenstein) which was the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s famous novel, Frankenstein. It was actually the ‘ruins’ but it was so beautiful and quite a way up in the hillside. From the top turret we could see all the way from Darmsted to Frankfurt. I could only imagine how the soldiers of old could see the enemy coming for miles before they even got close to the base of the hill. (The pictures above are from Burg Frankenstein.) We viewed a wedding there (which we were informed there are many) and enjoyed a light lunch at the restaurant over-looking the Hessan valley.

We also explored the countryside, the small villages which in this region are loaded with vineyards and wineries and Castle Starkenburg (see home page picture) which was a bit of a hike but so worth it (the view was spectacular). It was built in 1060’s and is now partial ruins and part youth hostel.

So far, I’m really enjoying myself (I don’t know how I couldn’t) but when the hubby works, so will I. Most of my day (while he is working) is spent writing, catching up on my reading and blogging about my experiences every few days.

I hope you join me in sharing the fun and excitement as I explore ancient cities, castles and lore. Make sure you stop in and view my photos page to see new photos as they are uploaded. I would love to hear from you all!

I’m having trouble posting pictures so please, go to the site listed below to see the photos we’ve taken recently!