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Barcelona Trip select pic spam – best photos

I’m writing this from the Parador de Cardona, which is a castle, and Kate cannot get over the fact that we are IN A CASTLE. Yes, it’s fun, and the whole reason we took this leg of the trip. :-) (Because Kate wanted to stay in a castle. Not because we knew how cute she’d be about being in a castle.)

The wifi here seems a little better and less saggy than in the city, so I’ll try uploading a few of the best photos from the trip so far. Under the fold:

Continue reading →

Barcelona Day Four: Food and a Castle (Cardona)


Well, I’ve got two things to write about today, food and food. Wait. I mean food and a castle. corwin and Kate slept in while I got up to write up what happened on days 2 & 3. I had a nice hot bath to start the day and relieve the kinks and sore muscles from all the climbing and walking, then went down to the lobby to write and use the free wifi.

I must say I highly recommend the Travelodge Poblenou as a great budget hotel in Barcelona. It was built recently so everything is new. It’s a bit bare bones but for comparison a four-night stay package there cost about the same as what a single night in a medium-high quality place would. They have a breakfast buffet for 7,50 euro, free wifi in the lobby, free luggage storage, a 24 hour bar (! yes!). The room was impeccably clean, the pillows firm and the mattresses good. The Poblenou neighborhood turned out to be a gem, not touristy, very nice, safe, and full of charm, too. Five stars, would stay again. Continue reading →

Barcelona Day Three

Sagrada Familia
Museu de la Musica
Casa Battló
B Lounge

We started day three of the trip, a Sunday, eating breakfast at La Biennal, the place where we had tapas our first night here. We wanted a substantial meal since we knew we were going to try to do Sagrada Familia and a thing at 3:30 at the Museu de la Musica and didn’t know if a proper lunch would be fit in there.

Sagrada Familia, amazing. Simply amazing. If cathedrals are meant to be awe inspiring, this is a space that when you enter it makes you feel as if you have entered another world. It feels like elves from Middle Earth built it. Or maybe the dwarves built it but the elves decorated it with glass and light and I’m getting goose bumps just remembering it. Photos do not do it justice. Continue reading →

Barcelona Day Two

La Rambla
Cuitat Vella/Barri Gotic
Food Market
Walking walking walking
Roca Moo

Today we started out on Rambla Poblenou, to use the free wifi and grab free wireless from 100 Montaditos and pastries from Boheme again. Kate got a thing called an “angel hair squash” pastry, which had extruded strings of sugar and… agar? No idea what it was made of but it had a texture sort of like spaghetti squash, hence the name, inside a fluffy pastry. Continue reading →

Barcelona, first two meals, hotel, end of first day

It’s 3pm Barcelona time and it has taken us three hours to get to our hotel from the airport via public transit. Every station is under construction and every transfer we made we had to walk from one end to the other, plus we always managed to come out the wrong exit. But we did happen to walk right by the Casa Batillo, the Gaudi house that is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea themed. It was the one thing a friend of ours told us we should not miss. We didn’t go in–there was a huge queue. I was as amused watching the large crowd on the sidewalk taking pictures of the house as I was of the house.

But anyway, here I am at the Travelodge Poblenou. Nice clean accommodation, in fact, it’s sort of “hotel room a la Ikea.” Seems like a pretty nice neighborhood, lots of cafes and bars, but a little bit away from the main tourist drags. Hey! We can see the towers of Sagrada Familia from our hotel room! As well as a huge phallic building that looks a lot like a building I saw in London.

Travelodge Poblenou

The thing we need most now is showers after spending the last 14 or so hours traveling. It’s hot here in Barcelona, too, so we’re sweaty from lugging our bags around on the trains. I see why it is called “luggage.” Showers and then to find something to eat. Kate arrives later–she hasn’t even left Amsterdam yet.

So we walked the Rambla de Poblenou, a very nice promenade lined with cafes and tapas restaurants that runs past our hotel, and after getting a tiny palmera to eat while we walked (a palmera is an elephant ear cookie) from a bakery. They had huge ones, too, as big as both my hands put together, and huge ones DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE but there was no way I was going to have the capacity for one of those. The neighborhood is partly residential, there are some elementary schools along the street, and lots of parents were picking up their kids when we were walking around 4:30.

Palmeras, and my finger for scale.

We settled on a tapas place called La Biennal, and had a fantastic meal that I teased my Twitter and Instagram followers with photos of. Wow, my grammar is shot from jet lag. After eating we took a two-hour nap, which was the most we’d slept yet since leaving Boston 24 hours earlier. And then Kate arrived and we discovered that the big phallic building has a crazy colorful lightshow on it at night! This week is the Festival of Merce, the patron saint of Barcelona, so there are all kinds of huge celebrations going on. It’s actually good, I think, that we’re leaving town on the day before the huge to-do because that day the trains shut down.

Once Kate had unpacked, we went to eat another great meal, this one the other direction on Rambla Poblenou, at La Mar Bella, where we had a seafood and meat paella with langostines on it, plus mussels and pork ribs and squid tentacles, and a giant baked puff pastry stuffed with blue cheese, and white asparagus, and a dessert I’d never had before. They called it helado de limoncello, and it was lemon ice cream with a lemon curd center, rolled in crushed meringue. Delish.

Walking home I was tempted by a gelato stand with tiny tiny cones for 1,10 euro, but I was too full and my throat hurts a little so ice cream was probably a bad idea.

I hope the sore throat is just from airplane dryness and my usual allergies. I’m dosing up vitamin C and going to bed now.

The wifi here is dicey so uploading a lot of pictures isn’t working well, but whenever I have been able to snarf some wifi from cafes or airports I’ve been posting to my Twitter feed or Instagram, so look for me there to see all the photos, some of which are interesting road signs and buildings, but it’s mostly food so far. On Instagram I’m ctan_writer and on Twitter I’m @ceciliatan.

View from our hotel window, Sagrada Familia on left, big phallic building on right.

Barcelona Trip Journal!

Barcelona Journal

Sept 20 2013
Well, it’s 4:42 am in France, where we’ll be changing planes at Charles DeGaulle airport. So I’ll get to say I’ve been to France. I’ve given up pretending to sleep for now. I think I slept about 20 minutes right after takeoff and maybe 15 minutes a little while ago. But it’s hard to be sleepy when I’m excited about the trip. This is the trip we’ve been trying to take for two years. We wanted to go for our 20th anniversary but we didn’t quite have the time or the money at that point–that was two years ago. Since then corwin’s gotten into a better financial situation (and so have I), and I’ve gotten into a worse health situation that forced me to rethink my priorities and quit doing So Much. So that helped carve out the time for a vacation. Our first Real Vacation since we went to Disney World in 2008.

I’ll have to do a teensy bit of work while on the trip. Some correspondence about the Baseball Research Journal to keep that production schedule moving, and some writing, and I need to post some Daron’s Guitar Chronicles that I didn’t have a chance to before we had to leave. But not much. From what I can tell, there will be Wifi in all the hotels.

Daron is always with me on planes. I’m not sure what it is about airplanes that makes him so present in my head. He’s also usually there on long car trips if I’m driving alone. Spoiler alert for DGC readers: I’ve been planning to write about his trip to Seville ever since going there myself 9 years ago. But this trip is to Barcelona. With some driving into the mountains to see castles and eat in ridiculously good restaurants. Here’s the itinerary of cities/restaurants: Continue reading →

Slow Surrender forthcoming in Dutch!

I just got the news that Slow Surrender and Slow Seduction (book 2 in the series), have been picked up by Dutch-language publisher Bruna! I don’t have any news about when they will be out, though.

In other news, I finally finished writing Slow Satisfaction, the third and final book in the series. There were so many loose ends I wanted to tie up that it took me longer to write the last four chapters of the book than it did to write the entirety of book 2! It’s with my editor now and I’ll soon find out if she likes the way I brought it all in for a landing.

Last bit of news, Apple now has some kind of an ibookstore widget thing, I’m testing it out on my home site: Continue reading →

Get a hot Slow Surrender bonus scene: I’ll trade for it!

Help me celebrate the release of Slow Surrender in paperback and I’ll reward you with an exclusive erotic scene between Karina and James!

Here’s how it works. Trade me a photo or screencap for the story. The story from James’s point of view, revisiting some of the scenes in Slow Surrender, but from his side of things. James being James he wouldn’t just write a scene, he wrote a whole treatise on “The Art of Love” (and sex and desire).

I’ll email the special scene to ANYONE** who emails me a screen capture/photo of the following:

* The paperback on sale in your local bookstore (or Target!)
* Your copy of the book with your cat (or other pet)
* Yourself with your book (or your ereader showing the cover!)
* Your book with a string of pearls!
* Your review or recommendation of the book to your friend on any social media! (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Livejournal, your own blog, Pinterest, G+, Yahoo email list, etc!)

Email your photo to ctan.writer (at) gmail.com OR tag me and post it on any of the social media where we are connected: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc…? However Remember, it’s very important to email me also so I can sent you the scene! Please let me know if it’s OK to re-post your photo and include a statement in your email that you are 18 or older! Yes, the scene is that hot!

If you got the bonus scene already because you helped out when the ebook came out, then this time you can trade in your new photos or screencaps for a SPECIAL SNEAK PEAK at Slow Seduction, book two in the series! (Yes, a much bigger preview than the little one in the back of Slow Surrender!)

If you want both the preview AND the James scene, well, trade me two separate photos of two different recommendations, reviews, or books “in the wild”!

(The third incentive, the Moo stickers I posted about a few weeks ago, are also available! But I’m currently out of the mardi gras beads. I’ll get more before book 2 comes out in January though?)

Any questions, leave a comment on my blog (http://blog.ceciliatan.com) or contact me in email: ctan.writer at gmail dot com. Those are the two best ways to contact me!

**Note: You Must be 18 years of age or over! Don’t get me in trouble!

FIND Slow Surrender: Hachette’s web site| Amazon.com | B&N Nookstore | iTunes/iBooks |Google Play | Goodreads | Kobo | Powells | Sony

Connect with Cecilia Tan: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Livejournal | G+ | Blog | Instagram

Geeky Kink Event Schedule

Right now here’s what it looks like my schedule is for the Geeky Kink NE event this weekend! (One of the major presenters at the convention had to cancel because of a family emergency, so these times for events are still subject to change.)

Saturday 2pm: Celebrity Munchausen
Saturday 8pm 5pm: The Patented Cecilia Tan Erotic SF/F Reading
Saturday: 10:45pm: Slytherin Hazing Session
Please bring your wands and come dressed Hogwartian if you can!

Sunday: 12:15 11:15am: Circlet Press 21st anniversary Bingo Game
(There will be prizes!)

Among other fun events taking place during the convention, there’s a Cosplay in Character Meetup, a clothing/gear/accessories swap, Strip Magic the Gathering (instead of poker), cotton candy bondage, and much more. This is going to be fun.

Rave “extended review” of Slow Surrender from RT Book Reviews!

In the Amazing and Wonderful Things that Happened Today Department: I discovered that RT Book Reviews, the biggest, most influential romance review entity, posted an “extended review” of Slow Surrender. They had already printed a short take in the magazine, a rave, so it really blew me away to see this!!

“Slow Surrender made me love the billionaire Dom again and you should definitely check out this perfect example of everything this subgenre should be.”

“Karina is no blushing ingenue. Finally — finally! — we’re given a heroine who’s willing to go along on this adventure, and without the Nervous Nellie nail-biting and hair-twirling the genre seems to be plagued with.”

“As for James, he escapes the confines of the controlling Dom construct that has so many of these “heroes” veering from Domination into downright abuse.”

“It’s lush and erotic without devolving into that weird place where sex sometimes becomes too graphic, and best of all, the sex actually advances the plot. Each sex scene is a logical stepping stone to the growth of this relationship between these two people.”

Read the full review: http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/extended-review-slow-surrender-cecilia-tan


FIND Slow Surrender: Hachette’s web site| Amazon.com | B&N Nookstore | iTunes/iBooks |Google Play | Goodreads | Kobo | Powells | Sony

Connect with Cecilia Tan: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Livejournal | G+ | Blog

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