My Top Five Favorite Vacation Destinations by Kim Fielding – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kim Fielding who is celebrating the release of her newest book, Blyd and Pearce. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win an audiobook of The Bureau, Volume 1.

Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, and today I’d like to share my 5 favorite vacation destinations. I love to travel, so winnowing this list to 5 was a real challenge, but here we go.

1. Croatia. I’ve actually lived here twice for short periods and visited several other times. It’s a small country with a lot to offer. There’s a lot of natural beauty, including the long Adriatic coastline and the amazing Plitvice Lakes National Park. I love the food too—you can find variations on Mediterranean, Eastern European, and Austro-Hungarian cuisine, along with some Croatian specialties. One of my favorites is štrukli, dough filled with cheese and baked. Another thing I love about Croatia is the café culture. Sitting at cafés, nursing a coffee and chatting with friends, is a centerpiece of Croatian life. I’ve also found Croatian people to wonderfully warm and generous, and they are very kind about my pathetic attempts to speak a few words of their language.

2. Portland, Oregon. I grew up there, and my family still lives in the Portland area, so I have personal reasons to like it. But Portland has a lot going for it, including beautiful scenery, a certain quirkiness to its residents, and wonderful restaurants. Also some great bookstores, most notably Powell’s, the world’s largest new and used bookstore. I’ve spent a lot of time and money in that place.

3. Port Townsend, Washington. This one is new to me; I made my first visit this summer. It’s a pretty town near the entrance to Puget Sound, with a downtown that looks much the same as it did in the 1880s. As port cities often do, it has a colorful history. Folks there were very friendly, and while I was visiting, I found all sorts of plot bunnies, so don’t be surprised when this town turns up in future stories. There are also several small bookstores, including one with an emphasis on writing. Our visit this year happened to coincide with a steampunk festival, which was a lot of fun.

4. Chicago. I just returned from a trip to this wonderful city, where I was born but haven’t lived since I was 8. Chicago has gorgeous architecture, world-class museums, and a really interesting history. There’s a lot of parkland too, even right in the middle of the city. It’s a great foodie city (yes, I’ll choose deep dish over thin crust any day). And there’s something indefinable about the local temperament that I really like. Confident, yet also realistic with a healthy dose of humor. Chicagoans lack the sense of self-importance I’ve found in many other big cities. And Chicago has a fantastic literary history too.

5. Hawaii. Yes, it’s beautiful, with perfect weather, stunning beaches, and delicious food. So what’s not to love? I also appreciate how much diversity—both geographical and human—you can find in such relatively small spaces. On the Big Island, for example, you can visit in a single day: rain forest, desert, sugar sand beaches, organic coffee plantations, and erupting volcanoes (although maybe not right now, since they’re erupting a bit too vigorously). Last time we visited, we went to a restaurant where the deck had a stunning view and was overrun with adorable little geckoes. We sat there eating lilikoi cheesecake. And if that isn’t a perfect vacation moment, I don’t know what is.

What are your favorite places to vacation?

Born into poverty and orphaned young, Daveth Blyd had one chance for success when his fighting prowess earned him a place in the Tangye city guard—a place he lost to false accusations of theft. Now he scrapes out a living searching for wayward spouses and missing children. When a nobleman offers him a small fortune to find an entertainer who’s stolen a ring, Daveth takes the case.

While Jory Pearce may or may not be a thief, he certainly can’t be trusted. But, enchanted by Jory’s beauty and haunting voice, Daveth soon finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy. As he searches desperately for answers, he realizes that he’s also falling for Jory. The two men face river wraiths, assassins, a necromancer, and a talking head that could be Daveth’s salvation on their quest for the truth. But with everyone’s integrity in question and Death eager to dance, Daveth will need more than sorcery to survive.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

The narrow stairway rose steeply, each step creaking under our feet and taking us into increasing darkness. I smelled onions and fish—a bit strong, but better than my apartment’s odors—and blindly held on to the banister. It occurred to me that Pearce was in a good position to attack me, since I’d have trouble defending myself in the blackness of unfamiliar territory. But I wasn’t afraid of him. Maybe some of his enchantment lingered.

We climbed four flights to the top floor, where he unlocked another door. A few scattered spiritlights flared to life at once, but he lit two lanterns as well.

It wasn’t a large apartment, and the roof angled steeply on both sides so that he had to stoop a little when he hung his lute and midnight-colored cloak on a hook. Bright fabrics adorned the walls—silks and embroidered cottons—and a thick mat and pile of pillows were heaped in one corner. Rag rugs and pillows for seating covered the wide floorboards. The apartment held little else other than a dry sink, a few shelves, a little stand with a chamber pot, a painted wardrobe. But it was a cozy space, and two pottery vases of flowers squatted on the windowsill.

“Do you want some wine?” he asked.

It wasn’t what I expected, so I didn’t answer at once. “Uh, yes. Sure.”

He took a green glass bottle from the shelf, pulled the cork, and poured a red liquid into a pair of plain clay cups.
He was no longer wearing the gauzy silks he’d performed in, but his current outfit was hardly understated. Embroidered snakes—matching the bright blue of his chausses—trimmed a sunshine-hued tunic, and instead of sensible boots, he wore scarlet stockings and yellow slippers with curled, pointed toes. On another man, the clothing would have been gaudy, but it suited him well.

I remained near the closed door. With a tiny quirk to his lips, he prowled closer. He held out one cup of wine, which I took, and when I hesitated to drink, he took a dainty sip of his own. “It’s mediocre, I’m afraid.”

Not being able to distinguish good wine from bad, I swallowed a mouthful. It tasted fine to me.

“What shall I call you?” he purred, standing quite close. He was older than I’d thought, but the fine lines at the corners of his eyes didn’t make him any less beautiful.

“Daveth Blyd.”

“It’s a pleasure, Citizen Blyd.”

“I’m not a citizen.”

He tilted his head. “Oh?”

He wore a scent—something spicy and warm—that made my head swim. And his voice….

When I was newly signed on as a city guard, my duties had included carting my captain’s soiled uniforms to the laundry. It wasn’t one of my favored tasks. But she’d been a showy woman and had her capes trimmed not with dyed wool but with velvet. I’d rarely felt anything so soft, and I used to give the velvet surreptitious little pets as I carried her clothes.

Jory Pearce’s voice was like that velvet: soft and rich and plush. And, I reminded myself, expensive.

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  1. Congrats on the release of Blyd and Pearce.

    Actually I haven’t travelled much so far. Croatia is on my list of places to go to. It’s not that far and I read an interesting article about its beautiful nature a few years back.
    From the places I have been to, Tokyo is my favourite. I like the combination of tradition and modernness. Due to the size of the city it never gets boring and there’s always something new to discover.


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