Pictures from Europe

My next novel, Venetian Masks, will come put this month or next. As the title suggests, a good chunk of the action takes place in Venice. Other central European cities also appear. In preparation for a fun (I hope!) contest I’ll hold when the book is released, I was going through my photos from 2011, when I spent 5 months in Croatia. It’s made me homesick. But here are a few silly photos I thought you might enjoy.

  This is a train station in Slovenia. I could actually take a stab at pronouncing the town’s name (hint: the j is like a y), but it’s more fun just to admire it.

 I travel with a Spike the vampire doll. He’s been to many countries and even has his own passport. The reactions I get to him are often really fun. Here’s one I didn’t catch until later, when I was looking at the pic. I was sitting in a gondola in Venice, and the boat behind Spike is–appropriately enough–a hearse. I love the smile on the face of the hearse pilot. (My husband’s aunt is in the pic too. I think she’s pretending she doesn’t know me.)
 This is Trieste, a small city at the northeastern corner of Italy. I took this particular photo because I loved the Roman arch sticking out among the other buildings, which are relatively modern, being only 400 years or so old. And my grandfather spent his childhood in this neighborhood. But I also like the lady in the background.

This is in Croatia, in the region called Istria. The town atop the hill is Motovun, an adorable little city that resemblsd a dry miniature version of Venice (Istria was Italian for a long time). Motovun is where Mario Andretti was born. And that’s Davor, my Croatian tourguide, good-naturedly holding Spike for me. He even posed the arm upward. 🙂