It was a dark and stormy day.

Or at least by the time we left Bryan, Texas and the MessinaHof Winery. Our car club zipped along the curvy (for Texas) roads from Houston to Bryan, 90-mile trip, yesterday to have lunch and a wine tasting at the winery.

There were long straight-aways on the road and at one time I got to push my little roadster, Z3PO, to 100 mph. He has a lot of get-up-and-go, and I had a great time downshifting on the curves. We went through real horse country, and my co-pilot Beda and I found it difficult to maintain the pace when we wanted to look at the paints, palominos and greys dotting the stretches of green fields. There was one particularly gorgeous farm that I would have loved to own. The house was made of stone, as was the barn, and the fences were pristine white, but I know what it takes to maintain a place like that. I bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for thirteen years.

At one point, we had left part of our caravan of 9 cars (there were 50 in the group) behind and stopped in a quaint little town to wait for them. The assembly of fine motor cars was divided into groups of 8-9 with a lead driver and a tail gunner, bringing up the rear.
When we resumed, one of our members almost backed into me. I swerved, glad that zippy Z is so agile, because I just got him back from an accident that occurred on evil Friday the Thirteenth. I started to wonder if he was wearing a sign that read “hit me.” Then I was told that one of my headlights wasn’t working. Great. Back to the shop on Monday. The body shop disassembled the car. It is their duty to put all his parts back correctly.

We arrived at the winery. The restaurant was quite elegant with stained glass window of vines and grapes and atmospheric lighting but…they must have known we were a rowdy crowd and we were seated in a large room at the back of the restaurant. The food was excellent and the wine good. I had an appetizer of calamari, the main course seared tuna with a spicy red-pepper sauce with a rather nice Riesling. Dessert was Tiramisu (yummy!)

Dark clouds had begun to shadow the sky. Beda and I decided to skip the tour and tasting in the interest of time—and being caught in a thunderstorm with one headlight. So we raced the storm back to Houston and outran it by a couple of hours.

It was a spectacular day out, but made me really miss the country and the wildflowers and the horses. I’m something I never thought I’d be, a city dweller, but I came home and worked on rewrites of my next erotic novella from The Wild Rose Press, working title Eden, but I think I’m going to rename it Do Angels Dream?
Speaking of writing—I have a release date for my (writing as Bianca Swan) erotic novella Hot Spanish Nights from The Wild Rose Press. October 29, Halloween weekend! And it’s not a paranormal romance as most of my work is. Below is the blurb for Hot Spanish Nights:

Southern vixen Erica DeLongpre journeys to Spain to find the horse of her dreams, never expecting to find a man capable of stirring her sexual awareness. Damián Xérès, a renowned bullfighter is deliciously skilled on a horse—and in bed. But a woman from Damian's past rattles Erica's confidence and threatens the very essence of her trip. With Lucia waiting for the slightest chink in her armor, Erica can't help wonder what lies ahead in those Hot Spanish Nights.
(Photo is Z3PO in the NC mountains)


  1. Mary Marvella // September 26, 2010 at 4:28 PM  

    Wow, sounds like a trip I would have enjoyed with you.

    Love the way you slipped in the part about a new release coming up.

  2. Nightingale // September 26, 2010 at 4:48 PM  

    Shameless self-promo

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 26, 2010 at 5:42 PM  

    I look forward to the opportunity for MM and me to visit with you and ride in you neat little sports car. Glad to hear the rewrites are coming along. I'm trudging along trying to complete my class of 85 story.

    The road trip sounds like something I would really enjoy, but alas, they don't let vans into the club! Got to get me a sportier ride so I can enjoy the road trips.

    Can you tell us a little about your new project? I love the new title.

  4. Nightingale // September 26, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

    Scarlet, Eden is about an angel, wounded in battle who plummets to Earth and into a woman's arms--where he wants to stay, despite the consequences.

    Like Hot Spanish Nights, it is written under my pen name, Bianca Swan.

  5. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 26, 2010 at 7:56 PM  

    I'll be sure to add this one to my ereader! Just love your work. And these are way too hot to miss.

  6. Joanne // September 26, 2010 at 8:43 PM  

    What a great trip, and a great car. :)
    The self-promo was right on. Very interesting blog.

  7. Beth Trissel // September 26, 2010 at 11:13 PM  

    Gorgeous car, Linda. Kewl road trip. Sounds like another fascinating story, Linda.

  8. Judy // September 27, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

    Hi, Linda! Loved reading about your road trip. And what fun to end up at a winery. It reminded me that my husband and I need to take off for a little day trip of our own. Glad you got the opportunity to get out to the country, for a few hours anyway. And good luck with your writing.

  9. Pamela Varnado // September 28, 2010 at 12:19 AM  

    Love the wheels. Your road trip sounds awesome. I wish I'd went with you. The winery must've been exciting. My critique partners and I often plan a plotting retreat at Chateau Elan (a winery in GA). We never miss the wine tasting.