You've found the home on the net for romance writer, LaVerne Clark. Thanks for visiting! :)

I write suspense and light fantasy/paranormal set in the beautiful country of New Zealand. A land of myths and magic, Aotearoa (Maori for Long White Cloud) has always been a storytelling nation and it is my pleasure to share mine with you.

Make yourself your drink of choice, stay a while and feel free to leave comments. I love to meet new friends.

Heartpounding suspense and fantasy Downunder

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sleepless in Seattle


Fresh from her visit to her first Grandchild in Seattle, Cherie Le Clare shares the beautiful Dean with us. He is one gorgeous little boy Cherie!

                Sleepless in Seattle

I’m shamelessly trading on the famous film title to drive all you internet grazers straight to Novel

Welcome! I live in New Zealand but both my sons live in Seattle, and I, along with my husband (to carry my bulging suitcase of knitted and crocheted baby gifts), recently flew over to the big USA to meet our very first grandchild. Only one week old, and as cute as a button, Dean captivated us from the very first moment. We all went out to brunch in a trendy cafe one morning and he slept right through all the noise, music and hustle and bustle. We took turns test-driving his stroller, and I got to bathe him one afternoon.

What can I tell you about Seattle? It’s a very attractive city, set on gentle hills on a beautiful harbour (harbor). The weather during our 12 day stay was fine and hot every day, bar one. The bus service in and out of the centre is regular and cheap as chips (make that fries) – we even had several rides for free one day when we kept getting onto the wrong buses – our fault for not asking the son we stayed with the name of the suburb he lived in. Every time we got off a bus, after realizing we’d caught the wrong one, the drivers would say, “Pay on the next bus.” We didn’t get around to that because in the end we gave up and called a taxi.

Another adventure was when we went to the famous Pike Street Market and asked where I could purchase some wool(or yarn as it’s called in America). “Yes,” a helpful lady said, “there’s a shop down the street and here’s a map to find it!” My surprise was soon replaced by gratitude when we realized just how well-hidden ‘So Much Yarn’ is. First task: Find the black wrought-iron gates. Second: Try to open them. Third: Press the intercom button and ask how to open them. Fourth: Climb the stairs to the second floor. Fifth: Walk along the outdoor terrace to the very end. Success!

      “You must have only very determined customers here,” I said to the ladies behind the counter, “because I doubt mere browsers would make the effort.”
They laughed and agreed with me.
      “Do you reward customers with coffee for making it to the door?” I asked – me being a cheeky Kiwi.
      “We don’t have coffee but we’ll be glad to make you a cup of tea.”

We accepted graciously, astonished at the outstanding service (the retail sector is exempt from a 15% tip - unlike restaurants and cafes where it is virtually compulsory). We reckoned those ladies deserved a tip though, especially as the tea was accompanied by gold-wrapped chocolate coins!

Fortified by tea and chocolate, we staggered away with my bulging bag of yarn to re-join the crowded market browsers.

Needless to say we both arrived home in New Zealand with lots of great memories, albeit exhausted from the long and tedious overnight flight. Now, if you will please excuse me, I’m off to write an adventure story called ‘Seniors in Seattle.’

      Ok, maybe not

   Cherie Le Clare

Author of historical novels French Kiss and Kiwi Kiss.


  1. Cherie, what an adorable grandson. He's very healthy looking, isn't he? And couldn't you just kiss the sweetness off his cheeks? Your post was very interesting. I often wonder at the impression my husband and I make when we travel abroad, but I love seeing the differences in cultures. By the same token, I wonder how we Americans seem to visitors. I hope we were polite to you. Enjoy that grandbaby.

  2. Loved the blog, Cherie. thanks for taking me along on your adventure in Seattle. And what a gorgeous grandson! So happy for you.

    Oh - do write that sequel SENIORS IN SEATTLE. I read it!

  3. In fact, Cherie - if you don't use that title I WILL! LOL
    (I love mature love stories)

  4. Thank you Vonnie and Lynne - it's lovely to hear from you. Yes, everyone was very polite - Americans have excellent manners on the whole - we tested those poor bus drivers' patience but they were all unfailingly kind.

    And the baby is gorgeous, I agree!

    Many thanks LaVerne for hosting me on Novel Natterings.

  5. Cherie, your grandson is gorgeous! I live near Seattle, about an hour and a half south. Sad to say I've lived here eight years now and we have yet to visit Pike Place Market. Did you get to see the Space Needle? Quite a sight up there. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  6. Dean is adorable. And so much hair! I live on the right coast of the US and have never been to the left coast. But I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit!

  7. Thanks Joanne and Lilly. I hope you get to visit Pike Place Market one day soon, Joanne. It's odd how we'll travel far overseas to do the tourist sites and often ignore what is on our own doorstep. I'm just as guilty of that.

    And Lilly, one day you may get to travel over to the 'other side' - make it research for your next novel?

  8. Hi Cherie,
    Congratulations on the new grandson. He's totally adorable!