First Authorversary: Hide And Seek

On the 18th of this month, I privately celebrated my one-year mark. But on the 19th, I went public, and I had a little party on Facebook. As part of the party, I chose places from online, from my personal experience, or from my dream list, and I gave a little riddle/hint on Facebook event page. With the hint, I invited players to guess where I was -- to try to "find" me. The winner of each game got their choice from among my e-book titles, gifted to them through Amazon Kindle.

The party was a lot of fun, and I had a great time on my virtual travels, learning obscure facts about each place I visited so that I could make up the little riddles for each game. For those of you who read here but for whatever reason couldn't be part of the party, here's the breakdown.

First, I recycled an unanswered riddle from my Facebook author page"This place is amazing ... built on dangerous underground fault lines, it is only left standing by feats of engineering genius. Unnoticed and largely unappreciated for centuries, this incredible South American temple is still a remarkable mystery to this day, with much left undiscovered -- even to the millions of people who have seen it."
Machu Picchu, Peru

Next, I moved onto another place which I described like this: "Built in 1874, this pillar of nautical beauty is rife with history and replete with adventure. Open for tours but still also live and ready for action -- though this action has been automated for many years -- this brick and iron structure is amazing to see. Through the doors and up 219 steps, you are presented with amazing views of the rolling Atlantic Ocean. And for those of us with paranormal interests, the site is said to be home to more than a few ghosts."
St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida (USA)

With the lighthouse behind me, I headed across the Ocean and into France, where I found a little place affectionately known around the world as the Lover's Bridge: "For some people, 'locks of love' is a hair charity, but for others, it is a pilgrimage and an adventure, full of romance and old world charm, smothered in the fantasy that love really can be everlasting. Along the banks of the river Seine, young romantics walk hand in hand, and when they get here, they will look upon the beauty of Notre Dame and endeavor to lock in their romance forever, throwing the key into the depths of the water."
Pont de l'ArchevĂȘchĂ©, Paris, France

My virtual hiding trip to France was lovely, but I guess it left me homesick, because this is the next riddle: "Standing proudly in the heart of Knoxville, this symbol of the 1982 World's Fair is still beautiful today. In recent years, the attraction has featured restaurants and nightclubs, but for me, the biggest appeal is in the observation deck, where you can look out on the city I'm proud to call home."
The Sunsphere, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA)

From home, I headed out across the virtual seas again, and landed in a place described thusly: "This fabulously romantic nineteenth century palace stands on a rugged hill overlooking one of the world's most beautiful gorges. Intended for the personal refuge of a reclusive King, it is now a public tourist attraction, and the inspiration behind the dreams of every six-year-old American princess. Too bad the interior was never completely finished ... you can tour this lovely masterpiece, but sleeping in it's royal chambers would be out of the question."
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

After that romantic opulence, I wanted to find something exotic but still beautiful, and now I'm thinking my bucket list has a brand new number one spot. Check this out: "Endowed with abundant natural attractions and antiquities, this quiet paradise is a traveler's heaven. Full of ancient ruins, Buddhist shrines, and magnificent mountains, this fascinating province is filled with natural and cultural wonders. It may not be the capital of the Kingdom anymore, but this piece of the golden triangle is still a wonderful place to escape the troubles of daily life and sink into the laid back style of traditional rural living."
Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The man-made beauty of Wat Rong Khun is truly spectacular and awakens the spiritual side of me, but there's just something about unobstructed nature that makes me feel more connected with the earth: "Thought of as a 'zoo without fences', this breath-taking environment is home to koalas, possums, wallabies, echidnas, penguins, and sea lions, and this luscious island is an adventure in exploration. Boasting beautiful walking trails, guided tours, and magnificent caves, this fabulous 'down under' island will leave you with lasting memories and incredibly beautiful experiences."
Kangaroo Island, Australia

Thailand and Australia can be pretty hot sometimes, and I'm a hot-blooded person. So next I wanted to cool down in a place with a more ... chilly ... climate: "An unconventional vacation, sure ... but with a view of the Northern Lights, this 5,500 kilometer hotel exhibits an entirely different concept that appeals to an entirely unique sense of adventure. This temporary wonder is rebuilt each and every winter, and each summer it slowly disappears, recycled into the Torne River."
Ice Hotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

One last stop on my virtual travel tour, and I guess this hint was a great one, because no one was able to guess it. Here's what I said: "This wonderfully wet tourist attraction is an amazing place to see. It may not be the highest, and it may not be the widest, but it is by far the largest and most impressive of its kind. Situated on the border between two African countries, this location promises the beauty of nature, combined with the exhilaration of adventure."
Victoria Falls, Africa

This is perhaps the best possible way I could think of to celebrate my first anniversary ass a published author - it was fun to have the chance to get to know some new readers, and I loved that I got to interact in a new way with established readers! Part of the party or not, it's never too late to participate - leave me a comment below and let me know which of my chosen hiding spots would be highest on your travel bucket list!