I happen to be lucky enough to call Las Vegas my hometown. In my many years here, I’ve watched the town grow and morph. In my younger days, school field trips involved trips to Caesars Palace to watch a film on the Omnimax (back when there was no Forum Shoppes, and the parking lot was adjacent to LV Blvd. – big changes now!). I was in high school when the Excalibur opened, and it was the largest hotel in the world at the time. My friends and I ditched school once to go there and play in the arcade – shhh, don’t tell my mom. Good times!
I remember when the Hacienda sat on the soil that the Luxor and Mandalay Bay sit on now. It was a nice little place, and held the restaurant where I first ate crab legs. I was also in a friend’s wedding there, wearing an awful fluorescent pink bridesmaid dress.
Now, so many years later, the gorgeous Mandalay Bay grew out of that soil (I was in a wedding there too, and the bridesmaids dress was much, much more tolerable). It’s my second favorite hotel here, with Caesars being my first for nostalgia reasons, and because I used to work there. When you walk into Mandalay Bay, it smells like suntan lotion and reminds you of lazy beach vacations. The restaurants are superb, and I’ve seen many an event inside the House of Blues.
After the horrid events on October 1, I read an article that employees kept being sent home and were losing tips that they rely on because the hotel was literally empty. Upon hearing this, I felt it necessary to bring my son down to go to the Shark Reef, as we had many times before, to help “fill the space”. The suntan lotion scented halls were near empty, and we had the sharks almost entirely to ourselves. It was surreal, and heartbreaking.
If you’re looking for somewhere to come for your next “Midweek Escape”, consider Vegas. We’ve long been known as “Sin City”, but we locals know that is a tongue-in-cheek expression. We want our tourists to enjoy themselves, and from the Cirque artists to the weirdos who dress up like Transformers in front of the Bellagio fountains, to little ole me who lives in a suburb and ventures to the Strip only on occasion, we are Vegas.
|Back side of Mandalay Bay from the top of the parking garage.|
|Where's all the people?|
|Normally, people are lining both sides of this tunnel.|
|You know that face - the "I'll smile because I have to and I'm annoyed" face.|
Title: Love for the Holidays (my story, “Time for Christmas”)
Author/pen name: Kay Phoenix
Publisher: Sin City Romance Writers
Date of Publication: Nov. 3, 2017
· ISBN-10: 0998672157
· ISBN-13: 978-0998672151
Love is always in the cards with Love for the Holidays. Las Vegas temperatures are cold in December, but the heat from these seductive holiday tales will keep you warm. Whether the hero is a casino owner, executive, playboy, or rancher, they’re no match for the ladies of Vegas, when Christmas magic is in the air
(for my story)
Sparks flew when Andrew and Regina met the first time, but the discovery that he was her new boss snuffed out their budding romance.
Now, a job transfer makes their remaining time together much too short.
Can a hefty sprinkle of Christmas magic finally set them both on the right path? Will they realize that time, like love is a gift not to be wasted?
Amazon US ~ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07564WJQL
Barnes and Noble ~ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-for-the-holidays-b-a-mcintosh/1127026693?ean=2940154941423
Regina inhaled in a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves. What did he want to see her about? Hadn’t he just seen her? Good grief on Earth this was nerve racking and right before five o’clock.
Each step up seemed to take a week. Finally, she rounded the corner to his secretary’s desk. Pam glanced up at her over dark-rimmed glasses. She motioned over her shoulder. “He said for you to go on in.”
He was in his chair with his back to her, looking out the window. “Shut the door,” he said, and turned to face her, “and have a seat.”
Butterflies fluttered in her stomach. It wasn’t like she hadn’t been in his office before. She had, but never alone. Always for a team project. She glanced at the clock on the wall above his desk. Only ten minutes until quitting time. Did she do something wrong? Or, was this about starting a new, tedious project.
“So, Regina, I went over everything you did on the Clough account. Good job. But, I have a couple questions for you about the ATI account.”
She nodded. “Okay, what are they?”
“Great. Come over here. I want to show you what I’m looking at.” He motioned with his hand for her to stand beside him as if he wanted to show her something on his screen.
She joined him behind the desk, and was immediately aware of his close proximity. His fresh, woodsy scent was intoxicating. On his computer screen was a photo of the Tower of London.
Ms. Phoenix is a rare bird herself...a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. She belongs to Las Vegas Romance Writers and has served on the board for several years. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America with PAN status.
Prior to writing, Kay was a Graphic Artist for fifteen years in the casino industry and holds degrees in both Graphic Arts and Psychology. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling and photography. She is also involved in several Las Vegas non-profits, and is the current Chairman of a popular, long-running, local art show.
Kay has been blessed to be able to travel many places, which inspired her to host a weekly author spotlight called “Midweek Escapes” on her blog. It features guest author’s favorite vacation destinations, their travel tips, and, of course, information about their book releases and occasional giveaways.