My Stonegate series is filled with spies, detectives and mystery, along with a whole lot of romance. In order to do some down and dirty research for these stories, I’ve volunteered to go on a series of Super Secret Spy Missions. :) I travel a lot, but it’s almost always to New York and Los Angeles for day job related stuff.

This is different. I’m hitting out of the way points of interest and doing super secret spy stuff, along with my research at the same time. Each trip has a mission, which I unfortunately can’t share, but I also manage some fun along the way. I mean, where does it say in the spy handbook that spy girl can’t go shopping? As long as I get the “job” done, the rest of the time is mine.

Below the first few pictures are from the last mission. Piece the clues together and see if you can come up with what you think the mission was about.

I’m so lucky for this next mission. GM is actually providing me a Chevy Traverse, because part of this trip means hauling stuff. (I have to tell you I’m loving this car. Cool gadgets and super secret compartments galore. Perfect for a spy.) I’ll be posting pictures on my own blog at www.candacehavens.com. Make sure you keep up with what I’m doing, because you might just have a chance to do some spying of your own very soon.

And tell me about your favorite getaway. Where do you go to hide from the world? Where is the one place you are most relaxed? Have you ever had to keep a secret so big you thought you might burst? Tell me, I really want to know.
-Candy
www.candacehavens.com

Sherwood Forest Plantation

Sherwood Forest Plantation

A Mystic Garden

A Mystic Garden

The Infamous Whoopie Pie

The Infamous Whoopie Pie

The beginning of Mission #2

This is one awesome spy mobile.

Chevy Traverse Spy Mobile

Chevy Traverse Spy Mobile

57 Responses to “Secret Spy Missions”
  1. Otter Morryn says:

    When getting away, it is beaches & forest I look for. The Pacific coast has a lot of this, but one or the other work just as well. Relaxing & sketching are tied together for me, whether writing or drawing. Sometimes just doing sketches relaxes me even when I’m in the middle of chaos.

    • I’ve never been further north than San Francisco on the West Coast, but I so want to head up to Oregon and Washington. Tons of friends there and I have a feeling I wouldn’t want to leave.

  2. Oooh, a spy mission! Have fun and I hope it’s successful.

    Where do I hide?

    Well, if I tell you then everyone will know and be able to find me, lol.

    ~Suzi

  3. meaghan says:

    first comment? wow!

    i am currently keeping a couple of huge secrets and it is killing me!

    when i am sstressed and need a few hours to myself i go into thte wonderful world of whatever book happens to be on my nightstand! curled under the covers with my kittehs and a good book makes my day like nothing else can.

    #ww

  4. Shari Nieshmidt says:

    My fav getaways are tropical islands. Last year we went to a beautiful resort in Cancun. The ocean is seven shades of blue and the sand is pink and lush. The year before we went to Antigua and went horseback riding on the beach. The best part was having a mojito while watching the sunset. This year we went to Jamica and did much of the same relazing stuff. I love to recharge my battery by soaking all day in the sun, there’s nothing in the world like it!

    As for secrets, I don’t have any at the moment, but I’m wroking on it.

  5. Shari Nieshmidt says:

    My fav getaways are tropical islands. Last year we went to a beautiful resort in Cancun. The ocean is seven shades of blue and the sand is pink and lush. The year before we went to Antigua and went horseback riding on the beach. The best part was having a mojito while watching the sunset. This year we went to Jamica and did much of the same relazing stuff. I love to recharge my battery by soaking all day in the sun, there’s nothing in the world like it!

    As for secrets, I don’t have any at the moment, but I’m wroking on it. (ww)

  6. We haven’t been in several years, unfortunately, but our favorite getaway (especially when we lived on the frigid east coast) was an island in the Bahamas. Long swaths of white sandy beaches, forests filled with palms, sea grapes, and sea pines and water in the most gorgeous shades of blues and greens I’d ever seen. DH and I would get there overstressed from our jobs, and after a few weeks of sea breezes, friendly people, rutted roads, and sugar bananas, we’d be so relaxed it was hard going back to work.

    Not much in the way of shopping, unless you consider strolling the beaches and picking up all the pretty shells for free :)

  7. Chris J. says:

    Good morning Candace,
    I love the car and the pics, the garden is so pretty.
    I have a secret and it is so hard not to say something sometimes, but that comes with being a friend. :)
    As to relaxing, my number 1 place is sliding into a book and getting swept away for a few hours.
    If it is an actual place then that would be the mountains and I don’t get to go there nearly enough. There is just something about them they just set my mind to rest and this wonderul sense of peace comes over me.

    I can so totally see you being a spy girl! What fun!
    Best Wishes.
    #ww

    • Chris, I love the mountains too. I live in Texas and we don’t have many mountains. Hanging out in Estes Park and Loveland in Colorado is my favorite thing to do. Some of my favorite people in the world live in Loveland, which is at the base of the mountains. It’s a short drive up and so incredibly beautiful. If I knew how to shovel snow I could probably live there all year. :)

  8. Delilah says:

    My getaway is when the kids are at school and it’s quiet in the house. I also like the mountains, but I’m usually with family then. Sometimes when a lot is going on, I sit in the garden in the backyard or on the front porch where the bushes hide me from passers by.

    I was good seeing you at FenCon!

    #ww

  9. My favorite place to hide from the stressed-out life is deep within my imagination. My opinion is that writers are blessed people because we can play in our worlds and, with a lot of hard work, open those worlds up for other people to play in and enjoy also.

    In the “real” world, Outside, trees, a nice breeze, birds singing, that’s my tonic and inspiration. I live near the Smoky Mountains, and I highly recommend the area to those looking to relax. (And I’m sure there are spys hiding behind some of those trees ;-)

    Thanks for all the great stuff you do for writers (where do you get your energy?!). You’re a peach! (F)

    #ww
    Cheryel

  10. MarilagML says:

    Love the pictures. I can definitely see myself going to the plantation for a vacation.

    Definitely in my room. I curled up either reading a book or reading some stories online. I also love to get lost creating my own world by writing. There’s something relaxing with writing just to write. :-)

    #ww

    • Marilag, You made me think of my all-time favorite place. It’s my bed with my pillow. Really, that is the ultimate escape for me, especially with all the travel I do. :) Makes me want to take a nap right now. :)

  11. Alexandra M. says:

    Hi Candace,

    Like Meaghan, I’m the keeper of a huge secret and it’s killing me! I’m not sure whether to throttle the person I’m a secret-keeper for or babble the secret uncontrollably to strangers. Hopefully, I’ll manage both in the near future; otherwise, I’ll burst.

    As for a favorite getaway, I live in Philadelphia near our lovely Fairmount Park, which is home to an authentic Japanese Tea House. It sits on a little hill surrounded a koi pond/moat and what I suspect are native Japanese trees and bushes. It’s like catching a little glimpse of serenity to sit on a perch outside the gate during cherry blossom season in late March. Sometimes, I just drive past it to center myself, take a deep breath, and let my troubles melt away for a few minutes.

    Have a great time on your spy-trekking!
    Alexandra
    #ww

  12. I always try to take a trip to the Florida coast (Destin Beaches) at least once a year. I can relax with a frozen drink in one hand and a book in the other. Then when I go inside when the sun goes down I grab my computer and write until my heart is content. Love it…wish I could go more often… As for as secrets go, I always have secrets…shh..I can’t tell you what they are…

    Thanks for the fun post.

    Dawn C
    #ww

  13. Beth Caudill says:

    I like going to the beach to get away.

    I’ve never had to keep a really big secret. I lead such a boring life. :)
    I think my biggest secrets have been not telling a friend about another friends pregnancy. I found out accidentally when the doctor called while I was visiting. They’d had some miscarriages so they weren’t telling our circle of friends until the baby was further along.

  14. katie says:

    I think that is so awesome that you got a car to do your spy stuff :) How cool!

    I am not good at keeping secrets. My mom can read me like a book and figure it out (So can my husband).

    Every six months or so, I go to a hotel room (somewhere local) or go out with my friends (we have a yearly conference) for the night. When I am in the hotel room, I just get room service, read and watch mindless tv. Love it. I have a new ‘happy’ place when things are stressful….Paris. Had an amazing vacation there in June. Loved it.

    • Katie, I’m nothing but jealous at the mention of Paris. I want to go there sooooo bad. But time isn’t my friend when it comes to European vacations. But a girl can dream. :)

  15. Jason says:

    Whatever you’re doing Candy it looks like a lot of fun :) I don’t have anywhere special that helps me relax, which is probably not good! I need to find that somewhere special :) But I agree when I want to really get away I immerse myself in to a book that will take me to a whole different world. #ww

  16. Kathy says:

    I have to agree with the others. I only had to keep something a secret one time. We were moving to Hawaii and if I had told my boss I wouldn’t have gotten the promotion. At the insistence of another coworker I didn’t say anything until late.
    Escape is always a good book. I don’t have any particular place to escape to right now. My computer is my escape I guess. ;-) (H) :-)

    • Kathy, That was a big secret. My computer is too involved with work to be an escape. If I try to do something fun, I know my work is just behind the screen. Ruins everything. :)

  17. Ayelet says:

    Hi Candace,
    I am a Whoopie Pie fan so I like that picture! As far as a secret goes, sometimes a secret just becomes a part of you. I think when you think about it, there are pieces of all of us that just become secrets. I forget that I am even keeping a secret sometimes! (C)

    I also read to get away from the world . . .it is like a mini-vacation in your bag!

  18. Alley says:

    Very cool! And I l love the transport! Going in style :). My fave getaway is The Netherlands, I have a friend there and we jaunt all over Europe together. Closer to home, I like Cut N Shoot, Texas, in the tall, dark, piney woods. Great place to write or just chill.
    -Alley

  19. The west coast of Scotland is one of my favorite places. I escape there whenever I can. If I can’t get out of the country, then Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico work as well. There’s something about being in the Highlands or the mountains that clears ones head up right away.

  20. Jessica says:

    My guess is that Candy is researching President John Tyler (Sherwood forest plantation) or the Amish (Whoopi Pies).

    My dream vacation (which I’ve never been on, yet) is to get away to a cabin in Alaska with no TV, but power and internet. I would hunker down and read and write to my heart’s content. My husband would stomp in with two fresh-caught Alaskan salmon hanging from his hooks, and he’d quietly clean and cook them for me while I write. After dinner, he’d give me a foot rub and then, well, you get the idea;-)

    –Jessica (ww)

  21. Heidi says:

    Hi Candace, I can keep secrets forever as long as there good secrets if there not so good secrets and it depends on what it is I have trouble with that ..If I feel it could hurt someone I would rather not know it. I don’t feel you should keep secrets from people you love unless they are the good kind of secrets, you know surprises, babies coming

    Some of my favorite getaways are the places I go when I read. I have been to some very interesting places… even when I’m writing I get lost in my other worlds. It can be checking on details of the towns or making sure the home in my story is warm and comfy..
    But I would have to say the best get away I have is watching my 4 yr old playing in the yard. I can sit for hours just watching him play.. he has a wonderful imaganationand the things he comes up with in play are just wonderful to watch. Yes I would love to go to Ireland and get lost for a month and do nothing but relax, however I think its just as fun watching him have him favorite stuffed puppy, Spot, help him make a town for all of Spots family to live, or watch him be the Dad and cook on the grill to feed all his friends who are set up around the table ( Mr Dump truck, Dr Tonka, Policeman Freddy the turtle, Sam a bulldog, and Spot) its the cutest thing to watch and relaxing..
    #ww

    Thanks Candace,
    Heidi

    • Heidi,
      You brought up a good point about not-so good secrets. I don’t like those either. I usually end up telling at least one person, which is selfish, so they can share the burden. ;)

  22. chea says:

    My favorite get away is a book, especially if I am surrounded by nataure. Then for a little while I can forget everything, including my name. I like to mediate with active daydreaming. This really lift my spirit. And I feel refreshed!!!

    #ww

  23. Heidi says:

    Hi Candace, I can keep secrets forever as long as there good secrets if there not so good secrets and it depends on what it is I have trouble with that ..If I feel it could hurt someone I would rather not know it. I don’t feel you should keep secrets from people you love unless they are the good kind of secrets, you know surprises, babies coming

    Some of my favorite getaways are the places I go when I read. I have been to some very interesting places… even when I’m writing I get lost in my other worlds. It can be checking on details of the towns or making sure the home in my story is warm and comfy..
    But I would have to say the best get away I have is watching my 4 yr old playing in the yard. I can sit for hours just watching him play.. he has a wonderful imaganationand the things he comes up with in play are just wonderful to watch. Yes I would love to go to Ireland and get lost for a month and do nothing but relax, however I think its just as fun watching him have him favorite stuffed puppy, Spot, help him make a town for all of Spots family to live, or watch him be the Dad and cook on the grill to feed all his friends who are set up around the table ( Mr Dump truck, Dr Tonka, Policeman Freddy the turtle, Sam a bulldog, and Spot) its the cutest thing to watch and relaxing..
    #ww

    Thanks Candace,
    Heidi :-P (H) (&)

  24. Deborah Blake says:

    I’d like to go to a few of the tropical beaches everyone else talked about! The best I can manage most of the time is a couple of hours in my garden :-)
    But at least the frogs in the fish pond are mellow to hang out with…

    No big secrets–still waiting for the day I get a book deal that I can’t tell people about until it is finalized. Now that’s my kind of secret!

  25. Ashley Cockerill says:

    Hi Candace,

    My favorite get-away is my house on Lake Lewisville, near Dallas, when no one is home and the phone is unplugged. The lake has so many moods–every day is unique and tranquil.

    #ww :-)
    Thank you, Candace,
    Ashley

  26. Before he proposed to my sister, my brother-in-law wanted my opinion on a family ring he wanted to give her. This was in July. He didn’t propose until her birthday in NOVEMBER! I had to see her and my mom and keep the secret ALL THAT TIME! And I did. You never know if it’s a test or not.

  27. Suzanne Baginskie says:

    My life is always an adventure and when I travel it gets even crazier. Who would of thought that in Maine, I could put my hotel card key in upsize down and enter the wrong hotel room, because I unknowningly transposed the number. My sister and I started to walk in, dragging our suitcases and saw the TV was on, a bare foot was hanging off the bed and a pair of cowboy boots were tossed into the corner. Shocked, we backed up and carefully closed the door and ran down the hall where we burst out laughing. So, I think I do my spying the same way that you do. Believe me, I have even more stories from trips. Say, I’m a devoted fan and also a WW student.

  28. Joy Keeney says:

    My favorite escape from the hectic world is my bedroom with the rest of the world shut out but still close.

    I shut out the sounds with the classical music I have downloaded on my iPod and either curl up and read or write in my journal until I’m ready to rejoin the madness.

    Joy (*)

  29. Joy Keeney says:

    My favorite place to hide away from to frantic world around me would have to be my bedroom. Close the door to close myself off from the madness yet keeping it close just in case.
    I then block out the sounds of everything with the classical music that I’ve downloaded on my iPod…..awww instant relaxation.
    Then I curl up on the bed and read or write in my journal. Nothing more relaxing than reading and/or writing.

    Joy (*)

  30. Alina Duffer says:

    Hi Candy! I love the idea of secret spy missions. Sounds so cool! I am not sneaky in any way shape or form, lol! But I can keep a secret. Well from everyone but my hubby and my mom, lol!

    As for favorite getaways, I grew up in the mountains of southern California. So I lived on the mountain but was 2 hours from the beach. The best of both worlds! Now I live in central Indiana. No Mountains, No Beach! So now my getaways consist of my writing or reading. Either way I get to go someplace where kids aren’t fighting or drawing on each other with a sharpie like my daughter just did to my youngest while I type this, lol! It works for me. I hope in a few years to take a vacation somewhere warm and tropical.

    Have a great day and have fun on your spy missions! (*)

  31. Angela says:

    Okay, now that you’ve officially made me homesick for CO. We’ve created a place here in the Ozarks that helps and most of the time it’s where I hide. But when I want to ‘get away’, I head south to Eureka Springs Arkansas. A quaint little Victorian, artistic community that (once you park the car and get out) just makes you… ::: sigh ::::

    I try to get there at least one other time of year besides my annual trek the 2nd weekend in Oct for the ozark creative writers conference…. http://www.ozarkcreativewriters.org

    Come visit sometime. We have lots of Texas attendees and you’re welcome to bunk.
    Kelly #WW
    w/a Angela Drake

  32. B. A. Binns says:

    I just wish I had a get-away place. I’m more likely to just stay curled up in bed under a mountain of blankets with a good book. (Or a good man, assuming I have one handy.)

  33. Barb says:

    Candy,

    I love the beach, my favourite gateway is the Whitsunday Islands, and each time I try to visit a different island. I love to relax with a good book, and reading on the beach at my favourite gateway is the way to go. I can’t keep secrets, I tend to always let the cat out of the bag, and I am not a very good liar.
    Barb#ww

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