The Double-Decker Bus tour of Philadelphia’s City Center

The Philadelphia big bus pass. A card which gives you access to a hop on hop off tour bus. Free entry to lots of sites of interest and discounts at other places and eateries.

I visited:

  • Christ Church Burial Ground. Tossed our pennies on Ben Franklin’s grave; I guess it’s supposed to be good luck or something.
  • philadelphia-museum-of-art-600Philadelphia Museum of Art . I am by no means an art scholar or connoisseur. I do have some favorite works and artists from various eras. This museum gave me thrills and an emotional high. It contains over 200,000 works from all over the world. Not just pictures, but also statuary, furniture, and objects of all kinds. I really like the weapons rooms—appeals to the romance author in me. I am not impressed by all the Rocky movie references (Tsteps? They have a statue of him at the bottom and dozens of tourists posing with their arms in the air at the top), but the museum is beautiful, huge, inspiring, soothing, educational.
  • Eastern State Penitentiary. Known for its gothic architecture and strict discipline, it was the world’s first true penitentiary, designed to inspire true penitence in the prisoners. In 1829, it was a step up from jail norms and was the most expensive prison of it’s time. I guess it was partly the weather (cold and cloudy) but I was depressed by its grimness.  (Can’t imagine how it was to live there for two or three years.) You get earphones and a player with voices of a narrator and some actual inmates to tour at your own pace. The cells are so small and dismal. The people who created it had such righteous intentions but it just seems horrible now. Even some of their contemporaries criticized the principles of solitude and silence. I bet these memories may help me with descriptions and/or atmosphere in my writing someday.
  • franklin-institute-philadelphia-2-600Franklin Institute – A huge statue of Ben Franklin seated in a chair sits out front. The museum claims to be one of the top 100 places to take your family.” It has so many activities for adults and kids alike to participate in. It’s definitely a hands-on kind of place. The electricity room was a favorite display, of course, where they could absorb a charge and shock one another. (Favorite place for many judging by the squeals and laughter.) But mine and their favorite of all was the planetarium show. There’s also the Giant Walk-through Heart, the Train Factory, a Flight simulator, and an IMAX theater for a little extra money.
  • art-on-city-hall-600 phillyCity Hall Observation Deck.  I felt like I was on top of the world! I usually don’t ‘do’ heights. But this was worth the tiny, ratchety, slow elevator ride to get 500 and some feet above the city and walk the deck. You see the city laid out in William Penn’s symmetrical plan, teeming with life and movement, modern architecture mixing with the historical. View from the top.
Not very flattering but I was having fun.

Not very flattering but it was cold and sunny.

About me

–    andrea_004-160x209 My name is AndreaJackson. I call myself the Paperback Diva because I love reading, as well as, writing genre paperback fiction. I grew up as an Army brat and then married an Army guy. I’ve had the opportunity to live in some interesting places in the United States as well as Europe, which gives me fodder for my writing ideas. I once had all kinds of hobbies, but I don’t seem to have time for them anymore.  When I’m not writing, I spend time with friends and family, including 5 children and six grandchildren,

–     I wish I could say I spend time every day reading my Bible. However, I don’t have trouble finding time to connect to God. As a natural part of my regular routine, I chat, ask for help, or thank Him for my blessings during my activities all day long.

From the third grade on, I had a book in my hand. When I reached my teen years, I began to venture into creating stories for my friends. I continued to write off and on through many years of work, marriage and family. But I did not seriously think of it as a career until, in 1992, I entered Writer’s Digest monthly contest and won. That made me believe I might actually be a real writer. I joined Romance Writers of America and learned about the business and craft of writing.
In 2002, I entered the Heart and Soul contest for the Romance Slam Jam conference. I placed third or fourth.  That year an editor from Genesis Press was one of the final round judges. Almost immediately after the conference, I shot a query off to Genesis, noting my position in the Slam Jam contest. And they bought it. Bodyguard was followed by Hand in Glove and Who’s That Lady?


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” ~-Marcel Proust

I've always longed to travel and explore. For a while I did it. When I lived overseas with my military husband, I took day trips to all kinds of interesting places. I took car trips to small towns to Volksmarch. When I was a young single parent, I traveled back and forth to DC to visit friends and relatives, relax. Then things began to change. One thing after another got in the way. I had more young children, long after that first child had become fairly independent. Money was tight. Health problems.
Still there have been a few trips. I spent a weekend in a tourist city of Gatlinburg, TN with my sister and aunt. I've been to a couple of writers conferences in places that excited me.
But I still long for more travel. Now that my baby daughter has graduated from high school. I promise myself that I will do more traveling.
In the quote above, Proust talks about seeing with new eyes. That's true too. You can walk around your own town, your own neighborhood, and see things you've never done before. So I'm going to promise myself to do that too.

places you'll go


  • Last month I posted this (Success ) about my struggles to find a way to make a living for myself. Well, the school is just ending here in Virginia and I still don’t have a regular job. There have been a few nibbles with the temp agency but no assignments yet. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
  • My baby daughter graduated from high school yesterday! I’m very proud of her. I’m not sure exactly what she plans to do next (except get job) but she’s bright and creative. She’ll do fine. I also have the best 20 yo son in the world still living at home, working and going to school. Along with the three grown up children and 6 adorable grandchildren, I’m truly blessed.
  • No closer to finishing a book. So sorry, readers! I feel like I’m letting you down as well as myself.
  • My sister has signed up to go on the Slam Jam Anniversary cruise with me next year! It should be a memorable trip.


Thursday Thirteen: My Bucket List


Bucket List: 13 things to do before I die.

1.      Drive across the country in a travel trailer.

2.      Learn to ride a motorcycle

3.      Be in the studio audience of television talk show.

4.      Anonomously give a huge wad of money to someone who needed it.

5.      Spend a week in a penthouse

6.      Work in Western Africa

7.      See Hawaii

8.      See Alaska

9.      Get the perfect hair style and wardrobe.

10.   Have a place of my own, a small townhouse where I can write and read whenver I feel like it.

11.   Have a personal assistant.

12.   Take dance lessons

13.   See the Grand Canyon


Free at Last!


at-lastNow available in both ebook and print from Phaze Books!

Phaze, in partnership with editor, Alessia Brio, is proud to announce Coming Together: At Last, a collection of interracial erotic fiction which celebrates the diversity of desire. With an introduction by NYT Bestselling Author L.A. Banks.

Volumes 1 and 2 feature stories by Andrea Jackson, Bridget Midway, Saskia Walker, Seressia Glass, Aliyah Burke, Alessia Brio and Will Belegon, and many more.

All proceeds from the sale of this special anthology will benefit Amnesty International. Coming Together is erotic altruism at its fines.

Read an Excerpt on the Andrea Jackson Group site.