Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?

I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chuck Almost Goes Wild in Shanghai

Shanghai at night

          What happened next with Chuck was our fault.
After we almost lost the rascal cat in the Peace Hotel, we took him back to our hotel--Broadway Mansions--and fed him plenty of snacks.  
And since we were scheduled to return home to the states the very next day, we decided to take Chuck on a whirlwind tour of the city.  We wanted to show him all the points of interest--the Bund, the historic part of the City, the French Concession and then drive him around at night because we’d heard that Shanghai lit up at night looked spectacular! 
Chuck was to become King for the Day in Shanghai.
Our hope was that Chuck would fall in love with Shanghai.
Little could we guess what was about to happen.
And, Chuck, well, we lured him out of the hotel with the promise of snacks.  I had a bag of Temptations with me, Salmon flavor, and that’s all Chuckie needed to see.
We left the hotel and crossed the Garden Bridge, the first all steel bridge in China, built in 1908, to replace the wooden bridge that was there. This camel backtruss bridge is often the destination for brides dressed in red for good luck, posing after their wedding for pictures.  This is Shanghai’s landmark bridge.  Chuck seemed barely interested.

View of the Garden Bridge and our hotel Broadway Mansions.
Luckily, I had brought a small bowl with me and I filled the bowl with a few Temptations for Chuck to snack on.    
We headed past the Bund, located on the banks of the Huangpo River, noted for its buildings and structures of varied architectural styles--neoclassical, art deco--the Peace Hotel, but this too meant nothing to Chuck who barely glanced at the magnificent display as we road by.  I mentioned to Chuck that a new hotel had just been opened--the Peninsula Shanghai, very expensive and very swank, which included an entire mall of stores in the front section of the hotel. So you no longer had to leave your hotel to shop. There was also an immense food court a short distance from the hotel lobby. 
  Food? I sprinkled a few more Temptations in the bowl and the kid was happy.
Well, from the Bund, we headed toward the former foreign concession areas on Shanghai.  I wanted to show Chuck the French Concession because it was here that the First National Congress of the Communist Party met.  In other words, this is where China became a communist country.  Imagine what the world would be like if that were not the case today.  The house where that momentous event took place is now a museum.  Free admission.  No photos allowed, except in the dining room.  There are wax figures of the major players set up to illustrate who signed the agreement.  I suppose this is tantamount to our First Continental Congress meeting or the signing of our Declaration of Independence.  It kind of takes your breath away.  

In the French Concession, near where the First Continental Congress met

View of the French Concession

        The French Concession now is very upscale with shopping malls and boutiques and restaurants.  It is the chic place to live in Shanghai.  How ironic that it was here that communism got it's footing.  

A sample of the small boutiques that abound in the French Concession area today

Of course, there were more snacks for the kid.
We turned back toward the hotel and decided to revisit the historic part of Shanghai.  We passed the Yu Garden, which Chuck and I had both visited and walked and tried to find some peace.  
By this time, the sun had set, and Shanghai came to life. 
Shanghai, in case you don’t know this, is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper by population in the world with 23 million people.  It is considered a “global city,” very westernized, a major financial center and port city and the “showpiece” of China’s booming economy!  
I explained all this to Chuck, but all he seemed to care about were the lights and the continuous supply of snacks that he chomped on as we road along Shanghai’s streets.

Shanghai at night

Shanghai at night

Until . . .
I heard Chuck burp.  
And I suppose if a cat could turn pale ( as in he didn’t feel well), Chuck turned pale and had that look on his face which told me he’d eaten entirely too many snacks.  
I shook my head. “I had such plans for you tonight.  For us.  This is our last night in Shanghai.”
But the poor kid looked like he wanted to . . .
We turned the car around and headed back over the Garden Bridge, back to our temporary home at Broadway Mansions.  
Back in our hotel room, Chuck passed out, I mean fell asleep almost immediately.
And we were tuckered out, too.  

If you would like to read more about Chuck and his adventures, log onto www.katelutter.com.

My paranormal romance, Wild Point Island, is now available in paperback and ebook from amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Peace Hotel - Part II- Time Travel

(When Chuck, the rascal cat, wanders out of the lounge area of the Peace Hotel while Bob and I are sipping our Bloody Mary’s, we panic, and there’s a mad dash for the hallway.  Bob scampers off in one direction.  I go off in the other.  My heart pounds, not daring to imagine that the poor kid may be lost forever in the hotel, in Shanghai, in China.  This is PART II of that harrowing adventure . . . Part I was posted on Monday, September 17, 2012.)

Someone taps me on the shoulder.
It’s got to be Bob holding Chuck, telling me that he didn’t go far, after all.
        I’m about to heave a welcome sigh of relief.  I turn around. 
But I’m wrong.  
The Peace Hotel is well-staffed.  A well-dressed gentleman is standing there.  He smiles and says, “Can I help you?”
I fumble with my answer, “No. I’m looking for my . . .”  I’m not stupid enough to say “cat.”  I quickly insert the correct answer, “ . . . husband. He just wandered away.  We were in the bar. Having drinks.”
The hotel attendant nods.  
“I’ll just go back there and wait for him,” I add, hoping to get rid of this smiling attendant, who nods again and finally begins to walk away. 
I almost collapse on the floor as I watch him fade into the distance.
Chuck, where are you?
Could he have returned to the bar area?
Cats are great at leaving their scent behind.  That would be the logical thing for him to do.  Follow his own scent back to where he knows we are, once he realizes he’s in a mega strange place.    
I almost run down the hall now, convinced that Chuck is in the lounge area, waiting for me, probably propped up on the chair, eating our snacks . . .  
I refuse to accept any other possibility.

And that’s when it happens.  I spot the rascal cat, slinking out of a room that leads into the hallway.  Immediately he freezes when he sees me. Guilty, no doubt.  Luckily, we’re alone in the hallway. There are things I’d like to say to this cat, but I can’t speak because my throat feels so tight it’s as if I have a noose around it, so I whisk him into my arms and shove him into my smart bag.  
At least he’s safe.  Now I have to find Bob and tell him.  
I have every intention of doing so . . . because I can only imagine the anguish Bob’s going through.  He loves Chuck as much as I love him.
Somehow I become distracted. 
The room Chuck sauntered out of seems to beckon to me.
There is a soft light flowing into the window from outside. It‘s dusk, which some overly imaginative people refer to as the witching hour.  I glance into the room, and the furnishings, even the paintings on the walls, seem to harken back to an earlier time.  
Instantly, I’m reminded of “Somewhere in Time” and the scene where Christopher Reeve visits his college professor who reluctantly tells him of a moment when he felt sure he traveled backwards into the sixteenth century.  Only for a moment when the room around him flickered and the furnishings changed.  
      Time travel.
I step into the room and walk toward the window, heavily decorated with drapes. I expect, when I gaze out, to see Nanking Road filled with pedestrian traffic and cars, part of the modern world that exists around Shanghai, China.
But even as I shift the opaque curtain aside, in my heart I know I’ll glimpse a different world. For I expect this is a very special room.  By some quirk of time and space.  
The door has been left ajar for a reason.  
Chuck wandered into it.  
I was drawn to it.  
And now . . . carefully I pull the sheer drapes aside and gaze out.
And my heart metaphorically stops.
Just for a few seconds I see the hustling and bustling Nanking Road that I’ve only glimpsed in black and white photographs.  
A Nanking Road full of color and life.  I scan the scene before me and greedily take in all the details:
      Bicycles have huge woven baskets attached to the handle bars.  A red cable car squeaks past.  Several old-fashioned looking box-shaped cars drive past with their windows down.  Large cloth signs hang from poles suspended from the buildings that line the street, advertising the storefronts, in Chinese, of course.  The large, bold lettering sways in the breeze.  Men in suits wear hats, and the ladies are all in dresses. These pedestrians are in stark contrast to the rickshaw drivers who in baggy trousers and T shirts pull their load behind them.  One rider, asleep in his conveyance, wears laced, flat leather-like shoes that resemble our modern day sneakers.  

My God.  I must be  transported back to . . . the 1930’s . . .
I hear my name and stumble away from the window.
He’s standing in the doorway.  “What are you doing in here? Did you find him?”
I nod.  Should I tell him?  Should I admit that for a few seconds, I was transported back in time? No. He’ll think I’m crazy.      
“Thank God. Well, let’s go to dinner.”  That’s Bob.  Hungry.
With Chuck safely squirreled away in my smart bag, we find our way to the nearest elevator. This hotel is so posh there’s an elevator attendant waiting to push the buttons for you so you land on the right floor.  
She smiles.  “Can I help you?”
“The Dragon and the Phoenix.”
In the restaurant, we’re seated near a large picture window, but I can’t look out of that window right away.  When I do, the view of the Huangpo River is spectacular.  Boats navigate down the river.  And, yes, they are modern boats.

  My tiny foray into the past is over.  
The Peace Hotel.
Some spectacular place.
And for once, Chuck’s rascal behavior has led to a good and wonderful thing.  
The kid will get extra snacks tonight.

        To read more about Chuck, log onto www.katelutter.com

         My paranormal romance, Wild Point Island, is now available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com in paperback and ebook format.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chuck Gives Peace Hotel a Chance

The magnificent Peace Hotel with its green pyramid shaped top.
The outside is only matched by its glorious interior . . .

        I’m not a political person, but this week we celebrated the eleventh anniversary of September 11th, and I remember that horrible day.  And then the American Embassy was overrun in Libya and four people were killed, including our Ambassador in what is now being called a coordinated terrorist attack.  
I thought it only fitting to focus on one place, which at least symbolically  represents by its very name, what we should all be striving towards: peace.
The Peace Hotel.
Yes, that is its real name.

This is the entrance on the Nanking Road side.  
When we were recently traveling in China, one of my obsessions was to see the Peace Hotel again. I’d stayed there eight years before, and I was determined to at least visit this hotel and see it again, for it is one of those very special places that truly takes you back in time.
But let me explain.
Years ago, there was a movie, a very popular cult classic called Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.  Reeve, a playwright, an unhappy playwright, takes a break from his writing and decides to stay at the old Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan.  One day he spots a photograph of a beautiful woman (Seymour) hanging in an anteroom off the lobby and immediately falls in love with her, only to discover later that she’s an actress from the turn of the century.  Undaunted, he tracks down his old college professor who believes time travel is possible.  The critical element, Reeve learns, is to find a place that actually existed in the time period you want to return to and then convince your mind that you are in that new time period by surrounding yourself visually with clues from that place in time.  Reeve is able to travel in time to Seymour and the story goes on from there.
This display case captures a bygone era.  
Walking into the Peace Hotel is like walking back in time.

I love this shot--the beautiful Art Deco style light and wall decorations ...

Located on the Bund, along the Huangpu River on Nanking Road, the busiest road in Shanghai, the Fairmont Peace Hotel was originally called the Sassoon House and housed the Cathay Hotel.
      Construction lasted from 1926 to 1929 and was begun by Sir Victor Sassoon (yes, that famous family) who made his fortune by trading for opium and weapons.  Before 1946, the Cathay Hotel was considered the most prestigious hotel in Shanghai.  After the Communist take-over, the hotel functioned as a government building, and then in 1956 it reopened for the first time as the Peace Hotel.  In 1992 it became listed as one of the famous hotels of the world by the World Hotel Association. It has become particularly known for its jazz band, which has played continuously since the 1930’s.
The Peace Hotel closed in 2007 for a three year renovation so the approximately 300 guest rooms could be modernized.  I stayed in the hotel before the renovation, and, perhaps, that’s why I felt it was so special.  
I remember the exact moment I first walked into the hotel.  Jazz music was playing in the background, oddly enough.  The interior of the hotel is Art Deco, and it boasts a white marble floor and yellow walls.  So walking through the halls for the first time, I was dumbstruck by the feeling that I was walking through a time tunnel and that any moment someone would say or do something that would prove to me that somehow we’d been whisked back to the 1930’s.  Maybe that was my secret fantasy--walk down a long hallway and by the time you reach the end of it, you are back in time.  You unlock a  room and stare out the window, and sure enough, what you see in Nanking Road--the street is once again jammed packed with rickshaws and foot traffic and all signs of innovation and modern technology are gone.
Midnight in Paris?  No, early evening in Shanghai.  

           When we first arrive at the Peace Hotel, this time, Bob and I and a reluctant Chuck wander around for a bit and then head to the lounge, the bar and order two Bloody Mary’s.  We are too early for the Jazz Band and our plan is to have a drink and then head upstairs for dinner at the Dragon and the Phoenix, one of the eight restaurants in the hotel. 
This is the bar/lounge area where the jazz music is played and where Bob and I sat with Chuck.
But we savor every moment of our time in the lounge area and realize that the decor probably hasn’t changed much in close to eighty years.  We are the only ones in the lounge so when the friendly bartender scoots out, we’re free to relax and sip our drinks. Chuck is sulking.  He didn’t want to come to the Peace Hotel.  Not a fan.  So break one of my cardinal rules and let him go free to sniff around and explore.  
“Just give the Peace Hotel a chance, okay?”
Yes, there are no cats allowed, but I get the feeling with this place, that even if Chuck were spotted, we’d be given a frown and then time to scoop him up and head for the door.  
Everything is elegant and old world.
        Of course, I’ve filled Chuck in on the history of the place.  And although the kid likes being outside, a place like this with all the different smells will hopefully keep him busy for awhile.  And, frankly, Bob and I get lost in the atmosphere.  
We’re both movie buffs and can easily imagine all the people who sat in this room over the decades--the dresses of the women, the music that played, the dancing, the drinking.  It’s almost as if you could close your eyes and then open them and see another time, another place . . .
“Chuck.  Where the hell is Chuck?”
From out of nowhere, I realize that Chuck is missing.  He has wandered out of the lounge.  Followed his sniffing nose . . . somewhere . . . who the hell knows where.
I easily panic when it comes to the kid.  
And he is like a kid.  
He’ll get totally lost in the moment.  
Bob and I leave our delicious drinks behind, rush to the door.  
“You go that way.  I’ll go this way.”  There’s a hallway.  He could only have gone one way or the other.  “Meet back here.”
We scamper away, and I can feel my heart pounding. I won’t even allow myself to think about the impossibility of trying to find a cat lost in the Peace Hotel.  Lost in Shanghai.  Lost in China. 
I may never see him again.
And what were my last words?  Give the Peace Hotel a chance? 

         Stay tuned for Part 2 of Chuck Gives Peace Hotel a Chance to be posted on Sunday, September 23, 2012.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chuck's Magical Mystery Tour of Yu Garden

Classic view of Yu Garden, showing the water and greenery and the buildings

        This week, students from all over the country marched back to school.  Back to books and studying and as the days go by, back to those dreaded exams.  
The Chuckster is lucky--no school and no exams, and yet, even though he had a reprieve, he still exhibited signs of high anxiety.  
        His brief dalliance with Tai Chi helped a little, but because I sensed he needed more, we arranged a stop, when we were in Shanghai, at very special place in the Old City of Shanghai, China.
Yu Garden.  
Like most places and things in China, Yu Garden is old, very old, and the way it came about--this lush garden smack in the middle of Shanghai--is quite interesting.

A view from Yu Garden looking out toward Old City, Shanghai--the crowds of people

        The garden was first conceived in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty by Pan Yunduan, after failing one of his imperial exams.  He began constructing the gardens for his father to give him comfort.  Now, I’ll stop here to comment.  They had exams even as far back as 1559??  In China??  So, we’re doomed, of course, to never rid our system of them.  
         Anyway, Pan Yunduan was appointed Governor of the Sichuan Province, and he had to postpone construction of the gardens for twenty years.  Eventually he did resume construction. When completed, the gardens were considered to be, in his era, the largest and most prestigious in Shanghai.  But it’s also said that the final cost of the gardens helped to financially ruin him.
The gardens, at first, were kept in the family. Over the years they suffered damage during several different wars.  They were rebuilt by private citizens and the government, and they were eventually opened to the public in 1961.  
I’m glad they survived, and I wanted Chuck to see them, to experience them, because I’d been to the gardens before and I remembered how peaceful, and magical and mystical they made you feel as you walked through them.  
This time as Chuck and I left the hustle and bustle of Shanghai and entered into the peaceful retreat of Yu Garden, I thought of that story--realizing that this was no ordinary garden.  It covers five acres and includes six different areas, each one separated by a dragon wall, built of gray tiled ridges and ending in a dragon’s head.   Each area can include:
rock peaks or cliffs or caves or gorges or chambers or ponds or pavillions or towers or actual buildings where tea is served.  

Keep in mind that this garden is in the middle of the city, but it feels like you're in the middle of the woods

the exquisite rock designs that line the buildings 

The air inside the garden was cool and sweet.  I knew that Chuck would enjoy the pond, which is stocked with fish--goldfish--so we sauntered along the stone path until we found a quiet area where we could stop and peer over the edge.  

This is where Chuck was looking down, mesmerized by the goldfish

When we’re home, Chuck loves to watch the squirrels and the birds.  Here he immediately became mesmerized.  The goldfish floated by, and if it wasn’t for the fact that cats hate getting wet, Chuck would have dived right into that pond!
But he didn’t.
Instead he did actually relax for five minutes, extending his body along the rocks, resting his face on his paws, gazing contentedly into the water.  
Until, of course, a tourist came by.
“Come on.” I motioned Chuck to follow me.  I knew of another place, a secluded place where we wouldn’t be disturbed.  
That’s the beauty of Yu Garden.  You can follow the paths, and then veer off and find a special place to sit and just be.  

We followed this pathway to our secret retreat

We found that place and I would like to say that Chuck reached perfect contentment, but the kid is truthfully a nervous wreck.  He sort of relaxed.  Chuck almost found peace.

The further we walked, the more secluded the area became

He found a rock, laid on his back, got into his “Chuck meditative position,” and closed one eye.  
Something popped in the distance.
No, not a tourist this time.
A squirrel.
Luckily, Chuck just followed the poor creature with his gaze as he scampered up the tree.  
But the moment was lost.  The kid was hungry.  It was time to go.  
Was Yu Garden worth it?  Most definitely.  Peaceful and Magical and Mystical.
Even Chuck would agree.  

        To read more about Chuck's adventures, log onto www.katelutter.com

         My paranormal romance, Wild Point Island, has recently been released in paperback and ebook.  It can be purchased on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com   
         If you're looking for romance and adventure, with a bit of mystery thrown in, you'll enjoy this story of a girl who returns to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment, only to find that nothing is as it seems.   
         She must decide who she can trust as she bargains with the Island Council: the sexy revenant (who vows to help her but who has his own reasons for getting off the island) her identical twin sister (who follows her to the island and offers her assistance but who seems to thwart her at every turn), her uncle (who appears to be helping her mother, but then holds too many secrets), or the Island Council itself (which seems politically motivated against her).  
          Readers are calling it a page-turner as they race to uncover how far Ella is willing to go.  Will she find true love? Will she rescue her father?  
          Wild Point Island.  
          You deserve a fun read.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chuck-the Reluctant Tai Chi Learner


Here's my Chuck, controlling himself at the food bowl, waiting for his sister Ella to finish.

Okay, a minute later, he couldn't wait any longer and began to eat.  You can see his purple collar in this shot.

             For those of you who follow my blog, you may have--over the past few months--formed a certain impression about Chuck.
The hero.  The rascal.  The cat about town.  World traveler.
Snack lover.
What you perhaps didn’t know and I was reluctant to share is that Chuck is a confirmed overeater.  Put a bowl of snacks in front of him, and he won’t stop eating until the bowl is 100% licked clean.  
The Chuckster just loves to eat.  Here he is, face in the bowl, chomping away.

My vet, Dr. Charlie, says that his overeating problem is linked to his insecurities.  Like people, he eats to feel in control of his environment.  He is struggling to control his anxieties.  My Chuck even wears a calming collar--it happens to be purple--which he’s not to keen about--which helps keep his anxieties at bay.
Which leads me to what happened when Chuck and I and my husband were traveling through China, in Xian, to be exact, and we had an opportunity to learn Tai Chi.
Now, I’m sure that some people believe that cats don’t need to learn Tai Chi.  They don’t need the benefits of this ancient Chinese martial art.  
But I disagree . . . given Chuck’s history. 
Yeah, my Chuckster is a world traveler, but his dirty little secret was that he was gaining weight at an alarming rate and we needed to do something to get his anxieties under control.

The Chuckster comes up for a breather . . . but before he's finished, the food will be gone.

What does a cat have to be anxious about?
It’s difficult to say.  Chuckie doesn’t talk much about his issues.  I mean he doesn’t meow much.  
So while we were cruising around China, visiting the sites, we decided to join a Tai Chi class. 
Of course, it was my idea, and my first challenge was to get Chuck to go along with it.  To become a willing participant.
My plan was to bring him along and explain the benefits on the way, casual like.  So one morning we set off.  Luckily, the class was offered outside on a public square.  The other fortunate event was that in present day China, there is no longer a ban on cats, like there was eight years ago, when the country was in such bad economic downturn, that the population was not allowed to have cats or dogs as pets.  Nowadays, families can have unlimited cats and one dog per household.   
Anyway, as we strolled toward the class, I told Chuck that Tai Chi offered two separate benefits.  First, there were health benefits. Tai Chi relaxes the mind through the slow, slow, slow movements.  When someone learns how to do Tai Chi, they must concentrate on the physical movements.  This concentration forces you to take your mind off other things.  It is a kind of meditation.  You can’t think about your other problems and concentrate on Tai Chi at the same time.
I’d even brought some statistics with me.  
“Chuck, in twenty-one of thirty-three trials, they reported that Tai Chi done from one hour in duration to one year brought about reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression and enhanced the mood in patients who were both well to begin and in patients who suffered chronic conditions.”
Chuck shrugged because he didn’t think he had a problem.
“Chuck, Tai Chi might even have some effect on corisol production which means it might even affect your heart rate.  All good things, Chuck.”
Now here, I have to confess that I know Chuck worries a lot about Ella, his twin sister.  He is always keeping an eye out for her.  
But again Chuck didn’t acknowledge that there even was a problem.
The second benefit, the one that has made this ancient martial art so popular, is that Tai Chi also teaches one how to defend themselves, but I could tell as I began to talk about using leverage as a way to react to force that Chuck was just not interested.  AT ALL.
We arrived at the appointed place.  
We introduced ourselves to the instructor, who was getting ready to start.  

Our Tai Chi instructor dressed in the usual free flowing relaxed outfit.

Tai Chi for cats?
At this point, it sounded ridiculous, even to me, but even so it would have been nice if only once, the Chuckster wasn’t so obstinate and had just tried it!
“All right,” I conceded. “You win.  This time.”
I’d already contracted for the class.  
Bob, my husband, pointed to the group of people already assembled.  “You may as well get up there and get your money’s worth.”
I marched up the front and took my place, still seething, still mumbling under my breath about Chuck and how things never seemed to work out.  
Chuck eyed me from the sidelines, nestled in and comfortable.  
But as I imitated the instructor’s movements and lost myself in the experience, my bad mood dissipated and by the end of the session, I felt calmer.  

I'm in the yellow T-shirt and jeans, trying my best--my first time ever with Tai Chi.

As you can see from the photo, the movements are very fluid and controlled, very slow.

Here I am, watching and taking a breather as the instructor demonstrates how to move.

Legs are wide apart for stability.

As we practiced our Tai Chi, a crowd gathered to watch . . .

“That was great,” I pronounced when it was over.  “So glad I tried it.  So glad I took a chance.”

Chuck meowed his answer.  
“Yeah, yeah, not for you.  I get it.”  
        To read more of Chuck's adventures, log onto www.katelutter.com.  

        Or if you're a reader, or even a reluctant reader, my paranormal romance, Wild Point Island, has just been published.  It is available as a paperback or it can be downloaded on your kindle or nook at Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com.