Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Time to Act!
The big day is here… my action adventure novel, El Tiburon is ready for pre-ordering.
The media blitz has already started, and now it’s time for the book to actually be published by Vinspire Publishing

I’m asking, begging, anyone who wants to purchase El Tiburon to buy it before December 31st. If you do that than all the sales will be attributed to December 31st. This will crank up my sales and put me on the best seller lists. Without being too detailed, this will set my career as an author. Just click on the links below, or go to the eStore of your choice:


At this point, it’s not about the money (only $3.99 for eBook), it’s about numbers.

For all of you who are attending my book release party on January 16th, this will get the paperback ($16.99) delivered to your doorstep in time. (I can’t imagine why you’d want me to sign it, but ya’ll are asking, so there you go)

I truly appreciate your support and I hope you enjoy reading El Tiburon as much as this critic did at Ronovan Writes.


I will send out details for the party soon. In the meantime forward this to your friends and post it to your social media J

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Heading home from Turks and Caicos 5 pounds heavier

Well, here we are suffering a six hour flight from Miami to LA. As much as I like to travel, I get incredibly bored flying. The only source of entertainment is watching the little girl across the aisle try to create as much mischief as possible before succumbing to sleep. Leaving Turks was at least interesting for the great aerial view.

We said goodbye to Larry and Lisa on Tues. They could only stay with us for 10 days because they had to get back to the ranch. They seemed to have a good time. Club Med isn’t for everyone. One first-timer said it well, “This is like summer camp for adults… with really good food.” To me the best part of the Club Med method is to create a vacation where you have the least amount of decisions as possible. You get whatever room they give you, they have a huge buffet of food with a different theme every night, they have a show every night, and they even have a clothing theme for each night. There're so many sports options, it's mind boggling. Now clearly you can have a hamburger every night and wear whatever you want, but if you don’t want to think—it’s wonderful.  Honestly, you can check your brain in at reception when you arrive. For me that’s a vacation.
Right after they left we had a torrential downpour. It roughed up the sea and killed the diving visibility. 

We finally dove Friday, and after I jumped in to put on my BCD, Joe yelled from the safety of the boat, “There’s a shark right behind you. I turned expecting to see a huge fin coming straight toward me with the Jaws theme-music playing. I saw nothing. Assuming Joe was messing with me, I went back to my gear, but the divers still on the boat were pointing behind me. I let the air out of my BCD and sank down to get a better look and lo-and-behold a shark had just turned and was swimming away!

That reminds me of the barracuda. We were all standing out in the water at the beach, and this barracuda swims up to us! They aren’t the friendliest fish, so we weren’t thrilled. I shoved a big pink floaty we had at it in the hopes that it would scare it away. Did you know barracudas will actually come after pink floaties? I didn’t! Not sure whether he was curious or hungry, but we got the heck out of his way (and made a mental note to not bring the pink floaty-thingy back in the water!)

Joe made a prediction at the beginning of the vacation that I would end up in a wheelchair by the end (or at least using crutches). I started by stepping on a rock in the sand and bruised my arch. It hurt like crazy to walk on sand so I muttered, “ouch, ouch, ouch” all the way to the water. It healed. Then I jumped off the surfboard (paddle board) and twisted my ankle, “ouch, ouch…” It healed quickly with salonpaas. A day later as I was entering the water I stepped on a crab and it momentarily latched onto my other foot… I just about jumped out of my skin! Once all that drama healed, I stepped on a sharp piece of coral and took a chunk out of the exact same spot I’d bruised! Ouch, ouch…However, I never resorted to crutches J

We met this sweet young lady from the Harry Potter generation. I noticed this tattoo on her arm and asked her about it. She explained that the Death Eaters would sneak up on people and suck the joy out of them, leaving the person evil or dead. The Expecto Petronum spell would repel the Death Eaters, thereby retaining your joy. Her tattoo was a reminder to herself to keep an eye out for people who suck the joy out of life. Pretty smart huh?



In spite of it all, it was a super relaxing vacation. Now I need to focus on my book release party on January 16th!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Club Med Turkoise; Turks and Caicos, end of week one

Here I sit in my temporary office. Today it’s in front of the restaurant. I’m torn between writing and people watching, so I chose to blog… a form of people watching J I find people to be fascinating. Even the most cool-calm blasé person is interesting if you watch them long enough. People watching is where all character development occurs. The writer is obsessed with observing scenes, so keep an eye out for your cameo role in my books.

Night before last was “White Night.” Ninety percent of the guests and all the employees dressed in white. It was really pretty to see so many people wearing white. After dinner they always have a show put on by the crazy GO’s (gentile organizers). These people work harder than anyone on the planet, 6 days a week, 12 hours a day! And when I say work, I mean work. They even play hard. I get tired watching them, it looks like a continuous aerobics class.

This club med has a circus workshop. Our friend, Larry, did it! He climbed up the ladder and jumped off a perfectly good platform. He swung his feet up over the bar while swinging and then let go with his hands! Then he did this crazy back-flip dismount into the net!

The diving has been good. We saw a reef shark, who saw us first. It was swimming alongside us checking out our big weird fins J We saw a spotted eel and a giant moray eel too. Every dive is a lobster dive, but we also saw a really cool crusty old crab. A large nurse shark was dozing under a ledge. Nurse sharks are funny because they act like if they hide their head, then no one can see them. This big huge body is hanging in the open where everyone can see it. It’s super cute in a giant shark kinda-of-way.

Last night was a big local event in our little corner of the world. For two days a stage has been slowly rising out of the sand next to the Club Med property. Workers have shuffled back and forth erecting awnings on the beach and burying electrical cords. Finally the square tables came out and then the beach became a traffic jam of families with blankets and ice chests. Of course Joe and I couldn’t resist. We joined the party. They had tons of local food, mostly various ways to prepare conch and fish. Giant beach balls were tethered by strings to the stage. This turned out to be a great way to keep the little ones busy.


I was impressed with how seriously the men took the domino games at the square tables. Each table had a score keeper. It was like watching a fast paced poker game. I think a fight broke out at one of the tables… It’s hard to tell because the slightest disagreement is quite loud. Actually any animated discussion is loud, but they looked mad about the game. It was quickly settled and they returned to the serious business of dominos. I’m positive that scene will make it into my pirate novel.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Club Med Turkoise; Turks and Caicos with Lisa and Larry.

The view is amazing here! The sky is a brilliant blue with stark white clouds creating sculptures of turtles, battling titans and crawling babies… all you need is an imagination. The thousand palm trees dance along the property edge as though they too want to run across the sandy beach and jump in the ocean. I never tire of gazing out across Grace Bay. On the very furthest edge of the horizon is a thin dark-blue stripe, but as you bring your gaze closer the colors shift from brilliant turquoise to darker turquoise. This is all framed by sand so bright it is… well it’s white!

I write here, at Sharky’s Shack, a beach bar. Sharky’s is known for its cool beach-vibe music and its burgers and fries. I’ve lost count of how many bowls of French fries we’ve eaten. They toss the fries in a seasoning that’s completely addictive. In the morning this is a peaceful spot. The bar is closed and all I have is the sound of the palm trees and the distant music of the water aerobics class. Joe is down on the beach with our friends, Larry and Lisa watching the sailboats and kite-surfers.

Yesterday we dove in the morning. It was great to get back under the sea. I love the peace and quiet of cruising along the ocean floor. A favorite pastime of mine is to kneel in the sand in front of a coral head and stay still (not easy in the surge). It’s amazing how many things live on one tiny coral head.

Speaking of diving, I hurt my mid-back a couple of months ago and am now forbidden to pick up anything heavy. I don’t know if you know this, but a scuba vest with a tank attached is very heavy. I consulted my doctor and she said, “Just have them toss the BCD with the tank in the ocean.” Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? I remember that being part of my original PADI certification a hundred years ago. So I took a refresher course and honed my tank donning and doffing skills. The first dive when the dive master, Matt, threw my gear off the back of the catamaran, I thought, Okay, here it goes! I jumped in after it and put it on as though I always do it that way J When I got out, I just removed it and Matt yanked it up on the boat. Easy peazy, lemon squeezy.

Larry just did the circus trapeze. He wanted to try it, but was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get his feet up over the bar as he swung upside down. I would have been afraid to even climb the ladder to get up there, plus I doubt my doctor would’ve written a release form for that activity. Larry did it though and he had no problem getting is feet over the bar. He even did a back flip off the bar onto the net. After 3 times he walked away with his hand on his low back and a proud grin on his face. I have a feeling he’s gonna be sore tomorrow.

I need to get back to writing my third book. This one is about modern-day pirating. My locale is very inspiring… Arrrg matey. Last night’s theme was pirates and French food. The Turks and Caicos is definitely pirate territory. Maybe my bad guys will end up over here… ?

Well, signing off for now. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Counterpart

Counterpart is the first novel to feature Sean and Sport. You might want to read Counterpart before El Tiburon is released on 12/30/15. Here's a quick description:
Imagine a strong single woman with a thriving career as a physician. Sport calls all the shots, with no ties other than three cats and an immigrant mother who desperately wants her to get married. The male compatriot is an agent for the CIA. Sean has sworn to protect his country from foreign invasion, and he is serious about his job. Sean is Caucasian and Sport is African-Japanese. They are both fiercely American. The last thing on either of their minds is romance.
Sport witnesses the murder of a family friend, and escapes into Sean’s protective custody. When a plot by Russia to infiltrate our nation is uncovered, Sean finds out too late his direct boss is the enemy . . . Sport has the evidence to prove it. The dilemma is how to keep Sport safe and resolve the escalating danger to the country. When they realize the President is the next target, they join forces with a rag-tag team of patriots to stop the assassination.
The scene unfolds at a swift pace as Sean and Sport struggle with internal and external conflict. They bicker, yet love continues to grow in spite of their differences. With murder, romance, humor, and intense action at every turn they learn to depend on each other.
You can purchase Counterpart at Smashwords.com, or at any major digital bookstore (other than Amazon)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Leaving Mexicali

Wednesday:
Time is flying! I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already. All the tarps got put down and the huge shade structures raised like barn-raising in the old days. When it came time to raise them all the men from their various work projects would be called over to hoist the massive awnings.

The first awning was grabbed by a gust of wind and attacked the van. We rescued the van and found the awning support posts had crumpled beyond repair. Oh well, the guys just moved on to the next one. Us gals put up 10 more tents, finished the curtains and bought the initial groceries for the incoming youth group of 130 people. One of the ladies, Deb got sick and we gingerly transported her back to the base camp.

I finally saw a road runner. Everyone kept telling me they’d seen one. It became the camp joke to report to me that they’d seen yet another road runner. I told them they were all lying through their teeth. They even said two ran right through our camp! I finally saw one about 100 feet away. They are little tiny things, maybe a foot tall and scrawny. It looked like a horizontal stick on legs.

We grabbed the other Heidi and raced (actually 30 minutes in stop and go traffic) out to the country to see Jose and Daisy’s house. The last time we were there they’d just gotten up the drywall and we wrote blessings on it. Now it’s a little palace, as Daisy sweetly put it. The girls showed us the red ant hill…yuck. Daisy, of course, made us eat apple pie. Then we raced back to base camp because Ed, the super-hero construction-dude, had barbecued dinner for us. As I type this I feel the weight of way to much food in my tummy.

Joe bailed on the women (there was the arrival of three college men) and came back to the comfort of the hotel. He’s exhausted. We go back in the morning and put the final touches on the Camp and then we’re off to the United States. Hopefully border crossing will be boring and uneventful. We fly home late-late Thursday night.

Thursday:
This is an “Our work is never done” kind of job. We hustled over to the base camp first thing and got back to work. Time was running out. The other Heidi was down with flu-like symptoms. Fortunately Deb had already recovered.

I got stuck with the task of assigning the fifteen tents to the adults coming down. Just because they’re Christians doesn’t mean they can’t get a little fussy over which tent they get stuck with. I don’t know most of them, so it became my job to put little tags on tents.

The curtains didn’t stay up like we’d hoped because the floor painting job continued on through the night, and the windows had to be left open. The masking tape didn’t hold up too well in the breeze. Oh well it isn’t the first time we’ve done a job and come back to discover it didn’t work under different conditions.

The last of the shade structures went up, the garbage box was built, the ice chests cleaned and ready to go, and the local pastors started showing up to say goodbye to us. The youth group will be arriving Saturday. After hugs and kisses, and an impromptu group prayer, seven of us clambered into the minivan and headed for the border. An hour and a half later we crossed over. First American stop? In-And-Out Burger of course.

We ended our trip with a lazy couple of hours wandering around the Marina Village in San Diego. All in all it was a successful trip. We accomplished more than we anticipated considering 3 of our 7 got sick. But, as I said the work was by no means done.


Now I’m sitting in the back yard relishing the cool delta breeze. No dust, no mosquitoes, and no road runners, just my very happy little kitty.

Mission Trip to Mexicali

Sunday:
We flew down to San Diego Sunday and spent the day wandering around Coronado Island. I’d never been there. When I saw the bridge going over to the island I decided I didn’t want to go after all. Normally I’m not afraid of heights, but certain bridges really make me squirm. It’s the ones with a minimal barrier and they go on forever. For some reason it gives me the willies if they turn right or left while over water. Once we got there I was fine, though I dreaded the return trip :)

We sat and had a late breakfast at a beach restaurant, then walked on the sand. Very important to walk on the sand with shoes off. Beginner surfers played in the calm waves and children made sand castles. I missed the dogs I’ve become accustomed to in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

It’s interesting that this is the second time I’ve felt nervous about the people around me while traveling. The first was near the LA airport in California. We accidently ended up at a scary hostel. This time in San Diego I was cautious around all the people who were higher than a kite…drunk, stoned, whatever. I couldn’t believe how many people appeared to be living on the street. One lady became aggressive in a CVS store (in the posh Gas Lamp District) towards a young Asian couple. She started screaming at them, the security guard kicked her out, and then she chased them down the street hitting them with her flip-flops. About six or seven people were following the chase trying to get the crazy lady to stop. I yelled to the couple to go back into the CVS. By then the girl was in tears. It was awful.

Monday:
So now I’m in scary-dangerous Mexicali and I feel safe. Weird. I haven’t seen anyone staggering down the street trying to hit someone with a flip-flop yet.

We are here on a set-up trip for our church’s annual Easter week mission trip for our teens. When they arrive the base campground has to be set up with clean water, food, tents, and shade. This afternoon we drove out to the Club Campastre de Golf, which is a huge concert/event hall with a big dirt parking lot. It’s mainly for church events and is privately owned. Every year they let First Covenant Church take over their grounds for two weeks.

We have two semi-truck trailers permanently on the property. One is called the Man Cave and it holds the screwdrivers and duct tape, the other is The Kitchen. I got the kitchen while Joe and Pastor Dan worked on getting the water purification system up and running, and tried to figure out how to get electricity to everything (5 refrigerators). I dusted, swept, scrubbed and mopped the kitchen. It was hot and grimy. Then I moved to cleaning the bathrooms.

In the past we have worked with a man, Jose, who ran an orphanage for the elderly. We had dinner with him and his wife Daisy tonight. They are such a lovely couple. Their two little girls kept Joe entertained as they each held a hand and led him all over the restaurant. Jose has started a church of his own (he is an ordained pastor). This was a big step of faith for him, and they now have three families attending.

Tomorrow we’ll head out again for base camp to work. Joe will move over to the campground, and I will stay here at the hotel because I hate camping. Several women are arriving tomorrow and he doesn’t feel right about them being at base camp alone at night.

Tuesday:
We started with our hotel breakfast and a nice devotional time led by Pastor Dan. After a quick stop at Starbucks we headed over to Base Camp and greeted the next team coming in. Three ladies and two men had crossed the border that morning with no problems.

First thing we tackled was cleaning all of the kitchen bowls, plates, utensils, etc. When the kitchen heated up to an unbearable degree we tackled the tents. We got five up before we headed over to the elementary school on the property to clean the bathrooms and hang curtains. All the boys go in separate rooms from all the girls (one-hundred of them), so we had to make sure there was no peeking.

The floors had just been painted by the well meaning janitor, making the job slightly more difficult. The shiny sky-blue floors were very bright and cheerful though. None of the curtains matched, so any attempt at interior decorating was an abject failure.

Back over to the main area we stopped to admire the construction work on the new bathroom and shower building our church is building for Club Campastre de Golf. This couple, Lucy and Humberto, have been incredibly supportive of us over the years and have always given us priority even when other churches offered more money for the rental of the campsite. This was an opportunity for us to pay back  their kindness.

By-the-way, the camp has a different mascot every year. This year it's Petey the snake. He is constantly moved about so he can enjoy the various views. I put him in the frig and was scolded because he got cold...who knew? 

Dan and I made a taco run for the crew. I love doing this. The drive is crazy…driving in Mexicali is crazy. I couldn’t believe how many cops were out pulling people over for traffic violations. They will be kept very busy in this town that’s for sure. The lanes are poorly marked, if at all. The lights have a weird system of blinking green before a momentary yellow and then red. All the major intersections are round-abouts. This means three lanes (unmarked) merge and break away at the highest possible speeds. The only other place I’ve seen this is in Italy.


I forced Dan to stop working and take me back to the hotel. He has been sicker than a dog this trip, (probably got it from Joe) and he hacking and coughing. Did I mention I hate camping. So I snuggled into my soft bed in my air-conditioned room and slept like a baby.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

There are milestones in life. Marriage to Joe was a major one for me. Becoming a Christian...wow, that was huge. But there are other things we accomplish that stop us in our tracks and makes us think, "Did I really just accomplish that?"

When I got accepted to Physical Therapy school I was stunned, but that was soon over-shadowed by passing the state exams to become a PT.

I still remember that shiver up my spine when I wrote "The End" on my first novel, Counterpart. 105,000 word book! Then I got a one-hundred dollar check for book sales...I cried.

Recently I submitted my second novel, El Tiburon to Vinspire Publishing and they accepted it. Now I'm wise enough to know it will be even bigger when they actually publish it. 

What came as a surprise was how excited I would be when I got my book cover from the designer. I'm floating on air. I've just been given permission to share it with you all. So here it is: