Tuesday, December 11, 2018

ENVY ON 30A


Here is another exciting Emerald Coast Mystery, just in time for a last-minute Christmas gift!

"Victoria Palmer is a social-media queen with millions of followers. Her wedding promises to be the cyber event of the year. The nuptials will take place at the fabulous Magnolia Resort, a haven for the super-rich. For Morgan Lytton, Magnolia’s wedding planner, the four-day extravaganza provokes anxiety. An impending storm off the Gulf of Mexico looms on the horizon. Pernicious paparazzi threaten to infiltrate the event. In addition, an undercurrent of hatred and jealousy simmers under the feigned camaraderie of the wedding party. Unwittingly, Morgan becomes enmeshed in their conflicts.
            After the first murder, the members of the wedding party begin to suspect one another. Morgan works with the police and finds herself a target for the vindictive killer.
This thriller takes place on the exquisite Emerald Coast along Highway 30A in the Florida Panhandle. This is a classic mystery that will keep you guessing until the end."

Saturday, January 27, 2018

THE GIRL ON 30A


Claire escapes on Christmas Day. She leaves behind her stifling family, her controlling fiancé and her grueling job. In Lemon Cove, a Florida town off Highway 30A, she finds new friends, a challenging career and a beautiful coach house right on the beach. How lucky can she get?

But within days her perfect new life begins to disintegrate. Her date for New Year’s Eve is found dead in a gangland shooting. She hears voices in the night and has the distinct feeling she’s being followed. Gripped by fear, she is suspicious of Daxton Simmons, a handsome, cocky neighbor; of Seijun, the charismatic Buddhist priest; and of the mysterious hitchhiker. Claire is determined to uncover the truth and reclaim the life she’s begun to build…no matter what it takes.


This fast-paced novel takes place on the exquisite Emerald Coast along Highway 30A in the Florida Panhandle. Part travelogue and part thriller, THE GIRL ON 30A paints a vibrant portrait of a distinctive region while spinning its intriguing tale.

Available on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y89c8o2o

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Big Sale



TODAY, JULY 11TH 2017 AND TOMORROW, ALL BANNER BLUFF MYSTERIES WILL BE ONLY $.99 ON AMAZON. HAPPY READING1

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Final Post

GOODBYE SWEDEN


Charming view of western coast of Sweden.
In June at the close of the school year, my classmates organized a good-bye party.  They gave me a poetry book and a stuffed hippopotamus!  Apparently, I had seen it in a shop window and thought it was cute??

My hippo was pink and brown.
I sailed home on the Kungsholm; the same ship we had taken on the trip out.  The weather was balmier and I spent more time up on deck.  But this trip was not as much fun without Gudrun’s company.

Wide, wide, blue, blue sea.

Dining room of the Kungsholm.
I do remember that I traveled incognito!  Many of the people I met as well as the crew thought I was Swedish.  One year of immersion in the language had greatly improved my accent and vocabulary.


Smörgåsbord abord the Kungsholm.


The End 

This blog took shape a year ago.  On March 9, 2016, I began writing about my adventures in Europe as a teenager and young mother.  I wrote about everyday experiences and unexpected adventures. My friendships were rich and varied. I wrote from memory. Time, maturity and other happenings have undoubtedly colored my perspective. But I tried to be truthful with a positive twist.  I chose to look through rose-colored glasses and to depict people and occurrences favorably.

Thanks to all of you who followed along. I entreat you to live your life to the fullest.  Go out on a limb, meet new people, climb a mountain, embrace the unknown, swim the unchartered seas. This is your life; make it rich and vibrant.

Take a leap - enrich your life.
   

KICK BACK AND ENJOY A GOOD READ




 




  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Skiing in Kitzbühel and Youthful Carousing

Cable cars above Kitzbühel
In February the Majornas high school closed for Winter Break.  As it was explained to me, Swedish students needed to escape the long dark nights and get out into the fresh air and sunshine.  Our school organized a ski week to Kitzbühel, Austria.  We were housed in a gasthaus, which was a student pension. The accommodations weren’t fancy, but comfortable. We had fluffy duvets. These were new to me since they hadn’t hit the American market yet. The furniture was rudimentary and the bathroom was down the hall.

Our pension looked a bit like this.
We were located a little out of town but close to the ski runs.  I had not skied much in my life.  When I was 10, I was invited for a ski vacation in Vermont with a friend and her family.  I fell down and broke my ankle, on the first day, so I spent the week on the sofa, reading.


Here is a picture of Gudrun taken that fall by an apple tree. I should have included it earlier.
During the week in Kitzbühel, I improved quite a bit and became increasingly adventuresome.  As I remember Gudrun was more experienced than I.  Along with racing down the mountains, we were also entranced by the ski instructors who seemed incredibly handsome and alluring.

A view of Kitzbühel
The gasthaus provided nourishing meals.  I remember the delicious kaiser rolls served for breakfast. Wikipedia tells me: “Kaiser rolls have existed in a recognizable form at least since prior to 1760. They are thought to have been named to honor Emperor (Kaiser) Franz Joseph I of Austria."
Every morning they were served with butter, jam and a delicious white cheese. I enjoyed this repast at a sunny table with a view of snow covered mountains.


Dinners were hearty with pork roast or sausages or maybe Wiener Schnitzel.  Then maybe there was a piece of apple strudel or Gugelhupf for dessert.  I doubt we had Sacher Torte but I’ll include a picture of it here…with plenty of whipped cream. Austria has so many delicious dishes.

Crispy Wiener Schnitzel

Apfelstrudel

Sacher Torte from the famous Sacher Hotel.

One evening we all loaded into a bus and went into town to see the sights and visit the cafés and bars.  I went with a group of friends into a rollicking bar.  There was singing and toasting. Being a neophyte I drank several glasses of sweet Austrian wine.  It probably tasted like soda pop to my uneducated palette.  That night, back in the hotel, I was sick as a dog.

Now let’s get back to those ski instructors.  Three of them invited, Gudrun, me and another Swedish girl to go dancing at a local hot spot.  We got all dolled up with skirts, high heels and stockings. (I can’t believe we even brought such finery on a ski trip.  But this was the 60’s)  One of the ski hunks had a car and we piled in.  It was a drive of some distance on narrow, icy mountain roads.  We never arrived at our destination because the car broke down.  The guys fooled around under the hood for a while but couldn't get the vehicle to start.  It was decided that we would begin walking until a car drove by or we passed a chalet. In retrospect this seems like a bad decision.  Perhaps the ski gods knew of a house down the road.  My German was rudimentary so I probably didn’t understand the decision to venture forth into the cold.

I don’t remember how long we walked in our high heels and stockings, slipping and sliding…and freezing. At long last we arrived at a snow-covered chalet.  A middle-aged couple welcomed us in and hustled us before a roaring fire.  They brought steaming mugs of tea laced with rum or maybe Schnapps.  I remember that my feet were freezing and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably.



Much later we got back to the Gasthaus.  It was past curfew. The door was locked so our companions hoisted us up onto a low roof and we managed to open the window to our room and climb in.  That night we three girls piled into one bed with extra comforters and cuddled to keep warm.

The next day, when I really looked at the ski instructors, I realized that they had lost much of their shiny veneer.  
  


Friday, February 10, 2017

Sexual Mores, Sandwiches and Speeches




While in Sweden I made a good friend.  Her name was Barbro and we felt a rapport right from the start. She must be commended for putting up with my broken Swedish.  Together we strolled the streets of Göteborg; window shopping and chatting.  We visited a couple of museums and went out for lunch.  I remember the delicious smörgås (open-faced sandwiches) that were much too pretty to eat.


When plans were shaping up for me to spend a year in Sweden my parents were concerned about the liberal "sexual mores" in Sweden. I mention this because Barbro had a boyfriend who went to another high school.  During the week she slept at her house part of the time and in her boyfriend’s bed on other nights.  At that time in America, this would have been shocking…and probably today as well. But her parents seemed to think this was just fine.

Several times during my stay, I was invited to give presentations to English classes at various schools in the area.  The choice of subject matter was left up to me.  The English teachers just wanted their students to have a chance to listen to American English. 

Initially, I talked about school, current music and the like. But I didn’t feel these subjects were weighty enough.  I decided to research American Indians, Religion and the National Parks.  What I needed was access to the internet so I could google these lofty issues but this was back in the dark ages. I needed an encyclopedia.

St. Andrews Anglican Church
I had attended services at  St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. This was an English language church in Göteborg. The Rector hailed from New Zealand and was all fire and brimstone…not into an up-lifting message.  But the church had a lending library that included a variety of books and encyclopedias.  I spent several weekends researching the culture and habits of the Arapahoe and Comanche Plains Indians vs.the Chippewa and Shawnee Woodlands tribes. In school my teachers had thrown those diverse peoples into the same basket. 


A Comanche squaw out on the plains.

The Chippewa claim to have the most beautiful women.

My research took on a life of its own. I remember studying the Mormon religion and wondering how anyone could take Joseph Smith for real. Then there was Mary Baker Eddy and the Christian Scientists. Somehow I claimed to be knowledgeable on these extensive subjects.  I blush now at the naïveté of my 18-year-old self.  I would have been better off discussing Elvis Presley, rock n’ roll, stirrup pants or fried clams at Howard Johnson’s.

Here is my 18-year-old self.  This was my Swedish school photo.