25 July 2019

A Neapolitan Intrigue - Free Kindle Download

Download a free copy of A Neapolitan Intrigue, July 26 & 27.
Amazon Free Download


Present day Naples, Italy, and Berkeley, CA, circa 1969; what could possibly be the connection?
It's a question Letty will have to answer if she is to survive her recent retirement from the CIA and Interpol. 

Great summer read.  Mystery, Cozy Thriller, and a little bit of history.

21 June 2019

Summer Solstice 2019

The longest day of the year. The Summer Solstice. A day of positive energy and glorious sunlight. That is, of course, if you do not live in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Once again, we awakened to sucked in fog and bitterly cold weather. So much for seeing the sun rise and pop through an ancient temple. There actually is a Sunstone at a local science museum, but they are closed at sunrise and no one there seemed to know what I was talking about.
Stonehenge2007 07 30.jpg
Photo: garethwiscombe - Wikipedia 

Stonehenge. Now that would be incredible. Except that it is so packed with folks on the same mission that I think it might be hard to see and really enjoy.

Machu Picchu, in Peru, is another site. Intihuatana, the stone solar clock at the top of the mountain marks the event. A younger me would have relished that experience. I figure now, I most likely would keel over and drop dead from the lack of oxygen.

Intihuana - Wikipedia photo 

















The ancient Mayan temple El Castillo, at Chichen Itza in Mexico, is the place to be for the equinoxes. I was there, ages ago, but not for the equinox. And now I hear you can't even climb up the temple which produces a shadow snake twice a year. I did scale the temple, and almost did not return.  I don't particularly like heights, especially when ascending ancient stone steps with nothing more than a chain to hang on to. Then I made it to the top, gazed out over the marvelous ruins and jungle, then glanced down the steps. My stomach did a 180. How was I ever going to descend all those steps which appeared to be at a 45 degree angle? Obviously, I did make it back down, walking backwards, stooped over, and hanging on to the chain for dear life.



Photo:Fcb981 -Wikipedia  

Maybe next year I will find an ancient site in which to witness the sunrise on the solstice. Or I could look into the Southern Hemisphere Summer Solstice. That's only six months away. I don't know of any historical monuments, but there must be some.

The sun finally made an appearance, and I plan to enjoy every single minute of this special day.


18 June 2019

What's Up with Amazon AU?

I published my first book, Murder, Jaz, & Tel Aviv, through BookSurge.  A few years later, they morphed into CreateSpace, and things just got better. I was now able to format everything on my own without paying for the service. Also, I was able to run free eBook giveaways. Then Amazon took over and things again changed. 

I didn't really mind that KDP started charging for running a free eBook giveaway. It never resulted in many reviews. Although I probably have around 1000 free downloads on various titles, I have received less than five reviews. Still it was a way to get some publicity. 

But now, the problem is with distribution of my paperbacks in the Amazon Australia market. With the exception of my first book, all of my titles have been available on Amazon AU at the US$ equivalent price.

When my latest, A Neapolitan Intrigue launched in March, it surprised me that the only way to purchase the paperback in Australia was through a UK distributor, at nearly double the US price.

It is my understanding that print-on-demand books are printed in the country where they are ordered. The US certainly cannot be the only ones with this technology. So why is it that my new book is not available for a reasonable price in Australia? 

Countless emails to KPD Publishing and Amazon, both US and AU, have left me baffled.

"Kate, as we mentioned it can take up to 45 days for the website to reflect these changes. However, we can't guarantee your book will be available through our Global Store."  

Huh? Why not?

"In your case Kate, your paperback is not being fulfilled by Amazon itself, it is only be offered by the third party sellers."  

Once more...huh?

"Again, Amazon is not directly affiliated with these sellers, and we do not control certain aspects of their Amazon product listing, including price, shipping, condition and delivery terms. Hence we can not force them to change the price or take any action on their copies."   

Amazon, I do not understand. You are the sellers. You set the parameters for printing a book. If it's not you, then who is it?

Should anyone have any idea what is going on, please contact me.

And a side thought: Why doesn't Amazon AU have an Author's Page available? I don't worry about that too much, but what a shame for my fellow Australian Independent Authors. 

16 June 2019

Pebble Beach - U.S. Open: Nighttime Reading

After watching a long day of the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, this might just be the perfect read.

Set in Monterey & Carmel, the very same neighborhood as The Open, BAD ACCOUNTS, would be a good addition to that late night cocktail

Top notch accountant Pia might have suspected her bosses of cooking the books, but when you’re fifty-two and jobs are scarce, it’s easy to look the other way. Or it is until you find out that your employers might be managing the finances of a drug cartel, right there in your hometown. Stealing a few files to implicate her bosses seemed like a good idea… until Pia finds a gun in her front yard, apparently dropped by an inept hitman.

Maybe she should have listened to Brad and quit her job instead of absconding with the incriminating documents. But it’s too late for regrets now, and she’s a marked woman. Luckily for Pia, Brad puts his surfing on hold long enough to help get her out of town and down to Ocean Beach. Unfortunately, that might not be enough. Crossing the border into Mexico may be the only answer.

From Monterey, California all the way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, aging gangsters, bungling rent-a-cops, and an out-of-his-element hitman, thwart Pia’s every move. But with the help of a few surfers and their friends, she’s determined to not only stay alive, but to see the drug cartel shut down once and for all.
 

26 May 2019

More about "A Neapolitan Intrigue"

The historical backdrop of my new novel A Neapolitan Intrigue, takes place in Berkeley, CA, in 1969.



I have searched through the archives and found more photos from the events of May, 1969.  One photo in particular played an important part in plot development.  Any guesses? 

(All photos and stories are copyright protected. Please see sidebar for details.)

Provo Park 











City Hall 1969



17 April 2019

Wildcelt.com, A stunning Fine Arts and Entertainment Portal, is featuring all of my books this month.

The site is filled with exquisite photographs ranging from fashion to museums. Wonderful articles abound. It is well worth a quick look - I can guarantee you will stay a while!



18 March 2019

People's Park 50th Anniversary

It has been nearly 50 years since the People's Park protests in Berkeley, California. The National Guard took over the streets, along with law enforcement from throughout the state, all stemming from a small patch of University owned land.
Berkeley, CA 1969


Teenagers in Berkeley protested alongside university students and the city.
People's Park & 4 Teenagers     This article is included in the HeyDay Press upcoming book
The Battle for People's Park, Berkeley, 1969

And then there's the fictional account of Letty White, who also took part in the protests while still a student at Berkeley High School. (before the CIA recruited her.)



Release Date 25 March 2019

Ancient Roman streets, superb coffee, excellent clothes, and lush sea breezes; Naples, Italy has it all. Letty may just have found the perfect place to retire after a hectic life with the CIA and Interpol.
She’s enjoying her new life when, out of nowhere, a photo of her as a teenager in 1969 winds up on a dead body. How could the People’s Park protests of fifty years ago, in Berkeley, California have anything to do with her life now? And why are so many Russians after her?
It’s clear that the answers to her questions lie in the picture taken decades in the past. Her high school years of protests, sit-ins, and civil disobedience are so far from her life as a CIA agent, that she doesn’t know where to begin.  
Luckily, former agents and friends, Taylor and Jim, step in to assess the situation and protect her from an ever-increasing number of bad guys that are bent on doing her harm.
Hoping to get back to a restful retirement, Letty must revisit that long-ago life to figure out what in the world is happening now, half a world away. 












16 March 2019

A Neapolitan Intrigue

Coming Soon:    A Neapolitan Intrigue 




Ancient Roman streets, superb coffee, excellent clothes, and lush sea breezes; Naples, Italy has it all. Letty may just have found the perfect place to retire after a hectic life with the CIA and Interpol.
She’s enjoying her new life when, out of nowhere, a photo of her as a teenager in 1969 winds up on a dead body. How could the People’s Park protests of fifty years ago, in Berkeley, California have anything to do with her life now? And why are so many Russians after her? 
It’s clear that the answers to her questions lie in the picture taken decades in the past. Her high school years of protests, sit-ins, and civil disobedience are so far from her life as a CIA agent, that she doesn’t know where to begin.  
Luckily, former agents and friends, Taylor and Jim, step in to assess the situation and protect her from an ever-increasing number of bad guys that are bent on doing her harm. 
Hoping to get back to a restful retirement, Letty must revisit that long-ago life to figure out what in the world is happening now, half a world away. 
Available on Amazon, 25 March 2019

06 March 2018

I Didn't Even Last 6 Weeks

I have just deactivated my Facebook account after less than 2 months. I only ever wanted an Author's Page, but could only do that if I first had a personal page.

It turned out to be as unpleasant an experience as I had anticipated. The voyeuristic aspect of Facebook is one of the main reasons I quit.  I would find myself looking up people I hadn't been in contact with for years. I'd scroll through their life and pictures and then feel like taking a shower. I'd never make it as a stalker.

Then there are the privacy concerns. I have just handed over a slew of information to the folks at Facebook. Even though I deleted every Facebook search, and even though I clear and clean my laptop every single evening, Facebook keeps all that information. For example, ads kept popping up for an eyeglass company that I had contacted a month before. Names of People I Might Know continually showed up on the side of my Facebook page even though I had cleared them from my search box.

I will stick to Goodreads where it feels warm and caring. I will stay with my Amazon page. And I will continue writing here and on my other site.Kate's Travel Site  No doubt Goodreads and Amazon have amassed a bunch of info about me, but at least they do not throw it in my face. Perhaps it is a false sense of privacy, but it sure beats Facebook's attempts to control what I do, as well as their preachy attitude.

Back to flogging my books on the street corners. I only ever did that once, but it seems like it might be something I should get back to.

26 February 2018

I Didn't Win the PHC Sweepstakes


I could write a few good books from this spot.
I did not win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. I did not win the $5K a week for life. I am back to square one on my quest to become financially independent.

My mother used to enter the PCH sweepstakes back in the day when one submitted an entry by mail, not that she never won anything. When the contest comes up every year I always think about her, and so a few years ago I entered. But then I started getting the daily emails and quickly unsubscribed. For some reason I decided to try again this year and in mid-February, entered the sweepstakes. The following day the emails started to arrive. This time, before unsubscribing, I actually read one and was surprised to find the warning that if I did not reply in a timely fashion I would not be eligible for the Big Bucks.

I began to respond; for $5K a week, there are a lot worse things I might be willing to do. It often meant scrolling through pages of sales offers to finally get to the Submit button. I got rather fast at that, and cleanly avoided the purchase of even one item. As the contest clearly states, No Purchase Necessary. Unbeknownst to me, the PHC barrage of correspondence did not stop there. I received daily emails form the PCH Lotto and PHC Keno, PHC Play&Win, PHC Games, PHC Search, and PHC Front Page; as many as ten a day. There was no clear indication which ones I had to click through and which ones I could immediately delete without being in jeopardy of missing out on the $5K a week sweepstakes. So I responded to all of them, which often meant playing silly bingo games.

As it turned out, the lady who won the contest this year had actually submitted her entry by mail. It must be less annoying than by email, but I bet she got on a lot of unwanted mailing lists. Not that she would mind. I am sure she can now afford to hire someone to sort through her mail.

If I ever again decide to enter, it will be on the last day possible, which might be the day before the drawing. One day of finding my inbox with ten notifications to Reply or Give Up my Chance to Win, might be worth it.

Meanwhile, it’s back to the writing board. Honest, I am more than willing to work to make a living. It’s just that I would much prefer to write books than engage in the limited, low-wage jobs that I can do at this point in my life

I don’t need $5K a week for life. $1K or $2K a month would do me fine. Maybe the publishers at Publishers Clearing House will take a look at my work and give me a leg up. One has to dream big!