27 December 2014

'Bad Accounts' - New Book-Free Download

 Bad Accounts    My latest book, is now available on Amazon. 

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.  
I'll be running a free download from 30 December - 2 January.
Happy New Year to all!

28 July 2014

Nha Trang Haunted - free ebook download this week

Nha Trang Haunted, an adult, paranormal romance, is available for free download on Amazon July 28 - Aug 1.

    Nha Trang, Vietnam: home to splendid beaches, tropical winds, and remnants of the Vietnam War.
How could two strangers who meet on a plane know that the odd, psychic incidents they have both been experiencing will soon forge a connection between them? Tony’s on his way to search for his father who was listed as MIA during the Vietnam War. Gabriella simply wants a few days at the beach.
    Can Tony find the father he has never known? Will Gabriella be able to quell the disturbing, ghostly visions from the past? Will their physical attraction help or hinder their circumstances?

All reviews/ratings are welcome.

14 July 2014

Eagle Creek Travel Gear

     I believe it was in 1994 that I purchased my  Eagle Creek Travel Wallet. Or maybe it was as late as 2000 - but surely not past then.  It is the only wallet I used while living and working in Israel, Egypt, Malaysia, and Vietnam. It traveled with me to Mexico and is the only wallet I use when in California.
     Even with all the travels and years of banging around inside my purse, it still looks reasonably new. And up until a few months ago, all the zippers and clasps worked perfectly. And then the main zipper of the billfold wouldn't stay closed.
     I tried all my fix-it tricks for zippers; nothing worked. Being rather handy with a sewing machine, I figured I could probably replace it, even if it would be a less than perfect job. Then I came up with the bright idea of simply replacing the entire wallet with a new one. After all, I had gotten my money’s worth out of it.
     I looked up their website and was disappointed to see that the 20 year old model I had was no longer available. I scoured over the specs on all the latest editions and didn't like any of them, mostly because of the fabric used but also because they just didn't seem as functional as the one I had.
     Then I remembered the “Lifetime Guarantee”. I honestly did not expect it to cover something purchased fifteen or twenty years ago, and I was correct. It covers the expected lifetime of the item, not the owner’s lifetime. Still, Eagle Creek was right here in California, they had the industrial sewing machines and the folks who knew how to use them. Try to do it myself, or send if off and pay for a repair? I chose the latter.
     Before mailing it off, I called their service center to find out if they would in fact repair my vintage wallet. The lovely rep told me to send it in and if they couldn't fix it, it would be sent back. She wasn’t sure if I would be charged.
     About two weeks after mailing my wallet to the repair facility in Carlsbad, California, I got it back with a beautiful new zipper, perfectly stitched into place. And they didn't even charge me!
     Maybe it will last me another decade – maybe Eagle Creek will produce the same style again and I’ll buy a new one. For now, I am thrilled that I was able to head back down to Puerto Vallarta knowing that my Pesos would not be flying out of my wallet.
     You just don’t get this type of quality and service anymore. As a seasoned traveler, it certainly is good to know that Eagle Creek is around and that their products are 100% reliable. 
     A huge Thank You to Eagle Creek!

14 February 2014

Where are the Medals Ceremonies?

     I love the Russian national anthem.  I’ve loved it since I first heard it played at a medals ceremony in the Olympics sometime back in the USSR era. The awarding of medals has always been one of my favorite parts of the Olympics. Not only for seeing the pride on the athletes faces and the tears running down their cheeks, but for hearing the national anthem of so many other countries. And nothing made me quite so happy as when a Soviet athlete won and I knew I would hear that gorgeous bit of music.  
     I have also always loved figure skating events. Back in the day, you didn’t have to be an expert to recognize the classic quality of Russian skaters. For years I watched their country’s skaters and coaches, whom I came to know by name. What they were like as people, what they sounded like - no one knew because they were not allowed to give interviews.
     And then the USSR fell and everything changed. Suddenly I heard, for the first time, the voice of Tatiana Tarasova who I had been watching for years. I remember the odd feeling it gave me to finally have a voice to go with the image. Unfortunately, along with the downfall of the government, out went that beautiful national anthem. I clearly remember the feeling of sadness when I realized I would never again hear it on a podium. And then they brought the anthem back!
     How thrilled was I when, the other night, the Russians took gold and silver in pairs skating. Unbelievably, the entire final round had been broadcast live, and after the final skate I readied myself for the medals ceremony. I stared at the screen in disbelief as NBC cut away and did not broadcast the event.
     For those in the US who have never watched an international sporting event from Europe, or probably any other continent, you have no idea what you are missing. For some reason, NBC thinks Americans only want to watch Americans, and only want to watch the top ten in any sport, and only late at night as a highlight reel. That’s not the way they do it elsewhere around the world. Events are shown live, beginning to end, including medals ceremonies.
     It’s hard to understand how in 2014 the Olympic coverage seems inferior to what I watched as a kid. Sure, the images are now in color and of a far better quality, but I miss seeing things like medals ceremonies and hearing other countries national anthems. One would think that all those parts missing on the broadcast would be available on NBC’s massive Olympic site, but they are not. I’m still working out how to Google in Russian to see if I can find a video of the pair’s medal ceremony.