New Writing Projects, 2016

This summer has been productive in many ways. I’ve been re-writing my travel memoir, which was published by 101 Productions in San Francisco in 1973, Europe with Two Kids and a Van. It sold over 12, 000 copies. Many friends have urged me to republish it as an ebook. I was finally convinced when I recently met a woman carrying a small child at MOMA in San Francisco. We started talking about our love of travel. She sighed and said her husband and she were resigned to the fact their traveling days were over now that they have a child. I piped up. “Why not travel with your child? It can be a great experience and if you do it like we did, camping in a van, you can make it an economical adventure, too.” She replied with wide open eyes: “Really, did you do that? Sure would like to know how.”  Me: “Read my book!”  “Oh, I will look forward to it.” So that did it. I’ve had fun reviewing the old book and the photos of our trip which I never included. I plan to include some in the new format, which will be small books: one for each of the seven countries we visited. I’ll keep them affordable, like $1.99 each. Then if someone wants the whole book, they can buy it for the attractive price of $9.99, a good deal!  Watch for it in the Spring of 2017. I’d love to hear your travel stories with children if you have any. Write me at  

I also took many webinars this summers, some very good, offering tips for writers on marketing. I’m in the process of setting up my marketing strategy for the travel memoir as well as the new novel, for which the working title is Scream.  It’s a WWII story of family secrets which takes place in Sweden. Watch for it, too, in the Spring or Summer of 2017! 

I wish all my writer friends good luck on their projects and hope you take advantage of Mark Dawson’s new contest partnering with Reedsy to offer Pro Book Production services. We can all use those!  Good luck.


Up But Not Running!

To my many friends and readers, this is to inform you that two weeks after my fun and successful book launch, I became one of San Miguel de Allende’s many  “fallen women.”

Yes, I fell at the wonderful annual fiesta at the SMA Writers’ Conference, while dancing, when my feet slipped out from under me and I caught myself with my right arm—crunch! I’m now in a full right arm cast and you can well imagine a writer’s frustration when she can no longer write all those book scenes rolling around in her head.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I will soon be back in operation. My next novel and maybe a re-issue of my travel memoir are both on the burners waiting for the fire to be lit under them! Check out my book on Amazon and the fine reviews from my readers. My apologies: I took down the Kindle version to make some much needed corrections; it will be back up in a week. Keep posting those reviews, please. 

Attention book group fans: please note that at the end of Under The Salvadoran Sun, there are questions and guidelines for book groups. I would be delighted to Skype with your book group if they choose to read my book. Let me know by writing me at


Authors of Influence

This past week has been a literary whirlwind here in San Miguel de Allende, both on a personal level and a public one. 

On the personal level, I’m in the final stages of publishing my novel, Under the Salvadoran Sun. I know many of my readers have already heard that and are probably saying: “OK, already—when we are we really going to be able to see it and  order it and read it?”  Barring unforseen circumstances  or  international Christmas mail delays for my final proof, it looks like my book will be available to order from Amazon, as an ebook or a print paperback, some time the first or second week of January. Sorry, it won’t make your Christmas gift giving list, but an Amazon gift card tucked in with a note about my book would be a great gift. Hint!

The public whirlwind this past week has been created by three great Literary Sala readings: one by Eva Hunter, author of A Little Morman Girl, and another by Beldon Butterfield, author of Mexico Behind the Mask.  Last night there was a Literary Sala’s Special Event with Alfredo Corchado’s spellbinding reading and discussion about his book,  for which his agent has just sold the movie rights, Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness.                                                                    

Why have I titled this blog “Authors of Influence?”  Precisely because all three of these authors have unique stories, one’s which can influence the public’s thinking on a number of issues. I found each fascinating and informative for different reasons.

Eva Hunter, author of A Little Mormon Girl, is an ex-pat in San Miguel, but formerly, like myself, from Portland, Oregon, where she taught in the Writing Department at Portland State University. She has had a distinguished career as a writer, teacher, and editor of SOL, The English Language on-line Literary Magazine here in San Miguel de Allende. She continues to give writing workshops. Eva’s reading from her personal memoir was moving and informative, “taking us through a secret world of highest-leval Mormonism, and the underbelly of her family,” with the voice of a child of six up to young adulthood. Her story touched me deeply and I’m now looking forward to reading my autographed copy. Eva Hunter  

Beldon Butterfield, author of La Linea, The Line and The Crystal Bull,  read from his latest non-fiction book: Mexico Behind the Mask, and it sounds like a winner, full of fascinating details about Mexico’s hidden historical, political and social past. He starts out by saying “To understand Mexico, you have to understand the conquest in 1519.” Buttlefield went on to set the record straight on a number of mistaken notions of Mexican history, such as relating the “story behind the story”  of The Alamo  and the everlasting impact it has had on relations between the United States and Mexico. The author’s sense of humor and his fun presentation style made us all want to read this book. Beldon Butterfield

 My third “author of influence” is Alfredo Corchado, award-winning Mexican-American  journalist, who has covered Mexico for many years, and is currently the Mexico City bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News. He specializes in covering the drug wars and the U.S-Mexican border and corruption among police and government officials. Born in Durango, Mexico and raised in the U.S., Corchado says he lives between two worlds. His wealth of knowledge about the “inside story” behind the horrific crimes of the drug cartels, makes him a perfect person to write Midnight in Mexico. I sat on the edge of my seat as he reported about how Mexico has descended into “hell” with the problems of drug cartels and an ineffective judicial system. In spite of that he has great optimism for the future of Mexico. I was moved as he explained his story was not only “dark” but a memorial to his mother, whose influence got him to where he is, and to the many women behind the scenes of the narco crimes fighting to save their children, their communities and their country, refusing to give up.  I downloaded his book on my kindle the minute I got home. Alfredo Corchado

I’m adding this quote  about Corchado’s book from Benjamin Saenz, a keynote speaker at the upcoming 2014 San Miguel Writers Conference:

“Anyone interested in what is happening and has happened in Mexico for the past six years must read this book. We can call what is happening in Mexico a “drug war,” but that phrase cheapens the politics and the economics that govern the relationship between the United States and Mexico. I believe Midnight in Mexico will become one of the most necessary books about the Mexican-American experience in this country. More than a journalist, Alfredo Corchado is the real thing, a voice that represents millions of people.”

Hope you enjoyed this “book review blog” and will keep watching for my novel, Under the Salvadoran Sun. Happy Holidays!