Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Things to do, scores to settle and people to kill.

Copyrighted photos and excerpt from Book #2 Isla Mujeres Mystery series:

Trouble Isla - Book #2


Chapter 1

The long, sleek sport-fishing boat powered slowly backwards into a berth at the Bally Hoo wharf on Isla Mujeres. Her white hull and varnished decks glistened in the bright overhead security lights. A lean figure dressed in khaki shorts, short-sleeved white shirt and deck shoes stepped onto the dock, wrapping the stern line around a bollard as the captain expertly settled the craft. The skipper cut the engines, removed the ignition key and stepped away from the controls.

The deckhand’s shaved, pale head gleamed under the overhead lights, and his short beard looked recent, as if he hadn’t shaved for a few days. Moving along the length of the boat, securing lines and placing heavy foam bumpers between the dock and the hull of the pricey yacht the man looked competent and comfortable around the water. It was a ruse, he didn’t know much at all about big yachts like this one but he was a quick study.

According to the first mate this baby was a classic, a beautifully maintained wooden yacht, custom-built on Harkers Island in North Carolina. Even a tiny scratch in the glossy finish would earn them an ear chewing from the boss.
The owners were due to fly in from Houston in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve on the island. Then they were scheduled for a few weeks of deep-sea fishing, eating and drinking before they returned to their home in Texas, leaving the captain and the two deckhands to bring their yacht back to its home berth at Seabrook Marina.

“It’s still damn early, but I’ll go ashore to see if anyone is available to process us through customs,” the captain said, gathering up his waterproof document folder and stepping over the transom. “If not, I’ll radio Cancun to tell them we’re here and will check in later in the morning.”

“Aye, aye Skipper,” the man said, offering a two-fingered sardonic salute to the back of the departing captain.

“Jeff, wait up. I’ll go with you and stretch my legs,” the short red-haired man said as he nimbly hopped onto the docks.  He turned to the man, “Frank, you okay to stay with her until we get back?”

The man, the one they knew as Frank, waved, “Sure, Andy take your time,” he said.  Remembering a humorous sign that he had seen in a bar on his previous visit to Isla Mujeres he mumbled, “And thank you very mucking futch for the ride.” 

It had been free transportation back to his hunting grounds.

It had been a busy three days for the man known as Frank. First, he had hitched a ride from Tampa to Houston with an accommodating long-haul truck driver. Parked behind a truckers’ gas station well away from the security cameras that were aimed at the fuel pumps, the body of the driver was now stinking up the cab of his rig. The driver’s death had been unavoidable as soon as he had agreed to give the hitchhiker a lift to Texas. The passenger’s clean-shaven image had been splashed across television news channels as one of the suspected fatalities in a fiery vehicle smash-up. Even with the beginning of a new beard and shaving off his dark hair he couldn’t risk leaving the driver alive. Most truckers were lonely gossips and this one had been very talkative. In no time at all, he would be telling his buddies he had dropped off that same man in Houston.

It had then taken him another full day to scour the numerous marinas for a captain who was leaving shortly, heading to Isla Mujeres for the sport fishing season. The third day was eaten up with the voyage to the island.

Inside the main salon, Frank checked the time. If he remembered correctly from his previous visit to the island he had seen the harbour masters office located a short walk south, close to the passenger ferry terminal.  He probably had thirty to forty minutes tops, but at this hour of the morning it wasn’t likely anyone would be available to do the paperwork, so the two men would probably be back in twenty minutes. Time to move.

He quickly walked to his berth and slipped on a dark nylon windbreaker, pulling a peaked cap down over his skull. Once the sun was up he planned to wear a pair of dark sunglasses to hide his bright blue eyes.

A few minutes spent searching the other sleeping areas netted him about a two hundred and fifty dollars in cash and a small Nikon camera that he might be able to pawn for a few bucks.  He was owed a portion of that for the sixteen hours he had already worked so he felt confident the men wouldn’t try to find him for such a small amount.

The captain, Jeff Crompton, had hired him on for cash wages to be paid at the end of the two weeks, but he had never asked for identification or a passport. He supposed Crompton didn’t really care if a deckhand was thrown in a Mexican jail for not having the proper paperwork. He could likely check around the gringo bars and hire another American, someone who wanted to work for a few weeks and have free transportation back to the States.

The blue-eyed man checked the time. Gotta go. Things to do, scores to settle and people to kill.

Available as an e-book on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, or Nook. Paperback copies are available from Amazon. If you are on the island you can purchase a copy at  Jenny Penny Beach Boutique or Casa Sirena Hotel. 
Isla Mujeres Mysteries are the perfect beach-read for your next vacation.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Treasure Isla - Book #1 The Great Crocodile Hunt

Copyrighted photos and excerpt from Book #1 of the Isla Mujeres Mystery:

Treasure Isla

“A crocodile. What the hell?” Jessica Sanderson quickly scanned the ground around her feet, as if she expected to see large gap-toothed reptile preparing to latch onto her well-toned and tanned leg. “Why doesn’t the municipality just get rid of him? Them? The whole damn bunch?”

Thinking Jessica’s reaction excessive and humorous, Yasmin Medina slanted a teasing grin at her. It wasn’t often that her gutsy friend was nervous about anything. “Crocodiles are native to Mexico. The locals think it’s kind of cool to have a family of them on the island. It’s also a great way for parents to threaten misbehaving kids. Be good or the crocodile will get you.” Contorting her face she growled. “Muhuhuh.”

Scanning the pathway for wayward reptiles, or lurking pirates, Yasmin continued her story, and “Alfredo does escape from time to time. A few years ago he managed to find his way from the lake to the ocean on the eastern side of the island.

“Are you kidding me? Then what happened?” Theatrically shivering, Jessica peered towards the lake.
“The hunt was on. The police were notified. The municipality workers turned out in force. The Navy sent two guys with rifles. Everyone including a crowd of about fifty locals trailed along the eastern coastline trying to get pictures. He was fast. By the time I heard what was happening and caught a ride with a friend, the crocodile was already swimming past the backside of the Navy base at the northern end of the island.”

“How did they catch him?” The story was beginning to intrigue Jessica.
Yasmin pointed towards another pathway, “Let’s head up here and see where it goes.” She ran a hand over her face, trying to squeegee the sweat from her eyes, before continuing the story.

“Well, three fishermen managed to toss a net over the beast and haul him into their boat. After a ton of photos with the various policía, Navy and harbour guys pretending that they had caught him, Alfredo was put back in his lake here at the park.” Yasmin stopped for a minute to peer down an abandoned well. Nothing.

“Check my Facebook page. I posted an album labeled, The Great Crocodile Hunt.”

“Crocodiles, what next?” grumbled Jessica as she trudged along the gravel pathway. “And besides why call it Alfredo? If you are going to name the evil bastard, name him Carlos after our boss, or César after the guy that was lurking around the bar last month, but not Alfredo. Alfredo is a better name for an alligator.”

A smile quirked Yasmin’s lips, “There are no alligators in Mexico, they only live in the USA or China. I don’t know what the crocodile’s name is. I just named him Alfredo to tease one of my cousins.

Besides, I think Carlos Mendoza is hot.” Just the thought of him made her heart tap dance a little.


Murder and mayhem. Revenge and romance!
E-books on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, or Nook. Paperback copies are available from Amazon. If you are on the island buy a copy at  Jenny Penny Beach Boutique or Casa Sirena Hotel. It's the perfect beach-read for your next vacation.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Yep, I'm looking at you! Have you read about me yet?

Yep, I'm looking at you!

I'm Sparky and I'm one of the main characters in the Isla Mujeres Mystery series. In my opinion I am the main character. That will be a future negotiating point with my author. Does anyone know a good contract lawyer?

I digress. 

I am a handsome pure-bred Mexican low-rider, beach-dog, and I have an extraordinary sense of smell that helps me solve the mysteries.

I have curly white and grey terrier fur, with long dark Spaniel-type ears, and expressive brown eyes. (That's what my author says.) Pretty cool, right?

This is my author and me on my "Gotta Day"
I am also fiercely protective of my humans - real and imaginary - which occasionally gets me into trouble in the novels. I haven't actually bitten anyone, but I would to protect my family. I might be short, but I am fierce. 

When I was about a year-and-a-half old my first owner left me to fend for myself. I was afraid of humans, covered in fleas and ticks, and hungry. 

A very nice lady by the name of Yumiko and her husband Andy convinced me I was safe taking food and water from them. They also untangled the knots in my fur, gave me a haircut, and pulled off a whole lot of those painful, nasty ticks.

Unfortunately they didn't live here in Mexico, they were only here for a short time - so they played a trick on their friends.

The day Thomas' books arrived at our casa.
While their friends were on holidays from their home here in paradise Andy and Yumiko babysat their two cats, Thomas and Chica. But by the time the friends came back to their house, they had the two cats and me! 

I thought it was a great trick. I had a nice home to live in - and the people gained an amazingly brilliant dog!

Even though Thomas was the big star in those days he was nice to me, the new kid. He has his own bilingual book for children, The Adventures of Thomas the Cat. Chica is included in the book as well. 

I wasn't in the family then so I am not in that book, but I am the star in four and soon to be five mystery novels. 

Boo, doing what cats do best - sleeping!
Thomas and Chica are both gone now to pet heaven, and I have a new roommate, a black female cat named Boo. Nope, we didn't name her. Someone else in the neighbourhood did. She adopted us, and comes and goes as she pleases. She isn't as friendly as Thomas or Chica, but she is learning.

In the sunlight her fur has dark red, and orange tones so she isn't a pure black cat.  She also tried to come with us this morning on a golf cart ride. Silly cat. Golf carts are for dogs - not cats.

I'm keeping my eye on you!
Gotta go help my human make lunch. I'll chat again another day. 

Cheers Sparky 
(The Sparkinator!)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Temptation Isla - A real page turner!

February 2, 2019

I've enjoyed every book in Lynda Lock's mystery/ adventure series set on Isla Mujeres , but you won't be able to put Temptation Isla down once you start it! 
The adventures of Yazmin and Jessica continue in this new book with a twist involving the cartel and human trafficking. 
You're gonna love this one!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Musings from our swimming pool

It’s been one hundred and ninety-four days since I have used our swimming pool on Isla Mujeres. The last time I was in our pool was August 28th — about a week before my love, my life, my universe died on September 3rd.

Today I poured myself a glass of wine, dangled my feet over the edge and thought about my life — my life as Lawrie’s widow.

It’s a tough job.

He was so well-known, so loved, so happy, and so easy to love that just seeing me brings tears to the eyes of our friends. They don’t know whether to cry, to hug me, to talk about him or to just pretend that life is really fricking lovely. 

It’s okay. Just hug me. I cry every damn day, at least ten or twelve times. I am happy that you remember him with such love.

Many of my male friends are reluctance to speak his name because they are afraid of crying in public.

Well, there is one thing you may not know about my funny, capable, smart, and very tough guy. He cried, and I loved him more for the ability to publicly express his feelings.

The first time I saw him cry was in 1982 when we were watching the original movie ET at the old Stanley Theatre on Granville Street in Vancouver BC. He had tears streaming down his face. 

He never ever felt the need to apologize for his feelings and to me that showed me his strength. He knew he could cope with a lot of shit, and crying in public wasn’t going to diminish his abilities in the slightest.

As one dear friend said, “When I look at you I realize a piece of the puzzle is missing.”

Yep! A huge piece is missing.

Monday, February 25, 2019

All 4 of my novels hit the top 60 list of Mexico writers group.

These Sunday morning lists give me a lift.  Once again all four of my Isla Mujeres Mystery novels made it into the top 60. 
Temptation Isla #10, 
Trouble Isla #20, 
Treasure Isla #27 
Tormenta Isla #38. 
Working on Book #5 - which might be called Thrilling Isla (still thinking on that ....) Thanks again for your support, and reviews, and following my author's profiles on Amazon, or Goodreads, or Bookbubs. Your support is greatly appreciated. Cheers Lynda and Sparky

Here's the link.

Mikel Miller to Mexico Writers
the Feb. 24 Sunday snapshot of paid Kindle sales rankings by members of Mexico Writers. Nice moves also this week by John ScherberDv BerkomMark StatmanJeanine KitchelJudy KingPenn WallaceTerry L TurrellCarmen Amato, and Monica Rix Paxson. Congrats to all!
1. Dreamland – Sam Quinones
2. House of Broken Angels – Luis Alberto Urrea
3. The Devil's Highway – Luis Alberto Urrea
4. Just For The Birds – Jinx Schwartz
5. The Apocryphal Gospels – Gustavo Vazquez
6. The Secret Wife – Janice Campbell Paul
7. Glad Farm – Catherine Marenghi
8. Love Under Fire – Jinx Schwartz and 20 other bestselling authors
9. Into the Beautiful North – Luis Alberto Urrea
10. Temptation Isla – Lynda L. Lock
11. Mexico City: An Opinionated Guide – Jim Johnston
12. The Hummingbird's Daughter – Luis Alberto Urrea
13. The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. – Sandra Gulland
14. Millionaire Expat: How to Build Wealth Living Overseas – Andrew Hallam
15. Just Follow the Money – Jinx Schwartz
16. The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez
17. Twenty Centavos – John Scherber
18. The Lady in Gold – Anne-Marie O'Connor
19. Absolution – Dv Berkom
20. Trouble Isla – Lynda L. Lock
21. The People's Guide to Mexico – Carl Franz (Felisa Rosa)
22. Mary Magdalene: The Life and Legacy of the Woman Who Witnessed the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus – Gustavo Vazquez
23. The Hidden Light of Mexico City – Carmen Amato
24. Poet in New York – Pablo Medina and Mark Statman
25. Troubled Sea – Jinx Schwartz
26. Rain of Gold – Victor Villasenor
27. Treasure Isla – Lynda L. Lock
28. Say Her Name – Francisco Goldman
29. The Game of Hope – Sandra Gulland
30. The Everything Tween Book: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Turbulent Pre-Teen Years – Dr. Linda Sonna
31. Just Pardon My French – Jinx Schwartz
32. Just Add Water – Jinx Schwartz
33. Millionaire Teacher (2nd edition) – Andrew Hallam
34. Millionaire Teacher (1st edition) – Andrew Hallam
35. Mistress of the Sun – Sandra Gulland
36. Where the Sky is Born – Jeanine Kitchel
37. First Stop in the New World – David Lida
38. Tormenta Isla – Lynda L. Lock
39. Living at Lake Chapala – Judy King
40. The Cartel Strikes Back – Penn Wallace
41. Hetta Coffey Collection Boxed Set Books 1-4 – Jinx Schwartz
42. Into the Heart of Mexico – John Scherber
43. Living in Mexico Lessons Learned: Healthy Living in Mexico #3 – Terry L. Turrell
44. Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe – Sandra Gulland
45. Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing – Ted Conover
46. 43 Missing – Carmen Amato
47. Murder Strikes Twice – Penn Wallace
48. El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency – Ioan Grillo
49. Kabul Beauty School – Deborah Rodriguez
50. Just the Pits – Jinx Schwartz
51. The Dead Pool – John Scherber
52. Queen of America – Luis Alberto Urrea
53. Living in San Miguel: The Heart of the Matter – John Scherber
54. Hat Dance – Carmen Amato
55. Escuela de belleza en Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez
56. The Nag Hammadi Library – Gustavo Vazquez
57. This is Mexico – Carol Montgomery Merchasin
58. Gangster Warlords – Ioan Grillo
59. The English Speaker’s Guide to Medical Care in Mexico – Monica Rix Paxson
60. Dark Return – Dv Berkom

Friday, January 25, 2019

Murder and Mayhem. Romance and Revenge. Isla Mujeres Mystery series

Sparky in abandoned garden at Pirate Mundaca's estate
Writing has always been in the background of Lynda’s life, including magazine articles, a weekly blog with over half a million page views, and an award-winning bilingual book for children. 

The Isla Mujeres Mystery series, set on the tiny island she calls home, is her newest writing adventure. Her books are available in paperback on Amazon.com or e-books on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Nook.

Giant sea turtle returning to sea after laying her eggs
TREASURE ISLA BOOK #1: A Caribbean adventure set on, a tiny island off the eastern coast of Mexico. 

Two twenty-something women find themselves in possession of a seemingly authentic treasure map, which leads them on a chaotic search for buried treasure while navigating the dangers of too much tequila, disreputable men, and a killer. 

The colonias - neighbourhoods of Isla 
And there is a dog, a lovable rescue-mutt, Sparky. 

TROUBLE ISLA BOOK #2: A thrilling new adventure. 

New Year’s Eve is a magical time on Isla Mujeres, especially this year after the stormy events of the past few months. After their chaotic hunt for the pirate treasure, and a close encounter with a serial killer Kirk Patterson, Yasmin and Jessica deserve a lady’s night out. Hungover from a night on the town, it is late in the afternoon before Yasmin starts to worry that her boyfriend Carlos hasn’t been seen all day. And then the texts start coming: “Give me what I want!”

TORMENTA ISLA BOOK #3: Murder and mayhem. 

Marinas (Navy) and sniffer dogs
A mysterious disappearance of a local man and the looming threat of multiple hurricanes headed towards the peaceful Caribbean island of Isla Mujeres creates havoc in the lives of Jessica Sanderson, her friends and her rescue mutt, Sparky. Diego held up his smartphone and silently showed her the screen, pointing at the NOAA graphics. Her eyes opened wide in surprise as she looked at the screen, then a frown crinkled her brow. “Really? Three hurricanes?” “Si," he responded, "Pablo, Rebekah, y Sebastien.”

TEMPTATION ISLA BOOK #4: Romance and revenge. Drug cartels and human trafficking.

“Take them all out!” Rafael Fernandez said, sweeping his right hand in a side-ways motion as if he was knocking a pile of papers from his desk to the floor.

“As you wish, Don Rafael.” Alfonso Fuentes’ jaw muscle twitched with tension.

“You don’t agree.” Fernandez snarled.

Alfonso Fuentes’ jaw muscle twitched with tension as he considered his answer.
 Depending on Fernandez’s mood the flick of a finger or a chin pointed at a victim could quickly end that person’s life. At the moment there were just the two of them but only a shout away were several younger enforcers, who were keen to remove the old dude thought to be blocking their upward advancement in the ranks. He knew. He had once been one of those hungry wolf-pups eager to remove the aging alpha male. 

And The Adventures of Thomas the Cat / Las Aventuras de Tómas el Gato a bi-lingual book for children. The book won Silver at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards.

You can find out more about Isla Mujeres Mexico by following my blog on Word Press https://islamystery.com/

Come join the adventure! 
Cheers Lynda and Sparky

Things to do, scores to settle and people to kill.

Copyrighted photos and excerpt from Book #2 Isla Mujeres Mystery series: Trouble Isla - Book #2   Chapter  1 The long, sleek sport...