Friday, March 30, 2018

On a deadline today! Book #3 Tormenta Isla

Paleta (popsicles) salesmen heading back after along day
Happy Friday everyone, from paradise.

I'm on a tight deadline to get Tormenta Isla Book #3 of the Isla Mujeres Mystery series up and running by tomorrow. 

Today's blog is a few of my fun photos of how people earn a living on an island in paradise.

Felipe and Santiago - fixing a leak in our a/c

Door to door tortilla salesman starting his day before sunrise
Late afternoon - cleaning up the boat in preparation for morning

Beach cleaning crew

Making tortillas at the Chedraui grocery store

Fire fighters disposing of a nest of angry hornets

Hasta Luego, Lynda, Lawrie and Sparky
Tormenta Isla - soon!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Knee Deep in Paradise!

Gonna put the world away for a minute
Pretend I don't live in it
Sunshine gonna wash my blues away

Wishin' I was
Knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky, breeze and it don't seem fair

The only worry in the world
Is the tide gonna reach my chair

Sunrise, there's a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high

And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise
Wrote a note, said "Be back in a minute"

Mind on a permanent vacation
The ocean is my only medication
Wishin' my condition ain't ever gonna go away

This champagne shore washing over me
It's a sweet sweet life living by the salty sea
One day you could be as lost as me
Change your geography

Come on in the water's nice
Find yourself a little slice

Grab a bag, pack it light
You never know until you try
When you lose yourself
You find the key to paradise

Hasta Luego

Lynda & Lawrie

(The lyrics are from the Zac Brown & Jimmy Buffet tune: Knee Deep in the Water Somewhere! One of our favourite 'island songs."


April 1st 2018 Book #3

Tormenta Isla 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Sparky’s first book signing & Maxie flys to Arizona

Sparky's first book signing.   
Sparky was the cutest, and definitely the shortest celebrity at a recent Make a Difference fundraiser in support of the Ron Brown Scholarship Fund. 

On Tuesday this week a generous group of people gathered at Curtis and Ashley Blogins’ beautiful Villa la Bella B&B to raise money for the charity. Since its inception in 2010 the scholarship fund has helped seventeen island students to achieve degrees as veterinaries, dentists, graphic artists, engineers and many move occupations.
Richard Lock introducing some of the graduates of RBSF
This year Sparky and I received an invitation to participate with a book signing and a draw for the lucky person who will be ‘Killed Off’ in my Isla Mujeres Mystery Book #4. 

The lucky winner was Patti Packard. She will get a choice of being either a good person or a bad character in my next novel, due out late in 2018. (Book #3 Tormenta Isla is just a couple of weeks away from being published!)

Diego, Thomas and Lynda 
I was delighted to add a healthy donation to the fund on behalf of both myself and my friend Diego Medina. Diego is the talented illustrator of our bilingual book for children – The Adventures of Thomas the Cat / Las Aventuras de Tomas el Gato. We have been setting aside a portion of our book sales for the scholarship fund, and this was the perfect event to present the donation. According to Gwen Brown the fundraiser brought in a little over $8800.00 Canadian. All of the funds will be used for assisting students, nothing is spent on administrative costs.

Thank you everyone who made the event so successful. You can find out more about the Ron Brown Scholarship Fund at Please be sure you click on this link for information about the Isla Mujeres Mexico scholarship program as it is easily confused with the similar sounding name that supports students in Africa.
The day after the fundraiser our other little pooch Max and I went on an odyssey to his new home in Arizona. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Lawrie has been diagnosed with a debilitating disease – PSP, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. The left side of his body doesn’t get the messages from his brain as quickly as the right side does. PSP creates serious stability and mobility issues for him.

Max waiting for boat ride to Cancun
Having two energetic dogs underfoot is too risky for Lawrie, and as much as we loved the fuzzy little guy Max had to find a new home. Fortunately for us our friend Janet Cummins sent our blog post to her friend Dianne in Arizona. Dianne Stocks who has had other rescue dogs, including her current beautiful girl Willow, agreed to adopt Max.
Wednesday was a tough day for Max and I. He left his island in paradise for the first time ever. Even though I have been giving him an anti-anxiety medication for a few days in preparation for the trip, riding on the Ultramar passenger ferry frightened him. But, by the time we got him loaded into the CARM van and headed to the airport he had stopped trembling and seemed interested in his new adventure. A special thanks to Denise and Mike Burton who helped me get from the boat to the CARM van on the Puerto Juarez side of the trip. Mike, you looked so handsome carrying my purse!

Max - keeping an eye on our wheelchair
At the airport the porters and wheelchair assistants were a huge help to us, bustling us to the head of the immigration line, the check-in line, then outside for a doggy pee break before he had to be surrendered to the baggage handlers. I had to use the wheelchair service because of course two days before I was due to make the trip my sciatica decided to act up, making walking or standing extremely painful. (Perfect timing!)
The American Airlines folks were delightfully kind and accommodating with Max and me. By the time we reached Phoenix he had adjusted to his international traveler status, and was doing just fine when I reclaimed him. My assistance wheeled us both out to meet Dianne and her friends, Laurie and Chris, who had come to pick him up. It was a very emotional meeting for me because I knew my time with Maxie was coming to an end, and Dianne because she was just beginning a new adventure with him. After tearful hugs and goodbyes I slipped away leaving Dianne to get to know her new guy better.  

Dianne and I at Phoenix airport
My return flight via American Airlines was just as easy and trouble free, only this time I was checking an empty dog travel case. That really confused everyone – porters and customs officers alike – wondering if I had an invisible dog. I had the same crew on the flight back to Cancun, and would like to mention Teri who took the time to make my return flight very pleasant and comfortable.
Back on Isla at the Ultramar ferry dock I was faced with a not too long, but still painful walk from the boat to the car park. I turned to one of the baggage handlers that I recognized and asked, “Would you give me and this empty dog cage a lift to the parking lot?”
He laughed and said, “Sure, hop on!”
I finished my two day odyssey riding on a diablito, Isla-style.
Willow and Maxie - worn out by excitement
I’m very happy to be back to Lawrie and Sparky. Thank you so very much to all of our friends and family who looked after my guys while Max and I were traveling. It’s the caring people around us that makes our lives so rich.
Our best wishes to Dianne, Willow and Maxie. We hope life is good to you as well.

Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie

Book #3 Isla Mujeres Mystery
Tormenta Isla 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Hectic time in paradise!

Sunrise from our upper deck - March 3rd
It's been a hectic week but Wednesday was probably the craziest day. Our house was busy with friends coming and going from early morning to late afternoon.

Eileen Regn, H.A.L.O (Helping Animals Living Overseas) stopped in to help with the paperwork for our second dog Max to travel to his new home in Phoenix. Maxie and I travel next Wednesday. It's a bittersweet goodbye to the little guy. He's a sweet boy, but two dogs are too much for Lawrie to have underfoot with his medical condition, PSP, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. 

Ismael Yam installing our new doors in bedroom/bathroom
Our friend, Neil Fox dropped by in the morning to try and sort out my Facebook account. A nasty virus came through on "Messenger" from one of those - please pass this important information along to all of your friends - group messages, that I never open nor do I pass along, yet my account still got the virus. 

Neil and I are still hopeful we can resuscitate my account with his top 10-hit list of how to kill a virus. In the meantime I can neither answer anything on messenger, nor comment on anyone posts. Please my email address instead:

Beautiful new barn-door for our bathroom
As Neil was working on curing my computer, Gerry Haas and Patty Magrini arrived with a batch of her home made pirogis - she thought we were looking skinny. Yummy treat!  

Thanks Patty! And thank you too Gerry for being her chauffeur.

Richard and Linda Grierson, Lawrie's sister and brother-in-law, popped over to see how things were progressing. 

Then a wonderful surprise in the form of Lyn McGrath appeared at our front gate. She was walking from Centro to her home in South Point and just thought she would stop in for a chat. What a delightful gift to spend some time with her. 

While our various friends were arriving, chatting, helping out, fattening us up and then leaving, two ladies were valiantly trying to clean up the construction dust and grit. The changes and renovations to our lower floor are 99% complete and we are mostly moved in and organized. 

It's odd, we have lived in this house for almost ten years, but now it feels like a whole new location. We have to re-think where to put things. Do we really need to keep that? When was the last time we used a particular item, a piece of clothing, or an odd-ball serving dish? Many, many things have found new homes this week.

Sparky and Max, insecure and hiding under computer desk
Our two dogs are apprehensive about the changes. Why are you moving my bed? What did you do with my toys? 

Max has a new fur-ever home in Phoenix, and I am taking him there next week. He doesn't know of course, but his new roommate is a beautiful young lady by the name of Willow. She has to be one of the prettiest dogs I have ever seen. We are hoping it is love at first sight.

And finally, just as we waved a thankful goodbye to the cleaning ladies for leaving us with a fresh, dust-free home again our good friend and contractor Patricio Yam, and his son Sergio showed up with the new air conditioner for our bedroom.   
Waiting for Max to arrive.
The house had been clean for at least five minutes, and now the chip, chip, chip starts again!  

For those of you that are not familiar with the construction of houses in Mexico almost everything is made from concrete. 

Any changes involve a lot of chipping, noise and dust. We all had a good laugh over a glass of wine about their timing.

That's what we love about living here, the caring and helpful family, friends and neighbours. 

Cheers Lynda & Lawrie

Lawrie - trying out our new bistro bar stools in the kitchen

Make a Difference – Tuesday March 13th
An evening of support of the Ron Brown Scholarship Fund.
Come join Sparky and Lynda Lock
5 – 7 p.m. at Villa la Bella B&B
$25 USD per person

- Book signing by Lynda Lock, author of the Isla Mujeres-based mystery series. Enter Lynda's contest to be the next character to die in her new novel.
- Music by Jeff Current
- Cash bar; one free margarita or beer courtesy of Villa la Bella.
- Appetizers 
- Meet some of the RBSF graduates

The Ron Brown Scholarship Fund has been set up to honor Ron’s memory and his commitment to the island of Isla Mujeres and its people. On his behalf, our goal is to provide financial assistance to promising, dedicated students in order to further their education and enable them to improve their lifestyle. We feel this opportunity will not only benefit the students, but also their families and in turn, the whole community. To date, the fund has helped 17 young Islenos fulfill their dream of higher education.

How to get tickets:
In Advance

RSVP Here: (Cash collected at door)

Contact Gwen Brown at

Can't make it but still want to help: 

Coming Soon Book #3 Tormenta Isla

Friday, March 2, 2018

101 things to do on a beach

Locals enjoying the sunrise

What can you do when you are surrounded by the beautiful turquoise Caribbean Sea?
Start your day with the sunrise, or in some cases you might just be headed to bed after being out all night dancing. 
The sunrises here are usually spectacular unless it happens to be one of those rare cloudy days, and even then the sun might give you a multi-coloured light-show as the glowing orb clears the horizon before disappearing into the clouds.
Visitors enjoying the beach before the crowds arrive 
Go for a walk on the beach while enjoying your morning coffee, smoothie, or whatever other beverage you want to start your day with. 
While you are out enjoying the early morning calm you might see the beach cleaning crew raking the sand, sifting for discarded cigarette butts and bottle caps, picking up trash and removing potentially dangerous overhead coconuts. 
If you happen to have an extra bottle of water with you, pass it along. These folks start work at sunrise to make the beaches clean and tidy for the next round of sun-worshipers.
Coconut removal crew 
Get your towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, a bit of money for food and drinks, and don’t forget your reading material. 
(May I recommend to enjoyable beach reads? My two novels, Treasure Isla and Trouble Isla – are entertaining mysteries set on this fabulous little island.) 
Head to the beach and claim your favourite spot.
Order lunch from one of the many beach-side restaurants and bars. 
The wait-staff with happily deliver it to you. Don’t forget to tip, but please no foreign coins, including American or Canadian. Coins are only valuable in their country of origin. 
Find your favourite spot
For instance: American coins are only good in the USA, and occasionally in Canada and then only at face value. Canadian coins are only good in Canada, Americans will not accept them. 
Euros are only good in Europe, Americans and Canadians don’t accept them. 
Okay, you get the idea. Using the currency of the country you are in is always the easiest solution.

Great place to people-watch 
People watch to your heart’s content. 
There are beaches for sunning and swimming, beaches where the fishermen repair their nets, clean and sell their daily catch, beaches for surf-casting, beaches to investigate the under-water inhabitants, and beaches where on windy days the enthusiasts for kitesurfing, bodysurfing and regular surfing play in the warm waves.

Windy day - surfs up
Then wrap up your day with a long leisurely dinner at a beachside restaurant while watching the sun sink into the ocean. 
If you are lucky you will get another vibrant display, the kind that we refer to as a “Tony Garcia Sunset.” 
Captain Tony seems to have a natural instinct for when the light, clouds and atmospheric conditions are optimum for producing the best technicolour displays.
Peaceful beauty 

Okay, so not exactly 101 ideas, but we’ll leave you to come up with your own plans as you enjoy the white sand, the turquoise ocean, and the clear blue sky.
Hasta Luego

Lynda & Lawrie

A note to our readers, Facebook friends and email contacts. It looks like my Facebook account Lynda L. Lock has been hacked. I am working on getting it sorted out, but in the meantime if you are getting inappropriate messages or reading offensive posts from my page – it’s not me!

Isla Mujeres Mystery #3 Coming Soon!