A fundinmental Holiday Adventure
Dashing through the…traffic on I10…
Welcome to my stop for Shadows, Shells, and Spain by John Meyer. I would like to thank John for visiting today. I am a cover girl and always curious about an author’s contribution to the final product. Let’s see what John has to say.
Tell us about the cover and its creation.
Shadows, Shells, and Spain is definitely not the first book to take place on the exhausting and exhilarating Camino de Santiago. Even if you do a cursory search on Google, you will be presented with dozens of books about the Camino. However, my book is presented as a fictional travel memoir i.e. a travel book packed with accurate local descriptions and historical anecdotes—inside a completely fictional story following a desperate husband in search of his estranged and mysterious wife.
Now look again at your Google search of Camino books. They’re all so brown! Most of those covers represent the dreaded Meseta section of the Camino path, “the two-hundred-kilometer stretch of barren plateau that lies in the center of the country. Pilgrims complain of its dry heat, lack of shade, limited food resources, non-existent landmarks, and drab scenery.” Why would you want to showcase that kind of scenery for your book cover? Will that kind of cover inspire a reader to temporarily leave his or her family and friends to walk 800 kilometers across northern Spain? Probably not…
So just like the interior of my book represents a different kind of Camino book, I wanted the exterior of my book to represent a different kind of Camino as well. When I walked the path in June of 2014, most of the landscape was green and lush and absolutely lovely. Therefore, I was determined to create a cover that reflected that majestic beauty.
So the main front photo was taken by me on a stretch of road outside Los Arcos. My designer only manipulated it a little by enlarging the two pilgrims. They looked fine in the original photo but when it was presented inside a smaller cover photo on some of those ebook websites, they were a little difficult to see.
The back cover photo of the pilgrim statue in León was also taken by me because it had it all: the shell and yellow arrow (which are prominent symbols on the Camino) painted on the cement in front of a tired, reflective pilgrim. It had perfect symmetry. It just didn’t work for the front cover. The front cover is supposed to inspire you to temporarily leave your family and friends to walk 800 kilometers across northern Spain. Probably…
Thanks John. I am a photographer and love that you took the photos yourself and that you chose to show a path that I would love to travel too. Wonderful job.
And now, let’s put our walking shoes on travel.
by John Meyer
GENRE: travel fiction
John Meyer’s “Shadows, Shells, and Spain” is a thrilling new adventure where a husband desperately searches for his missing wife along the ancient Camino trail across northern Spain. It’s also a bold, new take on a modern-day pilgrimage that feeds the mind and soul of every character while testing the limits of their bodies… and their comfort zones.
It became a miserable daily existence, made worse by a George Bernard Shaw quote that singly gnawed at me: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”
George was right. I had to do . . . something. Anything! Teaching teenagers wasn’t fulfilling me; I needed to find a more creative outlet—and I thought I had found it when I started writing novels.
I tried several genres. My young adult novels only reminded me of my apathetic students, and my science fiction books always morphed into Star Wars. My dystopian novels were too depressing. My horror novels gave me nightmares. My political thrillers gave me headaches. I settled on detective novels starring rugged private eyes and leggy dames.
I wasn’t very good at it.
In fact, I never came close to completing any of them. I wasn’t clever enough to conceal the credible clues. My attempts at misdirection were too misleading. I was heavy-handed when I needed to be charming, and I was lightweight when I needed to be conclusive. And anyone who read any of my early chapters always deduced the killer right away.
I even gave my early chapters to my brightest students as an extra-credit homework assignment.
“So, what did you think?”
“Sir, I didn’t finish it . . .”
“Never mind that. What did you think?”
“What is this, a murder mystery? Am I supposed to guess who the killer is? What does this have to do with my history project?”
“Never mind that. What did you think?”
“I don’t know . . . Was it the chambermaid with the stutter?”
AUTHOR Bio and Links
John Meyer writes fictional travel memoirs—unique adventure stories that combine fun facts of history with present-day drama and humor—always revolving around a fictitious love story and always based on his own thrilling journeys. His previous publication, Bullets, Butterflies, and Italy, was selected as a November Best Book by Chatelaine magazine. Meyer is also the studio writer for Entertainment Tonight Canada and has been ever since the popular daily show launched back in 2005.
Buy links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Ellen lives a life many of us envy and I am so happy to be traveling with her to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
My hubby, Mr Wonderful and I have been looking into an RV so we, too, can travel the USA, stopping wherever the mood strikes.
Do you have the wanderlust gene?
Hop on board and let’s go to the Outerbanks of North Carolina and see what’s shakin’.
The author, Ellen Behrens, interests me as much as this cozy mystery, so I had to get my hands on Pea Body. The cover represents the calm before the storm that is contained within the pages.
I have so much in common with Ellen and her characters, Betty and Walt. They are wanderers, dreamers and list makers. It felt like I was walking in their shoes…Bird watching, taking photographs of everything in sight, hiking, biking, and being a bit antisocial. We even like a lot of the same TV shows…NCIS, CSI, The Closer…but I have never found a dead body, let alone a murder victim.
Happy birthday. Your present…a dead body.
As the story rolls along, the suspect list mounts and the danger closes in around Betty and Walt.
The characters they run into as they investigate come across as authentic people you could meet anywhere, some are friendly and some…not so much. Some are a bit abrasive and annoying, but, when looking closer, you may find you have more in common than you would have thought.
It was easy to relate to the locations…I have visited many small coastal towns and each is unique in its own way. I, too, have hiked many trails through state and national parks, enjoying all the wonderful things they have to offer. I am constantly amazed and inspired by their beauty and the birds and animals that call them home.
If you are looking for an adventure, Pea Body by Ellen Behrens, is a fun and entertaining cozy mystery that shares the wonders of nature, the characters of a small, seasonal coastal town on the outerbanks of North Carolina, the danger of greed in the hands of those that will do anything to get what they want and the freedom and drawbacks of a home on wheels.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of Pea Body by Ellen Behrens.
Who knew birdwatching could lead to such trouble? Betty and Walt Rollin find out when visiting Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. All they want to do is relax and spend a little time away from Talkative Ted and Clingy Caroline, their overbearing neighbors at the RV “resort” where they’ve been staying. But when Betty spots a very non-avian body at the edge of a far pond, she and Walt are drawn into the investigation. What they discover threatens to uncover long-held secrets that could ruin local reputations, and plunges these retired, full-time RVers up to their necks in the deep sand of local politics and passions.
ABOUT ELLEN BEHRENS
I would like to take a moment to say “Thank You” to all our service men and women.
Let tell you about our weather. It has been raining buckets for days here in the panhandle of Florida, but like my hubby says, it never rains on the Funman. So, we began our adventure in the morning by going to the marina in downtown Pensacola.
The Funman and I started Fourth of July by shooting the Odyssey, a member of the Sea Shepherd fleet and Ocean Alliance, which was in town saving the whales! Yes there are whales in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ocean Alliance collects a broad spectrum of data on whales and ocean life relating particularly to toxicology, behavior, bio-acoustics, and genetics. From that data we work with our scientific partners to advise educators and policy makers on wise stewardship of the oceans to: reduce pollution, prevent the collapse of marine mammal populations, maintain human access to fish and other sea life, and promote ocean and human health.
Ocean Alliance is concerned with the conservation of whales and all sea life, as well as human impacts on the marine environment. Through the Ocean Alliance program the Voyage of the Odyssey, we were able to focus on measuring the concentrations of synthetic contaminants that adversely affect the world’s oceans and its marine species.
Then, on to the Blue Wahoo’s baseball game. The Blue Wahoos are the farm team for the Cincinnati Reds. They are new to the circuit, just being born in 2012. They were Organization of the Year, Ballpark of the Year and Executive of the Year for 2012.
They have a brand new stadium built on the shores of Pensacola Bay. They are currently ranked third in the Southern League Standings.
A lot of the workers were dressed and showing their patriotism for all the baseball fans.
I was the first one to get a ball, but Funman manged to get one too. We happily add them to our bucket of balls that we collect. What do we do with them? We look at them and say, “Oh, look at our pretty bucket of balls.”
Good times, good beer and good food. WE WON!!!!
For some chuckles, take a look at these Supernatural videos:
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