Coyote Wells Mystery series delivers for fans of the genre

Murder with a side of chocolate.

The 2nd book, Shadow Canyon, keeps readers coming back to Coyote Wells.

Look for it February 27th

Murder with a side of chocolate

Exhausted after the Sun Bringer Festival, Gemma Channing and her ex, Lando Bonner, are hanging out at the beach, trying to recover from the three-day event when her longtime nemesis is found dead on the dunes. As rumors grow about Mallory’s demise, many in Coyote Wells feel like Gemma is responsible.

Determined to find out who did it, Gemma goes into overdrive to find the real killer. With the help of Lando and her friends, they dig deeper into Mallory’s past, hoping to uncover all of her secrets. But they get more than they bargained for when the tables turn. The new theory brings a longtime mystery to the forefront, one that’s been hanging around for three decades…unsolved. What does it mean for the people in Coyote Wells when the secret’s uncovered? And will Gemma be able to figure things out before anyone else dies?

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A new look for Skye Cree

The bestselling series that made Skye Cree an international success.

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Brutalized as a young girl by a vile sexual predator, Skye Cree is a survivor. Guided by the visions of her mystical spirit guide to the whereabouts of abducted girls, she uses her unique abilities to turn her horrifying past into a positive force for justice. Fighting the demons that have haunted her for years, she trusts only in herself—until she falls hard for a man for the first time in her life. Now, discovering her abductor is back with a vengeance, she becomes locked in a deadly race against time to stop the horrors of an evil human-trafficking ring that threatens to rip open old wounds—and tear her away from her newfound love.

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The Lawrence Tree

There was a long weathered carpenter’s bench under the tall tree in front of the little old house that Lawrence had lived in there. I often lay on that bench looking up into the tree, past the trunk and up into the branches. It was particularly fine at night with the stars above the tree.
~Georgia O’Keeffe

Maybe the most famous ponderosa pine

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See it for real at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

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the sweetness of winter

 

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once upon a time…

Once upon a time a group of people fought one huge land developer and won. Back in 1988, artists, politicians, and environmentalists—concerned that the big developer kept carving out more and more  of the beautiful canyon walls surrounding Laguna Beach in order to build more and more homes—organized a protest to save a pristine area along the  Orange County coastline they believed to be a treasure trove of wilderness trails and scenic vistas.

Some 11,000 people turned out to build “The Tell,” a 636-foot wall mural that captured the ridgelines of what is now the Dilley Preserve.

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The Tell Image credit: LagunaBeachIndy.com

Sadly, much of the mural succumbed to a 1993 wildfire. But back in 1989, these activists invoked their talents and founded  the Laguna Canyon Conservancy to thwart the developer’s plans to rip through the canyon land. Somehow, they managed to stop the bulldozers in their tracks and went on to lead the fight to pass a $20 million bond measure that acquired the property so that it would stay open park land. Today, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and its nature center is a place where people can leave behind work schedules and hike, bike, or horseback ride through 40 miles of canyon trails. They might catch a glimpse of red-tailed hawk or a bobcat or spot a mule deer. great-vistas

To all those dedicated activists back then I say, “thank you.” Without them, the area would be just another subdivision full of houses that all look alike. Because of their efforts, thousands visit yearly and still trek through the trails in its natural state. Who says a small group of dedicated people won’t make a difference?

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Image credit: LagunaBeachIndy.com

 

Posted in Artists, California, California Historical Landmark, Creativity, Laguna Beach, Orange County, Vickie McKeehan | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

while Ventura & LA counties burn…

The Santa Monica Mountains average a deadly wildfire every 8 years. Since approximately 1939 there have been 10 deadly wildfires that have popped up in this one area. Fire corridors exist and have for decades, especially during the Santa Ana wind events, which is what’s happening now.  So when the powers that be back in the 1980s decided to extend J. Paul Getty’s personal art collection and house the artworks, antiquities, and sculptures in one central location  where the public could browse and stare at works from Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Monet, they decided on a property above the 405 Freeway, smack dab in the heart of the fire zone.

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Getty Images

Not exactly a smart move at the time. But architect Richard Meier said no problem. The guy promised he knew the dangers of putting priceless works of art at risk in a known fire corridor. Experts say he took major precautions. The center is built from non-combustible materials along with travertine limestone and aluminum panels. But that probably isn’t what secures the works of art. There’s a sophisticated air filtration system that kicks in. It reverses normal air circulation and blows outward, forcing the air out of the galleries. The system then locks down and seals each gallery off from smoke and fire. But the fire has to reach the campus first. According to the Museum, landscapers protected the surrounding hillside by allowing only native vegetation designed to contain wildfires because the plants are supposed to burn out before the fire ever reaches the buildings. Sounds great in theory, right? But this week ,the Skirball Fire came dangerously close. It wasn’t the first time. Back in 2015 the Sepulveda Pass Fire prompted an evacuation of visitors from the museum itself. I was last there in 2014. The site is a major tourist attraction which always seems to be crowded.

But I can’t help wondering when Mother Nature decides to test all the safeguards again—and it isn’t a question of IF, but WHEN—only then will we know for certain that the Getty Museum is truly prepared for a natural disaster, the likes of which many people have already experienced firsthand by losing their homes and everything they owned. My

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Image: AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON

heart goes out to the victims, who didn’t even have time to grab a change of clothes before they had to run for their lives.

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keep the door open to long distance friends

The holidays are a perfect time to take inventory of those long-distance friendships you’ve cultivated over the years. You may not see them as often as you’d like to sit down for a cup of coffee or go outimages for a long gabfest over lunch, but it doesn’t mean you can’t nurture them along another way. As it turns out I have a whopping high percentage of people in my life who live somewhere else. I attribute this to moving around quite a bit in my early twenties and thirties.

It makes it an art to keeping these long-distance friendships alive and well even though they live hundreds of miles away from me and in some cases in another country. For me, I tend to do a lot of communicating via emails. But let’s face it, sometimes that doesn’t cut it when it comes to sitting down and catching up with friends.  Skype works, as does long Sunday afternoon phone calls. No cutting corners on this one by passing on this part. Think of it this way. If you know someone who’s traveled all over the world you have a built-in conversation. I love beff1ab2bcf0c1ba671cf073d814b48e--long-distance-friends-long-distance-quoteshearing about what life is like somewhere else.  I think we’re all curious about what’s going on where we don’t live and that’s true for people we don’t see in person very often.

So keep the door open to all kinds of communication, making sure you ask what’s happening in their neck of the woods with family and life in general. From Savannah to London or Vancouver, it’s always a pleasure to hear from my faraway friends. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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