Another installment in the West Coast adventure. The Point Wilson lighthouse at Port Townsend.
Boats and more boats in a tiny bay near Port Hadlock. I love being places with names that include words like port, bay, beach, cove, and harbour. They all mean that there is an ocean or sea nearby.
I turned around and there were these seaside cottages for students at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building at Port Hadlock. Peering through the window of the school, I saw some beautiful boats taking shape. And no, I'm not going to build my own boat any time soon. I wrote about a couple of boats in my novel, Picking up the Pieces.
I had to run to capture this shot of the sailboat passing by the ferry dock in Port Townsend. Unfortunately, it had clouded over by late afternoon. Soon the ferry from Whidbey Island sailed up, we drove on, and off we went to Oak Harbor.
It's no secret that I love the ocean and get close to it, either on a boat or ship, or with my toes in the sand at a beach, at every opportunity.
Last week I went on a little trip with my husband and we took the ferry from Coupeville, WA, to Port Townsend. The sky cleared and the sea breezes were fresh.
Since I'm usually the family photographer, I've begun to realize that there are very few photos of me in the family archives. When I think of it, I am now trying to get someone to snap a few shots of me for posterity. In this one, I'm on the top deck of the ferry crossing Admiralty Inlet in Washington state. And no, I'm not the admiral.
Picking up the Pieces, Wendy Dewar Hughes Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Jill Moss is surprised when she receives her Uncle Neil Bryant’s Bible and discovers that it has certain, odd passages marked. Then she learns that her uncle has discovered an artifact in Mexico that consists of sixteen separate pieces that have been sent to people he knows and trusts. He needs her to travel all over the world to collect all sixteen pieces. Jill prays about it and listens when God tells her to help her uncle out. Thus begins a high speed adventure as Jill meets Marco Jimenez, a handsome Spaniard who helps her out as she is chased and stalked while traveling to collect the pieces of the artifact. The pieces are written in three different and distinct languages: Olmec, Mayan and Hebrew. How is this possible when these three cultures did not exist together and what is the significance of it all?
The adventures Wendy Hughes puts her heroine through are both thrilling and exhilarating, as are her captivating descriptions of the terrain and beauty of the countries that are visited. It is amazing how beautifully she marries such diverse points of view, taking passages from the bible and scientific knowledge and creating a story that makes a believer out of the reader. The fast paced adventures and love interest keeps the reader eager and unable to put this story down!
Rose Mary Espinoza, InDTale Magazine
Picking up the Pieces opens with a short prologue so well done that we are anchored in its stellar writing and professional style. Immediately, readers pass through a portal, created with written words, transported into the living world of the story. Feeling a part of Jill Moss, we long to discover “how, who, what, where, when and why” as we begin chapter one, bracing for an emotional ride filled with suspense.
Jill Moss loves and respects her eccentric Uncle Neil, an expert and fearless archaeologist. He has discovered ancient artifacts in Mexico. Recognizing the danger if the artifacts fall into the wrong hands, he hides away. He deflects attention and involves his beloved niece, Jill—protecting her by telling her nothing, but trusting her to do as he asks. She suspects he is once again in danger and believes she has no choice. Uprooting her life, she embarks on Uncle Neil’s quest, one clue at a time.
Readers walk in the foreign streets, sit in the cafés, sleep in the dwellings, sweat in the heat, smell the food, and drop exhausted with Jill, when she is overcome. Our hearts thump as we run with her to keep up. We can’t wait to get to the next page, but the words are so compelling, we cannot skip. Pulling for her, we try to solve the mystery and decide what she should do to stay safe.
We are comforted when Jill’s trust in God along with her spiritual connection, guides her, allowing narrow escapes in a few of the many precarious situations. Biblical quotes augment the story, giving clues, as the reader slowly grasps the reason behind the intense desire of others who hunt the artifacts—at any cost. The plot keeps the story flowing, but jars us with surprises. Do we believe this story could happen? Absolutely.
The main characters are well drawn and feel like family or people we know or have met. We don’t want to say goodbye when finished with the last page. In many scenes, we wonder whether the players are friend or foe. Even the sweet romantic element keeps us guessing until near the end.
This reviewer looks forward to being captivated again by this author and will watch for a sequel to Picking up the Pieces, or to the next entertaining page-turner by Wendy Dewar Hughes.
This is to remind everyone who is suffering through the winter weather that somewhere out there the sun is shining. Wait a minute. Whose feet are those? They're not mine.
In my novel, Picking up the Pieces, heroine Jill Moss travels to numerous exotic locations in search of pieces of a peculiar Mayan artifact.
Many of these locations are based on places that I have either lived or visited. The house in this photo is one of them. An estate in the South of France, Bidaine was owned by an American couple when my husband and I and our two children went there to live in the late 80s. Originally an 18th century "hunting lodge" for the French aristocracy, this estate features water gardens, orchards, a swimming pool with a fountain in the centre, rose gardens, guest houses and a long "allee" of plane trees. The owners were collectors of 18th century antiques and costumes and the interior of the house had been converted back to the decor of the times.
In my novel, I patterned the home of Jill's mother's friend, Geneva, after this estate and describe some of its charms in the scenes that take place there. For more locations that appear in the book, take a look at my Pinterest board.
My husband and I decided to take a couple of day away and drove to Port Townsend, Washington. This is the view from our hotel room.
Our hotel was right on the water (30 ft. away!) and had a wall of windows and its own deck.
We woke in the morning, pulled back the drapes and found four dainty deer directly in front of our room, picking their way along the water's edge. I watched them from my pillow.
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