No TV Weeks 9 to 16

Go ahead and be amazed. This TV junkie has been television-free for sixteen, count ’em, sixteen wonderful weeks. Sure, I ached that I missed the end of season episode of “Major Crimes” and hubby caught me muttering and carrying the remote around the house during the season finale of “Castle,” but thankfully, life has intervened to pull me out of the house and away from temptation.

No tv fly to VeniceI’ve hiked in the Smokey Mountains, flown with hubby to lunch in Venice, Florida, spent a few weekends near Asheville, visited family in Las Vegas for a week, and learned how to load and fire various handguns.

My evenings, previously spent in inertia on the sofa–remote in one hand, popcorn in the other–are now filled with stories by Janet Evanovich, Kristan Higgins, John Foxjohn, Sue Monk Kidd, Ian McEwan, Diane Capri, Liane Moriarty, Joshua Graham, and Kristin Hannah. I’ve even discovered books by first-time authors: Deborah Wilding’s Then I Met You, Martha Sibley George’s Goodbye, Miss Emily, and a few others I’m judging for the international Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence contest. Recently enjoyed the second novel by Noelle August. The first book was Boomerang and the second is Rebound. Also read an exciting medical thriller written by a physician friend that should be coming out soon.

twin-engine seaplaneI was hired by a national aviation magazine to report on Sun ‘N Fun, the annual general aviation gathering founded by the Experimental Aircraft Association, better known as EAA. Sun ‘N Fun begins next week in Lakeland, Florida. The Brietling Jet Team will be performing airshows, and a few friends will be receiving the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award next week. The son of friends will also be in town after being certified or approved to land on carriers. Is this a great life or what? I get PAID to meet my aviation heroes and write about them.

So, overall I have not missed television. I’m out having fun in the real world and reading wonderful, hilarious, and exciting stories. Oh, and I’m writing a few of my own. One is a 90,000-word suspense story with elements of romance, and the other is an 85,000-word suspense story with elements of romance. My BETA readers and critique partners are chewing through them now. All prayers are appreciated.

Then I Met You by Deborah Wilding

Winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, Then I Met You by Deborah Wilding presents Hawaiian society just before the attack on Pearl Harbor through the eyes of twenty-two-year-old Merrylei Wentworth in a seamless blend of history and fiction. The Wentworth family built their fortune in shipping, dating back to the days of Hawaiian royalty. After Merrylei’s father dies, she returns to Honolulu to restore the family mansion with plans to open it as a guesthouse. The grand house suffers from vandalism, age, and general inattention.

When Nisei (second-generation American-Japanese) Jamison Sumida offers architectural plans to restore the mansion, Merrylei is cautious. In 1941 Hawaiian society is sharply divided into racial and financial classes that place Jamison and Merrylei in separate social circles. Jamison wins her trust when he demonstrates his deep appreciation for paintings, specifically works created by Merrylei’s mother. Merrylei crosses an unspoken social boundary when she hires Jamison to assist in the mansion restoration.

cover of Then I Met You by Deborah Wilding

Then I Met You by Deborah Wilding

One of the first to object is businessman Jerry Caine who courts Merrylei. His charm and connections make him a very eligible bachelor. He is concerned for Merrylei’s safety alone at the mansion. Stolen royal jewels, curses, rumors of war, acts of vandalism, Japanese leasehold farmers who fear eviction, and the attack on Pearl Harbor threaten to prevent Merrylei from saving the family home.

As Merrylei comes of age–discovering her own strength–so does the nation at the outbreak of war.

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In 2013 this story won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in the category of unpublished historical mystery/suspense under the title In a Sea of Change.