The Top Shelf would like to welcome Stuart Gustafson to the blog today! This blog is brought to you by myself along with Partners in Crime Blog Tours! My review of Missing in Mexico will be up next week!
Many people think that people who write books lead solitary lives, that their lives are totally consumed by books, and that they don’t have any outside life. I’m sure there are some who fit that mold, just as there some people who fit the stereotype of the white-shirt banker, or the playboy athlete, or the … I’m sure you get the idea. But most writers are like you and me; they lead somewhat ordinary lives, with a family, some hobbies, activities, and places they like to go. Some have been writing for a long time, while others have just recently begun to enjoy its pleasures.
I am a member of that latter group, primarily because my education was mathematics and engineering, and I worked in technical organizations. Adding an MBA allowed me some flexibility in moving around both geographically and within a large multi-national company in Boise, Idaho, where we’ve lived since 1993. My roles also had me doing a lot of international travel, which re-ignited my love of travel that had lain dormant for quite a while. Good timing, along with some hard work, allowed me to take early retirement in 2007, and that’s when I started to spend more time writing and traveling (for my pleasure).
Now that I’m retired from the corporate world, I love to travel and I love to write. I have the US Registered Trademarked name as America’s International Travel Expert®, I’m a million-mile flier on United Airlines, and I’m writing fictional mystery novels set in exciting locations around the world. One of the great things about being an author, and enjoying international travel, is the ability to go to wonderful places to conduct research for an upcoming book. Traveling is also something that is a great passion of mine, and I do enjoy sharing my knowledge with others (there are free travel tips and resources on my website, plus you can also sign up for my free travel newsletter). I flew over 150,000 miles last year, and I’ve flown over 100,000 miles already this year – and flying out of Boise, Idaho, isn’t the easiest thing to do! It is a bonus to be able to enjoy travel and writing at the same time, and then to put them together in a book.
My first novel, Missing in Mexico, has its primary setting in San José del Cabo, Mexico, more commonly known as Los Cabos. I chose this location at the tip of Baja California because it’s a place where my wife and I escape to every February when we’re tired of the winter in Idaho! So I know the area well, plus the people down there are so warm and charming. One of the activities I particularly enjoy is the Thursday evening Art Walk in San José del Cabo; it is an absolute must when you are in San José or in San Lucas. My next book is set in Sydney, Australia, and I made several research trips there last year to ensure that the descriptions in the book are quiet authentic. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we go to Australia, I’d better tell you a little about Missing in Mexico. Below are the synopsis and the first chapter. By the way, you can read the full first five chapters for free on my website at www.stuartgustafson.com. The book is available on Kindle, nook, and in print.
Synopsis: Sarah Johnson is a 19 year-old college freshman who didn’t board the plane for the return flight home from Los Cabos after a vacation with her family and her roommate. Her parents hire Stan, a private investigator, to locate her, and he starts by talking with her roommate Mary, the last person to see her in Cabo. Even with some promising leads and local help, Stan’s not able to find her, and so he returns to Seattle to tell the parents. Several months later he receives a mysterious letter from someone who says she can help him find Sarah, and he jumps on the next plane to Los Cabos. Will this be the lucky break he needs to find her, or will she remain missing – Missing in Mexico?
Flight # 1476 from Los Cabos to Seattle
Saturday, January 5th
familia (fă·mĭl’·ē·ă) – family. Hay cuatro personas en mi familia. There are four persons in my family.
The voice over the intercom system announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we trust you had a good time in Los Cabos, but it’s now time for us to take you back to the States. The cabin doors have been closed, and Alaska Airlines flight 1476 with nonstop service to Seattle-Tacoma is ready for departure.”
“Hey, wait. Sarah’s not here; we can’t leave without her,” the girl in seat 14A yelled in a frightened voice. Mary reached up and pushed the flight attendant call button even as the flight attendant was already headed toward her seat. “We can’t leave yet; Sarah’s still down there,” Mary continued, now reaching the point of hysteria.
“Please calm down, miss. Everyone’s already onboard. You can look for yourself,” the flight attendant said in a calm voice as she pointed to the window.
“What do you mean everyone’s onboard? Sarah’s not here; she should be sitting right here!” Mary pulled her tearing eyes away from the empty seat and looked out and saw that the boarding ramps had been pulled away from the airplane, but what she didn’t see scared her. How come Sarah’s not out there, running in a panic toward the plane? “Where’s Sarah? She was just there with me. Where is she? Don’t leave; Sarah’s missing!” Mary cried out as tears began flowing down her cheeks.
The annoyed passengers felt a jolt as the plane was being pushed back. They were ready for their flight home from Los Cabos. But Sarah wasn’t on board; she’s missing – Missing in Mexico.
You can read more about my books, my travels, and me at my website www.stuartgustafson.com. Thank you.
Million-mile traveler and author, Stuart Gustafson is America’s International Travel Expert(R). He combines his love of travel and the intimate knowledge of the places he goes to create fictional mystery novels that make you feel as if you are there! Once you read one of his novels, you will be saying to yourself and to others, “I must go there.”