lately googling

We can all relate to finding unpleasant surprises when Googling ourselves, right? I mean, who hasn’t stumbled across unflattering pictures, scathing reviews, and their books classified in the p0rn section?

Anyone? Hello?

Okay, maybe I’m the only soul with these problems.

But I found an interesting recommendation while Googling the Korean version of my memoir.

Way back in 2015, rabid Lewis and Clark fans read two of my books. Read what they said below.

Book(s) Recommendation
from Jerry Wilson Ohio Chapter
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

We all read the recent book review of NOT WITHOUT MY FATHER: ONE WOMAN’S 444-MILE WALK OF THE NATCHEZ TRACE by author Andra Watkins. The book review appeared in the May 4 2015 WPO and was written by Editor Robert Clark. I completely agree with Mr. Clark.

I recommend Not Without My Father for everyone’s Corps of Discovery bookshelf.

Janice and I have been traveling the Natchez Trace Parkway biannually for the past several years (since our retirements). We always stop at Grinders’ Stand to pay honor to Meriwether Lewis. After reading Ms. Watkins’ book, I decided to imagine for myself what it would have been like to walk the entire 444 mile trip from Natchez to Nashville. It takes us two overnights to drive. There is no way I can walk it. Well, needless to say Ms. Watkins (and her father and mother and husband and many supporters) is to be commended for her feat.

I would also like to mention Ms. Watkins’ other book. The title of that book is TO LIVE FOREVER: AN AFTERLIFE JOURNEY OF MERIWETHER LEWIS. Like many of our chapter members, I try to read any and all books that have Lewis and Clark or Corps of Discovery (or Thomas Jefferson) in the title. Unlike her other book, this book is historical fiction. I realize we need to be careful with such books, but it is fun (and to me thought provoking) to read occasional novels.

Thus, I would like to recommend both books to our Ohio River Chapter members. Maybe by reading one or both books you may develop an additional interest in the Natchez Trace.

CLICK HERE to buy To Live Forever and Not Without My Father.


Lately, I’ve been a busy girl. Here’s a short list of where I’ve been, what I’m working on for 2018, why I’m reading AND writing, how I plan to spend Thanksgiving and MORE.

Where I’ve Been Lately/Where I’m Going Soon

I got back on the appearance train with NINE appearances all over Wisconsin. In the featured photo, I’m with Vicky Calmes, director of Colby Public Library. They partnered with Colby Rural Arts Museum to bring me to the home of Colby cheese. (Yes, I bought some.)


I also had my first Los Angeles area appearance last week, AND I got to spend time with the exquisite Debra Fetterly. If you don’t read her blog, GET THEE THERE NOW!

Next week, I’m headed to Portland, Oregon for five appearances, including Tigard Public Library. TELL EVERY PORTLAND BODY YOU KNOW!

What I’m Working on for 2018

I already have library programs in the works for Wisconsin, New Jersey, and New York. We’re in negotiations for a major keynote speech in 2019.



Next January, I’m speaking at West Point’s Thayer Hotel WHERE I SET SCENES IN HARD TO DIE!! I even booked a room in the old portion of the hotel to see what stay there is really like.

Thanks to a lovely reader, I’m working on a coastal North Carolina appearance next February, where I’ll get to talk Theodosia for hours and hours. Ticketed event and advance meet-and-greet!



Plus, I’m headlining my first big-city business association meeting in Atlanta next March.


Why I’m Reading and Writing

Books I’ve Enjoyed Lately:

  1. The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston – Set in the Honduran jungles, it provided key elements for my upcoming novel I Am Number 13.
  2. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin – A little boy keeps asking for his other mother, the one he had before. A suspenseful novel of reincarnation and the lengths a mother will go to protect her son. And yes, I hope it gives my current project some additional flair.
  3. Among the Lesser Gods by Margo Catts – What a remarkable write! I read this one for sheer pleasure and was NOT disappointed.

I’m in the midst of edits for I Am Number 13. Last week, I shared a deleted scene. As I progress, I’ll post more deleted scenes. I’ll introduce readers to new characters, and I’ll tease final scenes as April approaches.


From an appearance in Waukesha, WI.

How I’m Spending Thanksgiving

I’m headed to Nagano, Japan to touch a 1,500-year-old statue of the Buddha. Purported to have healing powers, it is featureless from the millions of hands that have touched it for more than a millennia. The toxo parasite has destroyed part of my right eye, but it lives in my brain, lungs, and intestines. I guess I’ll be groping Buddha everywhere for my study of this ancient miracle worker.

My Japanese experience will be a chapter in my upcoming travelogue/memoir about the lengths people throughout history have been willing to go for peace, for hope, for healing, for a miracle. More than anything, I want this book to GIVE EVERY ONE OF US HOPE. Humanity is seething. We need something hopeful. We need this story, handed down to us through 30,000 years of chants and potions and beliefs and ceremonies.

There’s power in hope.

What have you been up to lately? Share in a comment!

Haven’t read my books? GET BUSY! Click here and read.


Do you have a haunted place?

Actually, I have more than one haunted place. Characters call to me through the twisting corridors of time. They pick the locales, and they nag and wail and banshee until I weave the stories they want revealed.

For Hallowe’en, I’m highlighting one of my haunted places.


Probably even more so since the latest series of earthquakes reduced so much urban fabric to rubble. But Mexico City is built on the ruins of the mighty Aztec nation. Its governmental palace in the Zocalo is constructed from Aztec stone. The beige in the Spanish building below once grazed the sky as pyramids.


As did the stone in Mexico City’s central cathedral.


James Wilkinson, the villain in my Nowhere series, died of an opium overdose in Mexico City. James Monroe sent Wilkinson to Mexico to help shape the nation in its break with the Spanish crown. The author of the Monroe Doctrine wasn’t shy about meddling in the affairs of neighboring nations, especially if the outcome meant a stronger United States.

Wilkinson was happy to play both sides if he ended up with a vast swath of Texas. Before he died, Mexico’s leaders agreed to give him millions of acres of prime Texas land.

How would the United States map appear today if someone hadn’t given Wilkinson too much opium?

Wilkinson was initially buried in Mexico’s Baptist church near the city center. Its dome is visible above the colorful buildings in the picture below.


When Wilkinson died, he was renting a house near the city’s horse track. Sprawl consumed the horse track long ago. City layers tease the ghosts from before. Urban planners preserved the racetrack in this circular city park and roadway.


Wilkinson would’ve strutted across this square many times in his perambulations. Workers exhumed his bones in the mid-1800s.


Today, he rests in a mass grave in the Mexico City National Cemetery. AND THAT’S WHERE READERS MEET HIM AT THE BEGINNING OF I AM NUMBER 13……….

Read more about Mexico City National Cemetery HERE.

Haven’t been to Nowhere? Get my books HERE.