The Sea and Me

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The Sea and Me

Some people are born to fret and worry… Yes, even here in this magnificent resort on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

So, what’s the rub?

The scene above was there each morning when I awakened – the cobalt waters, the pale blue skies, the palm trees, the villas below our penthouse, the cobblestone roads that ran through the property, and the nostalgic aromas of old Mexico. Julie Anne and I walked many days on the concha-laden sandy beach and gathered seashells. We watched the young lovers in languid repose on the beach and by the pools. We watched the multi-colored sailboats on the sea and the larger yachts farther out toward the horizon. We watched the banana boats take the squealing tourists on a bouncy ride through the waves, some falling off and gathered back by the gleeful BB operator. Single-engine hang-gliders went aloft with one or two people, dipping low, soaring up again, near the beach and the resort. Most of these happy scenes played out with the background sounds of mariachi music playing on someone’s sound equipment…

Okay, Okay! I got lost in the moments of memory.

The rub?

It came time for an HOA election of board members. Julie Anne, a few Mexican staff members, and some of our American friends/Condo neighbors at the resort thought I should run and lend some support to solving the pesky problems facing the resort…and, NO, I won’t be elaborating on those pesky problems. The truth is, all I wanted to do was write my blogs and books in this most tantalizing environment. However, the prodding of wife and friends PLUS my own stupid ego finally won out, and I put my name in the proverbial hat.

I was elected to the board and subsequently appointed President of the HOA Board. Having never been on any kind of board in my life I tried to keep my enthusiasm and pride in check.

Now, back to that beautiful scene of our resort above – and the fact that some people were born to ‘fret and worry’. The F&W part was all mine, and that beautiful resort environment changed to problem solving – or, attempts at problem solving. AND, my writing went further south toward Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, without me enjoying the journey…you all know that trying to please hundreds of people in one neat bundle is impossible.

Well, my board did solve problems, from an economic standpoint, and took care of many other issues, The credit goes to my great Secretary (who would ultimately become President), my good Treasurer, the resort staff, and the other fully engaged and supportive members of the board. I can say with honesty and honor that there were moments of warm camaraderie, frustration, and consistent efforts to solve those ‘pesky problems’.  

Eventually, I got back to ‘sea shells at the seashore’ and my writing…

Speaking of my writing (and you knew I would be bringing my writing into this post!) the final book 6 in my ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series, books 1-6’, A COMMON EVIL, was loosely inspired by my sojourn at that beautiful Mexican resort… It is a thriller and there are truths therein – regarding the cartel business and some of the resort’s problems. There is murder! Suspense! It’s a Thriller! (Oops! I said that!)

You should read it and leave an Amazon review…the book has several 5-Star reviews, and, of course, I would be happy to see more (honest reviews, of course!). You can preview the other 5 books in my BC series at the Website (address below) and eight other titles that bear my name.

Please contact me if you wish to know more about the resort…it’s in the state of Sonora in Mexico, an easy drive from Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.

 Billy Ray Chitwood – April 14, 2017

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Murder in Pueblo del Mar

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Murder in Pueblo del Mar

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Puerto Peῆasco – AKA Pueblo Del Mar.

In Arizona, Puerto Peῆasco is known by its English name – Rocky Point.

The ‘AKA Pueblo Del Mar’ is the name I used for one of my ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Books’. There are six titles in that series, and Murder in Pueblo Del Mar is the fourth book in the sextet. While fictional, this book was inspired by a true event in Rocky Point some years ago.

The ghastly murder in Rocky Point of an Arizona wife and mother happened a few hundred yards from my father-in-law’s villa. The good lady was on holiday with her husband and two children.

In writing Murder in Pueblo del Mar – A Bailey Crane Mystery, book 4, I built two of my characters from Bob Gerhandt, my father-in-law, and his wife, Diane. Bob and Diane had a beautiful villa which they had built to their architectural plans…unique for the area at that time. They gave the villa a name – La casa de las campaῆas y de las mariposas (The house of bells and butterflies). So beautiful, It became a directional marker for people having trouble finding friends in the Las Conchas subdivision. 0n one side of the villa’s great room was the master suite. On the other side were two guest bedrooms with access to a long curving veranda. The villa had three red-tiled turrets. The tiles for floors and showers were specially made for Diane – with bells and butterflies on the white facing.

From the veranda was a most glorious view of the Sea of Cortez. My wife, Julie, and I spent many happy weekends in that lovely villa…we called them ‘Bridge Weekends’ and the bridge game winners were usually Papason and his partner – me. (Papason was the nickname I gave to Bob.) Ah, the memories – cocktails on the sweeping veranda watching dolphins frolic in the sea, looking out at the far horizon, and listening to Placido Domingo and John Denver sing ‘Perhaps Love’ on a favorite CD.

Bob and Diane are now gone, and I find myself often thinking of our bridge games and wonderful soft desert treks on our three-wheelers near the estuaries. The big handsome and husky giant with the white sculpted hair played his football for the Denison ‘Big Red’ in Granson, Ohio. I wonder at times if he is playing Bridge with ‘Clarence’ and the Angel Group… I miss the big guy!

So, in writing Murder in Pueblo del Mar – A Bailey Crane Mystery, I was in a familiar atmosphere, knew well the area, knew many of the details in the actual murder case, and knew some of the personal problems Bob and Diane were having, vis a vis Diane’s alcoholic consumption. So, as Bailey Crane is wont to do, he muses about the effects of his friends’ personal lives while helping Pueblo del Mar’s Chief of Police solve the murder case.

The true details of the mother’s brutal murder, the transsexual element in the case, and the US –Mexico pre-occupation with jurisdictional matters, are for the most part accurate in the book. Even, some of the fictional elements have validity. I am of course biased but I believe Murder in Pueblo del Mar makes for a darn good read.

A number of the six ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ are fictionalized but inspired by actual cases and true events. You can easily find them all, plus seven other books at my website: http://goo.gl/nWMXm3

This blog is in part an ‘In Memorium’ for Bob and Diane, both now in a happy afterlife adventure – at least, that is my hope. The other part is an attempt to create a different kind of sleuth in Bailey Crane, one who stays tuned to a case but muses a lot with his alter ego about life’s many elements, his loves, his miscues, a sleuth that readers will like. I suppose the phrase is ‘cozy mystery’… For me, I get a lot off my mind. J

Actually, I just want to write serious books that have fun elements with an amusing entertainment narrative and quality. So many times the characters ‘tell’ me where to put them and what action to give them.

Each of the six ‘Bailey Crane Mysteries’ stand on its own, but there is a progression in Bailey’s development.

One last point about Murder in Pueblo del Mar – A Bailey Mystery (book four of the series), I was fortunate to live for several years in Rocky Point (Puerto Peῆasco, ‘Pueblo del Mar’) on the Sea of Cortez and enjoyed the nostalgic feel of old Mexico. That was after Bob and Diane had passed. The town is located about sixty miles from the Arizona border and a 4-hour drive from Phoenix (or, less). The people are generous with their kindness, and ‘Kiko’, the mayor, is a fine gentleman who is making great inroads for tourism. I have met him and know he intends to do good things for Puerto Peῆasco.

If you ever wish to visit, there are great rental deals on the Sea of Cortez… Google and check it out.

Oh, and buy Murder in Pueblo del Mar – A Bailey Crane Mystery (Book 4). You will enjoy the read. It’s available in paperback and Kindle – FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Billy Ray Chitwood – April 1, 2016

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Sunday On The Sea Of Cortez

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Sunday on the Sea of Cortez

The day is starting with patches of blue in a cloudy sky. Soon the clouds will be gone and a full canopy of soft blue will replace them. There will be ski jets on the deep green sea along with banana boats, motor boats, multi-colored sails. Hawkers of serapes, jewelry, and other trinkets will be strolling the long beach through throngs of people under palapas or umbrellas, walking along water’s edge, or sunbathing. The pools of the many resorts along the beach will be busy with laughing children, and condo/villa homeowners will be walking their dogs and getting their daily exercise.

One thing that is near constant at this lovely latitude is that the sun is constant like the sea. There is humidity, not as bad as farther south toward the more tropical Matzatlan and Puerto Vallarta, but there is also a prevailing breeze that keeps the palms swaying and the conditions pleasant. The views are spectacular: the old port juts out into the sea, adding more to the curving shoreline; the new Malecon at the old port has restaurants and shops along its palmed walkways and its rocky section along the coastline.

Rocky Point is coming of age. Tourism is much bigger this year. Viper Jet, an aerospace company (AeroMxII) is hiring hundreds of people for their ‘flight simulation’ and ‘global positioning systems’ (GPS) projects. It means growth for our sleepy fishing village, and it likely means that our international airport will bbegin sooner than later to add regular US flights…now, there are only charters. Looming in the near future is a home cruise port which will, when completed, add exponentially to Rocky Point’s growth. With Rocky Point’s proximity to Arizona (one hour’s drive to the border) and the US, it is time.

There will be some who will cling to the media hype that Mexico is not safe. For me, this town has been part of my history as I’ve been coming here since the seventies. It is safe, and the people are friendly, supportive, and welcome us to their desert/sea paradise. People with common sense will already know that our US cities have pockets of drugs and crime where most of us would not venture. Bad things happen everywhere, of course, but when using common sense, we can usually avoid problems. In point of fact, safety is never a concern for me here in Rocky Point.

Why do I write this post? Because I love this old port city of Rocky Point. There is a large contingent of ex-pats who live here full-time who will tell you the same thing. They love it here and they tire of the negative media blitzes that are directed toward this beautiful area.

The other reason I write this post is, for the most part I live and write here along this lovely coastline of the Sea of Cortez. It is here where my creative impulses are most active. It is here where I’ve been inspired to write some books. I’m still inspired and I’m still writing. The United States and Mexico are friends for the long term, and, in many ways, there is some catching up for Mexico to get up to speed with some of our technological advances. They are getting there, faster than many might realize.

If you have a nostalgic and romantic sense of old Mexico as I’ve always had, come on down. You won’t be ‘wasting away in Margaritaville’ unless that’s your desire.

Billy Ray Chitwood

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