When did terrorism become the new normal? First hand report from Tel Aviv March 15, 2019.

I was in the kitchen making coffee. I’ve never heard air raid sirens before but I knew instinctively what I was witnessing.

I arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday, March 5th, from Jerusalem. Those of you who are following me know I recently left Mexico, my home of several years, to travel through the USA, into Europe, India, Turkey and now Israel. You also know I’m a writer. What you might not know, if you haven’t read LOVE The Beat Goes Onmy memoir–I’m also a great believer in visualization–but usually, it’s the good kind!

I always wanted to make an amazing trip like this, but I never took my thoughts seriously until this past year. Part of it was the desire to visit countries I’ve read and written about; and the other part was to follow a journey my heart has wanted to take for a long time. A journey into self.

Everyone kept saying: Why do you want to go to the Middle East? It’s dangerous. Watch out for terrorists!

My response to that might be, why take a trip anywhere in the world, or even the USA, today? I’m not even referring to 9/11 which was horrific in every way, but how about the Las Vegas mass shooting? It seems there isn’t any place safe in the United States. So why make a blanket statement about the Middle East?

I did acknowledge that the Middle East has issues. But I was totally unprepared for New Delhi. I like to think I’m well educated and aware of events happening around the globe. After all, I do write a thriller, action, suspense series, Code Raven. I’ve covered terrorism, trafficking, cartels, abductions, the refugee crisis, and many other current affairs and issues we face today. But to land at the Delhi Airport and witness the police barriers casually located everywhere throughout this amazing city, brings a whole new meaning to the word terrorism.

Unfortunately you quickly become immune to it. If you’re a world traveler, you are familiar with airport security. But that similar level of security is visible at every hotel in New Delhi and most tourist attractions. Cars are checked underneath, and trunks are opened. Handbags, backpacks, and luggage go through detectors. I had to pass through a screening process to enter my hotel, any time of the day or night. An Indian friend of mine explained it this way: “Terrorism is a fact of life in India. Pakistan, our neighbour, is the home of terrorism.”

Which brings me back to the purpose of this blog. I’m a strong believer in visualization. Last summer while visiting my son in Paris, I jokingly said I could live out of a suitcase. And now I am! When my friends and acquaintances told me to be careful on my journey, I jokingly responded: “Hah! With my luck, they’ll probably be dropping bombs in Israel when I get there!”

As usual, there is conflict in Jerusalem, especially at the Western Wall, where I was staying in the Old City. But I didn’t know that. It’s not widely reported in the news. And whatever was reported in the Times of Israel, I glanced over never thinking it would affect me. However incidents were happening while I was there and the military actually closed the Damascus Gate, my entrance to the 800-year-old house I was renting, on the morning I left to come to Tel Aviv!

But nothing prepared me for the reaction I felt to the air raid sirens going off last night in Tel Aviv.

It was surreal. In some strange way, it felt like I was in the middle of a movie set. My apartment is on the 6th floor in the artsy district of Tel Aviv, and I could look out and see many other buildings, plus the street and the emergency vehicles racing down the thoroughfares. I stood transfixed by the sound and witnessed many others on their balconies looking towards the skyline. I watched several jumbo jets ascending going to faraway places, leaving Israel behind. And then I heard the explosion! I stood transfixed. No smoke rose up. No one moved from their patios. Television screens continued whatever shows were being streamed. Life stood still, and at the same time, life went on…

For many Israelis who were in Tel Aviv in 2014, air raid sirens are not a new thing. But I don’t generally enter war zone territories as a daily event in my life. Unfortunately, my powerful mind did visualize this event. Or maybe the mental/emotional part of my mind, could feel it coming. Either way, like one Twitter friend, said, in response to my tweet, “I bet she felt safe in Tel Aviv.” And she was right. Although my body was stressed, my mind was calm. I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be, and I would be safe.

It’s the morning after. I sent a lot of messages last night to friends I’ve made in Turkey, Dubai, India, Canada, and Mexico. No one knew what I was talking about. TWO ROCKETS LAUNCHED INTO TEL AVIV, ISRAEL WAS NOT REPORTED IN THE INTERNATIONAL NEWS.

When did acts of war become so mundane that they were not worthy of coverage? I guess if you don’t have bodies strewn on airstrips, or shopping mall floors, or rock concert stadiums, no one cares.

When did terrorism become the new normal?

STREET ART TEL AVIV MARCH 2019

All I can say…

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 6.58.57 PM.png

Gratitude

I’m so grateful for all of you! I released Lie To Me an exposé on sex for money, a spicy novel slightly outside my comfort zone. And you loved it! My review from Readers’ Favorite validated the work. But more important, the emails I received and notes from fans made my heart sing. It’s always about the emotion for me. If I can evoke emotion or present entertainment mixed with thought-provoking content, I’ve delivered what I set out to do.

I love your constant support. YOU inspire me to continue on this amazing journey. So let me bring you up to date on what I’m working on. I’m writing the next in the series JET 5! No title yet but it will be exciting! When I write JET, I get lost in her process and her life. This is by far my most entertaining spy/action/suspense work to date and I have Russell Blake to thank for inviting me to write into his world!

I’m also working on something very close to my heart. But at the moment, I can’t share. Why? I’m uncertain how to present the life of my friend a Navy SEAL. Will I novelize it? Or will it be a memoir? Not sure yet. But I will keep you posted. There is no doubt in my mind that you will want to read it.

I also have Book 3 “in the Sun” series per/co/lat/ing… Mia’s alone as you know from VANISHED in the SUN. Carlos has been pulled back in… I can’t say more or I might spoil the series for you. And Mia finds herself on the run… Yes, exciting, thrilling and edgy because that’s how that girl rolls!

So I share with you today a wonderful visual. Take a need. I choose Courage and mix it up with Beauty and Passion while I plot my way through JET’s life. Her dedication to Hannah is the essence of all motherhood. And in her determination to keep her young daughter safe, she fights cartels, ISIS, greed, and terrorism. I believe she’s on her way to London, but shh, she doesn’t know it yet! She never disappoints.

Have an amazing holiday season! And thank you for being part of my journey.

 

We Could Have Been In Barcelona…

fullsizeoutput_4b01

I’ve always been intrigued by other cultures. I watch people and try to imagine their lives. For an author, travel opens my mind to plots and possibilities. Even tourists have something to add to my vivid imagination. Are they ‘accidental tourists?” Are they willingly here or are they following the whims of the group? What has brought them to this place–Porto, Portugal–at this time?

Even tourists have something to add to my vivid imagination. Are they ‘accidental tourists?” Are they willingly here or are they following the whims of the group? What has brought them to this place–Porto, Portugal–at this time?

What if we’d chosen to go to Barcelona instead?

What serendipitous event caused my son to choose Porto, Portugal instead of Barcelona, Spain? Is everything in life pre-ordained?

I believe every single moment in life should be special. I honor and send love to the families of the victims of terror and war everywhere.

You never know. You simply never know.

fullsizeoutput_4b02

fullsizeoutput_4b05

fullsizeoutput_4ab9

 

I’m grateful for the life I’ve been blessed to live.