How awesome is it to be participating in Scorching Book Review’s 2014 LGBT event? Wait, wait, I can answer that! REALLY awesome! Where else would I get to participate with so many of my favorite authors in the field? There have been so many fascinating posts on Days 1-23 that I feel a little intimidated, but I’m going to forge on and talk a little bit about world-building.
I’m lucky enough to share the world-building in the Ylendrian Empire series with my wonderful partner Reesa Herberth (you can find her 2014 LGBT event post here). Thank goodness, because while I love scifi, I’d be up a deep and swift-flowing creek without her knowledge!
Where I’ve muddled along with my own world-building is when it comes to the sleepy little beach town of Playa Escondida. My short story “If Wishes Were Coffee” opened the door to Playa Escondida, poured us some coffee, invited us in for a peek. I realized after that peek that there’s a whole lot more to this town than meets the eye… and that I had barely begun to explore it.
To that end, I’m sharing a recent article and the editorial response from a town resident.
What’s Up with Playa Escondida?
Weird Florida Staff Writer Rick Richardson
Playa Escondida (PE to locals) is a town of natural beauty, Spanish Colonial history, and quirky characters. If the rumors are true, it’s also home to an inordinate amount of strange occurrences. Residents are notoriously close-mouthed when it comes to discussing the town’s supernatural reputation, but there’s no way to completely cover up the truth.
The town’s founding is shrouded in mystery, buried in a past filled with blood and death, in-breeding, and a schism in the local church. What ghosts roam the beautiful beaches after all the tourists pack up for the day? How do four generations of local families claim to have bought their first cars from the same man? Why do white ibis with hauntingly human eyes walk the shoreline? Who is the little girl with the lemonade stand whose rare and fleeting appearances always portend a disaster within the town?
While researching this article, no one at the local historical society thought it was odd to have a sealed annex. Sealed not with dead bolts or even cipher locks, but with a steel box containing a small, stained ornamental knife.
Amongst the normal neighborhood watch flyers, the sheriff’s department sometimes distributes pamphlets about home security that include such recommendations as “lay a line of salt across your threshold on the night of the full moon. Some local wildlife is notoriously anxious to come inside on these nights, and basic pest control is much simpler than the lengthy process of extraction.”
After all this, I think we’re forced to ask once again, just what is going on in Playa Escondida?
Is PE a haven for the supernatural? A magnet for creatures outside the realm of the mundane? Asking a resident will get you nowhere–to them, PE is simply home. If there are a few more ghost stories than average; if nobody ever seems to recall exactly when they decided to plant rosemary at the corners of their garden; if, infuriatingly, nobody who lives there seems to think there’s anything strange going on that’s worth discussing with a respected paranormal investigative team, then we have to ask–what are they all so determined to hide?
Reprinted from Weird Florida’s editorial page, dated February 12, 2014
RE: What’s Up with Playa Escondida?
Dear Mr. Richardson,
I am writing in response to your recent article “What’s Up with Playa Escondida”. As a lifetime resident and respected businessperson of the aforementioned town, I have to say that I found your observations rather one-dimensional. Not that shocking to me, as I find your publication tends towards the shallow end of the pool. As an example, I give you that purported photograph you published of King Neptune in downtown Miami. It was an offense to a gentleman of breeding and taste. In the future, I suggest you refrain from taking snapshots of drunken revelers and passing them off as persons of royal blood.
But that’s neither here nor there. My concern today is the possible disservice you’ve done to the good citizens of Playa Escondida. We take nothing for granted in our city. To do so would be an unfortunate and potentially dangerous choice. Yet you paint us with a blasé paintbrush of “Oh, it’s just home.” Do you think perhaps you were left with that impression because you careened into town with your team of purported professionals and EMF readers, bamboozlers and hijinks? A little respect will go a long way, sir.
“Big Al” Caimán
You’ll never get a lemon at Big Al’s Used Cars!
Michelle Moore has a well-documented obsession with flamingoes, frappuccinos and Florida. Well, and manatees, too, but they don’t start with the letter F. These, however, come in a distant second to her love of writing. While she’d like to claim child prodigy status, the truth is that she’s only been scribbling words on paper since she was six. However, she’s moved beyond those initial Dick and Jane story knock-offs to slightly more adult topics (but not necessarily more mature characters).
Michelle has discovered that romance, her genre of choice, just so happens to do that peanut butter-n-chocolate thing with such varied flavors as science fiction, magical realism and contemporary. No matter which mishmash she chooses, though, her style tends towards the sweet end of the spectrum.
For the Grand Prize Giveaway, I (Nix) will be giving away ten of my top LGBT books. These books will be gifted via All Romance as the books are available to readers on all the types of eReaders (you just need to sign up for a free account to access the books and you can send them directly). If you have any of the books and you win the prize, speak to me and I’ll see what else I can do. All of the posts have prizes atatched and a list of these can be found here
The books are (and there are substitutions available for people who have copies)…
- With a Kiss by Kim Dare (MM)
- Hot Head by Damien Suede (MM)
- By the Book by Scarlett Parrish (MM)
- The Dom With a Safeword by Cari Silverwood (FFM)
- Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon (MM)
- How Sweet it is – Melissa Brayden (FF)
- Fatal Shadows – Josh Lanyon (MM)
- Faith and Fidelity – Tere Michaels (MM)
- How to Love – Kelly Jamieson (FMM)
- Cut and Run – Abigail Roux (MM)
- Paperback Tread Marks & Trademarks by SA McAuley