I have a sister and three brothers, so I have many people to brag about. Today, I will be touting my brother, to whom I dedicated BAD LIES. Colin is the rock hound in the family, with a penchant for hiking, climbing, tunneling, and caving, all for the purpose of examining the geology of a given place. In fact, for most of his career, he’s been under contract with our own and foreign governments, helping them understand how to ‘use’ geology. For example, if Norway wanted to develop a structure below-ground to keep their commanders safe, my brother would help them find such a location. Another example: If the U.S. needed a new spot to store nuclear waste, where would that be?
He has traveled the world, delighted to examine the contours of this earth in each place. Here he is in Norway, high above a fjord, on top of the world, one with the rocks.
When I wrote BAD LIES, I was interested in how criminals might use caves to hide their activity. I chose the Amalfi Coast partly because I enjoyed my trips to Italy so much, and partly because of the rich history of cave use in Italy. I was soon over my head with the research, so I consulted with my brother, Colin. He delights in sharing his knowledge with family and friends, always augmenting his advice with a wealth of research, pictures, and outrageous scenarios. I could have written a whole series focused on the caves in Italy!
My simple question was: How easy would it be to hide certain criminal activity in a cave? Second: How do you find your way out of a cave without use of the usual senses?
My brother answered these questions breezily, more interested in telling me how the Nazis built a space ship in an Italian cave, and how earthquakes affect certain cave structures in that country. To say he is passionate about geology is an understatement.
After I collaborated with Colin, caves seem to be on my mind. I’m working on a novel right now that has a spelunking aspect as does BAD LIES. Presently I'm reading a book on Karst Caves. Way over my head. Again. The geology bug bit me, and I thank my brother for it!
So I'm giving you permission to brag about a sib, son, daughter and grand kid...one with a passion that makes you burst your buttons with pride. Brag away!
Here’s BAD LIES http://a.co/0DuYNPn:
Italy’s haunted caves spell danger for an American golfer and a NATO geologist
Sophie Maxwell is a late-blooming, unorthodox golfer, and mother of a precocious thirteen year-old. Determined to put divorce, bankruptcy, and a penchant for gambling in her past, Sophie goes to Italy for a qualifying golf tournament.
Jack Walker turned his back on a pro golfing career to become a geologist. As a favor to his ailing father he’ll caddy for Sophie; off hours, he’ll find caves on the Mediterranean coast, suitable for NATO listening posts for terrorist activity.
Someone is determined to stop Jack’s underground hunt and ruin Sophie’s chances to win her tournament.
On a Rome golf course and in the Amalfi coast’s haunted caves, all the odds are stacked against Sophie and Jack. In their gamble of a lifetime, who wins?
Amazon 5 star review for BAD LIES:
"If you enjoy a tightly written romantic suspense novel, then this is the book for you. Bad Lies is a real page turner. When I say I couldn't put this book down, I mean it. Read it in just a few sittings. Great characters you're drawn to immediately, playful and sophisticated dialogue, intriguing Italian setting, and a tense plot that keeps you guessing all the way. Ms. Anderson knows how to spin a terrific yarn and this is a very, very good one."
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Yikes on the photo, Rolynn! I wouldn't have had the nerve, too fearful I'd climb onto the boulder and instantly cause it to plummet hundreds of feet into a rocky gorge. (Don't bother me with logic; my mind's already made up.) :-) It is a fascinating topic, though. I read BAD LIES and loved how you wove the geology into the story (you know, along with the romance and suspense, etc.). Can't wait to read the next one!
What a photo. Love how passionate your brother is. I'm reading Bad Lies right now and it's fun to know how he helped. My siblings have helped me on two of my books and I'm sure there may be more.
Your brother's knowledge shines through you in Bad Lies. Good job using a close and reliable source in your research! As for bragging rights (since you asked LOL)... My oldest is headed to Arizona State this weekend for the NCAA national championship triathlon race. She is one of 7 girls chosen to race for Cal. Her passion to succeed at everything she does is inspiring!
Thank you, Leah, for your kind comments on Bad Lies. It is a fascinating subject. When my brother was last visiting, he examined our geology here and found something called 'yellow tuff.' Turns out buildings in my own little town here, Arroyo Grande are made with yellow tuff. When I took my two brothers to a winery...all the rocks on the side of the rode winding to the winery...yellow tuff. He made me stop the car and he got me some big rocks to put in my yard. It's always fun being around Colin...he'll tell you more about where you live than you ever imagined!
Thanks, Brenda, for reading Bad Lies. Yes, I like the way writing books helps me see how lucky I am to live the life I'm living. When we drill down on things...we really appreciate their depth!
Thank, Jannine. Colin was very patient with me...mainly since I didn't understand the eye-popping history of this OLD earth. I am so excited about your daughter's chance to go to the big show. Isn't it wonderful how successful women can be in sports today (says the woman who was required to play half court basketball in school)? We're rooting her on...keep us up on her progress!
I took my kids to Native caves once in Ohio. We spend hours exploring. I bet your brother would be so interesting to talk to over a long meal and a glass or two of wine. I'm cheering Jannine's daughter on in the tourney. As for my bragging rights, I'll revert to Ryan. He was awkwardly playing his trumpet for us on a visit years ago. He'd already wowed us with doing square roots in his head as a 4th grader. Ryan seemed a little bored with the trumpet. Calvin hugged him and told him the beauty of music was it was math we could hear. Ryan stared at him for a few beats as if processing this, the how's of it. Then he hugged Calvin back. He was soon first chair in trumpet. He's taught himself how to play the rock and classical guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, and piano via YouTube videos. The girls at MIT are always asking him to play and sing "Sweet Caroline."
How wonderful your brother could help with your research. I feel like Leah about that picture. At first, I thought oh, he's standing on a rock between 2 cliffs. Then I looked past him...down, down, down into the fyord. Holy cow! Heights are not my thing. My son-in-law (a doctor) is always willing to help with my medical research needs.
Vonnie, I'm sure I'm not exaggerating when I say that Ryan is a full-fledged Renaissance Man! Music, math, wrestling, incredible tech skills to 'kill' hackers...and he sounds like such a sensitive guy. You have bragging rights on Ryan, for sure!
I know, Diane. That picture takes my breath away. Even driving down the roads of the fjords gives me the willies. I would not climb onto this rock and stand. Period!
That is an incredible picture. You have a lot to be proud of there in your brother. My family members are always willing to help and support me. Which makes me very proud of all of them.
Thanks, Margo. Jannine has taught me that good pictures matter on FB...only following orders :-)
You are lucky to have good support form family...makes all the difference!
Nooooo, how the heck did he survive that? How did he get on, and more important, off, that rock? And, WHY did he climb on it? OMG...and, finally, is he insane???? (Those are the questions I would ask your brother. :)) - It's so cool that he has that kind of occupation and that he helped you with research. I have your book on my kindle, and I plan to read it soon. Great post!
Alicia, thanks for writing. As I said, I might crawl onto the rock, but I'd NEVER STAND UP! Yes, Colin is a sweetheart; he's the youngest...a special brother.
Rolynn is, as usual, being very generous with her commentary...making characters (me in this case) seem bigger than life as she does in her writing. As with many scientists, I've been called crazy, eccentric and certainly passionate and I've gone off the rails a time or two. The boulder pic is the famed Kjeragbolten, an hours drive from Stavanger, Norway. Mounting the boulder is only one part of the venture - the hard part being the 2 +mile scramble over the glaciated, sometimes moss covered and slippery metamorphic terrain with chain stanchions the only way to get up many slopes. And I was with Special Ops dudes half my age and trying to keep up. And, of course, there were the young Norwegian females hikers here and there that are in great shape and keep you driving onward and upward. So there it goes. Fortunate to have worked at wonderful places with great geology and with good mates - allowing me to help out sister Rolynn with a tidbit or two of geek science.
Yay! My Roses of Prose sistahs get to hear from Colin in person! I had no idea what it took for you to get up to the famous boulder. Now we're even more impressed, especially once you gave a shoutout to the women hikers who bolted to the boulder. All of us who write about Special Ops dudes are smiling at your little dig at them. I kind of wish you'd done a go-pro camera filming of the trip up to the Kjeragbolten. Some big-ass hike/climb. Love having a rock geek in the family!
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