Selah’s Escape


Do you ever feel like you’re in a situation that is impossible to escape?  Selah the slave girl felt this way.  She had always been a slave, and escape from her master and the stone walls of his Keep seemed as unlikely as opening a locked, iron door with only her fingertips.

One day, a stranger appeared at the Master’s table.  He spoke to Selah as she filled his glass with water she had fetched from the desert well.

“Tonight you will be free,” Micah promised, his face partly hidden by the green hood of his cloak.

He slipped a cold object into her hot, weary hand–a snowflake that did not melt.  That very night, Micah led Selah through a secret door, across the desert, and to the distant mountains where rain fell, rivers flowed among trees toward lakes, and snow gathered at the Summit.

Once I felt like I would never escape an abusive marriage.  I wrote my prisoner’s emotions into my fantasy novel.  Journey with me and Selah the slave girl to a mountaintop that touches stars.  Maybe you, too, will find escape.



Walk with Me to Turkey’s Kar Tepe Mountain

I was teaching basic English to private language school students on weekends when I decided it was time for a field trip. Since I had often stood in Izmit, Kocaeli by the banks of the Marmara Sea and looked up at the distant mountains, I thought of traveling to Kar Tepe, the tallest peak in Kocaeli and home to a five-star hotel and challenging ski resort.

The only way to get up the mountain is by car, since the buses only go to the village of Kar Tepe at the base of the mountain. The paved road is well cared for, thanks in part to business from wealthy Istanbul residents who want to ski at the closest location. One of my students offered to drive our small group, and we left early on a Saturday morning in September. Continue reading


Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Reflections

They say you should never take a photo into the sun, but I often do. The effect can be interesting (just be sure your eyes are protected). At Lake Sylvan, New Zealand, I caught the reflection of mountains, snow, and sky in the water–as sun rays shone down onto my camera’s lens.

I tried to capture some of this adventure in my new book, “Fire and Ice.”  Where have your journeys taken you?

If you like my posts, please check out my books:

Mystical New Zealand

The color green represents New Zealand, and so does the word “mystical.”  I have traveled to many countries around the world, yet I took my best photos in New Zealand and wrote it into three of my books.  You can see the essence of mystical in the mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, valleys, and forests.  You can even see a sense of mystery in the native birds and the people who journey there.  Walk with me through images of my favorite New Zealand photos. Continue reading

New Zealand and the Color Green

Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge topic of the color green, I browsed through some of my old photos of New Zealand, the most beautifully green place in the world.  I edited the photos a little, brightening colors or sharpening edges, and here are some for you to enjoy.


My son Jonathan as a little Hobbit in Dart Forest


The sheep-farming hills of Fairlie


Fairlie with snow-covered mountains in the background


The blue-green water of Lake Pukake, which melts from Mount Cook’s glacier


An evergreen forest behind the autumny colors of Lake Tekapo and its church


The rocks at Banks Peninsula near Christchurch


More colors to explore on the open road


If you enjoyed my photos, read the adventures that go with them in my book “Fire and Ice”


Weekly Travel Theme: Animals

Weekly Travel Theme:  Animals

I took a photo of this squirrel outside the window of my three-storey mountain house in Lake Arrowhead, California. He was taking a nap in the rain, his tail curled up above to protect him. Only the window glass separated us as I snapped his picture with my digital camera.

That house is no longer mine. I am far away in Turkey, teaching English. I miss standing at that window, high up in the evergreen trees where squirrels sleep. I also miss my two teenagers who still sleep in that house with my ex-husband.

I’m trying to write my way back to visit them. It’s been two years since I’ve seen them or stood on a mountain in America.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary (Far)

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Solitary (Far)

A lone egret stands in Milford Sound in New Zealand. The white bird is surrounded by water, trees, sky, and the distant, misty mountains. I stood at this spot with my children Jessica and Jonathan, a few years ago. We could feel the peace of the place, solitary in a vast landscape–yet connected to each other. Now they are in California, and I am in Turkey, writing to get back to them.

If you like my posts, please check out my books:


New Zealand Video (Part Two)

They say the further south you travel in New Zealand, the more beautiful it gets. This is true. Discover Doubtful Sound, Milford Sound, and the waterfalls, glaciers, and snowy peaks that makes this the most beautiful country in the world!

Read my book that tells the whole story of my adventures there. “Fire and Ice”:


New Zealand Video (Part One)

My son Jonathan (now 17) was little Frodo and his sister Jessica (now 19) Princess Arwen in our great adventures in New Zealand. See the mountains, lakes, glaciers, bays, seasides, waterfalls, and strange birds that make this the most beautiful place on earth!

Read my book “Fire and Ice,” that tells of my adventures with my children in New Zealand:


My Third Favorite Photo (New Zealand)

My Third Favorite Photo (New Zealand)

Here is the entrance to my favorite Doubtful Sound bay in New Zealand. The trees are special evergreens that grow at the edge of fresh, deep water (like a fjord in Norway). Doubtful Sound eventually reaches to the Pacific Ocean, and special fish and plants live in this zone like no where else on earth. Notice how the water is wavy because of the boat’s engines.

If you like my photos, read the book that tells the whole story of how I discovered New Zealand with my two children. “Fire and Ice”: