Thursday, April 19, 2018

Geocaching - What is it?


The above picture depicts the bottom of a geocache found in Millbury, MA

In my opinion, it's an adventure with a side of suspense and fun.

Officially, geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Geocaching was founded by Matt Stum on May 30, 2000. Today there are over three million geocaches hidden in 190 countries.

Sounds technical and yet, people of all ages and education are geocaching. My youngest daughter introduced me to it a few years ago but I never followed through with her suggestions of, "Try it. You'll like it!"

I should have listened to her because as of April 1, 2018, I became hooked and so did my husband, Tim.

We've been adventuring almost every day. Sometimes we find a cache that is less than an inch long and inside is a small paper log to record your name and the date of when you found it.

Mini-cache



Mid-size cache wrapped with a magnet and hidden, but we found it.


When I tell people about our outings, they ask, "What did you find? What kind of treasure?"
I answer, "I didn't find anything that's worth anything!"  Everyone laughs and I explain.

It's not about the treasure, it's about the thrill of the journey. It's the suspenseful searching through the woods, old paths, and back roads of where you live or visit. It's about using your observation skills and problem solving, following GPS co-ordinates and solving a puzzle.

 GPS leads us into the woods.


Searching with some help from a friend visiting Cape Cod.
You need to be curious, adventuresome, and determined. Just like Nancy Caldwell, modern day amateur sleuth, who is the main character in all my historical novels.

As you read the stories, Nancy Caldwell finds something in present day and then in the next chapter, you'll meet the person and the 'who' or 'what' behind what Nancy found. The story unfolds in alternating chapters between time periods.

If you love a suspenseful adventure with touches of romance about Cape Cod, 18th century pirates, 1947 Hollywood starlets, and serial killers, choose The Old Cape Series.

BUY

BUY
BUY
If you've already read them, Thank You!

If you have time, I would appreciate a review, either on Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews always help authors. Have a great Spring!


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Different Path Every Day.

 Cape Cod - Brewster - Bayside
Late winter signals the beginning of a new year. It's a reflective time when you might consider the fact that you will be a year older and is this the direction you want your life to continue on? You might choose a different path to travel, shake things up a little, or make a change.

I love spur-of-the-moment adventures, much to the dismay of my husband Tim, who, as a self-employed artist, keeps to a schedule, at least for most of the year. He actually gets up several hours before me, works in his studio, and then waits to see what I want to do. He has so much love for me, maybe it's his patience but I really love that he's in my life. So when I can, I try to get him to go with me on a daily explore.

I pick a different road or path each day, nothing major or life-changing, just something different.

This morning, we went looking for scallop shells at Crosby Landing Beach in Brewster. The sun was shining, the tide out, the air cool and refreshing.



As I "serpentined" my way across the bumpy flats looking for scallop shells, with Tim several feet in front of me, the sun felt warm on my bare head - didn't need a hat today.




Did you know that the scallop shell is the only shell that you can poke a hole in and it won't break or crack? I use them as accents when I sell my book sets and the gallery ties them onto the gift wrapped artwork.


Together we found almost 50 shells of various sizes.

Weather has not always been so co-operative in our daily explores.
Back on New Year's Day, the Cape was full of snow.

Rock Harbor - Orleans

Trying to spot Capt'n Cass Restaurant looking across Rock Harbor
After traveling for the month of January to Juneau, AK and to Los Angeles, CA to see all the kids and grand babies, we returned to Cape Cod only to be greeted with more snow and astronomical high tides. We visited Provincetown on February 1.

Race Point nearing high tide. The parking lot was almost gone.
On February 2, Linnell Landing - Brewster had a high tide and slushy snow.

Frozen waves at Crosby Landing - Brewster - February 4.
The same February day, we decided to see how Nauset Lighthouse Beach was faring in the winter so far.
Both entryways to get to the beach (Liam's and further down to the left of the bandstand) were closed off due to recent erosion. The only way down was at the far end of the parking lot, near the entrance to the Outer Beach.

This beach path was steep, but we were determined to get to the water.
Our feet followed the indentations of the others who had gone before us. Once at the bottom, we headed left to see why we couldn't use the old entrances.

We came across a section of peat that we hadn't noticed on our previous walks. You could see where sections of peat had been cut out, possibly late 1800s or turn of the century, the blocks were used for heat in Orleans homes or sold to Boston.
Peat

A little past this, you could see the remains of the old boardwalk by Liam's Clam Shack along with the old septic tank.


Past this entrance to the beach, you could see the other entrance and the reason no one was allowed to enter via these familiar paths. The wooden boardwalks had been washed away.

Boardwalk to the left of the bandstand.

As the sun slowly disappeared behind the clouds and the wind picked up speed, we turned to get back to the car. Reaching the top of the dune and looking back to the water, we reflected on how change is good, even though at the time, it seems devastating. We've always known that if you look hard enough, you'll always find a way.

New Path

Don't forget! All of my books are still available for sale across all online channels and in bookstores across the country. See the right side of the blog for connections.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

HOLLYWOOD TIMES THREE!


      #1    In late July, I was happy to open an email that contained this exciting news.

HONORABLE MENTION 2017 in Genre Based Fiction
"THE OLD CAPE HOLLYWOOD SECRET" 


My third suspenseful historical fiction begins in 1947. Maggie Foster and her cousin, Gertie, leave Cape Cod for Hollywoodland in search of glamour and fame. One girl returns home and the other disappears. Present-day Nancy Caldwell travels to Hollywood, where she discovers the paths of Maggie and Gertie.

In "The Old Cape Hollywood Secret," Nancy's curiosity gets her into trouble again. Along the way, a missing ring and a pearl-studded pouch are mixed in with the search. Using alternating chapters, across seventy years, the tragic stories of two young girls unfold and a murderous secret is uncovered.

      #2    In late September, I was interviewed for Books and the World at Cape Cod Media Center. Here's a link for you to enjoy.





     #3    On the last day of September I received a fantastic 5 star review from Readers Favorite.



Reviewed by Dr. Oliva Dsouza for Readers' Favorite

The Old Cape Hollywood Secret by Barbara Eppich Struna is an edge of your seat thrilling murder mystery. Maggie Foster and her cousin, Gertie, leave their small town of Cape Cod to seek their fortune in Hollywoodland in 1947. One of the girls disappears, never to be heard from again until Jim, in the present day, happens to dig up a body that seems to have been buried for a long time. What happened to the young girls? How did they get mixed up in a rich man's story of a precious ring and a pearl-studded pouch? Are old photographs and a few leads enough to unravel the ugly truth? Will Nancy, who is an amateur when it comes to dealing with criminals, be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together?

What an enthralling read! The Old Cape Hollywood Secret by Barbara Eppich Struna had me hanging onto every single word and page from start to finish. The shift between the past and the present day scenarios is swift, smooth, and helps the reader in connecting the dots without actually guessing the entire plot. The connections and loose ends are beautifully tied up towards the end. The story gives an insight into what greed, power, and control are all about. The story covers a period of over fifty plus years, and sends a message that no criminal can commit the perfect crime and the dead can rise again to tell their stories. All the characters are perfectly fleshed out and, hopefully, we get to read more about Nancy and Stephen's new adventures. Awesome work!     

Three wonderful surprises and I am truly grateful.    

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

FINDING HUGS AND TREASURES!


While you're reading this post, I'll be flying at 30,000+ feet on my way to LA and then later in the week to Southern Alaska. My beautiful children and grandchildren will be awaiting my arrival, eager to give me hugs and kisses.  After I get filled up with all their love, I often turn my attention to what others pass by and never notice.




On a visit a few years ago, we were on our way to Malibu in Southern California and stopped at a wonderful beach. In the parking lot was this huge tree. To me, it resembled a whale crashing into the water with its mouth wide open.


And at the top of this tree was the beautiful shape of a heart. I like to call these unique sightings, "aberrations of nature that resemble human or animal characteristics.

If you have read my historical novels, you know that my present day protagonist, Nancy Caldwell, loves to find extraordinary things in the ordinary. Her curiosity usually leads her into trouble. If you have heard me at any of my presentations or have talked with me, you know I tend to be as curious as she is, but hardly ever find myself in the predicaments that come across Nancy's paths. I just find inspiration.

The Old Cape Hollywood Secret

For example, in my latest, The Old Cape Hollywood Secret, Nancy Caldwell's son, Jim, moves to California to find his way in Hollywood. After he arrives, he makes a deal with his landlord to build a small patio next to his apartment in Venice Beach in trade of one month's rent. In the process of digging, he unknowingly unearths a few bones and also two clues to the possible identity of the remains. Thus begins the story.

My oldest son, Scott, did move to Venice Beach and traded a month's rent for the labor in building a patio next to his apartment, but he never found anything like Jim did in this suspenseful tale of Old Hollywood and Cape Cod in 1947 and present day.

I'm fascinated with items that are hidden by the forces of nature only to be uncovered years or centuries later.

One dark, windy, and stormy night in Juneau, Alaska last year when I was visiting the kids, we all woke to gray skies and a full tide out on Tee Harbor. My son, Tim, saw something white out on the uncovered sea floor. He walked out while we watched him from the safety of the house. The outline of his body got smaller and smaller as he went farther out across the rocky floor of the sea. He stopped, took a few pictures, picked up a five gallon pail that had blown off the deck, and returned to land.


He showed us the picture he took. The bones were about three feet long. Human or animal?
We all knew the tide always churns things up, but what was this? We talked all day about it, and in between caring for the kids, we researched online. More than likely, it was a deer. Tim, who is in the health profession, thought the pelvis was too small for a human with a leg that long and he was right, but it sure was mysterious. And what did I think? As I buttoned my sweater tighter looking out the window to the sea, I thought this could be the spark for my fourth historical fiction that will be based in Alaska and Cape Cod.

I hope you'll have an opportunity to pick up a copy of The Old Cape Hollywood Secret either online, at Struna Gallery-Brewster and Struna Gallery- Chatham, or in your local independent bookstore. Just ask for it and they'll order it for you.



Friday, May 19, 2017

Goodreads Giveaway!

ENTER TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF THE OLD CAPE HOLLYWOOD SECRET!!



 Ten signed copies of my latest novel will be awarded. Sign up at Goodreads.com It's FREE!

GOODREADS GIVEWAY     The Old Cape Hollywood Secret!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

SPRING INTO A NEW BOOK!



The Old Cape Hollywood Secret


Spring has arrived and so has my latest historical fiction, The Old Cape Hollywood Secret! It's currently available online as an ebook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBook.  Currently you can also buy the paperback online at Amazon. The novel will appear in bookstores and in my hands by the first of May 2017.


In 1947, Maggie Foster and her cousin, Gertie, leave Cape Cod for Hollywoodland in search of glamour and fame. One girl returns home and the other disappears.  Present-day Nancy Caldwell travels to Hollywood where she discovers the paths of Maggie and Gertie. In The Old Cape Hollywood Secret, a historical thriller, Nancy's curiosity gets her into trouble again. Along the way, a missing ring and pearl studded pouch are mixed in with the search. Using alternating chapters, across seventy years, the young girls stories unfold and a murderous secret is uncovered.


As usual, my research took me to Hollywood. Of course, two of my sons live in LA, which made my travels full of fun and hugs. 
Oldest son, Scott is on the left next to his beautiful wife, Carly.
Michael, youngest son is on the right.


The Pig & Whistle  Established - 1927

The Georgian Hotel - Santa Monica - 1933

Spending a few days at the Georgian Hotel was exciting and afforded me the opportunity to experience the luxury of "Old Hollywood".

From the soothing sand dunes of Cape Cod to the glamour of Hollywood, The Old Cape Hollywood Secret will take you on a nostalgic journey filled with suspense, adventure, and romance. I hope you can't stop turning the page to see what happens next.

See my current events listed under EVENTS in the top menu bar.