Take me away...

It is officially here.... my uncontrollable mid-winter longing for sparkling blue water and sultry tropical air and all manner of jungle creatures-- I wouldn't even mind the skeeters at this point.  But there's none of this for me this year, as we're at the tail end of a house renovation (we've been in rental homes for 8 months now!)...which means we have a distinct lack of time, money, and energy with which to plan a Mexico beach trip.  And just to rub it in,  two of my  closest friends (you know who you are) just went to a beautiful tiny coastal town in Mexico only accessible by boat.  Argh!  (Okay, I'm *mostly* happy for them...)

Playa Mazunte

Whenever I feel jealousy creeping in, I try to transform it to inspiration.  So,  this is inspiration for me to make sure that *next year* we take a delicious beach trip. In the meantime, I've been looking longingly at these pics from my last trip to Mazunte, where I did research for The Jade Notebook (which comes out on Valentine's Day!!)

Here are bits of reviews that have been coming in... this first one's from Kirkus:

"In this third in a series of novels focusing on Zeeta and her wanderlust-stricken mother, readers are immersed in the details of a lovingly described coastal town in Mexico and an action-filled mystery surrounding the poaching of ancient sea turtles that make their home there...  a graceful conclusion to Zeeta’s story."

This part of the review made me smile.:
"... Resau’s skill in evoking an almost visceral experience of setting firmly anchors the story...."

I really love writing setting details... this is something I practice, scribbling observations in my spiral-bound notebooks.  I try to use all or most of my senses in every scene. And this setting of beach-meeting-jungled hills is such an intense sensory experience in real life-- the thick, humid air, the constant hum of insects and bird calls, the rush of ocean, pounding of water against rocks, taste of salt everywhere- on your skin and hair and damp clothes... it was fun to try to capture that on paper.
On the porch of my cabana.  Perfect writing spot.

The first official blogger review  came in this past week, too... Marjolein, a YA book reviewer, calls it "an amazing conclusion" to the series in her 5 star review. (Thanks Marjolein!!)

And a lovely librarian review from TATAL Online:
"This book transcends travel or mystery to instead be a book about growing up, learning to trust and let go, and finding belonging within a family and a community. A fitting end to this unique trilogy."

I love the  landscape of Mazunte....  little beach coves you can hike to, where you feel completely alone.


Some of the action in the book takes place here, on Punta Cometa (Comet Point.) See how it's shaped like a comet, the tail trailing into the ocean?

Here's what "downtown" Mazunte looks like... I think this is the only paved road.

And here's the dirt road leading to the cabanas where I stay:

Some of the most exciting scenes in the book take place on the rocky crags around Punta Cometa... It's such a dramatic setting-- seawater churning and beating against the cliffs... just begging for a story climax to happen here (hint hint...)

From these pics you can't really tell, but this chaos of water is several stories below--it's dizzying and scary to be near the edge...

The water is crashing, booming here...

A giant cactus on Punta Cometa, referred to in the story...

Sunsets viewed from Punta Cometa are stunning... I spent an evening perched there with my notebook, recording my sensations minute by minute as the sun sunk.

If you look closely, you can see the silhouette of a sweet couple watching the sunset together.

Okay, enough beach-longing...time for me to get to work on some other things-- like preparing the presentations I'll be doing at the CCIRA conference next week. But before I leave you, I'll mention some good news with The Queen of Water... it was selected as a title on the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults, announced a few days ago by the ALA (American Library Association).  I also found out it was selected as a Recommended Title by the ALA-affiliated Amelia Bloomer Project, which focuses on feminist literature for young people. Maria Virginia and I are happy and grateful for these honors!

Thanks for reading!

Laura       P.S.  If you want to see more of my Mazunte pics, visit this older blog post.