I feel like I have been writing forever, but only in the last ten years has it become a serious pursuit. I have written three novels and am in the process of publishing the third one. My first published book is The Wind Weeps, a story of a woman, new to the BC coast, who rushes into marriage with a handsome fisherman and soon finds herself in a life threatening situation when it becomes clear to her that he has a dark side.
The inspiration for my second book came to me while camping in Baja California in an effort to escape the cold northern winter of British Columbia, Canada. I met many interesting characters. Everyone has a story, but when on holiday we only catch glimpses into people’s lives. With such a beautiful setting and an ample supply of possible characters, I thought it was the perfect recipe for writing a book.
Most people come to Baja to get away from the cold winter, just as I did, but what if someone came there for another reason. Maybe to get away from something or someone? What if that person were a beautiful but troubled woman? A woman traveling alone might find more troubles than those she was trying to escape. But what if she found love as well? So the idea for Sylvia was born.
She needed a handsome man to charm her, but it couldn’t be just anyone. It would have to be someone who understood her. Someone running from troubles of his own. Kevin from Alberta could be Mr. Right for Sylvia.
When Kevin and Sylvia meet, the physical attraction is immediate, but neither wants to tell the other that their life is less than perfect. Why risk it? Gradually, their secrets come out, causing misunderstandings and crises. Their problems are exacerbated when each of their abandoned spouses come looking for them, not for love, but for money and revenge.
In the following scene taken from my book, Orion’s Gift, Kevin and Sylvia have just come back to shore after a beautiful outing where they watched hundreds of dolphins swimming up the Bay of Conception.
Sylvia’s blue shirt was soaked. She tossed it onto the seat of the boat. Her black tank top and red shorts clung tightly to a perfect figure. I made an effort not to gawk as I followed her into the water, shuffling through the sand as she was doing. Better I should watch where I was going.
“You ever run into any stingrays?” I tried to sound casual.
“Oh, sure, I’ve seen them. They like to lie flat in the sand on the ocean floor, and they’re usually not aggressive, but they don’t like to be stepped on.”
“And if I do step on one?”
“They have a razor sharp barb on their tail and can give you a very painful sting—a cut actually.”
“Oh … maybe this isn’t such a good idea then.”
“You’ll be fine. Just follow me into the water and shuffle your feet until it’s deep enough to swim.”
“I’m happy to follow you anywhere,” I mumbled as I shuffled after her. “But stingrays!?”
“Don’t worry,” she said over her shoulder. “They won’t bother you unless you step on them.”
“Guess I’d fight back too if I was stepped on.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I recognized the lie. Hadn’t I let Shiree walk all over me for years? Even a dumb stingray knew better than to put up with that. But I’d had enough. I made up my mind never to let Shiree bully me again.
When she was thigh deep, Sylvia dove into the water and swam a few strokes. I did the same and stopped several yards beyond her. I floated face down, marveling at the sea life below. When I looked up I didn’t see her anywhere. Seconds later, she popped up like a seal next to me.
“How did you get to be such an expert swimmer?” I asked her. “You’re like one of those dolphins out there.”
“Swimming lessons, camping, lots of ocean time.” She pointed to herself and arched an eyebrow. “California girl, remember? I got my lifeguarding ticket. Great summer job.”
“So we were quite safe without life jackets at San Ignacio. You weren’t worried at all that we might tip.”
“We would’ve been fine.”
“And if we’d fallen in you would have rescued me, right?”
She gave me a mischievous grin. “I might.”
“So show me what you do to bring someone to shore.”
She put her arm around my neck from behind. I smiled. “Usually the drowning person isn’t smiling,” she said.
“I bet they are … if it’s you saving them.”
She let go and we faced each other, treading water.
“What do you do if the person panics and is grabbing you and pulling you down?”
“I dive down and they usually let go and struggle to stay up. Then I come up behind them.”
“Show me.” I grabbed at her arm and she ducked under, coming up behind me holding my chin up.
“I like being saved by you. My own personal lifeguard.” Lying back, I could feel her breasts under my shoulders. “But what if I’m unconscious and it’s too far to shore. Don’t you have to do mouth-to-mouth?” I wondered how far I could push my luck with this little game. She didn’t seem to mind playing along.
“Only if I like the drowning person.”
“Help,” I mumbled, and let my body go limp. Her cheek was cold as it touched mine, but her lips felt soft and warm. I put my arms around her and as she did the same, we had to keep our legs moving to stay afloat. Her legs, my legs, our legs, touching, tangling, pressing, exploring. When we pulled apart long enough to breathe, Sylvia grabbed my hand.
“I think I need that cold shower now,” she said.
“Me too. Shower with a friend? Save water?”
“My palapa has more privacy.”
About the Author
Anneli lives on Vancouver Island where she works as an author and freelance copy-editor. Her articles on coastal life are published in Canadian magazines.
Her novels involve relationships that develop in unusual settings, on the wild and remote coast of British Columbia, and in the primitive camping conditions of Mexico's Baja peninsula. Her aim is to have the reader come away with new insights into these challenging settings.
Buy the Books
The Wind Weeps