(Coming tomorrow: The final story of Free Fiction Week, “Pirate’s Alley”!)
The other positive impact for me was being able to go back to NOLA for several years after the hurricane and play what I think was an important part of the rebuilding. One of my closest friends, Lauri, was with me every step of the way. She and her sister Amanda (also a dear friend) traveled into the flood-ravaged city with me the first time after the storm to see what was left of my life. And they came back again a few months later, not only lending moral support but donning hazmat suits and mucking out flooded houses in my old Lakeview neighborhood.
Lauri lives in New York City, and through her experiences with Superstorm Sandy, I’ve been reminded of what a traumatic experience a storm like this is. Let me tell you, even if your own home is sound, even if your own block or neighborhood is okay, every aspect of your life is touched by it every single day. People you know are forced to move on. Places you cherished are gone. Tempers are short, and hearts are exposed. It will take years to rebuild–ten years, not two or three. The rest of the world has already moved on while people in New York and New Jersey are still trying to piece together a way to live.
So, I’m very pleased to have bestselling author Caridad Pineiro here today, talking about her new book The Prince’s Gamble, and how a visit to the Jersey Shore before Sandy hit has given a new meaning to her book. Caridad is donating all proceeds for The Prince’s Gamble, from now until March 1, to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Links to purchase the book can be found at the end of her post. It’s only a $2.99 download, folks–and it can make a difference.
Now, welcome Caridad!
The heroine in THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE is FBI Agent Kathleen Martinez who is determined to find out if Russian Prince Alexander Ivanov is as good as he seems or if he is behind the money laundering going on in his new Atlantic City casino.
Kathleen has had contact with the Ivanov family before, when she was investigating a white slavery ring. Because of that, Prince Alexander is on her list as a possible suspect, but as her investigation reveals new facets to the very handsome prince, she battles her attraction in order to complete her investigation.
Along the way, Kathleen will also have to kick some butt when she runs across some thugs from the Russian mafia in Atlantic City.
Why Atlantic City you may wonder? The inspiration for this romantic suspense was a trip to Las Vegas with some writing friends. They actually double-dog dared me to write a story that could include some of our experiences, like a visit to a pole dancing class.
That dare resulted in my researching the kinds of illegal activities that go on in casinos and working them into the story for THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE. Being a Jersey Girl, however, I knew that the location had to be Atlantic City. I’ve been to the casinos there and I thought it would be great to include my personal observations of the people there into the story.
When I wrote the initial draft, however, Hurricane Sandy had yet to hit the Jersey Shore. It did so barely two weeks before the book was supposed to be released, but I knew that I had to include the story. Especially when I got a firsthand look at the damage and wanted to do something to not only send a message of hope to my neighbors on the Jersey Shore, but also help raise money to rebuild and repair the damage that was done.
I immediately went into the final draft and added sections mentioning how Prince Alexander had helped the local people during the storm and how the boardwalk and buildings were being rebuilt. I’m hoping that in the next few years, my beloved Jersey Shore will be back bigger and better than before.
To help do that, I am donating 100 percent of my share of the proceeds from sales of THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund.
I hope you’ll help my New Jersey neighbors by supporting this campaign!