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Thursday, January 30, 2014


The Sea of Cortez
Jinx Schwartz traveled the world for fun and work before dropping out to become a cash poor cruiser in Mexico. She has written eight books, including the award-winning and bestselling Hetta Coffey series. Once upon a time she bought a yacht and met the man of her dreams. Kinda like Hetta. Learn more about Jinx and her books at her website and blog. 

Thanks, Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers, for inviting me to share my love of the Sea of Cortez, and the adventures of Hetta Coffey.

Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she's not afraid to use it!
Since she is a self-employed engineer, she can live and work from that boat, and in book two of the Hetta Coffey series, Just Add Salt, she heads for Mexico. Just Add Trouble finds her rounding the Baja peninsula and cruising into the Sea of Cortez.

Also known as the Gulf of California, the Sea of Cortez, if viewed on a map, appears to be a lake-like body of water surrounded on three sides by Mexico, and open to the Pacific Ocean on the south end. When John Steinbeck wrote, in his Log From the Sea of Cortez, “The Sea of Cortez is a dangerous body of water and is prone to sudden and violent storms,” Hetta hadn't even arrived yet! She hasn't help matters.

And true to its reputation, the Sea can be a nasty piece of work when heavy north winds or summer hurricanes blow, but most of the time it is pure magic. There isn't a day when you don't see teeming fish, exotic sea birds, pristine beaches, and the haunting beauty of desert islands surrounded by turquoise water.

The author at her desk onboard the High Jinx
Living aboard my winter home down here, High Jinx, I love the peaceful anchorages and warm weather, even those times when old John was dead-on and we get the you-know-what kicked out of us. Of course, when it is actually happening—usually at three a.m. on a moonless night—I swear I'm going to buy a condo, but so far we are still hanging in there after twenty-three years.

In Just Add Trouble, Hetta Coffey finds herself also embracing the Sea of Cortez and its glories, but as she is wont to do, she runs into a sea serpent all too soon. But that's Hetta. When she bought a yacht as a man-trap in Just Add Water, who knew what manner of well-known substance would hit the propeller? And that she would actually meet the man of her dreams, only to have him take on a project in the Middle East and leave her to discover that Mexico ain't all lounge chairs and Margaritas on the beach.

La Paz is High Jinx's home this winter, and I am happily aboard writing Hetta's sixth escapade, as yet untitled. I'll do my best to keep her out of trouble, but the woman is, once again, beyond even my control!

Just Add Trouble
A globe-trotting engineer with adventure in her soul, Hetta Coffey is determined to solidify her relationship with her long-distance boyfriend, Jenks Jenkins. What better place for a romantic interlude than aboard her yacht in Mexico's hauntingly beautiful and solitary Sea of Cortez?

But where Hetta goes, trouble follows, and chaos is sure to ensue. After a run-in with a couple of sea serpents that threaten to rock the boat, she nevertheless decides to take on a project in the port city of Guaymas. After all, Jenks is headed back to Kuwait, so why not cash in on the best of both worlds by picking up a few pesos while living aboard her boat in Mexico?

Once again Hetta's indomitable spirit, stubborn independence, and penchant for deceit will keep the reader in stitches as she launches herself and her best friend Jan into a sea of trouble.

A pesky parrot, a drunken aunt, and a shadowy figure who is handsome in a "criminal sort of way" lead to murder, mayhem, kidnapping, and run-ins with several federal agencies on both sides of the border.

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Terry Shames said...

Jinx, your series sounds like great fun. My husband and I have spent a lot of time on boats. Currently he is spending time WISHING he was on his boat. It got caught up in that crazy Mexican quarantine operation.

When we get it back, we're heading to the Sea of Cortez. Hope to catch up with you there.

Happy sailing!

Jinx Schwartz said...

Hi Terry,
I think the impound thing is about over, and was a total snafu on the part of an-overzealous and poorly trained off-shoot of the Mexican IRS. We are in La Paz on our boat and no problems here, but certainly sympathize with those who got caught in the ridiculous mess. After 23 years in the Sea we have seen many of these debacles, but they soon blow over. Maybe we will see you down here! j

Jinx Schwartz said...

Thanks, Serena, for having me on this blog. I love telling folks about the Sea of Cortez!

Pat Browning said...

Love the post, Jinx. I am still trying to catch up on my Hetta reading.

One of my best friends got married on a yacht in the Sea of Cortez. She and her late husband always wanted to go back but never got the chance, so she's left with one lovely memory.

All best,
Your fan, Pat Browning

Morgan Mandel said...

Nothing like firsthand experience to make your character more authentic, but don't overdo it!

Morgan Mandel

Jinx Schwartz said...

Oh Pat, that makes me sad that they didn't get back down here, but at least they got the first experience. We came here on our honeymoon 23 years ago and never went back, so I guess we are still on our honeymoon:-)

Jinx Schwartz said...

Ha, Morgan. You don't think I should start blowing stuff up like Hetta does? :-) j

Linda Andrews said...

You had me at the parrot. Who can resist parrots? Sounds like a great read and I'll add all the series to my TBR pile, maybe I'll even loan them to my dad:D

Have you visited all the places you've written about?

Jinx Schwartz said...

I love parrots, as well. Had them as a kid and even later.
Yes, I never write about a place I have not been in any detail. I might mention a place, but I have visited, I don't feel qualified to write about them. That is a surefire way for a writer to get into hot water with a reader. the good news is I have been in a lot of places.:-) Thanks for your comments and we love being added to TBRs!

Angela Adams said...

Enjoyed the post...and, your series sounds like a fun read.

Jinx Schwartz said...

Thanks or your comment, Angela. Hetta Coffey can be fun...as long as one stays on her good side. Otherwise? Just Add Trouble:-)