The Case of the Disappearing Books

Sometimes real-life hands us our own mysteries. After writing them for awhile, you’d think I’d be thrilled to have a real life mystery drop in my lap.

Not exactly.

I’ve been quiet here but active in other places online, promoting my latest Rollin RV Mystery, Superstition Victim.

The other day I was on Amazon (where I’ve been buying and downloading hundreds of books since the pandemic hit) and checked my author’s page.

Low and behold, my Rollin RV Mysteries were gone.

Vanished.

As if they had never been published and uploaded to Amazon.

My heart nearly stopped. For a woman who never had children (or pets) of her own, my books are my creations, my children. I had that same panicky feeling I got once when my niece went seemed to disappear in a large department store. When I found her hiding under a clothing rack I didn’t know whether to scold her or hug her.

Where had my books gone?

I found the direct link for the book, and plugged that into the browser. Nope. Just a “Nothing here” page.

My heart kicked into gear. Then up a notch or two. Pounding, pounding.

Over the next few days I tried everything I could think of: e-mailing Amazon, e-mailing and filing a fix-it ticket with Lulu, the publisher I use to get my book files distributed around the Web.

I thought to check Kobo and Barnes and Noble — my books are still there.

Whew. My heartbeat steadied, at least a little.

Maybe all was not lost.

But what was going on?

I tried re-formatting the files and uploading them again. Waited a day or so. Superstition Victim reappeared, minus the one review a blogger had posted for it.

Since then it’s all been quiet on Amazon. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t lost some sleep, fretted to Bob about it.

“I wish there was somthing I could do about it,” he said. Well, there was. We went for ice cream, which always helps.

Yesterday I learned Lulu had decided to switch distribution services. Putting on my Betty Rollin/Sherlock Holmes hat, I deduced this was likely the culprit, but had no proof.

Today I found a forum where fellow Lulu users were suffering the same fate: their books had suddenly vanished from Amazon. And someone posted that Lulu had responded to their fix-it ticket saying the “one- to two-hour” job had turned into something a lot bigger than that. (Obviously.)

So… to those of you who’ve been clicking links to check out my books only to wonder where they are, I apologize. I don’t know where they are.

But they’re supposed to come back.

The mystery might be solved and the perpetrator identified, but we’re still waiting for justice.

And trying to stay patient, something we have all learned a little bit more about in these crazy pandemic times.

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Catching Wild Critters

…on camera, that is! You won’t find me trying to get closer than the inside of our Jeep to this rattlesnake, which we came across on our way to a favorite hike this past spring in Nevada:

This was just our third rattlesnake, and this time it was in the wild and posing prettily, which made it perfect for leading off this post about seeing the wild things on our travels.

I won’t cover them all here, just those we’ve seen in the last few months (otherwise you’d get far too bored because the post would run way too long). Continue reading

Posted in and Critters in General, Animals, Birds, Cool Experience | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Wanted: Energizer Bunny!

We’ve been relatively lucky when it comes to RV issues (our fifth wheel was only run into once when it was parked, by a woman disoriented in an RV park (it’s a long story), our Class C bumped a picnic table once… although we did have a flat tire just outside Whitehorse, Yukon, and a few while moving the fifth wheel [yes, a few, on one relatively short trip, but that’s yet another story]), so after more than a decade of full-timing we were probably due.

We’d just driven our Class C a short three-hour drive from outside Boise, Idaho, to LaGrande, Oregon. We stopped at a rest area on the way but never left the rig and never turned off the engine (this is an important detail).

We stopped for gas, turned off the engine, and when Bob turned the key to re-start the engine, it was dead. Completely. No turning over, nothing. Continue reading

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What Happened, Anyway?

So why did I end up dropping off the blogosphere for so long?

Lots of reasons. As I described last time, we’re still traveling, still having more adventures than I could document even with regular postings.

Every day we have at least one adventure. Continue reading

Posted in Attractions, Birds, Interesting Stories, Superstition Victim | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Blog-Cation

A few of you have noticed we haven’t posted much in the last several months, though we did manage to get the word out about our favorite places to eat (food always comes first, right?). Thanks for checking in on us.

We’ve been out and about, moving from here to there and back. Visiting a few new spots but mostly looping back around to places we know and love. Continue reading

Posted in and Critters in General, Animals, Cool Experience, Hiking, Insects, National Parks | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Bugging Us

Thankfully, COVID-19 hasn’t inflicted its nastiness on us, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t bugging us. We live a pretty low profile anyway, and we’re in a less-affected area (though under the more and more common “stay at home” order), so that has made it oddly comfortable.

That’s probably why, in this particular community, so many people are ignoring the six-feet apart rule. We’ll find ourselves in the grocery store or out exercising in a local park, dodging and weaving to keep our distance from others. We wear gloves. We’ll start wearing bandanas over our faces.

We miss our occasional restaurant meal…

… but when Bob bought a pressure cooker, his already amazing meals became melt-in-your-mouth miracles. On this particular day, we had veggies, bean soup and lobster tails. Mmm!

Bob’s been cooking and target shooting and taking care of business (doing our taxes, helping out with a project at the park where we’re staying, among a million other things).

I’ve been making bracelets. Here’s just one. It has little glass chili peppers sticking out:

And I’ve been celebrating the publication of my newest book. It’s another Rollin RV Mystery, featuring Walt and Betty Rollin, full-time RVers sucked up again into a who-dunnit.

Who knows? Maybe the next Rollin RV Mystery will involve an infectious virus or something….

We hope you and yours are safe and healthy, finding ways to stay active and virus-free!

Posted in Food, Interesting Stories, RV Parks & Lifestyle, RVing Books | Tagged , | 7 Comments

2019 Best EATS !

We’ve been at this for more than ten years now (WOW, right?!?) and along the way we’ve seen restaurants come and go. It’s always sad to head for a restaurant we’ve enjoyed in the past only to find it gone. This past year we looked forward to the Asada Omelet at Main Stop Restaurant in Kittitas, Washington (see last year’s post for an image). “This is the exit,” I said, and Bob made the turn. We found a place to park but ended up staring not at the side of the restaurant but the side of an irrigation business.

When we return to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Bob’s Cafe has always been our go-to place for their amazing broasted chicken and a coleslaw unlike any other. Well, they’d moved since the last time we were in town, and though they swore their recipes moved with them nothing tasted as good in the shiny new place as they did in the old dive, and despite now being called Cluckin’ Good Chicken.

Sometimes disappointments like these lead us to find other restaurants, which quickly become favorites. Read on to see our tried-and-true favorites plus some new discoveries. Are any of them familiar to you? Have a better suggestion for a place in one of the towns mentioned? We’d love your comments!

Continue reading

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If You Don’t Like the Neighbors…

…you can always move when you’re a full-time RVer. Right?

Not so fast.

Yep, we hear it all the time: One of the beauties of living full-time on the road is if you don’t like your neighbors you can move.

In theory, that sounds great. Continue reading

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No Vacation

Full-time RVers know this is no vacation, despite how many times people say they want to do this because “it would be great to always be on vacation.”

We once thought that, too. “Ah! We’ll travel where we want, when we want… if we don’t like the neighbors we’ll just move….”

Well, that’s mostly true. I’ve already blogged about how making reservations is now the only way you can be sure to be where you want, when you want. Oregon Coast in the summer? You’d better book a year early. National Park when kids are out of school? Same thing. Winters in Yuma? Yep. Make that reservation.

But there’s another reason the “Go where you want, when you want” mantra is a myth: Continue reading

Posted in On the Road, RV Parks & Lifestyle | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Something a Little Different

Can you believe we’re entering our 11th year of full-time RVing?!?

We can’t, either.

In a way, seems like we’re just getting the hang of it. On the other hand, it feels as though we’ve never done anything except travel the highways and byways…!

And although we have found a groove — visiting Pahrump, Nevada, in the fall and spring…

Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Attractions, Cool Experience, Flowers, Food | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments