I am passionate about travel, along with my family and photography, and when I’m not traveling, I enjoy reading. I especially enjoy reading books that take place in locations I’ve visited. They allow me to relive the adventures I encountered in those destinations, and such was the case with Len Camarda’s The Seventh Treasure set in Spain.
The Seventh Treasure follows the story of Secret Service agent Gene Cerone, who travels to Granada, Spain to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding his sister’s death. Turns out her death was no accident and Cerone, with help from Lieutenant Mercedes Garcia, uncovers a hidden conspiracy that dates back to the time of the Moors.
Although I recently toured Spain’s Balearic Islands, I visited Granada back in 2003. Still, I vividly remember the Alhambra as a massive palace complex, home Spanish Muslims as well as Isabel and Ferdinand. The buildings were unassuming from the outside, yet ornately geometric and beautiful on the inside. The gardens and fountains were particularly unusual and lovely, plus a cooling respite from the summer heat. Anyway, Camarda’s book spends a lot of time in and around the Alhambra.
I’ve read Dan Browne’s books because I enjoy the way he entwines mystery with historical facts. Len Camarda’s follows a similar path in this, his first novel, using the storyline from the Tales of the Arabian Nights. His writing is descriptive, he keeps the plot moving, and involves politics (in a similar fashion to Tom Clancy) and uses plausible methods to uncover the mystery.
If you like historical thrillers or are just looking for a good read, I suggest Len Camarda’s The Seventh Treasure — and, of course, a trip to Spain!
Disclosure: The Seventh Treasure was sent to me for review, but if I’d come across it in the bookstore I would have purchased it. I can honestly recommend it.
The Wine Seekers’ Guide to Livermore Valley, by my friend Tom Wilmer, was not written for the wine snob. The book is aimed at those of us who don’t understand the intricacies of the grape. He says the wine tasting experience has more to do with the social interactions and having a fun time, rather than the subjective, critical tasting experience. Therefore, this is truly my kind of guide– one with clear and helpful information in an easy to read format.
The book serves as the first exclusive guide to this little-known wine region located in northern California about a half-hour from San Francisco in the East Bay. Tom introduces more than forty wineries, the owners and winemakers, and their superb wines. The paperback makes it easy to plan a tour as it provides a map of the region, directions, operating hours, and contact information for each winery. As a seasoned travel writer (travel editor of Las Vegas Magazine from 1998 through 2003 and Central Coast Magazine from 2003 through 2008) Tom has also included recommendations on where to stay and a detailed restaurant guide plus bookstores, theater, festivals and parks. Now, all I need is time to visit each one.
Before you can say “summer vacation”, my college student will be heading back to campus. This year she will live in her own apartment and that means cooking for herself. I will be sending her off with The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Easy Freezer Meals because the entire concept of cooking once and freezing portions makes such good sense. And, duh– the book explains it all — in E-Z steps!