Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dear Reader, Love Jeanine Kitchel

Dear Reader,

I write about Mexico, the Maya and the Yucatan. Mexico was my home for fifteen years and once I moved there and opened my bookstore, there were just too many untold stories that needed telling. I had an insider’s view of the country’s multi-faceted culture along with a closer look at the creeping dominance of the cartels. Wheels Up—A Novel of Drugs, Cartels and Survival, uses that insight to catapult my Latina protagonist, Layla Navarro, to the top of Mexico’s most powerful cartel after her notorious drug lord uncle’s
recapture. The novel takes a look at the cartels’ effect from the top levels of Mexican society down to how the average person copes with corruption and cartel violence that’s become a part of daily life.

As a former journalist, most of my life I wrote non-fiction. Doing research and putting words on paper wasn’t a difficult task for me. After writing a travel memoir about moving to Mexico, I wrote a book on the Maya calendar. Afterwards I started to re-think my writing. I realized I could reach a larger audience by writing fiction and still discuss some big ticket issues. I’ve always loved reading fiction; I just wasn’t sure if I was a candidate for writing it. Now, I won’t go back. I love writing fiction!

In Mexico I felt like a painter with an immense palate before me. First off, it’s a gloriously beautiful country, filled with spectacular vistas everywhere: mountains and valleys, oceans and jungles, and of course, the impressive Maya pyramids. My fishing village sat within a hundred miles of numerous pyramid sites. I traveled to many of them and often.

Being there I had a writing advantage simply with Mexico as background. And owning a business in Mexico made me privy to a lot of info the normal person would never hear about. Also, I speak and read the language—an immense benefit. If I missed a bit of gossip in the store, Mexican papers filled in the gap. It was a little like living in a telenovela, the Mexican soap operas so loved by the locals. With that being said, Wheels Up is a story about cartels and how Layla, a Mexican narca newcomer, deals with navigating the minefield of Mexican machismo, faced with the impossible task of proving herself in a world in which women have no power. I hope you enjoy it!

Love, author (Jeanine Kitchel, Wheels Up—A Novel of Drugs, Cartels and Survival)

About the Author

Jeanine Kitchel, a former journalist, escaped her hectic nine-to-five life in San Francisco, bought land, and built a house in a fishing village on the Mexican Caribbean coast. Shortly after settling in she opened a bookstore. By this time she had become a serious Mayaphile and her love of the Maya culture led her and her husband to nearby pyramid sites throughout southern Mexico and farther away to sites in Central America. In the bookstore she entertained a steady stream of customers with their own Maya tales to tell—from archeologists and explorers to tour guides and local experts. At the request of  a publisher friend, she began writing travel articles about her adopted homeland for websites and newspapers. Her travel memoir, Where the Sky is Born: Living in the Land of the Maya, and Maya 2012 Revealed: Demystifying the Prophecy, are available on Amazon. She has since branched into writing fiction and her debut novel, Wheels Up—A Novel of Drugs, Cartels and Survival, launched May 2018.



About the Book:

Author: Jeanine Kitchel
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 294
Genre: Thriller

Layla always wanted to run the family business. But is she willing to kill for it?
When her notorious drug lord uncle is recaptured, Layla Navarro catapults to the top of Mexico’s most powerful cartel. Groomed as his successor, Layla knows where the bodies are buried. But not all the enemies. She strikes her first deal to prove her mettle by accepting an offer to move two tons of cocaine from Colombia to Cancun by jet. Things go sideways during a stopover in Guatemala whe Layla unexpectedly uncovers a human trafficking ring. Plagued by self-doubt, she must fight off gangsters, outsmart corrupt officials, and navigate the minefield of Mexican machismo. Even worse, she realizes she’s become a target for every rival cartel seeking to undermine her new standing. From her lush base in the tropics, she’s determined to retain her dominant position in Mexico’s criminal world. If she can stay alive.



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