Jamaica is “irie,” mon!

Early this week we returned from a trip to the Caribbean. My wife’s company has a thing called Founder’s Club, which is a reward for those that kick butt during the year. This is our second year going. The trip this year was in Jamaica, an all-inclusive resort known as Royalton Blue Waters, which you can see by the photo was pretty epic. It had all the things you want out of a resort. State-of-the-art facilities. White sandy beaches. Plenty of safety, security, and privacy. We were on the top floor of the best building, affording us views of the ocean, the resort, and the mountains beyond. The weather was perfect — around 80 degrees. 

When we went to Cancun last year, we did all the excursions. We went on ziplines, swam in cenotes, saw 5,000-year-old Mayan temples. The one that we didn’t carve out for ourselves was a lot of time to relax. This year we did the opposite. We stayed at the resort and chilled. Most of our time was spent in chairs under the sun drinking Miami Vices. I say that with no manly pride. Miami Vice isn’t the kind of drink I’d want my “bros” seeing me drink. They’re half pina colada, half strawberry daiquiri. But when you add a lot of rum, which we did, it’s refreshing. Sadly, I don’t have any photos of the drink. They never seemed to last very long.

In staying at the resort, we missed out on some of the fun things to do on the island. Dunn Falls. The cliff jumping at Rick’s. Even the long trip to Bob Marley’s house. But we knew pretty early on that we’d be going back to Jamaica and would probably save a few of those things for when our kids are a little older. 

The food at all-inclusive places is typically hit and miss. Sadly, the steakhouse was the most disappointing. Overcooked. Small portions. But I had a great Greek stew at the Medeteranian place. The buffet was consistently solid. And, of course, the jerk chicken was the bomb. Spicy with rice, beans, plantains, and corn. Hmm. The perfect meal.

I booked a promotion through Bookbub earlier in the year that just happened to begin on the day we left. It’s always fascinating to see the numbers on these promos. 50,000 downloads in a weekend is crazy to think about. The follow up has been exceptional too, both in reviews left by people, and follow-ups of readers moving into book 2 and 3. The reviews that tickle me most are the ones saying they didn’t know what to expect or weren’t expecting much only to get swept away by the story and finish it in a day or two. That’s what it’s all about.

This week I got back into the swing of things on the next book. I even managed to put down 10,000 new words. It’s rolling now and I’m hoping to be done with the first draft by mid-March. Then the hard work begins. But I’m loving the story and can’t wait to tell you all more about it. I have no idea what the release date will be, only that it will be sometime in summer. Hopefully June, but who knows. As soon as I have a better grasp on it, I’ll let you know.

My wife begged me to get a haircut and shave my beard after the trip. I did some pretty funny stuff, from mutton chops to a Hitler mustache (I’m taking it back!). The one that freaked her out the most, however, was the “pornstache,” which you can see here to the left. I kind of liked it. But happy wife, happy life, right? So, it’s back to the babyface.

Wishing the best to all of you and great reading!

E.J.R.

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