Monday, August 8, 2011

Stuart Gustafson - Missing in Mexico - Guest Post

My thanks to Stuart Gustafson for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways and sharing a guest post during the blog tour for his book, Missing in Mexico.

Guest Post
"Is it really safe down there?"
by Stuart Gustafson

Buenos días. One of the questions I get asked frequently as an author and vacationer to Mexico is, “Is it really safe down there?” I can’t answer that question in regard to everyplace in Mexico, but I can certainly answer it for my favorite place, the primary setting of my debut mystery novel Missing in Mexico – Los Cabos. Is it safe there? Yes, it is. Let me first tell you a little about the area, and then I’ll tell you why it’s so safe to go there. And why I love to go there and chose to write my first novel about it.

Actually, Los Cabos is a stretch of land running from San José del Cabo (San José) to Cabo San Lucas (‘Cabo’), a distance of about twenty miles. This marvelous land is at the absolute tip of the Baja peninsula some one thousand miles from the USA border and about three hundred miles across the Sea of Cortez (also called the Gulf of California) from mainland Mexico. So you can see that Los Cabos is quite separated from everyone else. Is there any crime there? Sure, there is, just like there’s some crime in your hometown and my hometown. But there’s just not much at all. My family’s been going there since 2003 and we’ve always felt safe walking around, taking a taxi, or renting a car while there. And just like it says in the book, it’s even safe to drink the water.

But that’s not the main reason I chose San José as the primary setting for Missing in Mexico – I wanted to spotlight the charm and the culture of the wonderful people who’ve always made me feel right at home. Now you might think that the name of the book is a bit of a paradox given what I just said about being safe there, but remember that the book is a fictional story – not a true one. I actually had the setting picked out long before I had the story line. The story could take place anywhere, except that I had to tell the story of the wonderful people of San José del Cabo. If you’ve been there, or when you do go there for the first time, then you’ll know what Jess Todtfeld, a former producer for ABC, NBC, and FOX means when he said this about the book, “The story’s so real I felt like I was right there!”

My recommendation for your first visit to San José del Cabo is to go sometime between November and the end of April. The weather is more pleasant during those six months plus the San José Art District conducts its weekly Art Walk on Thursday evenings. Those are great times to stroll through that central part of town along with other visitors, meet some of the artists, and usually even some of the gallery owners. By the way, Chapter Sixteen in Missing in Mexico gives a good description of the Art District so you’ll feel right at home when you go there for the first time. But whether it’s the Art District, the local shops, restaurants, or cantinas, I’ve always felt right at home in San José del Cabo, and I’m sure you will, too.

To get a little more taste of San José, you can read the first five chapters of the book for free on the books’ website at So until the next time, Hasta luego (See you later).

About the Book
Missing in Mexico

Book Details:
Publisher: AITE Publishing
Published: May 2011
Genre: Mystery Tourism

Sarah Johnson is a 19-year college freshman who, along with her roommate Mary, spent an extra week in Los Cabos, Mexico after a family vacation over the Christmas break. Unexpectedly, Sarah's not on the plane back to Seattle, and her parents hire Stan, a seasoned Private Investigator, to locate her. Even with local help and some promising leads in the town of San Jose del Cabo, he's unable to find her, and he returns to Seattle to inform the parents. Months later he receives a mysterious letter from someone who says she can help him locate Sarah, and he jumps on the next plane to Los Cabos. Will this be the lucky break he needs to find her? Or will she remain missing -- Missing in Mexico?


Chapter One/Uno

Flight # 1476 from Los Cabos to Seattle

Saturday, January 5th

The voice over the intercom system announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we trust you had a good time in Los Cabos, but it’s now time for us to take you back to the States. The cabin doors have been closed, and Alaska Airlines flight 1476 with nonstop service to Seattle-Tacoma is ready for departure.”
“Hey, wait. Sarah’s not here; we can’t leave without her,” the girl in seat 14A yelled in a frightened voice. Mary reached up and pushed the flight attendant call button even as the flight attendant was already headed toward her seat. “We can’t leave yet; Sarah’s still down there,” Mary continued, now reaching the point of hysteria.
“Please calm down, miss. Everyone’s already onboard. You can look for yourself,” the flight attendant said in a calm voice as she pointed to the window.
“What do you mean everyone’s onboard? Sarah’s not here; she should be sitting right here!” Mary pulled her tearing eyes away from the empty seat and looked out and saw that the boarding ramps had been pulled away from the airplane, but what she didn’t see scared her. How come Sarah’s not out there, running in a panic toward the plane? “Where’s Sarah? She was just there with me. Where is she? Don’t leave; Sarah’s missing!” Mary cried out as tears began flowing down her cheeks.
The annoyed passengers felt a jolt as the plane was being pushed back. They were ready for their flight home from Los Cabos. But Sarah wasn’t on board; she’s missing – Missing in Mexico.

familia (fă·mĭl’·ē·ă) – family. Hay cuatro personas en mi familia. There are four persons in my family.

About the Author
Stuart Gustafson

Stuart Gustafson began writing in earnest after taking early retirement from the corporate world in 2007. His professional life involved travel and so it was natural for him to want to continue traveling once he didn't have to travel as a job. Now when he travels, it's for fun; it's for pleasure; it's to see new places in the world. The way he has chosen to combine his love of travel and writing is to write mystery novels set in exciting locations around the world where he likes to go.

His debut mystery novel Missing in Mexico is set in San Jose del Cabo at the tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, a charming location where he has spent 2-6 weeks each year for the past eight years. This is how Stuart researches his books, by immersing himself into the culture of the area, and getting to know the people and their charm. The best compliment Stuart has received was at a local event in San Jose del Cabo and some of the residents told him that Missing in Mexico was indeed about their town and would he please consider writing another book about San Jose or at least about Cabo.

His second mystery novel, set in Sydney, NSW, Australia, is already underway, and Stuart took five trips to Sydney in 2010 to conduct research of the area to once again ensure that the book, even though it's a fictional mystery novel, would still contain authentic details. Publication date for that book is set for early 2012.

Stuart has been married for thirty-seven years to Darlene and they have one daughter and one son. Stuart and Darlene live in Boise, Idaho.


Connect With Stuart:

About the Tour

Partners in Crime Tours

Tour Participants:
August 1-Review@Tammy's Book Parlor

August 4-Review@A Good Day To Read

August 5-Spotlight@Suspense By Anne

August 8-Review@I'd Rather Be Reading At The Beach

August 8-Guest Post@Tribute Books Reviews

August 11-Interview@Chris Redding, Author

August 15-Interview@Blog Talk Radio's G-Zone (11am)

August 16-Guest Post@Words By Webb

August 17-Review@Oodles of Books

August 18-Review@Words by Webb

August 19-Guest Post&Review@The Book Shelf

August 22-Interview, Guest Post&Review@Joel M. Andre, Author

August 23-Review@Coffee and a Keyboard

August 24-Review@Let's Book It

August 25-Review@Reviews By Molly

August 26-Review@From The TBR Pile

August 29-Review@Stuff&Nonsense

August 30-Interview@Beyond The Books

August 31-Review@Cami Checketts

September 1-Review@The Musings Of A Book Addict

September 2-Review@Gelati's Scoop

September 5-Review@Kritters Ramblings

September 6-Review@Romancing The Book (Valerie)

September 7-Guest Post@The Top Shelf

September 8-Review@Rhode's Review

September 9-Interview@Stuff@Nonsense

September 12-Review@Lady Lit Reviews

September 13-Review@The Top Shelf

September 14-Review@The World According to Dave

September 15-Review&Guest Post@ Legacy of a Writer

September 16-Interview@Coffee and a Keyboard

September 19-Review@Reading, Reading, & Life

September 20-Review@Sweeping Me

September 21-Interview@Book Marketing Buzz

September 21-Review@GenreWench

September 22-Review@Terri Forehand

September 23-Guest Post@The Book Faery Reviews

September 26-Interview@Rhodes Review

September 27-Interview@CelticLady's Reviews

September 28-Review@CelticLady's Reviews

September 29-Review&Interview@Darlene's Book Nook

September 30-Review@Books, Products & More


  1. It is hard to think of Mexico as being safe. But, Stuart's destination sounds absolutely DEVINE for a get away! I'll have to make it there someday....if only in my dreams. Thanks so much for hosting Stuart with a guest post on your blog today, Nicole!


  2. I know Mexico gets a bad wrap in the press as a tourist destination due to the violence of the drug trade - so it's good to hear someone tell the other side of the story as well. Molly, thanks for stopping by.

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