Escaping a crumbling marriage and a frigid Calgary winter, Shari Shapiro—a retired teacher and an Italian Jewish immigrant—flees to Puerto Vallarta (PV), Mexico. Despite the lush, vibrant surroundings, she grieves her mother’s death. Since family ghosts appear whenever she enters a bathroom, death is never far from her thoughts. Yet she longs to embrace life again. She also struggles with issues faced by other baby boomers such as retirement.
Eager for tequila to dull her pain, Shari heads to a bar on Playa Los Muertos, Beach of the Dead. Here she meets Carlos, a skittish, but sexy, former revolutionary who mourns the death of his wife. He strongly resembles Subcomandante Marcos, the legendary Zapatista leader, a post-modern Che Guevara. Paramilitaries stalk Shari and Carlos and the danger grows as does their attraction to each other. Together they end up supporting Mexico’s poverty-stricken beach vendors.
Elena Schacherl was born in Trieste, Italy, and immigrated to Canada as a young child. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta and travels to Puerto Vallarta every winter. After a post-graduate education in English and a career in non-profit management, about ten years ago Elena took on a new challenge—writing fiction. Since then, she’s studied creative writing at Calgary’s Alexandra Writers’ Centre. She’s also a member of the East Village Writers’ Circle and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.
Elena has published several short stories. In 2017 “Swimming with Sharks” was included in the art book Printed Word, on permanent exhibit at the main branch of the Calgary Public Library. And “Let’s Go” was accepted by Colorado’s Living Springs Publishers’ Baby Boomers Plus, Stories Through the Ages anthology. With her father Dr. Ugo Schacherl, she also co-translated from Italian to English, Giovanni Pascoli’s poem “Psyche”, published in the Sage of Consciousness E-zine.