Friday, October 13, 2023

Book Review: Lights on the Sea by Miquel Reina

Have you ever enjoyed a book enough to read it again? Although I don't often revisit a novel, after first reading Lights on the Sea, I knew this was a book I would read again. A recent second reading allowed me to more fully appreciate the struggles of both main characters as they slowly dealt with their tragic past.

Review of Lights on the Sea by Miquel Reina

The house of Mr. and Mrs. Grapes, which overlooks a vast ocean, lays precariously close to the edge of Death’s Cliff. Due to extensive erosion of the cliff’s porous volcanic rock, Harold and Mary Rose Grapes are being forced to move from the home where they continue to mourn the loss of their son thirty-five years ago. The night before the move, a fierce storm sends the house and its two sleeping occupants down the cliff and sailing off into the ocean.

To even begin the healing process of thirty-five years of stagnation and regret requires a violent uprooting. As Harold and Mary Rose drift at the mercy of the ocean tides, the many death-threatening struggles they encounter slowly bring awareness to the futility of blame and lack of forgiveness. 

Some suspension of disbelief was required to immerse myself in their physical journey. Their emotional journey, however, was immediately all too real. Allegorical in nature, the author’s tale explores the consequences of placing blame and refusing to move forward after tragedy strikes. 

Lights on the Sea is a translation of Miquel Reina’s Spanish edition Lucus en el Mar.


Friday, October 6, 2023


Domestic Abuse Affects Everyone

A scene within FOR EVERY ACTION, my Pepper Bibeau mystery novel, involves an arraignment for an assault case. The judge decides the case is a civil matter between the two parties and, at the request of the defendant's lawyer, he dismisses the case. The situation does not represent a domestic dispute, but the judge interprets it as such, just another complaint to be handled in civil court.

An arraignment, in the law of the United States,
is the bringing of a person who has been formally
accused of a crime before the court to answer
the accusations against the person.
After the accused is identified and the indictment
is read, the defendant is called upon to answer
the charge by pleading not guilty, guilty,
or nolo contendere (no contest).

Before pleading, the defendant may file a
formal document, known as a motion,
asking the court to dismiss the case.
A judge can dismiss the charges if, for example,
he or she determines that the conduct charged
does not constitute a crime.

In 1968, domestic disputes were considered a family matter.
By the 1980's, such charges were taken more seriously.

For further information on domestic abuse:

If you want to help someone who suffers from domestic abuse or violence, access this site: