Lilly Maytree is in Alaska today...

Lilly Maytree is in Alaska, today...looking for adventure and divine appointments. Want to follow along? Enter her ARMCHAIR TRAVELERS PORTAL


The Story Behind the Story...

Week Two of 

I don't always have such an interesting "story behind the story" for the plots I think up, but for THE PANDORA BOX, I do. It happened a very long time ago. A time when the Captain and I were, once again, living aboard a boat. That one was a forty-three foot sloop that we also shared with our three teen-aged children, and one derelict cat.

I never liked that cat. Mostly because it was some half-wild thing my daughter dragged home that she found living under a house one winter. It was not a kitten, just some scrawny feline that never trusted anyone but her. Ever. I won't go into why we even considered letting her bring that cat aboard the boat. Suffice it to say that when you have a tender-hearted daughter you do all kinds of things you never would have thought of.

Anyway, that left me as the cat caregiver when daughter was away. Which didn't amount to much more than leaving a porthole open so she could come in and out for food and such. However, once the glories of catching minnows off the docks was discovered, we didn't even cross paths for meals. Even the litter box was clean. Hmm... 

Which is why, one night, when I was coming home late from the newspaper (I was a journalist back in those days), I happened to see that cat come out of the porthole of someone else's boat. Not just any boat. A beautiful classic ketch from days gone by. Rather run down, but you could tell it had once been luxurious. So, there in the moonlight, I climbed aboard and peeked inside. Not that I could see much of anything. But I immediately got a horribly distinct whiff of cat. I felt mortified.

The next day, I hunted up the secretary at the marina office and confessed that my cat had been using someone else's boat as a litter box. So, what could I do to make things right as I couldn't exactly fit through the porthole. Could she give me a telephone number for the owner, maybe? 

"Oh, that old thing?" She replied after seeing the one I pointed out the window to. "Don't worry about it, honey. It's going up for auction, again, at the end of the month, but no one ever buys it because it used to belong to Hermann Goering. Everyone thinks it's cursed. Sailors are superstitious about things like that."

At which point, my writer antenna began to inch up like a periscope in dark waters. Which led me to some intensive research, and the discovery of the infamous man's strange fetish for hoarding stolen jewels. Of how he would even carry a vase of them around on his wartime travels during WWII. How he liked extravagant living, and would often charter local boats in various countries for several days at a time. And especially how most of those cases went unsolved because nearly all of the owners were dead. In fact, a lot of that stolen plunder was still missing. Not to mention there are still old Nazi war criminals being caught and prosecuted for their war crimes to this very day.

Anyway, that's how the story of THE PANDORA BOX got its beginnings. Of course, it immediately took off in directions of its own, but that's the mysterious part of writing fiction. Because for the most part, I really don't know where all these ideas come from.

Don't forget...

Did you get your free copy of NIGHT VISITORS, yet? It's the story of how Dee Parker (my heroine of THE PANDORA BOX) met the best friend she took along on her great adventure (they say there's safety in numbers). There's also a recipe in there for one of my favorite... oh, but I'll just let you find that out for yourself.

Meanwhile, my first winner of the four complimentary copies of the ebook version of THE PANDORA BOX is Kathleen. Congratulations,  Kathleen! I hope you enjoy reading this story that was more than a typical story for me... in many more ways than one!


  1. Replies
    1. Ah, but you were interested in other things back then... which is only natural!

  2. Thank you so much!! Received your e-mail today. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  3. Just think--if your daughter hadn't brought home that cat, you may never have written this story! Meow!

    You lead a fascinating life. I can't get enough of your posts. More! More!

    1. Yes, "all things work together for good," eh? And Karla... how wonderful it is on this end to have such a kindred spirit to share our adventures with. Did you know I was just this morning thinking about how much YOU would love this island we happen to be on at the moment, and trying to concoct some sort of plan to get you here for a visit? Hmm...