Where to Buy / About the Books (and why I do what I do)

Final draft.

“Author squinting in the sun, on the porch of her home in southern Virginia”

There are now four books in the surgery genre, three in the Hidden Gem series. All are available on-line from vendors such as Amazon.com

If you want to know more about each individual book (sample of surgeons interviewed, hospitals, general tourism information) – click on the tab representing the country (Mexico, Colombia or Panama) for posts related to the research, writing and publication of each book.

About the Bogota books:

Q.  Hey!  I’m in Bogota and I wanted to pick up a copy of your book.  Where can I get it locally?

A.  At Author’s Bookstore & Cafe on Calle 70 # 5-23 Bogotá Colombia..

The owner, Steve is a transplanted American.  He’s also supernice and helpful..

Otherwise – the book is widely available on-line at Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, iTunes and multiple other on-line outlets in paper and digital formats.  We also have a Spanish version.

Q. Where can I find a copy of Mexicali?  I hear that it is available for free.

A. Pdf versions of the Mexicali! mini-gem guide to surgery are available at multiple sites on-line.

Here are just a few:


Google books

Free e-books.net

It is also available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.com.

If you’ve downloaded and read Mexicali! I would appreciate if you left a comment at the site where it was obtained, to help make it more widely available to other interested people.

Other questions about the Hidden Gem series:

The biggest question I get about the books, after Why Medical Tourism? – from potential readers, friends, and the doctors I am interviewing is always the same:

Who is pays for this/ who is paying you?

The answers, as always, are the same.

1.  No one pays me.  I pay all the costs of my research myself – out of dwindling retirement (the money kept disappearing down a stock market black hole anyway -so at least now I am using it.)  I am here in Colombia writing this book – because I think it’s important. I will get paid when /and if people buy the book.

2.  I don’t have a big publishing house supporting me because:

A.) they rarely do that for unknown authors, (and I am certainly unknown)

B.) they don’t feel there is a need or a market for a book like this (or at least that’s what they keep telling me.)

3. No – the government of Colombia/ Panama / Mexico is not supporting me – I don’t know anyone in Colombian government – and I doubt that they would be interested in the work of a (unknown american) nurse – in a country that doesn’t always value nurses very highly.  (I did write to President Santos once as a lark – and surprisingly, he sent back a nice note!)  In fact, often the officials from the cities I am writing about are very reluctant to make time for, or cooperation for a writer like myself.  Maybe if I was Anthony Bourdain, it would be different, but then again – I’m not reviewing tamales, arapas or tacos..

4. No – the doctors do not pay methat would completely invalidate the work that I do – it wouldn’t be an independent/ unbiased review..  That would be an advertisement – and we have enough of that already.. It was the need for unbiased review that led to the idea for my surgical tourism books in the first place.

The doctors I interview participate out of: curiosity (I am a bit of a novelty), genuine interest in surgical tourism, or sometimes just generousness of spirit (‘sure, I’ll see her since she’s all the way here in Bogota/ Cartagena/ Panama’)..

I do it because it’s my passion.. I love what I do as a nurse practitioner – that connection and trust I have with my patients – and I feel that this is part of that.. Patients asked me about surgical tourism – and I felt compelled to find out more, and to have strong, solid research and evidence behind me to pass on.

I hope that answers your questions  – keep writing!

More book news:

Hidden Gem: A Guide to Surgical Tourism in Cartagena, Colombia is widely available on-line, including e-book formats for travellers.. The book website has evolved into a medical discussion page, but includes book updates and Cartagena news since book publication in July 2010.

About the coverart:

I wanted something different for my book covers – something that coveys the energy and the feel of Bogota so I have been looking for some photo editing software – and it looks like I may have finally found exactly what I need.. In exchange for the licensed software – I have promised to review it here.. That seems fair enough..

It’s a program to make photo collages – for all of the great photos I have of each location into coverart to submit for the book cover. (I have a specific look in mind – and I have a hard time conveying it to others.)  Here’s a preliminary view – of the cover I created for the Bogota book..

Book cover, in progress

So the program is called Picture Collage Maker Pro– and you can find it at www.picturecollagesoftware.com. I am still figuring out all the ins and outs of the program, but so far it looks like it will work pretty well for my purposes.. It seems pretty easy to use, just pick your photos and arrange them.. (Actually, I was surprised when I tried all my other photo software that I couldn’t do this already.)

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