World Traveler, Donnell Bell

Debra Dixon here, we have a guest blogger today, Donnell Bell. She is the author of The Past Came Hunting. I will let Donnell take over from here.

My name is Donnell & I’ve been to Pueblo, Colorado

Hello, lovely RIDING WITH THE TOP DOWN bloggers.  Thanks so much for having me back to visit.  I’m going to assume that I didn’t mess up too badly by the return invitation, and I’ll try to meet with your approval again.  However, after this post, you may want to rethink it.

This may surprise most of you who know me personally.  To the wonderful Kylie Brant, I would appreciate it if you would withhold comments until you read the full blog;).  Thank you.

So here it is:   I’m not a world traveler.  Yes, I know the sophistication I display is hard to overlook.  But truth be told, I’m a small town girl, born in Texas, raised in New Mexico and transported to Colorado.

There’s a reason I bear the slogan, SUSPENSE TOO CLOSE TO HOME on my website.  I didn’t start traveling until after my kids graduated from college and moved away.  This forced me out of my homebody element and onto airplanes and cars and sadly onto a Greyhound bus once.  Writers conferences, too, have coaxed me into different areas, which, after I get there, I’m happy to say I enjoy very much.

But my point is when someone such as the fabulous Debra Dixon says she’s off to Africa, I salute her, wish her Godspeed and facetiously lament the only place I’ve been to is Pueblo, Colorado.  Then I gleefully curl up with a book and hope she comes back with great pictures.

Honestly?  I would rather read about Cindy Gerard’s characters in Argentina than to actually go over there, get kidnapped or blown up in a bank heist.  But that’s just me.

Why am I telling you this, and WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?  Because I have a problem, and soon I’m going to count on RIDING WITH THE TOP DOWN bloggers to tell me how to fix my problem.

Here it is:  I’m soon to be a world-class traveler.  Seriously.  My husband, who took up marathon running in his fifties, has added a special marathon to his bucket list. I can see you guessing as you read this.  Boston?  New York?

 I wish.  Ready?  Try. . .Antarctica.

Yes, you may adjust your parkas now, you read that correctly.  What’s more, he wants me to join him.

Okay, let’s be real.  He doesn’t want me to run a marathon – I’m far too sophisticated and out of shape for that.  He wants me to fly as far as Rio de Janeiro, where he will depart by cruiseliner for his trek among the penguins.

Meanwhile, my husband expects this world-class traveler (NOT) (who does not speak a word of Portuguese by the way) to await his return in Rio de Janeiro…BY MYSELF for three entire days.  Can you see the mystery/suspense writer in me picturing all the things that could go wrong while he’s left me—alone–in a foreign country?

Let’s face it.  I want to go because of all the plot possibilities.  But then again, there’s my “I’ve only been to Pueblo, Colorado” mentality.

So here’s where you come in.  What would you do if you were me?  A) Develop a mystery illness to keep me from going? or B) Go boldly where this girl has never gone before?

For those who help me, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win THE PAST CAME HUNTING, which incidentally became an Amazon bestseller this month (thank you very much, Bell Bridge Books!!) and which takes place in the safe and non-threatening environment of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

I await your advice.  Muito obrigado/a!   I think that’s thank you 😉 Might as well start practicing my Portuguese!

 Donnell Ann Bell is a multi-award winning author.  To learn more about this SUSPENSE TOO CLOSE TO HOME author, check out her web page at  When she’s not traveling (mostly near), she loves to hear from readers.

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43 Responses to World Traveler, Donnell Bell

  1. Liz Flaherty says:

    Oh, go boldly. As my husband has the unfortunate habit of saying after I work out and am sweating and whining, “You never wish you hadn’t done it.”

    • bellwriter says:

      Liz, does your husband have to be so wise? And what a great saying! Okay, that’s one for B. Thank you for your input 😉

  2. Cindy Gerard says:

    Go, go, go!!! You MUST go!! Are you kidding me? Rio? OMG, I’m having a very serious envy moment. Arm yourself with a Portuguese phrase book, and before you go have your travel agent line you up with a few organized tours. Seriously, you’ll be surprised how much you’ll enjoy them and your fellow tourers. You’ll feel safe in a group and not have to worry about finding your way around in a foreign country AND because you’re alone – look really friendly and forlorn :o) and someone in the group will take you under their wing and invite you into their circle.
    Take pictures! Have a blast and let us know all about the trip!
    And your cover totally rocks BTW!

    • bellwriter says:

      Dear Ms. Gerard, you know I’m a huge fan, but did you have to be smart besides? What a great, great, idea. Now where did I put my Portugese Rosetta Stone order to ask for directions and an organized tour. I love that! Thank you! Okay, that’s two for B. I’m sure the A voters haven’t had coffee yet.

    • bellwriter says:

      Forgot to tell you about the cover…. A long story, if I may??? My editor, Pat Van Wie, and I had been discussing our vision of the cover and what the storyline entailed. I’d been going through photo places and collecting pics, etc. One day close to the release date, Pat e-mailed me and said I have a possible cover for you. Now I must warn you, it doesn’t look like any of the things you’ve beens sending me.

      I took one look at the cover and though “Wow.” I sent Pat a note and said “Sold.” That cover, by the way was designed by an award-winning cover artist. Maybe you’ve heard of her? Her name is Debra Dixon. So proud of her and that cover! Thanks for commenting about it, Cindy!

  3. Kylie Brant says:

    Can I comment now??? Ok. Here’s what you do. It’s just not safe for you to stay in Rio by yourself. So you invite your great friend Kylie Brant to accompany you for PROTECTION during those three days. I’m not that tough but I have a really mean expression that I have perfected by raising five kids and teaching 33 years. Seriously. You don’t want to get *the look*. I’ve been frightening strangers for years.

    When do we leave????

    • Cindy Gerard says:

      P.S. If Kylie goes I go. Just sayin’

      • bellwriter says:

        I understand it goes without saying, Cindy, you two are glued at the hip. Now where did I put the hubby’s checkbook 🙂 Wow, I would totally feel safe with an enterouge :)))

      • OMIGOD! I’m in the seat next to you and Kylie!!! How absolutely fantastic this opportunity is because I’ve been to Rio de Janiero (and Sao Paulo, too) and I’d love to return. You may end up depleting your husbands “energy” because it’s the sexiest, hottest city on earth. ( Jim and I had our pre-honeymoon practice there.) Even the sidewalks in Rio are sexy – they are made of mosaic tiles and are in a curvy pattern to imitate the waves across the street. Get thee to a Samba school, eat at a churrascaria (think I’m spelling it right – its a mixed grill restaurant) and, of course, watch your purse. Have to go – the hair on my arms is standing up and I have to smooth it down!!

    • bellwriter says:

      Dear Ms. Brant: You are so hired. Wait to I tell my husband his little romantic interlude comes with a chaperone. Of course, he has a say in this protection game, you understand. The Antartica marathon is a lottery. They actually called us and invited him to go in February, but Les was running a marathon with our son in Forth Worth. They’d had it planned forever and it was our son’s first marathon. So long answer either 2013 or 2014 since we declined this year.

      By the way, I would totally feel safe with Kylie Brant, based on her credentials, in Rio. Okay, I assume this is three votes for B??? Thanks for withholding comment until I allowed it LOL.

      • Pat Van Wie says:

        Hey, wait a minute. If anyone goes, it should be me. . . . you know that next book you got coming out, Donnell. . . how easy do you want that process to go? Just askin.

      • bellwriter says:

        Oh, gosh, sorry Kylie, sorry Cindy, my editor just pulled the trump card. :)))))) I want the next book coming out to go very smoothly. LOL 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Pat!!!

      • Cindy Gerard says:

        Editor Schmeditor. (no offense Pat – LOL) Kylie and I know where you live, Donnell. Just sayin’

      • bellwriter says:

        Susan, oh, now you’ve done it. I just have to go. Sounds positively awesome. Who knows what kind ofmischief I can get into while he’s running with the penguins :)))) Thank you!!!

      • bellwriter says:

        Seriously, you would resort to threats? EU não aguento a pressão. That’s “I can’t take the pressure!!!”

  4. Ellie says:

    Go. Whenever there is an opportunity to travel grab it and go. Otherwise you will regret it for the rest of your life. Travel is special. It opens your eyes, your heart and your soul. It will transform your entire outlook and perspective. What a wonderful experience for you to have which will be unforgettable.

    • bellwriter says:

      Ellie, I knew I’d come to the right place. Terrific advice. Now to dig through Rosetta Stone and get a passport. Thank you. Another vote for B!

  5. Anne says:

    What a fabulous and once in a lifetime offer. When travel anywhere is available pack up and go. You are so fortunate. It does seem daunting at first since most travel without a thought and enjoy it. travel is addictive and some never recover. I spent my whole life being fearful of trips, travel and regret it. Nothing can compare to being exposed to other places, cultures and locales.

    • bellwriter says:

      Anne, okay, I can see that my options are terribly lopsided. I agree, I’m always envious of people who who are well-traveled. They seem as sophisticated as I am! Ha Ha! Thanks for your insightful comment!

  6. CateS says:

    Come on– you’re a writer… what a place to go for research.. people watching….

  7. bellwriter says:

    Oh, my gosh, Cate, what a great link! That view of Rio at night, wowzers. I’m saving this. This is terrific, thank you!!!

  8. debradixon says:

    I think it’s a scream that you’re going to “start off” with a trip that looooong and be somewhere by yourself for a while. I’m very proud of you.

    • bellwriter says:

      Oh, yeah, DD? A scream :)))) LOL. I seriously was thinking of not going when the time arrived, but this has been the most encouraging blog, and seeing your fabulous pictures of Africa was a huge influence. I appreciate it very much! Whoops, I should be looking that up in Portugese!

  9. Pearl says:

    The young travel all over the world without a thought. My young nieces have been everywhere and that is their sole interest. When I was their age that freedom didn’t exist. Now I have to try and catch up. If anyone offered me this I would immediately say yes and pack my bags. Go and enjoy.

    • bellwriter says:

      Pearl, you have wisdom attached to your name. Wow, that is so true. My son went to China to play baseball when he was in seventh grade. I was comatose while he was over there, but he was ready and willing. Great, great comment! Thank you for such a valuable insight!

  10. loisgreiman says:

    Donnelle, thanks for joining us. Antarctica! Yikes. It’s bad enough to have to run 26 miles but to do it in Antarctica. Impressive.

    You should definitely go and live large.

    • bellwriter says:

      Lois, my husband is a very strange man. Good thing I like him. 😉 Yes, live large. That must be my new motto. Vivo grande!

  11. bellwriter says:

    Thanks so much for having me, Riding with the Top Down! Best wishes!

  12. Thought I’d chime in, too, Donnell, even if a bit late. I vote with everyone else — GO. My first trip overseas was a five-day conference in Italy (with zero Italian, but many other Americans) followed by a three-day weekend totally alone in Paris (with a smidgen of French). I not only survived, I got addicted to travel. Absolutely life changing.

    • bellwriter says:

      Nancy, thank you for sharing! Wow, I thought people prepared months and months in advance, and I’m on deadline LOL 🙂 Hope I don’t get addicted to travel, though. My pocketbook,you understand 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  13. bn100 says:

    I would go and bring a book of simple phrases to use in the country.

  14. TrishJ says:

    You HAVE to go. I grew up in a small town .. we NEVER went anywhere. I got married, had a couple of kids and THEN hubby decided to join the Army. The travel began. Just enjoy .. the differences in places are.the best. The people, the food, everything becomes an adventure. Think of the ideas that you can tuck away in the folds of your imagination. Have fun (of course, it sounds like you might have to charter a plane to take all your “friends”).

    • bellwriter says:

      LOL, Trish, I know. Do you think my dear friends would help pay for said chartered plane? Ha. That is the question. Thanks for your invaluable advice. Looks like B was overwhelmingly the winner! Thank you Riding with the Top Down, ladies!!!

  15. catslady says:

    Go boldly!!! Life is too short and you know how they say that’s it’s the things you didn’t do that you regret the most.

  16. C. K. Crouch says:

    Oh yes you must go. Have you not seen Angry Birds-Rio? Granted it was Carnaval like Mardi Gras here but hey I’d go for it. I think it would be fun. And if all of us writerly folks are in a tour nobody can touch us. Like one of them said you will always wonder what if you had gone if you odn’t go. So go for it. There’s an old commercial from days when they were full of slogans. It said, “you only go ’round once in life. Grab all the gusto you can.” Be brake Donnell you can do this you can grab the gusto and enjoy a new place.

    • bellwriter says:

      Thanks, Cathy. I’ll do that while I’m drinking my beer LOL. I remember all commercial slogans Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Welcome, Donnell, my fellow Bell!
    I’m late coming to the party, but I can’t wait to read THE PAST CAME HUNTING. I love CO. I’d certainly go to Rio with you if you could fit me in your luggage. Keep you company those 3 days. But why aren’t you going to Antarctica? Now, that would be my kind of adventure. Go where no one else will go is my motto. (I stole it from Mary Lyon.)

    • bellwriter says:

      Ah, Kathleen, that is another blog. No one but the marathoners are invited to Antarctica. There is a very protected trail that the runners must stay on for environmental purposes. Great question, and one I asked when I said, why can’t I go all the way with you and we stay together. Guess the man’s never heard of Al Green. Okay, no one else has volunteered the old suitcase routine 😉 I’ll add you to B. As for Colorado, come on down, fellow Belle!

  18. Love your cover—and the book sounds wonderful. And oh, my yes–you have got to go on that trip. With a big enough posse (pretty much everyone who has commented!) you will look like major royalty, and will be treated with awe and respect everywhere you go!

    • bellwriter says:

      Roxanne. thank you! Debra Dixon had a great vision for the book. I was stunned when I saw that cover in a happy, happy way. Ha, can you see my husband’s face when I say, by the way honey. . . 🙂

      Thanks again for having me Riding with the Top Down!!!

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