Happy Almost Summer Solstice! We just returned home from a trip to the Mediterranean. We were relaxing while doing research for our next thriller for our wonderful German publisher, Luebbe. It was a fascinating trip. We explored the ruins of the Forum, the Pantheon, the Parthenon, Pompeii, Carthage, as well as many lesser known sites, like the burial crypts of Estruscans (500 B.C.) near Tarquinia, Italy. We also had a chance to get up close to the funerary art of Capuchin friars that date to around 1600 A.D. It was a haunting experience seeing thousands human bones arranged over ceilings and walls in extraordinarily beautiful patterns–angels’ wings made from shoulder blades, flowers and the crown of Jesus constructed from vertebrae, arches made of skulls and pelvises, lanterns of thigh bones. It’s hard to describe the feeling a modern person gets in the crypts. There’s an eerie, but disturbing, beauty to the art. One of our favorite places on this trip was Tunisia. Not only does Tunis have the largest, and most exquisite, collection of Roman mosaics in the world (over 2,000 years old), but the people of Tunisia were delightful. They are trying very hard to create a democracy with a clear separation of church and state. You will recall that the revolution was started when a poor man wanted to get a license to sell sweets on the streets and the government refused. He burned himself to death in despair. It’s inspiring to see the changes in the country. New businesses are springining up everywhere. There is such hope. We wish the people of Tunisia well in their democratic journey to freedom. We’ll write more after we’ve excavated the mountain of mail. Michael and Kathleen