Celebrate Water Day 2014 with 5 Great Reads

Celebrate Water Day 2014 with 5 Great Reads

It’s the holiday you and I have probably never experienced. Tomorrow is Water Day.

Celebrating a Life Event

Brought to us by Water.org, Water Day celebrates the day someone gets access to safe water. It’s the day the well or water pump starts working close enough to home that no one risks life and limb to get to it. Getting access to safe water is an event people never forget. Water.org honors those life-changing events by celebrating Water Day 2014.

Writing for Water

In 2014, I’m donating a dollar from every Kindle book sold to water.org, because in this day and age, no one should have to live without access to clean water and decent sanitation. This month, authors Sharon Lee Johnson, Norm Hamilton, and Jerold last have joined the Writing for Water team with pledges to water.org. With their help, and other authors throughout the year, I hope to be able to provide 25 people with clean water for life this year.

If you’d like to celebrate Water Day and help us out at the same time, please buy one of the books listed here. You’ll be helping an author, plus helping support Water.org at the same time.

As an added incentive, many of our books are discounted this month. HAT DANCE, the second Emilia Cruz mystery is on sale this weekend. It’s a dance with the devil and Acapulco Detective Emilia Cruz can’t afford the music . . .

Reading about Water

Water is something most of us take for granted. Turn on the faucet, there it is. Go to the store and find shelves of bottles of designer water. But some folks are doing serious thinking about water and the future. Here are 5 books to put on your reading list:

1. SILENT SPRING by Rachel Carson

Originally published as a 3 part series in the New Yorker in 1962, the book was the first call to action for the environmental movement. A classic.

2. FROM THINE OWN WELL by Norm Hamilton

In this novel of a futuristic Canada, the country’s water supply has been destroyed by fracking–and greed. Scarily plausible.

3. MEET THE FRACKERS: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Energy Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman

An award-winning Wall Street Journal reporter tells the story of the tycoons who have made a fortune through fracking–hydraulic drilling through extremely dense shale made controversial because of the link to contaminated water.

4. WINE TO WATER: How One Man Saved Himself While Trying to Save the World by Doc Hendley

The true story of how Hendley, a twentysomething bartender, found himself in Darfur, Sudan, countering the tribal warfare that used contaminated water as a weapon of mass destruction by drilling wells.

5. THE BIG THIRST: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water by Charles Fishman

Fishman explains that we have more than enough water to avoid a water crisis but we have to change our approach to how we use–or save–our water. Inconvenient truths, but solutions, too.

Thanks for reading and taking a minute to think about the importance of access to safe and clean water. Happy Water Day.

All the best, Carmen

P.S. Come along on this writing journey with me and get a free short story. THE BEAST, the first Emilia Cruz story is free when you sign up for monthly updates including exclusive excerpts, book release news, and progress toward giving 25 people access to clean water for life. Your email will never be shared.

Writing for Water: Meet the Team Writing Clean Water for Life

Writing for Water: Meet the Team Writing Clean Water for Life

 In 2014 I will donate $1 for each Kindle book sold to water.org, the charity co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White to bring clean water and decent sanitation to communities worldwide. My little effort has expanded into the Writing for Water team of authors. The Water Diaries is a monthly series tracking our progress.

How last month went

Writing for water monthlyStrong February book sales mean 2 more people get clean water for life! No doubt helped by the super folks behind The Fussy Librarian (Jeffrey) and The All Mystery Newsletter (Rebecca), book sales in February topped December 2013, which had been a very good month, and were more than double what they had been in January.

Coming Up

Another piece of good news came in the form of two new authors joining the Writing for Water team in March; Norm Hamilton and Jerry Last. To celebrate, I sent out a press release entitled “Independent Authors Team Up for Water.org” to introduce the March team, and got a very nice email from Rosemary Gudelj at the Water.org GHQ. Rosemary wrote “Just wanted to thank you all for joining the mission in this powerful way. I work directly for Gary White, our CEO and co-founder along with Matt Damon. We would love to hear how this progresses!”

As this is hardly the biggest fundraiser supporting Water.org at any given time (one of their partners is IKEA) I was tickled that she reached out. I sent her back a thank-you and a free .mobi of MADE IN ACAPULCO on the off chance she has a Kindle. (She does. Yay!)

Our Readers make the Difference

It’s the readership that makes all the difference, of course, and if it wasn’t for engaged readers like you, no one would be getting clean water from our efforts. I’m tentatively setting a goal of providing 25 people with clean water for life from the Writing for Water effort. Throwing in December 2013 sales, the magic number so far is 5.

If you have bought one of my books for your Kindle in the last 3 months, you have helped give 5 people in need access to clean water for life. If you love to read, check out one of the books from the other authors below and sign up for my monthly updates here (you’ll get a free Emilia Cruz mystery story for your very own) to join Rosemary in tracking our progress.

Your Help

Please tell your friends. Seriously. Take a minute and forward this blog post to a friend. Share it on Facebook. Retweet messages with the #WritingforWater and #Water=Life hashtags on Twitter.

We need every retweet, Facebook share, and email forwarding possible. The more folks who know of our effort, the more likely it is that we can get water to those in need.

And if you are an author who wants to make a difference, sign up here to join the team.

The Writing for Water team & featured books, March 2014

Sharon Lee Johnson

Arkansas-based author Sharon Lee Johnson writes fun, entertaining stories across genres from traditional romance to paranormal romances to YA zombie tales. The women in her stories are strong and determined women who discover their destiny in this life. So whether you want paranormal or a sweet romance, Sharon writes them all.


Norm Hamilton

Canadian author and photographer Norm Hamilton’s debut novel is a compelling story about a dystopian Canada created by unrestricted gas fracking and irresponsible mining techniques. The novel throws new light on today’s concerns about the future of our environment. Norm’s other book will help hone your digital photography skills.





Jerold Last

This California author of The Roger and Suzanne Mysteries incorporates a clever cast of characters and exotic locations to keep his growing fan base guessing whodunnit. From Uruguay to Chile to California, the books provide local color and a menu of regional specialty foods to die for. Pun intended.










Carmen Amato

Originally from New York, Carmen Amato’s experiences living in Mexico and Central America drive the authenticity and drama of her thriller and mystery novels. Her Emilia Cruz series pits the first and only female detective on the Acapulco police force against Mexico’s drug war and culture of machismo. See why Amazon Hall of Fame reviewer Grady Harp wrote: “For pure entertainment and a gripping story likely resulting in nail biting, read Carmen Amato’s addictive prose. She knows this territory like a jaguar!”









The Water Diaries: My Chat With Matt Damon

The Water Diaries: My Chat With Matt Damon

“Every 21 seconds a child under the age of 5 dies because he or she doesn’t have access to clean water,” Matt Damon told me.

“I know,” I replied, simpering a bit and feeling like an advertisement for my mystery series. “That’s why a dollar from every Kindle book I sell in 2014 goes to water.org.”

Matt Damon didn’t say anything else, probably because I was reading his interview about water.org in the February 2014 edition of InStyle magazine, and he was in Hollywood having a beer with Ben Affleck by the pool. But still, I felt a connection.

I’d decided in May 2012 when I published my first book, THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY, that when I was able to tote up any book sales at all, I’d donate part of my earnings to water.org, the charity Matt Damon co-founded. I like water.org’s approach. They work with local communities and give microloans with a program called WaterCredit to communities so they can “meet specific drinking and sanitation needs.” This means they don’t pursue a one size fits all solution but support what is right for a community, based on that community’s situation. I surfed through their website and YouTube channel and knew that this was the right opportunity to give back.

Related post: How to Turn Books Into Water

Water is fundamental; without it there is no education, no forward progress, no ability to break away from poverty and disease.

January: how did we do?

January 2014 marked the first month of my effort. Here’s the link to the fundraiser. I was joined by authors Sharon Lee Johnson and Melissa Mayberry. We didn’t have any particular sales target but simply cross promoted each other on social media. I also set up a page on my website to explain what I was doing and another to invite other authors to join in.

Bottom line:  combined with my donation from December 2013 sales, we raised enough to supply three people with clean water for life. A slow start, in all honesty, but accompanied by some very positive developments and some lessons learned.

1. I overestimated the amount I’d raise. January saw my lowest Kindle sales in 6 months (post-holiday slump? too little advertising? IDK). In future I’m going to limit the amount of the monthly target goal; I’d rather overshoot than be depressed at a goal that doesn’t get met month after month. 

2. Fellow author Sharon Lee Johnson, who will showcase a different short story for water.org each month, has an amazing work ethic and deep well of optimism. When we traded notes at the end of January, instead of being bummed that we hadn’t raised more money, she was already looking ahead to the next step.  Her sense of purpose and will to succeed are contagious!

3. Having a project hashtag is cool. I created the hashtag #WritingforWater and will use it all year. People on Twitter have been awesome, retweeting my notices about supporting water.org every day. One day @Water gave me a RT, really making me feel like part of the family. 

4. Norm Hamilton, author of FROM THINE OWN WELL, a really absorbing novel set in a dystopian Canada where the country’s water supply has been destroyed by fracking, has pledged to join the Writing for Water Team in March. His book fits so well into the theme of clean water! Incidentally, if it ever becomes a movie, I’m voting for Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Taylor Lautner and Emma Stone to star. (Matt Damon has already starred in an anti-fracking movie, Promised Land, so I’m not going to nag him about this one.)

5. Jerry Last, author of the Roger and Suzanne Mystery Series, will join as well this spring. Jerry’s a live wire on social media, not to mention a fellow dog lover and mystery writer, and his participation will really help out.

Need Your Ideas

I know I could be letting more people know what we are doing, beyond Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Not ever having done something like this before, I’m not sure how to go about letting folks know and getting more authors to join the #WritingforWater Team. If you have an idea or would like to help, please get in touch:  carmen@carmenamato.net.

It’s not all about selling books. As my buddy Matt said, “When you bring water to people in need, the response is always the same: elation and joy.”

I couldn’t agree more. How about you?

Carmen Amato at Spring Hill

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