My First Book, ‘Magic Carpet Seduction,’ Now Available…Come Enjoy the Ride!

Front cover of Magic Carpet Seduction

Finallyafter what feels like forever—my first book, ‘Magic Carpet Seduction,’ has been published and is now available on Amazon. Yay!

It’s been a long road getting here. I can’t even remember when I began the book. And the crazy journey it’s been will be the subject of another post. For now, I’d simply like to celebrate (man, do I need a drink!) and to tell you all about this baby I’ve just given birth to.

Cute, isn’t she? Or he? Or is it twins, actually? Boy and girl.

Front cover of Magic Carpet Seduction

Front cover of Magic Carpet Seduction, my first book!

What’s the Book About?

This is the copy that will appear on the back cover of the paperback (which will available in the summer):

Close encounters with Carpet Casanovas in Turkey.
A quest to meet a wizard-like hermit in the Lebanese mountains.
Political intrigue in a Chinese classroom.
A marriage proposal on a Nicaraguan chicken bus.

Vicariously experience these and other adventures when you travel with the author, Lisa Egle, to China, Latin America, Turkey and the Middle East. As she takes risks off the beaten path, random moments lead to unexpected journeys. Each ride on the carpet—a tale in the collection—is unique, so you never know where you’ll land next.

Highly entertaining and thought-provoking, Magic Carpet Seduction helps you discover how traveling to far-flung destinations can bring you closer to yourself…

What’s It Like To Ride the Carpet/Read the Book?

Step Inside the Bedouin Lounge and Find Out!

One of my favorite things to do is hang out with friends and swap stories about pretty much anything—especially travel. So imagine that my book is the equivalent of an invitation to a Bedouin lounge of sorts.

Bedouin Lounge

If you decide to join me, we’ll get comfy on the cushions and share some tea (or coffee or whichever beverage you like). When you’re ready, I’ll start telling you my favorite travel tales—and together, we’ll take a magic carpet ride to 9 countries on 2.5 continents (if you count Turkey’s European half). For part of the journey, we’ll transfer to a chicken bus, of course. :)

Man w c bus

Wherever you are when you read it, you’ll be right there with me! You’ll meet the characters, see the sights and enjoy the same adventures—and misadventures.

Where Will the Carpet Take You? To 9 Countries!

The stories in this book are from 9 countries:

• Mainland China
• Latin America (Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico)
• Turkey (Western and Eastern)
• The Middle East (Jordan, Syria and Lebanon)

Expanded Itinerary

Ride I: Silence is Golden (People’s Republic of China)

Itinerary: Enter another world—the Chinese province where Chairman Mao Zedong was born—and experience an English-teaching mission that gets complicated by lingdaos (young Communist Party leader-students) and a mysterious chalk drawing in my classroom. Be there with me as I struggle with freedom of speech issues while attempting to connect with my students’ hearts and minds.

Ride II: Viva la Revolución (Central America/Mexico)

Itinerary: Like road trips? How about bus trips? Join me and a friend on a month-long journey from Nicaragua to Mexico to countries where the revolución lives on. Vicariously experience younger-man temptation, heart-warming encounters with locals and yes, a 12-hour chicken bus ride full of quirky characters. You—and your butt—will never be the same!

Ride III: Turkish Delight (Turkey)

Itinerary: Step into a black comedy with a dash of romance (imagine if directors Woody Allen and Pedro Almodóvar worked together). Sleep in a fairy chimney cave, meet the Carpet Casanovas and pass through terrorist checkpoints on a Turkish chicken bus equivalent. The climax will leave you wanting a cigarette—and a stiff drink!

Ride IV: 40 Arabian Nights (The Middle East)

Itinerary: What’s it like for a woman to travel solo in the Middle East? Find out when you accompany me on an offbeat homestay with a Circassian family in Jordan, followed by Arabic classes in Damascus and a stint as an extra on a TV show in the Syrian desert. The ride ends in Lebanon, with a quest to meet a mysterious hermit who may hold the key to understanding life itself.

What Kind of People Will You Meet?

All kinds! Mostly locals, families included. Lots of random strangers. (And sometimes other travelers.) Central American cheese smugglers. A famous actor. A strict Arabic teacher. A Lebanese hermit. Those are just a few…

Here are a few more I’d like to introduce to you right now…

Edelma—the only female taxi driver on Isla Ometepe (Nicaragua)—who became a friend after a shaky first meeting…and ride.

Edelma at the wheel

Adnan, the Syrian barber I ‘tried’ to speak Arabic with…let’s just say there were many laughs!


Tara, a Circassian-Joranian girl whose family I stayed with…because I took a risk and (sort of) played the Kevin Bacon Game.

Tara n the mannequins

What Do Other Riders/Readers Think of the Book So Far?

Here are excerpts from some of the reviews that have come in so far…

“When I want to escape, I want to travel to another world. I want to meet characters I would not ordinarily meet, taste things I would not ordinarily taste, stare down trouble, meet my heroes and heroines, and…be surprised from one page to the next. This is what Lisa Egle does for the would-be traveler. She immerses us in distant places and invites us to dance with strangers in strange lands. This is adventure. This is where I want to be.”

—Christine Redman-Waldeyer, D Litt, Editor of Adanna Literary Journal


“Alternately hilarious and harrowing, Lisa Egle’s high-spirited Magic Carpet Seduction is a traveler’s trunk crammed with memorable people, sights, sounds and surprises. Like her fellow solo female travelers Gertrude Bell and Freya Stark, Egle doesn’t let rules and regulations get in the way of collecting a good story. It is the author’s ability to find humanity in people that makes this magic carpet journey especially seductive to me.”

—Burt Kempner, Writer/Documentary Filmmaker


“The author’s engaging storytelling entices the reader into stepping on the magic carpet and traveling vicariously with her. The colorful vignettes seduce the reader into needing to find out if she missed the plane, got arrested, or found love. Her prose is entertaining, educational, and often humorous. I thoroughly enjoyed these vicarious travels with Lisa, and I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in cultural anthropology, sociology, or a desire to experience the exotic spiciness of life!”

—Michelle Geisert, Asst. Professor of Sociology
Atlanta Metropolitan State College


“Magic Carpet Seduction is richly atmospheric nonfiction that gently pulls the reader in to be a fun and willing partner in crime. From fearless taxi drivers to angels of mercy sent to scam, Lisa’s adventures will keep you at the edge of your seat and turning pages. The only downside to this book is that there is an end.”

—Maria Falvey
Founder/Editor of Accelerated Stall Travel Blog

Am I Tired? You Bet I Am!

I threw in this photo a) because it’s going on the back cover of the paperback and b) I hope to eventually feel and look relaxed, as I did when this photo was taken. I think it was shot when I was in Ecuador 2 summers ago. Let’s hope the energy returns soon!

There are many reasons for my extreme fatigue right now (post coming later)—one of which is that I did all of this myself. I self-published this book and started my own publishing company, MayaFuna Press. I’ve got a lot of other projects I’ll be working on and may want to publish collections of other travelers’ tales in the future. Stay tuned!

Me bf fatigue set in

Me…before the burnout and fatigue really set in. :)

Thanks/Appreciation to Many People, Including You

There are so many people out there I’d like to thank. Most are listed in the Acknowledgements section of the book.

However, I’d like to thank you, my readers, right now…and other travel bloggers who have given me advice along the way. So many of you have visited this blog over the past few years and commented on stories and encouraged me to keep writing.

Tea, sugar and a dream–as they say in Turkish. Teşekkür ederim. Thank you! :)

Additional thanks to the folks over at Scrivener, the company whose software I used to format the book. Jeffrey in Tech Support got back to me promptly whenever I had a question and I appreciated that. And thanks to Derek Murphy of Creativindie Covers, who designed my cover. I’m really pleased with the work he did!

And special thanks to an Aussie named Robert Watson who’s a great coach and editor who’s been incredibly supportive since I first finished the rough draft. I’ll never forget all he’s done…

Ready to Take the Ride? Get the Book Now!

Here’s a link to Amazon–to the page where you can download a free sample and/or buy the book. At the moment, it’s only available via Kindle. If you have an iPad or another tablet (or a smartphone), just download the Kindle app and you’ll be good to go. If you have a Kindle, then you’re already set. By summer, the paperback will be available, too.

Thanks for following my blog and for reading my book if you choose to. I hope you enjoy the ride! I promise there will be plenty more in the future!

Any Glitches (or Typos)? Let Me Know

I’ve checked the book many times, but glitches are not uncommon. If you purchase it and have any issues, let me know. Also, if you spot any typos/formatting errors, I’d also like to hear from you. (And I apologize.) The book has been professionally edited and proofread many times. Still, things happen. You can write me at chickybus (@) yahoo. Thank you.

30 Responses to My First Book, ‘Magic Carpet Seduction,’ Now Available…Come Enjoy the Ride!
  1. Maria
    May 22, 2013 | 7:43 pm

    Lisa, Quite the chicken bus ride to get here but now Magic Carpet Seduction is out there – congrats!!!

    I see it, in my mind’s eye, riding the breeze to places I’ve not yet been. It’s read by people I’ve not yet met. One day we’ll meet and Magic Carpet Seduction will be the brilliant read that instantly offers us common ground.

    That’s my wish for you. Well that and I’ll add, Keep it between the ditches CB Driver! 😀
    Maria recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – PeruMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 22, 2013 | 11:00 pm

      Thanks so much, Maria! I love that first line…and all that you’ve said! As always, I appreciate you interest and support. May the bus and the carpet take you anywhere and everywhere you dream of. :)

  2. Rohrerbot
    May 22, 2013 | 8:37 pm

    Congrats!!!! Very exciting! Hope you get some travel going this summer. I’m off to Guatemala in a week! Must find birds!
    Rohrerbot recently posted..Now I Lay Me Down To SleepMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 22, 2013 | 11:02 pm

      Thanks so much! Guate, huh? Sounds great. I still don’t know where the heck I’m going. First it was Europe. Then Cuba. Now I’m thinking Mexico.

      All I know is that I may need a ‘vacation’ this time. I’m tired! :)

  3. Gray
    May 22, 2013 | 10:19 pm

    I’m soooo excited for you, Lisa. I know how long you’ve been working on this. It is such an accomplishment. I already bought my copy. Can’t wait to read it now!
    Gray recently posted..Norwegian Epic vs. Norwegian BreakawayMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 22, 2013 | 11:03 pm

      Thanks so much, Gray! I met you on Twitter way back when–right after I started my blog and had just returned from the Middle East. I was still in the process of writing those stories and wrapping up my rough draft. Feels like it was ages ago. Actually, it was! Anyway, I’m very happy that you’ll be reading the book. I hope you enjoy it!

      And remember–that’s not Donald Duck in Ride #1! He he he…

  4. Nat
    May 23, 2013 | 1:02 am

    Congratulations girl – hope you had more than one sparkling drink to celebrate!
    Nat recently posted..A Cold and Wet Day in DoganbeyMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 23, 2013 | 10:15 am

      Thank you so much, Nat!! I truly appreciate your interest (and your help with those certain questions I had). I have not had a drink yet (well, just one the other night), but today, I plan to have a few! I like the idea of something sparkly–yes!!!

  5. Jenna
    May 23, 2013 | 1:46 am

    Ya! Congratulations!! What an accomplishment. I look forward to reading it later this summer :)
    Jenna recently posted..Toronto Off the Beaten PathMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 23, 2013 | 10:08 am

      Thank you, Jenna!! I’m happy that you’re going to read it and look forward to seeing what you think! Hope all is well…

  6. Laura @Travelocafe
    May 23, 2013 | 5:07 am

    Congrats! Good luck with your book! It looks amazing!
    Laura @Travelocafe recently posted..Terrazza House, Kyoto. That Time We Stayed in a Japanese HouseMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 23, 2013 | 10:08 am

      Thank you, Laura. I hope people enjoy it! It’s a trippy ride. :)

  7. James
    May 23, 2013 | 5:11 am

    I admiring you! I’ve been wanting to write my own book for ever!!!
    James recently posted..3 Travel Tips for BackpackersMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 23, 2013 | 10:07 am

      Thanks so much, James! You can do it–but it’s a ton of work. I’m SO tired.

      I’ll be posting at some point re: how I did it (steps involved and software used). You might find that interesting…

  8. Dyanne@TravelnLass
    May 23, 2013 | 10:11 am

    Woo and HOOOOOO! Way.ta.go, girlfriend!

    I just popped that honey into my Kindle and can’t WAIT to read every word.

    HUGE congratulations Lisa – and your own publishing company too, good for you!
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Last of Laos: Moseying in Luang PrabangMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 23, 2013 | 10:24 am

      Thank you so much, Dyanne! I’m honored that you’re reading it. Can’t wait to hear what you think!!! I’m sure you’ll have lots of laughs..he he…but you’ll also have some intense moments, too.

      As for the small company…yeah, I thought–why not. Lots of good travel writing out there, cool stories, that could/should be read by others. Perhaps I can make that happen (now that I know how to format, etc.). Will be interesting to see where it all goes.

      For now, I think I need a ‘vacation.’ I seriously would love to plop my butt down on a beach or to stay in a cabin for a few weeks and do nothing really. I may end up doing that. Maybe Mexico (choosing carefully, of course.)

      Thanks for your readership and friendship–I appreciate both!

    • CB Driver
      May 24, 2013 | 8:44 pm

      Hi, Dyanne. Unfortunately, I caught a few typos and made a couple of changes since you made the purchase. :( If you’d like, I can give you a new copy by putting it on a site from which you can download it. :) I think I can make that work. If you want that, no prob. I’ll send the link to your private e-mail.

      If you’ve started it, I hope you’re having a fun ‘ride’! :)

      • Dyanne@TravelnLass
        May 25, 2013 | 5:03 am

        No problem Lisa, I’ve not yet started reading it as I’m in the middle of another book just now (LOL, I’m a purist that way – only one read at a time for me). I should get to your “Magic Carpet” (love the name, I mean – what’s not to like about something that has “magic’ in it, yes?) next week. And I’m sure a few typos won’t bother me.

        Meanwhile, in honor of your new book – I just ordered myself a shiny new back-lit Kindle Paperwhite – woo-hoo! My old Kindle has been defunct for a good while now, and I’ve been reading on my iPhone. That actually works surprisingly well, but… the only problem with that is that of course an iPhone needs to be recharged frequently, whereas a Kindle charge will last nearly 2 months!

        In any case, looking forwarding to an inaugural read of your book on my new techno toy.
        Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Last of Laos: Moseying in Luang PrabangMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          May 25, 2013 | 9:41 am

          Thanks for being so cool/understanding! I hear you re: one book at a time. It’s much better that way!

          You’re getting the Paperwhite? How nice. That will be great, I’m sure. The iPhone battery issue is SO annoying. Drives me crazy sometimes. I must say that I like having a Kindle (just have the Touch) very much. Makes it easier to travel with multiple books and to read without being distracted (the way I was on the iPad).

          Cheers and enjoy the ‘ride’! :)

  9. Helen Blide
    May 23, 2013 | 6:57 pm

    Hey Lisa,

    Wow, you made it while taking a tremendous step or should I say flight into a successful endeavor. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. When do I get my copy? Congratulations!!!!!!

    • CB Driver
      May 24, 2013 | 8:42 pm

      Thanks, Helen–appreciate the kind words! Yes, taking flight! The bus is on the road. The carpet is in the air. You’ll get a copy when the paperback is ready! Thanks again! :)

  10. Sabina
    May 23, 2013 | 7:32 pm

    What an accomplishment! I’ve been following along as you’ve talked about writing this book, and it’s great to see that you’ve finished and it’s available. It’s also very cool that you started your own publishing company. I hope you get a ton of sales and – who knows – maybe a big publishing company will pick it up once they get wind of it. :)

    • CB Driver
      May 24, 2013 | 8:41 pm

      Thanks so much, Sabina! Hard to believe we’ve been chatting for close to 3 years now. And to think, it all began because of the Middle Eastern connection we share. Know what’s cool? Right after I returned from the Middle East, I knew exactly how the book would end–with the final story set in Lebanon. It all just fell into place.

      Re: the publishing company…could be very cool to publish others. Time will tell. As for big company picking up my book, anything is possible.

      Thanks for all and I hope that if you read the book at some point, you enjoy it–cheers!

  11. Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures
    May 26, 2013 | 12:59 am

    Congrats Lisa! It’s been such a long road and I’m so proud that you’ve finally come to this point!

    And your own publishing company, huh? I may have to hit you up about that sometime in the future… 😉
    Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures recently posted..Photo Essay: A Hike Through the Queen’s GardenMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 27, 2013 | 8:50 am

      Thanks so much, Aaron! Seems like yesterday that we first met up in New York and chatted about this and other goals. Crazy how time flies.

      Re: the company…tiny, for sure, but yeah, why not? Maybe a collection of other travelers’ stories at some point–including one of yours! :)

  12. Abby
    May 30, 2013 | 10:46 am

    Yay Lisa!! Congrats! I can’t wait to read it. You’ve been talking about it for so long, and anyone who just completes a book deserves a medal. This is so, so very exciting!
    Abby recently posted..Mixed feelings on Coco’s growing upMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 30, 2013 | 12:51 pm

      Thanks so much, Abby–for your interest and enthusiasm–really appreciate it!

      PS: I redeemed my certificate for my item at Novica–a really cool shirt. Thanks!!

  13. […] A post I wrote that describes the book in depth […]

  14. Sky
    June 8, 2013 | 10:50 pm

    Yay! So excited for you – I can NOT wait to read this! (Unfortunately, it’ll have to wait until pay day in a few weeks.) I remember your post about this way back when was one of the first things I read on your blog so it’s exciting to finally see it released!
    Sky recently posted..Sky is (still) a Big Scaredy CatMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      June 8, 2013 | 11:41 pm

      Thanks so much, Sky! I’m psyched that you’re psyched about it. Reading this put a smile on my face!

      I’ve been posting about this a long time, no? Feels like forever…

      Thanks for your interest in it. Hope you enjoy the book!

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