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Katherine West-Penkwitz shares her journey into drugs and the justice system in “Handcuffs in the Sand”

The author’s non-fiction novel is well-received by readers for its authenticity.


“This exciting non-fiction novel that will change your thinking. Perhaps the drug life and the justice system are much different than what you believe.” Katherine West-Penkwitz

“My journey, though now eons away, remains a part of me forever,” said Katherine West-Penkwitz in her compelling non-fiction novel “Handcuffs in the Sand.” The book, independently published through Amazon, tells readers it is not only hardened criminals who are implicated in notorious drug cartel operations but also smart, good-looking kids who would grow up to become valedictorians and college graduates.
West-Penkwitz’s revelations will surely come as a shock to parents who are raising straight-A, well-adjusted children. “Smart young, good-looking kids were caught up in the American-Colombian Drug War,” said the author. “These beach kids, valedictorians and college graduates, teamed up with the fishermen and Florida locals to move some of the biggest weight this state has ever seen.”
Good grades and a wholesome image are not guaranteed to keep the children away from the drug menace. For others, even though they may not use drugs, they are into it for the money and the thrill and adventure.

West-Penkwitz added: “Florida residents were oblivious to the boatloads, literally, of weed being brought from time to time. So, we decided to casually get in the game with a small movement of a few hundred pounds or so of pot. We then quickly upgraded our habits and means and became an international drug import/export operation, as most smuggling stories often go. We meet all kinds on our fantastic journey… The fast-paced life was good to us… But life has a way of turning on a dime and upsetting the lifestyles of the high and higher.”
After years of navigating a wide range of dangers and evading the authorities, she was finally busted in the middle of 1991. She served jail time, which experience made her clean and sober and reflect on her life’s direction and social awareness and injustice, among others. She wrote “Handcuffs in the Sand” to deliver her message and warning to readers.

She said: “This story needs to be seen by all ages. The young adults need to know how things can go wrong even when you attend the best schools. Addictions are very hard to stop as we all know and if this book can help just ONE person get over it or have a different outlook, then it works.”
Read Katherine West-Penkwitz’s real-life story of drug addiction and transformation in “Handcuffs in the Sand.” Order a copy through the author’s website at
Await the public display of this thrilling non-fiction novel at the upcoming Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 13-24, 2019 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.
Handcuffs in the Sand
Author | Katherine West-Penkwitz
Publisher | Amazon
Published date | January 8, 2019
Paperback | $15.95
About the Author
Katherine West-Penkwitz was born in Lakeland, Florida on June 21,1954. She spent most of her childhood on the West Coast of Florida and extended periods in Colombia, South America. Her academic upbringing never hinted at the wild times to come. After studies in Germany, life in Amsterdam, and a tumultuous period with her first husband, consequences came in waves. Hard lessons, including federal prison and facing her drug addictions reshaped her thinking. Today, Katherine enjoys a happy family life with her second husband and their daughter in Sarasota, Florida. More than anything, she found being a wife, swim mom, writer and master yoga instructor makes her feel fulfilled.

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