Hey Guys,

Hope you’re all hunkered down and staying safe during this crisis. As I’ve been practicing social distancing my whole life, this hasn’t really impacted me as badly as many. My thoughts are with all of you.

Backwater Grave, the latest Kurt Hunter Mystery, is just about finished. It’s on preorder now, and you can get it for just $2.99 until the release, when the price will increase. If you’re new to the series, I’ve got a deal for you. Books one, two, and three in the series are available as a box set for just 99c right now, for a limited time!

Thank you all for the success of Wood’s Destiny. I’ve been really happy with your comments, reviews, and sales. Many of the book’s locations are in the Abacos in the Bahamas. The area was devastated by Hurricane Dorian last September. I pledged to donate all preorder sales to a nonprofit serving the area, and am pleased to announce that I have been talking to WaterMission. They provide fresh water and infrastructure to hard-hit and impoverished areas. Thanks to your support, I’m writing a $2,606 check to them. 

If you’ve read the book, are about to start, or still on the fence, here’s a link to a Google Map that will show you the locations. 

Escape is my favorite coping mechanism for times like these. And for me, that means Nick and the Tides of Fortune gang will be back. There are some big changes coming to your favorite pirates. 

Stay safe,

Steve

Hey Guys,

Wood’s Destiny is live today, or as my daughter would say, it has dropped. If you’ve preordered the book, thank you. It will download automatically to your device. No worries if you haven’t preordered: Destiny will be specially priced at $2.99 for a few days. (DOWNLOAD NOW!)

While most of the action in Wood’s Destiny takes place in the Abacos, of course it’s our favorite deckhand Trufante who gets the book’s conflict started, even as Mac and Mel watch from their new dock. Fans of Wayne Stinnett’s Jesse McDermitt series know that Mac and Jesse are island “neighbors,” and like any good neighbors are ready to help each other out when the need arises. In Wood’s Destiny, Jesse is quick to come to Mac’s aid with his quick thinking, array of transportation choices — and, if needed, fire power.

I’ve promised the preorder revenue will go to a relief fund to help the Abacos, where much of this story takes place, recover from Hurricane Dorian. News media tends to cycle through stories quickly, and though it was only last September, Dorian and the destruction the storm caused has been out of the public’s eye for a while. The immediate relief effort is over, but now comes the heavy lifting of rebuilding the islands. I’m thankful for all of you who have helped out in raising a total of over $2,500 for the islands. Once Amazon provides a final tally, I’ll send you an update with the name of the charity and the amount donated. 

The first draft of Backwater Grave, the eighth Kurt Hunter Mystery, is about 50% complete. Pre-order now for just $2.99 and Grave will download to your device on April 27. Expect some changes in Biscayne Bay as Kurt — who trouble seems to follow — takes on a killer with a very unique modus operandi

Audiobook lovers, don’t miss this FREE offer: Wood’s Ledge, a short prequel to the Mac Travis series, is available here:

We’re deep into winter here in Tampa. The wind is blowing, and cold fronts pop through every few days. It’s truly annoying until I hear from friends, family, and readers in more northern latitudes. I hope the groundhog got it right this year!

Steve

Hey Guys,

Hope y’all made it through the holiday season and are ready for 2020, and still holding onto those New Year’s resolutions. Here in Tampa, resolutions don’t go into effect until after Gasparilla, the yearly pirate invasion, so we’ve got a few weeks. 

I just finished up the third revision of Wood’s Destiny. It is now in the able hands of my editor: Cathy Dee. It was a fun book to write. So far the beta readers have enjoyed it, and when your editor says, “This is way too much fun to edit,” I get cautiously optimistic. 

A good deal of the action takes place in the Bahamas, away from Mac’s home waters of the Florida Keys. The Bahamas are a magical place. A paradise for cruisers, both on small boats and cruise ships, fishermen, divers, gamblers, partiers, shoppers, beachgoers, and more. There is something for everyone. For Wood’s Destiny, most of the story is based in the Abacos, an archipelago in the Northern Bahamas, about 180 miles off the coast of Florida. The area is comprised of two larger islands: Grand Abaco and Little Abaco, as well as a dozen smaller barrier islands. It is on one of these, Green Turtle Cay, that much of Destiny takes place.

We did a bareboat charter there several years ago and really enjoyed it. I have great memories of the area, especially the people. We started at Marsh Harbor, on Great Abaco, and cruised through the entire chain during the week we were there. A lot of my memories are woven into the story.

Here is a Google Map of the area with a few teasers from the book.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Fs3yUl0Ypyah7hFKPQ0L9ax49xivhwF8&usp=sharing

The islands have changed since our visit. Hurricane Dorian made landfall this past September. The devastating Category 5 storm came ashore with sustained winds of 185 mph, and gusts to 225 mph, making it the second-strongest Atlantic system to make landfall ever recorded. The book’s timeline starts just before the storm, continues through it, and ends just after.

Though it’s dropped from the news, the struggle for survival and to rebuild the area continues. I have committed all pre-order sales of the book to support the recovery effort. You guys have been great, and this looks like my best pre-order to date. 

It’s not over, though. The book goes live on February 17. If you haven’t, please help out the people of the Bahamas, and save a few bucks on the discounted price, by buying the book now. It will be automatically delivered to your Kindle on release day.

For those Kurt Hunter fans out there, I just started the first draft of his latest adventure. It should be available in April.

Thanks again for all your support. 

Steve 

Hey Guys,

Thank you all for supporting the release of Storm Surge. Sales have been good and the reviews have been outstanding, with 23 of 24 being five stars. I hope those of you who have read the book will appreciate the background information here, and those who haven’t will be enticed to check it out.

You can find the locations along with embedded pictures here:

The settings and local color in the book are from our trip to Italy in 2017. We spent the first week in Rome, doing all the standard sightseeing stuff, as well as some special tours. The Coliseum at night is a must-see. Fewer lines and a totally different perspective. One of the early scenes in the book was inspired by this visit.

Rome is a great walking city. Even the side streets, which are more like alleys, felt safe, though easy to get lost in. Fueled in the mornings by espressos, and later by Aperol spritzes, we walked an average of 12 miles a day, checking out the standard tourist fare, the cafes, and of course the churches, museums, and ruins. Many are used as locations in the story.

The second week was spent touring Sicily by bicycle. It was a really interesting place, with unique towns and great countryside rides. The weather was outstanding during our October visit, and it was mostly tourist-free. Syracuse was really cool, and Storm Surge has several scenes set there, including a chase through the market with my favorite weapon of all time.

And for those of you who need your dose of Mac Travis, he makes a cameo appearance.

After our Egypt trip this October, which many of you followed on my Facebook page, we’re back in Tampa. My body might be here, but my head is in the Bahamas with Mac Travis and Trufante. The first draft for Wood’s Destiny is about 50% complete. Look for a mid-February release.

A large part of the story is based around Hurricane Dorian and is set in the Abacos. That thin string of islands is a special place to those who have been there. The towns are unique and charming, as are the people. Sans cruise ships, it’s a great fishing and cruising destination.

Dorian changed the islands forever. Through an adventure setting, I hope to take my readers there to see it before and after the storm, as well as show the beauty and resilience of the people. Hurricanes tend to fall off people’s radar after the initial humanitarian effort is complete, but that is only the beginning of the rebuilding process. With your support, I’d like to help out by donating all the proceeds of the pre-orders for the book to a non-profit relief fund.

Happy Thanksgiving for those of you in the U.S., and thanks again for all of your support. We’ll talk again soon.

Tight Lines,

Steve

Backwater Flats

Backwater Flats, the seventh Kurt Hunter Mystery is now available for preorder. The release date is scheduled for July 29th, but this is your chance to grab a copy for only $2.99.

I’ve finished the third pass of the manuscript and sent it to Cathy, my editor. Usually, by this time, I’m sick of the story and think it’s the worst thing ever written. This one continued to entertain me and I think you’ll like it as well.

Part of the reason is my process. Some writers outline their books before they write them (plotters), others wing it (pantsers). I lean toward being a pantser. I’ve tried outlining with different programs and methods, but it all falls apart as soon as I start writing the stories. I like to give my characters space, and often have no idea where they’re going, though sometimes I point them in a direction. It can be painful knowing the story could fall apart at any moment, but it’s also the fun part for me. In this case it was a little scary. I didn’t know who the killer was until Kurt figured it out two chapters before the end.

Next up is Storm Surge, which I hope to release in early October. The series is in the international thriller genre and based on my travels. A few years ago we went to Rome and Sicily. I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Mako and John Storm can get into in Italy.

Thanks to all of you for making the release of Uncharted Water a success. Without you, this would all still be a dream.

Steve

Uncharted Waters Users Guide

Hi Guys,

Thanks for helping make the release of Uncharted Waters, the fifth book in the Tides of Fortune series a success. Writing the book brought me back to several places I’ve visited: The Dry Tortugas, The Cayman Islands, and Bonaire. For those that like to follow along with the book, or see where some of the locations are, check out the Google Map here:

 

Next up is Backwater Flats. It’s one of those stories that have been kicking around in my head for years. This happened close to thirty years ago and I still remember it. Living out by HWY 27 west of Hollywood, we used the ramp at Bayfront Park in Homestead quite often. The ride across the bay added several miles to our day, but the pristine waters outside Cesar Creek are just like the Keys. Coming in from a day of lobstering, diving, and fishing we were stopped by a FWC “road block” in the channel leading to Bayfront Park. Our fish, lobsters, and safety gear were checked and we were released. But, I’ve always wondered, what if the agents were crooked? The book will be the seventh in the Kurt Hunter Mystery series and available in late June. I’ll get a preorder link to you soon.

That’s all for now. Thanks again for being the best readers a writer could ask for.

Steve

Hey guys,

Hope you’re all well. I’m happy to report my health is back on track. We just got back from a week in the Keys: paddling, fishing, diving … Good times. We did the Key West Classic race in our OC2 (2 person outrigger canoe). It turned out to be a grueling 13 miles, but was a totally different perspective of Key West.

It’s hard to escape your past when you’re labeled a pirate in the Caribbean. On the run, Nick and the gang take off for parts unknown in an attempt to reach the Pacific and what he hopes to be a new life. But things are never easy and when the crew is captured, Nick is forced back to his old haunts to save them.

I wanted to give you a heads up that Uncharted Waters, the fifth book in the Tides of Fortune series is live today. Take a trip back to the nineteenth century with Nick and the gang and discover the excitement and dangers of the Caribbean. Though set in the past, my “historical fiction” is more “fiction with history”. Check it out, I think you’ll like it.

Here’s to you, Here’s to me, Here’s to a life of Piracy

Hi Guys,

The second collection in the Murder & Mayhem in Paradise series is available for $2.99 (the first collection, if you haven’t downloaded it yet is $1.99) for this week only. The collection features John Cunningham, Ed Robinson, Deborah Brown, Chip Bell, and David Berens. All proceeds benefit the Writing out Cancer non-profit. It’s been amazing hearing the stories from not only the participating authors, but all of you as well. The message is that cancer screening and testing saves lives-it saved mine. Please visit www.writingoutcancer.com for more information, book links, newsletter signups, and donations.

My writing, and fishing schedules got a little sidetracked when I got acute appendicitis a few weeks ago. I’m back at full strength now and getting Uncharted Waters, the fifth book in the Tide of Fortune series ready for the editor. Nick and the gang are back trying to shed their pirate label. This is the last of the Caribbean based books, but not the series. Just wait until you see where they end up next. You can pre-order it now for only $2.99 and have it delivered automatically to your device on release.

Next up is the seventh Kurt Hunter Mystery: Backwater Flats. I’ll start writing the first draft next week.

Hi All,

The latest and greatest (I hope) Mac Travis Adventure: Wood’s Fury, is now live on Amazon. For those of you who pre-ordered the book, it will be delivered directly to your device of choice. The special release price of $2.99 will be for this week only.

I’ve found that I have little control over my characters. My job is to get into their heads and write their stories. In this case, Mac and the gang, weren’t done with the treasure from Shifting Sands. I took them where they wanted to go and it turned into a fun story and a wild ride.

It’s hard to write about the Keys without including the Capital of Weird and a lot of action takes place in and around Key West. Every time I go down there to research something I come away with another dozen ideas. The locations and people are unique and colorful. From the Key West Cemetery to the bars on Duval, nothing there is “standard issue”. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF WOOD’S FURY LOCATIONS

I’m well into the first draft of the next book in the Tides of Fortune series now. Hanging out with Nick and the crew is always fun. Look for a May release.

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported the Writing Out Cancer project. The first collection featuring Dawn McKenna, Wayne Stinnett, Michael Reisig, Don Rich, and myself was released last week and climbed into the two-hundreds in the Kindle store. To download your copy, or check out what we’re doing please visit: www.writingoutcancer.com.

Steve

Murder and Mayhem in Paradise

Hi All,

An old neighbor of mine once told me that Florida had two seasons: summer and hell. We would be in the “summer” part of the calendar now, but it’s been unseasonably cold. If you can believe it, 60 degrees in the Keys is down jacket weather.

It’s been a busy few months for me. I finished my radiation therapy last week and am hoping the side effects subside in the next few weeks. It hasn’t been to bad though. While I’ve been stuck at home, I finished the first few edits on Wood’s Fury, which is now with the editor. It is available for preorder now, and will be released on March 4th.

I’ve also been busy working on my Writing out Cancer project. The first collection is set and will be released on Amazon (and in KU) for 2.99 sometime in the next few weeks.  Murder and Mayhem in Paradise will feature: Dawn McKenna, Wayne Stinnett, Michael Reisig, Don Rich, and myself. I’ve got several other collections in different genres scheduled over the rest of the year.

After my last radiation appointment last week, I high-tailed it down to the Keys. There was work to be done on our vacation rental in Marathon before the busy season, but I wanted to do some research as well.

Key West is a fascinating location and I’ve often used the “alternate” means of transportation in my books. On the island it is often faster to ride a bike than drive. In my Mac Travis Adventures, I’ve featured scooters, golf carts, bicycles, and the ever present iconic pink cabs. Here are some pictures I took last week.

I’ll be in touch soon when the Writing out Cancer collection goes live.

Steve