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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for all your support for Shifting Sands. The book broke into the top thousand of Amazon on its release which is mostly due to you guys. The next Mac Travis Adventure: Wood’s Fury (release 3/4) is available for preorder now. Without giving away any spoilers, I ended up going back to Shifting Sands for the backstory. If you liked Wood’s Tempest, be sure to check it out.
Many people think the Florida Keys end at Key West. In fact, just the craziness stops on the island. The Dry Tortugas, located seventy miles to the west, are a small cluster of islands that are the real end of island chain. The area is renowned for its crystal clear water, fishing and diving. Some of the key scenes it Wood’s Tempest, Wood’s Fury, and Shifting Sands take place there.
Garden Key is the most famous, hosting the iconic Fort Jefferson. Construction of the fort began in 1846 and continued until 1875 when the project was abandoned. Built from sixteen million bricks shipped from Pensacola, the fort sits in what at the time was a strategically important area separating the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and the shipping traffic between the Gulf Coast and the eastern seaboard.
During the Civil War, the Union had Key West and Fort Jefferson as its only strongholds in the south. The fort was instrumental in blockading Southern shipping. It was later used as a prison with its most famous resident being Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who set the broken leg of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
Due to some design flaws the fort has fallen into disrepair and in now a National Park. You can visit by taking a ferry or seaplane from Key West. Last summer we took the plane ride (research is tax deductible!). It was a great day filled with history and snorkeling.
Hope you are all well and looking forward to a great 2019. I really want to thank all of you for the success of Wood’s Tempest. It’s got almost fifty five star reviews and is doing very well in the charts.
Shifting Sands, the fourth book in my historical fiction series is out now. If you want to find out the backstory for Wood’s Tempest, I really think you’ll enjoy this one. The series, though set in the 1820’s, is not heavy with detail and bogged down with nineteenth century fun facts, though there are a few. I like to think of the books as adventures, set back in the day. It’s historical Fiction with a capital F not H.
I’m just about done with the first draft of the next Mac Travis Adventure, Wood’s Fury, which should be released in early March. I’ll be sure to send out the link when it is available on preorder for a discounted price. Up next is Backwater Flats, the seventh book in the Kurt Hunter Mystery series. After that, I plan on heading to Italy with the Storms.
For those of you following my health saga, I’m just over halfway done with my radiation therapy for prostate cancer. So far I’m feeling good and most days I ride my bicycle to the treatment. After that, it’s a wait and see kind of thing for a couple of months.
Writing out Cancer, the non-profit I am setting up, should be live soon. I think it will be a great way to get the word out about the importance of screening in exchange for some great free reads. The support from my fellow authors had been heartwarming, and I’m excited about the first compilation.
I want to thank you all for making the release of Wood’s Tempest such as success. Shifting Sands, the backstory for the treasure, is now available for pre-order, and will be released on January 15th. Right now, I’m about halfway through Wood’s Fury, the ninth Mac Travis Adventure.
Looking back on 2018 it has been a year of change for me. For starters, we moved from California to Florida. I lived in Tampa from 1985-2000 and am glad to be back. We’re really enjoying fishing and paddling the water here as well as the closeness to the Keys.
I’ve had some health issues as well. Normally, I am a very closed person. Coming from a family where most things are on a “need to know basis”—meaning no one needs to know anything, it is hard for me to publicly speak about myself.
In this case, it’s important.
A few years ago, at age 57, one of the legends in Northern California paddling died from cancer. l’m a competitive outrigger canoe paddler as well. We are the same age and I knew him. This and my girlfriends persistence were the reason I got tested. With no symptoms and negative exams, I was diagnosed with and aggressive form of prostate cancer (Gleason 4+4) and had a radical prostatectomy in September 2017. Nothing is currently showing on my PET and bone scans, but my PSA never went away and now has risen enough to warrant radiation.
A simple blood test saved me.
I’d like to utilize you guys, as well as other authors—with or without cancer—to get the word out about how vital cancer screening is. I came up with Writing Out Cancer as a way to get the word out about the importance of cancer screening, and offer a free anthology of books as a reward. I’m working with several other authors right now to make this happen.
Hopefully we can make an impact.
Wishing you all the best for you and your families this holiday season.