Bonk’s Bar, cover

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover of Bonk’s Bar, my next novel.

bonkscovpostIt’s amazing how well the designer captured many of the elements of the story in such a small place. Yes, there are spicy crabs and poker games in the story, not to mention Russian mobsters, live music, and a brawl or two. I love this cover. Let me know what you think. See my website for the first chapter. More info about the release of the book is coming soon.

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 12:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fiction Becomes Fact

As the newspaper below tells the story, fiction has become fact. Dechi Bislip, a local fisherman here in Aruba, was separated from his boat off the southeast corner of the island. Bislip comes from a family of strong swimmers and fisherman with roots in the town of Savaneta. Lucky for him. He swam and drifted along the coast of the island, eventually managing to save himself. In my novel, An Island Away, there is a scene where Captain Nathan Beck finds himself adrift at sea a bit farther away than Bislip. However, Beck’s course follows one very similar to Bislip’s. Beck ultimately comes ashore in Savaneta, not far from Bislip’s family homestead. Here is the cover of the Diario that related Bislip’s adventure.


It’s quite amazing when you think about how some people manage to survive. The warm Caribbean is pleasantly inviting, but it can turn on you. Be careful out there. Stay close to shore, beware of currents, and don’t over exert yourself. As Nathan Beck’s grandfather told him, “Always wear your life preserver.”

Interesting Research

MacMillan Judge, Privateer is a novel I work on from time to time. Well, I was doing some research the other day and came across some a very interesting find at the National Archives (of the United States that is).  I was looking for information about the War of 1812 as it is known in America, when the United States fought Great Britain again. The character MacMillan Judge missed out on his chance to serve in this war due to the fact that his father was a Quaker and not only forbid MacMillan to fight, but also ruined his chances by revealing certain information to the United States Navy regarding a renegade action MacMillan was about to undertake.

So in the national archives, I found the report of Colonel Armistead, who was commander at Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the famous British shelling of that facility. This is the event that triggered Francis Scott Key to write the Stars Spangled Banner. Here is the direct link to the page that contains the document:

Below I insert a thumbnail of the first page of this two-page document for your review:

mchenry11Note the clear handwriting of this man, something that always impresses me about previous generations. (My own left-handed scrawl is barely legible, sometimes only to myself and perhaps one other person). Also, he describes the action clearly and almost detachedly, simply related the facts of the situation without much embellishment or exaggeration. I’ve seen log books from previous centuries which include similar writings. It is literally amazing the records that still remain. We can learn plenty of these first hand accounts, which I dare to say are better than what passes for journalism in the current age.

Published in: on February 3, 2009 at 11:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Finished Manuscript

Bonk’s Bar, my next novel to be published, is complete. The photo below shows the stack of pages. Doesn’t look like much, but the whole story is there, from start to finish and everything in between. What a relief!

bonkjpost1Thanks to my editor, I made some last minute changes that truly improved the story. Happiness is having a good editor who makes you’re writing better, even when you thought you had the story exactly the way you wanted it. This has been a pleasant surprise for me during the completion of Bonk’s Bar, as well as An Island Away. Soon I’ll be working with her on my next novel. I’m looking forward to it.

As you can see, I’ve switched from Coca-Cola Classic to Caffeine Free Coca-Cola Classic. The only reason for this switch is that I can turn down the amperage now that this novel is ready to go. I can cruise a little through the one I’m currently knee-deep in writing. Still, it’s Coca-Cola or water and nothing in between (except Jack Daniels but that serves a separate and distinct purpose).

Enjoy your reading and check back for more updates.