Wayne Stinnett, Author

Wayne Stinnett, Author

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My books are taking off!!

Maybe it was because of Christmas and a lot of people bought my books as gifts. But, the vast majority of sales has been ebooks. Early in December I figured that sales of Fallen Palm and Fallen Hunter would be about the same as November and the first week it was. But, when Fallen Hunter launched in the second week of December, both books really took off. Here it is, the last day of the year, and sales of my books for the month of December are nearly 10 times Novembers sales.

How did I do it? I really don't know. I did join one of those auto tweet things and created a few book ads to go out on my twitter feed, but at the time I only had about 100 followers. Now I'm over 1100 followers and I'm still using the auto tweet thing. Could it really be that simple?

At any rate, I'm working on the third book in the Jesse McDermitt series and it's proving to be quite challenging. The first two books dealt with fighting terrorism, but this one will be about the brave men and women who fought it and as a result are now dealing with their own form of terror at home, PTSD. Furthermore, this book will partly be about a subject that's mostly unheard of in civilian circles and taboo in military circles. That being Military Veterans who left the service under "other than honorable" conditions. Yes, dishonorably discharged.

To that end, I've decided that half the proceeds of this book, Fallen Pride, will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. This non-profit organization has made a huge difference in the lives of our returning Warriors who have suffered debilitating injuries on the battlefield. From helping them to find jobs, to providing a vehicle modified for the disabled, even to providing home improvements or in some cases, a brand new home, for those Veterans with special needs.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fallen Palm Cover.

When someone says "Don't judge a book by it's cover", there's more to it than that. Usually, this term is used to convey that a person is actually much different than they look. As a biker, I know this to be 100% true. Some of the biggest, most giving hearts I know are clad in leather, chains and beards.

It can also be taken literally. When I fist published Fallen Palm, I used a cover design and picture provided by CreateSpace. Initially, I thought it looked pretty good. Then a friend, who is a professional photographer and graphics designer, took a picture and created the cover for Fallen Hunter, for me.

I then realized the simple cover for Fallen Palm didn't convey the beauty of the Florida Keys, nor did it convey the fact that the book was an action novel. So, I went back to work, taking pointers and cues from my friend's design and created a new cover for Fallen Palm. Many of my friends said to leave it as it was, that changing it was something that writers didn't do. So, I did a little research and found that many of my favorite writers and books had changed covers.

The final result easily conveyed both the beauty of the group of islands at the southern tip of Florida and the fact that this was an action novel.

The result of the change? A more than a 300% increase in book sales over the previous month. In this case, you truly can judge the book by it's cover.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Signed Copies Available.

For a limited time only, I'm taking orders through my website for signed copies of my books, Fallen Palm and Fallen Hunter. I say signed, instead of autographed, because I'm nowhere near worthy of autographing anything. I earn my living driving a big rig and my hobby is writing.

However, many friends have asked me to sign copies for them and even a few people I don't know. Apparently, there's a group of readers that collect such things. Who knew?

Anyway, I've priced my books cheaper than what you'd pay on Amazon for them, but my shipping costs are higher. Amazon gets a much better shipping rate, due to their volume. With my lower book price, I'm within pennies of the total. But, I have to charge a little more for signed copies, to cover having books shipped to me, then me shipping them to you.

If you'd like to order my books directly from me and save a nickle or two, or order signed copies for a few dollars more, go to my website and you'll find paypal links to do just that. Right now, that's the only payment I accept, but hope to be able to process credit card payments in the near future.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fallen Hunter is Now Available.

   Fallen Hunter, the exciting sequel to Fallen Palm, is now available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.
   It continues the story of Jesse McDermitt about four months after the end of Fallen Palm. Jesse is called upon by a friend to help her father, Carl Trent, who has been coerced into running drugs into Key West aboard his shrimp trawler.
   He's also called upon by his friend Deuce to ferry two of Deuce's anti-terrorist team into Cuba, to gather intelligence on a Hezbollah camp that's planning to attack innocent civilians at the annual Carnaval celebration in Little Havana. In a coincidental turn of events, the Cuban who Trent is smuggling the drugs for is also the person supplying arms to the terrorist camp.
   Once again, fast boats abound, along with some great underwater scenery, before the guns come out and all hell breaks loose from Key West, to Cozumel, Mexico, to the western tip of Cuba.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Free Kindle Download on 12/17.

Fallen Palm will be a free download on Amazon for Kindle users all day on 12/17. It's the exciting first book in the Jesse McDermitt series set in the Florida Keys. The giveaway coincides with the release of the sequel, Fallen Hunter, on 12/18. Click here: Fallen Palm on Amazon.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Four Days to Launch.

In a little over four days, Fallen Hunter is due to launch and I still haven't finished the final edit. I stayed up late last night and got the front and back cover complete, though.

Now I'm sitting in my favorite recliner with the proofed manuscript and am ready. I was planning to go into work this morning, I've been assigned a new truck at my day job and need to move all my gear into it. But, the forecast is for rain all day.

So I'll sit here and go through the manuscript and see what my proof reader has wrought. She's a retired English teacher and truly brutal with the red pen, never missing a thing. If any of my writer friends need a good proof reader, she might be available and I highly recommend her.

Okay, enough dodging the inevitable. Time to get to work.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Most Recent Review of Fallen Palm on Amazon.

By Clear Creek Press

I write Caribbean novels for a living, so I know the good from the bad, and Wayne Stinnett is an author to watch. He writes with authority, and a clean, pure understanding of South Florida that even seasoned writers would envy. Stinnett allows you to taste and feel each situation and this debut of enticing characters and dicey situations makes for great reading. Congratulations Wayne. You're on your way!

Michael Reisig -- author of "The Road To Key West" and "Back On The Road To Key West"

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Release of Fallen Hunter is 6 days away.

With less than six days until the debut of Fallen Hunter, the second book in the Jesse McDermitt series, I'm getting anxious. I'm a new author and when I published the first book, Fallen Palm,I didn't really have any idea what would happen. At best, I figured I'd buy a few copies to give to friends and family and with any luck, I might actually sell a few.

That was two months ago. Currently, Fallen Palm sits just inside the top 1000 in the action/adventure genre and just inside 50,000 overall, on Amazon's best seller list. With millions of books in print, needless to say I'm very happy with that. I've given away hundreds of copies in both paperback and Kindle format and have actually sold over 200 copies.

I'm really humbled that people would actually part with their hard earned money to read my book. I'm hoping that with the release of Fallen Hunter, more people will want to read both.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Signed Copies Available for a Short Time ONLY!!

After a lot of thought, I've decided to offer signed copies for sale on my website. It'll be problematic for anyone that knows me personally. I still work a regular job. Well, not really regular. I'm an over the road truck driver and sometimes I don't get home for several weeks. That'll make it difficult to personalize a signed copy and get it shipped right away.

To that end, I decided to experiment with it and just see how it goes, since I know that I'll be staying closer to home until after the first of the year. If anyone would like a signed copy of my books, just go to my website and click on the appropriate Paypal button.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fallen Hunter Cover Reveal.

I asked a photographer friend, Tim Ebaugh of Melbourne, Florida if he could take a low light image of Orion setting over water for me. He not only nailed the image, but created the perfect cover for me. I'm really impressed with his skills.

Release Date for Fallen Hunter Set

Fallen Hunter will be available on Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle, on December 18, 2013. The cover is finished, proof reading is complete and it's currently undergoing editing and polishing.

Fallen Hunter is the sequel to Fallen Palm and picks up four months after it. This book will take Jesse to Key West, Cuba and Cozumel, Mexico. In typical fashion, his boat Gaspar's Revenge features prominently, along with several other fast moving, wave crashing, boat chases.

This book delves deeper (pardon the pun) into another of Jesse's passions, scuba diving. Vivid descriptions of the underwater reefs of the Florida Keys and Cozumel will make you feel like you're actually there. I worked as a divemaster in both locales and the dive sites that Jesse and his friends dive on are places I've visited many times.

Mark your calendar. It will be available for purchase on Amazon and my website by noon on the18th. Buy both books, they'll make great stocking stuffers for the action/adventure reader in your family.

As always, if you buy the paperback you can download the Kindle version for free and if you buy the Kindle version, you can share it with your friends and family for free.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Cover for Fallen Palm

I spent several hours designing my own cover for Fallen Palm. It was tedious work, especially getting the background around the two rifle rounds that replace the two L's in Fallen. I think it looks a lot nicer and the addition of the two rifle rounds gives it more of an action/adventure feel.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The End.

Fallen Hunter, the 300 page sequel to Fallen Palm, is complete. Well, nearly so. I typed those last two words last night, leaving a cliff hanger I hope my readers will enjoy until the next book comes out in the spring. The first 14 chapters have been edited and I sent the last 4 chapters to the editor last night. She should have them back in a week to ten days. So, I'm looking at a publication date a few days before Christmas. The two book set would make a great stocking stuffer.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How do you kill a woman?

Nearing the end of Fallen Hunter. I'm writing the last chapter now and there's just one loose end to wrap up. I've been thinking about how it should be accomplished and I keep coming up empty. The trouble is, I'm a moral man. The idea of the hero killing a woman is a foreign concept. But it must be done, she's not a good person. I'm thinking it'll be in self defense when she comes after him, but how? A gun? A knife? Those have been done to death, pardon the pun.

I know I don't have many readers on this blog right now. So here's your chance to contribute.

How should Jesse arrange for the female Cuban terrorist/assassin to meet her end?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sneak Peek, Chapter One of Fallen Hunter.

Due out in mid-December.

Mission Ready

            Two men sat across from one another at a table outside a Cuban Restaurant. It was on Calle Ocho, at the end of SW 16th Avenue, in the Little Havana part of Miami. The older man was about average height and weight, neither tanned, nor pale. His dark hair was graying a little at the temples. He wore a light blue guayabera shirt, white slacks and expensive looking dress shoes. He looked at home in his surroundings, which is what he strived to do. The younger man was taller and heavier, but without an ounce of fat. He had fair hair, cut short and tanned skin, with piercing blue eyes. He wore faded jeans, black tee-shirt, a fisherman’s hat, and topsider shoes. Unlike the older man, he stood out in the Cuban exile community, which is what he strived for, also. As people walked by the little sidewalk cafe and looked over, they noticed the younger man, but the older man was nearly invisible.
            “Do you think he’s ready?” asked the younger man, in a serious tone.
            The older man thought about the question, taking a sip of Cuban espresso from a tiny porcelain cup.  “I hope so, we need him. It's been four months. The man can't sit around on that little island, forever. You intimated that the message he gave me for you, meant that he was ready.”
            “Yeah, but that was just a week after his wife died. Most likely, he was still in shock.”
            The older man took another sip of the strong drink and looked at the people moving up and down the sidewalk. It was sunny, but cooler, near sixty degrees. A warm day in DC, where the older man had flown down from, just hours earlier. But here in Miami, that's nearly freezing and the people on the sidewalk were dressed accordingly. “Go down and visit him, Deuce. Tell him what's coming up. Use your own judgment, as to whether or not he's ready. I'm sure you'd like to see your young lady again, too.”
            “Yes sir, Mister Smith,” Deuce said. “He's a tough old salt, so maybe he'll bounce back quicker than most.”
            “Let's hope so,” Smith said. “Because this mission is tailor made for his unique skill set.”
            “How long do we have?” Deuce asked.
            “Your team needs to be mission ready in two weeks, no later.”
            Deuce stood up and walked east on Calle Ocho for eleven blocks, to a parking garage where he'd left his car. He never parked near where he was going to meet someone. He’d been trained that a tail is easier to spot if you’re on foot. Besides, he liked to walk. He had an office about twelve miles away at the United States Southern Command headquarters, in Doral, just north-west of the city. However, he and his men stayed and trained at Homestead Air Force Base.
            As he walked along Calle Ocho, he thought about the events of four months ago. He'd gone down to Marathon to find his dad's old Marine buddy, to help him spread his dad's ashes on a reef that only the two of them had known about. Together, they'd survived a hurricane and then either caught or killed the men who were responsible for his dad's death. Those same men happened to be the target of a terrorist investigation his newly formed team were conducting. During the course of the investigation, he’d tried to recruit his dad’s friend, but only succeeded in getting the man’s wife kidnapped on their wedding day, by the subject of the investigation. She'd been brutally raped and murdered. That's a lot for a guy to get over in just four months, he thought. Even a warrior who was reputed to be one of the best Marine Recon snipers in the Corps.
            While in Marathon, he’d met a woman that he enjoyed being with, that much was true. He still had his doubts if they could make it work, though. He was Team Leader for a Caribbean terrorist interdiction team, with the Department of Homeland Security. Being a former SEAL he was used to sudden deployments, but would she be able to handle it? Not many women could.
            Lieutenant Commander Russell “Deuce” Livingston, Junior drove to Homestead, instead of returning to his office. When he got there, he went straight to the barracks where his team stayed. He met Tony Jacobs and Art Newman, two of his former SEAL team operatives, just as he was parking his sedan.
            “How’d it go with the Director?” Tony asked.
            “He’s insistent on McDermitt being part of the mission,” Deuce replied. “Says it’s ‘tailor made for his unique skill set’. I’m flying down there to meet with him.”
            “Don’t suppose you’ll have time to visit a certain waitress while you’re there, will ya?” Art asked.
            Deuce rolled his eyes at the jab. “I might, but it’s doubtful. Need to get back here ASAP.”
            “Well, tell Jesse we said hi,” Tony said and the two men walked on toward the training building, next to the barracks.
            Deuce walked the opposite direction, toward a small hanger, where a white helicopter with US Customs and Border Protection markings on the side, was warming up. He’d called the pilot on the drive down and told him to be ready. He boarded the chopper and handed a slip of paper to the pilot, who punched the numbers on it into the aircraft’s GPS.
            “You sure about this destination, sir?” the pilot asked. “It’s just a tiny island in the middle of nowhere. No place to set down.”
            “There’ll be an LZ there,” he answered. The pilot nodded, being used to some of the places he was assigned to fly to for these DHS spooks. Most weren’t even on a map.
            The flight took less than forty-five minutes in the Eurocopter AS350 ‘Squirrel’. They flew south-west out of Homestead and climbed to five-hundred feet. Within seconds of takeoff, they were enveloped in a primordial world of water and grass, with the occasional cypress stand and palm tree. There were no landmarks for the first several minutes, then they flew over the small fishing village of Flamingo, then Cape Sable and out over the sparkling turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty minutes later they neared the island marked on the GPS and the pilot came in low from the north-east. He saw two flags flying above a small house, one an American flag and the other, the unmistakable red Marine Corps flag. Noting the wind direction, he flew over the island, turned and approached from the west. From this angle he could see two smaller buildings on the north side of the large clearing, in the middle of the island. He brought the chopper down in the center of the clearing, expecting someone to come out of one of the buildings.
            “Shut her down,” Deuce said. “I’ll be here a while.”
            Deuce got out of the chopper and looked around. The two buildings to the north were new, he didn’t recall seeing them when he was here four months ago. He walked toward the house, which sat high above the ground on stilts. He also noticed that the underside of the house, which had been open, with boat dockage underneath, was now fully enclosed. McDermitt’s been busy, he thought. He walked up the steps to the rear deck and called out, “Jesse! It’s me, Deuce.”
            The only sound he heard back was the ticking of the chopper’s engine, as it cooled. He tried the door and it was locked. From the vantage point of the elevated deck, he looked all around and aside from some pelicans diving on bait fish in the channel, he saw no movement. He walked back down the steps and crossed the clearing toward the new buildings. Both were low structures, built of wood, no more than thirty feet by twenty feet. Approaching the first one, he looked in through a window. Nothing inside, except two rows of bunk beds along the back. He walked over to the second building and looked inside. It was a mirror image of the first. Both had two doors, one in front, facing each other and one in the back, between the rows of bunks. Barracks, was his first thought. In front of the buildings was a huge stone grill, with a large pile of driftwood next to it. Walking between the buildings took him through a new cut in the surrounding brush and trees to a long floating dock extending over two hundred feet to deep water.
            He walked back over to the chopper and the pilot asked, “Nobody home?”
            “Doesn’t appear to be. Take me to Marathon Airport.”
            Minutes later, they were airborne again. The pilot called the airport to request permission to land and in ten minutes, they set down on the tarmac by the General Aviation terminal. Deuce told the pilot to go inside and get lunch, he might be a few hours and that he’d call when he was ready to leave. This was another thing the pilot was used to.
            Deuce walked into the terminal and flashed his credentials at the TSA agent at the arrival desk, then walked on through the building and out to the taxi stand, outside. There was only one taxi waiting there and the long haired, old man stood up from the bench he was sitting on and opened the front door, for him.
            “You know the Rusty Anchor?” Deuce asked the driver.
            “Sure, man,” the driver replied. “Five dollars.”
            Deuce handed the man a ten and asked for his card. The old man handed him one and they drove off. Five minutes later, they turned down the familiar, crushed shell driveway and through the overhanging casuarinas and gumbo limbo trees. He got out and walked into the bar.
            “Russell!” the auburn haired woman behind the bar exclaimed. “Why didn’t you call to say you were coming?”
            “Hi Julie,” he said. “Didn’t know I was coming, until a few minutes ago.” She ran out from behind the bar and hugged him tightly. Then looked up and kissed him deeply, right in front of all two customers. Neither of them even noticed.
            “How long can you stay?” she asked.
            Deuce looked down into her hypnotic brown eyes. She was a sight to behold. She took his hand and led him over to the bar. “Beer?” she asked.
            “Tea would be nice,” he replied. Her eyes lost a bit of the sparkle when he said that, the significance meaning that he couldn’t stay long. She’d grown used to his arriving unannounced and his sudden departures, over the last four months they’d been seeing each other.
            “Sorry,” he said. “I flew down to meet with Jesse, but he wasn’t at his house. Any idea where he might be?”
            “I don’t suppose you can tell me anything about it,” she said and he shook his head. “He hasn’t been here since the week after..... what happened.”
            The memory of those three days was still fresh in her mind. It wasn’t something a young woman could throw off very quickly. She had been maid of honor at their friend’s wedding. The bride, Alex, had been kidnapped and brutally murdered the night of the wedding. It was the groom, Jesse McDermitt that Deuce had come to see. He’d been sort of recruited by the DHS, to ferry their teams to and from places they needed to go. He owned a big charter fishing boat that was the perfect cover. Not a good way to start a recruitment, losing your wife on your wedding day, he thought.
            Just then, a short, very round man, with a bald head and thick red beard, walked through the back door, talking with an older, black man. The two of them stopped when they saw Deuce.
            “Julie!” the fat man said. “What’d I tell you about letting Squids in my bar?” Then he walked up to Deuce and put him in a big bear hug.
            “How ya been, Deuce?” he said. “Hope you can stay for supper. Rufus here just bought some fresh hogfish from one of the local spear fishermen.”
            “Welcome bak, Mistah Livinston, sar,” said the old black man, extending his hand.
            Deuce shook his hand and turned to the fat man and said, “Thanks for the invite, Rusty. But, I was looking for Jesse. Any idea where he’s at?”
            “Up at his house, I’d guess,” Rusty replied.
            “No, I was just up there.”
            “Wah I heah,” Rufus said, “he be hepin Carl Trent wit a trouble he be havin.”
            “Trent?” Rusty asked. “Where’d you hear that?”
            “Jimmy was tellin mi bout it,” he replied.
            “Who’s Carl Trent?” Deuce asked.
            “Owns a shrimp boat down to Key Weird,” Rusty said.
            “Key West, huh?” Deuce said. “Is Jimmy around?”
            “He just left a few minutes before you got here,” Julie said. “Probably at Angie’s houseboat. Carl is Angie’s dad.”
            “Can I steal your daughter for an hour, Rusty?” Deuce asked.
            “Sure, y’all run along. Me and Rufus can mind the store for a while. Just be back here by 1600, or that hogfish will disappear. Oh, and if ya find Jesse, there’s been a lawyer fella coming around looking for him. Let him know, okay.”
            “Sure will, Rusty,” Deuce said.
            Julie took off her apron and took Deuce’s hand, as they walked out of the bar. They crossed the shell parking lot, then walked around the end of the small marina, toward a path through the woods.
            “Rusty’s fixed up the canal,” Deuce said.
            “Yeah, we have three liveaboards staying here now,” Julie said. “Plenty of room for one more,” she added, elbowing Deuce in the ribs.
            “I stay on enough boats as it is, babe,” he said. “Why would you want to live on one?” They’d been talking about getting a place together, but he was leaning more toward an apartment.
            “Living on a boat would be so romantic,” she said.
            “Yeah, for about a week.”
            They walked on through the woods and came out onto Sombrero Beach Road, which wasn’t on any beach that Deuce could tell. Another hundred yards further and they turned onto Sombrero Beach Boulevard. They walked hand in hand past Dockside Lounge and out onto the docks. They saw Jimmy and Angie on the sundeck of her houseboat and Jimmy quickly smushed out a joint they were smoking.
            “Hey Deuce,” he called down. “Hey Julie. Y’all come aboard.”
            They chatted for several minutes, Jimmy looking anxious, because he knew that Deuce was a federal agent.
            Finally, Deuce said, “I need to find Jesse, Jimmy. Rufus said y’all might know where he is.”
            “Yeah,” Angie said. “He’s down in Key West, trying to help my dad out of a jam.”
            She went on to tell them how her dad had been having trouble making ends meet by pulling shrimp and had been approached by one of his deckhands on the subject of picking up pot and bringing it in for a friend of his. This made Jimmy even more nervous. She said that her dad did a few runs and then decided he wanted out and didn’t want to do it anymore. The deckhand’s so called friend turned out to be a Cuban smuggler and had threatened her dad and family. Jesse had gone down there to take over running the shrimp boat and get the smuggler out of their hair.
            “Honest, man,” Jimmy said, “Carl ain’t the smuggling type. He just got in a little over his head, man.”
            “Don’t worry, Jimmy,” Deuce said. “I’m not here to pop anyone for dope. I just need to see Jesse. I don’t begrudge a man doing what he has to do, to take care of his family. Shrimping’s a hard business.”
            Turning to Julie he said, “Can you take me down there? I came in on a company chopper. Might blow Jesse’s cover, me arriving down there in it.”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fallen Hunter is nearly complete.

Working on Fallen Hunter this weekend. It's been a challenge, because there are a lot more characters. I hope I was able to develop them as well as those in Fallen Palm.

Again, the setting is the Florida Keys. Primarily the Content Keys, north of Big Pine Key, but with visits to Key West, western Cuba, and Cozumel, Mexico. The book starts about four months after the end of Fallen Palm and Jesse is called upon to help out a friend. The plot evolves and thickens, as he moves to Key West for a week and once again, involves international terrorism.

I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Fallen Palm will be a free download starting at midnight tonight, until midnight Sunday.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Post traumatic stress?

Jesse is changing since his wife was murdered. Once a laid back, easy going man, he's now having trouble maintaining an even keel. He seems to be more easily angered, but minutes later is making a surprise supper for the crew. Being on a boat with someone that isn't completely together can become a problem.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fallen Palm debut.

My first novel, Fallen Palm, is now available in both paperback and e-book format on Amazon. I never dreamed I'd actually get a book published, much less be able to sell it, but dreams do happen.

This whole notion started way back in 1988, when I was an estimator for an air conditioning company, in Florida. I wrote a computer program that did all the manual calculations to determine equipment size on new homes a whole lot faster. Since I was a salaried employee, I was left with a lot of free time, sitting in my windowless, corner office. I've been an avid scuba diver, fisherman, boater and sailor most of my life, and with a lot of free time, my mind wandered. Since there was a computer right there (remember, this was the late 80's, think Basic not Windows), I wrote several short stories about a Marine veteran, who went to the Florida Keys to dive, fish, drink and raise hell, in general.

His name was Jesse McDermitt. It's a name I just grabbed out of my head, but I'd always liked the name Jesse. Anyway, Jesse was a tall, handsome man that got into a lot  of trouble, but always seemed to come out on top.

Somewhere in my garage there's a box, with a bunch of 5-1/4" floppy disks, where those stories still reside. But, Jesse's exploits were always right there in the back of my mind, hidden behind the clutter of mortgage, job, kids, house and cars.

It was suggested by several friends, that I should write a book based on my journeys and experiences. I've traveled a bit and explored just about every part of Florida. The Keys are by far, my favorite part of the state. Did you know that at one time, the Keys seceded from the Union, to become the Conch Republic and immediately applied for assistance from the federal government as a third world country?

So, at the urging of my wife, who seems to think I'm some kind of story teller, I took Jesse and made him a bit older and retired him from the Marine Corps. I served in the Corps and lived for a time in the Keys, so a lot of the stories were based on actual events and places. Anyway, Jesse's older now, maybe a little wiser, I'll leave that to the readers to decide. He's had two failed marriages and retires to the Keys to fish, dive, drink and raise hell, in general.

I was nearly finished with my first book and had a working title of "Lynx Key Reign". I wasn't real happy with it and my wife told me that at some point the right title would jump out at me. It did. In the very last sentence, of the very last paragraph. My action/adventure novel, Fallen Palm, was a reality. I sent it via email to several friends, who insisted it needed to be published.

Now, I'm just a truck driver and we're not exactly the Forbes or Gates of the world, so money was the big stumbling block. Our son in law worked for Amazon and he suggested I use a website that many publishers use, called CreateSpace. I've worked with computers quite a bit (remember the program I wrote in the '80's?), so navigating the site wasn't that hard.

On October 8th, 2013, Fallen Palm became available on Amazon, as a self published novel. A few friends bought copies and I bought more than all of them combined. I shipped copies to friends and family that first week. It's now starting to sell a little more. It seems a few of James W. Hall's, Carl Hiaasen's and Randy Wayne White's fans like it.

I was told I needed a website, so I'm working on that. I was also told I needed a blog, so here it is. What next? Do I need to run for Congress? No, I don't think I'd survive that, without a lot of bail money.