Current Releases

The Pirate History of Monterey Bay
My new book, The Pirate History of Monterey Bay, is now available on Amazon, Amazon Kindle and soon (hopefully) in a few select book stores and gift stores around the Monterey Peninsula.  Why an entire book on Monterey Bay pirate history?  Well, for one, I (like many others) enjoy reading about pirate history.  Secondly, in my opinion, the Monterey Peninsula has more pirate history than any other locale on the West Coast of the United States—even if the pirate history here cannot match that of the Caribbean and Atlantic Coast.  At 150 pages, it’s a humble work, but hopefully includes pirate-related history that even local history enthusiasts are not aware of.  Granted, for maximum enjoyment of the book it helps to have visited—or you plan to visit—California’s Monterey Bay area, but even if not, pirate lore is interesting in almost any context.
The Bleeding Door
In 1868, the body of a young man, one of southern Appalachia's most feared and despised feudists, is  found inside a deserted millhouse.  Though the death of this violent man is welcome news to those who live in that region of southern Appalachia, few could imagine that long-ago events at a frontier Methodist academy in central Kentucky – as well as a succession of circuit riding preachers, a troubled Shaker village, as well as a mountain community plagued for decades by witches, ghosts, “haynts,” and deadly clan warfare—all led up to the death of this reviled figure, Enoch Slone.
 
Some ten years earlier such an ending would have seemed inconceivable to Enoch. In 1859 he and his friend, Seth Waller, both find salvation at a local church meeting. After that, with local preacher Jim Anderson serving as their mentor, Enoch and Seth vow that they will both become preachers in the mountain community where they live.
 
But in the early years of the 1860’s,  Enoch and Seth’s friendship, as well as their vows to preach, fall by the wayside. In fact, with the coming of the Civil War and post-war clan violence in the hills, Enoch and Seth find themselves fighting on opposite sides.
 
By the mid-1860’s, guerilla warfare and feuding have subsided in the hills. However, Enoch embarks on a lone spree of violence that shocks even the war-hardened mountaineers of the Crooked Sam Valley.  Seth is among the many armed riders who search for Enoch, determined to kill him on sight—a search that finally ends when Enoch’s body is found inside the Kinsey Millhouse.
 
Though Enoch will be remembered as a frightening figure of legend who still haunts the Crooked Sam Valley, Seth Waller returns to the faith he once embraced. In fact, Seth will serve as a beloved minister and patriarch in the hills until his death in the modern, coal-mining era of the 1930’s.
 
REVIEWS:
 
“Historical mysteries are not my normal choice of reading. I was hugely surprised how drawn in to the story I became….. The author did a superb job in bringing the characters and the background of isolated mountain communities to life. I was pulled in almost immediately and stayed captivated until the very last page. ”…… BOOK LOVERS BOOK REVIEWS Linda Strong (Librarian, Mesa, AZ) five stars
 
Critique: “Original, entertaining, and an absolutely absorbing read from beginning to end, The Bleeding Door is very highly recommended for community library…”… Midwest Book Review
 
“Historical fiction and mystery all wrapped up into one!”(5 stars)… posted Amazon Book Review
 
“I received this book from Goodread and at first I was like oh this is not something I would enjoy. Boy was I wrong. I was drawn into the story line of a few mysteries but a lot of what life was like in the Appalachia starting back in 1799. I found myself growing very fond of the people and families in this book and felt more like it was a true story then fiction. I ended up totally enjoying this book and would recommend it to my friends…”….. Diane from Goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
A succession of preachers confront the often violent world of 18th century Kentucky and 19th century southern Appalachia.
Writing the Book
 If any of my written works illustrates the “love having written” axiom, it is The Bleeding Door.  When I started writing it in 1983,  I had no idea if I was up to the task of completing it—after all, I was 20 years old and had never written a novel.  It had just occurred to me while sitting in my American Lit. class, that it would be “cool” to write my own novel. That I would one day hold a physical copy of my mountain story in hard copy novel form, seemed like a distant dream when I first starting scribbling the beginnings of the story in a notebook. And considering that it’s finally coming out in 2015, I guess it was!
 
The Hatfield and McCoy feud was a huge influence in writing the story—my interest in that saga goes back to when I was thirteen. Over the years I delved into a feud accounts written by both Hatfields and McCoys, as well as books written by outside parties. Before my “feuds” fascination, however, I was privileged to meet Myrtle Anderson, an elderly woman who attended our church in Wilmore, KY. In 1975 (I was 11), she invited our family over to her house where she showed us slides of her missionary and teaching days in the Kentucky mountains beginning in the 1920’s.