Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?

After I released my grandfather’s books on the world, I started reading and then reviewing in earnest. It wasn’t long before I discovered BookBub, and I absolutely loved it, gleaned free books that for the most part turned out to be exceptional, fun, and compelling books. Shortly after came series–lots of them–and I proceeded to read books from one series or another, sometimes exhausting them and looking for more, which might be considered a “con.” The wait for the next in the series–sometimes up to a year–then will you have to get reacquainted?

When you pick up a new book, do you prefer to start a new series or a standalone?

And, if you are starting a series, do you absolutely have to start with #1?

(Yes, sometimes!)

How can you read this? There's no pictures!

Continue reading “Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?”

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#ThrowbackThursday – the Caribbean Gold series – Book Reviews

#ThrowbackThursday on It's Book Life blogRenee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! My TT posts will not come from current ARCs or new releases. Means I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, some of my favorite stories and authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out!

Originally posted January 2015.

The Treasure of Tortuga was originally published in 2001 as the first half of a novel called Brothers of the Sword/Children of Time.” It was my introduction to the author Michael Reisig and I’ve been a fan ever since. With encouragement from his friends, Reisig rewrote and republished the original novel split in volumes. The Treasure of Tortuga became Volume 1 of the series called Caribbean Gold.

Book Blurbs:

Volume 1 of the Caribbean Gold series

The Treasure of Tortuga draws you into an era of dark-hearted men, captivating women, and a seafaring adventure so real you’ll taste the salt spray. The year is 1668. Englishman Trevor Holte and the audacious freebooter Clevin Greymore, sail from the Port of London for Barbados and the West Indies. They set out in search of adventure and wealth, but the challenges they encounter are beyond their wildest dreams…some treasures outlive the men who bury them…”

Volume 2 of the Caribbean Gold series

The Treasure of Time – “In the spring of 1980, three adventurers set out from Key West in search of a lost treasure on the Isle of Tortuga, off the coast of Haiti. Equipped with an ancient parchment and a handful of clues, they embark on a journey…discover the power of friendship and faith, and the unflagging capacity of spirit, and come to realize that, some things are forever…”

Volume 3 of the Caribbean Gold series

The Treasure of Margarita – “Historical and modern adventure, sizzling romance, and Caribbean intrigue… The Treasure of Margarita spans three centuries of high adventure. Beginning in 1692, in the pirate stronghold of Port Royal, it carries the reader across the Southern Hemisphere in a collage of rip-roaring escapades. Then it soars forward five generations, into modern day intrigue and romance in Key West and the Caribbean. A staggering fortune of Spanish black pearls and a 300-year-old letter with a handful of clues set the course that Travis Christian and William Cody embark upon. But it’s not an easy sail…”

Caribbean Gold series by Michael ReisigIrresistibly drawn to tales of treasure hunting, swashbuckling pirates, sailing ships, their courageous crews and the bawdy women who entertained them, I discovered “Brothers of the Sword/Children of Time” written by Michael Reisig in 2001. Envisioning a modern day Stanley McShane, off on another adventure, I witnessed my grandfather’s travels again through Reisig’s historical 17th century multi-masted sailing craft, experiencing much of the same kind of treasure hunting in the Caribbean, as did my grandfather in the South Pacific more than a century later.

Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – the Caribbean Gold series – Book Reviews”

Author Interview: Michael Reisig-Action Thriller Adventures

Today I am absolutely thrilled to launch a new series of Author Interviews that will embark with Michael Reisig, who recently released A Far Road to Key West (my review here), which as of July 13, 2017 is listed in the top one (1) percent of the books on Amazon.com. (And that is one uncommon feat!)Sample Michael Reisig action adventure Road to Key West series.

The man is nothing if not prolific! He has written sixteen books to date, most in an Action/Adventure genre, though he has been known to touch on sci-fi (which I’ve also enjoyed) and non-fiction. A Far Road to Key West is the seventh in the Road to Key West series. Will Bell, one of the two main characters in the Road series, is a composite of one of his buddies, while the self-deprecating Kansas Stamps is the other. The thriller series carries a strong message of friendship, loyalty, and good-natured often humorous rivalries. The books are clean, well-written, well edited, and non-stop, fire-breathing action. Reisig also has three in the Caribbean Gold series, which also carries his friendship theme. He consistently runs between 4 and 5 star ratings and his latest release has garnered an impressive 4.9 of 5 star rating. His covers are riveting and compelling and without further ado, I invite you to meet the modest, but talented Michael Reisig. Continue reading “Author Interview: Michael Reisig-Action Thriller Adventures”

A Far Road To Key West – a Book Review

A Far Road to Key West by Michael ReisigTitle: A Far Road To Key West – The Road To Key West Book 7

Genre: Currently #1 in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, Caribbean & Latin American AND

#3 in Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Men’s Adventure

Publisher: Clear Creek Press

Publication Date: June 18, 2017

Source: ARC from author

A Far Road to Key West – Cover continues the series brand

I became a solid and enthusiastic fan of Michael Reisig after reading “Brothers of the Sword/Children of Time.” The swashbuckler reaches back into time and secures and hides the treasure that following the split of the book into the Caribbean Gold series became “The Treasure of Tortuga” and “The Treasure of Time.” (Additionally, there is a third in the Caribbean Gold series.) The way this author reaches back into time and places you square in the middle of the action is riveting.

In the meantime, I’ve been privileged to become one of his pre-readers, a beta reader of the Key West series of novels, and with this, the 7th in the Road to Key West series, his characters remain those steadfast, but true, robust men brought forward with the same kind of spirit as the former. Continue reading “A Far Road To Key West – a Book Review”

Exaggeration

I’ve written before regarding my author buddy, Michael Reisig. I really enjoy his style of writing, but more than his style of writing, it is  the philosophy behind everything he writes. It’s almost poetic and almost always goes straight to my heart. Reisig just seems to nail both the best and worst in man. He understands it apparently, otherwise how could he describe it so eloquently? The following came in his last newsletter, an observation I felt worthy of reprinting. Enjoy!

ExaggerationMichael Reisig

By Michael Reisig

I was sitting by the fireplace with a friend yesterday, drinking coffee and trying to keep away from the winter weather, and he was telling a grand story. I suspected that without a deliberate attempt to be deceitful, some of the story had been embellished, and given the situation that was perfectly okay. But the thing about exaggeration is that there’s a fine line between being a grand storyteller and a bald-faced liar, and I think the crux lies in how often and how willing you are to bend the truth.

You might think of exaggeration as a custom peculiar to man, but if you study nature you realize that it’s common in animals and birds as well. Mating rituals are often all about embellishing or magnifying elements of their bodies – fluffing out feathers, exaggerated actions, enormous bellows and roars. Actually that sounds to me like a night at the local watering hole.

But the problem with exaggeration is that it ultimately diminishes distinction, because it becomes the harbinger of disappointment and often cheapens the final appraisal. The lesson here being the more you profess, the more you may be forced to produce. Take resumes for instance: there are few of us that haven’t gone to great pains to create an image there – they’re more like grand embellishments of who we’ve been in the past and a wish list of the qualities we assume would be an advantage to the situation at hand (staying within boundaries that won’t make us look like absolute fools if someone actually checks.)

Let’s face it, many times in excitement or indignation, our conversations seem to take on a life of their own – the colorful embroidery of words are out of our mouths before we can stop them, and in a moments of quiet afterwards we chide ourselves for not correcting such blatant corruptions of the truth. I can’t help but be reminded of the quote by Kahlil Gibran: “Exaggeration is truth that has lost its temper.” But at the same time, exaggeration is often nothing more than a tool – used by governments, television networks, politicians, and novelists. We inflate situations, or deflate situations to suit our needs, or simply ignore situations with the exaggerated aplomb of the deaf.

But where is the line between exaggeration and lies? Where is that fine line where truth and conscience take a back seat to ego and exigency. The truth is, it’s an individual territory in each one of us, because no one weighs the value of honesty exactly the same as the person next to them. I have certainly met people with whom there was no distinction between truth and lies, and there was no pride or sleep lost over the matter.

In hopes that all your stories carry a gem of veracity, I’ll leave you with a quote by 19th Century humorist Josh Billings; “There are some people so addicted to exaggeration they can’t tell the truth without lying.”

His last book, “Down the Road to Key West” continues to be a best seller on Amazon. Check out his books or read more about Michael Reisig, the author, here.

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Another Reisig Winner

down-the-road“Down the Road to Key West” is another Reisig winner! Those rascally Caribbean adventurers Kansas Stamps and Will Bell go in hot pursuit of the legendary lost treasure of Pancho Villa. It’s no secret that Villa loved his gold and was a vigorous Robin Hood/political activist. In this fifth book of the wildly successful Key West series, Michael Reisig sends his popular but reluctant protagonists to Villa stomping grounds after a visit from that old Rastaman, Rufus, as they follow an antiquities specialist in possession of an authentic Villa cipher with his knowledgeable and beautiful daughter, Max. Of course Maxine is that wonderful combination of smart, pretty, strong, and independent. Continue reading “Another Reisig Winner”

The Golden Persuader – By Michael Reisig

Michael Reisig, no newcomer to combining whimsical sci-fi with past-faced dramatic action-adventure, has done it again in his new release, “The Golden Persuader.” In his words, it is the story of “modern cowboys, American Indians, big city hoodlums, and some seriously illegal aliens.”

golden-persuader

Dax Dryder was trailering his horse to Abilene with his massive German Shepherd/wolf mix, Smoke, when rain, the dark of night, and his exhaustion forced him to take a break. That night would change his life forever.

Dax and his sister had been raised by wealthy parents. Being groomed to take over his father’s political life, he seriously questioned that role and took the opportunity of his father’s fall from grace to go his own way. It was shortly thereafter both parents were killed in a private plane crash under mysterious circumstances and it sealed the dissolution of what was left of his family’s estate.

What he witnessed before daybreak in the little hollow on that moonless night, however, left him shaken, feeling lucky to be alive, and headed in another direction.

Continue reading “The Golden Persuader – By Michael Reisig”

“James Michener Protagonist”–Stanley McShane

DAY 22 PROMPT: If you could ask anyone in the world to write a blurb for your book, who would it be? Why that person/people?

From Michael Reisig, author of the acclaimed “Caribbean Gold” series including “The Treasure of Tortuga” and “The Treasure of Time”, and numerous additional adventure thrillers in his “Road To Key West” series, comes this description of the …works of Stanley McShane.

“Stanley McShane… the epitome of a James Michener protagonist.

Caribbean GoldI’ve written before of Michael Reisig after reading his Caribbean Gold series. Reisig descriptively penned the exploits of swashbuckling heroes in the year of 1668 as it follows Englishman Trevor Holte and the audacious freebooter Clevin Greymore in their Caribbean adventures. His “Caribbean Gold – The Treasure of Tortuga has been a No. 1 best seller in Amazon’s sea adventures, romance adventure, men’s adventure, and historical Caribbean since it’s release January, 2015 by Clear Creek Press. His works have been optioned for motion pictures, sold to overseas publishers, and produced for ebooks as well as audio.

Humbled and thrilled by his generous praise for the anthology “Sole Survivor” by Stanley McShane due to be released tomorrow, Reisig wrote a stunning Foreword after reading a pre-release copy. Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for fifteen years, as a former newspaper editor and publisher, an award-winning columnist, and a best-selling novelist.Michael Reisig A true adventurer, Michener protagonist himself, he relocated to the Florida Keys after graduating college to establish a commercial diving business, got his pilot’s license, and traveled extensively throughout the southern hemisphere, diving, treasure hunting, adventuring, and writing about his travels. He knows of which he writes!

It is that adventurous spirit, keen eye to detail, and the humorous twist of life that he captures in the heart and soul of his characters deftly brought to life with an intense but compassionate empathy. You can’t help but love his heroes; their strong moral character, as they triumph through the odds.

Yes, it’s truly an honor to have Michael create a blurb for this book–one to which I’m deeply indebted.

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The Happy Surprises in Publishing

Day 17 Prompt: What has been the biggest surprise about writing/publishing your book? What has been the most enjoyable or most memorable aspect?

What has been the biggest surprise? Way too easy! As most people know by now, I’ve published my grandfather’s manuscripts who wrote under the pen name of Stanley McShane. He also painted and sold various paintings with some dubious success under both his pen name and that of J. Wesley Rose. The paintings I have on little pasteboard 8″ x 10’s” were meant to illustrate his books.

  1. Discovering that my mother really knew little about her father’s life; nor had been sufficiently interested enough to ask or get some of the most basic facts.
  2. Reading and writing his manuscripts, discovering the tale we grew up with (that of his being born on board his father’s ship the “Marguerite” off the coast of New York) may not have been wholly true. MargueriteIndeed, in succeeding manuscripts, he offers two additional accounts of his birth–including the one of his birth in a maternity home in New York while his father’s ship was being loaded as it was mentioned more than once that his mother always sailed on the Marguerite (which was named after her) with her husband, the captain. There are no birth records.
  3. Stumbling over 90 year old English common of the day and sailing jargon also common during the turn of the 20th Century as he claimed to have sailed into the early 1900’s.
  4. Walking in his shoes through streets still dusty from the choking red clay powder surrounding ghost and near-ghost towns where he sought riches. Rhyolite Casino
  5. Among the most enjoyable or memorable aspects would have to be the people; those who’ve bought and shared their stories; authors with whom I’ve created a rapport. Among the latter, I would have to note Michael Reisig, who wrote the Road to Key West series as well as my favorite historical swashbuckling, page-turning adventure, the Caribbean Gold series.

But the most amazing and happy surprise?

Sole SurvivorThe discovery of a fella named Gary Long, coincidentally from Idaho where I published the books; claimed he had been in the possession of a McShane painting with one of his poems on the back. The poem stuck with him the rest of his life, although unfortunately the painting went missing. He had apparently been researching the name on the internet and wrote me. I was totally astonished and asked if I could use some of his story in the anthology I’ve been working on. I’ll be sending him a copy that includes his story when I complete and release Sole Survivor“, due out in a few days.

This writing thing–sure opens up the world to you–doesn’t it.

Virginia Williams

Can You Expect Success If You’re Mentor-less?

DAY 4 PROMPT: Who are your writing role models? Whose writing has most influenced you? Who are your writing mentors?

Can You Expect Success If You’re Mentor-less?

I don’t know if you can find success without having a mentor, but totally agree with Patrick Hodges of the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup who wrote yesterday regarding the value of beta readers. Having tried that and being on the giving end of an review swap without the reciprocal receiving end, he’s right in that it has to be people you trust to read your work before it hits the Internet.” Fortunately, I did find one on Goodreads willing to perform that task for the next book, although I’m somewhat reluctant to trade a review of my 168 page historical anthology for his 637 page telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation (sci-fi fantasy) odyssey. The spirit is willing but the eyes are weak!

Caribbean Gold

Okay, I have another Goodreads buddy who has read it and willing to enter a review, but hasn’t yet performed “beta” duties. I absolutely love his work, however, and have read, rated, and reviewed a pre-release for him–Michael Reisig. He would constitute what for me is a role model. The description of his characters leaves you smelling the sweat or feeling the tension, seeing the terror in their eyes–wide with shock. And the way his characters hold and exhibit their respect for each other is a delight, often felt, impossible for most to actually put into words. The scenes are riveting, whether 300 years ago or 40, on the back of an ox on in a Beechcraft skimming the waters of the Caribbean at sunrise. He has written the “Road to Key West” series, “Hawks of Kamalon” among others, but my favorites were “The Treasure of Tortuga” and the Treasure of Time”.

Somewhere between my musings and his mind-blowing, page-turning sagas lies a real artist. Would that I could attain somewhere near that.

Your Exclusive Preview!

Irresistibly drawn to tales of treasure hunting, swashbuckling pirates, sailing ships, their courageous crews and the bawdy women who entertained them, I discovered “Brothers of the Sword/Children of Time” written by Michael Reisig in 2001. Envisioning a modern day Stanley McShane, off on another adventure, I witnessed my grandfather’s travels again through Reisig’s historical 17th century masted sailing craft, experiencing much of the same kind of treasure hunting in the Caribbean as did my grandfather in the South Pacific a century earlier. Fortunately for all of us, however, Reisig began fashioning his sea-worthy tales well before he retired from the sea!

Caribbean-GoldIn the first book of Reisig’s riveting new collection, you are drawn back in time, to an era of dark-hearted men, captivating women, and a seafaring adventure so real you’ll taste the salt spray.

The year is 1668. Englishman Trevor Holte and the audacious freebooter Clevin Greymore, sail from the Port of London for Barbados and the West Indies. They set out in search of adventure and wealth, but the challenges they encounter are beyond their wildest dreams – the brutal Spanish, ruthless buccaneers, a pirate king, the lure of Havana, and the women – as fierce in their desires as Caribbean storms.

And then, there was the gold and the emeralds – wealth beyond imagination. But some treasures outlive the men who bury them…

We come to love these raucous men, their love for each other, and their chivalrous devotion to their ladies. Reisig weaves his storytelling in such compellingly descriptive manner that even were it not your normal read, you’ll be glad for the electricity–oil’s expensive! Continue reading “Your Exclusive Preview!”