Cocos Island Treasure by Stanley McShane – a #BookReview

It’s March and I’m participating in the Reading Ireland Month for 2019. This one is an action-adventure fiction by Irish author and artist Stanley McShane. He was my grandfather and you can read about the discovery of his manuscripts, paintings, and poems in my “About Us” page here.

March!

 Title: Cocos Island Treasure by Stanley McShane

Genre: Sea Adventures, Historical Fiction

Publisher: Rosepoint Publishing

  • ASIN: B007D58KZC
  • ISBN-10: 1468177338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468177336
  • Print Length: 204 pages

Publication Date: October 8, 2012

Title Link: Cocos Island Treasure

Book Blurb:

Cocos Island Treasure by Stanley McShaneWhere did those rasty, barbaric theft-driven pirates bury their treasures in the 17th and 18th Centuries? Perhaps just a little south of the main South Sea shipping lane in a secluded harbor where a short paddle through shark-infested waters to the steamy, fetid jungle island could yield fresh water, food, and gold! Turn-of-the-20th Century fortune hunters from the schooner, Bessie, hunt where only ghosts inhabit–or are they all merely apparitions? Captain Dan was ready to retire until he gained access to a secret cipher–one that he felt sure was authentic enough to reap him millions and willing to risk one more salty adventure to seek the insanely rich treasures of Cocos Island.

Editorial Reviews:

“This book has it all, adventure, mystery and a touch of romance.” – Catmarie

“Cocos Island Treasure is an old school nautical adventure. This work is a window into the by-gone era where maps that detailed the bounty of famous pirate treasure was indeed plausable.” – S Mellen

“Not my usual subject of interest, but a recent documentary on Blackbeard peaked my interest. The author really seems to know his stuff about the subject, and the island itself.” – mpytlikhusb

“I haven’t read a good pirate novel since I read the Sea Wolf as a teenager. Cocos Island Treasure was even more interesting because it is a true story.” – Terry W Sprouse

“It was quite a trip to go back in time, not only considering the setting of the story, but the book’s birth three decades ago. A cross between Stevenson’s Treasure Island…full of the language of the day.” – N Lombardi Jr. author Justice Gone

My Review:

My grandfather wrote this book back in the late 1920s. My mother can remember him tapping out the manuscript with his two index fingers on an old Underwood–older, I’m sure, than the one I use for my logo. While I may be a bit prejudiced, I rated it a five star because I know he was there, walked that beach (Chatham Bay), climbed through those jungles and did his best not to disappear in the many bogs and crevices. (He later noted in a letter what a fun little trip it was!)

The author described this island down to the gnat’s eyeball. Since I’ve researched the island, I’ve found descriptions echoing his down to the wild pigs that were brought to the island and allowed to go feral. He wrote the manuscript over 90 years ago, turning his sailing adventure into a novel affirming the well-known rumors or stories of all the pirate treasures buried on the island, including the “Loot of Lima.” The treasure stolen by Captain William Thompson, commander of the Mary Dear, was purportedly the largest treasure ever hidden by pirates. So many stories abound regarding the captain and whether or not he survived. More stories published regarding whether or not the treasure was found. That treasure, however, was not the only one to be buried on the island by pirates. (The island is now closed to tourists or treasure hunters.)

It’s a fun, quick read and takes you back almost a century to sail on the schooner, Bessie. The book was written using sailing jargon and colloquialisms of the day and was kept faithful to his original manuscript. The narrative, however, remembers another famous pirate, Edward Davis. (It is said that he was one of the earliest buccaneers to have buried treasure on Cocos Island where he anchored in Chatham Bay as well. Cocos Island is approximately 340 miles southwest of Costa Rica.)

There were two additional sea adventures published, one describing the gruesome art of whaling in Lucky Joe and another after his year-long fishing experience out of Grimsby, England he called Sons of the Sea.

It is the anthology published in 2015, Sole Survivor, in which I pulled together several of his short stories, introduction to Lucky Joe, paintings, and poems. With the possible exception of Cocos Island Treasure, all are available in both paperback and ebook, now for free through Kindle Unlimited. (Busters of Bitter River is available only in ebook form.)

Add to Goodreads

Patrick John (Stanley McShane) Rose

See the amazing story of the painting that provides an updated cover version of Sole Survivor here. (Three of the above covers were provided by his paintings.)

The Author: Stanley McShane is the pen name of Patrick John Rose and the author of one novel published during his lifetime in 1936, “Bitter River Ranch” by Phoenix Press. Patrick was born in 1872 aboard his father’s vessel, the Marguerite, and was the sole survivor when she sank. He sailed as a captain aboard his own ship until some time after the turn of the 20th century, whereupon he caught Alaskan gold fever and ventured north. It was in the late 1920’s/early 30’s that he eventually settled down to write about all of his adventures–both land and sea. “Cocos Island Treasure,” “Sons of the Sea,” “Lucky Joe,” and “Hot Air Promotions” were published posthumously through Rosepoint Publishing by his granddaughter. An eBook historical western novella was published in May, 2014 called “Busters of Bitter River.” McShane’s short stories, poems, and paintings were gathered in a fiction adventure anthology called “Sole Survivor” in 2015.

The vocal music background on the book trailer is provided by Marc Gunn, self-proclaimed Irish and Celtic Music celtfather. In addition to his albums, he offers a delightful podcast which was available for download on iTunes. Otherwise, check him out here.

My grandfather had an unusual writing style, often filled with slang, sailing terms, and sensitivities (or lack thereof) of his day. Have you attempted to publish one of your ancestor’s manuscripts? I’d love to hear about your journey!

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Advertisements

Rosepoint Reviews – October Recap

Happy Halloween

October bouquetSo many people love October! Month of wildly changing seasons from warm to cool or cold and green to red or orange and gold. Once again, I’ve been reading and writing furiously, totaling nine books including many ARC’s, as well as #ThrowbackThursdays highlighting some of my old favorites. Also, last month I started posting to #Bookstagram as part of an #Instagram feature using autumn flowers, squash, and the wild grasses of fall to create some fun and colorful pictures.   Continue reading “Rosepoint Reviews – October Recap”

#CoverLove – In With the New – Or Maybe Not

#Cover Love – we do love our colorful, eye-catching book covers! It’s the first, all-important impression of any book. A yea or nay. Pick up and investigate further or lay down and look for something else. Unfortunately, we are a “judge the book by the cover” sort of people. As with any artistic endeavor–we know what we like or don’t like.

And if you’ve been reading and reviewing for any length of time, you’ve seen the evolution of covers as they have progressed, usually denoting a new edition of the book. What sparked the change in cover? Colors? Fonts? That sense of “branding?” Continue reading “#CoverLove – In With the New – Or Maybe Not”

Historic Sea Adventure Artist

Wait….what? I read the short, simple email over again. Then I read it to my husband. Could this be real? The owner of one of my grandfather’s paintings was asking if I was the family of the artist, P J Rose? Still not sure what to do, I texted my son. “Mom,” he texted back, “just write her back.”

The "Marguerite"
The Marguerite

Not really the first time someone has connected with me regarding one of his historic sea paintings, as Gary L of Boise, Idaho, contacted me several years ago regarding a painting he had obtained as a young man with a powerful poem on the back. Unfortunately, it had gone missing, but he recognized one of my grandfather’s pen names; i.e. P. J. Rose, Stanley McShane, J. Wesley Rose.

 

In this particular case, Diane Brown of California wrote, “I have inherited a PJ Rose painting, The Sole Survivor. The sinking of the Marguerite off the Cape of Good Hope in 1890. My grandfather got the painting from PJ Rose in San Francisco. My father inherited it and it has hung on our wall as long as I can remember. I am looking for a family member who might be interested in having this piece of history back in the family.”

Continue reading “Historic Sea Adventure Artist”

Building the Platform

The Day 27 prompt is: What are the three most important things you are doing to grow your platform?

Having started this process with NaNoWriMo in 2011, I’ve been through the gamut of ideas, following rules and advice, and letting the creative juices flow until they became a trickle.

Several initial ideas were dumped: Garbage

1) Forget salt-water taffy at book signings. The kids grabbed a handful and the adults weren’t into taffy.

2) Started with inventories of flyers, bookmarks, postcards, and business cards. It was a toss up how many were found floating around the store, left quietly on a display shelf, or at the check-out. I’ll finish out the current stores, then redesign the business cards.

3) Laminated posters–found difficult to display without investing further in an easel (and I found irritating those authors who had as they captured the eye and blocked the traffic).

What were the three suggestions acted upon and still being implemented? Branding

1) Reading about the idea of “branding”, I went back to my book covers and changed the author’s name font so they were all consistent.

2) I’d established a blog and paid for custom domain. I’d created several very simple websites (including one for my Women On Wheels® chapter and this would presumably involve a shopping cart).

  1. A) Decided instead to create an Etsy and Pinterest account.
  2. B) Opened a separate Facebook account for Stanley McShane with a Rosepoint Publishing page and a Stanley McShane page on my personal FB account.
  3. C) Opened a Goodreads account in the name of Stanley McShane.

Would a database or email marketing list be effective? Possibly, but difficult  for me to consider or implement. I haven’t wanted to muddle a book sale with further requests assuming my ever-growing twitter followers and blog subscribers have first shown the interest and made the contact.

Other than the above, the current push for promotion and marketing strategy will have to solidify the platform, one which is hoped sufficient to provide a solid base for the current launch: “Sole Survivor-A Fiction Adventure Anthology” (released Monday).

Resource Box

“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.

Resource Box

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