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.)

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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

Rosepoint #Reviews – February Recap

Irish flag gif by giphyCan you believe it’s March already?! March always reminds me how this whole writing, reading, blogging, reviewing thing got started–with my grandfather, of course!

Well, Faith and Begorrah (and btw, Begorrah is a form of “By God” in Irish slang), sure reminds me of the beautiful, musical way he pronounced my name. I don’t ever remember him, however, using the term “Erin Go Bragh,” spelled variously and used in wildly different meanings. Erin, of course, is the Angelical assassination of Eireann, which translates to “Of Ireland.” (The Irish word for Ireland is Eire, so says Patrick Murphy, good Irish lad.)

Ireland 9 by gliterly.comMy grandfather, another good Irish lad named Patrick, professed a few more colorful terms, such as “Blatherskite,” given him by his uncle following his kiss of the Blarney stone three times. Apparently, that bestowed him full right to blarney on as he wrote the stories I published for him. Ah, but I digress…

February? I only read and reviewed five books. I KNOW–embarrassing, right? Falling down on the job, no doubt due to my distraction with Bookstagram. However, I was successful in enlisting the aid of my hubby, that Associate Reviewer I call “the CE”, who managed three books of his own. And I did manage three Throwback Thursdays, highlighting authors D. W. Ulsterman, Rick Mofina, and Melissa Stevens (not to be confused with Melissa F Miller from yesterday).

Shadow of a Century by Jean Grainerfor The Love of Ireland by Judy LeslieI’m looking forward to participating in Cathy‘s Reading Ireland challenge, as noted in Lynne’s Fictionophile March post. I already have a couple books for the challenge, one by Jean Grainger, Irish author, Shadow of a Century and another titled For the Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie. It’s a chance to get a couple titles off my TBR!

March hopes to see the coming of spring and also marks another of my birthdays. Gulp–and this one will be a biggee. I’ll toast with some Bailey’s Irish Cream! So what did I read and review in February? (click) Continue reading “Rosepoint #Reviews – February Recap”

10 Amazing Sub-Genre’s in Historical Fiction

10 amazing thingsHistorical Fiction as a literary genre is generously broad and notoriously ambiguous in that the beginning of man can be included in the same spectrum of writing as our own recent Wild West. It was bound to happen then that sooner or later sub-genres would be broken out.

What is Historical?

In that it depicts and closely associates the period social conditions, manners, clothing, and environmental factors, the story can capture any century or millennia from the dawn of man. Generally, “historical” refers to publications written at least 50 years after the event. Considering an extended time frame, therefore, an author would usually be assumed to be writing from research rather than from experience. (In the relatively unusual case of my grandfather’s manuscripts, however, they were written some time shortly after his “sailing, mining, prospecting, and cowpoke days,” over 90 years ago but only recently published by myself.)

So if it’s all historical fiction, what are the ten sub-genres? Continue reading “10 Amazing Sub-Genre’s in Historical Fiction”

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”

Amazon Prime Day – July 12th

Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day

Member of Amazon Prime? Billed as “Amazon’s Largest Event Ever,” Amazon Prime is preparing for July 12th, their monster sale to attract new prime membership. While my Amazon thoughts always focus on books, particularly for Kindle, there are actually over 100,000 items set to go on “Black Friday” level sales. This one-day only global sale will include everything from books to BBQ’s. This is their second annual Prime Day event where worldwide members “ordered 398 items per second,” last year beating out their own Black Friday sales. Deals will start every five minutes through the day.

Of course, there is a special deal for Kindle Unlimited, which is a $10 monthly subscription service, for up to 40% off. This doesn’t just include books, but ebooks and audiobooks as well. So are we jazzed or what?? Just when I was thinking of offering a sale of Stanley McShane books, they are promoting a monster sale. And yes, these specials extend to the UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Belgium, and Austria. Love it!

So what could go wrong? Continue reading “Amazon Prime Day – July 12th”

Freaky Friday Features

He Guest Hosted (Just) Once on SNL!

Known to millions of early television viewers as “Uncle Miltie,” Milton Berle was among the American TV pioneer stars during “the Golden Age” of TV. Born in 1908, he was credited with a number of witty quotes, several (including the one above) were the most popular: “Laughter is an instant vacation,” “If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands.” But I think my favorite is also a poem:

“I’d rather be a ‘could-be’ if I cannot be an ‘are’ because a ‘could-be’ is a ‘maybe’ who is reaching for a star. I’d rather be a ‘has-been’ than a ‘might-have-been’ by far; for a ‘might-have-been’ has never been, but a ‘has’ was once an ‘are.” 
― Milton Berle

Starting in silent films and vaudeville, he was an actor and comedian. He died in Los Angeles of colon cancer in 2002 after a long and illustrative career. ©2016 Virginia Williams Resource Box

Craft a Feature Post

Okay, this is one I can get into up to my well-endowed and rapidly aging hips since it follows my new discovery–creating pins for Pinterest. The current assignment from Blogging 101 is to craft a recurring feature post. blogging-university

Perfect–and I know JUST what I’ll call it:

 Freaky Friday Features

cocos-island-pinWhile the title is not terribly original, the first one posted is a pin I created today using of one of the latest discoveries from my Grandfather’s treasure trove, a painting of Cocos Island. (Only freaky, I guess, if you consider the original painting is close to 90 years old.) Yes, another subject I’ve covered fairly well on this blog. The island is a fascinating study actually borne of all the stories relating to pirate treasure, including the Loot of Lima. There were a number of pirates who buried their treasure on this island, however, one of which was Edward Davis, the subject of my grandfather’s sail to the island.

There are a number of reasons I like the idea of a recurring feature: Continue reading “Craft a Feature Post”