Reading Mark Twain’s short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County at an early age made a lasting impression on my writing. Watching Jacques Cousteau explore the undersea world armed with Aqua-Lung and underwater camera fueled my love for the sea. The scenes and stories were mesmerizing to a young boy. I feel the influence of both storytellers when I create Charley Manner adventures. Amp up the pace, throw in some high-tech gadgets and weaponry, substitute the frog with a man-eating shark or other menacing denizen of the deep, wrap it around an invincible hero and you have Trouble on the Straits (TOTS) and the sequel, Deep Strait.
I write action adventure thrillers, injecting my more memorable life experiences into the main character. Once, while SCUBA diving in dark waters, something very big bumped me. The creature was not clearly visible in the murk sixty feet below the surface but my imagination filled in the blanks. In TOTS, I start with Charley out on the Florida Straits sitting in his brand new $18,000 fish-fighting chair with a bottle of Gran Patron Platinum tequila and a Great White shark tugging on his line. He ends up in the water with the beast but you'll have to read the book for the rest. And Deep Strait brings more dangers, natural and manmade, in the depths halfway between the Keys and Cuba.
Charley is six-feet-four-inches tall, 220 pounds of lean power, encased in a charbroiled tan and topped with salt-crusted hair lightened by Florida’s scorching sulphur sun. He's a swash-buckling, ass-kicking former Navy SEAL with take-no-prisoners attitude. Hooyah! Charley tells tall tales to his bar mates just like me except I'm only six feet tall and not so tan. My shark encounters, not so much.
But enough about me. Start reading about Charley in the prequel, Hellhole in Khyber, to see how capture and torture in Afghanistan affected his attitude on life. Book #1: Trouble on the Straits, can be read as a stand-alone story or a natural sequence from the prequel. Book #2, Deep Strait, will be out in June. I hope you enjoy reading Charley's adventures as much as I do writing about them. Subscribe for updates on my website.
Charley Manner is separated from his SEAL team during an ambush in the Khyber Pass. His war dog is wounded and one mate is killed. The rest of the team is extracted under heavy fire, leaving Charley behind. Captured and tortured by the Taliban, he is left to die in a hole filled with human… [Read More]
Charley Manner’s retirement in the Florida Keys is full of surprises. A shark sinks his boat. A dead man with a treasure map bobs up from nowhere. And a Cuban drug lord shows up demanding the map. Charley battles the drug cartel to rescue family and friends caught up in the drama, leading him across… [Read More]