Recent Releases

Category: Recent Releases

For about 12 years now, the majority of my days have been spent sitting at my writing desk, creating sentences, hemmed in by a fortress of books on sailing ships & shipwrecks, the British Royal Navy and the naval War of 1812, listening to the movie scores of Master & Commander and Pride & Prejudice (among others) that transport me back in time to a world that has long since passed away, and help me to imagine lives that were once played out on the high seas.  

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a book published?

It all starts with the author. In the case of my book Blue Monday, about the Montreal Expos (and the infamous day in October 1981 when Rick Monday of the Los Angeles Dodgers hit a home run off Expos pitcher Steve Rogers in the ninth inning, giving the Dodgers a berth in the World Series), the journey began in October of 2016. I had initially thought of writing another general Expos history book, but then I decided to zero in on the 1981 team – the only one to make the playoffs in franchise history.

If you grew up in Windsor, you probably first learned about Prohibition through stories told to you by your grandparents. These bootleggers and their wild adventures along the Detroit River are a part of local folklore. As a kid, I didn’t really care how much of it was true – I just thought they were great stories. Then along came Marty Gervais’ The Rumrunners, full of photos, newspaper excerpts, and interviews, and that made it real.

After a long, satisfying career writing two-minute television news stories, the seed for my first book was planted on a memorable day as I embarked on the job of a lifetime.

 

It was April 2011.  I had just landed my dream promotion:  London-based Europe Bureau Chief for Global National.  The taxi was waiting to take me to the airport to begin my posting, my first major assignment to cover the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  As I said my goodbyes, my wife Isabella handed me a present.  It was a journal with a green leather cover.

 

“I’m sorry to inform you that your husband has been shot and killed.” Words no wife should ever have to hear. Worse yet when the murder was the random result of a case of mistaken identity. Wrong spot, wrong time – gunned down for driving a vehicle similar to one owned by a gangster being hunted by an opposing gang.

 

If you’re a fan of The Dark Knight Trilogy, I’m sure you’ll agree that Batman Begins pales in comparison to The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight rises. The villain doesn’t hold up and there isn’t the sense of intrigue into the trials of Bruce Wayne that there is in the second two films.

But the first film is still important because it contains one of the most memorable lines in the series. And save for a few stunners from Arnold Schwarzenegger in Batman & Robin, it might be the most memorable line in any single Batman film:

I was introduced to Jackspeak when I began my 26-year naval career in HMCS CHIPPAWA on July 1st, 1980. I quickly learned my training base was called a stone frigate, floors were decks, the ceiling was a deckhead, walls were bulkheads, and the upper ridge of my boot sole was called catwalks.

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