Saturday, February 8, 2020


“Every one of us are presented with numerous opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations”.
 I’m not sure when I first heard this quote or who said it, but it stuck with me.
A few years back I was watching a documentary on the Shroud of Turin. For centuries it has been claimed as the burial cloth of the crucified Jesus Christ. Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, that documentary was the inspiration for my thriller, Threads of the Shroud, a modern-day mystery thriller surrounding that ancient piece of cloth, perhaps the most holy relic in Christianity. It so happens the House of Savoy, who had ties to the Knights Templar, had possession of the cloth when it was nearly destroyed in a fire on the night of December 3 and the morning of December 4, 1532.
Historical records show that the shroud was damaged when the silver reliquary, in which it was stored partially melted, dripping droplets of molten metal on portions of the cloth. Pope Clement VII selected a convent of Poor Clare Nuns to repair the damaged areas which was accomplished during a fifteen-day period in April and Early May 1534. Historical records mention the burned areas were trimmed and patched. Thus, when the cloth is viewed, the triangular shaped patches are clearly visible to this day. There is no historical record of what happened to the threads that were trimmed from the burned areas? My inquisitive mind posed the question, what happened to the threads of the shroud?
This question was the inspiration for the novel, Threads of the Shroud, that seeks to answer it.
Now that I had a title for a book, I needed a story. I wanted a modern-day mystery, not one that was set in ancient times, so I needed to bring the story into modern times. I also wanted the bulk of the story to take place in the United States. A little creative thinking and I was able to accomplish this through by linking a character in the story to the invasion of Normandy in WWII. I won’t lie, I had recently finished reading The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, so that book could have given me the inspiration to take a mystery hundreds of years old and make a modern-day mystery from it.
One of the most often asked questions from my readers is, where do you get all those ideas?  For me it comes from an inquisitive mind. When I see something that poses a question, I ask myself, “what if”. From there the possibilities are endless. A documentary on TV, a newspaper article, a random thought. Ideas for a novel are everywhere. Now you know where I got the inspiration for Threads of the Shroud.
You can check out this novel and my many others on this link.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Subduction, book 5 in the Scott Tanner Thriller Series

For those of us who live on the West Coast, the threat of a tsunami is very evident. If you travel along Hwy 101, you cannot go more than a mile in some areas without seeing a sign reminding you that you are entering or leaving a tsunami zone. To be prepared for such an event, is paramount. It may consist of a go-bag with a three-day supply of necessities.
To warn residents, there are tsunami warning devices reminiscent of the air raid warning sirens used on WWII. If there happens to be an earthquake that can be felt, there my be very little time for evacuation and the warning sirens may not be heard at all. In the case of a sever earthquake it is necessary to evacuate to high ground immediately.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone lies about 60 miles off the Oregon and Washington coast paralleling the two states. On January 26, 1700, there was a massive subduction earthquake that is estimated to have rivaled the 9.2 quake that happened in Alaska in 1964. With an average time of 270 years between major seismic events  the west coast could be considered past due for another major event. My new novel, Subduction is a thriller set ion the West Coast of Oregon with the threat of a subduction earthquake on the horizon. In book Five of the Scott Tanner Thriller series, Scott Tanner and David Stafford are out in the Pacific investigating a shipwreck that happens to include two sunken vessels, a submarine and a trawler that went missing near the end ow World War II. The two ships in the same debris field present a mystery to Scott and his partner. The fact that the wreck is setting on the edge of the subduction zone is not overlooked, and as the story unfolds, plays a major role as they try to unravel the mystery.
I hope you will take the time to check out this novel and others in the Scott Tanner Thriller series by clicking the link below.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Land Tides

On August 23, 1981 the New York Times published an article by Walter Sullivan titled LAND TIDES MAY AFFECT EARTH’S CORE AND ROTATION.
Paraphrased, this article states the tallest structures in the city, at that time the World Trade Center Towers, rise and fall about 14 inches twice a day. They also tilt about two inches west and then east.  We are unaware of the shift in the earth’s crust just as a shipboard observer out to sea is unaware of the shifting tides in the ocean. Earth tides like the ocean tides are created mainly by the gravitational tug of the moon. Special instruments are used to accurately measure the movement and scientists hope to learn more about the effect on the earth’s crust and the molten material at its core.
ESCAPING YELLOWSTONE, my latest novel, is based on the tidal effect of the moon on the great-lakes-size pool of lava under Yellowstone and a near earth object that is approaching earth.
Two scientists, an astronomer Lisa Wilson based in Hawaii, and a geologist Cody Street based in Yellowstone.  The two are brought together when Street approaches Lisa to learn more about the effect of land tides and if they are influencing the behavior of the earthquake activity in the Yellowstone caldera. Lisa and Cody strike up a friendship that leads to love and they decide to bring their two families to Yellowstone to celebrate Christmas deep in the park.  December in Yellowstone is beautiful and sure to provide plenty of snow for the kids. It is also a foreboding place with -40°F temperatures common and little in the way of communication or transportation. Neither are expecting what happens next and both know the likelihood of getting any of them out of the wilderness in the wake of a disaster is remote at best.
For those who like a fast-paced techno-thriller, Escaping Yellowstone is a perfect read. Find out more about it on this link. Escaping Yellowstone

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Ghost Flight

One of the greatest mysteries of the 20th Century is the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan on their famed around the world flight in 1937. The world was watching every aspect of the flight, but her plane disappeared, never to be found again.
In Ghost Flight, Scott Tanner and his quirky partner David Stafford are attempting to re-create the leg of the famous flight where Amelia Earhart’s plane disappeared. In an effort to find the lost plane, or determine what went wrong. Stafford builds an exact replica of the Lockheed Electra Amelia used on her fateful flight and aptly names it Spirit of Amelia. In an effort to be as accurate as possible, the plane is equipped with every item the plane carried including circa 1937 radio and navigation equipment. To play it safe, they also have backed up the outdated navigation equipment with modern instruments that they will only use if there is an emergency. What could go wrong?
Unknown to Scott and David there are those who wish the mystery of Amelia Earhart left unsolved and their efforts to stop the flight are made know before they even leave Oakland Airport, the same place Earhart began her historic attempt. As they fly over the same isolated part of the Pacific where Amelia disappeared, David and Scott began to understand what could have happened on that fateful day back in 1937. Now, Scott and David’s lives are in danger and the likelihood of them completing the flight to the tiny island in the Pacific, the same island where the famed aviatrix never arrived, is in doubt.

Available in paperback and e-book on Amazon

Monday, October 23, 2017


How will World War III be fought and with whom?

When Scott Tanner’s father, the Chief Engineer of North Star Industries, mysteriously dies, Scott asks David Stafford to help investigate North Star Industries, the major Defense contractor where his father worked.  It is the remaining few months of his term and President Tindall wants anything but war, but a cascading number of events is leading him n that direction. With very few options left, and an enemy who is holding all the cards, there seems to be no other option than a preemptive strike against the largest population in the world.
China, through an elaborate scheme is in possession of Top Secret United States satellite technology code named Paradox and has launched a version of the satellite that will insure their future domination of space rendering the United States military unable to communicate. 

With the next World War on the horizon, Scott Tanner and David Stafford are asked to take over North Star Industries and Paradox development and save the United States from almost certain destruction, but even they know last ditch effort could be too late to save the nation. 
Check out this thriller on Amazon

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The most misused word in the English language

Okay, I don’t really know this for a fact, but I’m pretty certain you’ll agree with me on this.
I recently received a manuscript back from my editor with much of the dialog marked up for incorrect grammar.  
Now, I try and make my characters as lifelike as possible so I listen to the way people talk and universally, whether educated or not, the word can is used in place of the word may. This is a sad bastardization of the English language, but none the less, in spite of the games we were taught as children the word may has all but disappeared from our language.
Remember “Mother May I “, a game we played for hours which was sadly replaced at some time by “Simon says”?
My English teacher in high school would answer, when the asked, can I do this or that; “If you are asking for my permission, yes you may, but you can only do it if you are able.”
So when a character uses can instead of may in his or her conversations, it is only a reflection of the times we’re living in.
Of course I’m not talking about Literary Fiction, which should offend the reader if the word is misused, but my characters seldom rise to the level of a literary professor or an English Major.

So, to keep my characters as true to life as possible, they seldom use may when asking a question, that is, unless they are a character from an earlier time when proper English was taught and spoken and not abused.
Check out my novels at

Sunday, October 1, 2017

What goes into a character?

Apart from people asking how I came up with an idea for a book, I get asked about my characters the most. I’ve been asked if they are based on me or people I know or if they can be a character in one of my novels.
All of the above are true to some extent. One of my main characters, September Gale, happened to be a real person I met at a restaurant. The name intrigued me and I later told her I had used her name as the lead detective in my novel Threads of the Shroud.
Sometimes I have a personality in mind when I develop a character, as if did with Trick, a support character in Yellowstone Brief. A longtime friend had just the personality I needed for the flamboyant, yet reckless and carefree geologist.
My latest series starting with Crater features Scott Tanner a former Navy SEAL. He’s middle class, handsome, rugged, and slightly introverted man who is suffering PTSD. Scott has taken up treasure hunting as a business. His partner is a polar opposite, David Stafford, a former UC Berkley nerd who happens to be a genius and uses his inherited fortune to push the envelope of technology. They are an unlikely pare who have formed a symbiotic relationship that gets them into and out of trouble. I haven’t a clue where these characters came from but they were necessary for the adventures.

Check out Crater, the first book in the series featuring Tanner and Stafford.