Tag Archives: Fresh Ink Group

Welcome to the “OPERATION IVY BELLS” Blog Tour! @RGWilliscroft @4WillsPub

Greetings! Today on The Indie Spot I am honored to welcome author Robert G. Williscroft on his blog tour.

 

OPERATION IVY BELLS: A MAC MCDOWELL MISSION

Robert G. Williscroft here, with an updated version of my bestselling, semi-autobiographical Cold War Novel. Operation Ivy Bells is a first-person account of a team of saturation divers locking out of the nuclear submarine USS Halibut on the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk. Fearlessly risking death, these dare-devil divers placed a tap on Soviet underwater communication cables and retrieved spent missile parts from the seafloor. They gathered intel that tipped the scales to win the Cold War. This story is reality-based—I led one of the teams depicted in this book.

Am I Mac McDowell? Some folks would say Yes, but even though I based his character on my own experiences, there are many differences between us. I was an excellent submarine and diving officer, but Mac is more capable and smarter than I. I would welcome your visiting my website to check out my background. Then compare the real me with Mac and let me know what you think.

A warm thank you to my host for sharing this blog.

Recognition for Operation Ivy Bells

Here’s what a USS Seawolf sailor had to say about Operation Ivy Bells:

For those who have an interest in Cold War secrets this is a must-read. Some minor details and names have been changed, but most of it is pretty close to the real deal…close as you can get without going to jail. My source of information? Memory—I was an Ivy Bells submariner.

Excerpt from Operation Ivy Bells

“OK, Dive Control.” Jimmy sounded a bit winded. “Now we need you to jack the port shaft in reverse—slowly. With a bit of luck, the cable will pull free and snake to the bottom.”

Once again, Buck moved in from the stern, behind the screw, which gave us a great view of the action.

“Roger that, Red Diver.”

The Skipper started talking on his handset again. He kept it to his ear. The screw started turning very slowly.

“That’s it!” squeaked Jimmy. “Slowly…slowly…” And then, “Stop! Stop!”

Even on the monitor we could see that the cable had crossed itself.

The Skipper said something to the handset.

“The cable crossed,” Jimmy told us. “Jack forward about a quarter turn.”

The Skipper passed it on.

“OK – Stop!” Heavy breathing. On the monitor the cable snapped free from its constraining hold on the other wrap. “Now back slowly…” More heavy breathing, from both divers. “Slow…slow…SLOWER!”

The Skipper stayed with him. And suddenly, the cable started slipping through the screw blades.

“Bingo! That’s it! We did it!” Squeak or no, he definitely was excited. “Let’s get the fuck outa here!”

Buck stayed with them until they reached the bottom of the Can. Then he headed back for the Aquarium.

Ten minutes later we could see Jimmy and Whitey emerging into the outer lock through the lower hatch. Bill had wrapped their umbilicals on the bulkhead hooks as they swam to the hatch, and now he pulled them into the lock. He unhooked the hatch and swung it closed. Whitey stooped to spin the locking wheel.

“Dive Control, Outer Lock, hatch secured.”

“Dive Control, Aye.”

“Conn, ROV Ops, we’re secured and the hatch is shut.” And that was it.

I gave the Skipper a thumbs-up, and he ordered the XO to secure the hover and get the ship underway. I headed back to the dive locker. The guys had been out for about an hour at a maximum depth of 250 feet on standard heliox. Ham or Jack would have already worked out the decompression schedule. I needed to check it, and then we could start bringing the guys back to the “surface.”

It would take a while, but that’s what we got paid for.

Watch the one-minute trailer

Author Bio

Dr. Williscroft is a retired submarine officer, deep-sea and saturation diver, scientist, author of numerous books and hundreds of articles, and a lifelong adventurer. He spent 22 months underwater, a year in the equatorial Pacific, three years in the Arctic ice pack, and a year at the Geographic South Pole. He holds degrees in Marine Physics and Meteorology, and a doctorate for developing a system to protect SCUBA divers in contaminated water. A prolific author of both non-fiction and fiction, he lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his family.

Links

Website

Amazon Author’s Page

Goodreads Author’s Page

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

What’s in A Name?

Naming characters might not seem like a major aspect to writing fiction, but it’s one of the most important pieces of the writing puzzle.

Names, when well thought out, convey elements of that character’s personality, region of birth, ethnicity. A memorable name will also stay with your readers—even after they’ve finished reading your book. Names like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are much more memorable than, say, Dave Johnson and Bill Smith. Over the course of many books and several movies, we have a firm image of Han and Luke. Just hearing those names takes us on a journey into the future, into the deepest reaches of space. Bill and Dave, though part of a famous story, would not be easily recognizable in the name-dropping game of story fandom.

At times, I’ll come up with a name before I even have the story. There’s a personality within the name that just might have a tale that needs telling. I’ve been known to keep lists of names I think merit investigation. This is how a current work-in-progress began. This short story sprang from the idea of a guy named Elvis, who happens to look nothing at all like the King of Rock and Roll. He’s a man who specializes in finding people who don’t want to be found.

I try to choose uncommon names for my characters. Names I’ve used include:

Tanyon Thibbedeaux

Teagon Barton

Nola Patterson (Named after New Orleans, Louisiana)

Addison (Addie) Markley

Lottie Kane

Frank Rydekker

Sullum Cass

DeShay the piano player

Nester

Jobie Pritchett (Named after Job from the Bible)

Richie Tockett

Tristan Chalmers

Officer Tenneman

Chance Zamler

Charlie Woodlick

Avis Atwater

Ricky Kulkrick

Darcy Minzer

Miss Biddlewine

Shasta Cummings

Jessa Leaner

Just speaking certain names aloud will lead our thoughts directly to the story from which they come. Scout and Jem Finch. Atticus Finch. Captain Ahab. Holden Caulfield. Scarlett O’Hara. Harry Potter. Jay Gatsby. Hester Prynne. Nurse Ratched. Delores “Lolita” Haze. Big Brother. Piggy. Names carry weight. Names remind us just how good a story can be.

I’ve written a few short stories where a main character is nameless. This works in certain situations. The point in writing is to have fun with what you are creating. This lends itself to choosing names as well. How do you come up with your character names?

 

The Celebration of Life! (Book Review)

Rating: ★★★★★

This is the true story of a five year old boy named Sammy. Though Sammy is the story’s narrator, it is told through the eyes of his mother and older brother. Sammy had cancer, the disease he succumbed to at age five.

The first part of the story shares insight into the daily life of a typical American family, detailing the goings-on with Sammy, his brother, and his mother. Readers get to know Sammy and his budding personality. Most American boys will recognize the activities of riding Big Wheels, messing with snakes, and sneaking off to forbidden areas. There are some humorous stories here, like the older brother, Gene, accidentally locking Mom out of the house. A neighbor had to bring a ladder, allowing Mom to climb in through the attic to unlock the door.

The second part is entitled Cancer Arrived. Sammy began to be sick—all the time. Sinus infections, inner and middle ear infections, mononucleosis, and upper respiratory disease took over Sammy’s body. Doctors couldn’t pinpoint a cause and medicines didn’t clear things up. A radiologist even misread the x-ray. Because of this, he missed the tumor mass in Sammy’s neck and head. The cancer diagnosis left the family reeling. No parent wants to hear that awful disease pronounced on their child. The battle against Rhabdomyosarcoma became a family fight.

To a young boy, this would be a scary situation to be in. Sammy certainly had those moments. But what we learn from this personal story is the wisdom and courage this boy gained in his all-too-brief time in this world. While cancer is a dark subject, this book is anything but dark. I found in these pages a celebration of a life that is still touching others, even nearly thirty years after his departure. As long as his mother, brother, family, and friends are here in this world, Sammy will be here too.

Author Larry F. Hunter Releases New Novel

Reprinted from the Stanly News and Press, Dec 6, 2018

SNAP fishing contributor publishes crime novel

By Charles Curcio

Charles.Curcio@StanlyNewsPress.com

The laid-back atmosphere of retirement and RV life becomes overturned with one cellphone call in a book new-to-print by Larry F. Hunter.

Hunter, who writes a fishing column for The Stanly News & Press, brings his knowledge and experience on camping and RVs into a new forum, the mystery crime novel. New-in-print is his novel, The National Park Case: A Tucker Crime Novel.

The book was written a number of years ago and was available in electronic formats like Amazon after publishing with a California-based e-book distribution company.

However, that changed four months ago after Hunter had entered and won a regional short story contest with Fresh Ink Group (FreshInkGroup.com), who approached him to publish the novel.

“I had been wanting to write a book for years. I studied literature in school and read three to four books a week,” Hunter said.

The book took about seven months to finish, then he published it, saying, “It got me online, make a little money if possible, but it’s mostly to get experience.”

Having retired, Hunter had gone back to work, then retired again four months ago and got time to focus on the book. Among other things, Hunter was a technical writer and taught at the community college level on the Jamestown campus of Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro. Hunter was also stationed at Cape Kennedy during the Apollo missions to the Moon. He worked as a maintenance tech for the ground control systems on Apollo 8 through 17.

The National Park Case is the first of three books written in the Tucker series, though not a true trilogy, Hunter said.

“I won’t go further (in the series); I’ve gotten to know the characters too well,” Hunter said.

The story finds Tucker, who was named after Hunter’s mother who was a Tucker, sitting in a chair outside his own RV. A retired Salisbury Police detective, his cellphone rings. He is recruited by the FBI to investigate missing persons cases from four national parks. The introduction of a beautiful female suspect and an investigation which starts in the Carolinas and spans across the Southeast drives the narrative of the story.

Aficionados of the recreational vehicle scene, or RVers, will be able to pick up on some subtleties others may not in the story, Hunter said. He added readers do not have to know about RV life to get the drift of the story.

As a retired RVer, Hunter said: “I’ve always believed you write about things you know.” He added though he was not a policeman, his character, a retired Salisbury Police Department detective, “figures out during the novel he really wasn’t retired; he was just not working for a while.”

Crime novels, mysteries and thrillers are a favorite of Hunter, he said. “You try to emulate what they do,” he explained.

Some of the things Hunter said he does not include in the crime novel are ideals which have dictated his reading choices in life. He said he does not like an illogical pattern to a story, like bringing in an unknown character at the end as the culprit.

Hunter also said he has a lead character with some flaws to a degree but not to the level of some others. To him, Tucker is “not really flawed, just a man in a bad situation.” His books also do not have “tons of characters.”

He describes The National Park Mystery as a procedural novel. “You may not know who did, but you can follow his thought process,” Hunter added.

Written in third person, Hunter said he initially started the novel in first person, but decided to change it. “How can he know what’s going on in a place when he wasn’t there?”

Copies of The National Park Case: A Tucker Crime Novel are available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other places, in both paperback and hardcover copy.

Continuing to write is something Hunter said he wants to do, including having finished a post apocalyptic novel. “I’m a science-fiction guy, so why not?” Hunter said.

He added his goal the morning after he retired was simple in his writing career.

“If one person buys it and gives it a good review, I’m happy. I just want to know I wrote a book and people enjoyed it.”

Contact Charles Curcio at charles.curcio@stanlynewspress. com, 704-983-1361 or via Twitter (@charles_curcio).

Copyright (c)2018 Albemarle Stanly News and Press, Edition 12/6/2018

VIEW THE NATIONAL PARK CASE BOOK TRAILER

NEW RELEASE! Strange Hwy: Short Stories by Beem Weeks is Now Available!

Fresh Ink Group is pleased to announce the release of Strange Hwy: Short Stories by Beem Weeks. This collection of short stories makes a perfect Christmas gift for the reader in your life.

Strange Hwy: Short Stories is available in full-sized trade paperback, dust-jacketed hardcover, and all ebook formats. You can purchase Strange Hwy: Short Stories at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Google Books, and many other online retailers.

Whether you’re into horror, historical fiction, coming of age, or slice of life stories, this collection has something for you.

Blurb:

If you ever find yourself on the Strange Hwy—don’t turn around. Don’t panic. Just. Keep. Going. You never know what you’ll find.
You’ll see magic at the fingertips of an autistic young man,
•A teen girl’s afternoon, lifetime of loss.
•A winged man, an angel? Demon—?
•Mother’s recognition, peace to daughter.
•Danny’s death, stifled secrets.
•Black man’s music, guitar transforms boy.
•Dead brother, open confession.
•First love, supernatural?—family becomes whole!
You can exit the Strange Hwy, and come back any time you want.
See, now you know the way in, don’t be a stranger.

Where to Purchase:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Google Books

The Starchild Trilogy by Robert G. Williscroft is complete!

Now, The Starchild Trilogy by Robert G. Williscroft is complete! In book one, Slingshot, three scientist/engineers reach for the stars as they blend their skills with a host of skilled colleagues to create the world’s first Space Launch-Loop. A team of young eco-terrorists will go to any length to halt the project. One woman is determined to scoop the story, reporting events to a watching world.

Slingshot ranges from Seattle’s financial district, to the ocean bottom off Baker Island, to the edge of space, and across the vast panorama of an Equatorial Pacific.

It’s a love story, a gender-bender, and a mystery about a missing aviatrix, a conspiracy, and a true-believer. It’s about high finance, intrigue, heroism, fanaticism, betrayal…and humanity’s surge into outer space.

In book two, The Starchild Compact, an international team ventures to Saturn’s moon Iapetus to verify it really is a derelict starship. They discover the Founders, descendants of the starship’s builders who arrived in our Solar System 150,000 years ago. Together with the Founders, the explorers advance Founder science with momentous implications for the entire Solar System, paving the way for a joint push to the distant reaches of the Galaxy. But, a Persian Caliphate stowaway sabotages the mission, hoping to destroy science that he believes violates Islam.

The Starchild Compact blends tomorrow’s science with human foibles, fears, beliefs, and political intrigue, speculating on how civilization might develop while traveling on a generational starship, and how modern humans might interact with remnants of that civilization.

In book three, The Iapetus Federation, besieged Israelis on Earth make their way to Mars as the Federation expands throughout the Solar System. While global Jihad rages on Earth, putting millions to the sword, the Starchild Institute develops wormhole transportation. But will this new technology be ready in time to rescue all that is left of the United States, the beleaguered Lone Star Conservancy, and remnants of other cultures around the globe?

From hand-to-hand combat in the oceans, to battles on Earth’s surface, to struggles in interplanetary space, our heroes fight to survive and expand to the far reaches of the universe.

Robert G. Williscroft is an adventurer, polar explorer, deep-sea diver, nuclear submariner, scientist, and bestselling, award-winning author. His stories portray the accurate science and precise engineering that appeals to hard science-fiction buffs, but The Starchild Trilogy is for everyone who loves an epic tale, a grand journey by men and women who loom larger than life as they work, play, and love.

Make The Starchild Trilogy your own, with individual hardcover, softcover, audiobook, and all major ebook editions worldwide – or collect the entire set for one epic journey.

By Robert G. Williscroft, The Starchild Trilogy!

A Quest for Vision!

Visionary.

It’s a word that we’ve all heard bandied about from time to time, usually attached to some famous figure in history known for inventing something important that has changed the nation—or the world—in ways modern generations could not contemplate living without. Take Steve Jobs for example. Mr. Jobs is considered a true visionary. He’s the father of the modern personal computer, a device with which a life without would seem unimaginable in this modern world. Or consider Henry Ford, automotive tycoon. Mr. Ford certainly didn’t invent the automobile, but he did perfect the assembly line, bringing costs down, allowing for the common people to afford their very own car—and through employment in Ford’s factories, a stronger middle class arose.

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The Oxford American College Dictionary contains multiple definitions for this complex yet simple word. The definition I like best reads as stated: a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.

The Oxford could be very well be describing a writer. Writers, by nature, are visionaries. Writers, in the name of creativity, must envision worlds that do not exist, populated with people that are not real. But the above definition mentions only the future. What about the past? Can a writer be a visionary in regards to a time that has already faded? The answer is most certainly yes. We construct alternate accounts of real events—like making Abraham Lincoln into a vampire hunter. A program on an internet site’s streaming service poses a world in the 21 century seen through the lens of a Nazi victory in World War Two.

Abraham-Lincoln-Vampire-Hunter

But being a visionary, it runs deeper than merely being a creative writer—or musician or artist. In a sense, everybody is a writer. If you write emails or texts, you are a writer. Here’s where the differences come into play. Not everybody is an author. Writers are not all authors. There are those who write down their personal thoughts and experiences in the pages of diaries or journals, never intending any other living soul to pry. Authors, they have to be bold and brave. They write to be read. If the words we seek to share with others are not visionary, you can bet you’ll hear from those who invested the time in sentences we’ve strung together.

Diaries, texts, personal correspondences; these are not meant to entertain the reader.  These are merely there to convey a message or to act as reminder to the future self that, on this particular day, so-and-so made me angry or happy or sad.

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Authors, writing to be read, must envision their story from beginning to end—before the writing process begins. We must see what does not, at this juncture, exist anywhere in this world. This will almost certainly require research of some sort—unless you’re creating your own Middle Earth setting. Research itself requires vision.

In beginning my work on Jazz Baby, I needed a road map through the 1920s. I am just past the half-century mark, having drawn my first breath of life in 1967. I had nothing by way of personal experience to shade my notions of the America of 1925. And we can’t just assume, either. Assumption is an enemy of the visionary.

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As I started to dig into my research, scenes from my story began to construct themselves behind my eyes. Scraps of paper quickly filled with ideas found within the pages of an old U.S. history book; situations came to life while watching documentaries on PBS or The History Channel. They didn’t have radio in their cars until 1932—so scrap the scene where the characters are driving to New Orleans singing along to jazz tunes on the radio. So how do we fill that void? Dialogue! These characters are now forced to speak to one another, sharing hopes and fears, and in the process, introducing their deeper selves to those who would come to read the finished product. A visionary finds ways to stay on point when something like reality cuts in and says, um, that can’t be. We make it work. And we don’t just make it work; we use it for the profound or the poignant. Statements are made in those quiet moments between Emily Ann and Tanyon—statements that wouldn’t exist had I stuck a radio in that car.

Being visionary is about seeing what’s not there, seeing it in multiple views, and possessing the ability to determine the best view. It doesn’t work very well to write about characters of which we know little or nothing. Vision allows us to see these characters, to meet them, to discover the personalities behind mere words on a page. To the visionary writer, his or her characters truly come alive before they ever occupy space on the page.

The fact is anybody can write a story. But the visionary writes the sort of stories people will want to read. The really good ones build a following of readers just waiting for the next story to unfold. The best storytellers throughout history possessed vision. And it’s that vision that gives both the writer and the story life eternal. Those without vision, well, nobody recalls the stories they’ve told. Nobody remembers their names.