Monday, February 27, 2012

Three author announcements: Donn Fendler, Lynn Plourde and Ben Bishop

Donn Fendler, seasonally of Newport, lived his own survival story in 1939 when he was lost as a twelve-year-old boy for nine days in the wilderness around Katahdin. His saga was first told in the classic Lost on a Mountain in Maine and most recently in the graphic novel Lost Trail: Nine Days Alone in the Wilderness. Donn makes frequent visits to schools and libraries sharing his story.

Lynn Plourde (www.lynnplourde.com) of Winthrop is the author of 27 children’s books including her most recent Dino Pets Go to School and Only Cows Allowed, and co-author of Lost Trail with Donn Fendler. She lives in Winthrop with her husband.

Ben Bishop (www.bishart.net) is a graphic novelist, toy designer, and illustrator who lives in Old Orchard. He illustrated Donn Fendler’s graphic novel Lost Trail. He also self-published Nathan the Caveman and is working on his next project, The Stand-In, a Jim Kruger comic.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Author announcement: Kate Flora

Attorney Kate Flora’s twelve books include seven Thea Kozak mysteries, two gritty police procedurals including The Angel of Knowlton Park, a suspense thriller, Steal Away, written as Katharine Clark, and a true crime, Finding Amy, which was a 2007 Edgar nominee and has been optioned for a movie. Her current projects include Death Dealer, a true crime involving a Canadian serial killer, a screenplay, and a novel in linked stories.

Flora’s short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Sara Paretsky-edited collection, Sisters on the Case. She is a former editor and publisher at Level Best books, former international president of Sisters in Crime, and a founding member of the New England Crime Bake conference. Her story, “All that Glitters” appears in Dead Calm, and her story, “Bone China” in the crime story anthology Dead of Winter. Her third Joe Burgess police procedural, Redemption, will be published in March 2012.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Author announcement # 2: Jim Sharp

Captain Jim Sharp is a man that has been interested in sailing vessels from the get go.  He at age 12, sans  his parent’s knowledge much less permission, pilfered the family skiff, bed sheet from the guest bedroom, two broom sticks, with bristles still fanning the end, and dreaming of things of the sea, rigged up that cock-a-shell like a clipper and sailed the thing across Dredge Harbor playing the part of a Cape Horn crusty captain.  He then realized he had to row all the way home -up wind- to face his father’s  stern eyes and glaring daggers that were already gathering at the youthful affront.

Life, however, after that altercation was good to the “would be” captain.  He swallowed the salt water with many happy hours on his father’s power boat, learning seamanship and discipline from a fair, but demanding disciplinarian who unfortunately passed at an early age.  This forced Jim, seeking survival, into an unexpected business endeavor in finance.  Not being his forte, escape from the “suit and tie” world was imperative.  He had gathered enough to purchase an old 44’ Alden classic yawl and set out for the Bahamas to become a charter captain.  Hard times, near starvation, working from one job to another, he finally came to Maine to discover the Windjammer fleet out of Camden. Here, with a summer as mate on the leaky, ancient,  skin-boats of the original Swift fleet, he decided- come hell or high water- he would settle and carve out a career.

His first was the Schooner Stephen Taber, oldest commercial sail vessel in the U.S.  She leaked volumes both through the bottom and the decks.  Accepting her salt water circulatory system he sailed that first season without disaster and found that it was “the best thing I ever did”. Vowing to remain in the windjammer business, he bought the poor decrepit schooner Adventure, a thoroughbred, hidden under flaking paint, short rig and questionable reputation.  A major rebuilding ensued and while in that fit of inertia, he went to work on the Arctic Schooner Bowdoin saving her from death and destruction by the museum of Mystic.  Then followed the Schooner Roseway  and a string out of over 30 vessels, sail, tugboats, freight boats and just about “anything that would float” kind of boat.  It even included a Dutch built canal boat In Europe where for ten years he and his wife, Meg, had cruised the intricate system of waterways in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Retirement came early and Sharp went for it with reckless abandon. Cruising around the world, crisscrossing the U.S. on lakes and rivers, writing his memoirs, (strangely enough called “With Reckless Abandon”) donating his beloved Schooner Adventure to preservation in Gloucester, he, for almost 20 years was occupied with a thousand retirement issues.

He then flunked retirement!

Purchasing the old Outward Bound Property in the South end of Rockland, he proceeded to renovate the buildings and create a little jewel of a museum called the Sail, Power & Steam Museum, Children’s Museum, Professional Office building, marina and boat shop. 

Some call it “Reckless Abandon”, others would call it mentally unhinged.         

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First author announcement for 2012: Vicki Doudera

Top-producing Realtor Vicki Doudera “masterfully uses the backdrop of high-stakes realty as a great setting for a murder mystery,” says the Bangor Daily News. Vicki’s latest release to feature crime-solving, deal-making agent Darby Farr is DEADLY OFFER.

“Darby’s third appearance (after Killer Listing) is just the property for those who want a fast, entertaining read with a diverse cast and appealing setting, says the Library Journal

A broker with a busy Camden firm and former Realtor of the Year, Vicki is also the author of Moving to Maine from Down East Books.  She belongs to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the National Association of Realtors and serves on the board of the New England chapter of Sisters in Crime. Read more about Vicki at her official website, www.vickidoudera.com.