It’s that time again, and this month the featured author of Mystery Authors international is Bob Spearman.
His latest book is Shrimpin’ Gold.
And just looking at that cover makes me want to dive right in. But, if that’s not enough, check out the blurb.
In good seasons and bad, small family-owned shrimping operations have survived in the Carolinas. Harlin Dodd, a third generation shrimper on Shem Creek, faces the demise of a business started by his grandfather. Long time loyal first mate, Joe Ladson, struggles to pay his wife’s medical bills. Their old shrimp boat is beyond repair. Shrimp are scarce. But just as the financial dilemmas of both families seem insurmountable, their shrimp nets bring up a treasure chest filled with gold. With this prize, their troubles really begin. When pirates return for their lost gold, Joe is tortured, and Harlin’s daughter is kidnapped. Harlin must trade himself to save his daughter. Storms, pirates, gold, and ghostly illusions, all set in historical Charleston, make the shrimpers’ struggle an exciting Lowcountry tale.
Sounds exciting, right? So, we asked Bob what drove him to write this story.
“The motivation to write this book was, in part, to highlight the life of the local shrimper family and their struggle to survive the current economic tsunami that attacks their business. In the Carolinas, this business spans generations of local families who know no other way to live. The concept to tell the story of this struggle and yet give the main characters a hope for survival popped in my head while sitting on the beach. I was watching a slow moving shrimp trawler offshore as he plowed his way home to Shem Creek. What if they pulled up a net of Spanish gold?
I’ve lived most of my life in the Charleston area. Local family and friends have all enjoyed the privilege of easy access to fresh fish, shrimp, and oysters sold along the creeks of the Lowcountry. One of the most popular landmarks for fresh seafood is Shem Creek. This creek, home to numerous shrimp boats that line its shores, feeds into the Charleston harbor. It has been an icon for the Lowcountry, a favorite haunt for painters and photographers, and a magnet for restaurants and bars. With fuel prices up and the competition from Asian shrimp farms, living has been difficult for the families who have toiled at this labor for generations. Life is changing for the shrimper. Bringing awareness to this situation and the potential to help were paramount to this story. If the shrimp boats leave, the creek will lose the allure, and will become just a muddy creek.
Oh, and finally, in Charleston, we have fun with pirates and the ghost of these characters from days gone by. Adding a little of that flavor to this story is like the hot sauce on shrimp; not necessary but it sure spices it up.”
And if that whet your appetite, here’s a snippet to further tantalise your taste-buds 🙂
“Joe sat on his front porch in his favorite spindle-backed rocking chair. He studied the movements of two brilliant red Cardinals as they chased bugs along a jasmine-covered fence. A cool breeze carried the sweet scent of the jasmine blossoms across the porch. When the breeze stiffened, a squeaky windmill propeller, in his flower garden, waggled around in uneven circles.
His gaze drifted from the birds to the empty rocker next to him, and he sighed. A Carolina Wren, hidden high in the oak tree canopy, tweeted a familiar tune. He looked up and gained solace with the chorus of sounds that nature offered.
As a boy, he had climbed in these oak trees and tossed a baseball with his dad beside the jasmine fence. He had fished the saltwater creeks near his property with his grandfather, his father, and his son. He had rocked on this porch and watched the stars with Cora Lee when they were both in high school.
This lowcountry haven embellished his soul, it was a part of him and impossible to dissect; it gave him peace. He knew he could not leave this place and survive. He knew if he did leave, the smell of pluff mud and the sounds of sea birds would haunt him until he returned.
For now, the empty chair reminded him of what might be lost, the missing complement to his soul, like the song to a bird or the smell to a jasmine blossom. Through the years, each Sunday after church, they ate noon dinner together, and then Joe and Cora Lee enjoyed this simple pleasure of sitting on the porch. They rocked content with what the afternoon offered, blue sky, clouds, or rain. He could no more live happy without her than he could survive without the marshes or the sea.”
If you want to check this out, head over to Amazon and grab your copy.
About the Author:
Writing on the beaches of South Carolina has proven a productive environment for this author, and on a breezy, warm afternoon, you may find him sitting on the sand under an umbrella. His favorite Carolina haunts are Edisto Beach, the Isle of Palms shoreline, or on an isolated stretch of Pawleys Island. The relative solitude, the breath of salt air, and the rhythm of the sea provide inspiration for plot lines based in the Carolina Lowcountry.
Bob Spearman grew up in rural South Carolina and now lives with his wife, Barbara, in Mount Pleasant. Although a son of this area, he has lived in Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Utah while working as an engineer. After moving back to Charleston, he started writing fiction as a hobby. He works with several local writer groups, has written three novels, and several short stories. He is currently working on his fourth novel. He is a graduate of The Citadel and holds a master’s degree from the University of Texas.
Other books also available are:
Every year they build more hotels, more roads, more restaurants, more golf courses, more everything to attract tourists… Locals grow more dissatisfied each year. Some sell and move to another yet undiscovered paradise, some grow old and despondent. Some get mad.
A popular beach haven hides some dirty secrets in Bob Spearman’s thrilling debut novel, Turf and Surf.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has long been known as a go-to tourist destination. But beneath the sunny exterior lies a dark power struggle between locals, summer workers, tourists, and drug dealing gangsters.
Among them is Bo Jr., a young man whose dreams of paradise quickly turn into a nightmare when he stumbles across a mob-owned bar and is soon recruited as a hit-man-in-training.
Meanwhile, best friends Edna and Evelyn navigate the perilous world of romance while their landlords, the volatile Eddie Rondell and his meek wife, Vera, have their own ideas about how the town should be ru
Events converge to a dangerous day of reckoning as a serial kidnapper terrorizes summer workers and a new drug gang attempts to make a claim of their own. With a corrupt police force in charge, does Myrtle Beach have any chance of surviving as a family beach resort?
and Hard Road
After her daughter’s tragic death, Laurel Peterson jumped in front of a truck, but her attempt at suicide failed. She was left on the side of the road with broken legs and a broken soul. The truck driver stopped to help. Hank Blevins, a veteran of savage fighting in Afghanistan, looked into her eyes and oddly found someone he could understand.
Laurel’s husband, Jack Peterson, a well know business man from Charleston’s high society, had refused to accept mental illness in his family, and would not allow her to seek medical attention for her depression. Prior to her suicide, the dilemma drove her to alcohol, divorce, and a life on the street.
Her future appeared hopeless with nowhere to go and no one to care. Due to the untenable rift with her abusive husband, few options were available. But while Laurel recovered from her injuries, Hank is compelled to visit her in the hospital. They build a relationship of mutual support by sharing the tragic stories of their flawed lives. With the developing friendship, Hank offers Laurel a place to live until she finds a better alternative.
Hank had served two years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and now works for a moving company as a condition of his parole. The company’s manager, Bubba Jaborski, and Hank’s parole officer, conspire to force paroled convicts to deliver drugs or return to jail. The violent and threatening activities of his boss and co-workers put Hank in dire straits as he struggles to live a good life.
When Hank finally reveals to Laurel that he had spent time in prison, she leaves and returns to a nightmarish existence with her husband in their South of Broad home. Driven by the belief that her existence diminished his reputation and position in society, Jack taunts and threatens her. The abuse and lack of proper medication push Laurel back to depression, alcohol, and finally a psychotic episode that almost kills her. She calls Hank and gets a lawyer to help with a divorce.
Jack and his long time business partner have a failing commercial development. To avoid bankruptcy they join forces with Hank’s boss, Bubba, to launder drug money as an investment to save their business. This perilous arrangement leads to big problems with an international crime syndicate and a dangerous confrontation for Hank.
With all of these troubles, Hank struggles to be a good citizen, and to become Laurel’s savior, but needs a champion of his own to survive the complex minefield at work. How will these two survive the odds? Will love find a way?
So much to choose from, you’ll agree. Happy reading everyone.
And, to Bob, keep on writing those stories with your own, very unique ‘flavor’ 🙂