Shipwrecks

I’ve been asked by many people to separate the fact from fiction in my novella Dusk and Summer. While I cannot reveal all my tricks to its telling, I will say that, as a tribute to my father, I took many elements of his life and seamlessly incorporated them into the story. I will offer you one point of truth – my father was in fact an avid scuba diver and enjoyed diving the many shipwrecks that litter New Jersey‘s coastline. New Jersey possesses a fascinating history of shipwrecks, so this naturally factored in as one of the driving forces behind the plot of Dusk and Summer. With that in mind, here is a list of my personal top-ten most interesting New Jersey shipwrecks.

10. The Brian C

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The Brian C, built in 1928 and originally named the Jon Cushman, was an 80 foot long tugboat that met her end in a storm on November 13, 1979, 40 miles off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey. A valiant effort was made by The Coast Guard to save the tug, but in the end, was unsuccessful. They did however manage to dramatically rescue both the crew and her captain by helicopter before the Brian C sank.

 

9. The Persephone

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On May 25, 1942, while en route from Aruba to New York, the Persephone was struck by torpedoes from the Nazi U-boat U-593. She sank, killing nine of her 37 crew members. The wreckage of her stern now rests in 55 feet of water off the coast of Barnegat Inlet, New Jersey.

 

8. The Gulftrade

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Built in 1920 by Sun Ship Building Company of Chester, Pennsylvania, the Gulftrade met her watery doom by a torpedo from the Nazi U-boat U-588. Forced to sail with its lights on to avoid other vessels in the area, the tanker made an easy target; the torpedo that struck it actually broke the tanker in two. Presently, her bow rests eight miles from Barnegat Inlet, New Jersey; her stern nearly 13 miles away.

 

7. The Pliny

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The Pliny was a British cargo ship built by Barrow Ship Builders of England in 1878. On April 22, 1882, the Pliny left Rio De Janeiro with a crew of 34, 21 passengers, 20,000 bags of coffee and 300 bales of hides. On May 13, during a fierce storm, she ran aground. Fortunately for those aboard, all passengers and crew members were saved. The Pliny now rests in about ten to 25 feet of water, approximately 200 yards out off the coast of Deal, New Jersey. A note of interest – a passenger had nearly $3,000 in gold coins locked in the captain’s safe. It is still assumed that the safe was never recovered.

 

6. The R.P. Resor

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In 1935, the Federal Ship Building Company of Kearny, New Jersey built the R.P. Resor. On February 27, 1942, while travelling from Houston, Texas to Fall River, Massachusetts, the Nazi U-boat U-578 torpedoed the R.P. Resor. Out of a crew of nearly 50, only two men survived. She stayed afloat for two days while crowds watched her flames along the horizon from the shore of Asbury Park, New Jersey.

 

5. The Delaware

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The Delaware was built in 1880 by Birely, Hill and Streaker, in Philadelphia. On July 9, 1898, a fire was reported in her hull. While being taken in tow by tugboats, she sunk beneath the waves. All 38 crew and 35 passengers were saved. Today, the Delaware rests in 65 to 70 feet of water nearly 2 miles off the coast of Bay Head, New Jersey. She was rumored to be carrying $250,000 in gold bullion when she met her fate.

 

4. The Robert J. Walker

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The Robert J. Walker, built by Joseph Tomlinson at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1844, once served a vital role as a survey vessel. Twenty sailors died when the Robert J. Walker collided with a commercial schooner ten miles off Absecon Inlet, New Jersey, in June of 1860. She sank within thirty minutes, and was the largest single loss of life in the history of the Coast Survey and its successor agency, NOAA. In 2013, a NOAA Maritime Heritage diving team successfully identified the wreck during a Hurricane Sandy related mission in the area.

 

3. The U-869 Nazi U-boat

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In 1991, a group of divers discovered an unknown object 230 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, only 60 to 65 miles east of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, a popular tourist destination. Three divers, including a father and son, died attempting to learn its identity. This ghost did not give up her secrets easily – eventually, it was learned she was indeed the Nazi U-boat U-869, thought to have been sunk off the coast of Gibraltar between January and February of 1945. It is still debated today as to what sunk this U-boat: a victim of its own torpedo (known as a ‘circle-runner’), or by depth charges from two US Naval destroyers.

 

2. SS Morro Castle

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It seems a simple yet tragic tale; the SS Morro Castle, a luxury ocean liner, caught fire and burned on September 8, 1934, killing 137 passengers and crewmembers. Her final voyage began on September 5, 1934 in Havana. On September 7, the Morro Castle began to sail through the beginnings of a nor’easter. Later that evening, Captain Robert Willmott complained of stomach trouble and subsequently died of an apparent heart attack. Then, around 2:50 a.m. on September 8, a fire broke out and within thirty minutes, consumed the ship in flames. By mid morning, the burning vessel drifted ashore, finally running aground in Asbury Park, New Jersey, narrowly missing a collision with Convention Hall along the boardwalk pier. Bodies of the victims washed ashore along the neighboring towns of Manasquan and Point Pleasant. The Morro Castle sat sadly for six months; it was so close to the shore that sightseers were able to wade out and touch its burnt-out hull. To this day, the circumstances leading to the fate of the Morro Castle remain an enigma.

 

1. The Tolten

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Number one on my list of New Jersey shipwrecks is the Tolten. Built in 1938, the Danish steamer was formerly named the S.S. Lotta, but was taken over by the Chilean government and renamed. On March 13, 1942, the Tolten was travelling to New York but was struck by a pair of German torpedoes fired from the Nazi U-boat U-404.   From a crew of 28, only the ship’s electrician, Julio Faust, survived. Presently, the Tolten’s remains are found in 90 feet of water, 16 miles from Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey.

 

Why does the Tolten headline my top-ten list? It is a wreck that my father actually dove and explored; the very wreck that gives up its secrets only to the Chosen in my novella Dusk and Summer.

Are you one of the Chosen as well?


Dusk and Summer

DuskAndSummer_JosephAPinto_FrontCover_LargeDoes Heaven await beneath the waves? One man needs to know.

When his dying father whispers a cryptic message to him, he has no choice but to summon his courage and begin the quest of a lifetime. It’s a race against time to realize his father’s wish and fulfill his own destiny; it’s a discovery of the unbreakable bond between father and son. It’s a journey of the heart that unfolds where only the Chosen exist – in the moments between Dusk and Summer.

“A poignant, metaphoric conversation between son and father. A story that will warm your heart.”
–Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., bestselling author of The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

The author will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

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Dusk and Summer is available at:

Amazon: US |UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil
CreateSpace | Smashwords
Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes (Apple)

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I‘ve been graciously asked to contribute to the ‘My Writing Process‘ blog tour by author Michael Thomas-Knight. Thank you, Michael! Michael has over thirty-five short horror stories in various books, magazines, publications and websites. He also loves to review horror films; his blog, ‘Parlor of Horror,’ is absolutely chock full of stories, galleries and information to delight any horror fan. After all that, how could I let Michael down by not participating in the ‘My Writing Process‘ blog tour?

So here we go!

1. What am I working on?
Currently, I’m just beginning to crank up the promotional and marketing machine for my latest release, ‘Dusk and Summer.’ Ironically, my novella is anything other than a horror story; it’s actually a contemporary fantasy story written in tribute to my father who passed seven years ago from pancreatic cancer. I took elements of my father’s passion of scuba diving and turned it into a tale about a dying father who sends his only son on a mission to lay his soul to rest at sea. I won’t give anything else away, but the book is completely taking readers by surprise. Most importantly, I’m donating a portion of all proceeds to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

I am hoping, however, to start a new horror novel in the next month or so once I get a better handle on my book promotion. There’s only so much time in a day, after all.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think my work differs from others of its genre, that being horror of course, because of my flexibility and ability to adapt. I don’t write in just one set ‘voice’ or ‘style;’ my stories dictate the direction of their travel, as well the means of their intent. I serve only as their guide. But inevitably, my stories are recognizable by the concise manner in which I deliver them. I don’t like to be wordy, so my structure is often punchy and impactful.

3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
I write what I do because I simply have a burning desire! I see a glimpse of an image in my head, and from that alone a story takes shape. Writing is my therapy – it calms me, allows me to see within myself and process all that I am. It just happens to come in the guise of monstrous and disturbing tales.

4. How Does My Writing Process Work?
My writing process is fairly simple: I mute the world and clear my head. And by clearing my head I mean getting rid of that day’s stress, as well as not thinking of what I’m about to write at all. I then fall into a daydream sort of mode. While that’s going on, I may light some candles and incense. Not to channel spirits or demons (then again, who knows – lol), but to just cleanse myself. I crank a playlist that puts me in the right mood and might even pour a drink. Finally, I glance at my daughter’s photograph and remind myself of the reason I work tirelessly at what I do.

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Okay, now I’m choosing my own nominee (only one person but for a very good reason) for the next ‘My Writing Process‘ blog tour. She’ll be answering these same very questions on her own blog on July 21 – make sure you visit! :)

1. Nina D’Arcangela- My only nominee is Nina D’Arcangela, my partner in crime with Pen of the Damned.  Personally, I can’t wait to hear about her writing process.  I don’t think anyone truly knows just how much Nina does, and if you did, you’d be astounded!  Let me scratch the surface:  Nina is one of the founders of Sirens Call Publications -  every horror writer needs to have them on their radar.  She is also the owner of Dark Angel Photography, an extremely talented writer who cranks out some wicked emotive prose, a marketing specialist, a web developer, an avid reader, an UrbEx adventurer, a weird quirky geek (hey, your own words, Nina! lol), a devoted wife, loving momma to her kitty cats (who secretly tap out stories on her keyboard while Nina is sleeping!), and truly the biggest and most unselfish supporter of authors and their craft that I know.  Nina doesn’t ever seek the spotlight, but I’m pushing her (albeit screaming) into it, and that’s why she’s my sole nominee; she deserves it!  :)

Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Stop #9

Pack you bags, we’re going to Canada!  What am I talking aboot?  I’ll tell you what I’m talking aboot -  for the ninth stop of my Dusk and Summer blog tour, we’re in beautiful Canada, home of Julianne Snow, host of ‘The Flipside with Julianne‘ blog, sinister plotter of the webseries ‘Days with the Undead’, as well one of the founders of Sirens Call Publications Julianne has put a great deal of thought and preparation into the Dusk and Summer blog tour – you think these plane tickets come cheap? lol – and it shows.  I’m extremely grateful for all she has done!

I sit down with Julianne and discuss why my book is such ‘an unforgettable fantasy journey.’  I think you should sit down and take a read, too.  Oh yes, and you might just win a ebook copy of Dusk and Summer if you enter the drawing!

And please make sure to say hello to Julianne! :)

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Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Stop #6

With Scotland in our rearview, we now head back to the States; namely the headquarters of Sirens Call Publications.  The amazing gals at Sirens Call PublicationsNina, Julie and Gloria – turned Dusk and Summer into a reality for me.  They immediately recognized that Dusk and Summer was born of love, written with love and let me tell you, they did nothing but heap tons of their own tender loving care into the production and publication of my book!

Sirens Call Publications invested their time and energy into Dusk and Summer – something I’ll forever be grateful for – so please join me on their website as I speak of my own investment – ‘An Investment of My Heart.’  Oh yeah, they’re also having chips and refreshments available, along with a book giveaway!

As always, please make sure to say hello to Nina, Julie and Gloria of Sirens Call Publications! :)

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Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Stop #10

Now, we’ve pretty much been around the globe on our Dusk and Summer blog tour, and I hope you’ve come to understand just how unique and special Dusk and Summer is.  I personally guarantee you haven’t read anything like this, and if you think you know what’s coming in my story…think again.

Fellow horror author Brent Abell heard about my guarantee, so he decided to invite us to his digs in Southern Indiana and his blog ‘Our Darkest Fears.’  Brent loves whiskey (that’s enough to start a bro-mance right there, I tell ya), and after knocking back a few, asked me to share my thoughts on the ‘elements of horror in Dusk and Summer.’

Just fyi: there’s a Holiday Inn across the street that has vacancies.  You better settle in.  I brought along a few bottles of Johnnie Black for everyone.  It might just be a long night…

P.S. Whenever you manage to wake, make sure to say hello to Brent! :)

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Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Stop #8

Hi everyone!  For our eighth stop on the Dusk and Summer blog tour, we’re back on the east coast of the US and the lair of the Dark Angel, Nina D’Arcangela.  Actually, Nina‘s blog ‘The Road to Nowhere‘ is subdued in nature compared to her usual rebel-rousin’, Hell hath no fury like a Dark Angel scorned kinda attitude.  For those that might not know, Nina is my co-conspirator in the fabled horror faction Pen of the Damned; she’s also one of the founders of Sirens Call Publications, owner of Dark Angel photography and responsible for the amazing imagery you will find in Dusk and Summer.

Nina is as unselfish as they come and works tirelessly at her craft.  Fitting then that she should ask me to talk about my ‘Perseverance‘ on her blog.  So take a read, enjoy, and make sure to enter her free ebook giveaway of Dusk and Summer.

And of course, please make sure to say hello to Nina! :)

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Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Stop #7

The humidity is rising here in New Jersey, so what to do?  I’ll tell you: we’re heading to Alaska!  Yes, Alaska!  Cool off (but pack your parka), and join along for the seventh stop of our Dusk and Summer blog tour.  We’re making a stop at the home of book reviewer Kriss Morton, aka the Cabin Goddess (and self-proclaimed coffee whore lol).

So what exactly does Kriss have to say about Dusk and Summer?  I think you’ll just have to find out for yourself in her review!

And please, as you explore around in Kriss‘ neck of the Alaskan wilderness, be sure to say hello to her!  :)

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Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Stop #5

Can you believe we’re on our 5th stop of our Dusk and Summer blog tour already?  Take a look out the window – do you know where we are?  Scotland!  That’s right Scotland, home of not only the Loch Ness Monster but Karen Soutar as well!  Karen is a driving instructor by day, torturer of her husband by night, and in the space between hosts a nifty little blog called, well, ‘Karen Soutar‘ (this woman is all business, I tell you! lol).

Karen has been a huge supporter of my work, and while I can’t necessarily provide you with evidence of Nessie, I can provide you with this: Dusk and Summer was unlike anything I’d ever written before, and in my post ‘A Rare Tribute‘ on Karen’s blog you’ll learn why.

So chill out for a bit, eat some haggis, get a ‘I Love Nessie’ shirt in the tourist shop and enjoy Karen‘s homey nook out here in beautiful Scotland.  And whatever you do, please make sure you all say hello to Karen!!  She’s been a most gracious host! :)

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Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Stop #4

We’re really rolling now on the Dusk and Summer blog tour!  Buckle your seat belts, because I’m roaring into the station of one Megan Stewart and her blog ‘Life’s Unfiltered Ramblings.’  Now, Megan might be an Associate Editor for Automotive.com (I’ve a beautiful 1968 Ford Fairlane 500 just waiting to be written about, Megan! lol), but she’s also aspiring to be a published writer.  Somehow in between, Megan makes it a point to support all authors.

Megan asked me to be honest in writing a guest post on her site, and that’s just what I was.  So join me as I tell you about the Honesty in my Writing.  Please enter in Megan‘s giveaway contest for a copy of Dusk and Summer – and make sure you all say hello to Megan! :)

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Dusk and Summer Blog Tour: Stop #2

Lists; we all make ‘em.  We all love ‘em.

In our second stop of the Dusk and Summer blog tour, I take you to the website of Laurie Jenkins, aka ‘Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews.’  Laurie is retired from Verizon Communications and now loves to read, read, read!  She particularly enjoys smooth, flowing stories – I have a feeling she’s in for quite a surprise when she gets to reading Dusk and Summer.

Somehow Laurie cornered me, and after a terrific struggle (actually, she said please and I obliged gratefully lol), convinced me to share my own version of a list.  So please take five minutes and read my List of Top Ten Things to Establishing a Productive Writing Session.  Let me know if you agree or disagree.  Laurie even snuck in an excerpt and is giving you a chance to win a copy of Dusk and Summer – super sweet!  And please make sure you say hello to Laurie.  Thanks! :)

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