October, 2020

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GOOD News-Bad News

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

The Good News-Bad News is to bring you up to date on the pricing and options on my books “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” and “SoloMan”.

Amazon keeps increasing their costs and squeezing the royalties. In particular on the Kindle version, which has forced me to increase my sale prices. The GOOD news is that I have been able to secure alternatives to maintain the old Amazon prices on most versions, including the Electronic versions. And I can now offer the color version of the “SoloMan” print book for $ 40.00 which brings it much closer to the Black and White version. This less expensive version is printed by LuLu.com in 7 x 10” compared to the $ 59.00 Amazon 8 x10”. I include a comparison picture of a page from the St. Helena island chapter. I think that you will find that the story comes more alive in color. There are over 400 illustrations in “SoloMan”. (remember to click on the image to enlarge it.)

The new electronic option at $ 8.50 at LuLu is in Epub format, which is more adaptable to tablets, laptops, etc. than the Amazon Kindle which I had to raise to $15.00.

The web sites for both books have been updated at www.TheMakersDaughters.us and www.SoloMan.us

Similar changes and new options have been made to the Dutch books and their web sites.

The “Fleetwood” store is open from 06.00 to 21.00 for signed discounted paperback copies.

Between the two titles, two languages, paperback and e-book, different dimensions amongst the printers, I have been busy updating the manuscripts, covers, and the four web sites. I started the long overdue project in early August, while waiting for a replacement starter motor from China.

Since my last blog of June 10th, right after my return from the winter cruise to the Caribbean, I made a couple short trips to Portsmouth/Norfolk and one to Smithfield on the Pagan River, a branch of the much bigger James River.

Sunrise in Smithfield



My first stop, on a couple weeks cruise I had planned up the Chesapeake Bay, turned in to the last stop, in Deltaville. I burnt up the starter motor. It turned out that there was no equivalent to be found here in America. I sailed back to Cape Charles, sans engine power.

But it took less than ten days for the replacement to arrive from China. In the meantime, I was committed to my books project. What I had expected to take days, took weeks.

The starter motor is installed but a new problem developed in the ignition, all the expert remote helpers are scratching their heads and I am waiting for a miracle working mechanic to get me going again. They are a very scarce commodity here in the lower peninsula.

I am still hoping to do an Indian Summer cruise up the Chesapeake. And I am starting to form a plan for the winter. It looks like I might finally end up in Cartagena, Colombia. My children will be scattered for Thanksgiving and I now plan to head south to Florida via the ICW and weather permitting the Atlantic and then fly to the Northwest for Christmas from Florida or Cancun before continuing on to Cartagena..

So, while you are waiting for my next blog and anxiously looking forward to the details of my third shipwreck, wrap up your Black and White of SoloMan and pass it down as a Saint Nicholas or Christmas gift and treat yourself to an affordable color version. I’ll be needing the money…….

While I am writing this blog, a couple from Lexington, Va. stops by the boat here in the marina. She, Pauline Mason, has a British accent. Her brother works with boat architects in Holland, she lived two years in the Eerste Helmerstraat in Amsterdam and on “de Eilanden” in the Amsterdam harbor. He is a sculptor, not sure what came first his last name, Mason, or the hobby. She is writing a book of some of the exotic places they have lived and taught in Eastern Europe, including Armenia. Encounters like these will be the subject of my next writing project. I have accumulated a long list of one in a thousand type coincidental encounters. Last Sunday I made new friends with a friend of a friend who read “The Mastmakers’ Daughters” and who has now introduced me to her friend in Richmond, Va., where both live. Her friend is Ellen de Kroon-Stamps. Ellen is born in 1940 and grew up i Rotterdam. She married her American husband here and spent 10 years working and travelling with Corrie ten Boom. In 1978 she published a book about her experience: “My years with Corrie”. Corrie and our mother met in the Dutch concentration camp Vught. Corrie became a well known evangelist in the United States and her book “The Hiding Place” was made into a very popular movie. My mother’s bible was used by Corrie in their secret religious exercises. Ellen and her daughter Johanna are scheduled to come and meet me here in the coming week.

Monica Grant of the sailing magazine Latitude-38 wrote an article, “Jack is Back”, prompted by my previous blog.