Shipwreck Island is a fascinating treasure hunting mystery that takes readers on a deep water search for a lost ship. What were some driving ideals behind this novel?
I’ve been wanting to write this book for about eight to ten years. When I was younger I traveled to New Zealand and heard about this fabled shipwreck. I was always intrigued about the circumstances around its mysterious disappearance and why after a 150 years no one could find a trace of it. The story always stayed with me and I knew I just had to write about it.
Roy is a salvage and shipwreck expert and helps setup some interesting information throughout the book. What kind of research did you undertake on shipwreck salvage to get things right in this book?
I really didn’t research much for this part on top of what I already knew. I’d read numerous newspaper articles and studied about the latest sonar technology, but that was about the extent of it. As always, I tried to create a relatable hero that all readers could root for and enjoy following.
The book includes a map that showed areas of different shipwrecks, which I found helpful. How much did you rely on history to tell this story, and where did you take liberties to make an interesting story?
Well the map is indeed accurate and shows real shipwrecks. Although the book is fiction, I tried to base everything on real historical facts about the island itself and the prior shipwrecks. The only thing I took liberty on was the location of the treasure, the action scenes, and the characters backgrounds.
How far have you gotten on your latest book, Treasure Fever, and how is it developing so far?
With every book I write, I always try to outdo my last and set the bar high. This one is no different. I did a lot of research prior to starting it and so far I think it’s turning out to be the best one yet! I’m only on page 40 but the plot is coming along faster than expected and even surprising me at times. This one will have plenty of action so it won’t be for the feint of heart. Can’t wait to finish it soon and get it out to the faithful readers! Thank you Literary Titan for this interview.
In the year 1866 a ship named the General Grant lost course on its epic voyage to London and crashed upon a subantarctic island off the coast of New Zealand. Legend has it that its cargo contained one of the richest in history–gold all mined from the Victorian goldfields in Australia. After years of mishap and misfortune–even death–no one has been able to locate its exact whereabouts.
In comes Roy Berenger, one of the world’s foremost experts on salvaging shipwrecks. Recruited to solve the mystery once and for all, he must use all his trademark talents and wits to uncover the historic shipwreck. The strange circumstances around its harrowing disappearance are mysterious and all-too frightening. Putting together a local crew with the latest technological resources at his disposal, Berenger ventures to this far-off island to pull off an audacious search attempt. But in order to find it–he must brave the real-life perils of hypothermia, great white sharks, high-sea squalls, and human treachery.
Posted in Interviews
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The Emerald Cave follows investigator Vince Ramsey who is tasked with tracking down a dangerous arms dealer. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
After writing the previous two novels in this series I always try to up the ante in my books. With this one I wanted the main hero Vince Ramsey to tackle his biggest mission yet. It took me almost two years to develop the plot and once I did, it took me about three months to write the book. I never thought I’d write a trilogy, but it all came together and happened. It’s one of the greatest accomplishments in my life that I can look back on. I knew this would be the end for one of my favorite heroes and I wanted him to go out with a bang.
Vince is an intriguing character that I enjoyed following along with. What were some driving ideals behind his character?
Before I even started the monumental task of writing a book, I just tried to create a character in my mind who fit the concept and ideals of a hero for today. I wanted someone who knew the Bible, but was also like a preacher with a badge and not afraid to dish out punishment when necessary to save the day. In the end I wanted someone who everyone could root for.
There is a perfect balance of mystery, intrigue and action throughout this book. Was this a conscious effort while writing or did it develop organically?
Every book I write is by instinct. I’m not like some authors where they plot and plan and script each scene beforehand on paper. That was never my style. I trusted that when I wrote the scene those things would come to me, and so far after ten years it’s worked. I’d rather run with my ideas and see where they take me, instead of script or pre-plan each scene. But I also stew on my ideas before I even decide to start a new book. I know what the readers expect and I don’t want to let them down. I do tons of research before even starting a new book project. If the idea isn’t worthwhile I’m not going to waste my time on it.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Glad you asked. I write every book like it’s my last, so I didn’t know if I would write again. For whatever reason, the idea struck me and I’m writing what I think will be my best book yet – Treasure Fever. It’s about the legendary search for El Dorado and I anticipate on having it done by January. We all know how long it takes for a book to be traditionally published but I hope this one will be out sometime in 2019.
Follow Israel’s top investigator, Vince Ramsey, in this thrilling conclusion to the award-winning trilogy! Ramsey is called in to track down a shadowy arms dealer whose last known whereabouts were in a reclusive village in France. It soon becomes clear that the arms dealer was after a fabled treasure–something so powerful that it could be used as the ultimate weapon. Ramsey enlists the help of April Fulton, an expert in rare antiquities, to aid him in his whirlwind quest. She quickly traces clues to a controversial physics lab in Switzerland, led by a mysterious figure. Hunting down another lead, Ramsey travels halfway around the globe to a decommissioned military base in the most remote place on earth–Antarctica. There he must battle the dangerous elements and a ruthless team of mercenaries in a race to find the treasure in time.
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Shipwreck Island by James B. McPike is an adventure story with mystery and intrigue. Roy Berenger, an expert in salvage operations of shipwrecks, is approached by the great-great-granddaughter of one of the survivors of the wreck of the General Grant, a ship that was carrying a group of miners and the riches they’d unearthed in Australia. But the General Grant drifted off course, crashed into the cliffs on Auckland Island, and sank. Natalie Claiborne needs Berenger’s help to locate the lost ship and it’s treasure. Natalie’s ancestor, Winston Claiborne had kept a diary that described the event and the conditions the survivors endure while stranded on a bleak island, as they waited eighteen months for rescue. The diary also included a crude map of the island with an ‘X’ mark in the middle. Most of the survivors perished, and the shipwreck had never been found. There are tales of the island being cursed. Berenger’s instincts tell him from the start that he shouldn’t get involved with this particular shipwreck, but… he can’t resist the lure of adventure. Lots of treasure hunters have tried to find the ship, and many have died in the search. Can Berenger and Natalie succeed where so many others have failed?
The story begins with a prologue set in 1866 when the ship’s crew faced imminent disaster off the coast of New Zealand, which drew me into the story. People have been searching for the treasure for one hundred and fifty years since then, and I enjoyed reading the section about previous treasure hunters looking for the wreck, starting in 1868 and followed by numerous other expeditions in the intervening years. I liked the inclusion of this history, which gave additional depth to the story.
It was interesting to read about the different technologies used in underwater salvage to locate shipwrecks, but when the equipment malfunctions and a series of other strange occurrences happen on the island the search proves dangerous and deadly. Someone doesn’t want them to find General Grant’s treasure and sabotages their efforts. I felt that some of the villain’s actions were contrary to their motives. The villain wanted to use other people to locate the treasure for their own personal gain, but then tried to kill those people before they had a chance to solve the mystery of the missing ship. I would have used a bit more clarification on the characters motives to really flesh out, what I think are, intriguing characters.
There were a few issues with awkward sentence structure and repetition in this book as the same things were expressed more than once using different phrasing. This distracted from the flow of the story. And I felt that the chapter when Roy goes to dinner upon his arrival in Auckland doesn’t really add anything to the story and could have been eliminated.
I liked that the book included a map that showed the area of the different shipwrecks and their location in relation to each other. This allowed me to better visualize the setting of the story, which I found helpful. Overall, I found this to be an entertaining story that puts compelling characters in perilous situations set in exotic locations.
Pages: 186 | ASIN: B07GRFW8LT
Posted in Book Reviews
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The Emerald Cave by James B. McPike is a fast novel. It’s not fast in the sense that it’s a short read. Rather, The Emerald Cave works by having prose and plotting that takes readers for a whirlwind of a story that involves action, firefights, terrorists, heists, and a dozen other elements that contribute to an engaging and incredibly engrossing novel. Being the third in its series, The Emerald Cave follows the story of Vince Ramsey, an Israeli detective searching for an arms dealer whose whereabouts are murky at best. He enlists the help of April Fulton, an expert on historical artifacts, and the two set off on an epic investigative chase that brings them from one part of the world to the another, with obstacles and betrayal meeting them each step of the way. The book is fast, and it starts off with a tense standoff initiated by terrorists of the Hezbollah organization. From there, the plot takes no chances, pushing onward with a feverish speed that helps heighten the book’s sense of urgency and impact. This is juxtaposed by appropriately placed moments of quiet that allows both the characters and the readers to ponder on events as they unfurl.
Beyond these points, The Emerald Cave shines in its effective usage of characterization. The relationship between April Fulton and Vince Ramsey highlight a realistic dynamic that allows the two to play off one another. Sequences in which the two work together in solving a puzzle or identifying various clues reveal key differences in the characters’ logical approaches and methodologies that help make each character feel individual. In certain moments, I found myself working out these puzzles with April and Vince, identifying my own thought processes and “aha!” moments in conjunction with their own. At the same time, there is a clear sense of growth these two protagonists go through as the novel moves forward and while some trends are easy to note, this sense of maturity one finds is rare in many stories today. This characterization is aided by James B. McPike’s effective prose. Sentences are generally terse and filled with the details necessary for the story. Long, drawn-out sections are rare to find and each word McPike utilizes is one that is necessary for the story being conveyed. This helps create a tense atmosphere that works incredibly well with the fast plotting designed by McPike.
As a whole, The Emerald Cave by James B. McPike is an incredible story that doesn’t let up. Events fly at neck-breaking speeds while readers becoming connected with the protagonists as everyone tries to uncover the mysteries and secrets the story presents. While the story could have used some additional quiet moments in order to allow the reader to collect themselves before continuing onward, The Emerald Cove remains an engrossing piece. The stories narrative design and effective characterization makes this story an incredible journey and an enjoyable ride.
Pages: 215 | ASIN: B07DSRKWR1
Tags: action, adventure, alibris, artifacts, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, crime, crime fantasy, crime fiction, detective, ebook, espionage, firefights, goodreads, heists, Hezbollah, historical, ilovebooks, indiebooks, james mcpike, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, secret, shelfari, smashwords, story, terrorist, terrorists, the emerald cave, writer, writer community, writing