Monday, April 23, 2018

On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles


On a moonlit night in the Antilles -
Beneath a field of stars -
I heard a murmur in the breeze -
A voice that wasn’t yours.

The sand felt soft beneath my feet -
The breeze removed my shawl -
But the fingers that caressed my cheek -
I could not grasp at all.

I thought I met your glance that night -
In the vast celestial skies -
But the orbs that twinkled oh so bright -
Alas, were not your eyes.

Tomorrow I shall yet return -
To this silent, lonely place -
As long as my heart weeps and yearns -
To see your distant face!



Monday, April 9, 2018

Why I Wrote a Disaster Thriller-and Why I Would Do it Again!




A few years ago, the writer Karen Dionne wrote an article for the Huffington Post about why she would never write a disaster thriller. Among the reasons she gives is that during a terrible disaster, the situation deteriorates to the point where the story cannot end well. She thinks the final confrontation with the villain (in whatever form), must be violent. She says, "Readers have limits when it comes to the amount of violence they'll tolerate in fiction." But at their heart, disaster thrillers are stories about survival amidst impossible odds. As readers, we want to experience the dangers our heroes are forced to confront. We want to see ordinary people braving impossible odds. Think of Rose and Jack adrift in the freezing ocean in "Titanic". Or Ernest Shackleton and his brave crew struggling to survive in the frozen wasteland of Antarctica. As readers, we want to see ordinary people braving impossible odds. The need for this is so great it is almost embedded in our DNA.





When I set out to write ISLAND ON FIRE, a disaster thriller set during the eruption of Mount Pelée that destroyed the city of St. Pierre, Martinique, I knew the story had to be based on individuals fighting for survival. Disasters thrillers like “Titanic”, “Dante’s Peak”, "Pompeii" and “The Day after Tomorrow" make for the most compelling drama because they are a microcosm of our own struggles. Disaster can strike at any moment, and in the end we have only ourselves to rely on. The government is not going to rush in and save us. The violence can be quick, indiscriminate, and brutal. The chances for survival may be minimal at best. The responses of the characters can show the widest range of human emotions possible: from calm to irrational, fearful to stoic, depraved to heroic. In the end, like the characters in these disaster thrillers, we have to use our wits to shape our own destinies. We have to find our own way out of danger. 
In the dungeon of Ludger Sylbaris, one of the few people to survive the catastrophic eruption of Mount Pelee in Martinique that destroyed the city of St. Pierre in 1902.

Whether we like it or not, disasters are part of the human experience. Since time immemorial mankind has been ravaged by hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes, wars, and shipwrecks. Yet we persevere. Resilience is built into our shared human condition. Countless people have suffered sweeping tragedies yet find the will to go on. They rebuild from the wreckage and sometimes find redemption in the process. This is our shared heritage. What makes each story so fascinating are the individual tales of perseverance and triumph in the face of adversity. A disaster is not just about destruction; it’s about people fighting for survival without losing their basic humanity. Disasters teach us to look for our inner strengths and goodness despite the odds against us. A kindness and a favor rendered to another human being at the height of a disaster can bring redemption in ways nothing else can.



I believe disaster stories remind us of what’s truly important. Think of those final brief phone calls made from the Twin Towers on 9/11. Or those desperate passengers on Flight 93 knowing their self-sacrifice will save many more lives on the ground. Helping and comforting our fellow man in a moment of peril is one of the most selfless acts a person can render. Disasters show us the great depths to which humans can sink, but also the great heights at which they can soar. This is something we can all learn from. Without disasters there can be no heroes. And heroes are what inspire us to be better people. Sometimes it takes a disaster of epic proportions to remind us of that.




Treat yourself to ISLAND ON FIRE, the untold story of the Pompeii of the Caribbean. Paperback version $10.99 and e-book version $3.99.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Land of Alexander Hamilton




On the isle of Nevis in the Caribbees-
In a Great House ‘neath the cassia trees-
A boy was born named Hamilton-
In this land of sugar, slaves and rum.
His father was a Scotsman proud-
But to wed his Rachel he was not allowed-
And so his fate grew hard to bear-
For this noble son of a Scottish Laird.
So to St. Croix the family sailed-
But luck again would not prevail-
Though they made their home in Christiansted-
Fate would soon strike Rachel dead.
Bereft of mother, father, and home-
Young Alexander was left all alone-
Through darkest night he remained unbowed-
And soon grew tall and strong and proud.
So full of honor was young Hamilton-
He read all night when work was done-
He set his sights on something more-
And wished that he could fight a war.
He dreamed of battles, glory and fame-
Like Plutarch’s generals of great acclaim-
Above his station he dreamed to rise-
Yet Honor remained his greatest prize.
Through Hamilton's pain and sad torment-
His resolve was firm, his will unbent-
No hurricane could yet destroy-
His burning ambition, his boundless joy.
So he left the isles of the Caribbees-
The sugar, rum, the cassia trees-
And sailed away to find his Fame-
Soon all the world would know his name.


But in the Grange in mother yearns-
And silently waits for his return-
Where cassias bloom 'neath the tropic sun-
In this land of Alexander Hamilton!



Monday, March 26, 2018

Pourquoi la France Compte


L'Amérique ne devrait pas laisser la France tomber au Globalisme et au Jihadisme



La France est comme un miroir à travers lequel nous (les Américains) pouvons nous voir. Nos deux cultures sont dissemblables mais complémentaire. Nous buvons de la bière; les Français boivent du vin. Nous sommes décontractés les Français sont formels. Nous vivons pour le travail alors que les Français vivent pour le plaisir. Nous prétendons comprendre les affaires de cœur tandis que les Français sont les maîtres incontestés en la matière. Ce qui ne fait que nous les aimer plus. Ou les comprendre moins. Et ainsi nous avons coexisté pendant 242 ans dans un état d'incompréhension mutuelle et d'épisodes d'admiration occasionnels. Parfois en même temps.


Comme vendredi dernier, lorsqu'un terroriste ayant des liens avec l'Etat islamique a détourné un véhicule dans le sud de la France, il a tué plusieurs personnes lorsqu'il a tiré sur des flics, puis pris des otages dans un supermarché avant d'être abattu. On apprit plus tard qu'un gendarme, le colonel Arnaud Beltrame, l'incarnation même de TOUT CE QUI EST BON ET VERTUEUX SUR LA FRANCE, s'offrit au tireur extrémiste en échange d'un otage et fut plus tard abattu à la gorge. On ne peut s'empêcher d'admirer la bravoure et le courage de ce gendarme en se grattant la tête devant la réaction du président français Macron, choqué, CHOQUÉ que le tireur ait acquis son arme dans un pays aux lois strictes sur les armes à feu. Peu importe que la France soit le troisième plus grand exportateur d'armes au monde, culminant avec une récente vente d'armes à l'Arabie Saoudite et aux Emirats Arabes Unis d'une valeur de 45 milliards d'euros (55,45 milliards de dollars). Les Américains se grattent la tête à cette obtuse française caractéristique: les criminels se moquent des lois sur les armes à feu.

Mais parfois, nous nous regardons dans le miroir et l'image devient trouble, comme lorsque les Américains commencent à agir plus français que les Français. Je pense ici aux récentes protestations des étudiants pour des lois plus strictes sur le contrôle des armes à feu.

Le grand politologue et historien français, Alexis de Tocqueville, a dit un jour: «La grandeur de l'Amérique ne consiste pas à être plus éclairée que n'importe quelle autre nation, mais plutôt dans sa capacité à réparer ses fautes. travaillé dans le passé. Si cela nous manque maintenant, c'est parce que nous avons regardé dans le miroir de la France et essayé de l'imiter au lieu de simplement l'admirer. Je ne sais pas ce que la France voit quand elle se regarde dans le miroir de l'Amérique, mais si elle continue sur cette voie de la globalisation, la chance de l'auto-réflexion sera perdue. L'Amérique perdra notre meilleur, et peut-être seulement, l'occasion de s'auto-réfléchir. Comment l'Amérique peut-elle être l'Amérique s'il n'y a pas de France à laquelle se comparer?

L'affaire Dreyfus était un microcosme d'une démocratie vacillant au bord du despotisme par un cadre intégré d'agents de l'État profond. La République n'a été sauvée qu'à la dernière minute par une bande de citoyens loyaux qui ont exercé des pressions sur le gouvernement pour qu'il rende justice à l'idée du républicanisme et des idéaux de la Mère Patrie. C'est peut-être un miroir de nos propres luttes internes avec l'intention profonde d'un État profond de renverser notre président légitimement élu alors que nos jeunes défilent dans les rues pour demander l'abrogation du 2e amendement. Peut-être sont-ils trop jeunes pour se souvenir du massacre de Charlie Hebdo et de la vue du flic français désarmé qui plaide pour sa vie avant de se faire tirer une balle dans la tête. Ils marchent toujours et exigent des contrôles plus stricts. La France doit sûrement se voir un peu d'elle-même dans cette charade de «droits de l'homme» et frémir. Ou est-ce l'inverse? Nous voyons-nous dans ce siège terroriste dans le sud de la France et frissonnons?

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Why France Matters


America should not let France fall to Globalism and Jihadism



France is like a mirror through which we can see ourselves. Our two cultures are dissimilar yet complementary. We drink beer; the French drink wine. We are casual; the French are formal. We live for work while the French live for pleasure. We pretend to understand les affairs de coeur while the French make no pretenses about their expertise in this matter. Which only makes us love them more. Or misunderstand them more. And thus we have coexisted for 242 years in a state of mutual misunderstanding and occasional bouts of admiration. Sometimes at the same time.


Eiffel Tower: public domain image.


Like on March 23, 2018, when a terrorist with ties to ISIS carjacked a vehicle in southern France, killed several people when he fired at cops, and then took hostages in a supermarket before being shot dead. It was later learned that a gendarme, Col. Arnaud Beltrame, the very epitome of all that is good about France, offered himself up to the extremist gunman in exchange for a hostage and was later shot in the throat. We cannot help but admire the bravery and courage of this gendarme while scratching our heads at the reaction of French President Macron, who is shocked, shocked, that the gunman acquired his weapon in a country with strict gun laws. Never mind that France is the world’s third-biggest arms exporter, culminating in a recent arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the UAE worth 45 billion euros ($55.45 billion). Americans scratch their heads at this characteristic French obtuseness: criminals don’t care about gun laws.

Col. Arnaud Beltrame Photo: LA GAZETTE DE LA MANCHE / AFP


But sometimes we look in the mirror and the picture gets cloudy, such as when Americans start acting more French than the French. I am thinking here of the recent protests by students for stricter gun control laws.

The great French political scientist and historian, Alexis de Tocqueville, once said, “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” Our self-correcting fault mechanism has always worked in the past. If it fails us now, it is because we looked in the mirror of France and tried to emulate her instead of just admiring her. I do not know what France sees when she looks in the mirror of America, but if she continues down this path of globalism, the chance for self-reflection will be lost. America will lose our best, and possibly only, chance for self-reflection. How can America be America if there is no France to compare itself to?

The Dreyfus Affair was a microcosm of a Democracy teetering on the brink of despotism by an embedded cadre of Deep State operatives. The Republic was only saved at the last minute by a band of loyal citizens who pressured the government for justice, keeping alive the idea of Republicanism and the ideals of la Mère Patrie. It is perhaps a mirror of our own internal struggles with an embedded Deep State intent on overthrowing our rightfully elected president while our young people march in the streets demanding a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Perhaps they are too young to remember the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the sight of the unarmed French cop on the ground pleading for his life before being shot in the head. Still they march and demand tighter gun controls. Surely France must see a little of herself in this “human rights” charade and shudder. Or is it the reverse? Do we see ourselves in that terroristic siege in Southern France and shudder?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

I Dive Beneath the Ocean's Waves



I dive beneath the ocean’s waves-
Into a world of blue-
And frolic with the creatures there-
In every shape and hue.

The anemone that beckons me-
With a thousand graceful limbs-
And lips of red that urge me-
To cater to her whims.

The parrot fish with open mouths
And eyes as black as coal-
They wave at me with golden fins-
And bid a fond hello.

A turtle comes to greet me-
With eyes both sad and true-
The sea fans they caress me-
In this silent rendezvous.

Beside me glides a Manta ray-
The giant of the sea-
He flaps his wings and floats along-
So effortlessly!

The urchins with their spindly legs-
And suits of armor too-
Like bayonets they pierce me-
In this aquatic Waterloo.

The butterfly and angel fish-
With streaks of gold and blue-
An ancient grouper of gloomy face-
Bids me a fond adieu.

The laws of nature seem to cease
In this silent, floating dream-
Though life and death surround me-
In the waters of the Gulf Stream.

Beneath the waves I’ve found a place-
Of extraordinary delight-
A silent, wondrous world exists-
So completely out of sight!



Saturday, January 6, 2018

Island on Fire is now HOT & TRENDING on Kindle Scout

Dear Friends,
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Thank you so much!! *heart emoji*

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