Gaudy beasts of the past rip exaggerated claws through my present. I’m talking about Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jack London, Isaac Asimov, Lester del Ray, Clifford Simak, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey. And the not-authors, like Victor Appleton II (Tom Swift Junior series) or Kenneth Robeson (Doc Savage series). It’s a good thing I didn’t know at the time that those folks weren’t real, because I loved the stories.
And I refused to be ashamed. Ray Bradbury writes, “At ten, Jules Verne is accepted, Huxley rejected. At eighteen, Tom Wolfe accepted, and Buck Rogers left behind. At thirty, Melville discovered, and Tom Wolfe lost.” I appreciate today’s literary fiction, but I love yesterday’s wild rides (not a single one of which could withstand a “critical analysis” or an “in-depth review.” I don’t care. I love them.)
I am a throwback. An atavism. I’m a case of arrested development.
And of course, I exaggerate. But it’s to make a point, which is that when you read Ace Carroway and the Ghost Liner you can expect: Poison darts. Swamp men. Buckskin. Fjords. Hot soup. Freezing waters. Sunken wrecks. A ghostly ship that moves without steam or sails. A wooden leg. Several declarations of love. Sea chases. Unreliable maps. A talkative second mate. A coffee-loving teenager. Cuff links.
You will not find: angsty teenagers, washboard abs, dystopian futures, love triangles, an ugly duckling that turns beautiful, immortals that somehow find mortals interesting, aliens that show up and solve everything, allegory, gratuitous violence, revenge plots, or keen insights into human nature.
What I hope is that you will find a book that generates chuckles, a few worriedly-nibbled lower lips, and flying fingers as you flip pages. In short, it’s another Ace Carroway adventure. And that, my friends, is my most breathless and long-winded introduction ever for a new release announcement. I am therefore pleased and tickled to present: Ace Carroway and the Ghost Liner, 7th in the Adventures of Ace Carroway series.
A ghostly ship and a kidnapped associate. Add a dose of death and it sounds like a case for Ace Carroway.
Pilot and inventor Cecilia “Ace” Carroway needs titanium for her latest brainstorm, an innovative engine that could revolutionize 1922 aeronautics. Her handsome associate Bert boards a steamer bound for Juneau to sign a sales deal for the metal, but encounters an eerie, silent-running ship. Hours later, he disappears.
Ace drops everything to hunt for her missing associate. She soon splashes into a mystery to freeze her very marrow, set in the frigid waters of Alaska’s inland passage.
The clues lead Ace to the fog-enshrouded hamlet of Port Clam. There, her questions about the ghost ship lock lips tight. And moonless nights bring silent men, covered in moss and armed with wartime carbines. When Ace discovers an underground charnel house it becomes clear that this mystery is more than a search for her missing associate. It’s about death. Death for Bert, but perhaps multitudes more. Call it the vengeful ghost of a dead war.
The ghost of war stalks Ace as well, and if she can’t crack this mystery in time, everyone dies.
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Ray Bradbury’s quote comes from Zen in the Art of Writing (1990).
Series information at the Ace Tracker page.