PRG is proud to welcome July’s Author of the Month, Charles Alexander!
Please tell us a bit about yourself
Ever since I read the book “There is a River”, by Edgar Cayce, I felt as though I could make a connection with the other side. Things were somewhat different for me growing up on the streets of Baltimore City. I would always see things that no one else acknowledged the presence. Even two of my teachers in the arts took a special liking to me and tried to explain to me that I would take a different path in life unlike others for I was blessed with a gift. My father was an Ironworker who could never find work in Baltimore so he “boomed out” as the popular was known as. He found work in New York and stayed there during the week leaving me and my brothers to grow up and become street smart. He graced the skyscrapers of Manhattan and I was always amazed how he and his coworkers had no fear of scaling the columns of steel as they ascended to the heavens. Risk and danger were always part of their daily ritual as there was never any safety equipment or protective gear worn. They took their coffee break while sitting on the steel beams and never gave this a second thought regarding their comfort or exhibited any fear. Therefore this sense of adventure walking amongst the clouds in the sky was instilled in my life forever. After my 11th grade year of high school my close friend convinced me to work with him for the summer at Ocean City, Md. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The freedom I had almost made it impossible to go back to the routine life I had at home. I would eventually return the next summer as my desire for the beach life and being next to the ocean burned within me. When I returned home it was apparent that my parents were having difficulties and it ultimately ended my plans to go to college to study structural engineering. My mother told my dad either I go or she would leave my father. So I made the choice for the both of them and headed out on my own again to work at the same trade as my father. My father always said thereafter he wishes she would have left instead.
It wasn’t long before reality set in and the life I so desired at the beach seemed unattainable. For the next nine years I worked hard for my employers and never found any satisfaction with them as I knew I was making it possible for them to enjoy huge profits. It soon became obvious that it was time to take the risk and pursue my own business venture. Things were tough for the first five years, but it eventually turned around in my favor. I was becoming successful winning large contracts as I had no fear for taking risks constructing the larger projects in our city. I never gave up my plans to once again be able to live at the beach. So business was good enough and I bought my first home in Ocean City, Md. This was great for family vacations for the next 10 years as the children grew up. Then the economy changed and I thought it was best to sell the home. We decided it was best we would take vacations at other destinations.
One summer while visiting a relative in Richmond I stopped to help a motorist on the side of the road. We talked and he explained it rained the entire week when he was a place called Emerald Isle in the southern Outer Banks. He thanked me for the assistance and then the thought of this place just kept nagging me. I decided I should vacation there next summer and so we did. Life there was entirely different than that of Ocean City. The lifestyle is so laid back and nothing moves fast. I was easily sucked into this and I knew this was for me. So we came back the next year as well with friends and explored the entire peninsula. I got a call from my insurance agent one day and she explained to me that she was heading out for vacation and if could give her some feedback on the insurance proposal. I asked where she might be vacationing and she explains to me some town called “Duck”. This was in the area known as just The Outer Banks. This would be just north of where we were now vacationing. I decided this sounded appealing and a great place for next year vacation. The first time we stayed there we liked it so much we decided to put an offer in for a tenth ownership allowing us five weeks a year to vacation. It was predicated on a rotating schedule but it sounded like a great and inexpensive way of having ownership back at the beach.
It was long after that I felt the need to look for property to build on anticipating that one day I would retire there. I found a lot that met the budget in a community called “Pirates Cove” I sat on this for three years and we discussed it was time to just buy a beachfront cottage with the proceeds from the sale of the lot. Little did I know that this was the next step that would forever change my life. For this is what led to my encounter with the other side. The lost souls of those that perished on this coastline known as “The Graveyard of the Atlantic. Based on the paranormal experiences I encountered on this narrow strip of sand, I had no choice left but to tell everyone about the ghost ships that still roam these shores in search of their final resting place.
Tell us about your books/series
Architect Jonathan West has had his life defined largely by the precision of the structural drawings that are the foundation of the success of his firm. He is talented and very much in demand and has always prided himself on his ability to focus on the project at hand.
His world is thrown out of focus when he is confronted by his wife’s infidelity with one of his most trusted employees, and he debates on whether or not to end the marriage. His wife Patrice suggests he accept an invitation from one of his friends to take a fishing trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Although reluctant to leave serious obligations to his clients and his firm, Jonathan recognizes the need to have some separation from Patrice and the hectic pace of his business, in a place like the Outer Banks, where he will have time to think.
Jonathan heads south, and as he puts distance between himself and his troubles, his mind starts to relax and his thinking becomes clearer. He arrives on the island just before sunset and is instantly mesmerized by the ethereal beauty of a place whose very air seems softer.
As he and his fishing buddies relax on the deck of the waterfront condo they’re renting, celebrating a successful fishing endeavor, a dense fog descends on the ocean before them. As it swirls around them, the ghostly image of a square-rigged schooner emerges from the mist. It’s the kind of ship that, long ago, raided the Carolina coast. Their sighting lasts for only a few seconds before the ship fades back into the fog—but only Jonathan glimpses the spectral woman at the helm. When his eyes meet hers, he realizes a deep connection so profound that he knows he must discover what it is, or his life will never be the same.
In order to pursue his quest, Jonathan buys a house on the beach near the sighting. After a Nor’easter ravages the coastline, Jonathan discovers a chest covered in tar. Its contents reveal that it belonged to Kate Russell, captain of the Royal Thomas, which sank in 1721. Her detailed ship’s log describes her fascinating life as a pirate captain. He also finds a heart shaped ruby necklace.
Jonathan now thinks the chest is from the ghostly ship he witnessed that fateful night. He starts seeing Kate’s image everywhere. He realizes she wants something from him, and feels that if he can figure it out and find a way to help her, her spirit will finally rest.
Patrice recognizes the change in her husband and knows her chance with him is slipping away. Over her objections, Jonathan moves to the beach house full time where he immerses himself in Kate’s journal. He is determined to find evidence that she existed as he consults marine authorities, digs through old documents, and ferrets out each and every one of the local tales of pirates and shipwrecks. He becomes fixated on making a connection with Kate and stops communicating with everyone!
Jonathan doesn’t fully understand nor is he prepared for the journey he must undertake to make the Graveyard of the Atlantic give up the secrets of the Royal Thomas and reveal the story of a life lost long ago.
Why should people buy it?
This book shares an insight in the life a person who was very successful, but his life is forever changed by the infidelity of his wife. The main character Jonathan, tries to sort out his next step, but experiences contact with the ghost of female pirate captain who consumes his life. He will never be the same as he discovers clues that draws him into her web of piracy.
Where can readers find your books?
Barnes & Noble online and on the book shelves as well as Amazon. The Carolina Room Historical section at Charleston Library, Greetings and Readings Booksellers Hunt Valley, Md. Ducks Cottage Book Store in Duck NC. and Manteo NC. Cotton Gin Sores 4 locations in NC. Soon to be in Enoch Pratt Free Library Baltimore, Md.
What awards and accolades have you achieved?
Today we have two more 5-star reviews for Lost Treasures of the Heart (and one from last week):
“Such a fascinating mixture of spirits from the past and modern day life. Action and suspense on every page!”
“Twists and turns in the plot line kept me wondering what was going to happen next . . . I gave this one a full five beating hearts as mine was pounding from the suspenseful ride!”
and from Books, Dreams, Life:
“I loved the spirits of the past and modern life. Full of action, twists and turns. Characters were very well developed. Highly recommend this book to Contemporary, Historical and Paranormal readers.”
And last week, from Unabridge Amberlyn:
“I really loved how the suspenseful mystery unravels with Jonathan struggling to discover the truth behind the mysterious, spectral, pirate woman he’s seeing . . . The plot drove forward quickly and effortlessly.”