Tag Archives: Tim Baker

Flagler Beach Fun on the way to The Nation’s Oldest City

The RS and I took a notion to travel on Saturday and headed out to St. Augustine for an overnighter. We usually travel south for Old World Florida fun but this trip took us a bit north. The highlight was a detour off I-95 across Hwy. #100 to Flagler Beach where local authors were having a book signing at Change Jar Books. All of these authors write their stories set in Flager Beach and are local celebrities. They should be regional or national celebrities. When they are, we can say, “We knew them when…”

The RS knows the work effort that went into writing and publishing Red Clay and Roses and he really appreciates independent authors. One of our favorite writers, Tim Baker was at the signing. We picked up a collection of Tim’s crime thriller/adventure books about Ike and Associates to gift a friend. We met Becky Meyer Pourchot and got a copy of the first in her Hungry Ghost series (which I’ll tell you more about later). I don’t think Becky always wears pink hair or dresses like the Snow Princess, but it was fitting for the season. (photo op)

St Augustine and Flager Beach 002

You can follow Tim Baker on Twitter @blindoggbooks, drop by and show some love. He’s almost at 10,000 followers. You can read my review on Eyewitness Blues and get a sneak peek about Path of a Bullet here.

We also picked up a shiny, colorful, hardback book for our grandchildren by Marybeth Jeitner and Heather Chalmers, Saving Libbie the Lobster. This is about one special lobster, and has rhyming passages that the kids and grandkids will cherish. Saving Libbie the Lobster is based on true events. In the back are some interesting facts. (another photo op)

St Augustine and Flager Beach 005

We left Change Jar Books loaded with good reads and gifts and then stopped into Flagler Beach Gifts run by Michelle, where the RS found a nifty boating hat, the kind he likes but can never find.  It fits the rocket scientist better than it fits Captain, the pug.

002

While in Flagler Beach we couldn’t resist the opportunity to dine at The Golden Lion. If you have read any of Tim’s books you’ll know why this place is so very important.

St Augustine and Flager Beach 008

First, we wanted to cross A1A and get an uncluttered view of the beach. There’s nothing quite like the feeling that you get when you’ve been traveling and you come upon an ocean view, the breeze, open blue skies, and vastness of the water before you. Flagler Beach is one of those sleepy little seaside villages that’s not inundated by commercial enterprise. Independently owned and operated ice cream shops, cozy coffee cafes, beach bars, and quaint hotels are sprinkled along the west side of A1A, and the most gorgeous views of the Atlantic are to the east.

Then, back across A1A to The Golden Lion.

St Augustine and Flager Beach 012

Of course we dined on the upper deck so we could keep an eye out for Ike and Brewski possibly passing by on their Harleys.  It was a chilly day at 65 degrees, but that just served to keep the oysters cold. After the appetizers, we were served steaming crocks of delicious New England clam chowder. The soup warmed us up perfectly. If you’re ever touring Florida’s east coast, you’ll want to stop in here.

Flagler Beach is definitely one of my new favorite Old World Florida places.

Another day I’ll tell you about St. Augustine, the Nights of Lights, and Castillo de San Marcos.

Have you chanced to meet any of your favorite authors?

Do you have a favorite Florida place?

What did you do over the weekend?   

Book Review: Eyewitness Blues by Tim Baker and Path of a Bullet by Tim Baker and Friends

The rocket scientist used to ride a Harley. He made up his mind to sell it after an accident involving both of us which was too embarrassing to write about here. Suffice it to say, it happened in our driveway (nobody in the neighborhood was watching, we checked) and resulted in major neck surgery for the rocket scientist to prevent him from becoming a quadriplegic.

I poke fun at the rocket scientist because he’s not always the brightest rocket scientist at the bomb factory, but I love him dearly and he’s always been good to me. I introduced him to an author I had seen in an online interview who writes the sort of crime fiction/adventure Florida has become famous for, and the kind the rocket scientist loves to read.

Back in May, I mentioned this author whom I think is quite clever, Tim Baker. He had a short story contest and published one of the stories in the back of one of his books that the rocket scientist was reading. It made me laugh out loud. It also warmed my heart to see an author actively promoting the work of other authors. You can read about that here and get links to purchase all of his books.

After hearing a few excerpts from Tim Baker’s books, I was hooked and convinced that I needed to read all of them. There were six at that time. I immediately saw the rocket scientist’s appeal in this author and his characters. Eyewitness Blues is his latest full length novel.

Book Review:

I have had the pleasure of reading all seven of Tim Baker’s full-length novels and loved them all. Like all of them, this is a character-driven story. I do think Eyewitness Blues is one of the best. Like many, I have fallen in love with his iconic character. “Ike” is a Harley-riding, down-to-earth, charismatic, ex-Navy Seal who works for Ralph Donebedian.  Quickly becoming my favorite anti-hero, Ike is compassionate and honorable, but is quite capable of eliminating threats any way that becomes necessary. Ike says it best, “I always remember my friends…but my enemies never forget me.” Ralph, a wheelchair-bound bookie, Ike, and their “associates” deliver their own brand of justice in the seaside village of Flagler Beach, Florida.

In this novel, a terribly depressed young man, Martin Aquino, has become entangled with a mob boss in Rhode Island. His life sucks and he is at his wit’s end when he decides to report witnessing a murder to get enrolled in the witness protection program. Baker draws his characters with a deft hand and we see early on why Martin has to make the choices he does. In an action-packed series of events, Martin ends up on Ike’s boat, The Knight’s Mare, in St. Augustine. Almost immediately, Martin senses his life has turned around for the best…but has it? There is so much more yet to come.

Martin’s not always so bright, but that’s okay, Ike has his back! There’s a whole other cast of colorful characters in Flagler Beach for the mob to deal with. If you are looking for a fun read that will keep you turning pages just to see what craziness is going to happen next, this book is a great choice. There is a rare hilarity to the antics of Ike and his “associates” that is certain to keep you entertained.

5 of 5 Stars

An Added Bonus:

If, like many us, you quickly fall in love with Ike, there is an even newer book, a collection of short stories written by Tim Baker and a select few talented authors that tell all about what Ike does to keep himself busy between his full length novels. It’s a fun collection that can either introduce you to Ike and his Flagler Beach associates, or give you a little more to hold onto while you’re waiting for that next full-length novel. Contributors are: Rebecca Heishman, Susan M. Toy, Gi Arena, Anne Marie Vancas, L.F. Young, and Becky M. Pourchot. This is another book you will want to pick up. Your’s truly wrote the Foreword to Path of a Bullet and Seumas Gallacher wrote this blurb:

There are plenty of heroes in the world of crime-fiction, each with their own personality and style.

Ike has earned a seat at that table, but, being Ike, he prefers to find his own table…and let others sit with him.

A former US Navy SEAL, Ike’s current position as an enforcer for a local bookie often puts him in close contact with an element of society most of us fortunately never see. These encounters usually lead to trouble and Ike routinely inserts himself at the center of it all to make sure innocent people aren’t hurt. Ike has a tendency to…shall we say…bend some of the rules…and even break a few on occasion, but his moral compass is always strong and true.
It’s this very behavior that has readers of Tim Baker’s novels calling him “Robin Hood on a Harley” or “…an off-white knight in shining armor.”

Thirteen Stories.

One hero.

Path of a Bullet explodes from the barrel with the first tale about Ike’s encounter with a not-so-scrupulous Santa and follows a deadly trajectory until it hits a bull’s-eye with a Thanksgiving story that has Ike questioning his purpose in life.

Ike dispenses justice at a rapid-fire pace until the only danger in Flagler Beach is a traffic jam on A1A.

Progress and a Clever Crime Writer: Tim Baker

I have been working on writing this crime novel steady since May 4th, even though I had the first three chapters, which I rewrote, done back in November. The ideas for this novel have been in my head for about ten years. I trashed all that—the three chapters not part of the current novel—keeping an old file of those first person chapters. The original was in the murder victim’s husband’s POV…which made no sense. But I knew that character and the plan was to have a murder mystery, not a crime novel. I pull little details from that file from time to time.

After I decided on a crime novel (NOT police procedural) and put the novel in the private investigator’s POV along with Brandi’s, the sidekick he doesn’t want to have, she also needed a POV.  I don’t stick exactly to an alternating POV, but their chapters, thus far, have been clearly and specifically their chapters.

They haven’t been together much for the first half of the novel. Now it is coming upon a part where they will need to be. I am hoping their voices are well developed enough by this point not to be too confusing. The narration is third person, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable.

I now stand at 26,439 words, and I am about half way through the story I am telling. My husband is over eager. He has helped me along, when asked for details, but only read the first chapter, so far. He is an avid crime novel /murder mystery reader and loved the last one, but likes this rewrite much better.

My word count comes to about 2644 per day, over ten working days, but I am writing on weekends too, so it’s really not that many in a day. Add five more weekend days and you get more like 1767 words per day. I know some days it is only 300-500, and others are well over 3000, so who is to say what a word count is worth?

I do try to keep chapters to around 1500 words for short ones and around 3000 for a few longer ones. That has more to do with the rhythm of the read and the pace than anything else. So far, I am up to Chapter Thirteen and about in the middle of that. I am guessing less than thirty chapters.

An author my husband, the rocket scientist, has been reading is Tim Baker. His work is similar to Tim Dorsey and Carl Hiaasen. Both authors I love. In many ways, I think Tim Baker’s work shows more cleverness. The rocket scientist reads me chapters out loud from time to time, and I am anxious to read his work myself. I’ll be reading and reviewing later.

One thing he did, and I plan to communicate with him about this, is published a short story written by another author at the end of one of his books. The story was the result of a contest he held. I am supposing he already had a fan base built up, and beta readers, or other bloggers who were interested enough to participate.

The story was knee slapping hilarious and was like a piece of fan fiction relative to his characters, but using a topic he selected.  The topic was “death”. The writer who won the contest and was published in his work made fun of what might have been a plot hole, his use of commas (or improper use), and other such sillies. It involved a dead body left to rot in a character’s house. How much fun is that!?

I don’t know how he would feel if I stole his idea. I would like to mull over the details on how he set that up with him and see if he would mind if I tried something like that in the future. I would need a fan base first. So I am talking way along in the series.  It really shows the camaraderie of self-published authors to promote and exchange ideas like that. I love it. It’s exciting to see that sort of mutual support. The story was great and I can’t wait to download his stuff on my iPad. I’ll never get my husband’s away from him.

Here are some of his titles if you want to check him out. We found that we have to put both his author name and the title into Amazon to pull up some of his older works. There are a few authors by that name so make certain you have the correct Tim Baker. I really don’t know if he’s still writing. I think his last novel was published in 2011. Of course, he could just be serving time somewhere. Ha!