AND THEN IT GOT REALLY STRANGE: A TRUE STORY OF ADVENTURE, DANGER AND ENDURANCE (Release Date: 2020)
(book currently being written – below is just a brief sample. Final, official synopsis will be available on website when book is released)
Synopsis: A true story – endless amusements, adventures and dangers while navigating the challenges within a plethora of multi-generational (within author family lineage) adventurous situations involving nautical risks (icebergs and getting swept out to sea), North American road-tripping odysseys, jungle living, POW camps, U-boat submarine encounters, white-water rafting, surviving multiple nights in blizzard conditions while lost in the mountains, rock-climbing, etc.
THE CORDUROY ROAD: 17,000 KMS, 63 DAYS, 4 ABBA CDS, 3 KIDS (Release Date: Sept 2019)
Synopsis: 17,000 KILOMETERS, 63 DAYS, 4 ABBA CDS, 3 KIDS, 1 VAN… AND 0 TRANQUILIZERS. Such words elicit unimaginable fears in the minds of parents. Strangulations, padded walls, adoptions, divorce.
Before the age of 22, Michael had travelled over 65,000 kilometers (the equatorial circumference of the earth is 40,075 kilometers) – much of it on the road involving countless adventures. Now in their forties, he and his wife would offer up an abundance of pent-up wanderlusting energy to the vagabonding gods on a journey across the breadth of Canada – to enjoy some family bonding, to live on the edge by courting risk and adventure through fun and spontaneity, to grab those bull horns and live freely, not knowing when or where the next meal was coming from or which town they’d fall into sideways.
But life has a funny way of throwing curveballs when you least expect it. Murphy’s Law 101. Or more seriously, Sod’s Law – when anything can go wrong and when it does, it’s the worst possible outcome.
Here is their raw, uncensored journey filled with amusements, facts, anecdotes, dangers, drama and philosophical quandaries showcasing the good, bad and ugly on the corduroy road.
THE LEAF CUTTER (2015)
Synopsis: Within a labyrinth of intrigue, one man’s shocking revelations from the past lead to a greater understanding of life’s universal values during a heroic but traumatic journey of redemption.
A body is recovered from a river in April 1990. Months earlier, a young John Lennon fan and an elderly Irishman met in a U.S. hospital. A groundskeeper completed the triad. Before long, the past begins to unravel and a connection to WWII is uncovered. Secrets flourish but nothing is what it seems.
Through tragedy, a disease and a modern literary masterpiece, an extraordinary twist of fate awaits the three.
DARK SIDE OF THE SUN: GEORGE PALMER AND CANADIAN POWS IN HONG KONG AND THE OMINE CAMP (2010)
Synopsis: The Journey into horror at Hong Kong and the untold story of the reign of terror at the Omine POW camp in Japan.
8th December, 1941. The Battle of Hong Kong begins. Less than eight hours after the attack on Pearl Harbour, George Palmer from PEI and 1,973 other Canadians from the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers (C Force) began their desperate defence of Hong Kong against the advancing Imperial Japanese Army.
It had only been three weeks since the Canadians arrived. The Hong Kong defenders were only 14,000 strong with virtually no navy, air force, heavy artillery, or reinforcements to assist them.
Facing them were approximately 60,000 battle-hardened, mechanized, fanatical, tenacious Japanese troops, fresh from battles in China.
Palmer and the other Canadian defenders would be the first Canadian army units to engage the Axis in the Second World War. Their harrowing struggle to survive would continue on for 45 long months.
BENEATH: THE FINAL VOYAGE OF THE MAPLECOURT DURING WWII (2009)
Synopsis: February 6, 1941. 5:32pm. While travelling in Allied convoy SC-20 involving 46 ships, the Maplecourt and it’s crew of 38 men vanished. Later on, their family was told it had sunk without a trace. It remained a mystery for almost seventy years before details emerged on the tragedy which involved an interesting connection leading all the way up the Nazi hierarchy to Admiral Karl Doenitz, Adolf Hitler’s successor as the Head of Nazi Germany.
The author had two PEI relatives serving on the ship – his Great Uncle, Earl O’Hanley (brother of his grandmother, Catherine Jeanette O’Hanley Palmer), and Earl’s first cousin, Albert O’Hanley. They joined the Canadian merchant marines during the Battle of the Atlantic.
During the war, Canada had built 410 merchant ships involved in 25,000 merchant shipping voyages (before the outbreak of WWII, Canada only had 38 merchant vessels measuring 1,000 tons or greater). “67 Canadian merchant marine ships were sunk during the war, mostly by German U-boats in 1942. Of Canada’s 12,000 mariners, approximately 1,146 were killed. One in seven merchant mariners died at sea – a higher casualty rate than any of the other armed forces [Army, Navy or Air Force].”
This is the untold story of the events leading up to the Maplecourt’s tragic demise during the dead of winter off the coast of Northern Ireland.