This is the online home of David Healey, author of thrilling historical fiction and regional histories. Over the years, quite a lot has been added to the site, so this page will help you get started with navigating HealeyInk. Please start by getting your free ebook!


David’s latest books … 

Iron Sniper

When German sniper Dieter Rohde’s older brother is unjustly shot for desertion by the SS, he will stop at nothing to win the Iron Cross medal and redeem his family’s name by targeting as many Allied troops as possible.

Rohde’s deadly efforts bring him into direct confrontation with American sniper Caje Cole. Rohde may be driven by ambition, but he hasn’t encountered an adversary like Cole, the so-called hillbilly sniper who is as hard as the mountains he calls home and as wily as a backwoods fox.

As the final pitched battle for France takes place around them at the Falaise Pocket, these two snipers declare war on each other.


                                                                       Click here to learn more about Iron Sniper

Red Sniper

red-sniper-3d-bookcover-transparent_backgroundRed Sniper is the story of a rescue mission for American POWs held captive by the Russians at the end of World War II.

For these American POWs, the war is not over. Abandoned by their country, used as political pawns by Stalin, their last hope for getting home again is backwoods sniper Caje Cole and a team of combat veterans who undertake a daring rescue mission.

After a lovely Russian-American spy helps plot an escape from a Gulag prison, they must face the ruthless Red Sniper, starving wolves, and the snowy Russian taiga in a race for freedom.



                                                                       Click here to learn more about Red Sniper

Ardennes Sniper

Ardennes-Sniper-3D-BookCover-transparent_backgroundDecember 1944. As German forces launch a massive surprise attack through the frozen Ardennes Forest, two snipers find themselves aiming for a rematch. Caje Cole is a backwoods hunter from the Appalachian Mountains of the American South, while Kurt Von Stenger is the deadly German “Ghost Sniper.”

Having been in each other’s crosshairs before, they fight a final duel during Germany’s desperate attempt to turn the tide of war in what will come to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. Can the hunter defeat the marksman?

Even in the midst of war, some battles are personal.

Click here to learn more about Ardennes Sniper


Upcoming Events

August 4, Lotus Festival, Mount Harmon Plantation in Earleville, MD

Bay to Ocean anthology release, Eastern Shore Writers Association

August 11, Delmarva Legends & Lore talk, Bayside at Fenwick Island

September 22, Canal Town Writers Conference, Chesapeake City Branch Library

October 27, Great Storms of the Chesapeake talk, Bayside at Fenwick Island

TBA, Death beyond the trenches: The flu and the war in Cecil County, Cecil County Public Library

Historical Thrillers




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The Fairfax Incident by Terrence McCauley

By David Healey

Set in 1933, THE FAIRFAX INCIDENT by Terrence McCauley seems at first to be a traditional noir detective story with a Raymond Chandler-like vibe. However, it soon becomes apparent that Charlie Doherty is an evolved and nuanced private eye. Imbued with a sense of history and complex characters, there’s more than meets the eye at first glance in this novel—much like the case that Doherty takes on.

The novel begins with Doherty interviewing the widow of a wealthy New Yorker who appears to have committed suicide. However, the widow insists that her husband did not shoot himself. Thus begins a case that leads Doherty through a twisty plot filled with politics and intrigue.

The author’s earlier trio of thrillers was actually set in the near future, with some futuristic predictions that have already come to pass. In Sympathy for the Devil, for example, he incorporated the kind of fingerprint recognition technology that exists today but that was more predictive of the future when the book came out.

Now, he’s delving into the past with a series of novels set in the 1930s.

Several real-life events are woven into the story for historical context. In fact, it might be challenging to find a historical setting more interesting than 1930s New York City, rife with Depression-era events and politics. FDR had just taken office to begin what would become a 16-year term in the White House. Mobsters still called the shots in much of the city. There was still great wealth among those who weathered the economic crash. However, there was also terrible poverty described in the Hooverville camps (named for President Herbert Hoover) made up of penniless homeless men.

“There were several Hoovervilles all over New York, with the biggest in Central Park,” McCauley says. “New York was a really different and dangerous place.”

The threatening political dynamic leading up to WWII plays a role in the story. The economic conditions have sparked an American brand of Nazism that is all the more chilling for its historical accuracy.

Please click here to read the full story at The Big Thrill.

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Ellicott City flood of 1868 offers some historical perspective

The beautiful and historic town of Ellicott City was devastated again by a flood on May 26, 2018. The Washington Post did an interesting historical piece to give the recent disaster some perspective. Above, a Harper’s Weekly illustration of the 1868 flood.

‘Beyond rescue’: Ellicott City’s bizarre, rainless flood and its deadly 20-foot wall of water

By Kevin Ambrose

It did not rain, at least not in Ellicott City. That’s what made the 1868 flood so bizarre and unexpected for the residents of Ellicott City, Md., who were reeling again this week after being devastated by their second 1,000-year flood in two years.

A 39-year-old National Guard sergeant was swept away Sunday as he tried to rescue a woman trapped by the raging waters on Main Street.

But the flood on July 24, 1868, was far deadlier, claiming the lives of dozens of people. According to David Healey, author of “Great Storms of the Chesapeake,” the tremendous thunderstorm that caused the flood 150 years ago stayed west of town.

On that fateful day in July, light from the setting sun was completely blacked out by tall thunderstorm clouds to the west of Ellicott City, which was founded in 1772 at the site of a grist mill along the banks of the Patapsco River.

Birds stopped singing, mill workers were forced to quit early, and flashes of lightning filled the western sky. Residents of the thriving town, which served as the terminus of the first section of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, braced for a storm, but it never arrived. The storm, probably stationary, didn’t move east, but its runoff certainly did.

For the full article, please click the link below:


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Canal Town Writers Conference Announced

The Canal Town Writers Conference sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association will offer an opportunity for engaging with fellow writers and energizing your own writing in the beautiful setting of historic Chesapeake City, MD.

Set for Saturday, September 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the conference will offer three sessions in the meeting room at the Chesapeake City branch library: “First Lines: Getting Started with Your Creative Project,” a panel discussion called “Finding Time to Write,” and “Writing 5/7/5.” The sessions are intended to be of interest to writers in all genres and experience levels. There will be an opportunity to enjoy lunchtime fellowship and networking, followed by a cruise on the C&D Canal with a brief overview of Canal Town history.

The conference itself is free. Attendees will be paying for their own lunch in a group setting. Cost for the canal cruise with Chesapeake City Water Tours and Captain DJ is $15 at the dock.

“Chesapeake City has a rich literary heritage with ties to Jack D. Hunter, Edna Ferber, and George Alfred Townsend,” said David Healey, a local author and Eastern Shore Writers Association board member who is helping to organize the event. “The Canal Town Writers Conference builds on this heritage by gathering writers from across the region to improve their craft, enjoy fellowship with other writers, and to explore historic Chesapeake City.”

Space is limited. Please email to reserve your spot.



Sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Chesapeake City Branch Library community room

2527 Augustine Herman Highway

 Note library doors open at 10 am

10-10:15 am Arrival and fellowship

10:15-11:15 am First session (First Lines/Getting Started with Your Creative Project)

11:15-11:30 am Break

11:30 am-12:30 pm Second session-Panel  (Finding Time to Write)

12:30 pm-1:45 pm  Networking lunch (Maria’s and JoJo’s diner within walking distance)

1:45 pm-2:30 pm  Third session (Writing 5/7/5)

3 pm Boat tour with Captain DJ on C&D Canal

Chesapeake City offers several places to dine or enjoy more fellowship afterwards.

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An interview with Sunshine State noir author Jeffery Hess

By David Healey

Florida and crime fiction go together like windshields and bugs on a summer night while speeding down Alligator Alley. A good plot is like that oddly satisfying smack against the glass, leaving an imprint on the mind.

One such book that hits with a satisfying smack is TUSHHOG by Florida native Jeffery Hess, who continues the adventures of his protagonist, Scotland Ross. Ross is a veteran who finds himself caught up in the underbelly of the Fort Myers area, and tries to do the right thing, even if there are a few bodies along the way.

So what exactly is a Tushhog? To set the record straight, the term is defined in a note at the start of the novel. Rather than give that away here, the definition is best left up to Hess.

Recently, Hess took some time out from his favorite writing spot on the screen porch of his Tampa home to talk about his own brand of Sunshine State noir.

Hess is a Florida native and has set his novels in the early 1980s, a period that was just starting to see meteoric development. At that time, Hess was a teenager.

“Back in the ’80s it was kind of the Wild West,” he says. “Florida was half the size in terms of population. The growth has been nonstop.”

Back then, the popular TV show Miami Vice glamorized the East Coast lifestyle of fast cars, Ray Bans, and pastel-colored clothing—often paid for with drug money. Hess recalls that the West Coast—of Florida—wasn’t like that, but had its own vibe, which is why he chose to set his novels in that time and place.

The novels are set about 37 years ago. But is it historical fiction? Hess isn’t sure.

“Technically, it might be too soon to call it that,” he says. “There’s near history and there’s far history.”

His fiction falls into the former category.

Whether or not this is historical fiction, what we do know is that these are stories without computers, smartphones, or the internet. It was a time of fewer distractions.

“It facilitated more mystery,” Hess says. “Everything is less immediate.”

Surprisingly, there is an element of historical research in that the landscape has changed so much in more than three decades. Roads have been built, developments have sprung up, and landmark businesses have come and gone since the 1980s.

Back then, Hess was interested in getting out of Florida and seeing something of the world. He did that by joining the navy out of high school, and serving for six years. Of course, when he mentioned to navy buddies that he was from Florida, they pictured Miami Vice.

His navy days over, Hess went on to college and eventually earned an MFA in Creative Writing. Eleven years ago, he began a writers’ workshop for military veterans dubbed DD214 (after the form for an honorable discharge).

“I kind of took the opportunity to give back,” he says. The group is limited to six participants, and has resulted in some great writing and connections between veterans.

Previously, Hess edited an anthology of military fiction from well-known authors called Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform.

“It was an opportunity to select stories that I always liked,” he says.

He then edited an anthology called Home of the Brave: Somewhere in the Sand that focused on writing by more recent veterans.

Hess is currently at work on the third book in this trilogy that focuses on the growth of his main character.

“It’s not only what Scotland Ross does, but what he doesn’t do,” he says.

In terms of how he approaches story development, Hess does a little of both in terms of outlining and organic writing.

“I just start to collect notes,” he says. “Sometimes I’ll have hundreds of pages. I try to make some sense out of that. It works for me. I’m sure it’s not terribly efficient.”

He also tends to work backwards in a story and likes to make discoveries about his characters and the plot along the way.

“I live for the surprises,” he says, adding that one of the main reasons why any writer writes is to entertain himself.

Mostly, he writes on his laptop, but sometimes composes with pen and paper. “I like that tactile experience. It makes me slow down,” he says. In a sense, pen and paper is also the ultimate technology: “It’s much more portable that way.”

Year-round, his preferred writing spot is the spacious screened porch on the back of his house. He says that because of the settings of his stories, he likes to have that connection with the flora and fauna just beyond.

After all, what better place to write about Florida than in a Florida room?

Hess tends to write for a couple of hours in the morning, and then a couple more hours in the evening as the day fades. He has a long view over some natural areas to enjoy—Florida the way it used to be.

The sun goes down, insects buzz, and the night sounds begin, mixed with the tapping of keys on his laptop…


Jeffery Hess is the author of the novel Beachhead and the short-story collection Cold War Canoe Club as well as the editor of the award-winning Home of the Brave anthologies. He lives in Florida, where he leads the DD-214 Writers’ Workshop for military veterans.

To learn more about Jeffery, please visit his website.



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WWII stories inspired Iron Sniper author

By Kris Kielich

Though we look to fantasy to provide us with enthralling tales of heroism, most times, history provides us all the stories of action and heroes that we need. Such is the case with Chesapeake City author David Healey and his “Sniper” series, and his newest book, “Iron Sniper.”

The books tell the tale of Caje Cole, a U.S. Army sniper who finds himself in battles across the European Theatre of World War II. In “Iron Sniper,” Cole finds himself head to head with a German Army sniper seeking honor for his dead brother.

“The book has Cole in it, but it also focuses on Dieter Rohde, whose brother is killed by the SS for desertion,” Healey said. “So he want’s to earn the Iron Cross to redeem his brother, and along the way he loses sight of his humanity.”

Healey explained how his inspiration for writing the book series came from his time with Cecil County’s own WWII history, as well as his own family’s history.

“Cecil County has a strong tradition with WWII veterans, and we had a lot of veterans at D-Day,” Healey explained. “Back in the ’90s I was able to interview a lot of these guys right around the time when ‘Saving Private Ryan’ came out, and I got to see it with them. These guys went ashore. They lived what’s depicted in that film.”

For the complete story, please visit

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Listen to Chapter 1 of Red Sniper

The audiobook of Red Sniper narrated by Ray Bader is now available! Please click on the audiobook cover below to listen to the first chapter.

A limited number of free ebooks are available. If you would like a free copy, please submit the form below and you will be sent a code for a free ebook … while supplies last!

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The best movies are in your head

Whenever I need a bit of inspiration, or when I just feel like some serious procrastination, I tend to go on over to YouTube and watch a few movie trailers. Stirring music, exciting images … sometimes the trailers are better than the movies! 

Book trailers have never become as popular, probably because novels are not really a visual media (other than the cover and the actual act of reading the words on the page). Much of the enjoyment of a book comes from the movie in your head. 

The team here was able to put together a trailer for IRON SNIPER, the newest WWII novel featuring Caje Cole. 

In terms of books made into actual movies … we all know that the book is almost always better than the movie!

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An Engineered Injustice by William L. Myers Jr.

By David Healey

Imagine riding Amtrak’s fastest train, the Acela. Inside, the seats are comfortable and the coaches are well appointed. This is no tired train hauling commuters up and down the East Coast corridor. Your fellow passengers are interesting and you strike up a captivating conversation with the lawyer beside you. Beyond the windows, the landscape—like time itself—passes in a blur because you are so caught up in the train, the trip, the conversation.

AN ENGINEERED INJUSTICE by William L. Myers Jr. is about as close as one can get to such an exciting train ride, short of purchasing a pricey Acela ticket. Considering that this new legal thriller is fast-paced, tightly written, and inspired by a real-life railroad disaster, it’s probably no surprise that Myers’ previous novel, A Criminal Defense, remained in the top 10 list for Amazon’s Kindle sales for much of 2017 and into 2018. Currently, the novel has more than 5,000 reader reviews on Amazon.

His new book is just as much of a thrill ride. Young lawyer Vaughn Coburn finds himself obligated to represent his cousin, Eddy, in the wake of an Amtrak train wreck in which many die and many more are injured. Vaughn has a dark family secret that compels him to help Eddy, even when the job is going to make him very unpopular. A steamy relationship with a lawyer from a rival firm adds further complications.

There’s a lot going on here, and for good reason. Myers called AN ENGINEERED INJUSTICE a plot-driven novel, following the up-and-down fortunes of a trial. There is also what he described as a “sense of peril” because one of the victims of the train crash was the son of a vicious mobster. One of Vaughn’s challenges is to persuade the mobster not to seek his own rough justice until all of the facts are known.

Recently, the author shared some insights into his new book, writing in general, and how he became one of Amazon’s top bestselling authors seemingly overnight with his first novel.

In terms of backstory, Myers has spent much of his career representing railroad industry employees from Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, New Jersey Transit, Norfolk Southern, and Amtrak. “I know those guys; I know this equipment,” he said. “I ride trains maybe once a month.”

However, this new novel isn’t a book about trains so much as a book about a trial. The story is loosely based on the 2015 Amtrak disaster in Philadelphia, in which eight people died and 200 were injured. The real-life engineer of that train later faced criminal charges, which were dismissed.

His first novel, A Criminal Defense, is also set in Philadelphia courtrooms. Myers is a civil attorney, but decided that a criminal defense story would be more exciting.

“I was excited by the fact that for 2017 [A Criminal Defense] was in the top 10 on Kindle. It was a surprise to me,” he said. “It made me happy, needless to say.”

Despite the success of his first published novel, Myers stressed that he was definitely not an overnight success as a writer. He has been working on his craft for at least 20 years, during which he wrote two or three “terrible” novels.

“They were so bad, even I could tell they were bad,” he said.

Although Myers had been writing for a while, he decided to set himself a new challenge as a writer.

“About five years ago, I decided to write a commercially viable book,” he said.

The result was A Criminal Defense. Once the manuscript was finished, however, his path to commercial publishing got off to a slow start—more like a coal train out of Altoona than the Acela out of Philadelphia. He sent query letters directly to publishers, and never heard back.

Finally, he ran into lawyer-turned-novelist Anderson Harp at a legal conference, and asked for some advice. Harp said, “You’ve got to get an agent!”

Logically, Myers’ next question was, “How do I get an agent?”

The response: “You can’t get an agent!”

Despite this apparent catch-22 situation, Harp did give Myers the name of a professional book editor, who helped shape the story. Through connections with the editor, Myers was able to find an agent, and eventually to land a publishing contract with Thomas & Mercer, an Amazon imprint.

The moral of that story is probably to put in the time and effort needed to write a really good book, even if it takes 20 years. There really isn’t any overnight success.

“For most people to get a book published, it’s a long road, it’s a long haul,” Myers said. “If it’s something that you love to do, do it. The real fun of it comes in the writing.”

One of his favorite craft books became Story by Robert McKee. Although this is primarily a craft book for screenwriting, Myers said that he found McKee’s instructions very useful for writing chapters.

When it comes to developing his own story, Myers tends to combine planning with a more organic approach. He said that he knows the key scenes and plot points before he starts writing, but there are still discoveries to be made. “It’s not until I put two characters together that I know how they’ll turn out.”

His law background has helped to inform his writing, he said. “As a trial lawyer, one of the first things you learn is that you can’t just shoot facts at a jury. You have to weave the information into a story.”

Somehow, Myers has managed to juggle writing with his busy legal practice.  “I’ll write for an hour, then I’ll get back to my legal work,” he said.

He also writes wherever he can, whether it’s on a train, a plane, or in a car. In fact, he often thinks up ideas in the car. (He doesn’t write them down while behind the wheel, he noted.) “Basically, I squeeze in some writing whenever I can do it.”

Some of his best thinking takes place during his daily two-mile walk at the Valley Forge National Historical Park with his dogs. Among the rolling Pennsylvania hills, his thoughts wander to scenes and characters. He has been known to stop during his walk and take notes on his phone when a great idea or plot point comes to mind, and then emails it to himself.

Like many writers, Myers never really stops writing, even when he isn’t actively in front of the keyboard. “If you’re really into writing a story and you step away from it, your brain is still writing it and coming up with ideas,” he said. “I can’t wait to get home to write them down.”

And judging by the success of his novels, readers can’t wait to turn those pages.


William L. Myers, Jr. is a top 10 best-selling Amazon Kindle author for his debut novel which came out in 2017. He might be new to the literary community, but once you pick up his legal thriller and best selling novel, A Criminal Defense, it becomes obvious he is not new to the intricacies of the legal profession. Open A Criminal Defense and you’ll find yourself lost in a labyrinth of deceits and hidden agendas, a world where everyone has a secret. You never know what is going to happen next or when the plot is going to take another unexpected turn.

Don’t miss his second book, AN ENGINEERED INJUSTICE, which came out January 23rd. You’ll really feel what it’s like to be a young attorney in the trenches, beating the streets, against all odds.

Born in 1958 into a blue-collar family, Mr. Myers inherited a work-ethic that propelled him through college and into the Ivy League at The University of Pennsylvania School of Law. From there, Mr. Myers started his legal career in a Philadelphia-based mega defense firm. After ten years defending corporate America, he realized his heart wasn’t in it. So, with his career on the fast track to success–he gave it all up and started his own firm. It was time to start fighting for the common guy.

That was twenty-five years ago and since then, he has focused on representing railroad employees and other honest, hard-working people who have been injured by others. He has represented thousands of clients in his tenure and has become a highly-regarded litigation attorney up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

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Join Me for Library After Hours this Friday!

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS WAS RESCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 9! Hello friends, the Cecil County Public Library in Maryland asked me to host its first After Hours at the Library event, to celebrate the Winter Reading program. They also sent me a few interview questions, which appeared in the local paper. You can’t read the website article if you’re not a subscriber, but I wanted to make the Q&A available here in hopes that it may spark some interest in attending the After Hours event!

 Author David Healey to Host After Hours Event

by Allie Charles

Why do you read?

C.S. Lewis said it best, “We read to know we are not alone.”


What’s your preferred reading format–audiobook, print, digital?

I love my Kindle. I have around 300 books on my Kindle right now. I can carry all those books in my back pocket.

I tend to jump between different books so I have whatever I want right on the device. I can also switch back and forth between my Kindle and my iPhone, and it syncs to whatever page I’m on.

There are a lot of classics available as ebooks for free or at very minimal cost. These can be a pleasant surprise. Grant’s Memoirs was one such discovery, and so was Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau. Grant was a fine writer and his account of the Mexican War campaign was intriguing. Thoreau is revered as this serious writer, thinking deep thoughts off in his cabin at Walden Pond, but the Cape Cod book is more of a travelogue. Thoreau is snarky and funny in a way that reminds me of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. Another free ebook, if you have an interest in local history, is George Alfred Townsend’s Chesapeake Tales.


What are you currently reading?

I am lucky because I work at home and have more control over how my day is structured. Something that I’ve gotten into the habit of doing is reading nonfiction when I get up in the morning. It primes the pump. I keep Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art within reach, along with Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss, Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles, Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, and the Robert Hass anthology, Poet’s Choice. Then, it’s time to work!

During lunch I read fiction. Currently I’m on Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen, re-reading The Blue Max by our own Jack D. Hunter, Wicked Deeds (set in Baltimore and featuring lots of Poe history) by Heather Graham, one of the Pendergast books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and Written Off by Sheila Lowe. Her book is the newest of a suspense series featuring a handwriting expert. It was really good, and Sheila, who is actually one of the world’s leading handwriting experts, ended up analyzing some of my handwriting for me, which was rather revealing. I recently finished up An Engineered Justice for an interview I did with William L. Myers Jr., who is one of the top 10 bestselling authors on Set in Philadelphia around an Amtrak crash, it’s quite a legal thriller.


What’s an upcoming release you can’t wait to read?

Anything by John Sandford or Lincoln Child or Paul Doiron. Locally, I am looking forward to a new naval history of Delaware Bay by Ken Wiggins. Ken is on the library board and is also quite an accomplished writer and historian.


Why should people come to the Library After Hours event?

I think most of us have been to events in New York and other cities that are similar, where a museum or historic property will open its doors on a Friday evening after hours. Sure, you could visit during regular hours, but this is a cultural version of adult swim. Our county library is one of the first in Maryland to offer something like this, so that’s rather special.

Reading is a solitary activity, but talking about books and getting excited about what we want to read next can be more social. There will be snacks, conversation, a chance to roam the stacks after hours, and prizes. Did I mention that it’s free?



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