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 audiobook or your free ebook!

 

New release … DEADLY ANTHEM

“David Healey’s latest thriller, DEADLY ANTHEM, weaves captivating history with savage present-day intrigue. The relentless twists and explosive surprises kept me fascinated to the very last word.”

— Robert Blake Whitehill, author of The Ben Blackshaw Series

By dawn’s early light … murder, mystery, and intrigue.

When the Star-Spangled Banner flag is stolen from the Smithsonian Institution, it’s up to War of 1812 scholar Franklin Scott Keane to get it back.

Joining forces with Keane will be an up-and-coming young researcher. Together, they navigate a web of murder and intrigue surrounding the famous flag’s disappearance. Looking for clues, Keane follows the flag’s path from the Battle of Baltimore to the halls of the Smithsonian to a rich and powerful madman’s compound deep in the marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

For Keane, more than the flag is at stake. Since his wife’s death in a sailing accident, Keane has struggled to rebuild his personal and professional life. Finding the flag becomes his path to redemption.

To do so, he will test his knowledge of history and his skills as a researcher to the limit. He will need to come to terms with his personal loss. He will encounter a disturbing historical twist as old as the flag itself. And ultimately, he will have to survive a final showdown in the nightmarish tidal marshes of Chesapeake Bay to determine both his own fate and that of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Get the book now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Click here to read an excerpt.

 

Pirate Moon collects regional stories and essays


The essays here touch on everything from the origins of the unique dialect known as Delmarvese to running a trapline. In the fiction pages, ride along with Confederate cavalry gone astray on the way to Gettysburg and root for a widowed lightkeeper who makes a desperate stand against a German U-boat attack. Encounter Captain Kidd during a confrontation with pirates on the Delaware shore. In “The Wheatfield War,” discover the tragic fate of Lord Byron’s cousin-in-law during the War of 1812. Learn more or get it now from Barnes & Noble or Amazon

 

 

The Caje Cole sniper series …

Frozen Sniper

Sniper lying in snowCaje Cole thought he was done with war after the victory in Europe, but a violent act of justice back home in the mountains forces him into the Army once more to fight in the Korean War. With his unit surrounded at the frigid Chosin Reservoir and confronted by a deadly enemy sniper, Cole must use all his skill with a rifle to fight back. Short on supplies, and cut off from any hope of reinforcements, the soldiers must fight their way out. In a last stand on the ice of the frozen Chosin Reservoir itself, Cole will teach the pursuing Chinese sniper that sometimes the most dangerous enemy of all is one that you underestimated.

Get the audiobook

Read it now!

 

Gods & Snipers

US soldier holding rifle with bridge in background.

 

Outnumbered and outgunned, a squad of U.S. soldiers must hold a bridge against superior German forces in a fight that pits general against general, and sniper against sniper.

Read it now!

Featured in The Big Thrill magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Get the Iron Sniper audiobook

                                                                       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 for the audiobook

                                                                       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 for the audiobook

Click here to learn more about Ardennes Sniper

 

More Historical Thrillers & Fiction

ghostsniperbook_2timereichbook_2sharpshooterbook_2rebeltrainbook_2

rebelfeverbook_2sealordbook_2shipspiesbook_2duelistbook_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery & Suspense

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Regional History

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More to read . . .

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Posted in Writers & Writing

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 … Gods & Snipers coming soon!

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.

**Limited time** Get the audiobook for free.

Get the Iron Sniper audiobook

                                                                       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 for the audiobook

                                                                       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 for the audiobook

Click here to learn more about Ardennes Sniper

 

Read the latest newsletter!

 

Upcoming Events

July 2019, Thrillerfest, NYC

September 17, GODS & SNIPERS release date!

September 21, More Delmarva Legends & Lore, Bayside Institute, Fenwick Island, DE

September 26, Canal Town Writers Conference, Chesapeake City, MD

October 15, Young writers program, Rising Sun Branch Library.

November 23, National Council of Teachers of English Conference, Baltimore.

 

Historical Thrillers

ghostsniperbook_2timereichbook_2sharpshooterbook_2rebeltrainbook_2

 

rebelfeverbook_2sealordbook_2shipspiesbook_2duelistbook_2

Mystery & Suspense

beachbodiesbook_2houseshipbook_2

 

Regional History

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More to read . . .

Region history clickwriting click

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

newest posts scroll

 

 

Posted in Writers & Writing

An interview with Cara Putman, author of Flight Risk

By David Healey

In her ambitious new novel, author Cara Putman takes on so many topics that this thriller is hard to classify. The story touches on human trafficking, the issue of fake news, the consequences of social media, and even alcoholism within families. Where to begin?

“It is hard to put it into a box,” Putman says. “I would call it a legal romantic suspense. It wasn’t a book where I set out to make a statement. It started out more with the theme of ‘Finding truth in a fake news world.’”

In FLIGHT RISK, attorney Savannah Daniels is struggling with her small practice when several worlds collide. First, her ex-husband is accused, along with a famous baseball player, of taking part in sex tourism in Thailand. Next, there is a terrible plane crash in Washington and her former husband was a passenger on that plane. Savannah’s most important legal client becomes embroiled in the crash due to their black box flight recording software. However, her biggest collision may turn out to be with journalist Jett Glover, who wrote the article about her ex-husband. Both Savannah and Jett—who are drawn almost inexplicably together—soon find that the truth may fall between the lines of that article.

“A lot of my book ideas come from headlines,” Putman says, adding that FLIGHT RISK was inspired in part by reading about a baseball player involved in a storyline very similar to the one in the book. “I thought, ‘That is so amazing.’ That kicked everything off.”

But this wouldn’t be a thriller if there wasn’t a twist or two.

Read the complete article in the April issue of The Big Thrill.

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Knock on bookstores’ virtual doors!

Support our local bookstores through this time

Our local bookstores and shops have been so supportive of me in my 20 years of selling books. My heart goes out to the many small businesses and shops that are doing their part by closing their doors. You can imagine how difficult it is to suddenly stop your income. Shops may be trying to support longtime employees in some way. The rent/mortgage/utility bills are still due. While their physical doors are shut for now, many shops are still selling online. If you need a book or something unique, please knock on their virtual door!

Washington Street Books & Music • Havre de Grace

http://washingtonstreetbooksandmusic.com

Old Gray Mare • Chesapeake City

Lighthouse Gifts • Chesapeake City

https://www.lighthouse-gifts.com

The Bookplate • Chestertown

https://www.thebookplate.net

Kathy’s Corner Shop • North East

https://www.kathyscornershop.com

Browseabout Books • Rehoboth Beach

https://www.browseaboutbooks.com

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Meet The Savage Deeps author, Timothy S. Johnston

Underwater warfare in the next century

DECEMBER 31, 2019 by DAVID HEALEY

By David Healey

Deep under the oceans, more than a century from today, a struggle is being waged for the survival of humanity.

After the devastation wrought by rapid climate change, the remaining world superpowers are coping with how to sustain their populations. Where do people live? How are they fed? Where will resources come from?

This is the future that Canadian author Timothy S. Johnston images in his newest novel, THE SAVAGE DEEPS.

In addition to being a thriller, the novel also poses so many interesting questions about the world in 110 years. Instead of turning to space for survival, Johnston imagines that the answer lies under the oceans. Mineral deposits sit on the ocean floor, waiting to be scooped up. Geothermal heat and oil deposits are there for the taking, along with new fishing grounds. To feed the masses, vast forests of kelp can be grown and harvested.

However, the superpowers are fighting over these resources. It has triggered a new Cold War—and sometimes a hot one.

“The next natural frontier is really the water,” Johnston explained. “Seventy percent of the planet is underwater. The big issue for humanity is that it will likely trigger a new Cold War underwater, and that is the setting of this novel.”

Please click here for the full article.

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On the trail of a stolen Star-Spangled Banner in Deadly Anthem


Read the complete article here

By Tim O’Mara

In David Healey’s new thriller, DEADLY ANTHEM, the Star-Spangled Banner flag is stolen from the Smithsonian, and it’s up to historian Francis Scott Keane (does that name sound familiar?) to get it back. To do so, he will test his knowledge of history and his skills as a researcher as far as he can. He will also discover a disturbing historical twist as old as the flag itself. And ultimately, he’ll have to survive a final showdown in the nightmarish tidal marshes of Chesapeake Bay to determine both his own fate and that of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Healey’s protagonist is a distant ancestor of Francis Scott Key. I wanted to know what it is about the composer of The Star Spangled Banner that he finds so fascinating.

“I always liked Francis Scott Key,” Healey says, “because by all accounts he had a lot of humility and truly believed in the words that he had written, based on being an eyewitness to the flag being raised over the fort. Just imagine seeing that! As noted in the novel, he did not approve of the heavy drinking and bawdy behavior of the Royal Navy officers when he was on their ship.”

And what about Healey’s fascination with the War of 1812?

“The funny thing is, I got into learning about the War of 1812 when I was planting tomatoes in the backyard and found a musket ball. Somebody suggested that it might be from the War of 1812, so I started doing some research and learned that there had been a lot of skirmishes and even a few battles all around the Chesapeake Bay region where I live. In fact, I did so much research that it became a nonfiction book about the efforts to preserve 1812 history in the region.”

There are so many historical figures from that time in American history. I asked Healey if there were any that stood out to him.

“President James Madison is one of my favorites from that era,” he says. “The man was a brilliant intellectual who also happens to be the only sitting president (in American history) to lead troops on the battlefield. It didn’t go all that well, but Madison’s real strength turned out to be holding the government together even when Washington City was burned.”

A good friend of Franklin, Beau, tells our hero, “I like it better when history stays in the past, where it’s supposed to be.” What would Healey say to Beau and others who share similar beliefs?

“The past tends to follow us around, whether we like it or not, like those little bells that people put on their cats. The smart approach is to be aware of that and learn from our mistakes and take some inspiration from our national heroes and ideals.”

We could use more than a little of that these days.

David Healey

I was curious as to how much of DEADLY ANTHEM—particularly the “villain”—is inspired by current events? The White Nationalist movement is a tricky thing to write about without crossing over the cliché line. What makes that interesting to Healey (and the reader)?

“The villain,” he says, “is a bad guy not because of his politics but because he resorts to murder, kidnapping, and theft. He loses his moral compass.”

Healey obviously did plenty of research for DEADLY ANTHEMHow did he know when enough was enough? Did any facts get in the way of the story he wanted to tell?

“Part of the fun of writing a book like this is the research,” Healey says, “but I had to keep in mind that I was telling a story and not writing a history. In a case where truth is stranger than fiction, the British really did capture and burn the United States capital. However, I did tell a bit of a whopper about what the British admiral finds when the White House is captured, but that’s the fun of a ‘what if’ thriller, isn’t it?”

I asked Healey to tell me something about the Chesapeake Bay and that area that might shock ordinary Americans.

“There’s a theory,” he says, “that the Chesapeake Bay was made possible by a giant asteroid strike that threw a tidal wave as far as the Appalachian Mountains. Just a little something to ponder next time we start to take too much for granted—the future can change in a flash.

“We won’t even get into the fact that Marylanders eat raw oysters, muskrat, and soft shell crab sandwiches where the legs poke out from the edges and the eyes stare back at you.”

Good. I’m glad we didn’t get into that.

Finally, I asked if he could put together a panel for ThrillerFest—writers living and/or dead—who would be on the panel and what would the topic be?

“Back in 2015,” Healey says, “I actually was part of a ThrillerFest panel that included Steve Berry, David Morrell, Francine Matthews, Terrence McCauley, Kay Kendall, and others. These are some of the best historical fiction authors working today, so for me the feeling was a bit like when you’re a kid and you get pushed into the deep end of the pool for the first time.

“Our topic was the importance of using fiction to keep history relevant. The only downside was that the panel was just an hour long … I could have discussed history and writing historical fiction all day long with the likes of that group!”

So maybe that wasn’t my final question. That got me thinking. I asked Healey to also talk a bit about readers’ fascination with modern-day experts exposing possibly dangerous secrets from the past. (A la The DaVinci Code and the like.)

“I think most of us,” Healey says, “are pretty sure that there’s ‘more to the story’ when it comes to past events and personalities. That’s why The DaVinci Code or National Treasure-type tales appeal to our imagination. In a sense, history is like a giant Mad Lib that invites fiction authors to fill in the blanks.”

History may not always be stranger than fiction, but in Healey’s DEADLY ANTHEMit sure comes close.

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From the Bay Journal, a history of canvasbacks on Susquehanna Flats

By Ad Crable • Bay Journal (read the complete article here)

(Note: This was a great article about canvasbacks and hunting on the Susquehanna River that I wanted to share here. Reading about those market gunners, it’s amazing that the species survived!)

On a cold morning last February, Bob Schutsky looked out the dining room window of his home along the Susquehanna River in southern Lancaster County, PA, and spied a raft of tightly packed ducks that made his heart race.One male stands out in a raft of canvasbacks on the Choptank River in 2016. (Dave Harp)One male stands out in a raft of canvasbacks on the Choptank River in 2016. (Dave Harp)

Four days before, 36 miles south at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, Rick Bouchelle glanced outside the Upper Bay Museum in North East, MD, and stared in disbelief at a floating flock of ducks.

“They were so thick in there you could walk on them. There were thousands,” the president of the museum recalled, still with a tinge of excitement.

Both men were thrilled to the bone because they recognized the waterfowl immediately as canvasbacks.

For Schutsky, a well-known ornithologist, it was a notable birdwatching sighting. For the next month, he posted daily updates of the canvasback numbers on a statewide website. As the ranks hanging out in the middle of the river swelled to 515, birders came from far and wide to see a species of waterfowl that once dominated the Susquehanna but had been mostly gone for generations.

For Bouchelle, seeing so many of the handsome diving ducks with their distinctive sloping, rusty red heads was like seeing a ghost, and strong memories of the past welled inside him.

Canvasbacks are birds of lore on the Chesapeake Bay. For almost a century, the Bay was the wintering grounds for at least half of all canvasbacks in North America — about 250,000. Hunting for the large and tasty ducks helped define the Bay’s identity, creating a distinctive culture and representing a big chunk of the economy for towns at the water’s edge.

No part of the Bay was more synonymous with canvasbacks as the Upper Bay and most specifically the Susquehanna Flats. Plant-boosting nutrients and topsoil flushed into the shallow, 25,000-acre flats from the Susquehanna River and created ideal growing conditions for underwater grasses, including wild celery and widgeon grasses — the caviar for migratory ducks. Today, an overload of nutrients and sediment has become a problem rather than a boon, creating algae blooms and smothering grasses. Curbing them is at the core of the Bay restoration effort.

From approximately the Civil War until about 1950, the Upper Bay offered the finest canvasback hunting in the world. Business magnates and celebrities such as Annie Oakley and President Grover Cleveland flocked to area towns and hunting lodges for autumn hunts guaranteed to bring action and gunning without limits.Hunters in a sinkbox wait low in the water for ducks in this photo taken on the Susquehanna Flats in 1950. (Upper Bay Museum)Hunters in a sinkbox wait low in the water for ducks in this photo taken on the Susquehanna Flats in 1950. (Upper Bay Museum)

Some of the largest lodges, including one owned by banker John Pierpont Morgan, were located on what is now the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground.

It’s no coincidence that both the Upper Bay Museum and nearby Havre de Grace Decoy Museum sport canvasbacks on their logos.

And, Maryland Del. Mary Ann Lisanti, a Havre de Grace resident, is trying to get the canvasback designated as Maryland’s state waterfowl.

Her first attempt failed but she vowed to continue her quest. “Some things in life take time, and this is no exception,” she said. “I will continue to advocate for preserving our rich cultural history while looking to the future to find innovative ways to link our waterfront communities together.”

Decoy carvers, who fashioned and painted lifelike representations of canvasbacks, were in great demand. Men from Upper Bay towns such as Havre de Grace, North East, Elkton and Charlestown began hand-chopping, carving and painting wooden decoys to meet hunters’ demands.

They didn’t know it at the time, but the period would make legends of blue-collar decoy carvers on the flats: James Pierce, Harry Jobes, Bob McGaw, Paul Gibson, Charles Joiner and many others, especially R. Madison Mitchell, a funeral home director from Havre de Grace whose decoys now fetch more than $10,000.

Havre de Grace still bills itself as the “decoy capital of the world.”

The wild celery that used to abound in the flats gave canvasbacks a distinctive savory taste. With the invention of refrigerated railroad cars in 1870, the ducks became the preferred wild game delicacy on the East Coast.

In novelist Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Age of Innocence, about the bluebloods of New York City in the Gilded Age (1870s–1900s), the protagonists are served canvasbacks and Maryland terrapins, along with fine wines.

Market hunters killed canvasbacks by the hundreds in the morning, and by evening, diners in the finest restaurants in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston could feast on the delicacy.A lifelike mannequin of decoy carver Robert Litzenberg is found at the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum. (Ad Crable)A lifelike mannequin of decoy carver Robert Litzenberg is found at the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum. (Ad Crable)

“They were loaded in wooden nail kegs and shipped to restaurants. They weren’t even dressing them out. You were just shooting them and piling ’em up,” Bouchelle said.

The demand for canvasbacks soon spawned a market for weapons that could take the migrating waterfowl in ever-increasing numbers.

Perhaps the ultimate example was the punt gun, a crudely fashioned shotgun approaching the effectiveness of a small cannon. The guns, filling most of the length of low-profile skiffs, were simple guns made from steel pipes and folded into a wood block. They had to be anchored to the skiff to protect shooters from the recoil.

A single blast from their wide shot pattern was capable of taking out 30 ducks or more. One account claimed 54 ducks were killed from a single discharge.

Market hunters would take ducks by any means necessary. Thus, much hunting occurred at night when the ducks were at rest on the water, floating in tight flocks and were, literally, sitting ducks. The boats that sneaked up on them were painted grey to blend in with the reflected moonlight.

Sinkboxes were another effective hunting device. They resembled floating coffins with wings that unfolded when the rigs were moved into place.

Flat-bottomed iron decoys were placed on the attached wooden platforms to sink the vessel to water level, and hunters would lie hidden in the coffin-like space. Lighter, flat-bottom wooden decoys were scattered on canvas wings and 300 to 700 wooden decoys were strategically scattered around the sinkbox in the water.

When a flock of canvasbacks approached, hunters would jump up and shoot.

Sinkboxes and live decoys were outlawed by the federal government in 1935.

Less elaborate were “sneak” or “bushwhack” boats. A single 10-foot oar protruding from the stern of the boat allowed a sculler to silently propel the boat toward a flock of ducks that had landed in the decoy spread, while two other hunters hunkered down, ready for action.Canvasback decoys in a pile with other duck carvings recall a time when this waterfowl was the object of market hunters. (Ad Crable)Canvasback decoys in a pile with other duck carvings recall a time when this waterfowl was the object of market hunters. (Ad Crable)

Market hunting ended abruptly with the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918. Alarmed at the declines of many bird species because of commercial hunting for consumption and feathers for women’s hats, Congress passed legislation that for the first time placed kill limits on migratory birds.

Even without a commercial market, hunters were still keenly interested in the Upper Bay’s canvasbacks.

One method that became popular after the ban on sinkboxes was “body boot hunting.” Hunters would don one-piece surplus World War I diving suits and wade into the Flats amid their spreads of decoys. The hunters would stand behind a cutout silhouette of a Canada goose stuck in the mud with a pole. The back of the cutout included a shelf for ammo.

The end of an era came abruptly with an August 1950 storm that ripped up submerged grasses that had grown on the Flats for centuries. Without their preferred food, most of the canvasbacks went elsewhere. Hurricane Agnes in 1972 was the final nail in the coffin, smothering the remaining grasses in an underwater wave of sediment.

Were the large flocks of canvasbacks seen by Bouchelle and Schutsky last winter an anomaly or signs of something more?A display of old, mostly canvasback, decoys at the Upper Bay Museum attests to the popularity of the duck among hunters the late 1800s and early 1900s. (Ad Crable)A display of old, mostly canvasback, decoys at the Upper Bay Museum attests to the popularity of the duck among hunters the late 1800s and early 1900s. (Ad Crable)

Each winter since 1955, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has conducted a survey of the various duck species spending the season on the Chesapeake Bay.

This winter, 46,000 canvasbacks were sighted, actually down from 60,000 the previous year. But Josh Homyack, the agency’s waterfowl project manager, cautions against reading too much into the numbers, especially for last winter, when high water flows impeded counts and dispersed flocks.

“A lot of people saw them scattered around the Bay this year and thought populations would be high and were disappointed [that the survey’s results] were not,” Homyack said. Still, he added, “Most hunters had really good duck hunting on the Bay this year, particularly scaup and canvasbacks.”

That’s enough to spark a dream in Kerri Kneisley, executive director of the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, who also saw one of those large flocks.

“Gosh, I wish we would see that like we used to.”

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Susquehanna Lock House Museum sets Shank Lecture Series

In 2020, one of the really dynamic historical lecture series in the region will feature talks on horse racing, slavery and freedom, and old Maryland recipes—with samples.

Join Harford County Historical Society Director Maryanna Skowronski for a talk on early horse racing in Maryland on January 15. Her presentation will include vintage film of races, with a focus on the history of The Graw, which was the popular racing venue in Havre de Grace. The Graw also brought some of the more nefarious elements of the 1920s to town, including gamblers, gangsters … and politicians. 

On February 12, engage in an eye-opening retrospective of slavery and freedom on Maryland’s Eastern Shore leading up to the Civil War. Jacqueline Simmons Hedberg, author of Plantations, Slavery and Freedom on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, tells the story of the black experience through the narratives of six African Americans, both free and enslaved. These men and women played a key economic role in the economy of old Maryland, but this talk will also share true stories of courage, cruelty, hope, and heartbreak. Last year, I saw the author speak at Mount Harmon Plantation and her talk was engaging and informative.

Historic food blogger Kara Mae Harris, whose work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun and Atlas Obscura, presents her journal into collecting and preserving old Maryland recipes, from white potato pie to muskrat to terrapin soup. As an added bonus, at the March 14 talk you can sample some of the vintage Maryland desserts that Harris has researched and written about. 

This free lecture series is brought to you by the Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House, sponsored by Stephens & Stephens Clocks of Havre de Grace. All talks take place at the 7 pm at the Havre de Grace Opera House. To reserve your seat, please visit www.hdgoperahouse.org

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First Friday book signing!


Join us at Washington Street Books in historic Havre de Grace, MD, for a First Friday book signing with several authors on Dec. 6 from 5-8 pm! John and Kathy’s events are always enjoyable with music, snacks, and great conversation about books!

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Interview with thriller author Eric J. Gates

By David Healey

When you’re interviewing a thriller writer who is an expert on cybersecurity and computers in general, it’s a bit embarrassing if the microphone doesn’t work on your Skype account.

There’s author Eric J. Gates on the other end of the video, on the other side of the Atlantic, patiently holding up a notebook page on which he has scrawled, “No sound.”

Like any good thriller writer used to wrestling with the intricacies of plot, Gates is every bit the patient problem solver, and soon the interview goes on in real time.

“There you are,” he says in his mellifluous British accent, sounding delighted. “We have sound!”

As the British might say: Keep calm and interview on.

Read the complete interview in The Big Thrill magazine.

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Canaltown Writers Schedule

Canaltown Writers Conference

Chesapeake City Branch Library 

2527 Augustine Herman Highway (Route 213)

Saturday, September 28, 2019

10 am Welcome and Coffee!

10:15-11:30 “Make it Sound True: How to Hijack Your Reader’s Hearts” with Nancy Mitchell

11:45-1 pm “How to Write a Novel” with John DeDakis

1 pm Networking luncheon at Maria’s Restaurant (a few doors down in same shopping center—casual dining)

Questions or concerns? Please contact David Healey 410.920.3230 or dfhealey@yahoo.com

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