Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kindle eBook $2.99 only. The Greek Seaman, a seafaring novel

Jacqueline Howett is the author of The Greek Seaman. A seafaring novel.


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A new ebook just published. The Greek Seaman is based on a true story and took twelve years in the making.

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Product Description

Description to The Greek Seaman novel.

What is an eighteen year old newly wed doing traveling on a massive merchant ship anyways? Hadn’t she gone to Greece on tour in a ballet as a dancer? These are questions, Katy asks herself while travelling the high seas with Don her chief officer husband. However, little do they know a smuggling ring is also on board for this ride, on a blue diamond exchange and when explosions and threats to sink the ship also happen, they must try to save themselves.

Getting to know the smugglers, the Arabic and Pakistani deck hands and Don, the Greek Seaman is an exciting sea adventure with enough suspense and romance that will make you laugh and cry. It will take you on a voyage to experience the magnificent soothing wonders and beautiful scenery at sea, and take you through storms and hurricanes where Katy finds herself navigating through it with a seasick crew. From Piraeus, Greece, your visit the ports of Lebanon and Libya and enjoy the exotic magic of the bazaar. The bond between Don and Katy, in their ordeal at sea makes this a memorable story.

The thunder clapped and the mysterious voice of the sea made itself known about them, and as the ship made its sudden precipitous descent once more it rendered them powerless to move.
The captain shook his head. "This is not a hurricane, this is something else. I have never seen a hurricane like this before, have you?"

Exerpt from the Greek Seaman novel
Jacqueline Howett


At Ma’s place in the village.

   Piraeus, Greece 1972.
   Don’s mother had just finished hanging her washing on the line up on the roof of the house. From over the village rooftops of Piraeus, you could just make out dockland, the fishing market and the ocean beyond. She carried her stocky build carefully back down the stairs. Don and Katy were just leaving.


   “See you later Ma, Katy and I are going into town.”

   Don’s mother smiled with curiosity as they headed towards the stairs.

   “Katy wants to buy jeans and take a walk about. We are going to the corner to get a taxi.”

   “What time will you return?”

   “Late. We are going to eat out and see a movie after.”



   “I was about to cook. I bought some fresh fish this morning at the market just for Katy to eat.” She looked Katy up and down, admiring her purple blouse with ruffles and white pants that she wore with beige high heels. “Now you’re all dressed up, go!” She smiled and clenched Katy’s hand. “You look nice Katy.”

   “Thank you.”

   “You eat the fish Ma. Eat it with those wild greens you hide up there on the roof in the laundry room,” said Don.

   Don’s mother felt embarrassed with Katy listening. “So you found my secret place, eh?”

   “Who is going to eat your precious wild greens Ma? Keep them in the house.”

   “They stay cool in there. They keep longer and taste better.”

   “Why don’t you eat the fish with Rita and Dad?”

   “I didn’t buy the fish for your sister. Your sister can eat anything and your father rarely eats here anymore. He lives at the village café from morning to night on just two eggs he eats for breakfast.” She nodded solemnly at Katy and Don. “You know, he doesn’t eat any more. Anyway, I bought the fish especially for Katy. Look at her she is all skin and bones.”

   “That’s her English way Ma. They all like to have figures like models.”

   “So what do these English models eat?” she grinned.

   “She eats soup and salad, fruit, veggies, eggs and yogurt with honey.” Don turned to Katy and spoke in English. “My mother wants to fatten you up like a Greek girl.”

   “What are you telling her?”

   “That you want to make her fat like a Greek girl.”

   Don’s mother knocked her head back and laughed. She nodded at Katy and touched Katy’s ribcage, then with a gesture held her fingers together up to her mouth. “Eat more. Some fat will make you look more healthy and beautiful,” she smiled.

   Katy smiled then gave her mother in law a hug.

   “Do you like fish Katy?”

   Katy nodded.

   “But you have to clean out the bones first,” said Don. “And who would have thought, she loves the skordalia we serve with the fish.”

   “What, our pureed garlic potato with mayonnaise and horseradish?” Don’s Mother gave her a look of astonishment.

   Katy’s eyes lit up nodding at her mother in law. “Umm, that is nice.”

   “Good, I will make it for you.”

   Katy turned to Don. “We don’t have to eat out. Your mother seems to have gone to a lot of trouble to get the fish. That must have been a long walk for her to the fish market and back.”

   “She likes to go to the market. You know, she gets to gossip there with the fishermen and the other ladies, and on her way back she picks her wild greens then catches a bus.”

   Don’s mother enjoyed listening to her son speaking in English. “I’ll put some aside for Katy to eat tomorrow for lunch.”

   “You see how my Ma loves you Katy? She doesn’t want you to leave. You are now her new friend.”

   Don kissed his mother. “So while Katy eats in the kitchen she must listen to all your life, eh Ma?”

   “Well, who else listens to me?” She turned to Katy and smiled. Gently she stroked Katy’s long black hair. “What your eyes will see Katy.”

   “Ma, now what are you telling her?”


   “Rest up, Ma. Put your feet up for a while and watch your soap opera’s. Cook the fish tomorrow.” Don grinned.

   Don’s mother rocked her head, “Hmm, I’ll see.”

   It was good to see her son in love and finally married. She gave Katy and her son a final nod of approval as they left.

   However, Katy detected in her mother in laws eyes her reading into something more with where they were really going together in life.

   Katy’s high heels echoed as she followed Don down the stairs.

   Usually Don stayed in hotels when he was single after returning from a ship as a seaman, preferring his own company. Now he surprised all the family with his coming home to stay with a new English wife who he had married in England. Don being fifteen years older than Katy was something to think about, but at least she could understand and speak some Greek.

   Don had yet to find another ship and save for an apartment of his own. She could see what the reality for Katy would be. She had married a seaman herself. Katy seemed to make her recollect her own life of love, beauty, youth and innocence. Still, she had questions for a son she was so happy to have home, and yet in the excitement of watching their love an uncertainty lingered.




The Blue Diamond Plan.


   The Marina Café square - Piraeus, Greece.

   Gino the waiter set the heavy tray down. “Here you go, three ham n cheese melts with coke and one espresso.”

   “Nice, thanks Gino,” said Lucas.

   Gino began to fill three glasses with water from a jug. “How’s the shipping business Mr. Lucas?”

   “Very well, very well Gino, but as usual we are always in need of more help down at the docks.”

   Gino took in the air of the three men. “Did you know Don is back in town?”


   “Yeah, you know, Don with the curly hair and all muscle?”

   “Yes, Don,” nodded Lucas. “When did he get in?”

   “He just got back from London with a new English wife,” smiled Gino. “He might be looking for a ship.”

   “A new wife eh?” said Tony the engineer. “What’s she like?” 

   “Beautiful,” Gino smiled. He raised his eyebrows. “She’s very young.”

   Lucas turned to Captain Nikos. “Have you worked with him before?”

   “No,” said Captain Nikos shaking his head. His charismatic blue eyes shifted from Lucas and Tony to Gino. “But I’ve heard he can practically take on any ship by himself.”

Everyone laughed.

   “True eh?” said Gino nodding. “He is strong.” He paused for a second as he recollected, then smiled before topping up their glasses with water. “He’s still in love.”

   “Yeah, Don’s good,” said Tony, nodding. “I’ve worked with him on several ships.”  

   “He usually passes by here every day for coffee with his new wife,” said Gino. “I can put in a word for you, if you like Mr. Lucas.”

   “Did he pass yet?”

   “No not yet.”

Lucas opened his briefcase on his knee. "Here, give him my card when you see him. Tell him to call me at my offices in Athens will you?”

   Gino nodded and placed the card into his white shirt pocket. Another table started clicking their fingers to get Gino’s attention to place an order. Gino turned, nodded and gave a half smile to everyone.

   “Is there anything else I can get you Mr. Lucas?”  

   Lucas glanced at Tony and Nikos. “No thanks Gino.”

   Gino politely brought attention to their sandwiches. “Bon Appetite.”

   Swiftly Gino left. His courteous patience to all his customers paid off well in tips. He made sure he was extra obliging to Mr. Lucas, for he tipped well for the tidbits of information he gave him while serving among this seafaring Mecca.  

   With an appetite the men ate.

   It was business as usual in the café square facing about the yachts in down town Piraeus. By three o, clock it was usually crowded any time of year. A string of café venues stood side by side marked their own territory by different color umbrellas, where only waiters served tables. The weather for mid February had climbed to sixty-eight degrees.


“You know, if we can get Don onboard I think he will fit in perfectly to our plans,” said Lucas. “What do you think?”

   “Well, we need a chief officer,” said Captain Nikos.

   “What if he gets suspicious?” asked Tony the engineer.

   “So what if he does? If anything, after the explosion he will only know about our cover up plan to sink the ship for the insurance. How will he ever know about the blue diamond,” said Captain Nikos.

Lucas turned to Tony. “But what about when you both mess with the radios. Does he know about radios?”

Tony shook his head. “No, he knows nothing about radios.” 

“You sure Tony?” said Captain Nikos.

Tony gave Lucas and Captain Nikos a serious nod, then smirked, turning to Lucas. “Offer him a good advance and see if he wants to bring his wife on the trip. The love distraction will help to keep him busy and his nose out of our business.”

   “Well, the new deckhands will keep him busy,” said Lucas. “I just recruited two more from Pakistan this morning.”

   “If he get’s suspicious when seeing the speed boat making a pick up from the Marcos ship, it will look like nothing but cigarette smugglers, and that we all know happens all the time,” said Captain Nikos.

   “Well, I’m still hoping to really sink her, if we can,” said Lucas.

   “So you worked a deal out with that peasant Captain Andreas on the Petra?” said Tony.

   Lucas nodded.

   “Hmm,” said Tony. “So how big of an explosion are we talking here that you want me to make?”

   Captain Nikos and Lucas looked at each other.

   “Well it better be big enough to injure one of the oilers real good, so that Harry and his rescue team in Malta have to hear about it.” Nikos turned to Tony. “Harry doesn’t want any of his team getting suspicious when they arrive on the scene.”

   Lucas addressed both the men. “I’m just saying, if we can sink the ship for the insurance it’s a good bonus, don’t you think? Anyway, we can talk later about that.”

   They noticed in the distance Gino’s lanky confident figure walking towards them. They went quiet.


   “You can give me the total now Gino. That was a great Ham N Cheese. I would order another but I have to go.”

   “Glad you liked it Mr. Lucas.”

   Gino added up and gave Mr. Lucas the bill.  Lucas glanced at it, settled the bill and gave Gino a backhand of extra cash that no one could see.

   “Thank you Mr. Lucas.” Gino nodded with satisfaction then left to another table urgently trying to catch his attention.

   Lucas opened his briefcase and handed Captain Nikos and Tony the engineer each a few business cards. “Here, give a card to Don if you see him.”

   For a few moment’s they sat quietly people watching. Captain Nikos leaned back in his chair and relaxed with his arms behind his head. He noticed Tony admiring the yachts in the marina.

   “So are you still going to buy yourself that yacht Tony when you get your share?”

   Tony glanced at Captain Nikos, and then picked the dry oil out from under his nails. He looked up again with a smirk. “First I’m going have a manicure just like Lucas. 

   Lucas answered for him. “Tony will be quiet for a year like everyone else, right Tony?”

   Tony nodded, then scratched at his unshaven chin and turned to Lucas. “You have got it pretty good being a ship-owner eh? You can spend all the money you like and no one gets suspicious.”

   Lucas eased into a half grin. “So, tell everyone the yachts mine.”

   “I can do that?”

   “We’ll see. Maybe we can work something out.” Lucas looked at Nikos and back at Tony.  “But I’m not making any promises.”

   “When did you start polishing your nails Lucas? I have never seen you wear polish before,” said Captain Nikos.

Lucas looked at his nails. “What? It gives a clean look.”

   “I don’t know it looks gay to me.”

   “No, lots of businessmen wear varnish in the city and they’re not gay.”

   “So when do you think our carrier will arrive in Africa?” said Tony.

   “That’s what we are all waiting to hear,” said Captain Nikos.

   “So apart from keeping an eye on the Marcos ship, everyone’s in position right?” said Tony.

   Lucas and Captain Nikos nodded.

   “So we just play for more time?” said Tony.

   Captain Nikos nodded, looking cool, calm and collected in his unbuttoned white shirt that revealed a gold chain with a Saint Christopher around his neck. His belly fat he held with self confidence. “That’s why I might not make the first run. I’m still waiting for Harry to fill me in.”

   Lucas turned to Captain Nikos. “If we get Don onboard, maybe he could be captain for us on a dry run until you arrive. You know if our boys are still not ready and we have to leave port, you would still have plenty of time, even if you flew out to Lebanon to meet the ship.” Lucas rolled his eyes. “Another week or so of this waiting is beginning to make me nervous.”

   “Well hopefully we don’t have to put off for much longer and I can make the first trip, eh?” said Captain Nikos.

   Lucas sighed. “I better go.” Lucas turned to Captain Nikos. “Call me later if you hear anything more.”

   Captain Nikos nodded.

   Lucas stood up. Nervously he hovered about trying to smooth out the wrinkles in his suit with his hand. “I’ve still got paper work to do, and then I have more food supply orders to make for the ship.” Lucas turned to Tony. “I’ll see you down at the docks in the morning. I might have one more oiler for you.”

   Tony looked up at Lucas and grinned before looking down to dig some more oil from out under his nails. “Relax Lucas. This is the easiest money we have ever made.”

   Lucas’ green eyes darted back and forth at Nikos and Tony with serious reservations as he straightened up. 

   They gazed back at Lucas admiring his thick sandy colored hair and tall handsome features. There was something becoming about the man in his vanity, wearing the latest style from the top designers as he walked to the curb to get into his limo.


   Captain Nikos looked at his watch and released a sigh. He stood up, tossed his suit jacket over his shoulder and hovered for a moment. “I have some more calls to make.” He rubbed his nose. “If I don’t see you, Lucas will let you know what is going on. Okay?”

   Tony nodded, and released a sigh as he stretched. “Well, I better start heading back to the ship.”

   Nikos slapped Tony on the back. “Watch out. Make your excuses that we have a little engine trouble to who ever are snooping around.”

   Tony watched Nikos cross the street and hail a taxi. Tony zipped up his blue polyester jacket and walked his skinny frame across the café square with his hands in his pockets. He decided to take a closer look at the yachts in the marina for a few moments before catching a taxi out to the docks. Just as he was about to turn the corner, he noticed Don sit down outside with his wife at a far end table closer to the café entrance.

   Gino was about to take their order.

   Tony stood there for a moment watching them without detection. His eyes ran over the woman’s features with her long black hair and tiny frame. She can’t be more than eighteen. Tony sighed, well, well. He waited to see if Gino would give Don, Lucas’ business card.

   Gino turned around to see if Lucas was still sitting at his table and noticed everyone had left. Gino exchanged words with Don and then gave him the card from his shirt pocket.

   Tony debated whether he should still go over, but decided he would wait and see if Don would call Lucas better. He took in the air of his puppy love with a cunning intent before he turned the corner. Yes, Don would come in handy into our plan. One man who could do it all meant less suspicious men onboard and one man could only do so much.



Don and Katy fell mesmerized by the action in the square until the waiter returned.

   “Here you go, one banana split and coke and one espresso.”

   Gino leaned the weight of his tray down at the edge of the table to secure himself and then placed two glasses of water on the table.

   “So you’re good?” smiled Gino.

   “Yes, for now were good, thanks Gino,” said Don, nodding with satisfaction.

   Gino marked up his bill and placed it on the table before picking up his tray. Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance.

   Don took out the card again Gino had given him earlier from inside his sports jacket pocket to study the address and telephone numbers. “Well that’s interesting.” Don put the card away.

   Katy licked her spoon. “Are you going to call him? Umm is this good. You want to try some?” Katy tried to spoon-feed Don her ice cream.

   Don gently moved her hand away. “No thank you.” 

   Her eyes were waiting for his answer.

   “Yes, in a while I’ll find out what he wants after we leave here.”

   “So how do you know him?”

   He sighed. “Lucas is an old friend of mine from Athens. He was in the clothing business and now he is in shipping.” Don took a moment to think. “I haven’t seen him since we married, and then it was just to say hello in passing. I had just returned from sea at the time. Anyway, he did most of the talking.”

   Don lit a cigarette trying to relax. He did not feel like explaining to Katy how they met through dating two sisters at the same time, who they occasionally took out to dinner together. It was a long time ago before they had met. He brushed off a piece of dust from off the sleeve of his sports jacket, as was his way when he grew a little nervous and then glanced about the café square.

   “Don, do you think I should buy your mother some flowers before we go back to the house?”

   “No. She does not need flowers; she will think she is going to die. Get her something else.”

   “Oh don’t be silly, all women love flowers.”

   Don sighed heavily. He took a sip of his espresso.

   Katy peered into her shopping bag. “I can’t wait to wear my new jeans,” she smiled. “They were really a nice fit.”

   Don leaned forward to whisper. “Remember Katy, if anyone asks you how we met, just say we met on Glifada beach when you were on vacation. We do not need to explain all about you being a dancer in those cabarets before. You know how people talk. They will only get the wrong idea about you.”

   Katy gave him a look that made him feel uncomfortable as he smoked his cigarette, but she was too happy right now to be mad at him, and so she tried to understand.

   “It’s the Greek mind my love, the way they think and like to gossip.”

   “So what shall I get your mother?”

   “Get a cake better. For a Greek old lady who never ever gets flowers it isn’t really a good idea.”

   “What about chocolates? Oh, what about Turkish delight?”

   “Cake is better.”


   “After you finish your ice-cream we can go inside the café and see what they have among their sweet cakes while I make my call, but really my love, you don’t have to get my mother anything,” he smiled, stroking the back of her long black silky hair.

   “But I want to do this,” Katy frowned. “Oh she’s been so kind and to let us stay and all.”

   “She’s my mother; she likes us staying with her. She hasn’t seen me in so long and she enjoys cooking for us, and you see how much she loves you. What else is she going to do? That’s her life.”

   “Yeah I know.”

   Don took another sip of espresso. “Anyway, I have been giving her money for our stay.”

   “You have?”

   “What do you think; I don’t give her money to cover our food?” he nodded.

   Katy considered this and smiled thoughtfully as she took another scoop of her ice cream. 

   “I know what my mother likes, Baklava.”


   “You know the thin layers of pastry with honey and nuts? It’s very sweet, sticky too. I will show you when we go inside,” he smiled, and then pinched her cheek softly. “Get the Turkish delight for yourself, you like Turkish delight.”

   “Umm, yes I do love Turkish delight.”

   Katy loved sitting in the square people watching. All the different kinds of characters wearing various fashions going about their lives brought about a harmonious buzz of voices that mesmerized her while she spooned her ice cream.

   Don looked at the bill, made a quick study of it and placed something extra than his usual tip on the table for Gino.

   “So tonight do you still want to go to the cinema?”

   “Yeah,” said Katy excitedly, “Oh!” Suddenly her enthusiasm died down.


   “All the movies have subtitles in English and it strains my eyes, but that’s okay.”

   “Yeah, it will also give you a break from my family for a while. It can’t be easy for you staying with my mother and sister, but let’s see first what work I will do.”

   Don took pleasure in watching her polish off the last of her ice cream.

   She turned and looked at him. “What?”

   “I can see you enjoyed that,” Don smiled.  He began to stroke the back of her long black silky hair again. “My baby, you have no idea how much I love you right now.  If only you could see how you look.”

   Don leaned in and kissed her, something he never normally would do in public. A mutual urge passed between them that it made him feel bashful. “Maybe we can get a hotel room for a few hours instead of going to the cinema. What do you think?”

   Katy nodded and smiled, throbbing with the same look of want.

   “Where at the hotel where we use to stay?”

   “I know a new hotel where we can stay,” he winked, then picked up her shopping bag. “Ready?”

   Katy nodded.



   Inside the café, Don made his call to Lucas, while Katy hovered over the sweets and cakes trying to decide.


   “Hey Lucas, Don. Gino gave me your card. So what’s up?”

   “Hey, Don my friend. How are you doing?” 

   “Good, how are you doing?”

   “Good. I got me a ship,” said Lucas, excited to tell Don his latest news without sounding overly enthusiastic.

   “A ship: What kind of ship? What do you mean?”

   “She’s a merchant cargo ship, originally from Budapest. She’s old, but still good and sea worthy.”

   “So you are a ship owner now?”

   “She’s all mine Don.”


   “Thanks. Well I met these two old ladies, they’re ship owners. You know we got talking at one of their big parties. They are millionaires. Yeah, they gave me this ship to try out before leaving it in dry dock, and they are paying to fix her all up until I start making some money from it,” Lucas sighed. “It is sure keeping me busy.”

   “Well it sounds good.”

   “So what do you say? If you are interested, come on board with us. I need all the help I can get.”

   “Where’s she heading?”

   “Lebanon first, then Libya and back to Greece.”

   “What cargo is she carrying?”


   “Asbestos eh?”

   “So what do think? You interested?”


   “I heard you got married. Congratulations.”

   “Thanks. Who told you?”


   “Ah yes, Gino.”

   “Listen, if you want, you can also bring your wife on the trip. That’s if she wants to come.”

   “My wife, I can bring my wife?” Don laughed. “I don’t know, I will ask her.”

   “I still need to find another assistant chief officer and some more deck hands and a second engineer. Maybe you can be chief officer or captain. I have a captain, but he might not be able to make it on this first trip.”

   “Who is the captain?”

   “Captain Nikos, you know him?”

   “I know him vaguely, but I never sailed before with him.”

   “We are cleaning the oil in the engines and scraping the paint right now in dry dock. I need someone to supervise the deck hands for now. I hope you don’t mind the work load until I find more recruitment. Listen, pass by and were talk more when you get to my offices. You got the address right?”

   “Yes, the one on your card, right?”



   “If you come on by now I can see you.”


   “Take a taxi and I’ll cover it.” 

   “I have a few problems with my sea-mans papers, I still need to fix up as yet.”

   “The paper work we can fix up later, no problem, but I need you to get right down the docks in the morning if all is agreeable to help with the new recruits, okay?”


   “We are good for money, so when you get here, I will have some advance money ready for you and then fill you in with the details. The two old ladies are seeing that we get everything we need until I get going on my own,” Lucas said with excitement. “So were good?”

   “Yes, were good.” Don released a sigh. “I am with Katy my wife right now.”

   “Well, bring her along with you to my office. I would love to meet her. Where in England is she from?”


   “Where did you meet?”

   Don lied. “Down on Glifada beach.”

   “Hmm, I’ll have to try that sometime when I’m not so busy. Get me some swims and a nice tourist sunbathing,” Lucas humored, “Okay, Don, I got someone calling on my other line. I’ll see you within the hour?”

   “Okay, bye.”


   Don just caught Katy in time before ordering the baklava.

   “Come Katy, we’ll get your cakes later.”

   “Where are we going?”

   “We will get a taxi now to Athens and meet my friend Lucas. The cakes will be fresh if we get them after my business.”

The Marina!
   Over the next week, Don helped supervising the deck hands in dry dock, and enjoyed getting to know his new crew he would have to teach to become seaman. By evening, he came home for supper at his mothers very tired.
   Katy felt awkwardly shy staying at her in-laws all day, but tried to enjoy her days as much as possible, reading and writing or sitting out on the veranda, or listening to her mother in laws stories during lunch in the kitchen and talking with Rita, Don’s sister who was always busy cleaning. They catered to Katy as if she were a foreign princess and never allowed her to pick up a thing.
   “What are you writing?” asked Rita, who was taking short rests while mopping the marble floors to Katy’s room.
   “I have decided to write my life, my autobiography.” 
   “Autobiography? Ah yes, a book but like a diary?” Rita smiled.
   “Yes, like dairy.” Katy smiled back from where she sat lounging on the bed, eating a few grapes from a bowl on the side table that her mother in law had brought into her earlier.
   Rita looked up at Katy while still mopping the floor. “So tomorrow you leave eh?”
   Katy smiled and nodded.
   “You are not afraid?”
   “No, why should I be afraid? I am with Don,” she smiled. “I will be okay.”
   “You get to see life Katy. Travel and see many countries while you are young.” Rita nodded with approval. “Hmm, I like how you can think to be so free. You keep an open mind. Anyway, your life is better than my life. Look at me. I am always stuck in this house as you see, just cleaning everyday. But you know, since your stay you make me think about what I will do with my own life,” Rita smiled. “Well, I think you will have quite a book about your travels Katy.”

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time out

Jacqueline Howett is the author of The Greek Seaman. A seafaring novel.

Hi  everyone,

I'm having some tecq problems. I went and dropped my laptop and had to have the hard drive replaced, and that was very unpleasant. I got it back gutted of the former me. Yes I do back up, but I'm missing a disc to my lexmark printer to some art programs that I need and then it must be returned as the wireless light isn't working. So no connection to the net as yet. So I shall get on with other edits meanwhile. I have been using my BF's apple computer but I can't do very much on it as he wants to keep all his settings on it for his studio stuff in music, but I can browse to a degree without action.
Anyway thought I would let you all know.

The weather here in Florida started to get real cold, it dropped 40 degrees overnight  to the low 30's and now its working its way back by tomorrow to 70. is okay but high 20 or 30 all of sudden is nasty. We all have such thin blood down here in Florida. I hope to get down the beach and walk now the chill has left. Watching the weather up north on the news sure makes me realize how lucky I am in many ways.

I have a few things lined up and will mention them in my blog soon.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review in short, Tombstones by Vincent Spada at Goodreads

Jacqueline Howett is the author of The Greek Seaman. A seafaring novel.

TOMBSTONES: Ten Tales from Beyond the Grave by Vincent Spada

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed by Jacqueline Howett.

Tombstones, ten tales from beyond, by Vincent Spada's. Here's the short on it. Short stories from a walk through the grave yard.

Experiences in graveyards make for great reflected walks and you may even get a few answers from those in their graves. Did you ever wonder about the lives in those graves? Vincent Spada brings them to life. You also become a little more educated with American history from some of ten tombstones that start from the 1670 period and reveals the mentality back then and the civil war, right up through to 1985. But there's a twist to the last grave, but it makes sense of the whole book. Well, it makes you think what others might say about you when you pass on. And there is so much more to this little book when given to reflection. Once you know more about these real life people who once lived, but now in these graves as bones. It makes you think, hmm, and your not so scared any more. Especially when you think about your own family and those closest to you.

I shall try to scan his book cover in later when I get a moment. It is a black and white book cover. You can buy his books at Amazon. Scroll down through my October blog post to see my other review on Vincent Spada's book, One Under The Sun. Or you check out my goodreads page.

Vincent states in his intoduction. "There is a graveyard in the town I live in. It's very old and decrepit, and foliage has crept up on its tenants and turned the grounds into a spooky forest. I sometimes walk along the walls of this cemetery and gaze down upon the names chiseled into the headstones. I wonder; Who were these people? How did they come to their untimely, or timely, demises? perhaps I can shed some light on their darkened pasts."

Vincent Spada's discription sounds just like one where I grew up near to in Wimbledon, London, England called Putney Vale. There is a forest and a pond and a walk down to a wall to the entrance of the graveyard. It is where I buried my mother in 1996 just along the wall.

Funny I should be doing this kind of review today, I really had no intentions. It wasn't in my mind, and I had read this a month or so ago. But last night I had a dream I was going to die the day after tomorrow. Some people - angels came and told me it was time to go. So if I don't post around next week, you know my number was called. I also remember in the dream they wanted to cut my hair just under my ears for some reason before I left and then all I can remember is giving my BF the longest kiss ever. It was so real, this world didn't matter any more.

I have now reviewed all three of Vincent Spada's books. His other two, One under the sun, poetry book, and Said the Kitty to the cat, is a childrens book.

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Soup Recipe

Jacqueline Howett is the author of The Greek Seaman. A seafaring novel.

Turkey soup recipe.

Making Stock
1 Remove all the usable turkey meat from the turkey carcass to save for making sandwiches later or for adding to the soup.
2 Break up the leftover bones of the carcass a bit, so they don't take up as much room in the pot. Put the leftover bones and skin into a large stock pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add any drippings that weren't used to make gravy, and any giblets (except liver) that haven't been used already. Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, celery and tops, and some peppercorns.
3 Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to a bare simmer or just below a simmer. ( If you would like to have a clear stock, do not bring the stock to a boil, but keep the stock below a simmer, as the more you simmer, the more cloudy the stock will be.) Skim off any foamy crud that may float to the surface of the stock, if any.
4 Add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper. It sort of depends on how big your turkey is. You can always add salt to the soup later.
5 Cook for at least 4 hours, uncovered or partially uncovered (so the stock reduces), occassionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface, if any.
6 Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock, ideally through a very fine mesh strainer.
7 If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by cooking it longer, uncovered, at a bare simmer or just below a simmer, to make it more concentrated and easier to store.

Making the Turkey Soup

Prepare the turkey soup much as you would a chicken soup. With your stock already made, add chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts. Add some parsley, a couple cloves of garlic is optional. I like mine plain. Add seasoning - poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and the oregano as optional.  A bouillion cube or better, Swansons broth. Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.
Optional.You can add rice, noodles*, or even leftover mashed potatoes (or not if you want the low carb version). or simply just cut up some nice size bite pieces of potatoes half way through cooking. Add little of the stuffing towards the end into the soup is good too.
Take some of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier, shred it into bite sized pieces and add to the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes a dash or two of cayenne gives the soup a nice little kick or add a dash of Tobasco.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Links to buy The Greek Seaman, the debut seafaring novel

Jacqueline Howett is the author of The Greek Seaman. A seafaring novel.

The Greek Seaman novel is available to buy for the moment as an eBook online on Kindle from Amazon and they have downloads for the PC computer, iphone, ipad, Blackberry & Android. Here is... the Amazon buy link:

Also you can buy The Greek Seaman online from Smashwords in so many more varied formats and aslo from borders online. Here's is the link:

I am placing this up today due to having queries where and how to buy my book. So this link should help without scrolling and digging untill I can fix a widget connection.
Jacqueline Howett

Monday, November 22, 2010


Jacqueline Howett is the author of The Greek Seaman. A seafaring novel.
On my second cup of Joe, in the morning I have taken to adding a dash of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne. It is great for the sinuses and a nice change to bring in the holiday season. A Happy Thanksgiving to you all. It's time to cook the Turkey.

Great Sightings – At McQuestionable Musings

I like to read from a broad spectrum and for those of you who also do, Debbie Mack a Mystery and crime writer is giving everyone a chance to win a free signed copy of her book, Identity Crisis, if you leave a comment to a question. She is presently on her last stop of her blog tour called 20 Question blog Tour at McQuestionable Musings, Karen McQuestion’s blog, and Karen has a lively, colorful and exciting blog to read I may add. Check it out. She is also number one on kindles best sellers list. Now dig this question: Question 20: If you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently?
The drawing will be held on Debbie Mack's blog My Life on the Mid-List next Saturday, Nov. 27, to allow time for people to leave comments.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Poetry Reading on video

Welcome. I am posting here a video reading as a poetry excerpt from  my chapbook Amorphous Angelic, selected poems. You can find more of my poetry readings on YouTube. Click on video links in the side bar to stay on the blog or click the link below. Hope you enjoy these metaphysical poems in my British accent. The ebook should be available very soon. Jacqueline Howett.

Click here to hear YouTube video Poetry Reading by Jacqueline Howett

Monday, October 11, 2010

My tidbits


Jacqueline Howett is the author of The Greek Seaman, a seafaring novel, and the poet to a chapbook titled, Amorphous Angelic, selected poems.

Hello to all you book lovers and blog readers.
Welcome to my first blog. Hope to make this a blog to share books, opinions, comments, news, travel tidbits, reviews, interesting and attractive sightings online, other authors and their new books, my own world of being an author as well as sharing recipes and healthy eats.
I have just started up blogging and so I will get what I can up today. If there's links not linked up yet where you can see links should be, I'll catch them on my next blogging.  
Among the world of enjoying all that is books, and announcing here my new book, The Greek Seaman, my seafaring novel, one of my many other passions on the side is cooking. Due to my editing novels mainly at this time, I thought it would be fun to enjoy some of my recipes I shall be sharing with you on this blog, taken from several of my cookbooks that I’m still compiling in the wings.
I was a big traveler in my time before settling in the USA.
Born and educated in London, England. My father is English and late Mother, Greek. I have seen quite a lot of the world since a child and all through my teens, twenties and thirties, it was mostly just around Europe and to Greece and then later Africa, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Mexico. I think I was lucky to see some of the world before the crazier times. Airports these days are not much fun, but I take my hat off to all those who are getting around without a care in the world. My father is one of them, he loves taking off to Europe. And more recently, just in the past five years my father has visited me in the USA. Prior to that I hadn’t seen him for twenty years. My parents divorced when I was twelve.
My Mother was still travelling to Greece for short visits and visiting me here in America before she passed. However, I still think one should travel the world while they are still very young. Although I had been coming to America since the seventy’s, it was in 1988, I came to live in America. Maine is where I first landed to live. From there I visited all the major northern spots and then I lived in California, and since 2002, I have been living in Florida.
I am happy to announce the arrival of my novel The Greek Seaman.

The thunder clapped and the mysterious voice of the sea made itself known about them, and as the ship made its sudden precipitous descent once more it rendered them powerless to move.
The captain shook his head. "This is not a hurricane, this is something else. I have never seen a hurricane like this before, have you?"

My seafaring novel is now available to purchase as an eBook from Amazon - Kindle
Smashwords (Various formats)

It has been a long time coming. Well I guess not many gals write sea adventures, but I have had a bit of an unusual life. This novel was based on my own true story. A former me, so long ago.

Description to The Greek Seaman novel.
What is an eighteen year old newly wed doing travelling on a massive merchant ship anyways? Hadn’t she gone to Greece on tour in a ballet as a dancer? These are questions Katy asks herself while travelling the high seas with Don, her chief officer husband. However, little do they know a smuggling ring is also on board for this ride. After various ships pass in the night, the smugglers must reach their contact in rescue operations coming from Crete to complete the blue diamond exchange. When explosions and threats to sink the ship also happen, Don and Katy must try to save themselves.

Getting to know the smugglers, the Arabic and Pakistani deck hands and Don, the Greek Seaman is an exciting sea adventure with enough suspense and romance that will make you laugh and cry. It will take you on a voyage to experience the magnificent soothing wonders and beautiful scenery at sea, and take you through storms and hurricanes where Katy finds herself navigating through it with a seasick crew. From Piraeus, Greece, your visit the ports of Lebanon and Libya and enjoy the exotic magic of the bazaar. The bond between Don and Katy, in their ordeal at sea makes this a memorable story.
To review
Request a free copy of The Greek Seaman by e-mail.

New books by other authors and Poets.
I had the opportunity to give my own review for a few authors and poets.
I have just finished reading Vincent Spada’s new book of poems One under the sun. Here is my review of his poetry book with link.

The Poetry book of Vincent Spada
Book  Review
by Jacqueline Howett
Vincent Spada’s remarkable book of poetry One under the Sun allows you to escape to another state while he hits on the complexity of adolescents to maturity, using at times old language that is deep and touching. He is a sensitive poet with much compassion for his fellow man. A visionary and yet a realist who draws from life’s stark moments as he stands like a witness at the edge touching on topics usually unseen, or what others want to quickly dismiss. He can follow a simple emotion to bare the recognition of himself interacting in the play of life. Be it the fantasy of a thrill or the visions of war, morbid coffins, tragedy or to love and know the stars above, he manages to shed light on the extraordinary to eventually embrace what one thinks they fear in a playful, whimsical manner. His semi dark stance, which he projects, is just to make a point to make you reflect and question what your own picture of reality and existence is. A wonderful poet for the book shelf.
I also look forward to reading Vincent Spada’s new children’s book, titled, The cat said to the kitten.
Link to purchase Vincent’s Spada’s book. Amazon

Mari Delgado Travis has numerous poetry books to her name, and she has just announced a new kind of book titled, What if.  And this I shall look forward to reading.
I had a chest of classic books in England that I left behind before coming to live in America. Marie Delgado Travis’ poems felt like someone had opened that old chest and my favorite classic reads like Ibsen, Shakespeare, and Don Quixote came alive again. Her poems reached deep inside me to look at forgotten treasures. Here is my review.
The poetry of Marie Delgado Travis
Reviewed by Jacqueline Howett 

The poems of Marie Delgado Travis are a joy to read over, and over again.
The zest of her unique imagination hold nuggets of wisdom and philosophy filled with meaning to evoke varied emotions, transporting you to enchanting places in a spellbinding, reviving language where you linger on every word. Hints of nostalgia for the lover of the classics leave the reader playfully entertained and enriched by her zenith.
Link to purchase Marie’s Delgado Travis’ books at Amazon 

I shall be posting these reviews to a link for new books by other authors and poets on my website, so if you are an author or poet and have a new book you want mentioned, please e-mail me. at place in subject line, newbook announcement. Some maybe mentioned on this blog.
Scroll down

 A free excerpt from my novel, The Greek Seaman, is also available at my website.

Food lovers
Recipe for today
My Mother passed my Greek cooking skills down first, then going to Greek restaurants in my frequent visits to Greece and from family there. Every where I went they had a slightly different version of the same recipe, depending on what mountain or village you came from, but all are simple and so tasty. I hope you enjoy making my versions as much as I have.
Moussaka/potatoes and meat
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes or eggplant or zucchini
canola oil or any other oil for frying
2 med. onions (chopped)
1/4 c. olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 (8 oz.) can tomatoes sauce
1 tsp. cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/3 c. grated kefaloteri cheese

Peel potatoes or eggplant and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Deep fry in canola oil until golden brown, drain. (Or you can shallow fry and top up oil if using eggplant. Eggplant tends to drink it up). Arrange half of this in an even layer in 13 x 9 baking dish. Saute onion in olive oil until soft. Set aside. In remaining oil cook beef, stirring until done. Add onion, garlic, tomato sauce, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Pour over layer in baking dish. Arrange remaining slices over meat. Beat eggs and milk, pour over meat layers. Sprinkle with cheese, bake in moderate 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Cut into squares to serve. Kefaloteri cheese: A creamy color hard cheese, very much like Parmesan, which can be used as a substitute.
 Optional. Serve with a side salad of lettuce, cucumber, slice Vidalia onion, black olives and feta cheese, or just a sliced tomato, drizzled in olive oil and a tiny dash of apple cider vinegar with a dash of oregano.

Quick tip healthy side dish lunch today is...
Micro waved sweet potato.       Is so good for the soul.
Micro wave for eight to ten minutes turn sweet potato over four to five minutes in. serve with Brummel and Brown yogurt butter. Delicious.  Healthy for your lungs too. This is a good snack any time or a meal in itself for the small eater.
Follow it later with red grapes, or an apple. Optional: Serve with cheese and crackers. (Ryveta or Wasa crackers are good.)

Between the re-editing to my other novels, I have managed to write more poetry and micro fiction. After the long haul of novels, micro fiction is a blast.
Alien skin magazine published my micro fiction piece earlier in the year, titled, The next take, and I have decided to post it here.
The Next Take
Micro Fiction
By Jacqueline Howett ©2010
My former lives, melted into a puddle of mercury.
In the next take, came magic.
I went with the flow.  I merged comfortably into the new era with pierced body parts and tattoos. But I still tremble, knowing it took black holes of time to my rebirth.
I was crawling around on all fours for a time in my living room, separating myself from my sticky embryo.  I became a wild nymph like cave creature, who had entered up through the earth where the sky greeted me as one.  I spoke in tongues in the process of being born anew, in my developing metamorphosis, wiping the sticky slime from my eyes.
I touched my new form in the mirror.  I was pleased.
As I evolved, I started wearing jeans lower on the hips.
A happiness came I had never known.  With my first real freedom, I merged into your world.
~ Jacqueline Howett, Florida  ©2010

The latest news on my poetry eBook,
Amorphous Angelic, selected poems.
I hope to have the eBook version of my printed poetry chapbook out some time in November on Amazon kindle and Smashwords. Sample poems are available at my website and on this blog. Some wonderful reviews were posted at Authors Den magazine to Immortality’s Fountain the poem that is in my book. As they are not recent reviews I am not posting them here, but for those interested in reading them, here is the link for Authors Den.

A sample Poem - from page twenty five, from
Amorphous Angelic, Selected Poems.
A chapbook by Jacqueline Howett.

Beyond mountain tops I did reach,
To a new world I did greet,
no fairer plains did I ever meet,
To challenge my wits as a passing fleet.
Oh, what treasures you now reveal,
Such splendor alone, secrets seal,
No man can utter what we feel,
                                                                                Hearts true glory and soul that's real.
                                                                                We freeze, yet move beyond the speed of light,
To experience alone gifts of sight,
Searing forever higher above the clouds,
Gone the illusions out of the shrouds,
With the truth 'one' experiences alone;
And here the spiral from a timeless zone,
We end the story to the unknown,
Knowing its 'faith' that brings you home,
                                                                                To immortality’s fountain.

Product Description
Amorphous Angelic, selected poems by Jacqueline Howett is my metaphysical poems of wisdom, death, rebirth, and the inner workings of the soul’s journey. They are also 35 selected poems of love, inspiration, wonder, visions, hope, faith and connecting to the higher self as well as with the sad & strange, to elevating out of darkness to reveal the mystery of life that cover an important time factor in my life while living in London, England between 1980-1985, and have remained my most memorable.
          Most of these poems I wrote in 1983 and 1984 during a death/rebirth experience.

I shall be going through a similar review process with my poetry book just as I have been doing with my novel The Greek Seaman. So if anyone wishes to review my poetry chapbook, a free review e-file copy will be sent to you by e-mail or a signed chapbook copy by mail. Just place in the subject line of your e-mail, review poetry book and send to:
If you just need a reminder when my poetry eBook will be available to purchase, email me and in subject line place, Poetry book reminder.
Thanks. J.H.

Great sightings. I found a nugget of an ezine magazine: Head Butler.
I found a wonderful site I would like to share by Jesse Kornbluth who has an online magazine with some wonderful books he likes to suggest as well as drama, movies and music. He is quite a character, also a humorous writer who deserves a mention. Here is the link to Head Butler.

Long story Short magazine published one of my latest poems in the September’s issue, titled, When a man has no enchantment. In October they published my poem titled, Work, a means to view the world. They will also be publishing more of my poems in  November and in February 2011. To view click on the LSS link and go to the poetry section. 

It’s time for a little tea break for me.
Yes, my English half still drinks hot tea in the late afternoon when ever I can, and I like all kinds of tea with English tea biscuits. My favorite teas are Earl Grey, or spiced orange pekoe with a dash of milk and honey and I like the water to be piping hot like most English people do. My favorite green tea is raspberry or a mix of fruit berry blends. Then, I might take another walk to the beach, or maybe dabble a bit on the piano. Being this is my first blog post I guess it will do. I hope you have enjoyed reading this far. Until my next blog post, my best to you all.
 Thanks. JH