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"Tortuga Bay" Picked Up by SYP Publishing

Tortuga Bay, the sequel to the Pirate of Panther Bay, is set to be published in 2015 according to a 2-book deal signed by SR Staley. Details of the contracts for the two novels can be founder here and on SR Staley's website, 

Here's the press release:

Santa Clause and Pirates Set to Land in Florida

SR Staley announces two-book contract with Southern Yellow Pine Publishing

 Tallahassee, FL, January 23, 2014—Award winning novelist SR Staley announced that he has signed a multi-book deal with Tallahassee-based Southern Yellow Pine Publishing. The novel St Nic Inc will be published in fall 2014 with the novel Tortuga Bay to follow in 2015.

St Nic Inc is an update to the myth of Santa Claus with a twist involving a rogue agent working for the Drug Enforcement Agency, a twenty-something MIT trained engineer, and a washed out winter explorer looking for redemption. While contemporary in setting, the novel is a technology-oriented action-adventure novel that Staley says may well convince readers that Santa Clause does indeed exist.

“I was inspired to write St Nic Inc when my children were young,” says Staley. “I asked myself, what if Santa Claus was real? What if Santa Clause was not fantasy, with flying reindeer and a sleigh, or even a person. What if Santa Claus was a concept or an idea, or a vast secret organization capable of delivering millions of gifts and toys to adults and children across the globe? What would it look like? How would it work? The story and characters in St. Nic Inc explore this tension between idea and reality in unexpected and challenging ways.”

The second book is the sequel to the The Pirate of Panther Bay, an action adventure featuring a female pirate captain and ex-slave prowling the waters of the Caribbean in the late 18th century. Tortuga Bay is slated for publication in 2015. Readers ( have called The Pirate of Panther Bay, “a great adventure romance,” “an engaging swashbuckler,” and “a fun and exciting adventure book that the whole family can enjoy reading.” Reviewers say that novel is “a grand high seas adventure any teen would love; many adults as well” and a book “that remains true to the real world of pirates and Spain’s desire to reign over the New World.”

John Lehman, founder of the literary magazine Rosebud, writes Staley puts “plenty of zip into the action sequences” while exploring “some interesting pyschological implications about control in male-female relationships.” Tim Bete, director of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop at the University of Dayton says The Pirate of Panther Bay will forever change the way you think about buccaneers.”

Tortuga Bay continues Isabella’s saga as the Spanish viceroy continues his quest to purge the Caribbean of her presence. In the midst of high-seas battles and swashbuckling escapes, Isabella confronts the true meaning of a prophecy told by her mother and finds herself immersed in a budding revolution and slave revolt in western Hispaniola (modern-day Haiti).

Both books are part of Southern Yellow Pine Publishing’s expansion into fiction. Known for its investment in Tallahassee and Big Bend history, including books such as The Leon County Heritage Book, a history of the turpentine industry, and, most recently, the history of the Tallahassee fire department as told through the biography of the “Dean of the Fire Service,” William Earl Levy, Sr., SYP Pub began publishing fiction in 2013 with the release of Saundra Kelley’s Danger in Blackwater Swamp.

“We love working with new and aspiring authors,” says SYP Pub owner Terri Gerrell.  “We believe SR Staley’s eclectic characters and stories will broaden our fiction audience, and we look forward to working with him to further develop a regional and national readership for his work.”

More about SR Staley can be found on his website, More information on Southern Yellow Pine Publishing and its on-line bookstore can be found at


Award Winning Books by Sam Staley

  •         Renegade, a novel about bullying, school violence and leadership in an urban middle school, 2012 Seven Hills Literary Contest, 2nd Place children’s chapter book
  •         Drug Policy and the Decline of American Cities, a nonfiction book about the devastating effects of the illegal drug trade on urban neighborhoods, 1993 Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award, 1st Place, presented by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation of the U.S. and U.K.

Pirate of Panther Bay book trailer launched on youtube!

The book trailer for The Pirate of Panther Bay is up on youtube on SR Staley's video channel! (The trailer is about 1 minute long, but it's seem like 10 seconds.)

Book Signing: June 22nd!

Come see and talk to SR Staley as he signs copies of The Pirate of Panther Bay at Tropical Smoothie Cafe' in Centerville, Ohio on Saturday, June 22nd, from noon to 2 pm. The store is located at 6241 Far Hills Avenue in the Washington Square Shopping Center (behind Dorothy Lane Market). 

He will be appearing with science fiction author C.L. Gregoire who will be signing copies of his novel Death Spiral

Where to go to buy cool pirate costumes

I just discovered this great on-line store for pirate costumes and accessories: They have a full line adult and children's costumes (plus other sizes), as well as costumes specifically designed to conjure up the specific images of buccaneers, Captain Morgan, Captain Hook and others. It's fun just to browse.

Pirate of Panther Bay adopted in the classroom

Thanks to the students in the Great Books class at The Miami Valley School in Dayton, Ohio for adopting The Pirate of Panther Bay. The feedback I received while attending as a guest speaker on May 7th was invaluable, not only for the second book but also for the way I approach characters and plots more generally.

One of the requirements is for the students to write an review, so stay tuned!

Pirate of Panther Bay Cracks Top 100 at Kindle Store

The ebook version of The Pirate of Panther Bay cracked the top 100 books at the Kindle store in the category of children's books on self-esteem and self-respect today! This is a notable achievement, particulalry since the novel has been out for more than five years at this point!

And, I love the category because Isabella's discovery of herself is central to the action and plot. So, her character is all about developing and embracing self esteem and self respect.

(My only quibble, an ongoing one, is classifying young-adult books as children's books; they aren't.)

Thank you readers!

For more on the ranking and my evolving writing style, see my post on the same topic over at my blog on the business of writing, "Adaptation".

Martial Arts as Self Defense Against Pirates

I recently visited Hong Kong on a business trip, and during an afternoon break I took a tour along the Ping Shan Heritage Trail. The trail provides historical insight into the settling and farming of the Pear River Delta by the Tang Clan, including visits to various temples and a museum that was the first colonial outpost for the British.

As readers of this blog (and visitors to know, the Pearl River Delta, which includes Hong Kong and Guangzhou (formerly Canton) in Guangdong Province was a hotbed of piratical activity. At one point, a confederation of pirate clans amassed fleets that included a thousand ships, junks and coastal boats, and as many as 50,000 pirates to prowl the South China Sea (about five times the number plowing the Caribbean Sea at its height). (See the biography of Cheng I Sao, or Mrs Cheng on the web site.)

Well, to defend themselves against the pirates, the Tang Clan trained themselves and villagers in the martial arts. Since they had limited access to "modern" weaponry, the focused on hand to hand combat the practical use of applying everyday farming implements as weapons.

I think it's interesting that martial arts were important for defensive purposes, not sport and offensive tactics as they are thought of in the West.

For more, see my video on Youtube filmed from Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong.

Trailer to the Next Pirates Movie!

I just ran across the trailer for the next "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" movie and you can see the 2:15 minute video here. You can catch the same trailer plus still photos at

The Pirate-Terrorist Connection

One particularly interesting spin on modern pirating activity off the coast of Somalia is the link to Islamic terrorist organizations. Jon Bowermaster has a useful overview of the main argument/concern, noting in a recent article,

"Increasing evidence links the mafia-like Somali clans that run the pirating to the Al-Shabaab Islamist insurgent group, which controls most of southern and central Somalia. Both the U.S. and the U.N. accuse Al-Shabaab of having links to al-Qaeda.

"The rag-tag pirates who are grabbing small private yachts and cargo boats loaded with lawn tractors may be providing a working model for terrorists interested in hijacking tankers loaded with chemicals and cargo boats carrying weapons.

"The pirates' increasingly brazen successes can only be encouraging to others hoping to follow suit."

The situation seems to be spinning increasingly out of control. Yet, the activity and threat of piracy is remarkably concentrated off the coast of East Africa and the western reaches of the Indian Ocean.

At some point nations will have to recognize the pirating problem as a threat on the same scale as a war, similar to the way the British viewed Caribbean pirating in the 17th and 18th centuries.

US and UN Block Private Anti-Pirate Effort

As dozens of vessels are attacked by pirates, and thousands of sailors are held hostage, the United States government and United Nation's have blocked a shipper-backed group from providing private security for ships and cargo. According to the web site Strategypage (accessed on March 25, 2011):

March 16, 2011:  The United States and UN has persuaded Puntland [in Somalia] to withdraw backing for a thousand man coast guard force, trained and led by foreign mercenaries hired by shipping companies. The UN feared that the mercenary trained force would violate the arms embargo against Somalia, and that a more effective combat force in Somalia might fall under the control of a warlord seeking to become the new dictator of Somalia (the last one was driven from power two decades ago). Actually, the training contract in Puntland is only "suspended", as local officials want the mercenary trained coast guard force, as it appears to be the only way to control the thousands of gunmen working for pirate gangs and warlords. The UN is unable to get many countries to supply peacekeepers for Somalia either.



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