It’s 1971, and the Naval Investigate Service, or “NIS” as it’s better known, is nothing like the NCIS of present-day television. There are no cell phones, desktop computers, DNA, or the Internet. All the Navy and civilian personnel working for this specialized unit have to rely on are their minds. Logic, investigative skills, and experience hitting the streets are all they have to get the information they need. The work is often dangerous, and sometimes, good old-fashioned luck is the real key to sending the criminals to the brig for good.
At NIS headquarters in Washington D.C., Lieutenant Commander Marcus Colt has made a name for himself handling the country’s most unusual cases. Despite his occasional short temper and hint of sarcasm coloring his attitude, Colt is intelligent and driven to succeed. And while his behavior sometimes complicates situations, as the top internal affairs investigator, this decorated officer is the one top Navy brass go to when no one else can handle the mission.
One such assignment is the latest in a long line of challenges to cross Colt’s desk. A series of informational leaks within the NIS agency have led to the executions of at least four, confidential informants on the Norfolk Naval Base, and the threat of more victims is imminent. Armed with his uncanny, investigative skills and deceptively youthful looks, Colt goes undercover as a junior enlisted man in Norfolk, Virginia and works to stop the leak at its source. To accomplish this difficult task, he must build close relationships with personnel in his NIS unit, invade their privacy, and dig up their life secrets-all while keeping his true identity and mission hidden.
As straightforward as his investigative job is, nothing with this assignment is what it seems. And when the case takes unexpected twists and turns, Colt finds himself questioning everything he knows. The loss of an old flame, evading assassins, an unexpected meeting with a high-ranking officer’s daughter, and overcoming his own personal guilt from a past Vietnam mission that nearly cost him everything all add complexity to his assignment. But friends, both new and old, along with his fellow agents at the NIS, aid Colt in his mission as he works to solve the case.
He has the skills and the team, but time is quickly running out. With danger and uncertainty surrounding him, it will take everything Marcus Colt has to stop the leak before someone else dies-especially when that next someone could be him.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about B. R. Wade, Jr whose book Fair Winds of Death thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love thrilling and historical tales but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and B. R. Wade, Jr will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful B. R. Wade, Jr!
B. R. Wade, Jr., though new to fiction writing, has been all too happy to add it to his list of life accomplishments. Born in Roanoke, Virginia, he spent his teen years and much of his adult life in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. While in Tampa, Bill worked in retail management before switching to a career as a computer systems analyst for the local school system. He changed careers again after nearly 20 years of working with mainframe computers and started a manufacturing company. After this last change, he made his self-proclaimed escape to the mountains of West Virginia shortly after the turn of the century.
After enlisting in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1969, he was called to active duty and graduated top of his class from both basic training at Naval Training Center (NTC) Orlando, Florida and Yeoman ‘A’ School at NTC Bainbridge, Maryland. Soon after, he was assigned to the Naval Investigative Service Office in Norfolk, Virginia for nearly two years.
Bill left active service as a Petty Officer Third Class, then spent three more years as a weekend reservist at his local Navy Reserve Center assisting with the clerical demands of the center and a Seabee unit. And despite his busy work schedule, Bill obtained degrees in Business Management and Computer Science. He also took his business training a step further and studied marketing at the University of South Florida.
Happily, all of Bill’s business, educational and military pursuits have proved quite inspiring and provide him with plenty of writing material. He is nearly finished with the next adventure for his Fair Winds NIS novel protagonist, Marcus Colt. Bill also attributes his new love of fiction writing to surviving brain surgery a few years ago. As he phrases it, some of the connections in his brain have found “new and definitely different pathways.”
In addition to writing, Bill owns and operates a hobby kit manufacturing business on his property in rural West Virginia. He also devotes time to fostering rescue animals with special needs from his local volunteer animal shelter.
Now, how wonderful does B. R. Wade, Jr sound?! B. R. Wade, Jr is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy B. R. Wade, Jr’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself
Aimee, I am relatively new to fiction writing; my first go at it, Fair Winds of Death, was started a few months after I turned 70 so this old dog is trying some new tricks.
First ten years of my life were spent in Roanoke, Virginia until Dad moved the family to Florida. My teen years saw me living in Clearwater, Florida and graduating from Clearwater High School in 1968. After a stint in the Navy, I lived much of my adult life across the bay in Tampa.
While in Tampa, I worked in retail management before switching to a career as a computer systems analyst for the local school system. I changed careers again and started a manufacturing company producing an extensive line of model railroad kits for the adult hobby market under the B.T.S. name. After this last career change, I escaped the Florida heat and crowds with a move to the rural mountains of West Virginia shortly after the turn of the century.
Rather than wait for the draft that would have pushed me into army green, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1969. Reporting for active duty, I graduated top of my class from both basic training at Naval Training Center Orlando, Florida and Yeoman ‘A’ School at NTC Bainbridge, Maryland. I was then assigned to the Naval Investigative Service Office in Norfolk, Virginia as an intelligence clerk.
Leaving active service as a Petty Officer Third Class, I decided to spend three more years as a weekend reservist at the Tampa Navy Reserve Center. And despite a busy work schedule, I obtained degrees in Business Management and Computer Science. And continued my education by studying marketing at the University of South Florida.
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
The inspiration to write came from my reminiscing about a five-decade old true event that happened to me right after I joined the Navy; I was shot by sniper fire while onboard a Navy ship in Mayport, Florida. I wrote about it to share the story with friends and family. A link to that story in on my web site – wadepublishing.com
After that, as a fan of the TV show NCIS, I wondered how a story based in the 1970s would work. Next thing I knew, I was spending a couple of hours each night writing, and in three months finished my first book.
The story is fiction, of course, but I wanted it as realistic as possible. The places were real, and I worked hard to maintain technical and period accuracy. Some of the minor events in the book were based on things that happened to me while on active duty, and I’ll let the readers figure out which ones. Here is a synopsis . . .
It’s 1971, and the Naval Investigative Service, or “NIS” as it’s better known, is nothing like the NCIS of present-day television. There are no cell phones, desktop computers, DNA, or the Internet. The work is often dangerous, and sometimes, good old-fashioned luck is the real key to sending the criminals to the brig for good.
At NIS headquarters in Washington, D.C., Lieutenant Commander Marcus Colt has made a name for himself handling the country’s most unusual cases. This decorated officer is the one top Navy brass go to when no one else can handle the mission.
Latest assignment: a series of informational leaks within the NIS agency have led to the executions of at least four confidential informants on the Norfolk Naval Base, and the threat of more victims is imminent. Armed with his uncanny investigative skills and deceptively youthful looks, Colt goes undercover as a junior enlisted man in Norfolk, Virginia to stop the leak at its source.
As straightforward as his investigative job is, nothing is what it seems. Colt finds himself questioning everything he knows. Losing an old flame, evading assassins, meeting a high-ranking officer’s daughter, and overcoming personal guilt from a Vietnam mission that nearly cost him everything—all add complexity to his assignment.
He has the skills and the team, but time is quickly running out. With danger and uncertainty surrounding him, it will take everything Marcus Colt has to stop the leak before someone else dies—especially when that next someone could be him.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Write! And then write more! Don’t worry about how good it is. Just get your story on paper. Then it can be edited, revised, and improved at a later time. But if you are afraid to write it, it can never be improved.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
The characters are key. Looking at crime fiction, there are a limited number of realistic plots. And sometimes even fewer motives. For instance, most any murder can be classified as caused by anger, revenge, or jealousy. And frequently love, power, or money will be found as subsets of any of those motives.
The characters are the flavorful toppings to an otherwise bland baked potato. Each character must be described in sufficient detail—their appearance, personality, attitudes, quirks, history, et cetera—so the reader can form an accurate picture in their mind. And to hold on to the reader, that picture must be realistic and be easy for them to bond with the character.
As one reader wrote me about Fair Winds of Death, “I felt like the main characters were my friends.” That comment made my day with a “mission accomplished” feeling.
What is your writing process like?
Neither plans nor outlines exist around here. I start with the protagonist, the book title, and a general premise. In Fair Winds of Death, confidential informants were being murdered. In my second book, Fair Winds of Deceit, a key scientist vanished.
Next, I add the ‘why’ for the protagonist’s involvement. With that in place, I can start building the story looking at the crime just as an investigator does. Lots of questions come up immediately, like who done it, why, when, and so on. From there, the story builds.
When I start writing, I really don’t know where the story will take me. Nor do I know who the bad guy is or why they did what they did until the last few chapters. It just flows out as I run the investigation in my mind and put it on paper.
As you can see, I am not a structured outline guy!
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Before starting a book, I do not do any research. The advantage of old age and a lot of life experience is my mind is cluttered with tons of information.
Sure, I have to stop now and then to look up the date when something like a speaker phone or microwave became commonplace, or what were the options available on a 1956 Chevy, but that is part of striving for technical and period accuracy. Otherwise, my mind is filled with what I consider common and historical knowledge and I use it.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
I wish I could write all day long. Writing relaxes me by getting me away from the stress of everyday life. I look forward to that escape and don’t need a set schedule to force me to do it. That being said, I am still working full-time running my manufacturing business, so I can’t escape as much as I wish. I am restricted to using my evening free time.
Late in the evenings, I’ll turn down the TV volume and open the laptop. Starting off with a quick reread of what I wrote the night before, I might do a quick edit of that, and then write for an hour or so depending on my energy level. Some nights, I get lost in the task and give up too many hours of sleep.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I usually go though a novel a week. Mostly fiction with a few sci-fi and historical works thrown in for diversity.
Favorites? Tom Clancy, Stephen Coontz, W.E.B. Griffin, and Clive Cussler are always great reads. Sadly, three of them have passed on, but rereading their earlier works is like rekindling old friendships.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I hope everyone will find the next Marcus Colt adventure wonderful! The final proof copy is in the mail from my printer right now. After one last quality check, Fair Winds of Deceit will be marked ready and should be in retailers’ hands by the time you get this Spotlight posted.
Fair Winds of Deceit picks up right after Fair Winds of Death ends. New characters are introduced to complement many from the first book. New locations and crimes will tax Marcus and his team as they continue to find that the only easy day was yesterday.
The third Colt adventure, Fair Winds of Doubt, is about 50% written. If all goes well, it will be released early in 2024.
I’m anxious to finish Fair Winds of Doubt because the premise for Fair Winds of Dishonor has revealed itself to me and a couple of chapters are already written. But I don’t like having two works underway at the same time, so my focus will stay on Fair Winds of Doubt.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with B. R. Wade, Jr! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,