Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste


Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Giveaway Winner!

December 7, 2016




Thanks to everyone who signed up for my Holiday Giveaway, especially those who hosted my giveaway on their blogs.


Several of you had your name placed in a hopper more than once because of referrals from these posts, and this morning Mrs. Chatterbox did the honor of randomly picking a name. I’m pleased to announce the winner—Janie Junebug, who featured my giveaway on October 27th. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Janie, she’s an editing expert and I learn much from her superb posts. Check out her blog (here).




2016 Giveaway painting



This was only the second giveaway I’ve attempted and it was an interesting experience, one I just might repeat since I have many paintings in need of good homes, so if you didn’t win this time there will probably be more chances to win in the future.


I hope everyone is having a terrific holiday season.


P.S.  Janie: please send me your mailing address at stephen.hayes@comcast.net so I can mail your prize.


Take care, everyone.



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Congrats to Janie!
By: Val on December 7, 2016
I'm shocked and so pleased. I want the painting very much (I think you know I like art, although I'm not particularly knowledgeable about it). The painting will have a good home. I might even put it in my office so I can see it all day (and sometimes all night) as I work. Good job, Mrs. C. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on December 7, 2016
Congratulations to Janie!
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on December 7, 2016
By: PT Dilloway on December 7, 2016
Congratulations to the winner! Hey, I'm a winner, too, since thanks to Sage featuring the giveaway, I now read your blog. :)
By: Kelly on December 7, 2016
congrats to Janie! what a nice thing for you to do Stephen!
By: Kathe W. on December 7, 2016
Well done, Janie!
By: The Broad on December 7, 2016
Well done all round! Great picture to a good home. What could be better?
By: Jenny on December 7, 2016
What a great giveaway and congratulations to Janie! :)
By: Daniel LaFrance on December 7, 2016
Congrats Janie. You got such a beautiful painting. What a cool gift for the holidays.
By: Arkansas Patti on December 7, 2016
You got yourself a beautiful painting, Janie!!
By: fishducky on December 7, 2016
Congrats to Janie. She is a lucky Junebug!
By: Bee BB Bee on December 7, 2016
I thank you all for your congratulations. This gift will go under my tree to be opened by me because it's probably the only one I'll get. Go, me! Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on December 7, 2016
Congratulations, Janie! If you have more contests, i will enter them, and if you have prints made of some of your paintings, i would love to buy one.
By: messymimi on December 7, 2016
Congrats to Janie. I don't know her but I do see her regular comments on your blog. No doubt your beautiful art is going to a very appreciative home.
By: Hilary on December 7, 2016
Yay Janie! Enjoy!
By: jenny_o on December 7, 2016
Congratulations to Janie!
By: Pixel Peeper on December 7, 2016
Congratulations Janie.
By: Sage on December 7, 2016
Congratulations to Janie!
By: redKline on December 7, 2016
I love the Junebug. She's a goodun'
By: Rick Watson on December 7, 2016
I'm so glad Janie Junebug won. She's a very generous soul. I hope you liked the special favors she provided to assure that win too. Congratulations to Janie. And even though blog growth is very slow moving these days, it looks like you did pretty well. Yes? I hope so.
By: Robyn Engel on December 7, 2016
I am so happy Janie won. She deserves such a beautiful gift
By: Birgit on December 7, 2016
Robyn Engel--special favors? You bad girl. I did not give him a blog job. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on December 8, 2016
Well done, Janie! :-) Greetings from London.
By: A Cuban In London on December 8, 2016
Congratulations to Janie!
By: Catalyst on December 8, 2016
Congrats to Janie! Lucky lady!
By: Marcia @ Menopausal Mother on December 8, 2016
Congrats to Janie...it's really a beautiful painting.
By: Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma on December 9, 2016

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