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

Prologue

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….

Sign up and read my novel for free.

Blog Archive

01/2016

CJ Update

January 02, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Thanks to everyone for sending good wishes for our son CJ's speedy recovery. Today marks the seventh day since CJ was struck with a cerebral hemorrhage. He's still in the intensive care unit where he'll remain for the next two weeks but he's finally starting to show signs of his old self. He still has a drain in his head to relieve pressure, and controlling his headaches is a constant challenge. The doctors tell us his recovery will be complete but slow and it will be several months before he returns to work full time. He's been receiving lots of visitors from police co-workers and many cops have been dropping by to talk cars with him. The cops are great, rallying around CJ and reassuring him that he's part of the police family. I warned th ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

Another CJ Update

January 06, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
A recent angiogram showed that our son CJ did in fact sufferer from a brain aneurysm on December 26th. It doubled in size the week he was in the intensive care unit, making it possible for doctors  to see what was previously invisible.   A decision had to be made as to how to treat it, either by entering the brain through the femoral artery in the groin (an angiogram) or open brain surgery. Because CJ was experiencing brain spasms, it was deemed too dangerous to perform brain surgery at this time so the angiogram procedure was used to insert metal coils into the aneurysm to stabilize it and prevent further bleeds. These coils are about as thick as a single human hair, yet the doctors believe they were successful at neutralizing ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

The Contrarian

January 11, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
I called my mother yesterday to fill her in on her grandson’s status in the hospital (all good news) and when I’d finished reassuring her that CJ’s progress was slow but steady, the subject changed to the lottery, which as you probably know is now worth over a billion dollars.             “Why haven’t you bought me a lottery ticket?” she asked.             “They don’t sell them at the hospital, where I’ve been spending most of my time,” I answered. “Besides, you’re ninety-one years old and don’t need a billion dollars. You don’t spend the money y ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

New CJ Update

January 18, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
When our son was told he’d be in the neurological intensive care unit for three weeks after suffering a brain aneurysm, it seemed hard to believe he’d actually be hospitalized that long, but Saturday marked three weeks. After having surgery last week to insert a permanent shunt into his head to drain excess fluid, he’s been moved out of the ICU and into a regular room for a few days. He’s no longer connected to dozens of tubes and monitors and can finally move about his room more easily.   We expect he’ll be released this week, perhaps as soon as today. A delay in his release might take place because he’s “salt wasting,” not currently maintaining enough body salt. He’s being given ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

Going Viral ?

January 20, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
My dignity is currently in the toilet. It’s possible I’m about to be featured in a video that, if posted, might go viral.             I haven’t been getting much exercise lately so the other evening while Mrs. C. and I were driving home from an errand, I had her drop me off a quarter of a mile from home so I could stretch my legs. I wasn’t about to let darkness, wind or rain deter me and grabbed the umbrella in the trunk before she drove off.             A few words about that umbrella: I purchased it a few years ago as a Christmas gift for Mrs. C., who’d expressed a desire for a “cheerful&rdq ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

Requiem

January 22, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
I’m here to lay to rest a beloved person from my childhood, someone who gave me hours of laughs and served as a fatherly role model for many years—Bill Cosby.             I’m not referring to the Bill Cosby currently in the news, the fellow accused of drugging and sexually assaulting nearly fifty women. I don’t know that Bill Cosby. The Bill I knew, or thought I knew, was warm and funny, a comedian who never swore or belittled anyone, whose keen insight brought to life universal humor based on the heartwarming foibles of the human condition.             When I was a kid, I mowed lawns and collected newspa ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

The Chatterbox Awakens

January 25, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
I’m usually the person whose opinions run contrary to everyone else’s, but on Saturday I realized how far I swim from the mainstream. Perhaps I belong in isolation with other deviants, a chubby cellmate for El Chapo, or maybe I belong in a special camp for like-minded people unable to be assimilated into proper society, aberrant people such as those with a passion for Jerry Lewis or think Sarah Palin a gifted intellectual. On Saturday, Mrs. Chatterbox and I saw the new Star Wars movie, and throughout most of it I wished I was in a different galaxy, one far far away from the movie theater where my butt was growing sore.   Spoiler Alert: If you have yet to see the movie you might not want to continue reading.   & ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

America's Michelangelo

January 27, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Frederick Edwin Church (1826-1900) is not a name that springs to mind in a discussion of great American painters, yet there was a time when he was considered the Michelangelo of American landscape painters.             A member of the Hudson River School, Church began his career by painting rural America at a time when our country’s natural beauty was first beginning to be celebrated in art. Church came from a wealthy family and never struggled to make a living; at eighteen he became the youngest associate of the National Academy of Design. Unlike his mentor Thomas Cole and other Hudson River painters who focused on American landscapes, Church grew restless and traveled the worl ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

The Final Procedure

January 29, 2016 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Today CJ is having a final procedure to remove the aneurysm from his brain. Two weeks ago, before he was discharged from the hospital to recover from previous procedures, an angiogram revealed that the coils inserted into his aneurysm weren’t sufficient, leaving CJ at risk for future bleeding. The solution is open brain surgery to clip the aneurysm—a procedure that sounds terrifying yet is considered routine and has proven highly successful. CJ has shown remarkable poise throughout this ordeal; I doubt I would have been so even tempered while facing brain surgery.   Today’s operation is scheduled to take four to six hours. He will recover in the neurological ICU for a day or two and then spend three to four days in ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

Join 3000+ in the Bull Pen
Stephen Hayes
(a.k.a. Chubby Chatterbox)
has been published!
 

 

Order from your favorite book retailer

Another Easy Way to Follow

Type Your Email Here:

Visit our Store

 

-0001 (1) 2011 (5) 2012 (76) 2013 (200) 2014 (155) 2015 (140) 2016 (140) 2017 (56)