Do not look for flash here, just the pure quill and the straight skinny. 
Welcome to Conundrumesque.com

The marketing playground for my up-and-coming ventures in Cuenca, and the ruminations that preceded the germination stage.

The Written Words

1.  A Box of Chocolates  (2010)  $10.00

Welcome to "A Box of Chocolates."  The first section contains six short pieces.  The second section holds three brief introductions to my finished books.  Some pieces are nutty, some are semi-sweet and some are dark and bitter.

Like chocolate, I would like to think that all the contents are good, and good for you.  One need not consume the whole box in one sitting.  And in the end you are sad that the box is finished, and you are left wanting more.

CONTENTS - SHORTS

Sitting Ducks
Greece
Eating Disorder
No Room For Error
Jack
Winter to Spring

                       NOVELS

Vacationland
Once Upon a Nightmare
The Elephants Can Go Home

 

2.  Vacationland  (2011)   unpublished

     This story revolves around Donny Coombs, a 35-year-old Maine lobsterman.  In October, his boat runs aground in the fog with no one on board.  What has happened to Donny, and who might be responsible?  Might he have succumbed to one of the three factions that wish him dead?
    
As Donny readies his boat in the spring, he meets his new neighbor (new money, from away) who wants to save Maine from the Mainers and dictate how life should be.
    
Donny falls in love with a summer girl and her father (old money, yacht club set) will do anything to discourage the relationship.
    
The Lincolnville lobster gang is having territorial disputes with the Islesboro fishermen, and a lobster war is brewing.
    
These parallel and expanding hostilities reach boiling points.  The intensity and commitment of his rivals shock Donny out of his naivete and kindle a desire to retaliate. 

And the truth is, no body, no crime.


Come read what lies beneath the veneer of Vacationland.

PROLOGUE

     A 31-foot wooden Willis Beal lobster boat named Pot Luck slipped through the fog at a slow and steady pace, doing close to three knots.  She headed straight for the shore, without deviation or any slowing, and ran up on the rocks beneath the shrouded spruce trees and a lone maple, leaves glowing a dull red, on the northwestern tip of Seven Hundred Acre Island.  No one was on board.
     With her momentum, she rode up smartly on the slippery seaweed, her bow rising and her planks splintering. She listed severly to port.  When she hit land, the jolt caused all the fishing gear to slide forward.  The bait trays crashed into the engine box, tipped over and spilled chopped herring onto the deck.  The lobster tank ripped loose and dumped bugs into the slurry.  The propeller remained free and continued to turn.  Her engine ran steady at one thousand revolutions per minute.  The wet exhaust no longer muffled the noise.  Her only through-hull fitting, which normally brought cooling salt water to the engine, was now sucking air.  The 275 horsepower Chrysler gasoline engine began to overheat.  Within fifteen minutes the engine shuddered and froze and went silent.
     The tide continued to recede.  Small waves lapped at the shore...................................................

 

3. Once Upon a Nightmare  (2005)  unpublished

     Fly to South America.  Smuggle millions of dollars worth of cocaine into northern New England and drive it to Long Island.  Take a sport fisherman power boat to Bimini and eliminate a suspected mole.  Come aboard.  
     Taking a life, extinguishing it, leaves a callus and it is easier the next time.  "Once Upon a Nightmare" is a novel about the light and dark impulses and capacities in each of us.  Set in New England and Florida, this story takes us deeply into the world of drugs and the political corruption that naturally springs from prohibition.
    Jesse Langdon III is a comfortable and bored family man who receives an offer he should refuse.  He joins the crew of a charismatic and ruthless drug lord and learns of his gift for strategic planning and logistics.  He is also introduced to aspects of his character that should get him killed.
     Jesse is intrigued with the life and the darkness.  He finds he is exhilarated inside this maelstrom.  He makes friends and inflames enemies.
     The story brings to light the consequences of massive money flows, from the corruption of high government officials and officers of the court to the yearnings of the street runners.  War for territory, protection of supply routes and violent ladder climbing are daily realities of DRUGS, Inc.  Giving notice and requesting severance pay is not the suggested exit strategy from the underworld.  How would you get out?

CHAPTER ONE

"Now let me dare to open wide the gate past which men's steps have ever flinching trod."     Goethe

"President George H.W. Bush designates William Bennett as Director of National Drug Policy.  Mr. Bennett says he will quit smoking today."     -  Miami Herald, February 26, 1989

"The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says the 12 day old ban on imported semiautomatic rifles is being widened."    -   Miami Herald,  March 26, 1989

 

     Commuter flight 1632 was going to cost him his life.  The whimpering woman several rows back seemed to agree.  The Beech 99, a twin engine prop job out of Boston to Rockland had taken off late afternoon into blowing snow and low clouds.  A late March low pressure system was disrupting the entire eastern seaboard, bringing reduced visibility and turbulence.  Airports, below minimums, were closing like dominos.
     Right from the start the plane had been encased in dark clouds.  The flight was very rough.  As they initiated their descent to Rockland, Maine, the moderate turbulence became severe........................................................................

 

 

4.  The Elephants Can Go Home  (2003)  unpublished

     This is a children's book written by me and illustrated by my daughter Anna (www.annagoodale.com), an accomplished illustrator and a rowing Olympic Gold Medalist.
     Two young elephant cousins are abducted with some of their herd by a group of loggers and moved to the forests and taught to haul trees from the woods.  They are trained to remain in camp, and are well fed and cared for.
     The older elephants become resigned to their fate, but Lucy and Ellie yearn for their homeland and the idyllic life they left behind.  They refuse to accept their new life.
     With help from the head trainer's son, they escape the camp and embark on an epic journey that takes them through mishap and danger.  Along the way they make unlikely friends and learn about the nature of life and their capacity for perseverance and bravery.

CHAPTER ONE

     Once upon this time a whole clan of elephants live in the forest beside a big river.  On the other side of the river is a large plain, a long, flat country of grasses and lonely trees.  The clan is full of family, of aunt and uncles, of mammas and papas, of nephews and nieces and cousins and babies.  They have it so nice.  It is a wonderful climate.  It never gets snowy.  There are rainy seasons and dry seasons, but there is always plenty of food to eat and plenty of water in the river.
     This is a perfect time for the elephants.  It is the end of the rainy season and the river is swollen and deep.  Ellie and Lucy are cousins and best friends.  They were born three springs earlier.  This day is very hot.  The elephants are playing on the edge of the river where the mud is.  The bank of mud falls down to the river's edge.  Ellie and Lucy slide down the muddy and slippery bank into the river to get cooled off.  Running and playing.  All the older elephants, the mammas and the papas, the aunts and uncles stand in the deeper water, snorting water up their trunks and spraying each other and themselves.....................................

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Please stay tuned for the coming opporunities to buy these books.


With all good wishes,


Nat Goodale

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