Tag Archives: Flagler Beach

Happy Friday – Have Some More Free Books!!

This may seem like déjà vu, but I’m back again to tell you about yet ANOTHER FREE BOOK

Beginning today, March 2, 2018 and going until Tuesday the 6th you can download Pump It Up for FREE.

Pump It Up for FREE!!

Again – this is part of the Valentine’s gift from Ike (discussed here) where I will be giving away FREE BOOKS until my new novel 24 Minutes is released.

Speaking of 24 Minutes…here’s an update;

The editing process is done and the book is now in the hands of the formatter.

If things go well it should be available by the end of next week sometime around March 10th).


Since we are so close to the release of 24 Minutes – and thus the end of the free book give away…I’m going to up the ante…

Beginning tomorrow, March 3, 2018, Water Hazard will be FREE for 5 days!

Don’t drink the water – unless it’s FREE!!

So you can snag all of your weekend reading (whether you’re snow bound or going to the beach) for FREE!

So – to recap…



Pump It Up – FREE

Water Hazard – FREE

24 Minutes – ALMOST

Happy Friday!

Oh – and here’s a shark…










As always – thank you for reading



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Which Book is Free This Week? It’s (none of your) Unfinished Business!

If you’ve been paying attention you know that I have been giving away free books for the past two weeks (get caught up here and here) in anticipation of the release of my next novel 24 Minutes.

So far, I’ve made two books available for free download – Blood in the Water and Backseat to Justice.

Both of these books are from my Steve Salem collection.

Steve Salem is a former Boston cop now working as a Private Investigator in Flagler Beach, Florida. For some strange reason Steve and his partner Val Casey seem to stumble across some very unusual cases, and they usually end up recruiting the services of Ike.

Ike – for the uninitiated in the audience – is the main character in almost all of my books. He is an ex-Navy SEAL now living in Flagler Beach and in the employ of local bookie Ralph Donabedian.

Ike has been described as Robin Hood on a Harley (not my description, but one that I thoroughly approve of!).

As I said – Ike is the main character in most of my novels – as well as the subject of a collection of short stories. However…this week’s giveaway will feature the only book I’ve written which doesn’t include Ike at all.

That book is…


Unfinished Business.


Unfinished Business is the story of Meg Seabury, a mortician who is inexplicably tasked with carrying out the final thoughts of the bodies she embalms.

It’s a cross between my usual stories and The Twilight Zone.

I hope you enjoy it!


As always – thank you for reading


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The Giving Continues – Backseat to Justice is FREE!

Last week I announced a plan to give away a FREE book each week until my next novel, 24 Minutes, is released.

The first offering was Blood in the Water – and I was pleased (not overjoyed, but pleased) that I gave away almost 200 copies.

Blood in the Water chronicles an investigation by Flagler Beach P.I. Steve Salem and his partner Val Casey. It’s the second of my books to feature them.

The first – Backseat to Justice – was released in 2011 (or maybe 12 – I lose track) and it will be this week’s give away.


You could say that I should have reversed the order and given Backseat away first – and you’d be right, but that ship has sailed.

Maybe I wasn’t thinking that far ahead…or maybe I was pulling a George Lucas!

Whatever the case may be – you may now download Backseat to Justice for FREE until February 24th!!

If you took advantage of last week’s give away and downloaded Blood in the Water, but haven’t read it yet – you can hold off on it until you’ve read the prequel.


As always – thank you for reading


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Advance Praise for 24 Minutes

My first novel, Living the Dream, was released in August, 2009 – since then I have released at least one novel each year along with a couple of novellas, a collection of short stories and a co-written collection of motorcycle memoirs, bringing my total number of releases to fourteen in eight-and-a-half years.

Some people find that impressive, I just look at it as doing what I do.

Regardless…the streak has been broken.

I didn’t release a book in 2017 – even though I fully intended to. And naturally the reason for my apparent slacking comes with a story. I’m not making excuses, mind you…I’m just keeping you in the loop.

After Blood in the Water was released in late 2016 I was ready to begin work on my next novel. It was going to be another story set in Flagler Beach, involving Ike and some poor, innocent guy or girl being victimized by a less-than-scrupulous ne’er-do-well.

I had barely begun writing it when, as part of my day job (do you believe I still have to work?) I had to take a class called “Active Shooter Training.”  It was four hours of training on what to do, and what not to do, in the event a gunman should come into the building with a grudge.

It’s a very sad commentary on our society that this class was necessary, but that’s a discussion for a different day.

So there I am…sitting in the class learning the best ways to increase my chances of surviving an unimaginable event when the instructor said something that caught the attention of the writer in me.

He said that the average duration of a mass shooting situation was about fifteen minutes – with many lasting seven minutes or less.

The first thought through my mind was Wow! Those have got to be the longest fifteen minutes imaginable.

Sometime before the class ended I decided that this would be the subject of my next book, and that it would take place entirely within that fifteen minute time span.

Shortly after I began writing I realized that it would be nearly impossible to fill an entire novel with fifteen minutes worth of story…so I increased the time span to twenty-four minutes. I also thought “24 Minutes” had a catchy ring to it as the title of the story.

Work began in December of 2016, but progress was very slow – partly due to the holidays and partly due to my own lack of confidence in the story. I was concerned that the whole idea was ill-conceived…that the subject matter was inappropriate, and that it was taking the art-imitates-life concept a bit too far.

Nevertheless I continued writing.

Then in April I had a major setback…I was involved in a motorcycle accident (read the two part story on that here and here if you’d like) and I was unable to write for two full months.

Once I was fully mended I got back to work on the story, but it took me a while to get back in the groove. Then, just when I was getting up to speed again my girlfriend and I bought a house – which, thanks to some needed cosmetic renovations, consumed every free minute of my time for a couple more months.

Finally, somewhere in the beginning of August I had a finished first draft.

From there it went to my beta readers and, after some revisions, was sent to my editor in the beginning of December.

I have gotten the first round of editor’s comments back and have been going through the story again. The way things are going I am very confident that release should be in the middle of February.

In the meantime I shared some advance copies to a few trusted colleagues for review.

It is with great pride – and lots of relief – that I share some of their comments. They have dispelled my concerns about releasing it.

Here are portions (without spoilers!) of what they had to say

Author Susan M. Toy had this to Say:

In a departure from his popular “Ike” novels, Tim Baker has proven himself to be a multi-faceted and talented writer by handily taking on the very important, serious, and timely topic of what happens when someone who believes himself to have been wronged takes his revenge. I found 24 Minutes to be riveting reading that I could not put down. Baker’s characters are individuals, each of them very human, and just like those people we know as neighbors, co-workers, friends, family—which makes this tragic story all too believable, and heart-wrenchingly personal. Excellent writing, an engaging story, and an all-too-real situation – a story that needed to be told, from an author who I know is getting better with every novel he writes!

Author Rebecca Heishman wrote:

The ‘Ike books’ are wonderful entertaining, fun, and great reads. This book has the potential of becoming important to people because of the honesty, the vulnerability, and by Tim’s putting it all out there for readers to see. It was a little bit breathtaking for me. It’s a chunk of blatant reality playing out. It’s powerful. The reader can feel the passion that went into writing it.

From Author Susan Nicholls:

The tension throughout the book was incredible.

The multi-layered stories of each character drew me in and made me care, yet I sensed a tragedy unfolding. All of the characters were interesting in their own right, and I became emotionally bound to them whether I liked them or not. The writing was superb.

Throughout the book, (Tim’s) characteristic subtle, yet wicked, humor colored the pages. I was really glad to see that. It made for a great read. It’s the sort of thing that draws me in and keeps me reading because it gives me a light breathing moment to break the tension.

Author/book reviewer Kaye Lynne Booth:

Tim Baker addresses social issues which are prominent in our society today, offering an inside view illustrating the many sides of human nature which reveal themselves under pressure. A fast paced slowed to a readable tempo for maximum enjoyment. (Kaye’s entire review can be read here)

Author/book reviewer Carolann Padgett:  

How much could 24 Minutes mean in the course of our lives? Could events take place that change the trajectories of those who hold us dear? In the amount of time it takes to watch a network sitcom lives are lost, found, and forever changed. 

Through masterful characterization techniques, readers are introduced to highly unlikeable individuals including the bigot, the miser, the convict, and the shrew. Kind, thoughtful, and polite characters are presented, as well. 

As the tale unfolds the theme “perception is not necessarily reality” is repeatedly visited. Are the characters solely good or evil? In the midst of crisis do true natures rise to the top? In life or death gambles is survival of the fittest the status quo? Or are sacrifices made for the good of others? 


Now it’s time to get back to doing what I do…

I’ll be sending the book back to the editor this weekend for round two. I am hopeful that work should be complete in the next week or two so it can be released before the end of February – and who knows…maybe I’ll get another book out this year to make up for missing a year!

As always – thank you for reading


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Good News, Bad News – Which Do You Want First?

If somebody says to you “I’ve got good news and bad news” it’s perfectly understandable to brace yourself for the bad news, regardless of their claim that it will be accompanied by good news. I mean, let’s face it, if the bad news wasn’t really all that bad, they wouldn’t need to give you good news to wash it down…


Well, I hate to do this to you, but…

I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.

Now – before you brace yourself too much, let me say this in my defense, my bad news is offset by several pieces of good news.

Its A Trap GIF by Star Wars - Find & Share on GIPHY

I know…it still sounds like a trap, but I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as all that.

So let’s rip the band off right away and get to the bad news…

As you may know, I’ve been working on my tenth novel, 24 Minutes, for a while now.

The goal was to have it released in the beginning of December.

Here it comes – brace yourself.

The release of 24 Minutes will be delayed, possibly by several weeks.

Believe me, I wish I didn’t have to make this announcement, but in the past six months my writing time often had to be put on the back burner (beginning with two months without the use of my right arm back in April).

Oh, and I almost forgot…another piece of bad news for some of you, 24 Minutes has no Ike.

I know – blasphemy!

Lemme ‘splain…

24 Minutes is a complete departure from my previous works. There’s no tongue-in-cheek caper threatening to rob Flagler Beach’s tourists of their peaceful piece of Nirvana, which means there’s no need for Ike to save the day.

In fact, in 24 Minutes there is no hero to save the day, per se. It’s a story dealing with a very intense situation we hear about all too often these days – but that’s all I’m going to say about that.

So, now for all that good news I promised;

First, according to my awesome group of beta readers, 24 Minutes is my best work yet.

One reader said – “It was a little bit breathtaking for me. It’s a chunk of blatant reality playing out. It’s powerful. The reader can feel the passion that went into writing it.”

Needless to say, that was extremely flattering, and also a bit of a relief, because the entire time I’ve been working on it I’ve wondered if I was making a mistake by veering away from my bread and butter, Ike. That being said, hopefully it will be worth the wait for you.

That’s all well and good, but No Ike?

I know – it just doesn’t seem fair, which brings me to more “good news”…

I already have the “what if” idea for my next Ike story, so I’ll be getting to work on that as soon as 24 Minutes is released. My goal will be to have that released during the summer of 2018.

Still not enough good news? Well, try this on for size…

Ike, being the iconic hero he is, has found his way into a book I didn’t write!

That’s right – Ike will be gracing the pages of the soon-to-be-released action novel Blood Dawn, by California author Chris DiBella.

Blood Dawn is DiBella’s third novel and is scheduled for release on December 14th.

Check out this synopsis:

Four Russian submariners wash up on a Florida Beach in 1989, seemingly the survivors of a sunken vessel. The reason for their being in such close proximity to the American shoreline soon becomes evident, as an elderly couple overhears a conversation that leads them to believe there’s much more to the story than just a malfunction at sea. For over thirty years, the fabricated account of the soldiers’ tale remains a mystery. Sean Mercer and his partner, Pat Vigil, are in Colorado conducting research at Rocky Flats when they inadvertently stumble upon a massive tunnel system lying beneath an old nuclear facility. The discovery leads to questions about an unsolved mystery from decades earlier, but finding the answers they seek could lead them down a path from which they might not return. Upon ascertaining information about a Russian plot to smuggle a nuclear bomb into the United States, Mercer realizes there may be a link to the current conspiracy and the discovery about the past. The race is on to find the nuclear weapon and bring the madman responsible for the threat to justice, but will time run out before he and his partner can thwart the attempt to detonate a nuclear weapon on U.S. soil? Blood Dawn is the third installment in the NESA Files series featuring Sean Mercer and the rest of the NESA team.

Fair is fair, Mercer and Vigil were featured in my short story Jungle Boogie, part of the anthology Path of a Bullet. As for the specifics of how Ike fits in to Blood Dawn, well – you’ll have to read it to find out, but, if you like Ike, I think it will be worth your time.

For more information on Chris, and Blood Dawn – go to www.chrisdibella.com.

Finally, I won’t say this fits into the category of good news, but it’s certainly kind of cool…in Blood Dawn there is a character named Tim Baker. (Undoubtedly a suave, sophisticated, James Bond type whose feathers are never ruffled, even while he’s saving the world.)And, from what I’ve been told, he’s not just a throw-away character, he has a fairly significant part in the story.

So there you have it. I really don’t like sharing bad news of any kind, but hopefully this batch came with enough good news to offset it.

Stay tuned for further updates on the release of 24 Minutes


As always, thank you for reading



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I Fought the Laws of Physics…and Didn’t Lose

Shortly after the Super Bowl I wrote a post to answer all the questions I was asked about the results. It saved me lots of time so I’m going to do it again regarding my recent lack of attendance on social media…

It all began on Saturday April 1, 2017 – and this not an April Fools’ Day prank…

It was a perfect morning for a ride.

Layla (my 2002 Harley Davidson Fat Boy) and I met a group of friends at the Oceanside (http://oceansideflagler.com/) for breakfast before riding through “The Loop” (http://ormondscenicloopandtrail.com/)  to Destination Daytona (https://www.facebook.com/DestinationDaytona/) for a “Biker Block Party”.

It was one of those days where the joy of riding and the company of good friends made the actual event irrelevant. We could have been at an insurance seminar and we would have had a good time.

It was a fun time, more so because of the people in attendance than the event itself. When the time came to hit the road, my brother and I began the twenty minute ride home. We live within five minutes of each other so we took the same route – US-1 north to Belle Terre Blvd.

About a mile from the intersection of US-1, Belle Terre curves sharply to the left – it’s a curve I’ve navigated more times than I can count. It’s actually one of those nice stretches of road where you lean your bike into it and really appreciate the fact that you’re on a motorcycle…

Ordinarily, when I approach this curve, I keep Layla closer to the double yellow line so when centrifugal force pushes us out to the right I’ve still got plenty of lane available.

Not this time…

This time, for some reason, I was closer to the right edge of the pavement when I entered the curve at about 50 mph.

The laws of physics being what they are (non-negotiable) Layla moved further to the right…

I watched my front tire cross the white line at the outer edge of the pavement, and it was immediately obvious that getting back on the pavement was not an option due to the aforementioned centrifugal force. I was about to find out exactly how well an eight-hundred pound Harley handled on grass and sand.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t do well at all.

For about ten seconds (which seemed like an hour) I tried to slow the bike down to a more manageable speed while I bounced along on the worst amusement park ride ever. At some point in the process the front tire hit a rut filled with soft sand and the ride came to an abrupt end. Layla went one way and I went the other. When I stopped rolling and tumbling I was about thirty feet away from her.

I picked myself up, not even entertaining the thought that I might be injured, and saw my brother running toward me yelling “Are you all right, are you all right?”

Then I noticed the pain.

It seemed to radiate out from my right shoulder…and it announced its presence with authority!

I shouted a few obscenities and waved to my brother to let him know I was, at the very least, not dead.

I walked/staggered around in aimless circles, still shouting obscenities, until another guy (whom I didn’t know) stepped up and started talking to me. He asked me if I was okay…to which I replied something to the effect of “Yeah…no…I don’t friggin’ know.”

He explained that he was an EMT (off duty) with military training and he wanted to assess my situation. After making sure I was intact he, along with his buddy and my brother, stood my bike up and got it back up to the road.

After taking a few minutes to collect myself, I assured my brother and the EMT that I was okay and ready to go home.

Layla was already running and waiting for me.

My brother and the EMT gathered up things that had gotten thrown around in the chaos (my sunglasses, Layla’s mirrors and a few odds and ends that had flown out of my saddle bags) before he and I rode home.

By the feel of the handlebars I deduced that they were bent when Layla hit the dirt. The clutch handle was broken but useable and both front blinkers were hanging by the wires (but still functional!).

We took it nice and slow for the three or four miles to my house and I told my brother I’d call him in a couple of hours to discuss our plans to go to a friend’s house for dinner later that afternoon.

I went inside and tried to relax a bit, but that wasn’t happening.

All of a sudden the pain I had originally thought was just a nuisance had become nearly incapacitating. My entire upper body was engulfed in a throbbing soreness the likes of which I had never experienced. I didn’t even want to take a deep breath. When I moved I heard/felt an odd clicking coming from my right shoulder and when I tried to take my shirt off I was treated to a fantastic new adventure in knee-buckling pain.

My initial thought that I just needed a hot shower and a nap was fading fast.

When I broke the news of my mishap to my girlfriend she told me I should go to the emergency room for X-rays – even if it was only precautionary.

I agreed.

So – to make a long story short – the X-rays showed a broken right clavicle (collar bone).

The two bones above my ribs are supposed to be one…

A subsequent visit to an orthopedic specialist resulted in the decision to surgically repair the break due to the way the two halves of the bone were misaligned.

So…after fifty-six and a half years without a single broken bone or major medical mishaps, I now find myself facing surgery to repair a broken collar bone.

It would be easy for me to complain about such bad luck…but I don’t see it that way.

From my perspective…I’m lucky to be alive.

I’ve always felt that I had something, or somebody, watching over me. There have been many incidents in my life where I should have been killed, or at least seriously injured, but I came away virtually unscathed.

This is another example.

I’m not saying a broken collar bone is a picnic…but it could have – should have – been much worse.

It’s only been four days and I’ve already told this story dozens of times, and the reaction I get is almost always the same…

“Oh, man, that sucks!”

To which I say “No. It doesn’t suck. Not only did I walk away from a motorcycle accident…I actually rode away.”

Layla an me on a better day

It would be easy for me too piss and moan about my crappy luck, but my guardian angel works too hard keeping me out of trouble for me to insult her (or him) by complaining.

So there you have it…I’ve been sidelined for a while. Just writing this post took about three times as long as it should have.

Thank you to all who have called, texted, messaged, etc asking if I was okay.

I am.

I’ll be back in full swing before you know it!


As always – thank you for reading






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Blood in the Water Splashes Down


I don’t know about other writers but my mind sees stories everywhere.

If I see a shady looking guy in the produce aisle at the grocery store, I’ve concocted a story about global vegetable sabotage before I get to the pet food section.

My biggest – and only – complaint about this particular quirk is that I don’t have enough time to turn all of my story ideas into books. As a result, when it’s time to start a new project, the decision of which idea to work on next usually comes down to a choice between the most recent and the one that excites me the most.

After Full Circle was released in 2015 I needed a new project and, as usual I had several ideas to pick from.

Decisions, decisions…

This time it was fairly easy. I had a story idea that was not only recent, but one I was pretty anxious to write—and, believe it or not, the seed for it was planted in my mind way back when I was 17 years old.

At the time I had a pretty good job for a high school kid, and of course I had no bills, so, I was constantly looking for ways to spend my loot. A friend of mine had just started SCUBA diving, and was talking non-stop about what a blast it was…so…naturally I dove in (no pun intended).

A few years later I found myself married with a child on the way so there was no time (or money) for SCUBA diving, and all the expensive gear I had acquired was sold at a huge (disgustingly huge) loss.

I told myself I’d get back to it again someday.

Well, I did…about three years ago.

If you’re doing the math – that’s about a thirty year span.

At the risk of sounding cliché – it was like riding a bike. Once the rust was gone I felt like I had never stopped. And as a bonus…diving in northeast Florida beats the hell out of diving in Rhode Island!!

But I digress…


As I mentioned earlier, my mind is always looking for story ideas, so it was only a matter of time before I came up with an idea centered on diving. You would think that since Ike, my main character, is an ex-Navy SEAL it would be common for there to be diving in all of my books—and it is, but the diving has never been an integral part of the story – until now.

Right around the time Full Circle was released I was diving and spotted something shiny on the ocean floor. It turned out to be nothing, just light reflecting off a shell, but for a couple of minutes my mind took off, as would anybody’s, to the “T” word (treasure) and I immediately started fantasizing about the possibilities.

Then my author-mind kicked in, and I started considering some other, not so desirable, possibilities.


It’s that what if moment…

What if a guy was diving and found something really valuable, but it was something that somebody else didn’t want to be found?

This is what I came up with…


Blood in the Water – my ninth novel – tells the story of Bob “Oscar” Oscarson, who finds a 300-year-old Spanish coin while SCUBA diving. Naturally he thinks his find is only the beginning. Unfortunately, he’s right—it’s the beginning of trouble the likes of which he never imagined.

In the book, we also see the return of Flagler Beach P.I. Steve Salem and his partner Val Casey (Backseat to Justice), who are investigating the disappearance of a retired architect from Rhode Island. Somehow their investigation connects them to Oscar and his mystery coin, and before long…there’s blood in the water.

Available in paperback  and  kindle.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I went to a training seminar about active shooters in the work-place and I’ve got an idea for a new book…

As always – thank you for reading


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