Buy Unleashing Colter's Hell, Lost Cause, and Need To Know three of Amazon's top selling national park thrillers today!

Monday, May 27, 2013

A suberb novel of suspense!

May 27, 2013: Another five star review for Unleashing Colter's Hell.  The latest comes from

Here is a snippet of the latest great review.

"This thriller is not only a superb novel of suspense, but it will remain with you as one of the scariest books you will ever read. Don’t be surprised to see “Unleashing Colter’s Hell” making it to the Top Ten Bestseller’s list."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Books to take outdoors

May 24, 2013: It's the Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.  Many people will be heading to the woods, the beach, or the lake for the holiday. I too have spent many a memorial day relaxing in the great outdoors.  One thing that makes this time so wonderful is the opportunity to read a great book.

If headed to the National Parks this weekend, may I suggest you take a copy of Unleashing Colter's Hell with you?  It's a fun, roller coaster ride of the thriller.  A great escape from the real world. 

Here is a short list of other great outdoor reads.

Encounters with the Archdruid
Three vignettes on David Brower, the father of the modern environmental movement.  Great sketches of the passion and skill David Brower brought to the environmental movement.

Novel that investigates what we call reality is merely an illusion we create for learning and enjoyment.
Angels and Demons
Dan Brown’s best Robert Langdon novel.

Undaunted Courage
Comprehensive review of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Gives one appreciation for the ultimate camping trip.

What books are you reading this memorial day?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Writing Fiction? Doing things we can't do in reality

May 21, 2013: One of the fun things about fiction, is writing about things and events we are unlikely to do in reality.  For example in Unleashing Colter's Hell, I created a president and his administration.  In the novel, John Paine is the President of the United States.  He is required to deal with foreign and domestic terrorist threats, a possible volcanic eruption, and the pending death of his best friend and Vice President.  It's all in the life of a commander in chief.  One of the ways I attempt to make President Paine more real to the readers is to give him a history and hint of the values that guide his decisions.

Tradition holds that presidents decorate the cabinet room with four portraits of their favorite presidents from the national gallery of art.  Which portrait the president chooses to hang gives some indication of what values and leadership style his plans to emulate.

In Unleashing Colter's Hell, President Paine chose the portraits of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Truman, and Clinton.  Paine appreciates Lincoln's laser like focus on saving the Union, Roosevelt's attention to the future, Truman's remaining humble and an "every man" even while the White House, and Clinton's deft political skill.

Who would you pick for your cabinet room?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

North Korea: Crying Wolf or Playing Possum?

May 18, 2013: North Korea recently launched several short range missiles into the Sea of Japan.  We have come to expect provocative action from Pyongyang. Here are a few of their more recent head scratchers. One, two, three. So many, one actually forgets them all.

Block 1B interceptor missile US NAVY
Experts claim the missile launches are aimed at increasing tensions to move "things" in the direction North Korea wants.  But what does North Korea want?  That is the real question.  What is the aim of all the escalating tension?  Is it to increase foreign aid, reduce the world's economic embargoes, exert influence on the world stage, or could they hide a more sinister intent?

Yet, the endless North Korean fire alarms seem counter productive.  Pyongyang's runs the risk of being seen as the boy who cried wolf.  But could this be Kim Jong Un's plan?  Lull the west to sleep with an seeming endless parade of crisis, only to hit us when we are unaware?

In Unleashing Colter's Hell, a political thriller available from Amazon, I speculate on North Korea's end game that could ultimately lead to the destruction
of civilization itself. 

Check out the thriller for yourself here!

Friday, May 17, 2013

What's the sound a person's feet make walking on sand?

May 17, 2013: One of the greatest challenges I find in writing compelling stories is engaging all human senses through the mere written word.  I make it a habit to describe places and settings with appeals to as many human senses as possible.  The wind rustled through the leaves, the sun danced on the water, the water chilled her feet, the air had the burnt taste of electricity in it, are all metaphors used to describe the scene and give the reader a deeper sense of place, intrigue, or drama.

I struggle sometimes to find the right words to capture the image I'm trying to paint.  For example, I was stumped recently by the sound feet make on sand.  What is it?  I can hear it in my head, but I'll be darned if I know the word that gives one the sense of feet squeaking across a beach. 

Do you have similar challenges?  How do you come up with the right word or words that best capture the emotion and feel for a scene? 

What is the sound a person's feet make walking on sand?

Sean Smith is an award winning conservationist and author. He is a former National Park Ranger at Yellowstone, Glacier, and the North Cascades. He is a TEDx speaker, and private pilot. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in Political Science. He got his master's in Natural Resources Management from Central Washington University in 1996. He currently runs Washington State's efforts to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and serves as the Mayor Pro Tem of Covington.

He has been writing stories and books since he was a child and currently writes national park thrillers from the shadow of Mount Rainier.

All his novels can be found here: Mr. Sean D Smith

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

17,000 words!

May 15, 2013: Just passed 17,000 words in my next novel the Lost Cause.  Once again our hero park ranger Grayson Cole is at the center of a conspiracy that dates back to the civil war.  It's a chase to find a relic owned by Robert E. Lee that is believed to have the power to start the second civil war. 

Look for the novel in 2015, the 150th anniversary of the end of the war!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Purple and Gold Shout Out for Unleashing Colter's Hell

May 7, 2013: The spring edition of the Purple and Gold, the alumni magazine of Chi Psi fraternity has a nice piece on my novel.  See the page image below.  Thanks to Chi Psi for their great coverage of my thriller.

Chi Psi Purple and Gold Spring 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What are you prepared to do Mr. President?

May 2, 2013:  Mr. Obama's presidency is at a crossroads.  He must decide now what he is prepared to do in order to leave a positive legacy.