Terry Ambrose, author of Lies, Spies and the Baker’s Surprise, a Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery, is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about the inspiration for the storyline for his Seaside Cove series.
Welcome, Terry. I’ll turn the floor over to you –
We recently visited Cabrillo National Monument, a national park in San Diego. Our visit reminded me of why I chose the San Mañuel storyline for the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series.
The park is home to a statue of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the man credited with being the first European to set foot on the West Coast of the United States. Cabrillo arrived in San Diego in 1542. By today’s standards, he and his crew were sailing on rickety ships, had poor navigation, and inaccurate instruments. Let’s not forget the diseases. Or the indigenous peoples they met. Some of whom took a dislike to the strange intruders. In fact, Cabrillo died just north of San Diego in the Channel Islands after a skirmish in which one of his bones was shattered. But his voyage, and the other explorers of his time, paved the way for international commerce.
That’s one reason the Old Point Loma Lighthouse was so important. The lighthouse operated from 1855 to 1891 and helped sailors avoid the treacheries of sailing near the California coast. There are hundreds of ships that didn’t avoid those treacheries, however, and their skeletons lie on the ocean floor, scattered up and down the entire coast.
Within two decades after Cabrillo’s arrival in San Diego, Spain’s Manilla galleons began their ascent to a 250-year reign as the premier trading vessels of their day. The galleons carried gold and silver to the Far East. They returned laden with silks, spices, and other exotic goods. While those voyages could be quite lucrative, they could also lead to a tragic end.
Which brings me back to the San Mañuel storyline. The San Mañuel is a fictional example of a four-hundred-year-old sunken Manilla galleon. Its discovery provided me the opportunity to convey the dangers of sailing near the coast in those early days, and the trouble such a discovery can bring today.
Many of those ships lying on the ocean floor are now a diver’s delight, but a wreck like the San Mañuel would be a magnet for treasure hunters. And trouble. After all, we’re talking about a find that could be worth millions, if not billions, of dollars.
I hope you’ll join me in Seaside Cove. Not for the treasure, but for the stories of the people who live there. It’s a fascinating little town. A place that’s fast becoming known as the little town where murder meets the sea.
Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind the storyline for the series, Terry, and good luck with Lies, Spies and a Baker’s Surprise, a Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery.
The novel is available online at Amazon.
About Terry Ambrose: Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose, tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.
Terry has written eighteen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. His series include the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries, the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries, and the License to Lie thriller series.