Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Treasure of the Blue Whale by Steven Mayfield

It’s a pleasure to tell you about a new-to-me author I recently was introduced to and his upcoming release, TREASURE OF THE BLUE WHALE.

* Treasure of the Blue Whale
* By Steven Mayfield
* Publication Date: April 1st, 2020
* Genres: Fiction, Coming of Age, Humor

In this whimsical, often funny, Depression-era tale, young Connor O’Halloran decides to share a treasure he’s discovered on an isolated stretch of Northern California beach.

Almost overnight, his sleepy seaside village is comically transformed into a bastion of consumerism, home to a commode with a jeweled seat cover, a pair of genuinely fake rare documents, a mail-order bride, and an organ-grinder’s monkey named Mr. Sprinkles. But when it turns out that the treasure is not real, Connor must conspire with Miss Lizzie Fryberg and a handful of town leaders he’s dubbed The Ambergrisians to save their friends and neighbors from financial ruin.

Along the way, he discovers other treasures in the sometimes languid, sometimes exciting days of that long-ago season. He is rich and then he isn’t. He learns to sail a boat and about sex. He meets a real actor. He sneaks into villainous Cyrus Dinkle’s house and steals his letter opener. He almost goes to jail. He loves Fiona Littleleaf. He finds a father. And best of all, he and little brother, Alex, reclaim their mother from the darkness of mental illness.

TREASURE OF THE BLUE WHALE is available at the following sites: Amazon, Goodreads, and Regal House Publishing.

Advanced praise for this tantalizing story.

“Steven Mayfield's Treasure of the Blue Whale is a fascinating and wildly inventive narrative that artfully weaves the timeless themes of greed, survival, and love into an epic American tale that grips the reader from start to finish. This story is told through the lens of a talented and empathetic writer whom I've long admired for his ability to observe and to make sense of our complicated world and the individuals who make a community. This is the novel I've been waiting for, and it does not disappoint.”—Thanh Tan, Two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and multimedia storyteller.

“Treasure of the Blue Whale is a mystifying tale capable of accomplishing what the great American novels often do. It fosters conversation and debate about who we are as people and what makes us tick, while entertaining to the very last page.” —Erick Mertz, author of The Book of Witness and The Lies & Truth of Doctor Desmond Brice

Now here’s an excerpt from TREASURE OF THE BLUE WHALE for your reading pleasure.

Every boy has a friend with an older brother happy to introduce an innocent younger sibling and his pals to pornography. Mine was Webb Garwood, whose brother Tuck had already initiated our education with a library of postcard photos depicting Rubenesque women and hairy men engaged in naked Greco-Roman wrestling. Thus, I believed myself to have more than a nodding acquaintance with what went on behind a bedroom door and was incensed with Fiona. My indignation might seem silly in today’s world, but I assert with some confidence that it is difficult to stumble across a bigger prude than a ten-year-old boy in 1934. Thus, I was profoundly ashamed of Fiona as well as frightened by the prospects a liaison with Everson Dexter had put in her future.  I knew sex resulted in babies, rejecting the claim of Judy Buford, my fourth-grade teacher, who had solemnly informed our class that childbirth was a result of marriage, prayer, and a good night’s sleep. “You pray very hard, and when you wake up, you’re pregnant,” Mrs. Buford told us. So, I hope it’s understandable that what I next said to Fiona was a product of my worldliness, when compared to Mrs. Buford, and the distress attending Fiona’s decision to become a fallen woman before I was old enough to fell her.
          “Now you’re gonna get pregnant!” I shouted.
          I ran off and went to the beach below the lighthouse, firing sand dollars into the surf until my arm ached. Then I sat on the damp sand, muttering curses I’d heard the men use at the Last Resort, all the while plotting various ways to make Fiona sorry she’d chosen Everson Dexter over me. The air was filled with the smell of the sea, and although it was a scent I usually found invigorating, it now seemed dank and rotten, redolent of brackish tide pools and decay. My mood, already sour, grew more bitter. And then, in the way of all spurned lovers, anger drifted into despondence, self-pity rolling over me like the low gentle waves curling relentlessly onto the beach, the thin rim of foam at their crests like the tears clinging to my eyelashes. I was heartbroken; indeed, it was my first broken heart.
          I had nearly worked up the courage to drown myself when James showed up.
          “Nice day,” he said, sitting next to me.
          “Leave me the heck alone, James,” I said. “I don’t want to talk about it.” He didn’t make me and we spent a couple of minutes in silence. Of course, I did want to talk about it, but when I at last chose to speak, my voice was little more than a whisper.
          “Is Fiona a whore now?” I asked him.
          James frowned. “You watch your tongue, young man,” he scolded, his tone making clear that there was only one adult on the beach and he’d be sure to let me know when there were two. “Fiona Littleleaf has been really good to you and your brother. She loves you and you love her. You don’t put names like the one you just used on someone you love.”
          I wrapped my arms around my knees and leaned forward, burying my face in the nest made by the crooks of my elbows.

Author Steven Mayfield
For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a brief background on him.

Steven Mayfield is a past recipient of the Mari Sandoz Prize for fiction and the author of Howling at the Moon, a Best Books of 2010 selection by USA Book News.

He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and three spoiled mutts.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. What would you do if a treasure potentially worth millions washed ashore in your sleepy seaside town?


  1. I am hooked - both by the story line AND by the excerpt.
    Many, many thanks.

  2. What an interesting-sounding story, Mason! And I love that little bit of whimsy in there. The setting is great for this sort of story, too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a unique story. So much happening!

  4. Best of success to Steven. Sorry if this is a duplicate message. Having some computer issues this morning. Hi Pam. Stay safe, eh.

  5. His story sounds fabulous, and I love that cover! Thanks for introducing his book to us.

  6. This sounds like a great read!
    Hi Mason :)
    Stay safe, all.

  7. Thanks for spotlighting my book! Please note that, as of yesterday, I have decided to donate 50% of my royalties for the first year to Save the Stories (a program started by actresses Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner. https://support.savethechildren.org/site/Donation2?df_id=4067&mfc_pref=T&4067.donation=form1&vanityurl=savewithstories ). Their proceeds will go to Save the Children and No Kid Hungry, organizations that will provide meals for kids who relied on school breakfast and lunch programs. I have two daughters who work with kids—a 5th grade teacher and a child counselor—and I'm so saddened by the struggles their kids are having because of the pandemic. I encourage all my writing friends to join me in this effort, if you are able. I know times are tough.

    1. Steven, that's a wonderful thing to do. Wishing you much success.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.