A VVivacious Review: Ocean of Secrets by Jerry Sacher

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Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5
 
Ocean of SecretsAndrew Elliot finds himself caught in an unwilling engagement which is bound to get him trapped in a disappointing marriage.
 
Mathew Ahearn, lost after his parents’ deaths, finds himself desperate for a new start in his life.
 
These two men from very different strata of society find themselves together on a journey from Southampton to New York aboard the RMS Titanic.
 
The blurb of this book is what really had me interested in this story. Because once you reveal that the MCs are aboard the Titanic there is just something tragic that attaches itself to the storyline.
 
This book had a certain novelty attached to it seeing as this is the first story I have ever read about the Titanic which is kind of what drove me to start and finish reading this story. But it should also tell you something else and i.e. the fact that the Titanic is the hero of this story. Because almost all the things I liked about this book are somehow related to the Titanic. Also more than following the journey of the characters we are also following the journey of this ship right from where it was created in Belfast, Ireland to its maiden voyage from Southampton which it never got to complete.
 
The plot and writing in this book are not very nuanced. Things are pretty plain from the starting; nothing really catches you with surprise. I guessed all the turning points of this book before they happened, which on one hand means that the events of this story lend themselves to future events but on the other hand with things being so forthright it is hard to find the story very interesting.
 
Andrew was quite irritating probably because all the time he spent on the Titanic not in company of Mathew he was either trying to get away from his current engagement or was being reprimanded to pay attention on the now and here seeing as he was so lost in his thoughts. Which yeah is okay the first few times but by the tenth time you start wondering if the guy ever really pays attention. Also his storyline was a little too transparent from the beginning.
 
Mathew is a twenty year old lad who finds himself in a difficult position but he just wants to get away and start a new life far away from everything he has ever known. Mathew’s story was actually interesting but his story pretty much wraps up in the first few chapters and later on the plot focuses more on Andrew. Personally I would have liked to have read more about Mathew’s time as a steward aboard the Titanic.
 
Overall what really lets this story down is the fact that the love story between these two characters is a little too unbelievable. I mean if they had probably spent a little more time together before they were professing their love for each other, it would have made their love a lot more believable.  The plausibility of their love story is a bit hard to swallow literally because these two go from catching glimpses of each other to talking for 2-3 minutes at a time to making love and this all happens in the span of five days.
 
Also another thing I found a bit unbelievable was the number of people who were okay with Andrew’s homosexuality, I mean personally I would have expected more caution and disgust if just for appearance sake back in the 1912.
 
I guess if I had to summarize I would say the Titanic is the clear hero of the story and dominates the story line. Everything else feels and probably is secondary to the legend that is the Titanic. Personally as a love story this book sorely lacked development even though I liked how the story ended.
 
Cover Art by Bree Archer. I loved the cover of this book, it is really pretty.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Published April 18th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634768221 (ISBN13: 9781634768221)
Edition Language English

Jerry Sacher on the Titanic and the Inspiration Behind ‘Ocean of Secrets’ ( author guest blog )

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Ocean of Secrets

Ocean of Secrets by Jerry Sacher
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art by Bree Archer

Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jerry Sacher here today to talk about Jerry’s latest novel, Ocean of Secrets.  Welcome, Jerry.

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My name is Jerry Sacher, and my newest novel, Ocean of Secrets, releases on Friday, April 29th, 2016.
Andrew Elliot, the son of a Scottish Nobleman, is sent to America accompanied by his fiancé and her brother. But theirs is no love match. Andrew’s family insists that he marries to ‘cure’ him of his feelings for someone else–the son of the caretaker on his father’s estate.
 
Matthew Ahearn, newly orphaned, dreams of Texas and cowboys. He lands a job as a third class steward on a ship bound for America, and it is there that his and Andrew’s worlds collide. The two men–and their secrets–are brought together, lost in the magic of an ocean voyage, one that will always be remembered.
 
The year is 1912, and they’re about to board R.M.S Titanic…
The book will be available both on Dreamspinnerpress.com and Amazon.com
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Jack and Rose; Edith and Edward of Noel Coward’s Cavalcade of 1933; Lady Marjorie Bellamy on Upstairs Downstairs. What did all of these fictional people have in common? The sinking of the Titanic played a major role in their stories… So why did I choose to write another story about the sinking of the Titanic?
I have been interested in the Titanic since first grade, when I was first able to read a book about the ill-fated liner. The stories of the passengers and crew who were there have always fascinated me. I always wanted to write one of my own, and to tell in my own way a story that, until now, hasn’t been told: the romance between two men with the great ship as the background of their world.
There was known to have been at least one gay couple traveling on the Titanic: a young man in second class named Albert Fynney, who was accompanied by a male companion named William Gaskell. Both of them were the subject of many rumors that had circulated prior to boarding the liner.
A first class passenger, noted artist Frank Millet, wrote to a friend back home from the ship from the last port of call–Queenstown, Ireland–describing “A queer lot of people” and “Plenty of our kind” of people among the passengers. Who could he have been talking about? My antagonist, Andrew, is befriended by Mr. Millet. Could he have met someone like Andrew and written to his friend about him from the ship? It’s possible.
The story begins with Andrew Elliot, the son of a Scottish nobleman, engaged to a woman he doesn’t love, and being sent to America aboard the Titanic, chaperoned by her brother. The hasty match has been arranged by Andrew’s parents in hopes he will get over his feelings for a young man on the family estate, and to keep the family from scandal.
On the Titanic, he meets a young crewman named Matthew, who has secrets of his own. The lives and fates of all of them are thrown together on the night of April 14, 1912. Who will survive?
Here is a short excerpt:

 

 

          “Come on, jump and I’ll follow you!” He shouted above the rumbling noise that was coming from all around them. Matthew held onto Andrew’s hand for a brief second, squeezing, and each, giving the other silent encouragement. Then Matthew jumped, Andrew watched him hit the water that was now only a few feet below. Andrew took a step off the edge of the deck and leaped. The water was bitterly cold, like a thousand knives being driven into his body. He could barely breathe, but he had to find Matthew. Andrew looked behind him as the lights blinked and went out and the ship towered above him in the darkness. People were jumping, splashing near him, crying out.

          He thought he heard someone calling out his name,so he swam toward the sound. He only got a few feet away, when he found himself being showered with pieces of glass, wood, and scraps of metal and sparks; the screech of tortured steel drowned out all other noise, except the voice that persistently called out his name. An arm reached out, grabbing at him and pulling him under, but he somehow managed to break free. He came up next to a collapsible boat with a handful of people inside huddling together and watching the scene unfold in front of them. Andrew hung onto the side of the boat and followed their gaze.

I hope you enjoy reading Ocean of Secrets…

There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages about writing historic fiction. The biggest advantage for me is the research. Since I enjoy history I get to read about a lot of time periods that I had previously known nothing about. Being interested in the Titanic I discovered a couple of things I didn’t really know before. Only the more expensive cabins in first class had a private bathroom/water closet. The rest were shared facilities. There was no fresh water to bathe in, only hot and cold salt water.

In 1912, even though there were telephones, phonographs, and motion pictures, slang phrases or common expressions varied from place to place. Much like today, a word that means one thing in America could have a different meaning in England. So it was difficult not to let modern words or phrases slip in to the dialogue while I was writing Ocean of Secrets.

In writing a story I’m more of a planner. I will first complete a biography of all the main antagonists and protagonists, and then once I’ve given them a back story, than I’ll set up an outline, although the charters will tell their own story once you type in the first sentence.

My favorite characters are Andrew Elliot and Matthew, plus Jeremy Haniver from my first novel: The Saint of San Francisco.  I love them and I think I identify with them because all three of them are trying to find their way through life, and they emerged through conflict with confidence that none of them knew they possessed…

A little about me: I currently live in Chicago with my husband, Dean, and our two rambunctious cats, Monty and Nicky. I’ve been actively writing full time for the past six years. I’m interested in Titanic and all periods of history, and I have also published a novel set during the Russian Revolution.

My other works include: The Saint of San Francisco. The Rosary and the Badge. Noble’s Savior, and Fair In Love.

You can follow me on Twitter at @jerrysacher1 and on Facebook on my The Saint of San Francisco page. Keep up with me on my website, JerrySacher.com, for more news about Ocean of Secrets and my other projects.

Thanks,
Jerry Sacher