Sunday, June 18, 2017

In the News...

Hello everyone!

I hope you're all enjoying your summer. It's been gorgeous here on the Oregon coast over the past few days.

As a ship/shipwreck enthusiast, news articles relating to ships and shipwrecks (both past and present) always draw my attention. I've decided that in the future I'd like to periodically write a blog post that includes a list of online articles and their links. The theory is that if someone has read and enjoyed my books then there's a good chance that they'll find these online articles interesting.

There have actually been quite a few maritime related articles in the news over the past week. For instance, I found this article from the Oregonian last night:

Debris that could be from a 100-year-old shipwreck found on Oregon coast

The article talks about an interesting piece of wood that washed ashore on Cannon Beach. They reported that the piece of wood is 18 feet long and weighs several hundred pounds. Based on the square nails, notches, and cut-outs in the wood, it's possible that it came from a wooden ship built in the 1800's.

It's going to take more research and consulting with experts-- and we may never know for certain which ship it came from-- but, it's still a pretty cool find!

On a sadder note, I've been following the story in the news of the collision between a Navy destroyer and a container ship:

US Navy Destroyer Collides with merchant ship

Collisions are on my list of the top three worst things that could happen at sea. As you're probably aware, container ships are enormous. Fortunately, the navy destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, was sturdily built.

They're still investigating, but from what I can tell from the newspaper articles and photographs, it looks like the ships got lucky. Collisions are always bad and can potentially cause both ships to sink. Fortunately, in this situation, although both ships sustained damage and will need repairs, neither sank. Things could have been a lot worse.

When I first read about the accident, they reported that seven US sailors were missing. I had been holding out hope that by some miracle they would be found alive. Sadly, when I checked for an update on the story last night, I learned that the bodies of the sailors had been found inside one of the flooded compartments of the ship.

US Navy ship collides merchant vessel off coast

My condolences go out to the friends and family members of these sailors.

As someone that has spent a lot of time researching maritime history, I know that the outcome of this tragic accident could have been much worse. I'm grateful for the lives that were saved-- on both ships.

~~ H. S. Contino

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Exciting Announcement-- New Book!

Good morning!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Arcadia Publishing. Due to the success of my book "Shipwrecks of Coos County," we began discussing the possibly of my writing a second local history book for their "Images of America" series. I chose to wait to make an announcement until we reached an agreement.

I'm excited to announce that I'm currently under contract to write a follow up book titled "Shipwrecks of Curry County." The new book will basically pick up where the other one left off. It'll continue discussing shipwrecks along the Oregon coastline beginning just south of Bandon and continuing to the Oregon-California state line.

Although Curry County is smaller than Coos County, many of its settlements are older. There are several geographical similarities between the coastlines in both counties that make them particularly treacherous for ships (especially early in their history). But, there are also several features that make Curry County unique. I will be discussing both in the new book. There are also some amazing Curry County shipwreck stories. For instance, it was the location of one of the last American ships to be torpedoed off of the Oregon coast by a Japanese submarine during World War II. Fortunately, most of the crew survived. There are some amazing photographs related to the incident.

Tentatively, we're looking at a July 2017 release date for "Shipwrecks of Curry County." The retail price will be $21.99.

Please e-mail me or leave a comment on this post if you'd like to pre-order a copy of the new book. I'd be happy to e-mail you when the book is released and mail you a signed copy.

I'll also be lining up several shipwreck talks/book signing events within both Coos and Curry counties for next summer and fall. I'll post more information as the publication date gets closer.

Thank you all for your continued support of my writing career. I couldn't do it without you!

Woo-hoo! Time to roll up my sleeves and do some local history research!

~~ H. S. Contino

Sunday, May 15, 2016

New Author Blog


As most of you already know, I've been using Blogger for more than five years. Unfortunately, over the past year they have made more and more changes to the webpage that have made using Blogger for my author and crafting blogs a nightmare. The changes make the webpage freeze up on a regular basis while I'm attempting to create new posts. In addition, ever since they merged with Google, the webpage regularly kicks me out of my Blogger account and logs me into my pre-existing Google account instead. In the process, lots of my posts-in-progress have been lost. It's been incredibly frustrating.

After months of fighting with the updated Blogger, I've decided to wave the white flag. I give up! This will be my last post on this blog.

For now on, you can find me at my newly created author blog on Word Press. The new web address is:

HS Contino on WordPress

I hope that all of my regular followers will follow me to the new web page.

As always, thank you for your continued support of my writing. I really appreciate it!

Best wishes!

~ H. S. Contino

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Green Acres Grange Sale


Just a friendly reminder, this weekend is the Green Acres Grange Flea Market and Craft Fair. The market will be held on May 6th and 7th (Friday and Saturday) at the Green Acres Grange Hall. It is open to the public from 9 am until 4 pm.

There'll be a variety of vendors including both handmade crafts and affordable used items. There is also a small kitchen where they sell affordable hot lunches. They usually have donuts or muffins in the morning as well.
I'll be there with my books and a variety of handmade crafts. I also know that my friend, Jo Quackenbush, will be there with her "Crochet Blessings." She makes wonderful crocheted hats, scarves, and necklaces.

Come check it out! Mention this blog post and I'll give you 10% off your purchase at my booth.
~~ H.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo


As many of you already know, I'm a big fan of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I've been participating every November for several years now. I love the online camaraderie and I tend to work better under a deadline. I find having the time limit of only 30 days to complete the rough draft of a novel with a minimum word count of 50,000 words to be extremely motivating.

NaNoWriMo was so popular that for the past few years the non-profit group that runs it has also been hosting smaller "Camp NaNoWriMo" events in April and July each year. Camp is fun because it's much more laid back. They also give you the option of choosing your word count goal, so you don't have to commit to the full 50,000 words if you don't have to.


I'm excited to announce that I was able to convince my supervisors at the North Bend Public Library to host weekly "write-in's" at the library throughout the month of April. So, if you're interested in writing, please feel free to join us.

Camp NaNoWriMo at the

North Bend Public Library!

When: Wednesdays from 4-6 pm
Where: North Bend Public Library-- Meeting Room
1800 Sherman Avenue
North Bend, OR 97459

Our first write-in will be this Wednesday, April 6th. It's going to be a lot of fun. There'll even be snacks! So, if you're in the area, please feel free to join us!

Happy Spring!

~~ H. S. Contino

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.

May your day be filled with love, laughter, and loads of food!