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The Secret Ever Keeps Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews


"Captivating and utterly engaging...a rolicking ride on the choppy waters of Lake Ontario. Tirrell writes with authority and confidence; he is truly in command of this ship! Wonderful!"  —Garth Stein, author, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets

"YA adventure for the older set."  —Kirkus Reviews

"Written in a crisp, entertaining style, this engaging tale offers both adventure and depth. It's perfect for a summertime read while on the hook."  —Sail Magazine

"This seamless blend of action and fun with heart-warming cross-generational character-story shouldn't work, but here it does. A reader can enjoy this on both levels. A perfect summer read."  —Films & Books Magazine

"Mr. Tirrell has written an interesting and intriguing novel with colorful and well-developed characters. His knowledge of Lake Ontario, sailing, and marine biology are related in the course of the story in a way that adds to the momentum. His portrayal of Jake as a man who rises from poverty to a position of wealth, the power wealth can buy, and the self-destruction it causes is superb."  —The Historical Novels Review

From the Publisher

"Learning the truth about yourself doesn't necessarily make you happy," Jake Eastland says. He should know. At ninety-three, he contemplates his life as a bootlegger and a thug, a tycoon and a killer with regret, not for the crimes he's committed, but for the family he's never known.

All that changes when Laurel Kingsford shows up on his doorstep. A dynamic young woman with a distinguished background in oceanic research, Laurel retreats to the only place she's ever felt safe following the loss of her job, her life savings, and her fiancé. A genteel old inn overlooking Lake Ontario's southern shore, the Twice Told Hotel was where Laurel spent idyllic childhood summers in the company of her grandmother, Jean. Jake Eastland built the Twice Told in 1940 and it was where he, too, retreated after his marriage to a society gold digger named Jean ended. Obviously, Jake and Laurel have much in common. They should: unbeknownst to Laurel, Jake is her grandfather.

If this were merely another derivative "sins of the father" saga, such coincidences would be improbable, if not imponderable. Fortunately, Tirrell capitalizes on his lifelong background as a resident of Lake Ontario's shoreline communities and his penchant for competitive sailing to craft a high-seas thriller replete with expected elements--killer storms, sabotaged equipment, and a race-against-time quest for sunken treasure--plus one stunning twist: said treasure implicates George Washington in a devastating political scandal.

If such cloak-and-dagger intrigue isn't stimulating enough, Tirrell throws in not one, but two, romantic triangles for good measure. This is an ambitious plot for a first-time author to navigate, but Tirrell does an admirable job of making it all coalesce by endowing his character-driven narrative with a romantic sensitivity and his intricately-crafted story line with a riveting focus. It is Tirrell's rhapsodic description of Lake Ontario's tortuous shoreline, however, that lends the novel its authenticity and allure: "horizontal slabs of black-tinged slate...devoid of life, beautiful in its raw wildness. And yet something more, some darker tension seemed compressed within, as if the place held its breath and waited."

Jake Eastland has been holding his breath, waiting for someone to love for ninety-three years. As he relates his life story to Laurel as a way of preparing her for the eventual revelation that she's his granddaughter and heir, Tirrell's multigenerational saga segues effortlessly between the internecine wars of Prohibition-era rum runners and the insidious perfidy of modern-day fortune hunters. Learning the truth about her connection to Jake's notorious background may not make Laurel happy, but it does make for an accomplished and assured fictional debut.

Carol Haggas, from ForeWord Magazine

Product Details

  • File Size: 455 KB
  • Print Length: 357 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1601640048
  • Publisher: Lock 8 Books; Kindle Edition edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Publication Date: March 9, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003BNZRK6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,529,685 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Art Tirrell (1941) was raised in Syracuse, New York and in the summers on the shore at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, where his love of all things nautical began. After a career as a self-employed businessman, his first novel, "The Secret Ever Keeps," was published in 2007, and his second, "The Vitaman Effect," in 2010. He enjoys writing character-driven adventure with generous dashes of romance and is currently at work on a new novel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Meg Westley on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In The Secret Ever Keeps, Art Tirrell weaves a rich story of bitter family rivalry, Depression Era wheeling and dealing, and thrilling underwater treasure hunt. Set on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, the novel shifts effortlessly between the present and the 1930s. Jake Eastland, a hard-nosed billionaire nearing the end of his life, attempts to make amends for his unscrupulous dealings in the past by reaching out to his sole living relative, a young woman who is unaware she even has a living grandfather. As they get to know each other, their disparate pasts arise to haunt them.

Tirrell's depiction of their slow-growing relationship is delicate and moving, but it is the suspenseful plot that keeps one flipping the pages. Tirrell quite simply writes the best underwater scenes I have ever read. He takes the reader down into the depths, and no matter how unfamiliar one is with this eerie, potentially deadly setting, one feels one knows exactly what it would be like to dive into the bowels of a sunken ship, to get one's line snagged or air cut off, to be caught and whipped away by a sudden current. Suffice it to say, you'll be breathless, until the secrets and ancient treasures are revealed.

The Secret Ever Keeps is a terrific debut novel for Tirrell. I know he has another in the works and can't wait till it hits the shelves.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dave Lochner on April 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mid February 2007, while surfing the net for new fiction, I came across Art Tirrell's website. For the cost of time only, Tirrell provides the first chapter of The Secret Ever Keeps for all to read. Laurel Kingsford has had a really bad day, was my first thought. The next, what's Tirrell's email address?

Promptly and cordially, Art replied that I would have to wait until The Secret Ever Keeps was released on April 1, contracts, royalties, and all that you understand. I did. This week I finally read Laurel's story. Her days got worse.

At the center of the Secret is Jake Eastland, a former bootlegger, and his search for treasures of the present and past. Set on the shores and waters of Lake Ontario, Eastland enlists Kingsford in a search for bootlegged whiskey lost in the depths of Lake Ontario. That's just part of the story. Unbeknownst to Laurel, Eastland is her estranged grandfather. Therein lies the real story, as Eastland gradually reveals to the reader his history and why he brought Laurel into it. Along the way heroes, villains, and adventure visit Eastland and Laurel on the stormy waters of Lake Ontario.

Tirrell writes in a crisp engaging style. An insightful and entertaining tale, The Secret Ever Keeps is an adventure story with depth equal to its adventure. A great read for the summer or any other season.

I'm glad I found Art's site last winter; it was worth the wait.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Karen Harrington on October 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Secret Ever Keeps opens with a great start, the opening lifting off the page and not mired with a huge amount of exposition. This technique pays off in Tirrell's very readable, though flash-back filled, story of family wounds and secrets and adventure. Through the alternating views of a grandfather and granddaughter, the reader is immersed in the history of rum runners during the age of prohibition, with family dynamics and loyalties playing out across generations. If you enjoyed the unraveling mystery of Chris Bohjalian's The Double Bind, you will also love this story.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joan Adler MD on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought a copy of this book because my significant other grew up on the

shores of Lake Ontario. It sounded like the sort of adventure yarn that he

loves to read. I picked it up four days ago when he was away and I couldn't put

it down.

This is the first book that he and I have agreed about since Kafka On the Beach.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ric Wasley on May 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Do you like sea stories?
How about Adventure stories? Or stories about romance, mystery, the roaring 20's, bootleggers and gangsters - all built around a central core of modern day problems of love, hate, redemption and reconciliation.

Don't believe that all those things could be packed into one riveting story? Well then pick yourself up a copy of Art Tirrell's new novel, The Secret Ever Keeps and see for yourself how a skillful author can artfully weave all these things into a book that will hold your interest from page one to the very end.


The Secret Ever Keeps is just that ... A keeper !

Ric Wasley - Author
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Tardif on May 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Art Tirrell's The Secret Ever Keeps is a modern Cinderella story, with a rum-running, sunken treasure twist. On the shores of Lake Ontario, Laurel Kingsford discovers that there is more to her family's past. There is a secret that has laid buried, one that is yearning to be revealed.

While searching for a treasure buried far beneath the sea, she uncovers a conspiracy, a passionate new love, a jealous and formidable rival, more family than she wants, and riches beyond her dreams. But of course, something--or someone--wants to spoil her plans at happiness and they will go to any length to take her breath away--permanently.

The Secret Ever Keeps is a tantalizing read. Fast-paced, sexy and sensationally plotted, it will keep you guessing and cheering on the heroine until the explosive and satisfying ending.

I have given this novel 5 stars because it deserves it! The story is awesome and it is believable and well-researched. Great work! I look forward to Art's next novel.

~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Author of Divine Intervention
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