A NOVEL WITH TEETH AND GRIT (OR SAND)

Had enough of tip-toeing through the politically correct life?  Then you’ll love JR Ingrisano’s novel, “Captain Jolly’s Do Over.”

Following a soul-gutting divorce, Jolly leaves behind “success” and escapes to the Caribbean, running from the zombified, walking-dead myth of a life he no longer bought into.  With the help of a handful of burnouts and other ex-patriates (more Peter Pan’s lost boys than Gertrude Stein’s “Lost Generation”), he sorts through the pain and the myths of men, women, sharks, and relationships.  It’s the adult, version of running away from home (complete with a stuffed toy monkey named Jocko), a classic journey from darkness into light, from pain to a dramatic rediscovery of joy, peace, and purpose.

One of the things Jolly learns in Ingrisano’s slice-of-life, character-driven novel is that everyone’s story is pretty much the same: Grew up in the States, got married to a spouse who forgot how to have sex in the backseat (or remembered how to have sex in the backseat with someone else), got bored, got dumped, or got greedy, read one too many Hemingway stories or listened to one too many Jimmy Buffett songs, and fled to the Caribbean. Resume in full. These island escapees are unreliable, ignore their bills, drive drunk without seat belts, and are never sure where – or with whom – they’ll wake up in the morning.

Captain Jolly’s Do Over is the whimsically honest escape fantasy for every dissatisfied cubicle-dwelling wage slave, broken-hearted lover, man or woman who just got tired of pretending and wanted something different.

To get your print or Kindle copy today, go to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Captain-Jollys-Do-Over-Ingrisano/dp/1681600307.

Also, check out Ingrisano’s second novel, “Alicia in the Ruins: A Story of Survival,” about a girl who survives and beats the sex traffickers.  With each copy sold, 50% (after expenses) goes to a charity dedicated to stopping sex traffickers.

Island Life: A Captain Jolly Excerpt

I had to admit that life on the island was easier; so were the people.

Take Chicago Mike, for example.  It was rumored that he’d gone to the University of Chicago and MIT.  He had been some kind of wunderkind who built a $15 million a year techno-biz by the time he was twenty-five, had a mind like a computer, which explained why he won regularly at the poker table.  Then one day, he just left.  He walked away from his catwalk wife to run away with Patti the Beast – foul-tempered, fat, Patti the Beast.

Patti?  No history.  No story.  Nobody cared enough to want to know.  She was a mistake that vaguely resembled a human being … barely.  Just a scowl, though people said she had left behind a five-year-old son to come with Mike down to the island.  Lucky boy, we all agreed.

John/Candy had been lifers, or at least had been on the island longer than anybody else.  They had what in the islands is known as Rock Fever.  No, not a rock band or an infectious disease, Rock Fever down here is loosely defined as either love for the freewheeling island life or a kind of claustrophobia that makes people desperate to get off the island.  John/Candy had it both ways.  She kept calling this place Devil’s Island.  He just drank.  Well, so did she.  That was what they had in common.

They had been on the island for decades.  They were known collectively as John/Candy.  It made sense when they were together, but island life didn’t always make sense.  Even if she showed up alone, she was known as John/Candy.Captain Jolly beach

Even after he’d committed suicide … or perhaps, I should say, finished committing suicide.

***

        Want more? Go to Captain Jolly’s Do Over Amazon site at http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Jollys-Do-Over-Ingrisano/dp/1681600307/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443292064&sr=1-1&keywords=captain+jolly%27s+do+over

THE STORY OF MEN: A CAPTAIN JOLLY EXCERPT

rambo poster

Men?  What are we like?  Well, I know we feel most comfortable when we hunt down a mastodon, gut it, skin it and drag it home.  We’re providers.  No matter what anybody else says, that’s what we feel best doing.  Winning, conquering, toppling things, besting the other guy in a sport or business deal – that’s the stuff that turns us on.  Even losing, as long as we know we gave it our all.  We’re proud of our scars, while women try to hide theirs.  For men, scars mean we got into the battle and gave it our best.

That’s what ran through my head the time Rocky tripped a squirrel in the driveway and killed it in a snap.  Connie was horrified.  But Rock straddled his kill and looked back at us with his head high.  He was so proud he damn near howled.  He strutted with a special bounce in his step for a week.  I was as excited as he was.  “Go, Rocket!” I’d shouted, and wanted to get my gun and go hunting … except that I didn’t own a gun.  Connie had looked at me blankly and then, without saying a word, turned away and went back into the house.

Still, that’s how most men think.  That’s why my heroes growing up were swashbuckling buccaneers – the old-time ones like Errol Flynn and the macho Stallone characters like Rocky and Rambo, but especially the real men of history who discovered the world in sailing ships in the great Age of Exploration.  I marveled as a child at the story of how the Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez in 1519 led 600 Spanish soldiers and sailors against the Aztec empire.  In an all-in gesture, Cortez gave the order, “Burn the ships!” marooning himself and his men on the Mexican shore halfway around the world from home.  This was fewer than 30 years after Columbus had discovered the New World.  No phones.  No mail service.  Win or die.  Within two years, he had conquered the Aztec Empire and started the Spanish Empire … without a single moral misgiving or second thought.

***

I’d spent a lot of late-night couch hours thinking about my father and his father – tough, unemotional, rather unpleasant men.  During the Great Depression, a good man was a good man because he was a good provider.  That meant he provided.  Period.  He worked all day, came home most every night, and only got drunk once in a while.  He didn’t have to be sensitive to his wife’s feelings or worry about damaging his children’s fragile psyches.  He was a good dad and a good father if he put food on the table.  Today?  I don’t have a clue.

It was easier, I think, for men back then.  Probably for women, too.  Their role was to take care of the house, cook, clean, do laundry.  They didn’t have to worry about whether their husbands were happy.  I suspect they did not lose sleep about being five pounds overweight or feel offended about being asked to make coffee for the boss.  I also suspect nobody was really happy, but nobody ever really thought about it.  As my mother once explained to me, “The man provides the house; the woman provides the home.”  The older I got, the more sense that made.

I sometimes wonder if everybody else finds this stuff as confusing as I do.

***

          Want more? Go to Captain Jolly’s Do Over Amazon site at http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Jollys-Do-Over-Ingrisano/dp/1681600307/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443292064&sr=1-1&keywords=captain+jolly%27s+do+over

Then click on the “Look Inside” tab on the cover and flip through the first few pages of the book. If you’re hooked, buy the book.

***

 

 

The Truth About Business — a Captain Jolly Excerpt

captain jolly business poster2I woke up to the gentle sound of the harbor and Bonita beside me, whispering, “Jolly?  Jolly?”

I had been dreaming again.

I kissed her, said, “Go back to sleep, Babe,” and went on deck to watch the stars and let the old memories wash over me.

***

I had become an entrepreneur, a meat-eating business owner.  And I’d had a ball.  I’d loved it, logging long hours and becoming the best “marketeer” in my industry.  I remember that bumper sticker I’d once seen on the BMW in front of me at a traffic light:  “Unless You’re the Lead Sled Dog, the View Never Changes.”  I’d read it, drew a blank for a moment, then visualized Huskies tethered in a row, pulling that sled.  Finally, I’d burst out laughing when I was able to visualize the view of the dogs behind the leader.  Yes!  As soon as the light changed, I’d zoomed in front of the BMW, waving in a half-assed salute as I went by.  Lead dog or nothing.

Men may have once hunted in packs, back in the days of the mastodons.  Today, we were lone hunters.  We were supposed to make a full commitment to building our empires, alone.  Total commitment.  Full metal jacket.  Eat or be eaten.  Business is war, and war is a bigger thrill than sex.  It wasn’t about money or even power.  That’s where the liberals and the losers got it all wrong.  It was about winning.  Just winning.  The money and the power were bonuses.

I had done it all for Connie and the kids … or that was what I had told myself.  Really?  Actually, I think I did it because I could think of nothing better to do.  I think that’s why men become successful entrepreneurs and nations go to war: boredom and/or lack of imagination.  I remember the time my brother, never my biggest fan, had called me an asshole.  I’d smiled and thanked him.

Either you’re the pigeon or the statue, I used to tell people, the lead sled dog or the one that ran along with its nose up the lead dog’s ass.

Not exactly a deep philosophy, but it worked for me.  And, no, it wasn’t about stuff.  I thought the clowns with the T-shirts that read, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” they were shallow morons.  No, I was a business man – tough, agile, making big bucks by living by wit and grit.  It’s like an athlete who wants to be the best at the game.  Or like a military commander.  I was Julius Caesar conquering Gaul and breaking all the rules.  Business was a sport.  Competition.  It was also war, and I loved it … at first … kind of.  Why was it so important to win?

Sitting in the darkness of the Caribbean aboard The Do Over, I tried to remember.  I came up blank.

Someday, I had to thank Connie for ending it all.  Her leaving me was the best thing that had ever happened to me.  “Yep, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it,” I said aloud to the Caribbean night, and didn’t laugh.  In truth, I think we were both miserable, but she had the sense to do something about it.  Me?  I was like that frog that starts out in a pot of cold water just swimming around and having a helluva good time.  But then, someone turns up the gas.  As the water gets hotter and hotter, he just sits there, barely noticing it, until he gets boiled alive.  Thank you, Connie, for making me jump out of the pot.

***

Want more? Go to Captain Jolly’s Do Over Amazon site at http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Jollys-Do-Over-Ingrisano/dp/1681600307/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443292064&sr=1-1&keywords=captain+jolly%27s+do+over

Then click on the “Look Inside” tab on the cover and flip through the first few pages of the book. If you’re hooked, buy the book.

Captain Jolly’s Do Over, a contemporary fiction novel by JR Ingrisano

A Review & Interview by TP Keane, author of “The Paladins of Naretia”

In this weeks Author Spotlight, I chat to the very talented JR Ingrisano, author of Captain Jolly’s Do Over, a contemporary Fiction novel.

What is your book about?

To escape the failure of a marriage his wife no longer wants and a business that no longer stirs his soul, Jamie Richards runs away to a Caribbean island, where he becomes the salt-crusted, barefoot skipper of the excursion catamaran The Do Over.  Along the way, he candidly questions many of the cultural and sexual truisms of his past life, finding that many are no more than myths.

JR Ingrisano’s Captain Jolly’s Do Over is a character-driven novel of redemption and relationships, with echoes of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary, Herman Wouk’s 1965 novel, Don’t Stop the Carnival, and Hemmingway’s island stories. It is the ultimate escape fantasy, a novel of myths wrapped in hard-core truths about modern relationships.

Jolly takes up with a misfit collection of locals and other ex-patriots, who are studies in contradictions (more like Peter Pan’s lost boys than Gertrude Stein’s “Lost Generation”), yet with resumes that follow a similar story line: got married (and figuratively, if not literally, lived in a house with a white picket fence) to a spouse who forgot how to have sex in the backseat (or who discovered how to have sex in the backseat with someone else), got bored, got dumped, or just got greedy, read one too many Hemingway stories or heard one too many stupid Jimmy Buffett songs, and fled to the Caribbean to drink margaritas. Resume in full.

Like Jolly, they travel light, but with lots of baggage.  However, with a monster hurricane bearing down on the island, even this barefoot, minimalist life is threatened, as Jolly heads out of safe harbor ahead of the storm and, eventually, is forced to scuttle – and then resurrect – his life and his boat.

What inspired you to write this book?

My own fantasy about running away to enjoy the Caribbean, which I actually did for two years. Plus, on a cruise to St. Maarten, I met a catamaran skipper; he had been the only one to save his boat in the face of a monster hurricane by lashing it to the roots in a stand of mangroves outside the lagoon.

Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?

I think, for favorite, it is a toss-up between Kid and Bonita, two lost souls who expect nothing from life and have chosen to be don’t-give-a-shit carefree and happy as a result. They both have terrible pain and loss in their lives, but all the world sees is their relaxed determination to go with the flow.

But wait? There is also old, easy-going Calabash, Black Mike, and Yvonne.

My least favorite? That would have to be Blah Blah Brenda, who I think is the saddest character in the book. I know too many women like her. They live in perfect, gated-lives communities and are often too afraid to even think about escaping this orgasm-free straight life. Not only do they bore those around them to death; they bore themselves, too.

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?

Fiction, books with meat about the human condition, was always my first love. However, as I went through the usual phases of life – marriage, kids, divorce — I wrote a lot of commercial copy. I became a marketer and business journalist because, well, that was where the money was. These days, I am back to writing the “real” stuff.

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?

This is a standalone book.   However, certain characters and scenes appear in my next novel, a very different book called Alicia in Ruins.

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?

I’ve always loved the power of discovering the just-right word. I see writing as an art and a craft, and I’ve always enjoyed trying to capture the human condition in such a way that makes readers see themselves and others – their very lives — in a new and different light.

My favorite author then and now is Ernest Hemmingway. It’s not so much that he often wrote about the islands. That was a bonus. What inspired me about Hemmingway is that he wrote tight. Every word counted. Two things I tell my writing students at the University of North Georgia are “Write tight!” and “If you can say it in 100 words, you can say it better in 75.”

Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Have you written other books we should know about?

Alicia in Ruins is scheduled for release in 2016. It is the story of a young feral child who ends up in the hands of sex traffickers. The premise: When societies unravel, the first to suffer are women and children. And with today’s booming sex trafficking industry, well, something is quite wrong.

Alicia is not erotica; nor is it a depressing story about a lost girl. Instead, Alicia is smart and sharp – always strangely in control, even in the worst situations — and, in the end, she beats the sex traffickers and goes on to help other girls caught in this grim life.

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?

Write about subjects worth writing about – not zombies and vampires, but real life.

Master the basics of grammar and writing.

Keep on writing. Spend less time chatting with other would-be writers on author pages and more time cranking out copy.

 

Where can we find your book?

Amazon

Where can we find out more about you?

Website

Twitter

 

 

 

Posted by Author TP Keane at 2:57 PM

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Book Review: A Caribbean Adventure Novel

Captain Jolly’s Do Over by JR Ingrisano

Review by Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite

I meet a lot of ex-pats with interesting stories. Most of them can’t tell them very well. JR Ingrisano most certainly can. His well-written novel, Captain Jolly’s Do Over, is honestly refreshing and unique. I’ve heard similar tales here in Thailand and, being from Alabama, I’ve heard all the Jimmy Buffet songs that basically tell this same story.

But having said that, JR Ingrisano writes well in a casual manner that reminded me of a heartfelt conversation between two buddies over a drink. I couldn’t stop reading until I had finished, and parts of it resonated with episodes and observations from my own life. There are some jewels of hard won knowledge in Captain Jolly’s Do Over that make it a must-read for men of a certain age.

If you are a baby boomer, chances are you will find something in Captain Jolly’s Do Over that resonates with something from your own life. The pain, heartache, and frustration of a marriage gone bad, the futility of living to work instead of working to live, and the desire to start over somewhere new and very different. I like the voice of Captain Jolly.

I like the articulate casualness that is almost intellectual. I like the colorful characters. The Captain, Black Mike, Jason, and even Chicago Mike could be friends of mine. If you want a great portrait of the life that you’ve heard about in all those Jimmy Buffet songs, then read Captain Jolly’s Do Over. You just might discover the life you have been craving.

(To order your copy of Captain Jolly’s Do Over, please go to http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Jollys-Do-Over-Ingrisano/dp/1681600307/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443292064&sr=1-1&keywords=captain+jolly%27s+do+over)

BONITA — EVERY MAN’S DREAM GIRL

JR Ingrisano here. I am the author of Captain Jolly’s Do Over, a Caribbean adventure that – oh, by the way – has been nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award for 2016.

captain jolly bonita poster

Here is an excerpt, in Captain Jolly’s own words, about Bonita:

********

“On occasion, I would study Bonita’s eyes, an old habit. It was mostly her eyes that gave away her age, and a few years more, but nothing else.  Her eyes were always bright, almost laughing.  Nothing seemed to bother her.  Only once had I seen her sad, and that was the night she’d cried after we’d made love.  I guess I could do that to women.

 

“All I knew about her for sure was that she was easy as silk to get along with. And joyful.  I think she was the only woman I’d ever met who had absolutely no attitude, no agenda, no smoldering resentment bubbling close beneath the surface.  Blessed be those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.

 

“She had no story, no history, no background. She just was.  That was what I loved about her, even if I didn’t love her.

 

“She was the total opposite of Blah Blah Brenda, who had a story about everything and just had to tell it – to everyone and anyone — who would listen.

 

“I suspect that, in her heart, Bonita was still someone’s princess. Maybe her father had called her that long ago (maybe he was still alive; I hoped he was), and she’d believed him, still waiting today for her prince to come.  Or maybe she finally figured out that Daddy was just trying to be nice.  I suspected that if a guy was lousy to her, she’d just leave.  No big drama.  No big scene.  No big woof.  The prince would show up, eventually.  Or not.

 

“I think that’s why she stayed with me, like a cat that adopted the people in its home. By island standards, I was a prince.  I never hit her, physically or emotionally abused her, or asked for kinky, hold-her-down-til-she-choked sex.  I think she knew she had a hygiene problem, but I also think she didn’t see it as a problem.  Instead, I sensed that it was her way of keeping other guys at bay.

 

“She was easy and didn’t try to change me. She kept her promise.  And she didn’t have any of those non-verbal cues designed to let me know she was disappointed or annoyed or disapproved.  She didn’t carry an emotional tape measure.  If I poured myself a stiff whiskey at seven in the morning or said I was heading over to Iggies or even Yvonne’s Place, or said I just preferred to be alone today, she never batted an eye.  No commentary.  No negative body language.

 

“One day I figured out that she liked being with me for the same reason I liked being with her: I didn’t give a shit.  What a pair!

***

 

(To order your copy of Captain Jolly’s Do Over, please go to http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Jollys-Do-Over-Ingrisano/dp/1681600307/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443292064&sr=1-1&keywords=captain+jolly%27s+do+over)