Tortuga Gold

A Mayday Salvage and Rescue Adventure (#1)

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CNN, USA TODAY, the Huffington Post and many other news outlets referred to this novel after Wes' rescue off the coast of Cuba by Carnival Cruise lines. Now you can read the scene that inspired so much discussion.

Do you love adventure stories with crisp dialogue, interesting history, and fun characters? Then Tortuga Gold will be your great discovery of the year. 

 Imagine crossing Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt with John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee. Now throw that hybrid into exciting adventures that only international best-selling thriller writer Wes DeMott could conjure up and… well, that weird bit of imagery actually gives pretty good insight into this first-in-a-series about Taz Keaton and the gang of Mayday Salvage and Rescue as they battle pirates in search of Blackbeard's great lost treasure.

 "Mayday", you know. People only call us when things get really exciting. 

Tortuga Gold is a fun action story that follows Taz Keaton’s fast adventures after he rejects his wealthy lifestyle and starts Mayday Salvage and Rescue in search of excitement.    

Soon after Taz and his two partners race the Panamanian National Police to recover a metal case from the wreckage of a private jet in a muddy river, they meet a man with a coin from an historic but never recovered Spanish shipment that vanished in 1715.

From there the adventure rolls from modern day pirates to blood-sucking leeches, exploding yachts to beautiful international competitors and a sea battle with the legendary Blackbeard himself.

This is the first novel in a series involving Taz and Mayday Salvage and Rescue. Their second adventure , The Shrine of Akumal, will be available in May 2016.







Reviews


"A MUST READ! A Reader, BN - CIL.
From the very first paragraph, Wes draws you into a world of adventure with Taz and his motley crew! This was a wonderful escape, but beware...you may be challenged to look into the mirror, take a leap and start living.
As Taz says, "To Adventure..." This book is for the restless soul who knows there is something more out there. It has inspired me to become "one of those rare and beautiful souls with the courage to seek it!
"  

"My New Guilty Pleasure, January 31, 2012-Amazon 5 out of 5!  OLG.
What a fun read! This story is a glorious celebration of the lives and adventures of a crew of adventurers operating together as the Mayday Salvage and Rescue Team.
The band is led by Taz, a billionaire with little personal regard for money and a penchant for eating Oreos while pondering resolutions to difficult situations. He is delightfully reminiscent of Travis McGee, an old John D. McDonald character, but with a modern day twist.
The story is fast-paced and exciting, and the characters are fleshed out in a way that leaves the reader not just wanting to hear more of their adventures, but to also become part of the team. This reader was particularly impressed with the fact the the writer resisted portraying an older woman that was assisting the team as a caricature-like little blue-haired lady and instead developed her into a vibrant and feisty woman of substance that mildly flirted and became a pleasing part of the story.   More adventures for Mayday Salvage please, Mr. DeMott, and quickly!"

"Les mers du monde sont désormais dominées par un autre pavillon que celui de Clive Cussler ... "
Félicitations à l'auteur !! - Eric E., Belgium

Do you like reading books that rivet you to the pages? Download TORTUGA GOLD by Wes DeMott to your kindle or nook, which ever you have. Wes is a 1970 grad of PAHS, and former FBI agent. He has 7 published books, some of which are also printed in foreign languages. If you google Wes' name, you can find his other works. TORTUGA GOLD mixes some history from the 18th century with today's issues of pirates. Others hold you with events of spies and love stories.

"All Action Adventure Story, great read." Reader, Amazon.  (Fl, USA) - 
5.0 out of 5 stars  
This review is from: Tortuga Gold (A Mayday Salvage and Rescue Adventure) (Kindle Edition)If you like Clive Cussler and John D. MacDonald, then you'll find more fun, action, exotic locales, great characters and pleasure in DeMott's newest release, Tortuga Gold. 

"Found it to be an EXCELLENT read." It gets to a point that you don't want to put it down because you are wrapped up in the suspense and flow of events. - Sam M, in S.C. 

"Cela me rappelle un peu Jules Verne et m'a amuse." - Christiane D.P. , Belgium

"Great first chapter. Very scary rescue. Honest to God I have Oreos in my latest novel..Wow. Will forward to friends" - Albert T.



  

Chapter 1


 

Taz Keaton, muscular, tanned and shirtless, tried to get more speed out of the outboard, but it was already wide open and screaming like James Brown as it blasted his narrow fiberglass boat up the Central American river. He squinted for signs of the crashed jet in the muddy water or thick jungle canopy, but didn't see a clue as to where he would earn his three million dollars.


"Not looking good," he yelled to his partner, bouncing along in the bow.


Gordon Windsor looked back. "Yeah, but other than our lucky break last year in Cambodia, not looking good is about as good as it ever looks."


"That's a point. Keep an eye out for survivors, maybe a pilot or crew member who's been busted up but is still alive."

 

"Will do. Not likely though."


Taz glanced at the river's overgrown banks for anyone sitting in a clearing, maybe waiting in pain to be rescued, even though the speed and angle at which the corporate jet went down made it unlikely that anyone could have survived. Then he held his GPS in front of his face and took a quick check of his position as he steered around the stumps and debris of the Changuinola River, bleeding brown into the Bocas Del Toro archipelago off Panama's Caribbean Coast. The river was legendary for keeping her secrets, with her inaccessibility, the snakes and crocodiles, and the thick rain forest all contributing. If the jet wasn't visible now, it might never be, completely shrouded in a matter of days by strangler vines and banana leaves.

 

"Gordie," Taz shouted as he stood up with a surfer's practiced balance. "We're approaching the crash site coordinates. Is that twisted thing sticking out of the mud over there a tail section?"


Gordie looked where Taz pointed and then glanced behind them. "I think so. I also think our competition's going to catch us. Couldn't you have gotten a faster boat?"


"It was slim pickings in Empalme."


"Next time let me get the boat."


"It's a deal. Do you think those guys back there have guns?"


"Don't they always have guns?" Gordie looked again at the two pangas chasing them through the twists and turns of the ever-narrowing river. One of them was much closer than the other.


"I was kind of hoping–"


"The Panamanians are peaceful people, Taz, but every rule has an exception."


"And I usually manage to find them."


"Yes, you do."


Taz sat down and grabbed a railing. "Time for batting practice, Gordie. I'm turning to face 'em."


"Don't...you must think I love doing this."


Taz slammed the outboard to port, spinning the narrow twenty-foot boat like a top and nearly pitching Gordie out before Taz straightened again.


"Still with me?"


"To adventure, Taz."


"And to those who seek it. Get ready."


Gordie moved farther into the bow and leaned to the edge. "How about if next time I run the boat so you can face the bullets."


"I'd like to say there won't be a next time," Taz said as he aimed for the bow of the first boat, surprising the three men onboard, "but it's a bad bet."


The soldier in the front of the other boat raised his rifle and started shooting.


"Don't worry, Gordie. They're bouncing like crazy in our wake. Who could aim while doing that?"


A bullet tore into their panga right next to Gordie's hand and sent shards of fiberglass flying. "It appears that he can."


"Probably just a lucky shot. Are you ready?"


"Pass 'em starboard to starboard."


"I was thinking port to port."


"Don't screw around, Taz. I'm ready to tee off on the starboard side."


"And since when do we do things the easy way?"


Taz swerved back and forth over the centerline of the collision course as the two boats closed the distance at nearly sixty miles an hour.


"Damn it. Okay, port to port." Gordie shifted a little to his left.


"If you're going to get all pissy about it I suppose you can have it your way. Here we go to starboard. Ready...now!"


Taz shoved the outboard sideways as Gordie pushed away the rifle barrel just as the soldier got off a shot that whistled by his ear. The two boats banged together so hard it almost stopped them both and nearly sent Gordie flying over the bow.


The soldiers held on for the few seconds it took before the boats started to move again, scraping noisily along each other as Gordie raised the blue aluminum T-ball bat. He took a quick but powerful swing at the soldier in front, but the man ducked back so hard that he went over the rail and into the river.


"The driver's about to shoot, Taz. Looks like he's aiming at you."


"Noticed that. Anytime now, Gordo!"


Gordie yelled "No fuego" to the driver as he threw down his bat and grabbed the flare gun he'd loaded with a huge metal round of white phosphorous. The soldier hesitated, and while he did Gordie aimed at their fuel tank and fired. The phosphorous immediately started to burn and hiss and melt everything, including the fiberglass boat and the plastic fuel tank.


"Glad they can swim," Gordie said as they raced away, while the other two men scrambled out of the blazing boat and swam like Olympians before the panga exploded.


"No fuego, Gordie? Really?"


"It was all I could come up with."


"Old Miss McAvoy would be so disappointed in your Spanish. Let's get over to the crash site."


"I wonder why the other boat's hanging back. And no, I don't want to go ask them."


"If that really is the wreckage over there, man, it's going to be a tough slog through the swamp to get to it."


Gordie looked back at his boss. "Say 'For a change,' Taz. I dare you, I even double-dog dare you to say 'For a change.'"


Taz flashed him that great grin of his. "Then I'm not going to say it. Just for a change," he said as he veered sharply off the river, sliding as fast and far as possible through the grassy flats toward the spot he thought was the crash site. A massive boa constrictor shot across the murky water to get out of their way.


"Man, did you see the size of that snake?"


"A fast one, too. We're about out of water, Taz. Are you planning to carry this boat back to town or drive it overland?"


"No idea yet."


Taz kept going until hard-grounding about thirty feet from shore and half that distance from the crash site. He killed the engine and leaped like a kid over the rail and into the knee-deep grassy edges of the jungle.


Gordie jumped too, but he caught his shirt on a cleat and tumbled in head first.


"Enjoy that, Gordie?"


"Funny guy. Let's just get what we came for and get out of here." He started running and Taz followed, their feet turning the water into frothy foam.


"You know what I think?"


"That we should be home watching a game?"


"What I think is that the guys on the other boat decided to wait for us to do the hard part of recovering the case."


"Smart of them. I guess that leaves us no option but to make our way out of here on foot." Gordie looked at the nearly impenetrable wall of jungle just beyond the wreckage. "Well, I must say that's typical news for a day out with you." Then, "Christ, I see a body over there."


"There were no reports or indications of survivors. If there are it will change things. We can't leave them out here to die, regardless of who they are."

 

"My God that plane's a wreck. Okay, you knew that. But it's totally torn to pieces. Where was the package? Was it cargo?"


"It's supposed to be in a shiny aluminum case that was with a passenger in the cabin."


Gordie sloshed ahead, but stopped short of a large clearing in the marshy river that looked like a small crater full of creamy coffee. "Do you see anything that even looks like it was once a cabin?"


"She sure hit hard. Let's find some sticks so we can set up a search grid."


"I think I see it floating over there."


"No kidding. Wow, that's one sturdy case. Go get it while I find a way out. I hear something."


"No, Taz, please don't hear something."


A black helicopter suddenly swooped over the edge of the jungle canopy and stopped quickly, hovering fifty feet over them with two men in uniform sitting in the open doors aiming rifles.


"Sorry, Gordie. I knew I heard something."


"I hate helicopters. Now what's your plan?"



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