Thomas Hollyday (1942-present) was born in Easton, Maryland. His father was an acclaimed photographer and his mother a brilliant teacher.His father’s family were active in the history of Maryland since its settlement while his mother’s family were prominent in Democratic Party politics. His grandmother’s family descended from a well known German industrial family of Baltimore. He grew up in the southern atmosphere of the Eastern Shore with its maritime and military heritage. He studied writing with Elliott Coleman at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and with C.Michael Curtis of the Atlantic Monthly. He served with distinction in Vietnam and became a successful international businessman.He also drew illustrations for national magazines and published maritime and Civil War history. He currently edits A you Tube monthly video on books and on water for animals.He has a Facebook page on books-facebook.com/riversundayromancemysteries, on animals and water facebook.com/solarsippers, and on cartoons facebook.com/animalviewpointcartoons. He draws the popular humorous Animal Viewpoint Cartoons. He continues to please his fans with new novels in his River Sunday Romance Mysteries collection. In his fiction he describes his recurring theme that human settlers since prehistoric times in the Chesapeake region have left a mist of legend and history that permeates its modern stories with a certain compelling truth. At the same time he incorporates the stories of machines with those of their human owners. Each novel, located in the small town of River Sunday, Maryland, also records the continuing beautiful nature of the area. His writing portrays today’s problems, conflicts, and memorable local characters with their loves and their combat with evil. In Slave Graves Hollyday examines freedom and in Magnolia Gods, the issue of nuclear war. In the third novel, Powerboat Racer, he writes about racism, while in Gold, his theme is the homeless. His book,Terror Flower, about which critics write that he is a master of suspense,considers the strange faces of terrorism. In 2013 he published china Jewel, a story of tall ship racing to China. These are well researched,fast paced stories, in which local heroes, both men and women, fight the high technology of modern adversaries often with only their bare hands and cunning.
Critical reviews:”Hollyday has an excellent sense of place, and I was most interested in the location, having spent a large part of my life along the Chesapeake and southern Delaware shores, a fascinating area with plenty of history.”
Terror Flower has top fiction review: “This book has everything I like in a good mystery or suspense novel. A great story line with well rounded characters, easy to read dialogue (so important!) and descriptions that paint vivid pictures in your mind. When you feel the wind in your hair as they race down the road or feel the tension building in yourself as an argument is played out in front of you on the page – you know you’ve found an author who has not only a great idea for a story, but the talent to pull it off.” K. Hale.
On Terror Flower from Midwest Book Review “The simplest solution is not always the correct one. ‘Terror Flower’ is a novel set in a Chesapeake Bay town, following Smote Rojos as he tries to find the truth behind the drowning of his grandfather. Exploring the tensions of the area and the country, Thomas Hollyday presents a novel with many levels and much to consider, and makes ‘Terror Flower’ a fun and much recommended read for mystery and fiction collections. J. Cox
book review:July 20 2012:Powerboat RacerBy: Thomas HollydayMy Review:Sometimes, when reading a book that is racially charged, the author can go overboard and make readers feel a bit uncomfortable or leave them squirming in their seats. Not so with this book, Powerboat Racer, by author Thomas Hollyday. Instead, he does a great job of bringing to the surface the prejudice that we still struggle with in our country, and how a small town, and big city reporter each deal with it.
The book revolves around Harry Jacobson, who was at one time a highly respected journalist in New York City, but has been fired from his job. Feeling disgraced, he leaves the city and takes a job as an editor for a small paper on the Chesapeake. Being a sleepy town, there is very little “big” news to report, so when some children come across a sucken racing boat said to be lost over 30 years ago. Thinking it is a run of the mill story, he heads out to check it out. When he arrives on-scene, his curiosity is immediately peaked due to the people that have come out to the scene.
After he does some research, the finds out that the boat belonged to a black man, Walker James. The boat, named “Black Duck”, was the scene of a fire that resulted in the death of two white women. After the fire, Walker James was never seen again, nor was his body found – leading the entire community to assume he purposely killed the women and then fled.
Due to the racial controversy in the town, Harry struggles with whether or not he should even cover the story or dredge up old wounds in the community. As he starts to receive threats on his life, he proceeds to uncover the mystery that has plagued this community for over 30 years – and the truth that gives this story its unique twist.
I really enjoyed the story and the characters were very well rounded and believable. Fast paced mystery with many twists and turns – definitely worth the read!
Anne Stinson, long time established book critic of Maryland, writes “The shrewd reader will identify one bad guy early on, but the ending of the book, fraught with as many special effects as an action movie, has a climax as vivid as an IMAX movie that makes the audience wear those funny 3-D glasses. In short, Terror Flower is a cautionary tale. (It’s) Not a likely scenario but a deliciously scary battle between good and evil…I really enjoyed this tale and read it twice. Recommended.”
Sandra Gallegos, Married to a Geek blog critic- re: Powerboat Racer-
“Reading any story or news that have to to do with civil rights being violated or the struggles people had to endure to get the freedom we have today is always interesting and intriguing to me. I love to read any kind of book that can take me back to a time when history was being created. This book does just that! I realy felt like I was discovering the truth right along with Harry during his investigation. Thomas did a great job in his writing. Yes, it’s true digging into the past and finding the truth seems hard at first but discovering the truth is always a good thing regardless of how hurtful it seems which is what we conclude with this story. I am sure this is the case with many untold stories out there. This makes you want to start an investigation on your own.”
Jackie Paulson August 14 2012 “Just when I thought I knew it was the nephew a surprising twist comes to play with my brain. I felt like I was there in each of the scenes and I could imagine myself being there as if it were happening to my brother…I enjoyed reading this mystery,thriller, as each page led me to want to keep on reading until the mystery was solved.
From Createspace on Terror Flower A murder mystery with hints of racial strife has potential for intrigue and suspense. It sounds like it could be a strong, socially relevant morality play, also. Createspace gave this book a finalist rating in the amazon contest in 2014.