books and short stories

We’re all well-intentioned liars at heart, tale spinners squatting around the fire swapping stories about who we are, why we are, what it all means.  We use figurative language to say in words what can’t be said in words because we know sometimes a lie can be the quickest route to the truth.

How we ask our questions, and how we attempt to answer them, gives us insight into who we are as individuals and as a people.  But if our stories don’t entertain as well, they’re pretty lousy lies.  I don’t know how illuminating these stories are, but I’ve made them as entertaining as I could.  So if you’re ready for tropical adventure, scroll south and enjoy.


Blacktip Island

Blacktip Island Inadvertent embezzler Blake Calloway high-tails it to the Caribbean, a step ahead of the Feds and desperate to restart life as an anonymous divemaster in a tropical paradise. On Blacktip Island, though, Blake quickly discovers “tropics” doesn’t mean “paradise,” and rookie boat hands stick out like a reef at low tide.

The locals are quirky: a landlord who swears he’s Fletcher Christian reincarnated, a boss who likes fish better than people, a sloshed resort manager with a sex-crazed wife, a possibly ax-murdering neighbor, and a girlfriend who just might turn Blake in for the reward money. Blake steers a ragged course between them, trying to straighten out the mess he’s made before the cops can track him down and haul him away.

Blacktip Island is a comic romp across a Caribbean resort island, sure to bring a smile to anyone who’s ever dreamed of trading the rat race for a hammock under the palm trees.

Blacktip Island Chapter One is available as a free download. Buy Blacktip Island anywhere you like, but if you purchase it from this website, Tim will be happy to sign your copy.

{download chapter 1}

Purchase Blacktip Island by using the Buy Now button below.

advance praise for Blacktip Island

"Blacktip Island is fun and funny, its characters vivid. Take your time and dive into this adventurous story.” – Portland Book Review

“Another winner from Tim W. Jackson! Protagonist Blake Calloway is in way over his head in this humorous adventure in paradise. Blacktip Island rocks!” – Award winner Kathy Brandt, author of Swimming with the Dead

“Five Stars. Blacktip Island will make you laugh and keep you guessing. The storyline keeps readers hooked, and the characters add laughter, suspense, romance and everything in between to take this book to another level.” – San Francisco Book Review

“Blacktip Island is a fascinating, well-written story . . . with the hero attempting to avoid detection, eco-terrorists trying to stop construction of a new airport, a beautiful bartender keeping her own secrets, and hunts for pirate treasure each overlapping the other. But the story is less driven by the plot than by the characters and the idyllic setting . . . which makes good fiction.” – David K. McDonnell for Reader Views

“Beautifully written with a thriller-like pace, Blacktip Island will keep you guessing ‘til the very end.” – Bonnie J. Cardone, author of the Cinnamon Greene Adventure Mysteries

“Jackson has a strong voice that makes for an entertaining read from beginning to end. The characters are well-crafted and bold. Blacktip Island is a fun adventure, with a motley crew that can easily become addictive.” – IndieReader

Mangrove Underground

Mangrove UndergroundUSA Book News "Best Books 2011" Award finalist in literary fiction

Mangrove Underground is part Florida eco-mystery and part coming of age narrative that subverts the expectations of both genres.

Haunted by his mother's sudden death when he was young, Ben Gates spends his life trying to be a hero, but can never seem to get it right. When wildfires rage through the Everglades, destroying natural habitat and creeping close to homes, folks around Cypress City suspect somebody's lighting them. Ben, now an idealistic park ranger, believes he's the man to find the arsonist. Trouble is, folks also think he might be the culprit.

Rumor gives way to conspiracy theory gives way to local legend as Ben races to save the town, and himself, while confronting his own secret past with the mysterious Mangrove Underground.

Mangrove Underground Chapter One is available as a free download, or click on the cover image above to flip through it here without leaving the page. Buy Mangrove Underground anywhere you like, but if you order it from this website, Tim will be happy to sign your copy.

{download chapter 1}

Purchase Mangrove Underground here, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Nature Conservatory's Coral Reef Preservation Fund.

excerpt: Mangrove UnderGround

And then, after paddling daylong among the overgrown Calusa shell-mounds, they reached the Dogwater groundsite. The river shone dull orange with the setting sun. James Gates, in the lead canoe, raised his paddle, a racer crossing the finish line, a silhoutte suspended in the fog wisps rising from the water. the boy dug his paddle deep, letting the brackish water cool his hands…


"A unique take on the mystery genre, and plenty of local colour in a captivating tale of mistakes and redemption." - Cayman Airways Skies magazine

"A fast-paced adventure replete with intimate encounters with the resident denizens . . . this time the good guys win, sort of." - Florida Times-Union

"Betrayal, wildfires and skullduggery . . . and an unlikely hero caught amid a struggle to save his community." - The Caymanian Compass

"Jackson's novel boasts a gritty authenticity . . ." - Citrus County Chronicle

"Jackson gained firsthand knowledge of backcountry firefighting while accompanying crews battling wilderness blazes." - Marietta Daily Journal

Tales from Blacktip Island short stories

Tales from Blacktip Island short stories are available as ebooks on Amazon and other online retailers.

Two and a Half Weeks

Two and a Half Weeks
Caribbean dive guide Gage Hoase woos and wins a beautiful dive guest, then sends her packing. All is good until Gabi returns, with happily-ever-after on her mind. Now Gage has to figure a way to let her down gently before she offs him in his sleep.

FREE on Amazon Kindle through October 1.

When the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead
Angela sees nothing to live for after the love of her life runs off to Cuba with her life’s savings. Then, on a solo scuba dive she doesn’t plan on coming back from, a chance encounter changes her mind.

Ebb and Flow
Cody and Diane grew up best friends on Haulover Key. It was only natural they’d fall in love. Then Diane found her dream job on the opposite side of the globe. After two years, Cody’s set to sail to the Caribbean when Diane returns, Hurricane Sophie right on her heels. Will love prevail, or will Cody and Diane chase separate dreams?

Reef Line / The Gulf
Jack and Joey are best buds . . . until they both fall for Chrissy. Then betrayal assumes a friend’s smile on a tropical island where friendship is fleeting and the truth depends on who’s telling the story.

Cyrus fled to Blacktip Island after betraying everyone he loved. Alone on his hilltop he found peace. Until his past came looking for him. Now he’s fighting off investigators and a flood of memories, trying to buy enough time to finish his boat and sail away.