Stephen Douglass: One of the Top 50 Indie Writers You Need To Be Reading
November 16, 2018
Stephen’s incredible life in the Canadian oil business was a story that must be told.
Born and raised in Canada, Stephen spent the first half of his career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. He spent the second half working for one of the smallest oil companies in the world; his own.
Now retired, he spends his summers with his wife, Ann, at their Canadian home near Niagara Falls. He winters at their Florida home in Port St. Lucie. When he is not writing, he is reading, traveling, or playing bad golf. He plans to write until the day he dies, probably longer.
For Stephen, writing was an accident. When his friends in Muskoka and Florida became aware of the story of his incredible life in the Canadian oil business, they encouraged him to commit it to writing. They insisted it was a story that must be told.
Reluctantly, he did, and after more than twenty years the story of AN ENDLESS AND CONFLICTED LOVE, A MAN WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE AND NEARLY LOST HIS LIFE DOING IT, and ONE OF THE LARGEST AND MOST AUDACIOUS THEFTS IN CANADIAN HISTORY, was finally made public. Stephen has entitled the book: The Bridge to Caracas, for reasons that will quickly be obvious to readers. The genre is romance crime fiction, if there is such a genre.
The sequels, The Tainted Trust, (the story of what happened to the $325,000,000 stolen from the Canadian and U.S. governments), the second in The King Trilogy, and Kerri’s War, the third volume in The King Trilogy, are now live on Amazon KDP.
Stephen has said, “If readers have half as much fun reading The King Trilogy as I did writing it, they will be enriched.”
Volume one of The King Trilogy, a truly amazing and gut-wrenching story.
How was an incredible $325,000,000 theft achieved using The Peace Bridge as a fulcrum?
It was a piece of national history. The story had to be told.
One of the largest and most audacious gasoline tax evasion scams in Canadian and U.S. history.
The perpetrator used The Peace Bridge, spanning The Niagara River, to facilitate his crime, and his private Cessna to transport the enormous fruits of the theft to the “safety” of a Cayman Island bank.
The scam netted an amount “that makes The New York State Lottery look like a Sunday school collection.”
Cynical and remorselessly ruthless, the thief possesses a brilliant criminal mind, has enormous contempt for the law, police, governments, and the system in which they function. He assumes rules are for fools, and takes sadistic pleasure in breaking them.
- The mechanics of the scam ( i.e. how such a gigantic theft was achieved)
- The extent to which the lives of two star-crossed lovers were disrupted by this criminal
- The character of the criminal, an unscrupulous individual with an absolute contempt for rules, the law, authority, and propriety
- Why and how the story ended in Caracas, Venezuela
- What happened to the fruits of his crime, and why
- How much of the story is fiction, and how much is fact.
Volume Two of The King Trilogy, The Tainted Trust is, in addition to a great crime and romantic thriller, a brilliant depiction of what perfectly normal people will do for love and money. It is the continuing story of an inconvenient fortune and its catastrophic impact on a loving family.
No one wept when Jim Servito died. He left an estate amounting to $325,000,000 when his wife, Karen killed him in Caracas. He had accumulated the fortune the old fashioned way: he stole it from the U.S. and Canadian Governments using a brilliant gasoline tax evasion scam. The money is hot, deposited in a Cayman Island bank, and it is cursed. It has a profound effect on everyone who touched it. It is managed by Alfred Schnieder, an aging and unscrupulous Caracas banker.
Mike King, the love of Karen’s life, and nearly ruined by the Feds’ scorched earth efforts to recover Servito’s fortune, convinces her to keep the money, instead of returning it to its rightful owners. With the assistance of Schnieder, they form The King Trust, a near-fatal mistake. Desperate to recover the money, the Feds continue to spare no expense and effort to do so.
Phillip, the only child of Karen and Jim Servito, assumes he is the natural heir to his father’s fortune and has his own greedy plans for the money. Aging Alfred Schnieder relinquishes the trust’s management to Louis Visconti, a thirty-two-year-old Wall Street whiz kid and brilliant financial engineer. Dubbed ‘The Crown Prince of Wall Street’, and substantially more unscrupulous than Schnieder, Visconti takes The King Trust to bewildering heights, then fails, miserably.
Kerri Pyper, Mike King’s twenty-three-year-old estranged daughter, has not seen or communicated with her father since she was nine. She discovers the existence of The King Trust and is shocked to learn that her natural father is its Trustee. Visconti, desperate and assuming he is still the smartest man in the room, embezzles the fortune and flees to Monaco. He made only two mistakes: he deceived both Mike King and Alfred Schnieder, and fell in love with Kerri.
You are about to read the story of a thirty-three-year-old woman who chose to go to war with the greed and avarice of big business, the overwhelming power of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and a billion dollar shareholder lawsuit against her. Simultaneously, she chose to fall in love with a man who was engaged to marry another woman.
Kerri King’s dedication and tireless work ethic had taken her to the top. She was the president and CEO of Iacardi & Sons, one of the largest and most successful commodity trading companies in the world. Everything was perfect until the company was nearly decimated by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Tormented by the loss of all but three of the company’s New York employees, and driven to provide a source of income for the families and loved ones of the Iacardi employees who died on that terrible day, she begins the fight to rebuild the company.
Virtually all of the cards and circumstances are stacked against her. The company is broke. Charles and Mario Iacardi, the company’s founders and financial providers, are dead. Peter Tavaris, Walter Deaks, and Billie Dukes, the three surviving New York employees, are vehemently opposed to Kerri’s continuing leadership.
Enerco, a gigantic Houston based energy trading company, conspires to purchase Iacardi & Sons, and employs every dirty trick in the corporate playbook to accomplish that objective. Desperate to salvage value for their Iacardi stock, the shareholders launch a billion-dollar lawsuit against Kerri, and vote to have her removed as president.
In her quest to provide financial relief to the estates of deceased Iacardi employees, Kerri chooses to give away to the Iacardi estates every cent of the fortune accruing from her father’s tainted trust. Her decision triggers disastrous consequences doled out by the Internal Revenue Service.
Kerri’s troubles are not confined to the corporate world. Just when she thinks she has at last found the love of her life, she is horrified to receive an invitation to his wedding in Naples, Florida, on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2001. The wedding is like no other she or any of the invitees, have ever attended.