The Water Keeper


Please note, this is the first book in the Murphy Shepard Novels. The series also includes The Letter Keeper and The Record Keeper.

I’ve thought a good bit about to introduce this, my 14th novel, and given that this is my 20th year as a writer, I thought I’d try something new.  Usually, when I finish editing a book and it goes to press — which is about a year before you see it — I give it to Christy and the boys.  They like to think of it as a perk of being family.  I look at it as a test run.  I.e., “Does it work?”  Charlie, our oldest, was the first to respond and, oddly enough, he did so on social media.  I’m not a big consumer of social media so a few hours later, my phone began lighting up.  My friends were asking, “Have you read Charlie’s review?”  So, rather than try and sell myself — which if you’ve followed my career you know is not my strength — I thought I’d let Charlie give you his take on a book close to my heart.  Enjoy.

Review from my son, Charlie...

I truly consider it a privilege to be this man’s son- not just because he’s awesome, and a true man’s man and in better shape than me (don’t tell him I admitted that please) but because I don’t have to wait to read his newest novels.

I don’t know how you people do it... I’d go crazy waiting...

Usually he finishes a novel, about a week or two goes by and I’ll nosily walk up next to him, put my arm around his shoulders and with a smirk say “so when do I get to read it???”

He’ll laugh, but about 5 mins later I’ll hear a “ding” and I’ll either have a text or an email waiting with a link to a PDF...

Benefits of being his son...

I started this book on Sunday morning at 11 AM... told myself I’d only read a few chapters, get my feet wet with it- then knock out some homework, maybe take the boat out in the afternoon and test some new products, then come back and sit on the porch and read a couple more chapters before calling it a day...

Yeah. No.... That didn’t happen....

8. Hours. Later. I turned the final page of this book on my iPad and let out a breath I’d been holding in for close to 7 and a half hours...

I hadn’t eaten. Hadn’t used the bathroom. Hadn’t thought about homework or the boat or anything. I barely even used my phone except to text my dad my reactions to some things... (you’ll understand later...)

PEOPLE. PLEASE. Do not make plans the day you pick this book up!!! For your sake, for your children’s sake. Spouse’s sake. For your career’s sake. Tell them all you are unavailable and unable to do anything!!!!

Call in sick. Use a vacation day- for the love of all that is good in this world- please just do something.

Once you start this one- it’s like taking hard drugs straight to the blood stream... (To my grandparents reading this, I promise I don’t know what that’s like, but that’s kinda what I’m guessing it’s like.)

It’s a good ol’ fashion, heart-pounding, adrenaline pumping- page turner.

This book is unlike any of his others. It is so splendidly different and unique I truly cannot wait for the world to read this. It’s going to blow your socks off.

Not only does it showcase the romantically  creativity and complex sides of him- (you know when he does that thing where he pulls the rug out from underneath you and totally blindsides you and you’re left thinking “what in the h-e-double-hockey-stick just happened”) well it’s that- plus a whole other side of Charles Martin that ya’ll ain’t even ready for!!!

I felt like I just witnessed a mash-up of Unwritten and a Vince Flynn novel... (hint hint)...

I can’t explain to you enough the rollercoaster of emotions I faced while reading this... I laughed. At times I didn’t breathe. Other times I read really fast in anticipation and suspense- and then re-read to make sure I didn’t miss anything important. At times I fist pumped in celebration. I even shouted a couple times in celebration and relief. But then yes, I also shed a tear or two. Then I cussed. Then I cussed at my dad. Then I cussed out my dad because he did the whole “rip-your-heart-in-half-thing” that we all love/hate him for. Then I repented of those because the next scene was usually one where he pulled the whole “blind-side-rug-out-from-under-you” move and I was fist pumping in celebration again.

I’m telling you. It’s an action-packed, classic Charles Martin romance novel unlike anything I’ve ever read.

I’m proud of him and love him like crazy. He’s the hardest working person I know and he’s worked really dang hard on this one.

I can’t wait for you all to read this one. It’s a special one. They all are- but this one is in a whole other category people. Get ready.

It comes out in May of 2020. I’m sorry you have to wait that long... if it makes you feel better... I’ll re-read it a time or two before then on you all’s behalf...

And remember... the day you pick this book up is the day you become temporarily unavailable to the world...

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