Sea Trials selected a finalist in Foreward Reviews Best Books of 2017!

Announcing the 2017 Foreword INDIES Finalists

As part of its mission to discover, review, and share the best books from university and independent publishers, Foreword Reviews is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

More than 2,000 entries spread across 68 genres were submitted for consideration. The list of finalists was determined by Foreword’s editorial team. Winners are now being decided by a panel of judges across the country, reflecting Foreword’s readership of booksellers and librarians.

The complete list of finalists can be found at:

“Choosing finalists for the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, but the job is very difficult due to the high quality of submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, founder/publisher of Foreword Reviews. “Each new book award season proves again how independent publishers are the real innovators in the industry.”

Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice Prize winners and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced June 15, 2018 on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Wendy Hinman to share Sea Stories with Klein High School in Houston, TX

Wendy Hinman will share Sea Stories with students at Klein High School in Houston, TX on Tuesday March 20. According to their posts and their English teacher, Kylee Nau, they are very excited to find out more about this family that was shipwrecked a year into their voyage.

Sea Stories: Exploring the World Under Sail

Imagine setting off aboard a small sailboat, living off the grid for years, and being shipwrecked at 14!
Wendy Hinman, award winning author, will share adventures afloat from a nearly disastrous voyage around the world. After the family was rescued, they rebuilt the boat and finished sailing the rest of the way around the world, quite a feat considering the obstacles they faced.

From teacher Kylee Nau:

“I read some bits of your interview to my 1st period class this morning after hanging up the posters [about our assembly] and their jaws dropped! I have several sign-ups already from that class alone.”
And the day before the event: “We’ve been reading the Prologue in all of my classes today and the kids are stoked!”

Contact Wendy Hinman for a school visit today.

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Wendy Hinman to sign books at Barnes & Noble Federal Way, WA March 4

Wendy Hinman to sign books at Barnes & Noble Federal Way March 4, from 11am on. Come chat with the author and take home a signed copy of Sea Trials, her Kirkus Best Book of the year. Read the review of this highly acclaimed book here.

Barnes & Noble Federal Way Pavilions Centre
31325 Pacific Highway South
Federal Way, WA 98003

For more details, please visit:

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Sea Trials reviewed in Northwest Yachting

“It is exciting and interesting to see the family grow into their sea legs and learn how to live at sea. It is fascinating to be transported back to a time not that long ago when GPS wasn’t even a dream, and digital communication would have solved most of the issues the family faced. … Hinman’s book is definitely worthy of a space on your bookshelf for a time when you can enjoy the immersion into the Wilcox family’s adventure-filled trip around the world. —Northwest Yachting Magazine

Read the full review NW Yachting – ST book review.

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Book Club Discussion Questions for Sea Trials

Book Club Discussion Questions

Sea Trials: Around the World With Duct Tape and Bailing Wire by Wendy Hinman

To download a printable PDF of these questions, click Here.

1. What drew you into the story and kept you reading? Was it the characters or the drama of the story? What most fascinated you about this story? What aspect most frightened you?

2. Which character could you most relate to in the story? Least?

3. What do you think was the most challenging aspect of their journey? Would you have kept going? At what point would you have been tempted to give up on this dream?

4. Have you ever had a goal you pursued obsessively while everyone around you thought you were crazy? Has anyone close to you ever been driven to reach a goal? Have you ever bought into someone else’s goal and regretted it later?

5. What do you think of taking kids on a voyage like this? Do you think the parents were irresponsible? Or did they expose their children to a unique educational opportunity?

6. How did the relationships between family members evolve during the journey, and how did that affect the outcome? What do you think each character takes from the journey?

7. What was your reaction when the family completed their epic voyage against-all-odds? Do you think the costs were worth the effort?

8. Who do you think is the real hero of the story? What makes him/her a hero?

9. Could this story happen in an era of instant communication and modern navigation? Have we lost some of our sense of adventure and self-sufficiency with the development of technology?

10. Consider the contrast between the freedom of the open ocean and the limitations of the cramped quarters and the family’s resources. In a sense, the family’s world is broadened and narrowed at the same time. How does this affect their outlook? What observations can you make about the opportunity to explore the world and its many cultures first-hand and doing so within the confines of doing it slowly under sail with limited resources?

11. Do you think it was inevitable that Dawn would leave Chuck? Do you see a recognition of her abilities as leading to her decision?

12. During the course of the journey, life is boiled down into its most basic elements for survival, both mental and physical. Does it affect the way you see the world and privilege?

13. What did you take away from this story?

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Eagle Harbor Book Company Selects Sea Trials for Readers Circle Book Club Discussion

On Tuesday, March 6, at 7pm, the Eagle Harbor Book Company’s Readers Circle Book Club will discuss Sea Trials by Wendy Hinman. Pick up your copy at Eagle Harbor Book Company, read and then come join the discussion. For more details, please visit

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Wendy Hinman to present at the Seattle Yacht Club Men’s Luncheon

At the Seattle Yacht Club Men’s Luncheon On Thursday February 22 at 11:30am in the Ward Room, award-winning author Wendy Hinman will share the exciting story of a harrowing circumnavigation from her newest book, Sea Trials. A shipwreck might end a dream of circumnavigating the globe. Not for the Wilcox family. To triumph, they must rebuild their boat on a remote Pacific island. Damage sustained on the reef and a lack of resources haunt them the rest of the way around the world as they face daunting obstacles, including wild weather, pirates, gun boats, mines and thieves, plus pesky bureaucrats and cockroaches as stubborn as the family. Without a working engine and no way to communicate with the outside world, they struggle to reach home before their broken rig comes crashing down and they run out of food in a trial that tests them to their limits. Her presentations are filled with humor and hard-won lessons that amuse and inspire.

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Sea Trials garners another glowing review from Voyages Magazine

“Hinman skillfully draws the reader in. We found Sea Trials compelling and far more than just a sea story. We discussed as we were reading it and long after we finished.” Voyages Magazine

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“Good Armchair Read”

Review by Shirley A. McElhaney

“Have you ever dreamed of giving up your job and “running away,” letting the kids leave the school room for a year?

And, love to sail…….sail around the world? If so, this is the book for you. Travel with this family on their sail boat as they survive an ocean storm, become stranded on an island. Learn island customs, repairing a sail boat, experience the beauty of the night sky as Mother, Father and teenage son and daughter learn about pulling together as a family. Good armchair read.”

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Sea Trials Review in Good Old Boat Magazine

Review by David McDaniel

Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire, by Wendy Hinman (Salsa Press 2017; print $20.00, Kindle $5.99)

“Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire is a real rattlesnake of a tale chronicling the adventures, and misadventures, of the Wilcox family as they sail their way around the world in the early 70s. Leaving a comfortable home behind, the family makes their way out of San Francisco Bay aboard their 40-foot wooden sailboat, Vela, bound for Hawaii and all points beyond. And who better to pen the Wilcox’s story than Wendy Hinman, now spouse of Garth Wilcox, who later relived a similar voyage with Garth aboard a 31-footer? Considering her intimate connection, the story of the Wilcox’s circumnavigation surely took form for the author via bits and pieces related by each family member over time – especially by Garth, the one participant for whom the family’s adventure ultimately rang loudest.

What results is this fine tale of a close-knit family who chose to challenge the status quo by seeking a lifestyle different from the nine-to-five hum-drum for which so many others trade dreams. Chuck and Dawn’s disillusionment with their slice of American pie, combined with Chuck’s love of sailing and Dawn’s thirst for experiencing the world firsthand with their two children, Garth and Linda, fueled their sailing adventure. On their way to Hawaii, the voyaging neophytes manage well and gain valuable blue-water experience that they rely upon throughout their rollercoaster-ride around the world.

Hinman’s storytelling does well to connect her reader to the family’s journey – the ups and downs of sailing on a big ocean (of which there are plenty), the trials of negotiating unfamiliar cultures across a variety of countries as they follow their route, the confined quality of life for four people aboard a small yacht with only one partially-operating head. The Wilcox’s story is both fulfilling and heartbreaking. One cannot help but become emotionally enthralled by this endeavoring group as they take their knocks and reap the rewards from a life hard-earned in an unforgiving environment.

The apex of the tale for the reader is ironically the lowest point of the journey for the intrepid family, as they find themselves unimaginably shipwrecked on a deserted island in the South Pacific. Just surviving the ordeal was astonishing. That they picked themselves up and literally dusted themselves off to continue voyaging is a testament to their wherewithal, resourcefulness, and determination, if not naiveté. What better qualities are needed for luring a reader into a great tale?”

David McDaniel grew up in Florida, swimming and fishing from his family’s Boston Whaler in the warm coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Once surfing grabbed his attention, he learned to sail a Hobie 16, the perfect vehicle for finding surf breaks on secluded barrier islands (and for learning valuable sailing lessons he’s retained to this day). David currently lives in Southern California with his wife, Minyoung, and two stoked children, sharing his love of the water with them. The family races their Sabot and Lido 14 in Marina del Rey and regularly crews on a variety of sailboats as they chase adventures across Santa Monica Bay and points beyond.

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