Sweating Through


Maine Authors Publishing [Click Here]

This sequel to Hauling Through takes place a decade after the original story. During that time, a lot has changed. Jamie Kurtz, the underachieving “college boy” who originally went to Kestrel Cove, Maine to be a sternman on a lobsterboat and was accepted by the colorful locals, now finds himself as the historical researcher for a small non-profit organization charged with the archaeological recovery of a mysterious shipwreck in their town of Verdant Beach, Florida. Simply put, the last ten years have not been kind to Jamie – he has failed with his friendships, his marriage, and his family, and this gig in Florida may be the final stop in a once promising historian career. But when this new life is suddenly blindsided with the appearance of Bill Hand, the aloof millionaire who has been on the run since launching a satellite killing missile ten years ago, and the rest of the characters of Kestrel Cove, who are in Florida to fulfill the weird dying wishes of one of their own, secrets are revealed, romances are renewed, and all hell breaks loose.

Portland Press Herald Book Review [Click Here]



As he demonstrated in “Hauling Through,” Bridgford has a wonderful sense of the absurd, and the sequel offers plenty of absurd situations, which he spins out with entertaining gusto. The great Suicidal Conch Fritter Challenge in a pirate-themed restaurant finds the Maine fishermen at their raunchy best. And a flight from hell in a World War II vintage bomber, escorted by planes from various arms of the military and law enforcement agencies, is hilarious.” – Portland Press Herald


Just as he was about to respond, the waitress brought the food. While Jamie eyed the hearty portions of food and envied those people who were not in the Suicidal Conch Fritter Challenge, he caught a whiff of a caustic substance that literally singed his nasal hairs. He was about to ask if there had been some kind of chemical accident nearby, when the waitress began putting on a pair of thick rubber gloves. He looked over his shoulder and saw a collection of plates with what appeared to be meatballs in a reddish-orange sauce. Gingerly grasping each plate with a gloved hand, she cautiously placed them in front of Wiley, Jimmy, Jamie, Joe, and Bobbie and said, “Please be careful, gentlemen; these are extremely spicy!”

“We wouldn’t want them any other way, Miriam!” Jimmy crooned.

Jamie made the mistake of inhaling too deeply, and the noxious aroma of the sauce went straight to his sinuses and made his eyes tear up. Just as he was about to push the plate away, the attention of the group refocused on him. Apparently unaffected by the aroma, Jimmy took several deep breaths and said quickly, “Remember, the goal is to eat as many of these as you can stand. The winner is the one who does that without taking a drink. Ready? Don’t be a pussy, college boy—just grab one and toss it down the hatch.”

Jamie saw the other men nod, so he grabbed one of the sauce-covered balls in front of him and steeled himself for what he knew would be an unpleasant experience. When the signal was given, he popped the bite into his mouth and began to chew. The fact that the fritter was right out of the Fryolator was the first hint that a moment of thermal shock and awe was about to follow. The realization that he had just put an object in his mouth that felt like it was fresh from a blast furnace was immediately followed by a nauseating sensation of spiciness that seemed to know no limit. So, as his teeth masticated the molten mixture of flour, grease, and conch bits, there arose such a fear that he was scorching his uvula and throat, he reached in panic for his iced tea to extinguish the flames.

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