Unboxing Author Copies of A BLANKET OF STEEL

Unboxing Author Copies of A Blanket of Steel

The emotions are impossible to describe.  Do lifelong dreams come true?  A Blanket of Steel is my ninth book, but with each, that first moment when you realize that it actually exists … it’s just a feeling that is nearly overwhelming.

To give more of an understanding, consider this:

I was obsessed with reading books even as a youngster.  I’ve written about it many times.  When I used to walk into a bookstore, I would marvel at the thousands and thousands of books on the shelves.  Someone was doing it, I would tell myself.  It can happen, with enough work.  I set the goal for myself when I was seventeen years old.  It took twenty-five years of hard work — and hundreds of rejections — before I landed a publishing contract for The Furnace.  That was a long journey, but consider The Rise of Oceania and the publication of the sixth book in the series, A Blanket of Steel, from Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ltd:

Story Idea: ~1990 while a student at the University of Western Ontario

Book #1, The War Beneath, written: 2008

Publisher Acquires Series:  2016

The War Beneath Published:  2018

Book #6, A Blanket of Steel, Printed:  2024

That’s a thirty-four year journey, from story idea to the final book’s arrival.  What a journey.  This was Friday, end of day, in my home:

I think you can see the emotion on my face.

I want to give a huge thanks to Holly Doll, Sharon Fitzhenry, Peter Doll, Ken Geniza, and the entire team at Fitzhenry & Whiteside and Firefly Books.  Fitzhenry & Whiteside acquired the series and have allowed me creative freedom while I wrote my stories.  They work diligently on each book, editing, proofreading, marketing, designing the interiors and covers, shipping copies, preparing and promoting eBook versions,  and so much more.  SO MUCH MORE.   I am indebted to them for all they have done for me and for this series.  Thank you once again, and I’m sure the fans and readers and thankful too.  The final product is just astonishing.

Thank you to Cheyney Steadman, who created the schematics for the interior(s) … there will be a future post dedicated just to them.  And also, thank you to Nelson Housden, artist, who created the image of SC-1, which you see on the cover, spine, and back of the book.  If you are a fan of the series, you know that SC-1 is the iconic vessel that Mac pilots in all six books.

I know this is the final book in the series, but I’m hopeful that you will see more from us soon.

Learn more about A Blanket of Steel HERE.

Watch the gripping book trailer HERE.

Read the jacket copy HERE.

Read professional reviews HERE.

Check out some more photos from Friday:



A Blanket of Steel from Timothy S. Johnston and Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ltd.

“Read the book and prepare to be blown away by one of the best writers I have ever had the pleasure to read. Timothy S. Johnston is simply amazing.” — FIVE Stars from Readers’ Favorite

“Innovative technology, Mac taking risks no one else would dare and thinking his way through to brilliant solutions … But the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been before. This is it. The countdown to the final battle … Johnston does an excellent job of keeping the tension taut as he plays with the reader’s perceptions of characters we thought we knew and trusted …” — SFcrowsnest

“Expect to be left breathless. Trust me here. Please. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.” — Michael Libling, author of The Serial Killer’s Son Takes A Wife and Hollywood North: A Novel in Six Reels

Book Cover, Jacket Copy, and the Gripping Book Trailer:


A mysterious assassin has murdered Cliff Sim, Chief Security Officer of the underwater colony, Trieste. Cliff was a mountain of a man, highly trained, and impossible to defeat in combat. And yet …

Someone brutally beat him and left his broken body in a secret Chinese facility at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

And included a calling card for Truman McClusky, Mayor of Trieste.

Taunting him.

Mac has led the underwater colonies in their fight against the world’s superpowers. Climate change has devastated the surface; nations suffer famine, drought, rebellion, rising waters, and apocalyptic coastal flooding. But now, as Mac leads the underwater colonies to freedom and independence, he’s faced with the gravest threat of his life: a Russian assassin, hellbent on killing Mac and everyone he cares for. Now Mac must uncover the identity of the killer, face him in combat, and at the same time lead people in battle against the largest underwater force ever assembled. It’s Mac’s final test, and to win the war, he must use every tool at his disposal, including the most surprising and devastating underwater weapons ever invented.

If Mac fails, all hope is lost for the future of human colonization on the ocean floors.

But the assassin could be anyone …

Watch your back, Mac.

A Blanket of Steel is the most gripping thriller yet in The Rise of Oceania.


The other books in The Rise of Oceania series by Timothy S Johnston:

The War Beneath 9781771484718
The Savage Deeps 9781771485067
Fatal Depth 9781554555574
An Island of Light 9781554555819
The Shadow of War 9781554556007

Watch the exciting book trailer for A Blanket of Steel!


TSJ’s Awards

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THE WAR BENEATH:  FIRST PLACE 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER Action / Adventure Category Winner, 2019 Silver Falchion Award Finalist, 2018 CLUE Award Semi-Finalist, 2019 Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist, & 2019 CYGNUS Award Shortlister

THE SAVAGE DEEPS:  FIRST PLACE 2020 CYGNUS Award Winner, 2019 GLOBAL THRILLER Awards Finalist, 2022 Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist; 2019 CLUE Award Shortlister

FATAL DEPTH: FIRST PLACE 2021 GLOBAL THRILLER Award Winner, 2022 Silver Falchion Award Finalist (Best Action Adventure), 2021 CYGNUS Award Semi-Finalist


“If you’re looking for a techno-thriller combining Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy and John Le Carré, The War Beneath will satisfy … a ripping good yarn, a genuine page-turner.” — Amazing Stories
“One very riveting, intelligent read!” — Readers’ Favorite
“If you like novels like The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising,
you will certainly enjoy The War Beneath.” — A Thrill A Week
“If you’re here for thrills, the book will deliver.” — The Cambridge Geek
“… an engaging world that is highly believable …” — The Future Fire
“This is a tense, gripping science fiction/thriller of which Tom Clancy might well be proud . . . When I say it is gripping, that is the simple truth.” — Ardath Mayhar
“… a thrill ride from beginning to end …” — SFcrowsnest
“… if you like Clancy and le Carré with a hint of Forsyth thrown in,
you’ll love The War Beneath.” — Colonel Jonathan P. Brazee (RET),
2017 Nebula Award & 2018 Dragon Award Finalist
“Fast-paced, good old-fashioned Cold War espionage … a great escape!” — The Minerva Reader

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