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Sandy Toomer

Agent: James Rouch-Author Management, Bournemouth, England

Shell, Ecuador


Home page:

I would like to suggest going to my book-website- - as an excellent first step.

EMPIRES-My first novel (synopsis)

EMPIRES is a novel woven around actual events when the South American country of Ecuador teetered on the brink of financial collapse in 1999. It follows, through powerful characterization and fast paced events, the 72 hours when the country could have collapsed into the grabbing clutches of international gangsters and corrupt financiers and politicians.
A cartel of wealthy and utterly ruthless Ecuadorian politicians, bankers, lawyers and senior military figures are conspiring with Russian Mafia bosses to take control of the country. The moment they chose is when a billion dollars in cash are being transferred in from the USA to kick-start the economies last chance, dollarization.
Their plans include the involvement of five American millionaires, an ill-assorted group whose greed blinds them to the fact they are being used. A Columbian middle -man dupes them into laundering billions of dollars of Mafia money, using them as cover to bring the cash in to Ecuador at the critical time.
The success of the plan depends on hi-jacking the Boeing carrying the injection of legitimate US funds. On the brink of success, the smooth running plan twists out of control as the Ecuadorians pull a double cross on their Russian partners and grab the aircraft and its cash cargo for themselves.
Thwarted by their navigation equipment being disabled, unable to make the landing they had intended, the hi-jackers jettison their load into the inhospitable jungle before their aircraft is brought down. That unleashes a race between the Mafia thugs, the C.I.A. and a detachment of US Navy SEALS to locate and recover the cash.
First on the scene though are native tribesmen and the brutal war that rips through the jungle in a single afternoon is fought with weapons from high-tec’ to stone age.
Woven through the novel is the story of a bush pilot, John Chenault, his life crossing that of many of the protagonists until his involuntary involvement is engineered by a woman C.I.A. field operative for whom he falls heavily. With her, finding at last some meaning in his life and throwing aside a clinging past, he joins the ugly battle to salvage the money, succeeding against all the odds.
It is a battle of good against evil, and those who killed and plotted to build their own Empires watch them crumble to dust.


The first thing I remember wanting to be was a pilot. I was about five years old and our family went to ride in a speedboat on Smith Lake outside of Birmingham. That would have been about 1959.
What I remember most was the old Stearman biplane parked by the marina. It was a bright daisy yellow, with U.S Navy painted in large block letters on the sides. My dad lifted me up and sat my short frame down into the cockpit and the real world disappeared.

The second thing I remember wanting to be was a writer/photographer for National Geographic. Since my parents never threw away a magazine, we had NG magazines, collected since the 1940's, stored under the stairwell leading up from our basement. I would imagine over them for hours. Sitting upon one string-bundled stack I would dig through another. Major impression number two early in life.

So now here I am, forty years later, daily flying a tiny Cessna through the pages of National-Geographic-like landscapes, documenting and photographing my experiences, mingling with descendants of the Incas, transporting former headhunters, and serving a people so feared for years, they were considered unconquerable by the early Spanish Conquistadors.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, after highschool I attended the University of Alabama, earning a BA in Communications (Radio and TV).

Trish and I were married in 1979, spending the next ten years in Tuscaloosa, Houston and finally Atlanta before leaving the states for overseas work. I left Atlanta as National Sales Manager for a large corporation.

So, "How did you end up as a pilot in Ecuador?"

In 1988 we both felt a strong push from God to go into ministry full-time. Problem was, I'm not a preacher, an evangelist, for that matter, I had absolutely none of the traditional gifts and abilities a person would consider necessary to be in ministry or be a missionary. Hmmm. Could be a problem.

That's when I found out about a three year school that trained people as pilots to work overseas as bush pilots, primarily flying supplies to missionaries, performing air ambulance work and other humanitarian flying. Sounded good to us, so I applied. That was twelve years ago.

We have lived in Shell, Ecuador since 1995 after a year of language study in Costa Rica. Flying in Ecuador for
Mission Aviation Fellowship, I have accumulated 2,800 hours as a Commercial Pilot. Flying primarily in Ecuador's eastern jungle, known as the Oriente, I have intimate familiarity with the surroundings, people, and culture represented in my novel, Empires.

Interests: Besides writing,photography, and watercolor, I enjoy landing fast airplanes on slick jungle airstrips in Ecuador, South America (I'm a bush pilot. See my personal website at

Published writer: No

Freelance: No