Thursday, May 19, 2016

'Blood Flats' FREE on Amazon Kindle: May 19th, 20th, 21st

Lee McCabe is an ex-marine who has been blamed for a narcotics-related double homicide that he didn't commit. description:

“Meth, murder, and the mafia---a vast tapestry of a southern gothic crime novel with a Dickensian cast of characters.” 

***Lee McCabe is home from Iraq, but home has changed.*** 

Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and recently discharged U.S. marine Lee McCabe never imagined the dangers awaiting him in Hawkins County, Kentucky. While Lee has been in the Middle East, a network of violent methamphetamine traffickers have established a foothold in the county, corrupting, intimidating, or murdering anyone who stands in their way. 

***Charged with murder and marked for death*** 

Lee quickly discovers that his neighbor, Tim Fitzsimmons is a meth dealer. When Fitzsimmons and his girlfriend are killed in a drug-related hit, Lee attempts to intervene. The law and the community blame Lee for the murder. The meth traffickers target Lee for death, knowing him to be a witness to the crime. 

***Enemies motivated by passion, greed, and desperation *** 

Sheriff Steven Phelps has his own personal reasons for hating Lee: Twenty-five years ago, Lee’s now deceased mother had a youthful affair with the sheriff. The sheriff planned to marry her--until she jilted him to be with the man who became Lee’s father. Phelps is torn by his duty to justice, and his obsession with the doomed love of his adolescence. 

Lester Finn is a classics-quoting, self-aggrandizing local hoodlum and meth dealer. He is caught between the law and the Chicago-based mafia, which wants a greater share of the southern methamphetamine trade. From his bar, the Boar’s Head, Lester controls a sordid regional enterprise that consists of gambling, drug trafficking, and prostitution. Lester is torn by his grudging respect for Lee---and his need to see the ex-marine dead. 

Paulie Sarzo is a Chicago mobster, a rising star in the Coscollino crime family. He despises Kentucky, Lee McCabe, and most of all, Lester Finn. But Paulie has an important mission to accomplish in Hawkins County: If he fails to eliminate Lee, he risks the ultimate punishment for failure in la cosa nostra. 

***A journey toward death or redemption*** 

Dawn Hardin is a former golden girl, honor student, and premed whose life has fallen into a downward spiral of meth addiction and prostitution. Dawn had a tumultuous relationship with Lee before he went to Iraq. Now she tries to help him wage war against the mafia, even as she struggles with her own inner demons, and a family that wants to deny her existence. 

The Hunter is a mysterious figure who compels Lee to go on the offensive against the forces pursuing him. But will the Hunter offer any concrete assistance, or only advice? 

Brett St. Croix is a journalist who offers to tell Lee’s version of events. But Lee suspects that St. Croix has a contrary, private agenda of his own. 

Ben Chamberlain lost his wife to a meth-related murder. Will he assist Lee; or will Ben’s desire for revenge destroy them both? 

***A battle in Blood Flats*** 

Pursued from all directions, Lee embarks on a cross-country journey toward the town of Blood Flats. There he faces a showdown---in which he must pit his wits and determination against the ruthlessness and superior resources of his enemies on both sides of the law.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

12 Hours of Halloween, the YouTube reading: Episode #2

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In this episode, we begin the story...

"A funny thing about flashbacks: they come unbidden, and at the most unexpected times.
One moment I was standing in Walmart, and the next moment I was not: I was a twelve-year-old boy again, crouching beside the outer wall of a darkened house in a long-ago suburb, hoping that the shrubbery to my right and my left had adequately concealed my presence. A malevolent creature was intent on taking my head. He—or it—had an entire sack full of them.  
That particular flashback is always especially vivid. When it overtakes me, I can feel not only the pervasive, all-consuming fear of those eternal minutes, but also the little details of my surroundings: the cold, damp ground beneath me, the scratchy feel of the barren shrubbery of late October. 
 This is one reason why I still believe that it really did happen—even after all these years. A delusion wouldn't include so many little details...."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

12 Hours of Halloween: The YouTube reading, Episode 1


In the videos that follow, I'll be reading to you from my novel, ‘12 Hours of Halloween’.

As the title and the book cover, and imply, ‘12 Hours of Halloween’ is a supernatural tale.

In the suburban Ohio 1980, three junior high friends, Jeff, Bobby, and Leah decide to go out for “one last Halloween”. But this Halloween night will be unlike all others. In the days prior to Halloween, the three friends have an encounter with a supernatural being who looks a lot like an ordinary adolescent. This creature, whom they call “the ghost boy”, condemns them to twelve hours of trial on Halloween night.

What follows will be a series of supernatural trials, and the very mundane threat of an older school bully.

Will Jeff, Bobby and Leah survive? Well, maybe—and maybe not.

‘12 Hours of Halloween’ is an unusual story for me for two reasons. First of all, the main characters are adolescents of junior high age. Most of the characters in my stories are adults.

I should note that ‘12 Hours of Halloween’ was not written for an audience of that age, and some of the occurrences herein would be disturbing for young readers. I think the best description in this regard would be that ‘12 Hours of Halloween’ looks at the trials of adolescence through adult eyes.

The second way in which ‘12 Hours of Halloween’ is unusual for me is the personal connection of the setting. The story, as I mentioned, is set in suburban Ohio in 1980. In 1980, I was the same age as the characters in the story. Oh, and I also lived in suburban Ohio—as I still do.

Don’t worry—the story you’re about to hear isn’t taken from my own life. My life was never that interesting. Most writers’ lives aren’t that interesting. This is the main reason why autobiography makes for bad fiction.

I did draw the basic setting from my environment at the age of twelve. This may have been a recognition of my own limitations. I haven’t been twelve years old for a long, long time; and I’m not sure that I could accurately get inside the head of a twenty-first century adolescent for the length of a novel. But I can get inside the head of an adolescent in 1980. Been there, done that, as the saying goes.

That said, I am none of the characters in this book. And I never had a Halloween like the one you’re about experience. For that much, I’m grateful.

Finally, I’ll mention that ‘12 Hours of Halloween’ is available on Amazon. But you’re welcome to simply listen along here. In fact, I want to especially thank you for the time we’re about to spend together. I hope you enjoy listening to this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Now, let’s get started. On to the next video, and the beginning of ’12 Hours of Halloween.”


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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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I'm currently revitalizing my YouTube presence, with lots more live readings.

For starters, I'll be reading from Blood Flats. I may serialize video readings of Eleven Miles of Night as well.

If you are a YouTuber, please subscribe, and check back often. Thanks.