NEW FICTION: Bourbon & Blondes has arrived!

From the bus stations of Rt. 66 to the smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives of the big cities, these wanton tales of longing introduce us to vixens on the fringe and those shifty men that drove them there.

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Watch: The 'Bourbon & Blondes' Book Trailer

Get your shot glass ready because you're about to enter a retro world of showgirls, drifters, barmaids and thieves.

The eternal question for scribes?

In this new social media landscape, the question becomes: Is blogging dead? It just may be...

Watch: The 'Front Page Palooka' Book Trailer

Read the pulp novella that one reviewer called 'A potboiler in the style of old school writers like Mickey Spillane, Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler...'

Friday, February 26, 2010


They were somewhere in Colorado. He was spending the summer with his dad on the road and, contrary to what he was telling his mother, wasn't sure if he was having a good time.

The hauls were long and exhausting and the rig's diesel fumes quite overpowering at times. What's more, he didn't exactly enjoy those shit-kicker AM stations that tossed around words like "patriot," "tea party" and "town hall." It was all way too much for the 15 year-old to absorb. It was fucking summer. Why was he in this truck?

And sure, while his dad had a sweet cab -- double bunks, LCD TV, satellite radio and a well-stocked mini fridge -- something was missing.

When his birthday rolled around, his dad had that sly smile all throughout the day.

"Did you get me that Xbox 360 for the cab?" the teenager asked, just knowing that the game console would get him through the last leg of the trip.

"Better..." his pop answered laughing.

"Yeah?" asked the boy. "What is it?"

"Tonight..." his dad said clearing his throat. "We're gonna make a man outta you..."

Friday, February 19, 2010

LOVE IN PINE VALLEY (flash fiction)

Edgar had been going to the Pine Valley Mountain Lodge for the greater part of 1942 and always on Wednesday nights.

The gentleman's club of it's day, the risque rustic lodge was buried deep within the woods of a secluded lake town in Northern New Jersey. Its working gals were mostly fresh out of high school, overly friendly and extremely easy on the eyes.

It's wasn't the corned beef or the cozy fire that kept the handsome stranger so loyal to the place but the company of its scantily-clad waitresses - namely one Edna Barry. With the jasmine perfume wafting from her cleavage, she'd always serve her coffee with a smile.

At first, Edgar took her rejections in stride and figured if he was persistent enough, they could at least enjoy the latest Cagney picture at the drive-in. Eventually, Edgar didn't take 'no' kindly and Edna had to shuffle her shift before quitting the lodge altogether.

After loose lips at the lodge told the suiter where he could find his sweetheart, Edgar once again laid on the charm. And this time, he was super persistent. The pair eventually made it to the drive-in for the latest Cagney picture.

He in the front seat of his Plymouth. She in its trunk.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Monday, February 15, 2010


Sometimes there's no teaching people. At breakfast, I asked my dopey baby brother why that little cutie threw him out after what seemed to be a decent first date.

Swigging his coffee he answered me, a tad indignant. “I dunno. All I said was, ‘Damn girl, you even look good in the morning...’”

Glancing from behind the editorial page, I told him it was simple. "She read between the lines of that moronic compliment."

Ever since we were kids, the knucklehead had a habit of saying idiotic things at the worst moment he can possibly imagine and yup, after what was probably a fun night in the sack, he let his mouth get ahead of his brain. Again.

Before I kicked him out myself for being so stupid, I tried to elaborate. "Think about it," I said. “There's subtext to what you told her."

"Oh yeah? Like what?" he asked, not really paying attention.

"Well, it could mean that deep down maybe you expected her to be ugly without all her pancaked makeup."

"Huh..." was his first response.

"Or, more importantly," I said, "Maybe you’ve been with enough cuties to make that stupid assumption in the first place.”

"Nah..." was his second resonse. "She was just a bitch."

Like I said, there's no teaching people.

Monday, February 8, 2010


"I'm in Fresno and boy... Am I fucked up..."

Every year Men's Health magazine rates the "Drunkest Cities in America" by measuring such data as death rates from alcoholic liver disease, booze-fueled car crashes, frequency of binge-drinking in the past 30 days, number of DUI arrests, and severity of DUI penalties.

For 2010, the health mag has named Fresno, California as the nation's most effed up city.

The yearly study also analyzes both alcohol consumption and the serious effects it can have on the community at large. Last year’s winner, Denver, fell down to 17 so I guess congratulations are in order...

Others in the top five include Reno, Billings (Montana), Riverside (California), and Austin (Texas).

The entire list of the 50 Most Drunk American Cities continues after the jump.


Lately I've been discovering movies by sheer and utter laziness. I'd wake from a mid-day snooze or turn on the television upon awaking in the morning to find a film already in progress.

Being a story guy, I try to figure out the pieces of the plot midway. I've been lucky that I've found some real gems. Sunday's film, in particular, was one of the most multi-layered flicks I've seen this year (and I see ALOT). It's a small indie called "Steel City" and if you like the work of such scribes as say, Raymond Carver, Russell Banks or Richard Ford, then this dreary drama is for you.

It centers on a young man who struggles to hold his family together while keeping his own life on track. P.J. Lee (Thomas Guiry) is a teenager growing up in a decaying industrial town in Illinois. Few kids have it easy where P.J.'s from, but he has it harder than most because his parents split up several years ago, and his dad, Carl (John Heard), is in jail on a vehicular manslaughter charge he's not likely to shake. P.J.'s big brother, Ben (Clayne Crawford), is married and has a life of his own, through his fondness for booze and other women suggests he's following the same sorry path as his dad. P.J.'s mother, When P.J. loses his job as a busboy, he finds he can no longer pay the rent on his house, and has a falling out with his girlfriend, Amy (America Ferrera), who works at the same diner.

With nowhere else to go, P.J. moves in with his uncle Vic (Raymond J. Barry), but he soon begins to buckle under Vic's "straighten up and fly right" attitude. This first film from writer-director Brian Jun was enthusiastically received during its premiere screening at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

if you're lucky enough to stumble upon this like I did, check it out because it's undoubtedly worth it.