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...'

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


... So embrace it. Deal with it.

Blog Buddy Ed Gorman gave me the original heads up on this little nugget and I thought it would be apropos to pass it along.

In February, e-Books hit a major milestone. According to Association of American Publishers (AAP) sales figures, eBooks ranked as the top format among all categories of trade publishing.

E-Book sales totaled $90.3 million for the month, expanding 202 percent compared to the same period last year. YOWZA...

Here’s more from the AAP: "This one-month surge is primarily attributed to a high level of strong post-holiday e-Book buying, or ‘loading,’ by consumers who received e-Reader devices as gifts. Experts note that the expanded selection of e-Readers introduced for the holidays and the broader availability of titles are factors."

Did you hear that? Get on board, everyone. Dust old those old manuscripts because it's great news for scribes everywhere.

Friday, April 22, 2011

DELTA DAWN (#fridayflash)

Press play for some music

Sugar Foot Hollow was always peaceful. Or so it seemed.

Under the shiny surface of comely dimestore counters and picture-postcard porches, four women decided to break the cycle.

* * *

Mertyle's life was good enough. She woke up every day, made her pies and if she was lucky, got to read her Saturday Evening Post before Supper. She had no children because her woman parts didn't work so well but it was probably for the best. You see, Davis, her hubby of 27 years liked men. Once word got out that he and 'Fillin' Station Pete' were sweet on one another, Mertyle decided it was her duty to clean up her own kitchen instead of anyone else in town -- namely her daddy, a wizard for 'The Brotherhood.'

Peggy was married to Jeb, a man so painfully angry the Lord gave him a peg leg that nothing made him smile -- not even the sweet nectar of his moonshine that kept his roof dry and his belly full. Peggy took the abuse quietly and kept smiling on Main Street. She couldn't smile anymore, however, when Jeb threw out their 16 year-old daughter Mae for getting knocked up by the high school football coach. The image of her baby leaving in tears, begging forgiveness, still haunts her. Peggy never saw Mae ever again and doubts that she ever will.

LeeAnne was married to what she thought was a pillar of the community. While Brett was his name to friends and family, the rest of town knew him as Coach Parsons. His weakness? Teen-aged girls. After news spread that he impregnated the daughter of his wife's best friend, Coach Parsons was fired and rumor had it didn't leave his barn for a month.

MoonPie and Loretta grew apart years before her last child left the house. Didn't matter, though, he was a good provider. But the boredom escalated once the children were gone so Loretta took matters into her own hands. While MoonPie worked his fifteen hour shifts at the mine, she kept company with the region's travelling bible salesman. Funny thing, it didn't take long before she took the Lord's name in vain underneath him. A wedding date was eventually planned.

* * *

Getting them to the wheat field was the hard part. The ladies paid Milo, a gargantuan mute, to help wrangle up the men within a few hours. Rope and chloroform can do wonders.

They lined up their husbands -- barely conscious -- but confused enough to piss their pants. The foursome smiled a last smile and pulled their triggers. They dug with Milo all night long.

All was now quiet in Sugar Foot Hollow.

Music: Loretta Lynn - A Man I Hardly Know. It can be downloaded HERE.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Bukowski loved the track so I think this post is more than apropos. A making-of featurette has arrived for the upcoming HBO drama "Luck" and let's just say it looks like "Deadwood" at the racetrack.

A what an ensemble -- creative and otherwise. "Miami Vice" creator Michael Mann directs the pilot and will produce the series along with David Milch of "NYPD Blue" and "Deadwood" fame.

The show follows a number of characters who frequent the same horse racing track and stars Dustin Hoffman as "a man in his late 60s just released from four years in prison who's autodidactic, intelligent, and deeply involved in gambling."

David Milch was quoted in Variety as saying; "The pilot is about a bunch of intersecting lives in the world of horse racing... It's a subject which has engaged and some might say has compelled me for 50 years. I find it as complicated and engaging a special world as any I've ever encountered, not only in what happens in the clubhouse and the grandstand, but also on the backside of the track, where the training is done and where they house the horses."

It will also star Nick Nolte, Kevin Dunn, Richard Kind and Dennis Farina.

The series is reportedly aiming for a launch in fall 2011.

'THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM' (watch it here)

Ain't gonna get much better than this, folks... Most don't know this, but there's a ton of movies on YouTube than can be watched for free. And they're pretty damned good to boot.

"The Man with the Golden Arm" is a gritty 1955 drama based on the novel of the same name by Nelson Algren. It centers on a heroin addict (Frank Sinatra) who gets clean while in prison, but struggles to stay that way in the outside world. It co-stars Eleanor Parker, Kim Novak, Arnold Stang and Darren McGavin.

It was adapted for the screen by Walter Newman, Lewis Meltzer and Ben Hecht (uncredited), and directed by the great Otto Preminger.

The controversial film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Sinatra for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Joseph C. Wright and Darrell Silvera for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White and Elmer Bernstein for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. Sinatra was also nominated for best actor awards by the BAFTAs and The New York Film Critics.

Great atmosphere. Great score.

Watch it below:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


OK ... Some will probably not agree with me but ... Am I alone in thinking that J.J. Abrams is completely overrated as a writer?

Sure, his premises start out promising enough -- think "Lost" or "Alias" -- but inevitably the man (and his creative team) always seem to write themselves into a corner with no way out.

Hopefully, he'll fare better in his next venture -- novels. Abrams has just inked a deal with Little, Brown and Company to pen an us yet untitled thriller. Little Brown says that the book would be a collaboration (is this a red flag?) with award-winning novelist Doug Dorst and come out in the fall of 2012 through the Mulholland Books imprint.

In addition to his TV work, Abrams' movie credits include "Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible III" and the upcoming "Super 8."

Let's just hope he can write his way out of the paper bag known as fiction...

Friday, April 8, 2011

SHE WORE MAN'S PANTS (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

Jackie Lee swigged the Beam and turned on the Crosley. Patsy Cline was on Arthur Godfrey's show and she cranked it, bobbing her head.

"Turn that down, girl," Junebug said. "Gotta think..."

"'Bout what? You prolly did this more times than I care to know any 'ol how," Jackie Lee told him.

"So?" Junebug barked back. "Doesn't mean I still don't need to think. Now shut that damn radio before I have to. And pass me that Beam."

She sucked her lip and brought him the bottle. Junebug swigged a slurp, wiped his lips on his sleeve and grabbed Jackie Lee by the waist.

"Whatchoo doin'?" she asked, smiling.

"How 'bout one for the road?" he suggested.

She smirked, tugged at his pants and pulled out the pistol. The one that shot bullets.

"Hey now, Honey Pie..." Junebug said. "...Hand it back. I ain't playin'."

She pointed at the mirror, imitating the sound of gunfire. "Freeze!"

"You gonna hurt someone if you keep acting the fool," Junebug warned. "Now, c'mon, I gotta get."

Jackie Lee got serious and looked Junebug dead in the eye and asked, "Hows about I tag along?"

He laughed at the girl. "That liquor goin' to your brain? I can't trust you. You're all lick and a promise..."

"You know as well as I do my daddy always said I was gospel smart," Jackie Lee bragged.

He shook his head. "You must be already half-roostered. Full as a tick..." He looked at her with the gun and cracked up again.

She didn't find it funny and lit a Pall Mall with Junebug's Zippo. "I said I'm coming..."

"Like Hell you are," Junebug barked back as he lit his own cigarette and blew the smoke smack dab back at her. "Last thing I need is for you gettin' hurt. Or worse -- doin' or sayin' something stupid so I get hurt."

Saying nothing, she opened the bedroom window and shot towards his '43 Chevy.

Junebug ran towards her but she pointed the gun at him and he stopped. "If I ain't goin', you ain't goin'. I'll pop those tires one by one and maybe even you in the foot."

Her man stared at her hard. When Jackie Lee got like this, there was no arguing. He thought it over. "I'll let you drive. Take it or leave it."

She smiled and kissed him. "I accept."

Jackie Lee cranked up the Patsy Cline, took one last swig of the Beam and held out the pistol saying, "Let's go dry gulch these sorry sacks of shit..."

Music: Patsy Cline - "In Care Of The Blues." It can be downloaded HERE.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Featured on 'Trailers From Hell': In the hope of winning a fortune, five Tijuana street urchins pool their meager earnings each week in order to buy a $2 ticket at the Caliente racetrack. Friendly American Mr. Jones places their bets, although he disapproves of their selections.

After losing for 11 consecutive weeks, the boys decide to make Jesus a partner in their venture. They steal a dime from the church poor box, add it to their cash, place their bet, and win $81,513. But they cannot find Mr. Jones, and they refuse to trust any other adult to cash the ticket for them. Juanita, the sister of one of the boys, contacts Jones in Los Angeles, and he promises to drive down the next day. But as he approaches the pay window he suffers a fatal heart attack, and the ticket blows off into a pile of rubbish. After a futile search for the lost ticket, the five boys return to the church and replace the dime they had "borrowed" from the poor box.

An offbeat B-picture that slipped through the cracks, this Tijuana-set saga was the debut feature of prolific TV director Boris Sagal. After several "Dr. Kildare" episodes, MGM assigned him to this as a test run before handing him the bigger budget Richard Chamberlain vehicle "Twilight of Honor."


Monday, April 4, 2011


NEWSFLASH: 'J.K. Rowling Considering Harry Potter e-Books'

Oh she's considering it?? Gee, what with e-books taking over the marketplace and all... Good idea, J.K. ...

SUBHED: The move would transform the electronic market and add to Rowling’s already impressive net worth

While the availability of Rowling's modern classics will undoubtedly ignite tremendous sales across the board, the current e-book market does NOT need any kind of transformation. In fact, e-book Sales Continue to Break Records with +164.4 Percent Gains for 2010. In fact, self-published e-book authors are finally starting to be discovered and make real money from their work (Amanda Hocking, anyone?). Need proof? Just ask this guy.

In any case, to read more about Rowling entering the e-book world, click HERE.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Play play for some mood music

Tom was only back from Korea for a week and he had to make sure he made the most of it. The next leg of the tour would be rough. Or so they predicted.

Rumor was his outfit was headed for the 38th Parallel and that it was gonna get all sorts of ugly before it got better. But he shrugged it off like he did most things. It was his way of dealing.

Riding the bus he was sweaty and the Nevada heat was almost unbearable at this time of the day. For a moment, he wondered just what in the fuck he was doing in this sandpit but then quickly reminded himself it could be his last chance to do those things left for the back-burner like visit Grauman's Chinese Theatre, place his hands in Bogie's on the wall and stick his foot into the majestic Pacific.

This was the time.

His buddies Chip and Phil -- also on leave -- decided to stay at the El Rancho and win back the $45 they were gambling with all week. In a way, he was bummed because that the next time they'd cross paths would probably be in a foxhole somewhere between Suwon or Wonju. As he tried to get that haunting sound of mortar fire out of his brain, the brakes of the bus pushed him forward a bit. He was about 300 miles outside of Las Vegas and had about an hour at bus stop before they shoved off once again towards La La Land.

Tom wasn't off the bus but a minute when he noticed the ladies. There was something odd about them. While they looked like twins, one could've simply been a lookalike older sibling. Watching them, he was mesmerized by how different they seemed. The older-looking one clutched onto her knitting while the other was a peppy and lanky sprite hopping around the bus stop and ultimately stopping at the lunch counter. He drummed up to her and bought her a Pepsi while she tried to drum up a beer. He asked her name. It was Swerve. Betty Swerve. Her sister was Barbara. He smiled. "Betty and Barbara Swerve..." It had a ring to it.

For the next hour, the three shared a bench outside and they spoke of their hometowns, favorite movies and yes, the war. When Tom asked why they were on the bus, they got quiet and Barbara blurted out that they needed a change. Betty joked that they busted out of the loony bin and hopped onto the first bus they could find back in Chicago. All three laughed.

It wasn't long before they were back in their seats and he was off to explore the wild side of Hollywood. And the Swerve Sisters? Tom never saw them get off the bus.

Months later, lying in the muddy foxhole, Tom drummed up memories that would keep him safe. He thought often of Betty and Babs and wondered whatever became of them. But mostly, he just wanted to know if they were telling him the truth.

Music: Jim Reeves, 'Bimbo'. It can be downloaded HERE.