Tag Archives: My Book

First Reviews of My Book Posted

9 Sep

Two reviews have so far been posted at Amazon for my recently published book, Foleytown. I’m pleased to say they are both five-star reviews!

A couple of quotes:

 

“I found this book, as the author hoped it would be, entertaining, humorous and with warmth embedded in its pages.”

“A wistful, nostalgic delight.”

 

I hope to get many more reviews, although I’m sure they won’t all be five stars!

Thanks to the reviewers for their input.

E-Book is Out

1 Jul

The issues surrounding the publication of my book, Foleytown, have been resolved, and both the e-book and the print versions are available at Authorhouse, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The e-book is only $3.99, so I expect all five of my regular readers to buy one (just kidding!)

From the book’s blurb:

Foleytown is a special place…a place where there is always a shortage of money but never a shortage of laughs. Follow the children of the large, financially struggling Foley clan as they navigate through “bloody” pomegranate fights, epic games of Christmas Card War, homemade bridesmaid dresses, fears of itinerant serial killers, and the cherished summer tradition they called “Prune-Why-Oh” – all while learning how to grow up in a very unfashionable part of California.

As Jack Lord would have said in 1969, “Be there — Aloha!”

One of My Books is Live!

14 Jun

My book Foleytown  is finally on sale online, although the ebook hasn’t shown up at Amazon yet and I’m trying to iron that out with the publisher. But you can order the physical book for $13.99 and the ebook for $3.99 at Authorhouse; the dead-tree version is also $13.99 Amazon. Note: If you buy it from Authorhouse I get a few more shekels than if you buy it from Amazon.

Here’s a description of the book:

Foleytown is a special place…a place where there is always a shortage of money but never a shortage of laughs. Follow the children of the large, financially struggling Foley clan as they navigate through “bloody” pomegranate fights, epic games of Christmas Card War, homemade bridesmaid dresses, fears of itinerant serial killers, and the cherished summer tradition they called “Prune-Why-Oh” – all while learning how to grow up in a very unfashionable part of California.

If you order it, please leave me a review at either Authorhouse or Amazon. Thanks!

Classic Ghost Story

18 Apr

Does anybody read the classic ghost story anymore? I fell in love with this story format when I was about eight or nine, and my two older sisters gifted me with a couple of volumes of stories from the Golden Age of Ghost Stories in the late 19th–early 20th Century. I quickly learned to appreciate the work of authors such as M. R. James, F. Marion Crawford, August Derleth, Lady Cynthia Asquith, E. F. Benson, William Hope Hodgson, and H. Russel Wakefield. (Most of them were British, with a few Americans thrown in–although the Americans, like Ambrose Bierce and August Derleth, usually set their tales in the British Isles as well.)

I left those two books behind at my childhood home years ago, but some years back, I bought replacements for both from a used book site. I re-read them and enjoyed them even more as an adult–for one thing, I understood the somewhat archaic language, and some of the Britishisms, much better than I did at age nine.

I recently completed a short story in tribute to those old-fashioned ghost stories and I’m posting it here for my readers’ opinion (all five of you!). The story is a reworking of one of M. R. James’s most famous tales, Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad, except that it’s been transplanted from early 20th Century England to rural California in the 1970s, and it contains a grim little twist at the end that I think James would have appreciated.

The story is part of a collection featuring the same location and characters, and this is one of the later ones in the collection, so it does reference a few events from the earlier stories. However, if you ignore those small  references, it pretty much stands well enough on its own. It’s called Water Summons. I hope you enjoy it.

In addition, here’s a link to an excellent TV dramatization of Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad from the late 1960s:

Quick Estimate

16 Mar

Sutton County Line is now at 37,000 words. Foleytown is around 60,000 words. Western Waste is about 100,000 words. Gatsby’s Ghost (unfinished) is about 25,000 words.

In the last six years, I’ve written nearly 250,000 words of fiction. That doesn’t include blog posts, an unfinished play, a couple of unfinished short stories, etc. Hard to believe!

Sutton County Line

9 Mar

From my latest collection of short stories, Sutton County Line, here’s an excerpt from a story called Stagecoach Plaza.

     Stagecoach Plaza was two years younger than I was, built in Nineteen Sixty-Two, when John Wayne Westerns ruled the nation’s big screens, and Gunsmoke, The Rifleman and Bonanza ruled the small ones. That was probably why the whole place was deliberately designed to look like a Wild West ghost town, complete with fake dilapidated storefronts, a creaky wooden boardwalk, and weathered wagon wheels leaning against cracked wooden posts at strategic locations.

The storefronts were arranged in a square, overlooking a small grassy central park, in which was set a pretty fair replica of a Nineteenth Century Wells Fargo stagecoach and a bronze statue of Alphonse Seuton, the founder of our small rural California town, Sutton.

Across the square, beyond the park, was a building that looked like an Old West saloon, complete with swinging double-doors and gold-leaf lettering on the front window; it was actually an office for an insurance company. The swinging double-doors opened to another, regular door, that led to a conventional business office full of laminated-wooden desks, clattering typewriters, and black rotary telephones.

The best feature of Stagecoach Plaza by far—and the one that made the place most memorable—was a collection of life-sized wooden figures that were propped up against outer walls of the storefronts at regular intervals along the boardwalk. These were crudely carved and garishly painted representations of Western heroes of yesteryear: lawmen, Indian chiefs, and desperados alike.

Sitting Bull, for instance, sternly guarded the 88 Cents Store, where everything on offer was priced at eighty-eight cents or less. Annie Oakley and Wild Bill Hickock stood on either side of the swinging double-doors of the fake saloon, while General Custer watched over the day-old Kilpatrick bread outlet. The great Apache chief, Geronimo, glowered incongruously in front of the Pink Poodle Beauty College, where my mother got her hair done by the students at a steep discount; Billy the Kid served a similar duty near the Brite-Glo Laundromat.

All in all, there were about two dozen of these enigmatic wooden figures situated on the boardwalk at Stagecoach Plaza. I had adored them as a small child, and even now, in my first whole month of being a teen-ager, they still brought about a slight feeling of awe. They were not realistic at all, rather cartoonish in representation, but they represented a link to the old Gold Rush past of Sutton—a past that was, sadly, disappearing quickly beneath a modern landslide of plastic gewgaws, hippie pants, and labor-saving electric devices.

Here’s the sign for the original model for Stagecoach Plaza. Sadly, I’m not sure if it’s even still in existence, or if the statues of Sitting Bull, etc. are still around.

First Review For My Kindle Stories

30 Dec

I got four stars! Thanks to the reviewer “Jim” whoever you are!