Another Teaser from PERIL

Within 30 seconds the front door of Wallace’s cabin is slowly opened.  Wallace emerges from the cabin through the doorway and steps down three steps from a wooden stairway to a gravel path. All the while FBI agents have their weapons drawn and trained on Wallace.  One hundred feet away from the cabin Wallace is told to kneel. He complies, separating his laced fingers for a moment for balance and kneels on the ground. 

What the agents can’t see is a device tethered with a nearly invisible wire protruding an inch or so from Wallace’s jacket collar in the rear.  Wallace slowly moves his laced fingers back on his head towards his collar.  Officers are now shouting at Wallace to not move or they will fire. Two seconds later Wallace thumbs the device and detonates a bomb concealed by his coat. 

The bomb detonates and radiates from the front of Wallace.  The bomb was constructed in a deliberate manner that the shrapnel would spray who ever was in front of Wallace.  Jeremy Mintz and six other FBI agents died that day.  12 other officers were wounded during the melee.  

I am Mad as Hell!

Saturday, as I was watching the news regarding the Poway Synagogue shooting, I was engulfed in an acute panic attack and actually felt guilty that life was imitating my art.  How does a writer, several years earlier, predict with some accuracy a hate crime shooting at a Synagogue located in Poway?  In Poway.  Not LA or Miami or even San Diego but Poway. Sheer, chilling coincidence that’s how.

Since the 2016 election, all kinds of hate crimes are on the rise.  They are on the rise because white nationalists, or whatever you call them now, have a platform that is condoned by many. Couple that with the NRA peddling death via an AR-15, and we are quickly approaching a de facto civil war.

For me I will keep writing about issues such as looking at hate speech vs. the First Amendment reform. I will continue to write about Second Amendment reform and the way the NRA helps buy elections.  And finally, I will continue to write about ferreting out those who weaponize hate.

LA Times Book Fair

Zoe and I just got back from the LA Book Fair held on the USC campus. I didn’t sell too many books, but that wasn’t the real reason for attending. What I found most interesting was I sold a half dozen books to teen girls of all ages. I believe the issue of hate crimes and school shootings weighs heavily on them.

I do really enjoy when a passerby looks at the banners and books, walks completely out of view and does a u-turn. comes back and is intrigued. I also love watching their faces as I explain the plot and they get it!

Tucson Book Fair

My first book exhibition booth. Wow that was a lot of work! 8 to 5 for two days. You need to be engaging, scintillating, and constantly being “on” We crashed at 7:30 the first night. The ROI might still be out of whack, but I’m trying to get exposure.

Next up is the LA Times Book Festival at USC. This is the largest book fair in the US. 150,000 people in a weekend. Zoe will be there with me and my daughter will also be there to help man the booth.

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Epiphany at a Book Fair

This weekend we attended the Tucson Festival of Books in Tucson, Arizona.  The two-day event draws over 130,000 people.  We met some very interesting people.  It was exhausting but fun at the same time.

My epiphany revolves around why between 2003 and 2017, did my screenplay/novel collect dust with no work on it.  It was the 2016 election and our current political climate that became the impetus to complete books number one and two.  It also serves as a catalyst for book number three.

The story, before the election, was a stale revenge yarn.  Both novels morphed into a political thriller.  The funny thing is, before 2016 I was uninterested in politics. 

LA and Tucson Book Fairs

LA and Tucson Book Fairs

In March and April, Zoe and I will be in Tucson and LA for their book festivals. Each event draws over 100,000 people in a weekend. I have new cards made as well as 4x8 banners of HATE, BURNED and PERIL to hang in my booth. Not trying to increase book sales per se, but more of creating an awareness. And one can only hope that in LA there are some Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu types looking for new material.

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Fiction Becomes Reality

HATE was started in 2003. Well before the rancorous political diatribes. Today the media is full of stories that center on hate speech that lead to violence or hate crimes.

HATE’S many storylines can be plucked from the headlines:

Fiction - Two white supremacists kill a bunch of Jewish children at a school. They use AR-15’s.

Reality - An antisemitic gunman kills 11 in a synagogue, using an AR-15.

Fiction - The debate of free-speech vs. hate speech is ratcheted up.

Reality - The debate of free-speech vs. hate speech leading to violent acts is ratcheted up.

Fiction - White nationalism speech and platforms get more airplay.

Reality - White nationalism speech and platforms get more airplay.

Fiction - A bipartisan bill gets introduced to put limits on hate speech that leads to violence.

Reality -

BURNED....a teaser

It’s a chilly morning many miles north of Toronto, Canada.  A jogger is running his daily route at fast clip down a road cut from the wilderness of dense trees and brush.  His breath is visible from his quick pace and the low temperature.  The road bends to his right past a small clearing on his left.  He suddenly stops, puts his hands on his hips and catches his breath for a few seconds and turns back towards the clearing.  He cautiously walks towards something he saw that was out of place.  As he draws nearer he sees a disturbing site.  It’s a naked woman lying face down in the leaves and pine needles.

 

The man is unsure what to do.  He anxiously squats next to the woman and feels for her pulse.  He can make out a faint pulse. He then recoils, retreats a few steps from the woman, pulls out his cell phone, and with shaking hands, dials 911.

A Third Book in the Works

With two books under my belt….book two Burned is still being edited…I have just penned the first few pages of my third book in this trilogy. The book, currently untitled continues the story from both Hate and Burned. The following is an excerpt from the book:

Marine Second Lieutenant Glen O’Conner, platoon commander, squats down in the dirt and vomits repeatedly until he has no more to vomit.  He stares into a ditch of some 20 dead men, women, and children.  He notices several teen girls are naked from the waste down and have their white cotton underwear purposefully tied around their necks. Their legs are vulgarly spread wide.   Each of them have a single bullet hole in their forehead. 

Operation Pegasus was launched in March 1968.  The operation was an overland relief expedition to shore up Marines who were under siege during the battle of Khe Sanh at the Khe Sanh Combat Base.  The operation was a joint Marine, Army and South Vietnamese task force. 

It was during this mission that Glen O’Conner’s life changed forever. The Vietnam War in 1968 had just one universal mission, which was kill anything that moves. 

BURNED: A Story of Retribution, Rebirth, and Influence

BURNED: A Story of Retribution, Rebirth, and Influence

Once again Craig and Cate, with help from others, fight to right an injustice. This time it’s a flamboyant, bombastic billionaire who has a secret that hits close to home. The pair work with a troop of expert computer hackers to drain the river of dirty money from the billionaire.

They hatch a plan and with pinpoint precision, siphon off the billionaire’s world-wide, offshore bank accounts. Ruined financially, his creditors, the Mexican Cartel and the Russian Mafia, come calling for the billionaire. In a game of international cat and mouse, the cartel eventually makes their way to Craig and Cate too.

With over two billion in stolen, dirty money and with help from Craig’s sister, a U.S. Senator, the pair embarks on using the money to change the American political landscape in the 2016 election.

Burned - The Sequel to Hate

I am over half-way completed with my second book. It is currently called Burned. 

Once again the pair, with help from others, fight to right injustice. This time, it’s a flamboyant, bombastic billionaire who has a secret that hits close to home. The pair work with a troop of expert computer hackers to drain the river of dirty money from the billionaire.

They hatch a plan, with pinpoint precision, to siphon off the billionaire’s world-wide, off-shore bank accounts. Ruined financially, his creditors, the Russian Mafia and the Mexican Cartel, come calling. 

I'm guessing it will be ready for publication sometime in July.

 

A Story Gets Hatched in a Hot Tub

The storyline for the book Hate was hatched sitting in a hot tub late at night in 2003.  I can’t even remember the genesis for the book.  I had always wanted to write a novel.  Although, I consider myself a decent writer, I just didn’t how to start.  After a few “ugly” paragraphs, I switched gears and thought I am a very visual person.  Perhaps not a novel, but a screenplay?

I wrote probably 20 pages of an 80-page screenplay.  I can’t even remember why, perhaps life got in the way or perhaps the writing spark had no longer been there, but the screenplay laid dormant.  14 years later, in 2016, the writing bug bit again.  In a matter of months, the screenplay had been completed. The next year, I had an idea of using the screenplay as an outline for the novel, since the characters were fleshed out and the dialogue had been written.

I wrote a dozen pages and asked my wife Zoe to read it and tell me what she thought.  She hated it!  She said it was like reading a newspaper.  Back to the drawing board.  I re-wrote the dozen or so pages and asked her again to look at it.  She liked it!

Over the course of three months, the book seemed to pour out of me.  I worked with Zoe on edits, re-writes and plot twists. March 17, 2018, the book was published on Amazon/Kindle.