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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Give PEACE A Chance

I received another 5 star review for my novel PEACE from a very unlikely source. A self proclaimed liberal decided to read my admittedly conservative toned military novel of nearly 700 pages, got caught up in the story, and liked it well enough to give me a terrific review. PEACE has been taking off lately, and showing no signs of fading. This review will certainly help. I loved the way the review ended as you will see.
Maybe the funniest huge body count Spec Ops/Black Ops novel ever, April 20, 2013
Akamai Okole (Santa Monica, CA, USA)

Let me start by saying I had a bad feeling about this book after the first few pages. I thought the author was some right wing nut with a limited imagination who gave lame names to his characters. Was I ever wrong. Well, at least in part.

Sure, he takes some digs at liberals, and spins some conservative views into the book. But Mr. DeLeo is crafty. Where he injects those issues, he does so in a context where they actually make sense, even to a leftie like me. Yes, I confess to that, and to the fact I loved this book. Why? Because as a Navy brat, I lived in San Diego and he gets the locale right, and the feel. His characters are well-developed, even if his main character is a super soldier of nearly unbelievable skills, whose parents are stereotypical hippies with views so weird they are clearly brain-damaged. It matters not.

What really makes this book unique in its genre, and I have read dozens of books in the genre, is the banter. The glibness, sarcasm, humor, and genuine camaraderie here are compelling, and truly entertaining. So try out a guilty pleasure, fellow libs, and of course you conservatives who are Mr. DeLeo's natural audience anyway.

I guess all I am saying, is give "Peace" a chance.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Saint Joyce and I joined my younger sister Cheryl and brother Mitch in Las Vegas this past weekend for a reunion. My buddy Roger, I was on the USS Ranger with, made it too. We all stayed at the Stratosphere. We sipped a few by the pool, gambled a little, ate dinner at the Top of the World revolving restaurant, and saw the Pin-Up show. Our last night together we had a drink and dinner with my first cousin Darryl, who lives in Las Vegas. I hadn’t seen him in over 40 years. It was a great three day excursion.
On to the business side of the trip. Joyce had a mammography seminar at the Paris Casino on Saturday. I took the taxi with her at 7AM because everyone else slept in after the Top of the World dinner, and Pin-Up show the night before. Once I left Joyce off at the proper meeting room (not easy to locate) I walked down the Strip to the Mandalay Bay Casino where more than a few of my scenes take place in the sequel to HARDCASE I’m finishing. The sequel, THE LURE OF HELL, will be released on July 4th, but I should have it finished by the end of this month. It has an assassination scene, a UFC fight, a Baccarat card scene, and a confrontation in the workout room – all at the Mandalay. I finished all the research I needed there before walking back up the Strip to the other end where the Stratosphere is. I have a mugging scene between the Riviera Casino and the Stratosphere I wanted to take pictures of and do a final check. A few scenes also take place in the Stratosphere, but I had already checked them out the first day. I didn’t get back to the Stratosphere until after noon time, because navigating your way from the South end of the Strip to the North end on foot is not for the faint of heart – a very good workout. I met up with my brother, sister and Roger by the pool until Joyce joined us later. There are very few times when everything goes right on a trip like this. This one was as close as it gets.
Once in a while we fiction writers get to walk around in our characters’ shoes a little bit, and let the voices in our heads fill in the dialogue.  :)
High Stakes Baccarat Room at Mandalay Bay.
 Mandalay Bay Front

Mugging scene between Riviera Casino and Stratosphere. At night of course in the book.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Trailer Showcase Interview

Book Trailer Showcase did an interview with me in time for the May 1st release of DEMON AT WAR, the third book in my YA trilogy. Their interviewer, Author Natasha Blackthorne, made it fun and easy to do. The days of reclusive writers unfortunately are over. I would have made a great reclusive writer.  :)  In today’s world, we either become household names and reachable by anyone, or marketing becomes a monumental task.

Learning the rules of the game in a constantly changing marketing arena can be the most puzzling and daunting task imaginable. The only constant is name recognition. Without it, we’re just another of the thousands marketing material on Amazon. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the rules of this sometimes mind numbing business, but exposure in every venue seems to be a key to success. Anyway, here’s the interview. I thought it came out very well.  :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Writing Icons

A friend shared a love letter sent from Zelda Fitzgerald to her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald that seems to be going around on FB. It was a very touching letter. The truth is less touching. Zelda spent more time in mental institutions, and Scott in the arms of his mistress Sheilah Graham, and alcoholism than they ever spent together. Hollywood even made movies based on Ms. Graham’s account of the affair. Zelda and F. Scott must have each had a far different vision of their lives than they actually lived – a tragic existence. Most everything about famous writers of that era ends up in illusion or delusion… and of course alcoholism. In college, like everyone else pursuing an English degree, I read a few of Fitzgerald’s novels. Although starkly well written, I was not the readership for many of the writers held up as icons today. I know it’s blasphemous, but I read for the story. Great writing never uplifts the pathos, tragic endings, melancholy miasma, and depressing scenes in many of the ‘Great’ novels by the great authors of the time – at least in my head.
This inspired me to look up the list of ‘Expatriate American Writers’ living on the left bank over in Paris in that era. I recognized quite a few of the names, and realized I had read many of the novels listed under the names. One common theme of depression ran through every single one of the novels I remembered. This exercise renewed something I’ve always believed good fiction should do – uplift the reader. There are certainly all kinds of readers and reading appetites. I have always wanted to appeal to readers, who like me, enjoy fiction with an upbeat character, plenty of action, humor, and individual fortitude. I never want to write a novel that puts suicidal thoughts in the heads of my readers… at least not intentionally. I don’t want to write drunk and edit sober like Hemingway, or receive love letters from someone I supposedly love dearly while in the arms of a mistress like F. Scott. I have no hopes that the thirty or forty novels I intend to write before I pass on will ever be studied or lionized as Scott’s five novels and stories. I do however hope to make a lot of people chuckle, laugh, shed an occasional tear, pump their fist in commiseration with the way I wrote the scene that stirs them, and never think of opening a vein at the end of my novel rather than ever read another sentence I write.
I admit it. I would most definitely read a paranormal, werewolf, vampire, zombie apocalypse novel with a good ending rather than ever read ‘The Great Gatsby’ again. I’m too old to even pretend I loved the classics – I didn’t, I don’t, and I’m not ashamed of it.  :)

On the writing front, I have another couple thousand words in a new Rick Cantelli, P.I. story which will be the tenth part in my ongoing endeavor to make him the most famous geezer P.I. in history. I will also be very close to 80,000 words done in my new novel, THE LURE OF HELL by the weekend. These projects, of course, are not, nor will they ever be – classics. I can live with that.  :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

BTSeMag's April Issue, Featuring Heather Graham

April's issue is fantastic. If you're interested in writing, publishing, or just need some new reading material with terrific interviews and reviews, BTSeMag is a can't miss treat. Yes, I advertise with them because they're the best. See my ads on page 47, 70, 71, and 75. They did an incredible job on my
COLD BLOODED ad on 70. I used my friends Charles Gramlich and Jordan Summers reviews on the CB ad with some big name print.  :)  Enjoy the issue. It's a great one with a wonderful feature on best selling author Heather Graham.  :) 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Rick Cantelli, P.I. - Part Nine

Just a slight addition to this post. I didn’t want to put it out there on April Fool’s Day, which was the actual anniversary date.  :)  I went to work at Nilson Brothers Garage in 1976. I bought it from my boss on April 1st 1983. Yes, I purchased a business on an April Fool’s Day. It has been my good luck, I’ve been able to keep the number of days where I’ve looked like a fool to a minimum. I’ve been the proud owner of Nilson Brothers Garage for thirty years. I looked after my kids there (They called it Bernie’s Bored Shop) and I’ve been writing in the back room for a very long time, including today. I started my 4th decade as a small business owner this morning. In celebration, I plan to make sure I don’t get into any trouble.  :)  I've learned one valuable thing over the decades: respect the darkness.  :)

I have the new 5,000 word addition to my Rick Cantelli, P.I. Series – Part 9 out at AuthSpot through Triond. Rick gets a supposed cheating husband case, but winds up in a gun battle with drug dealers running a meth lab. A surprise awaits him when he finds out who else is working the meth lab.
The Rick Cantelli series is now up to over 40,000 words, and right on schedule for a full novel release on September 1st. Although it will be full novel length at around the 90,000 word mark, I will probably offer it for only $1.99, because I’ve been publishing it in serial form through Triond. Rick Cantelli and partner Lois Madigan have been the most fun to write since I finished the Demon Trilogy. The third part of the YA trilogy, DEMON AT WAR, will be out on May 1st.
I’m nearing the 70,000 word mark in THE LURE OF HELL, my HARD CASE sequel where I introduce two new characters into John Harding’s Oakland crew, Clint Dostiene and Lynn Montoya. Dostiene has the investigative skills Harding’s been looking for, while Montoya is the most dangerous and cold blooded female killer Harding and his CIA boss Dennis Strobert have ever run across. It’s a match made in heaven… or hell. My good friend and partner, Author RJ Parker will be handling the release and publicity for THE LURE OF HELL. I plan to have it finished and edited for a July 1st release date still. We teamed up on the HARD CASE novel, and it has been doing very well. I’m hoping he likes the sequel.  :)