Fergus Sharkey has come from Ireland to London and settled in the historic surroundings of Greenwich, fabled home and birthplace of time. There the Irish immigrant falls in love with a northern English rose named Katy Prunty and soon begins to follow the fortunes of the local football team, Charlton Athletic.
First published at age 13, Kerry Arquette went on to write articles for dozens of national magazines and her work was featured in Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul. She is the author of two picture books including What Did You Do Today? (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), which won the Colorado Book Award, and was later selected for inclusion in the compilation, Sweet Dreams: Five Minute Bedtime Stories. Her picture book, Daddy Promises was released by Concordia Publishing.
Arquette was also Executive Editor of Memory Makers Books, an imprint of F+W Publishing specializing in scrapbooking and paper crafts. With business partner, Andrea Zocchi, she founded Cantata Books Inc., a publishing company responsible for dozens of popular art and crafting titles. Arquette is, herself, a prolific multi-media artist.
Open Books Welcomes New Authors
by Kerry Arquette
(Poetry / Social Conscience)
In 1941, Hitler ratcheted up his persecution of Europe’s Jewish population by ordering “The final solution of the Jewish question.” That “solution” was the mass murder of millions of Jews.
The war lasted six long years. The
by Norman Abrahamson
As a retired Professor of Literature, George Hodge knows that if life were art, his story would be over. He has outlived his wife, his children and finally his money. With little more than his wits, his thumb, and a resignation to serendipity, Hodge sets out on a journey of discovery. Along the way he acquires two
The Rise of the Mutant Ego
by John Faupel
We still seem to believe in the ‘the ascent of man’ and that we are superior to all other species, so surely we must be in charge of our destinies. But is it any more valid, believing a man is superior to a butterfly because he is cleverer, than believing a butterfly is superior to a man because it is more beautiful? It
John Faupel began his career as a mathematician in 1962. Then, after a spell of teaching, did research in the social sciences and from 1970 became head of Manpower Planning for the UK Printing and publishing Industry.
In 1975, John headed a nationwide study for the Venezuelan government on Absenteeism and Labor Turnover, and in 1978, he returned to the UK and started his own business under the trade name ‘Antique Atlas’, dealing in cartographic material and publishing books on the subject.
"We all want to leave our mark upon the world," says author Kevin King. "I’ve always hoped that mine would be more than the composite of all the smudges of lines I’ve erased or crossed out. So far that has resulted in a new novel, Phantom, and my previous novel, All the Stars Came Out That Night, along with a couple score of poems in various journals that have managed not to make their way into a book. And, of course, my picture on the Post Office wall.
"These days I try to work as little as possible, if writing isn’t work, hoping that if idleness leads to sin it might be more interesting than punching a time clock. When I do work, it tends to be teaching ESL, the ugly stepsister of linguistics who gets paid accordingly. But I still enjoy those spontaneous moments in a classroom when a new avenue of learning springs up. And I enjoy the mental effort that goes into making those moments happen. Still, the most rewarding part of teaching is creating materials." So far, Kevin has written four ESL textbooks: Trial by Jury, The Big Picture, Taking Sides, and The Writing Template Book.
by Kevin King
A story of hopeless love—a serial philanderer and gambler married to a woman much younger—and impossible love—his wife, Casey Googan, and a black boxer. Turn of the century Boston comes alive with crew races, balloon races, boxing, rat-baiting, and fashion competi-
The story of Satan's many struggles, across the history of Human existence, to unshackle the Human mind, and open the gates to forbidden knowledge.
The Autobiography of Satan (Authorized Edition)
by William A. Glasser
From the moment of his first emer-
Childhood is a world between fantasy and reality, where dreams can come true--and so can nightmares.
by E.J. Bouinatchova
Liza Jane Crowley has an idyllic life growing up in an old Maine farmhouse, where the world seems full of amazing things. Her
Lorin R. Robinson
Ten Near-term Stories Envisioning the Human Impact of the Climate Crisis
Tales from The Warming
by Lorin R. Robinson
(Fiction / Short Stories)
Tales of The Warming is unique in the annals of climate fiction, a new literary genre spawned in the last decade by the climate crisis. The
Things were about to get as sticky as a pot of cheese fondue!
Ice Whine and Irish Cheddar
by Judy Volhart
Is Chloé dating a murderer? Who's stalking Nicole this time? Is the disturbed stranger from the woods friend or foe? And why in the world is 50+ year old Nora prancing about
Richard Fellinger is an award-winning short story writer and former journalist who teaches writing at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.
His story collection, They Hover Over Us, won the 2011 Serena McDonald Kennedy Award. He also won the 2008 Flash Fiction Contest at Red Cedar Review and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His short stories have appeared in numerous journals such as Epiphany, Potomac Review, Westview and PANK.
Richard is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, where he won the 2009 Beverly Hiscox Scholarship for Excellence in Writing. He lives with his wife and son in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, where he has retired from coaching Little League baseball.
Witty and funny, these popular satire books will make you question everything you know about life, love, politics and culture.
Kerry also holds a Masters degree in criminology and has worked with crime victims as part of the Denver Colorado Police Department. She is married to Denver attorney, Mark Senn, and has three children, Erin, Brittan, and Ryan. She is the daughter of well-known author, Lois Duncan.
Upon retirement in 2005, John joined a local branch of the U3A and ran a Philosophy Group, which involved fortnightly meetings to discuss some of the subjects outlined in his book, The Rise of the Mutant Ego.
After 8 years, he handed over leadership of the group to work on his book.
John has also always been interested in the history of art, but only since 2000 has he been able to take up painting more seriously. He is an active member and frequent speaker at the Truro Art Society.
Exploration and travel have also been an interest for John, particularly in South America, which included living alone for nearly a year in the Amazon Rain forest, photographing insects (his collection is now in the Biblioteca Nacional de Venezuela). John has also researched the locations of the settlements and villages of the sixteenth century Timucuan Indians, who at one time occupied the woodland forests of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in the tens of thousands, before Spanish and English colonialism wiped them from the face of the Earth.
Norman Abrahamson grew up in the Boston area in the 1960s and 70s. He quickly learned that a straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but also the most boring. After graduating from law school in 1982, he worked as an attorney in private practice for 20 years before switching careers.
In 2008, Norman became a history teacher in a public high school. He enjoys the give-and-take environment of the classroom and working with students from all walks of life.
Over the years, writing has been a constant in Norm’s life. In 2010, he became involved in the National Writing Project, helping other teachers with their personal writing as well as using innovative methods to teach writing skills to students across all grades, subjects and skill levels.
Norman married his college sweetheart in 1986, and they had two boys, both now grown. In addition to working as an attorney and teacher, he worked the counter for several years at the venerable Elsie’s Lunch of Harvard Square, and briefly, during law school, worked as the world’s smallest bouncer. He enjoys martial arts and still teaches Judo as well as acoustic guitar.
William Glasser received his PhD in English through the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa, his MA in Creative Writing at the University of Florida, and his BA at Harpur College, part of the SUNY system. Dr. Glasser taught for many years at Williams College, Skidmore College, and Trinity College in Hartford. He was also awarded a Senior Fulbright Lectureship and taught American literature to Austrian students for a year at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Currently, he is President Emeritus of Southern Vermont College.
In addition to two books of literary criticism, he has published critical articles, short stories, and poetry in a variety of scholarly and popular journals in the United States, Austria, and South Korea. His last academic book, The Art of Literary Thieving, can be found in the libraries of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and fifty other U.S. universities, including many other institutions in Canada, in European countries, and in the Far East (thank you Google).
Milana Marsenich lives in Northwest Montana near Flathead Lake at the base of the beautiful Mission Mountains. She has spent many hours hiking the wilderness trails with friends and dogs.
For the past 20 years Milana has worked as a mental health therapist in a variety of settings. As a natural listener and a therapist, she has witnessed amazing generosity and courage in others. She first witnessed this in her hometown of Butte, Montana, a mining town with a rich history and the setting for her novel, Copper Sky.
Milana has an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. She has previously published in Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, The Polishing Stone, and Feminist Studies. She has a short story included in The Montana Quarterly book: Montana, Warts and All, The Best From Our First Decade.
"Out of a childhood love of baseball, especially its old timers, came my first novel. I’ve tried my hand at sculling and boxing, which led to Phantom. The former sport I no longer have access to, no longer working at Harvard, and the latter I would be ill-advised to keep practicing; if you lose a step with each decade, pretty soon I’d need a calculator.
"I enjoy learning all the things I didn’t learn at my mother’s knee, or my father’s, like maintaining a 300-year-old house, using a hammer for some purpose other than banging my thumb. Or pi at more than four digits. Or why Dylan got the Nobel prize and I didn’t."
Lorin’s career has been split primarily between university teaching/administration and business.
He chaired the Journalism Department at the University of Wisconsin—River Falls for 10 years after founding and managing the school’s public radio station. He then joined 3M Company as a marketing communications manager. After 24 years at 3M, he returned to teaching—in the Graduate College of Business, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis.
Robinson has BS and MS Degrees in Journalism from Northwestern University and a PhD in Communication from the University of Minnesota.
Over the years he has also worked as a journalist, photojournalist, magazine writer and radio announcer. He is a contributing writer to Shutterbug Magazine, a national publication geared to professional and dedicated amateur photographers.
He and his wife, Linda, split their time between Lake Elmo, MN; Taos, NM and Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Andrew Pessin is a Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College, with degrees from Yale and Columbia—though he is perhaps most popular with his students for his appearances years ago as “The Genius” on the Late Show with David Letterman. Author of many academic articles and books, as well as four philosophy books, one textbook, and one audio course aimed at a general audience, his book, Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas from the Smartest Philosophers, was named an “Outstanding Academic Title of 2013” by Choice. He has spent two decades teaching undergraduates at liberal arts colleges in addition to having spoken about philosophy to many non-philosophical audiences, so he has plenty of experience making philosophy entertaining, accessible, yet provocative and most of all fun. His previous novel, The Second Daughter, written under the pen name J. Jeffrey—read the novel to find out why the pen name!—was a Semi-Finalist in Literary Fiction at The Kindle Book Review Book awards, and he greatly enjoyed meeting (either in person or over Skype) with the many book clubs that read it. In his spare time he composes and performs amusing philosophy songs.
From the author of
The X-Cure comes
Alan 2 by Bruce Forciea
A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2, can anticipate his needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company desperately
Drugs, death and rock and roll on Chicago's AM radio dial...
Winter in Chicago
by David M. Hamlin
Before dawn in January, 1975, Emily detours from her normal route to work in the newsroom of Chicago’s top pop rock station to investigate a crime scene. The police believe the
From First Kiss to Forever:
A Scientific Approach to Love
by Marisa T. Cohen, Ph.D. (Nonfiction)
From First Kiss to Forever: A Scientific Approach to Love is a fun and humorous, yet scientific, book about relationships. This book introduces the reader to relationship science. The chapters examine how people meet, select their mates, and fall in and out of love.
The sad life and tragic murder of René Descartes,
the world’s most famous philosopher
by Andrew Pessin
(Historical murder mystery )
Who would want to murder the world’s most famous philosopher?
Turns out: nearly everyone.
Made To Break Your Heart
by Richard Fellinger
Made To Break Your Heart is a family saga, set in a gossipy suburb, that explores the complexities of raising a child, holding a marriage together, and maintaining sanity in the cutthroat world of Little League
It’s 2008, and Nick Marhoffer is a
The feminine spirit of the West comes alive in early twentieth century Montana.
by Milana Marsenich
Set in the Copper Camp of Butte, Montana in 1917, Copper Sky tells the story of two women with opposite lives. Kaly Shane, mired in
toll on human lives was astronomical - more than 60 million people died.
Too often, when confronted with devastation of this magnitude, we tend to view the dead as a statistic - a solid block of entangled nonentities. This approach allows us to maintain a comfortable feeling of emotional detachment so we feel less horrified, frightened and threatened. But to truly understand WWII, we must step into the painting and view the events through the eyes of those who participated. The individual brush strokes that make up the macabre picture are dipped in the blood of men, women and children no different from us.
In the end, the sound of war isn’t heard in the rattle of machine gun fire or the bellowing of bombs. It is in the voices of those who lived and died and the stories they have to share.
wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with money, but when Dr. Boyd refuses their offer, they sabotages his job, leaving him in a difficult financial situation.
Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam.
Alan and his girlfriend travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and agents trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin.
Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2's Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is 'Plan B' something sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?
body on the street is a suicide. Emily is stunned to discover that the dead woman is a dear friend since high school. Unable to fathom why Beni Steinart would take her own life, Emily begins an investigation that leads to a trunk-load of cocaine, Federal narcotics charges, abuse of power and a perplexing mystery – suicide or murder?
Emily’s reporting triggers an explosive battle between two men who tower over their city. Cary Chase is Chicago’s most prominent bachelor, a wealthy entrepreneur whose mansion is the epicenter of Chicago’s elite society. United States Attorney Tommy “Tommy Terrific” Jameson is ambitiously determined to rid his city of corruption on his way up to the Governor’s office and perhaps even higher.
Drawing on an eclectic roster of news sources and WEL colleagues and her own considerable talent and determination, Emily uncovers the full story of her friend’s death in a remarkable confrontation which produces front page headlines and restores one life as it ruins another.
Readers need not be scientists to understand the information presented. Each chapter relates present-day research to everyday experiences and real relationship issues confronted by couples. Each ends with take home tips/questions to help the reader apply the lessons in his/her own life.
Do you want to understand the science behind finding a mate, maintaining relationships, or even what makes some relationships fail? Help your relationships grow and flourish, and have a few hearty laughs along the way.
To affirm the love of his team, Fergus decides to get a tattoo of the club badge, but this causes friction between Fergus and Katy and sets in motion the gradual decaying of their romance during the course of the football season. When Katy leaves for the coast, Fergus becomes embroiled in a relationship with the tattoo artist Dyana, whose young friend, a grime musician, has recently been gunned down in the street in broad daylight.
Set against the backdrop of Charlton Athletic's football fortunes, and a crime network that lurks on the horizon, Fergus begins to uncover the answers to the musician’s murder as well as the layers of his decaying romance.
traveling companions, a single mother and her precocious daughter who have reasons of their own for hitting the road. For three damaged individuals between the ages of ten and seventy-eight, the line between the American Dream and the American Nightmare is a delicate thread not easily seen until it breaks, and the difference between a tragic end and a new beginning is sometimes seen only in hindsight.
has been suggested that our unashamed vanity has been dealt three serious blows. The first was cosmological, dealt by Copernicus in 1543, who showed that we were not at the center of the universe; the second was biological, dealt by Darwin in 1859, who showed that we were just one small branch of the evolutionary tree of life; and the third was psychological, dealt by Freud in 1900, who showed that the unconscious mind had a far greater influence on us than we had ever thought possible. To these might be added yet a fourth blow to our vanity. It is a blow that is gradually being exposed by the inquiry into what makes us feel and think and act the way we do and how much our heredity and our environmental experiences influence our behavior. Perhaps we’re not quite as in charge of our destinies as we thought we were. Most of us think we learn from our experiences but perhaps we can do so only retrospectively and that this process is less about learning than conditioning.
tions judged by Isabella Stuart Gardner. Boston’s sculling champion, blue-blood Foxhall Codman, is obsessed with the possibility that the phantom sculler who rowed through him in fog on the Charles River was a woman. Thirty-thousand spectators—Brahmins and geeks, catch-penny operators and thimble riggers—turn out for the epic race on the Charles, a battle of the sexes prefiguring Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King seven decades later.
gence as a single spark in the dimness of prehistory, to the more enlightening force into which he evolves across the full span of human existence, Satan, as he now clearly illustrates, has been urging human beings to open their eyes to the world around them, and to continue seeking, with unfettered minds, for ultimate answers, yet to be found. To do so he must struggle against the persistent attempts to stifle that urge by the "spoon feeders," as he calls them, individuals who have insisted, within every age, and often with a bloody fist, that they, and they alone, are the possessors of the only beliefs that every human being should accept and live by, without question. As Satan traces the history of their many attempts to stop human beings from thinking for themselves, he also takes his readers on a search for the ultimate source of all evil in this world. Readers will obviously enter the book with the standard concept of Satan as a supernatural figure of evil, however they will leave the book with a better understanding of how such mind-twisting concepts have been used to keep people away from the "forbidden" knowledge that lies beyond the borders of entrenched beliefs.
anthology of 10 short stories takes readers all over the world and over time to experience—in human terms—the growing impact of what the author has dubbed “The Warming,” the man-made catastrophe that is increasing temperature, raising ocean levels and causing increasingly violent weather.
These stories are thought exercises that blend fact and fiction to examine the human impact of the crisis. Each concerns a different challenge thrust upon us by the warming and readers witness people’s struggles to deal with these new realities. Some of the stories put people in harm’s way; others focus more on human creativity in mitigating the effects of the warming.
Most of the warnings about the climate crisis have come in the form of non-fiction. But these efforts have not rallied the public around the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare to mitigate the coming effects of what will be a civilization-changing phenomenon. Recent polls indicate that, while 70 percent of Americans now believe global warming is real, 57 percent do not expect it to threaten their way of life.
Science sometimes can be its own worst enemy. Couching its warnings in scientific jargon, statistics, charts and graphs can render readers comatose. Because writing about implications, “what ifs”, is outside the realm of objective science, people are left struggling to understand why they should care. They can’t relate what they’re reading and hearing to their own realities.
Fiction that’s based on worst-case warming scenarios proposed by climate scientists, however, can bridge the gap. Perhaps novelist, poet and playwright Doris Lessing said it best: “There’s no doubt that fiction makes a better job of the truth.”
In 1649, Descartes was invited by the Queen of Sweden to become her Court Philosopher. Though he was the world’s leading philosopher, his life had by this point fallen apart. He was 53, penniless, living in exile in Amsterdam, alone. With much trepidation but not much choice, he arrived in Stockholm in mid-October.
stressed-out dad who finds himself flirting with thoughts of infidelity. While his job is being threatened by a crumbling economy, he’s fraught with anxiety over his only son’s well-being. So when his son starts playing baseball, Nick becomes a rabid Little League dad who loses sight of what’s good in his life. After developing a crush on a gorgeous team mom, he can’t decide between her and his wife, then finds himself at risk of losing everything that’s important to him.
A smart, sexy, and funny novel about bad breaks, bad decisions, and the long road of life.
imagination knows no bounds: her best friend is an invisible fairy and she dances with a skeleton in the barn. The strange and wondrous are commonplace.
As she grows older, she begins to lose her grip on reality. If her fantasy world feels more real than her everyday life, then who’s to say it isn’t? And if it is real… There are terrible things in the world of dreams, and once you notice them, they notice you. No one understands that Liza’s coming-of-age isn’t a time of hopscotch and dollhouses; it’s a struggle to keep possession of her soul.
World Between is a haunting journey through a dreamland, with all its wonders and terrors. Definitely not a tale for children, this story will remind readers of their innermost fears and raise the question: Do children really have vivid imaginations, or can they see things to which adults are blind?
Thirty year-old Amalia Kis' recently opened wine and cheese bistro is flourishing despite a rocky start; until she finds the dead body of the nephew of her evil nemesis, Mr. Leonardo.
Things get smellier than Blue Cheese when she learns that everyone loathed and feared him. The suspect list steadily grows.
Amalia's Hungarian parents move just minutes away and despite her best efforts, soon learn of the murder. To her surprise, her father eventually gets involved. Meanwhile, things steam up with new boyfriend Matt, who continues to discourage her involvement in the case. Nora, on the other hand, is right in the thick of things- and gets steamy with Mr. Leonardo!
In her accidental detective style, Amalia blunders through, trying to solve the murder.
Will she be sharp, like an aged Irish Cheddar, or crumble like an aged Asiago?
The thing about the truth is; it doesn’t get out much...
The Miracle Adjuster
by Simon Campbell
Colin Jekyll is an ‘Events Manager’. And a liar. Colin’s real name is Frank Canon, and his real job title is ‘Reality Enforcer’. And the lies don’t stop there; they only get bigger.
Canon works for the Agency, protecting the status quo. A multilingual lone wolf with an unreliable history and a fear of flying, Canon covers up continuity errors; those inexplicable events most other people call ‘miracles’. He adjusts outbreaks of clairvoyance and drunken weather, weeping statues and spontaneous dancing plagues before they become common knowledge, and before people begin to panic, because people’s faith in consensus reality needs to be enforced.
Fortunately for Frank and the Agency, most people are naturally suspicious of the truth.
prostitution, struggles to find a safe home for her unborn child. Marika Lailich, a Slavic immigrant, dodges a pre-ar-ranged marriage to become a doctor. As their paths cross, and they become unlikely friends, neither woman knows the family secret that ties them together.
"Copper Sky is a riveting story of darkness and redemption, rising from the ashes of two fiery tragedies in Butte, Montana. Marsenich creates two heroines whose great losses lead them ever closer to truth. And as their stories unfold, the Butte of one hundred years ago startles to full and undeniable life."
- Phil Condon, author of Clay Center, Montana Surround, and Nine Ten Again
Novel excerpts, short stories, poetry, articles, editorials, current events, fine arts, theater, spoken word
video, photo-essays, book reviews, politics, culture, humor and much, much more!
On April 1, 2017, Open Books author Kerry Arquette addressed a breakout group in Austin, Texas and talked about how War Cries had come to be written. She read poems from the book and attendees talked about family members who had died in the holocaust or served during the war. After the presentation many stayed to
talk, buy books, and have their books autographed.
OB Author Kerry Arquette Gives Voice to Holocaust Victims
Almost everybody who was born in the post-agrarian period separated by the two great wars grew up in a place whose growing pains were painfully obvious.
It was into such a place that my parents moved with my brother and me in tow. Our house was small, but serviceable; our neighbors forthcoming, but not so morbidly curious that they pried, and our world expanded in one way as it shrank in another. The sky was as blue as it is said to be in heaven. And we were so adrift in space and time that we became the terrestrial astronauts that so troubled Rod Serling that he had to write something about us each week for television.
Here the Main Streets of our grandparents were left to developers, who preferred parking lots to promenades. Here generously proportioned school buildings beckoned to a fertile population that would supply them so handily that, once a prototype was made, it could be endlessly reproduced. Here pastimes flourished as they never had before.
Here mostly white people settled in as Ricky Nelson serenaded them. Here needs were synonymous with desires. And here a culture that was made possible by the received wisdom of Father Coughlin, Leo Durocher, and Lawrence Welk sat back, adjusted its goggles, and proceeded, with limitations that grew with every sack of fertilizer that guaranteed a more perfect lawn, to have the time of its life.
It was here that I grew up and here (mostly) that I have roamed, from ball field to abbreviated living room to the topsy-turvy relations between hard reality and plausible delusion. I hope, in capturing some of its essence in prose, that the small underbellies which often lurk beneath the bigger ones become crudely, if only temporarily, visible.
Mark Ozeroff has been passionate about airplanes since he was a kid. As a boy he was lucky enough to get a ride in the copilot’s seat of a 1927 Ford Tri-Motor, an experience that cemented his interest in flying for life. And though he didn’t realize it at the time, he was already researching his novels.
Later, Mark attended college in Florida, and then ended up staying for decades. His most enjoyable years were spent living in an airplane hangar at a unique airport called Spruce Creek (his roommate was an older, curvaceous Cessna 195). It was there that he wrote his first novel, Days of Smoke, as engine song from P-51 Mustangs serenaded dogfights burgeoning in his mind. “You might say I took up aeronautical writing in self-defense―now, when folks caught me drooling over airplanes for hours, I could tell them I was doing research.”
In the Weeds is a tale of gas, grass, ass, and Vietnam.
Air Force pilot Slats Kisov flies daring missions from a plane so small that the armament doubles if a passenger climbs in wearing a shoulder holster. His courage is audacious, his strategy is devil-may-care, and his luck is impeccable
until his plane is shot down over the jungle and he sustains the “million-dollar injury”―one that leaves him no less audacious if just slightly less fertile.
But war has made Slats something of an adrenaline junkie, and he returns to the States a changed man, one determined to live a life of harmless banditry from the cockpit of an airplane. Using his exceptional low-and-slow flying skills, he begins to smuggle marijuana into Florida from the Bahamas. He is aided in this venture by his friends the Morales brothers, members of an improbable family of immigrants seeking their own unique form of artistic freedom. They’re moral people…who just also happen to be money launderers, gun molls, and poetry-spouting bulimic Cuban marijuana farmers.
Generally, Slats enjoys good fortune as he wobbles through life, but his luck takes occasional appalling turns. Much of his trouble comes from Bobby Ray Pistle, police chief of Farth, Florida. Bobby Ray is the sort of man who considers the Klan an upstanding civic organization and views Slats as nothing more than a Hebraic hippie who prefers the company of minorities to that of paler folk. The chief soon comes to suspect that Slats is smuggling the same weed he’s been smoking, though Pistle’s bulb burns too dimly to find proof. But when the chief discovers his lusty ex has fallen for Slats, it’s time to fish or cut bait.
Will Slats’ battles with the Viet Cong, hijackers, PTSD, and Mother Nature herself serve to prepare him for his most perilous battle of all―the one he must wage against Chief Bobby Ray Pistle? Strap yourself in and get ready for a bumpy ride. And one spectacular landing!
Mark believes that he may be the most undisciplined author since Jack Kerouac. “I write slower than a glacier descends a fjord,” he confesses, “and my first drafts are rougher than forty-grit sandpaper.”
Mark holds an MBA and a Commercial pilot license. He is a ravenous reader who believes that fiction can sometimes tell a more profound truth than history. His debut novel earned a gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America. He now lives and writes in Southern California.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Susan is the youngest of three daughters. During her college years, she began publishing her poetry, and was a recipient of Wayne State University’s Tompkins Award in Creative Writing.
After moving to the Flint, Michigan, she became a certified teacher in Language Arts, and also completed graduate coursework at the University of Michigan-Flint. An educator for over twenty years, Susan has worked as an adult education teacher, an educational coordinator, and an academic interventionist at both the elementary and secondary levels.
Her poetry and her fiction has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Arlington Literary Journal, Illuminations, Twisted Vines Literary Journal, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Referential Magazine, Storyacious, E.T.A. Literary Journal, Digital Papercut, Black Denim Lit, The Green Hills Literary Lantern, The Rockhurst Review, Passages North, Metis, Qua, Diceybrown, The Mochila Review, Beyond
Doggerel, The Wire, and Corridors. Her first novel, Insominy, was published in 2010.
Susan currently lives in Flushing, Michigan, with her husband, Tom, and two cats. They have a daughter, Sarah, who is also an author.