Month: January 2016

First review from my ARC Thirteen Years of Dust

A while ago I sent out some ARC of my upcoming novel. Thirteen Years of Dust. The deal is they get a free copy (complete with typos) and I get a review. It’s a fair deal and I ask for an HONEST review. I can’t very well grow as a writer with out honest reviews.
I just got one from one of my reviewers.
So because I am an egoist in some respects, and I want to sell my book, I decided to post that review here for all and sundry to read.

By Garrett Dennis on January 27, 2016

 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received an advance review copy of this book. This ‘whodunit’ introduces a new protagonist in the world of noir mystery, the down-and-out PI Duke Bradley, as he goes about solving a cold-case murder in hopes of collecting some reward money. While he proceeds from a cynical starting point, Duke develops a sense of righteous outrage along the way to a satisfying conclusion. His character, and the supporting characters as well, were developed well enough to make them interesting enough for me to want to keep reading, and I enjoyed learning what makes Duke tick. This was fortunate, because although the writing itself is stellar, especially for a first effort, my ARC could have benefited from some more copy editing – and in fact, I vacillated between 4 and 5 stars for this review because of that. But I understand that more editing has been done since my ARC, and this is a clever tale that’s told well, so I think it would be unfair to ding it just because of typos. The story may sound typical for its genre, but there are some interesting twists and character development that I think make it stand out. All in all, I think Duke’s debut foray is a fine addition to the noir canon.
– Garrett Dennis, author of Port Starbird: A Storm Ketchum Adventure (Storm KetchumAdventures Book 1)
Garrett Dennis is an accomplished author with a great reputation. His opinion you can trust. I sure as hell do. The point is he isn’t going to give anyone a bum steer toward a terrible book. That could kill his own writing career. So there you have it all wrapped up in a nice bundle. My book is pretty good–love to hear your feed back.
Thank you and Goodnight

Mystère gris and Noir



What is Noir? Hell, I don’t know. It seems to me there are a lot of definitions out there for this genre. I decided to look it up in a few places just to see what I come up with.

a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity.

That one was the best, I suppose.  Bleak settings, depressive plots, tough, cynical characters–etc. There are even a few “must have” elements for a novel to be considered Noir. That’s why I call my writing Noir inspired. It’s not pure Noir and it’s not ever going to be and I don’t care. I write the way I want to write and I am not going to follow a recipe and add or slash to fit into a category. the story is what it is. Maybe some would call it cozy-noir, a term coined by Andrew MacRae. I myself like to say it’s “mystère gris” style. That’s french for grey mystery. To have grey you need light. And there is always light.

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So as far as Noir is concerned my stories lack a few elements. For instance in my books you will never find explicit sex scenes. I’m not going to write them. I won’t do it. I have other things to write about. Sex is a simple operation and easy to describe and it has no place in my novels. Maybe a bit of romance, desire and longing–sure why not? But as far as some harcore stuff–pick up an erotica novel there are plenty of those.

I also have no use for excessive curse words. There are a few and they are placed in places where necessary. Not everyone talks like Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci. I certainly don’t talk that way and neither does Duke. There are thousands of other things to say. Even in Noir.

Mystère gris is Noir inspired. It’s the shadows, the thoughts of the mind that drive you crazy. Those memories from the past that haunt you as you lay down at night trying to sleep. It is the bleak times with a sunrise coming and two ways to go–back into the darkness or straight into the daylight. It is moral issues, addictions to deal with and the invitation to give yourself a good hard once over.

These are stories of murder and other crimes by criminals you wouldn’t expect. Those criminals that crossed over into the darkness and got themselves all wrapped up in it. Duke is on the edge. He can go either way and he knows it. One drink and it’s back into the gutters. He stays there on the grey line where the two meet. One misstep and he is finished. But has no idea how to go the other way. He doesn’t know that life.

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At any rate, number one will be hitting the bookshelves on Feb 6th. Number two is on the way. Now, number one was a bit light on the mystery for the main reason had to set up all the stuff about Duke and Shriya and how they met and whatnot. With that out of the way I can get down to business. Spend more time on the twists, the relationship between our Indian princess Shriya and Duke with his addiction struggles– I have the next four plotted out. Let’s have some fun.

Mystère gris, or just gris if you prefer, is a more exacting term fitting for my style of writing. It’s not the forties anymore. That’s unfortunate, but as with all things we have to move forward in art.

Thank you and Goodnight





Another Mystery in the Works

PROMO13I woke up this morning to a grey overcast sky. Sounds depressing? Well it’s not. Reminds me of home. Akron, Ohio. I now live in the Philippines.

We haven’t had any serious rain or break from this heat since new year’s day. A good tropical rain would put a spring in my step. This weather is not for guys like me who grew up in the USA. I have been here for almost 7 years and there are a few things I still can’t get used to. My body just won’t adjust to the constant blaring heat. Prickly rashes can crop up if I don’t take the time to apply baby powder regularly. I would sure love a couple of good rainy days.

Now we get typhoons regularly. This season has been quiet so far. The typhoon can be a scary time for yours truly. Most of the people around me are used to it. Before when we lived in the ‘Buhay Kubo’ or bamboo house (that I built myself) it would sway and shake and chunks of roof would spring off like it was blasted with my grandfathers Remington. In the middle of all the chaos you can hear the neighbors hammering and pounding plywood walls, G.I. sheet roofs being removed layer by layer. Thats dangerous. There are several stories of people being injured and even decapitated by flying chunks of metal during the typhoon. Still no one (except me) wants to keep prepared. Now we live in a concrete apartment. Flooding is normal here and last typhoon our roof blew away and the flood came in up to our mid calf. It’s all well now,

Book cover 6So I am all prepared for this book Launch–Thirteen Years of Dust– doing everything myself. Writing, editing, cover design promotion. I have had some help from Govinda on the editing, but he has an important position in his comapny and has many demands on his time. The promoting is the most difficult part in my opinion. Reaching an audience. I have had some great advice from other authors especially Garrett Denis author of the Port Starboard Storm Ketchum book series. I recommend these cozies—– Anyway he has shown me some of the ropes on a few things.

Duke Bradley. I was recently asked how many books I plan to write in this series. Who knows? As long as I am breathing I am writing Duke Bradley mysteries. I am shooting for 108–after that I will retire. I have started his next case and it is more intriguing than the first.

Well, the clouds are breaking up and blue skies are ahead. Which means the heat is coming. I have my jug of ice water and my notebook. Plan to keep going on the next in the series. HARMONY. I’ll give you a sneak taste. Just one line “They said I used ‘Vigilante Justice’ on Vinnie Torlino. I’m not a vigalante. I’m a private eye.’

Thank you and goodnight.


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