Thursday, July 30, 2020

Historical mystery, sports mystery and Coronavirus story now in trade paperback editions

I've released trade paperback editions of two mystery novels and a novella in addition to earlier e-book editions. I'm also available to give Zoom presentations to libraries, book groups and service organizations.

In Murder on the Switzerland Trail, a Sunday excursion in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado, in 1919 leads to murder as intertwined lives play out a mystery on the Switzerland Trail railroad. Policeman Harry McBride must figure out who the murderer is before the train reaches the Boulder station on the return trip. This is now available in a print edition https://amzn.to/3hwHo76  as well as an earlier e-book edition.

In Court Trouble Mark Yeager’s friend is bludgeoned to death in the dark on a platform tennis court, Mark becomes an amateur sleuth to find which of the four suspects is the murderer. Avoiding attempts on his life, he must crack the case and figure out how to save the courts from being shut down by the city while waiting for doctor’s results on whether he is cancer-free after his bout with prostate cancer. This is now available in a print edition

Coronavirus Daze,https://amzn.to/2CE1uNF is now available in a print edition as well as an earlier e-book edition. Tad, a middle school student in Southern California, must deal with the boredom of being stuck at home with his parents during the Coronavirus pandemic and has a life transforming experience when he makes an unexpected discovery. Readers may shed a tear and will certainly have some chuckles as Tad recounts his adventures in a time of chaos and uncertainty.





Thursday, July 23, 2020

Challenge of Publishers Going Out of Business



Over my writing career, I’ve had published seventeen books through six publishers. Of these publishers, five have discontinued my genre or gone out of business. The good news is that I have the rights back from all the books published by the defunct publishers. I’ve been in the process of republishing on my own these books. All are now available in e-book format and all but two in print format. I’ll be getting these last two print editions completed in the near future. I’ll highlight here the most recent book to be republished. It’s my non-fiction book, The Best Chicken Thief in All of Europe.

The Best Chicken Thief in All of Europe is the biography of a frontline soldier, fighting the Germans in World War II. Extraordinary are his experiences leading up to joining the army, his “kill or be killed” decisions in combat, the struggle to survive in a prisoner of war camp and the opportunity to meet Russians behind their lines at the beginning of the Cold War. On the night of New Years Eve 1944, Ed undertook the assignment of being a forward observer, only to be bombarded by the last German initiative on the Western Front, Operation North Wind. Throughout his life he continued to be a forward observer, connecting his experiences in the past with the unfolding future. His was not an easy life, struggling through the Depression years, losing 40% of his body weight while a prisoner, suffering what we now know as post-traumatic stress disorder, losing custody of his first son, but bouncing back from his traumas to have a successful second marriage and to run a profitable small business. His life was full of dichotomies: His early education at an anarchist school set the stage for his inquiring mind; even without completing college, he developed a wealth of knowledge about history though his avid reading; although he hated Germans, he became the greatest chicken thief in all of Europe to support four German refugees; and throughout his life, in spite of the stress and trauma, he retained an impish sense of humor. Get ready to laugh and cry as Ed’s life plays out in The Best Chicken Thief in All of Europe.

The Best Chicken Thief in All of Europe (ISBN 979-8667338550), is now available in print (https://amzn.to/2OM5gHw) and e-book (https://amzn.to/32yzRA9) editions.



Thursday, July 16, 2020

Life or Death Decisions



With many of us staying home these days, I’ve read and heard many comments about boredom. Fortunately, this hasn’t been a problem for me since we take care of our five-year-old grandson each weekday, and he keeps us hopping. My concern is the life and death decisions that we are faced with. There is always risk in our lives, but currently even the most innocuous events pose risk. My one essential outing in public each week is masking up to go to the grocery store. I don’t take this event casually as I once did. Should I keep routine doctor’s appointments or not? What about getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist? Should our grandson return to preschool and then go on to kindergarten in September? All these normal decision now how a life or death implication that I have never experienced previously. These are trying times, and we all need to follow the basic safety steps of wearing masks, social distancing and maintaining sanitary standards. Stay healthy.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Uncertainty in Uncertain Times


So many things remain uncertain at this time. Will schools reopen and if so how will safety be managed? Will people take serious the need to wear masks and social distance? How can we balance the economy with the protection of our population? We need leadership from the top of government on down, but unfortunately we have a fractured system with lack of national leadership and too many conflicting statements being made. I fear that the pandemic will only get worse. Having recently been tested for COVID-19, I feel fortunate that the test came back negative. But that’s a snapshot in time. Given the number of people who are not taking precautions, I could have been infected the day after I took the test. There are no guarantees, and it’s not possible to eliminate all risk. We still need to take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Difficulty in Getting COVID-19 Testing

I live in a state that supports COVID-19 testing, yet I found it very difficult to get a testing appointment last week. Here’s the situation. Four of us were exposed to someone who tested positive. I went online to schedule a test and after trying over twenty-five locations that had no appointments available, my primary care physician’s office came through with an appointment. Unfortunately, there was no way for the four of us to be tested at the same time. I can understand that appointments have become more difficult because of the recent spike in cases, but it was disconcerting at how difficult it was to navigate through the system. The good news is that the test went quickly and painlessly. My son who lives in another state got tested recently before surgery and had to suffer through a long probe up his nostril. Mine was a short swab that I rubbed in both nostrils. The whole process of waiting in my car and getting tested took less time than driving to the site and back. The test results aren’t in yet, so I am awaiting the outcome.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Author Events in Limbo

I was scheduled for a number of author events in April, but these were all cancelled. My last in-person contact with readers was the one day at the Left Coast Crime Conference in March before the remaining days were cancelled. I also planned to go to Bouchercon this fall, but it is now a virtual event. Men of Mystery in November in Long Beach, CA, is the only event still on my calendar, and I haven’t heard if it will take place or not. Usually, I have a number of speaking engagements scheduled with libraries, book groups and service organizations, but these are all on hold. We’ll have to see what is practical and when these types of events can be held again.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Lessons Learned With a Four-Year-Old

I continue to enjoy my time with our four year old grandson. We are learning together. One of the things that strikes me is that although he can’t go to school in person, go to the playground or play with his friends, he has handled himself amazingly well during the pandemic isolation. He gets enthusiastic about so many different topics. In addition to planets, dinosaurs, trucks and blocks, he has become interested in flowers. Each weekday when he comes over to our house, he asks to go on a tour of the flowers in our yard. Whenever he spots a new rose bud, he shouts for me to come see it. There’s a tree growing in the planter in our backyard. We have no clue what it is, but it’s tall and skinny. Our grandson calls it a palm tree and gets excited every day at how tall it’s growing. He’s an inspiration to me: his enthusiasm and his desire to soak up new learning.