Bypassing the horrendous news cycle this late-afternoon Friday here in California’s Central Valley, I’ve instead punched-out another pleading overture to please buy my novel, “Brown-Eyed Girl With A Cold Corona,” and help an old guy who’s always dreamed of being a novelist.
Actually, I’m already a novelist (‘Corona‘ was published in March of last year by Outskirts Press), just not a book-seller type novelist.
Not since the Time Travelers Wife has a story tugged at my heart, f*** with my head, and left me so chilled, haunted and thoroughly impressed. A vivid, romantic and ultimately chilling debut, I sincerely hope this author doesn’t stop here. A new, genre bending talent has been unleashed and I personally can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
I usually toss out this request every month or so — my last one here.
The original first draft was written in the summer of 1994 and then edited into a cardboard box where it slept for nearly 20 years. After a series of events, finally published last year. I’m terrible at self-promotion and the sales have been dismal. An amateur at the public trough.
Storyline from the Amazon page:
Spring break mid-1990s in a small California beach town. A middle-aged man suffering a ‘mid-life crisis’ meets a young woman while out barhopping with a friend, and in less time than it takes for a few strokes of a Corona bottle, she creates an emotional whirlpool that will threaten his sanity. Yet will eventually lead to uncovering a murder.
Narrated in nearly-stream-of-consciousness by the man as he spends the next couple of days floating through a movable bubble of strange, but wondrous daydreams beyond his imagination, spiced by illusions of the young woman. Engulfed within those hallucinatory outings still churns the ‘crisis’ he is experiencing — divorce after a longtime marriage collapsed, then financial ruin, followed by guilt over not being there for his children, chaos made the worse by booze.
A mental state also intensified by his desire to creatively write again, dabbling even in poetry, a literary form he hadn’t messed with for near two decades. And also discovering he can cry too easily.
Instead of employment at a level with his age, his life’s work, and education, he’s chief night cook at a popular Italian pizzeria in Pismo Beach, an old, old guy compared to his way-youthful co-workers. However, he develops a knack for the phrase, ‘Yeah right,’ and the music of 4 Non Blondes.
Spring break at a pizza joint is beyond the concept of pandemonium, yet he handles the pressure, though, in a whining-like poise. Despite the restaurant getting slammed, and all the rush, disorder, and craziness that comes from it, the young woman makes two visionary visits, once playing out the scene at the bar — near-insane situations he conceals by playing dumb, which as it turns out, is quite easy.
Along with the cook’s job, he also occasionally prepares legal documents for his friend from the bar, a lawyer who’s reeling through a similar ‘crisis’ of divorce, and child guilt, who can’t seem to stay sober. In a short time, the two had developed an intense camaraderie of oddball misery — listening to their conversations one would think they were illiterate rednecks, cussing everything, and using the most-horrible grammar. Nonetheless, they’re ‘best buds,’ so in the words of the cook/writer’s 15-year-old daughter, with whom from time to time also shares a toke or two off a joint.
Two days following the meeting in the bar, and after a county courthouse visit to file a motion in a nasty divorce case, he encounters the young woman on the sidewalk, finds her to be much older in age, and too, carried a long-forgotten footnote tied to his distant past. A sensual trek through a seemingly hallucinogenic-like wormhole into a nostalgic neighborhood fabricated from a youthful, maybe more-secure time, generates an unraveling criminal scenario.
In like manner, he faces an abhorrent sacrifice in obtaining justice for that story.
A mystery is a mystery until it’s not. Visually written, “Brown-Eyed Girl With A Cold Corona” is a quick-paced exploration of life and love through the years, even beyond murder, with knowledge of the crime elucidated by the murder victim.
And it’s good if I say so myself. And I do. A first-person look at life in the mid-90s, upgraded into crazy.
The book’s back cover:
And to close out this brown-eyed girl thingie:
Bestselling author, or not, here we are once again…