Thursday, August 20, 2009

Murder on Camac is here!

My new book: Murder on Camac, published by Lethe Press is available now.

In Philly visit Giovanni's Room where they will have copies on hand.

Murder on Camac

Gunned down in the street, author Helmut Brandt’s life ebbs away and puts a chain of events in motion placing P.I. Marco Fontana on a collision course with Church and community.

Brandt’s research into the decades old death of Pope John Paul the First made him serious enemies within the Catholic Church. As Fontana digs into the case, he finds Brandt also had rivals in his work and in his love life. Rivals with motives for murder.

Dueling with the Catholic hierarchy and combing through seedy gay hangouts, Fontana encounters dangerous characters and powerful forces intent on stopping him.

When Fontana himself is attacked, he knows he must find answers before any more lives are lost. The web of intrigue and deceit is intricate, tangled, and deadly.

Will the solution uncover a decades old plot to kill a pope or will Fontana find that jealous rage or academic rivalry caused Brandt’s death? The only thing Fontana can be certain of is that Brandt's enemies have killed once and won't hesitate to murder a private eye who gets too close to the truth.

Fontana deftly balances his work as a P.I. with his position as owner of StripGuyz, a troupe of male strippers; he must also negotiate the intricacies of love and relationships which he has been avoiding all too long.

Along with Anton and Luke, Olga his secretary, a host of male strippers, and other denizens of his world, Fontana manages to navigate his way to a surprising conclusion.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

FOXX is a Bigot

See, Rep. Virginia Foxx from North Carolina is a perfect example of why the Republican Party finds itself in the declining position it's in.

During the debate on the bill to extend coverage of the US Hate Crimes statutes, Ms. Foxx said that the idea that Matthew Shepherd was murdered because he was gay was a hoax. A hoax!

And now she's in hiding, ducking the press and voters, refusing to explain her idiotic statement. And she certainly doesn't want to apologize for it -- although she issued one of the more lame apologies; said her office in a statement:

“The term ‘hoax’ was a poor choice of words used in the discussion of the hate-crimes bill. Mr. Shepard’s death was nothing less than a tragedy, and those responsible for his death certainly deserved the punishment they received.”

Is that some apology or what?

And why does this otherwise tough-talking, filled-with-bravado woman refuse to deliver her statement in person? She certainly wasn't ashamed to make her original statement in person on the floor of the House.

This is why Republicans have garnered the hateful reputation they have -- if they'd stick to their financial issues, their less spending, smaller government talk, they might have a bigger following.

But they also embrace the Hate -- and do they hate. Anything that comes down the pike that might get them a few votes from haters such as themselves. But that isn't any longer a large group of people.

And neither are Republicans.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Battlestar Galactica

Watched the series finale of Battlestar Galactica Friday night and it was mostly wonderful. I say mostly because there were some flaws but not serious ones. With one exception.

Why didn't Gaius Baltar, that sleazy, traitorous, slimeball get what was coming to him? Why wasn't he shattered like the rotten-to-the-core creep that he was? On the other hand, I've come to think that maybe Baltar is the personification of evil -- oily, destructive, and without a good intention in his being. And there he is at the end, ready to destroy all that humans have built, again. ANd just like evil, he's there and never leaves. Stilll, I'd like to have seen him get his.

Jennifer Godwin of E! Online says of Baltar and Caprica Six: "There was a sense that they worked in service of something else—you could say a higher power or you could say another power—that was guiding and helping, sometimes obstructing, sometimes tempting the mortal people in the show. The idea at the very end was whatever they are in service of continues and is eternal and is always around. And they too are still around, and they too are still here with us, with all of us who are the children of Hera, and in one way, shape or form they continue to walk among us and watch, and at some point they may or may not intercede at a key moment."

I have to agree that there was this sense that they are the good and evil that Baltar spoke of as coming from within us. I have always felt that evil, not necessarily good, is a human creation. The Devil is the self we fear, the self that does the unthinkable, the self we want to expunge but can never seem to get rid of entirely.

Maybe that's why they allowed the slimy Baltar to go on -- he's not him, he's just the personification of a concept. A concept that lives in each one of us and that we'd rather not think about.

But, on the whole, I enjoyed it. It was a triumphal, joyous ending -- upbeat in many ways, sad in others, philosophically complicated and simple at the same time -- as was the show during all of its run.

I liked the musical touch near the end of the echo of the theme from the original BSG as the fleet finds earth and settles in.

I didn't like the phoney hooey about Hera being the mitochondrial Eve (and didn't they find other mitochondrial ancestors -- there wasn't just one Eve. How could there be? Or, maybe that explains the monumental stupidity endemic in the human race.)

BSG ranks up there with Babylon 5 as one of the very best science fiction television shows ever. The writing, the story arc, the characters -- both BSG and B5 have all of that and all done well.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Favorite Quote of the Moment

Oh, I don't know why, maybe it's the AIG in the air, and all the official protestations. This quote is particularly appealing right about now:

Rick : How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
[aloud] Everybody out at once!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Florida Again

I miss the sunny warmth of Ft. Lauderdale.

When Jason and I left, the temps were high, the sun was blazing, and the pool was invitingly blue. It was difficult to tear ourselves away from the company and the surroundings but it was, alas, just a vacation. Reality was beckoning. In fact it was kind of standing on the sidelines wildly waving its hands and shouting that it was time we got back on track.

So, we placed our bags in the rental car, turned in our keys, and got on the road.

We noticed a difference in the road as we accelerated toward A1A but after a while, I suspected something was wrong. Like a flat tire.

We pulled over after a while, got out and saw that one of the front tires was indeed flat.

This could have been disastrous -- we had to catch a flight and we left enough time but not a huge block of time to return the car and get shuttled to the airport.

Visions of all the careful planning crumbling like a sandcastle floated by.

Jason saved the day. He changed the tire using the emergency tire in the trunk. He did it so quickly and efficiently that we made it to the flight with time to spare.

And Philly's weather tuned out to be cold but not the snow-filled, wintry mess that had been predicted.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I probably should have blogged every day while here in Florida but it's too easy to enjoy the sun and the pool. And the other guests at the Worthington/Alcazar guest house in Ft. Lauderdale make it even more appealing to laze by the pool and chat.

This town is getting to be the gayest city in the states -- from hot young men to busy retirees, Ft. Lauderdale has them all and in huge numbers. It's gratifying and makes it more appealing as a possible place to live.

Of course, the cost of living has to cooperate. But who couldn't get used to the tropical breezes and the warm caress of the sun. And the men...

Soon, it's back to reality and the cold of the North.