Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

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Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SNHU MFA Graduate, Ted Flanagan … Lynn Kostoff … To Catch A Belicheat … In Cold Blood … 2 More SNHU MFA's victories ...

Ted Flanagan … from the mouth of Best Selling author, Edgar Awardnominee, and Ted’s mentor, Wiley Cash: “Ted Flanagan is one of the kindest and most genuine people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and this would be surprising after you've read his book, Night In The City Of The Hills, before you had the opportunity to know him. The book is a literary novel that combines the best of James Ellroy's noir cityscapes with the deterministic impulses of Frank Norris and Stephen Crane. The story of Thomas Archer, an EMT who's haunted by his past and threatened by those who embody it, is like the dirty, crooked city in which this novel is set: inescapable, pervasive, atmospheric. All of you know Ted as a good friend and a nice guy, and I look forward to the day when everyone knows him as a powerful and undeniably gifted novelist, which is exactly what he is.”
A little more about Ted … born and raised in Massachusetts, Ted grew up in a house filled with books and newspapers, and fell in love with reading and writing at a young age. After a couple aimless years in college, he dropped out and joined the Marine Corps, signing on the dotted line about 12 hours before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Ted missed the ensuing war (thankfully), but spent four years on active duty as a Recon Marine with 2nd Recon, and then three years in the Reserves as a Scout/Sniper. He eventually finished college, the latest in a long line of Flanagan English majors, worked for a few years as a newspaper reporter and then, because he was attracted to all those flashing lights, a paramedic. Ted has worked in urban 911, as a firefighter and flight paramedic on a helicopter service. All along, Ted says “he’s written thousands of pages that litter compost heaps to this day.” Attending SNHU was a declaration for him; he was going to take his work seriously, and to do that he figured he needed to be around others serious about writing. Ted says he loved every minute in the program. When not trying to write the Great American Novel, he spends most of his time with his wife, Jen, with whom he’s been blessed with three kids - Kevan, Brendan and Ainsleigh.
Listen to me, amici: Ted is th real deal. Nicest guy you’ll ever meet and a terrific writer. He’ll be part of our mounting hiking committee on Washington Mountain in June. About the only flaw in this man (at all) has to do with his football team of preference … the dreaded convicts from New England (a.k.a. Cheatriots/Choketriots/Deflatriots) … but we give him a pass and love Ted anyway.
I’ve read the start of his thesis/novel, Night In The City Of The Hills, and it’s terrific.
Congrats to Ted and the rest of the graduate class!
Lynn Kostoff … his latest brilliant novel was just acknowledged with a *STARRED* REVIEW from BOOKLIST. Apr 2015. 388 p. New Pulp, paperback, $15.95. Here’s the review: Kostoff’s knockout novel “works on several levels,” as reviewers like to say. It’s a straight-ahead story of a man attempting to do his job while tending to an autistic son and holding together his marriage to a fine woman who is cracking under the strain. Raymond Locke’s job is with a megabucks public-relations firm, which introduces the second level: in a profession that gleefully warps reality, even its smugly world-wise practitioners get sucked in. Locke’s firm represents a fast food king whose chicken put a little girl in a coma. The PR response goes beyond spin. Make the greedhead a victim of his suppliers. The environmentalist? Threaten to expose her bad-girl past. The incorruptible reporter? Try to buy him off with a book contract. The compounding of lies—or illusions—eventually creates an alternate reality, with actors and scripts, that threatens to fall of its own weight when Locke realizes he’s been outmaneuvered. It’s gunplay time. The author’s command of language and narrative keep this from dwelling on its own profundities. It’s a stunning read on any level you like. — Don Crinklaw
To Catch A BeliCHEAT … So, let me get this straight. Both teams bring 24 balls total each to the game (12 game balls and 12 backups) … the game balls are tested 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff … at the half, based on some prior accusations from 2 teams (Ravens and Colts themselves), the refs tested the balls at the half and found that all 12 Patriot balls were somewhat deflated (1 by less than the other 11 were over what the rules demand in the NFL rulebook) … all 12 Colts balls were fine and dandy (i.e., met the league requirements).
So, either 11 balls deflated on their own, which wouldn’t explain why the Colts balls didn’t do the same, and/or somebody let the air out of the Cheatriot footballs before the start of play (or just before the half—for the hell of it?).
Wow … to be clear, the accusation is that somebody on the Patriot sideline (or within their organization) cheated. It has NOTHING to do with the outcome of the game. It doesn’t not count as cheating because it was a blowout. It wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) count more if it was a close game. There are rules that were broken … by a team that has broken them in the past.
Lord knows Bills fans everywhere are enjoying this latest edition of To Catch A BeliCHEAT, but all the fun we’re having may quickly turn to more anger and frustration unless Robert Kraft’s best friend in the NFL office, Roger Goodell, (at the very least) suspends Coach Belicheat for (at the very least), one year … how about for not having control of what goes on under his leadership (see Goodell’s suspension of Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton).
It’s been a great couple of days for me (a Bills fan/Cheatriot hater), and although so many of the Cheatriot loyals continue to live in denial, it can only get better … because seriously, who will ever acknowledge their so-called “championships” ever again?
We at Temporary Knucksline say there’s way more that could and should be done … especially to a two-time loser like Belicheat. I wonder if anyone else has considered why, the week before, the Cheatriots only ran the ball 4 times (once in the second half) and were behind 14 points at two different points in the game? Let’s face it, they were probably deflating balls all season long … and once again, their hubris caught them by the short hairs.
It’s simple math to me: Cheatriots eliminated from the tournament forthwith; Cravens play the Coltless for the AFC Championship, and the Super Bowl is moved back one or two week(s). Going forward, Belicheat is gone for two years, and the team is fined $1,000,000.
What will most likely happen is anybody’s guess. Since Mr. Goodell couldn’t remove his head from Mr. Kraft’s ass and ate dinner AT HIS HOUSE the night before the Championship game, I guess we’ll have to swallow another Robert Mueller-like investigation (meaning a fugazi investigation). As of Thursday, the league hasn’t even bothered to interview either Belicheat or Shady Brady.  I mean, come on!
The bottom line is this: Whatever happens vs. the Sea Pigeons, it won’t make a difference. Once again, the Cheatriots lose all credibility. They never won a championship before Belicheat got there, and they haven’t won one since he was FIRST CAUGHT CHEATING in SPYGATE. DEFLATEGATE negates everything and anything moving forward. And let’s face it, the Wes Cravens or the Coltless should be playing the Sea Pigeons anyway.
And you gotta love what Hall of Fame Quarterback, Troy Aikman had to say about it: Essentially, Aikman said that Brady had to know and that Belicheat should burn. Personally, I'd rather see them both waterboarded ... but that's just me ... (smiley face).
Go Bills!
In Cold BloodTruman Capote’s 2nd biggest selling true crime book in publishing history. I first read this book when I was young. I revisited this one because of spotting Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Capote performance on cable last month. The scene in which Capote seemed to be frustrated by the stays of execution left me curious (was Capote really that fucked up?). I still don’t know for sure, but his account of the brutal murder of a Kansas farm family (the Clutters), was very difficult to put down. Capote broke the book into several sections, depicting the movements of both the killers and the murdered family members. Smart plotting, because once the killers strike, the reader is anxious to see them caught (and how they were caught).
On the other hand, according to a few sources, Parts of the book, including important details, differ from the real events.
Moving from non-fiction to fiction, and hawking it as true crime, detracts the credibility for this reader. And for that reason, TK says: It’s an interesting read, but apparently to be taken with a grain of salt.
The Ayatollah Freddie Blassie and the Iron Sheik … Come on, it’s funny … think Belicheat and Shady Brady ...