Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

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 27, 2011

Island Light ... Memorial Day ... Snow Shoveling Hurts ...


Island Light (Katherine Towler) ... Nick (Alice’s son; Alice is the protagonist from the 1st of the trilogy, Snow Island) is back after his stint in Vietnam and his life off the island working as an engineer. Before he’d been drafted into the military, however, he was a kid in love with his teacher (Rachel--the protagonist from Evening Ferry--the second book in the trilogy). Using her better judgment at the time, she rebuffed his advances and tried to get him to defer the war for college instead. But Nick was too heartbroken and determined to stay and off to Vietnam he went. In Island Light he’s been back on Snow Island a while and he's involved with Rachel after all ... except she’s now married (to a guy I had been rooting for in Evening Ferry; perhaps explaining why I continue to root for my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills).

Things are complicated before you know it and there’s so much more the author hooks the reader with (for there are never just one or even two protagonists in her novels; there are several) and in Island Light, we also have an aging lesbian (once married) and her lover (who remains married) but her husband is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s ... and she had kids who may or may not know about her secret life ...

Another woman, somewhere in her thirties (who is a photographer determined to do a daily photographic journal while on Snow Island), is also a lesbian and the daughter of one the characters from the first novel. Her uncle (her mother’s twin brother) was just about to take care of Alice’s problem at the end of book one (Snow Island) when ... (no spoilers--don’t be cheap, buy the book or get it from a library) ... and now our 30 year old lesbian photographer may be thinking about men in Island Light; specifically, our Vietnam Vet (Nick) who is already involved in that affair with his former teacher (a married woman).

Enough intrigue? Well, aside from the intrigue, there’s history in abundance in Island Light that will leave you hoping for at least one more island tale (this one is set in the early 1990’s) ... the trilogy has spanned a lot of Americana and it is an engrossing adventure I’m still having discussions about with my wife. Aside from wanting more, these books will leave you wanting to discuss so much of what we all go through over the course of our short lives (whether we take them for granted or not).

These are works of art, amici ... absolutely wonderful reads.

Memorial Day (Harry Shannon) ... this one is Harry’s first venture into the PI world and it’s a quick, fun and very affordable Kindle read. Mick Callahan has led an interesting life; he’s been an actor, singer, Emmy-nominated songwriter and a counselor. He’s also a recovering alcoholic and a former TV psychologist. He’s almost been a Navy SEAL ... and has come back home (to Dry Wells, Nevada) to host a radio talk show. Bodies start surfacing, one while he’s taking a run and another the following day (but that one is someone who called his radio show) ... he owes a sheriff a favor but he’s also still got a heart and decides to investigate ... no spoilers here, except to say it’ll be a fun read start to finish.

All this snow ... oy vey, can an old fat guy do any more damage to his pathetic self than shoveling snow at 4:00 o’clock in the morning? The verdict is still out, but after feeling the pressure to get to work of late, I was up extra early trying to beat mother nature ... except there’s no beating that broad. First, the plows reburied me ... then the Staten Island trains and buses were suspended (I smell conspiracy) ... then I sat around waiting to hear if Staten Island was a go again and the back stiffened up like I’d just shoveled snow for two hours.

I literally Googled “fat guy with back pain” for the above picture.

Then I took a muscle relaxant and saw pretty things with what the boss (wife) described as “a big dopey smile” on my fat face. It could be I was seeing her beautiful freckles, her gorgeous blue eyes ... or, let’s face it, a gigantic pot of beef stew.

Oy vey ... now it’s 10:00 a.m. and I’m hoping the last of the pills will put me back under so I can recover some of my back muscle movement before I get try this again tomorrow morning.

Wish we could do this again ... and with this broad, I'd do it another dozen times, no problem.