a weblog for readers and writers

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The new printed issue of Loch Raven Review

Loch Raven Review has published my latest fiction in their sixteenth annual edition, along with such authors as Shannon Cuthbert, Johanna DeMay, Marc Alan Di Martino and others.

Loch Raven Review seeks to showcase the works of new and experienced authors side by side who present a unique voice to the world.

The print edition is available here:


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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Travel Story That Inspired A Novel


Back in 2014, my daughter and I went on a travel adventure throughout China that took us from Beijing to Shanghai, Xi’an, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. We saw everything from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square to The Terracotta Warriors and West Lake.

With the help of daily note-taking and journaling from Nicole, I wrote a travel story that detailed the weeks we spent in China. Smaller nuggets rewritten from that longer story have appeared in places like Baltimore Style Magazine, Go World Travel, and Go Nomad. Now, inTravel Magazine is publishing the entire travelogue in a series.

Enjoy “Fortunate Cookies: A Father-Daughter Adventure Through China, Part 1: Beijing and the Great Wall” in inTravel Magazine at the link below.




Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Latest Novel is a Literary Thriller: The Color of Jadeite


Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press published my latest novel in October 2020. The Color of Jadeite is a literary thriller full of intrigue, romance, treacherous villains, alluring clues, narrow escapes, and surprises around every corner. The novel has been described by early readers as “a tight, taut, terrific thriller” (Steve Berry, author of 19 New York Times bestselling thrillers) and “as tense, romantic, and obsessed as the great noir thrillers” (Jacquelyn Mitchard, Deep End of the Ocean).

Clive Allen, a suave private eye, ventures throughout China in search of an ancient jadeite tablet from the Ming dynasty. Along the way, he delves into the mysteries of China’s art, history, and culture.

Every bit as captivating as the treasure Clive seeks is the mysterious Wei Wei, an expert on Chinese artifacts who helps the droll detective navigate the most perilous pockets of Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and beyond.

With sidekicks Salvador and Mackenzie, Clive sets out to find the priceless artifact, outwitting their rivals at almost every turn. But between the fistfights and rickshaw chases, gunfights and betrayals, Clive’s deep connection with the treasure he seeks and his romance with Wei Wei force him to confront truths about his past and himself.

Find out why it’s been called “The Maltese Falcon on high octane” (Jerry Holt) and “a clever, witty, captivating read” (Toby Devens) by reading the adventure for yourself. It’s available on Amazon and from other booksellers as a hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook.



Saturday, September 11, 2021

My September 11 Story

It is hard to believe that the tragedy of 9/11 took place 20 years ago. 

One of the first stories I wrote for Tracks: A Novel in Stories was "Freedom." 

I consider it my 9/11 story.

Here is an abridged version of my 9/11 story as featured on WYPR. (The full story, as published in TRACKS, delves deeper into Joe's conflicts with that tragic day, with the war, and with his relationships.)


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Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Tom Wolfe & Me

The book-signing line for Tom Wolfe at the National Book Festival was so long that I had to leave it before getting anywhere close to the man in white (in order to make John Irving's presentation).

Later in the day, it was Tom Wolf's turn to speak beneath a tent. Again, it was so crowded that the closest I could get was five rows away.

It was later, as I walked along the national mall green, that I just happened to run into him. Wolf was hard to miss in his white suit and shoes. He began a live interview on C-Span's Book TV. I stood, watched, and listened. A crowd collected, but this time I remained in front.

After the interview, my A Man in Full was in full view. Before the "guards" could whisk him away, he had my book and pen.

I now have a pen Tom Wolfe used to write with. And a signed book to boot.

Knowing their rivalry, I asked him, "Are you and John Irving going out for drinks after this?"

He looked at me with a big smile. "The literary world we live in ..."

Find out more about Tom Wolfe and his writing at his Wiki page.



Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Breaking: Dangerous Animals Released into Community

Setting the Family Free was published by Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press in 2019.

Who tells the story about a private preserve of exotic pets released into a rural community?

The loner who collects unusual things. The private reserve of exotic pets released into a rural Ohio community. The estranged wife who loves the animals like family. The caretaker who knows the beasts are dangerous. The Sheriff and his team of experts who must hunt the creatures down. The animal advocate who winces at the spectacle. The celebrity zookeeper who knows what must be done.

And what have others said about Setting the Family Free? Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz called it “a supremely moving novel by turns ferocious and tender and funny from beginning to end. And Jacquelyn Mitchard, Oprah’s first book club pick with The Deep End of the Ocean, called Setting the Family Free “a generous, boisterous, surprising read, like a tiger in your back yard.”    

This story expands through the innovative use of multiple narratives, news broadcasts, newspaper articles, press conferences, political tapes, and quotes from experts, eyewitnesses, and those closest to the unfolding events. Who are the heroes; who are the victims? Who gets to decide?

You do, by reading the book for yourself. It’s available on Amazon and at other booksellers as a hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook.