Coming Soon: “Mary’s Fate,” Book 3 in the Rick Crane Noir Series

Here’s an excerpt from “Mary’s Fate,” the third book in my Rick Crane Noir series, due out in just a few days from Stay Thirsty Press.

Mary's FateThat’s when I stepped out of the men’s room and pulled my .45 out of the holster on my hip. Looking back toward the bar to make sure no one else was coming up the hallway that leads to the bathrooms, I reached into the inside pocket of my sports jacket and pulled out the silencer and screwed it onto the end of the barrel. Then I walked out the back door, and into the parking lot behind the bar.

Down on one knee up against the red brick building right under the men’s room window, trying to catch his breath, was Eddie Schorr, a low-level drug dealer who sold weed and a little crank – biker speed – in the bars around town. Towering over him were three humongous white dudes who could have been linebackers for the New York Giants. But they were Scorpions, an outlaw biker gang out of Syracuse easily recognizable by their black jeans, black t-shirts, and black leather cuts with their club logo on the back. All three of them had full beards and arms the size of tree trunks full of jailhouse tattoos. One guy had the club logo tattooed on his neck.   

I’d been careful to open the screen door slowly so that it didn’t creak. Once clear of the doorway, I let it go. The loud thwap quickly alerted everyone to my presence.

Two of the Scorpions turned toward me and went for their guns, but I had the jump on them. I fired two quick rounds into each – double taps to the chest. The muffled tunk-tunk of the silenced .45 bounced softly off the back of the building and then out into the parking lot, where it was absorbed by a dozen cars. I doubt anyone walking by out front heard a thing.

The third guy never pulled his gun but dashed around the side of the building the instant he saw me. He was almost to the front of the bar when I came around the corner in back, got down on one knee, steadied my aim, and fired.

I think I hit him in the leg. He stumbled for a few steps before regaining his momentum and disappearing around the corner of the bar.

And that’s how I ended up in the back parking lot of the Marconi Lodge on a muggy August evening, staring down at two dead thugs I’d just dropped like a bad habit beneath the soft purple glow of the bug zapper that hung above the screen door.

Get caught up on the adventures of Upstate New York’s favorite private eye in the first two books, “Cooper’s Daughter” and “Jimmy’s Nephew,” both available on Amazon.

Nice Nod for the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation

In addition to being a great publisher, a valuable resource, and a fantastic mentor, my publisher Dusty Sang at Stay Thirsty Press is also a decent guy (hard to say, sometimes, in this business).

His son, Ryan, suffered from Bipolar Disorder and eventually overdosed after going off his medication. Dusty has dedicated Stay Thirsty to Ryan because, despite his illness, Ryan was always hungry for life, for new adventures, and bigger challenges. That’s what Dusty looks for in his authors, thus the name “Stay Thirsty.”

Dusty also spends a considerable amount of time on the foundation he named after his son. The group got a nice nod, recently, from People magazine and an interview with Mariel Hemingway, whose own family has a history with depression.

RibbonBiPolarVery few people who have bipolar are diagnosed early on. It can take years. The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation funds research to find a biological test to determine whether someone is bipolar. An early diagnosis can save years of pain. When a mood disorder is misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, you may think you have a horribly rebellious child, but they are often suffering. They may also try to self-medicate. If you can figure out what someone is suffering from early on, it would help so many families. Then you can figure out the right medication and a healthy lifestyle and hopefully save a life.

In the interview, Hemingway is wearing the foundation’s Bipolar Awareness pin.

Good job, Dusty.

Stay Thirsty Interview with NYPD Super Cop Ralph Friedman


There’s a great interview in the Summer quarterly of Stay Thirsty Publishing, who also puts out my Rick Crane Noir novels.

It’s with NYPD Super Cop Ralph Friedman. Here’s an excerpt, asking Friedman, one of the NYPD’s most decorated officers, how he decided to join the force:

I was out on a Friday night with two friends and as we were going home I asked what they were doing tomorrow and they said they were taking the police exam (it was a walk-in test in the 60’s). I said, “Knock on my door, if I get up, I’ll go with you.” I took the test the next day and after the test I was thinking that being a cop would be a good job: I could move up without college, plus I’d be working in the street, not confined to an office, which I could never do, and it seemed like it would be an adventure. My parents really wanted me to go to college. Before I got the moving job, my father tried to bribe me to go to college by getting me my dream car (’67 Pontiac GTO), which he couldn’t really afford but he had to take a loan or whatever to get it. My parents also felt police work wasn’t really for Jews. We had no friends or family that were police officers. I would be the first, but my brother would follow four years later.

Read the whole thing. It’s great. From Steven Jay Griffel, the author of four Stay Thirsty novels, including The Deadline and Forty Years Later

Check it out..