Latest News:
April 29, 2017: Website updated and revised.
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The “OH S@#T!” Face Cleaned Up For General Public Consumption

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I really can’t say that I blame the poor fellow. After all, we do live in troubled times. An image for these times.

Going A Bit Picasso

Avignon097Avignon2Now pretend you’re at the optometrist’s and decide:  which image is sharper, the one on the left or the one on the right?

Broken Columns, Empty Maxims

Columns

The background is a very nicely preserved and restored ancient temple on the southern coast of Spain. The foreground are the products of a Continuing Legal Education class.

Andy The Anxious Alligator

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Failed pilot for a ’60’s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series about a neurotic alligator with an eating disorder. Notable for use of live action/animated filming with disturbingly realistic scenes of people being eaten alive.

Aleister Crowley Portrait

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Prae Templo Athenae Urbei Nashis Fui

I may not be classy, but I am classical.

I may not be classy, but I am classical.

“Two Friars Came To Montestregae” Now Out In Dark Fire Fiction

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Attentive readers may recall my last entry celebrated finishing a new novel, City Of Witches. Lo and behold, this must have generated some good karma. Two Friars Came To Montestregae has apppeared in Dark Fire Fiction, a British online horror magazine. Two Friars is the first chapter of City adopted to short story form.  This is an encouraging sign and hopefully augurs well for finding an agent for the novel, once the rewrite’s done. Of course, the rewrite in itself is a major hurdle, but nowhere near as bad as getting that first draft down. Dark Fire is a fine publishing credit. I’m especially pleased by this since it’s in the UK where I’ve had some luck getting several stories placed there over the years. Thanks once more to Editors Karonda Barker and Dr. Jones for accepting the story.

It’s free to read and too short to claim TL;DR so you have absolutely no excuse not to click the link and find out what happens to a randy monk who sticks his junk where it doesn’t belong:

http://darkfire.epizy.com/fiction_Mellon0718.html

http://darkfire.epizy.com/index.html

Novel News – “City Of Witches” Finished

After three years, to my amazement, I finished the damn thing.

After three years, to my amazement, I finished the damn thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bell Of The Clan” Now Out In The Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly

Middle America's Pagan Magazine

Middle America’s Pagan Magazine

The Oklahoma Pagan Quarterly is a magazine dedicated to folk religion, spirituality, and paganism of all paths and stripes. My story, Bell Of the Clan, appears in their second Summer issue (Litha and Lugnhasadh).

I’m especially pleased for two reasons. This story is a reprint and I know that magazines rarely accept previously published material. Secondly, the plot is based very loosely on my own family history, pertaining to the O’Mullan Clan of what’s now County Tyrone and their important role as the keepers (maers) of the Bell of St. Patrick’s Will.

This story was a labor of love, like many others, but particularly dear to me as a romantic love letter to Ireland, a land I’ve never seen.  I appreciate all my publishing credits, but this one is a real accolade. A big Southwestern thanks to the Chief Editor, Belwoeth Harbright, and all the other folks, contributors and staff alike, that help publish the OPQ.

https://www.amazon.com/Oklahoma-Pagan-Quarterly-Summer-2018/dp/1720524297/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530147016&sr=8-2&keywords=oklahoma+pagan+quarterly

https://oklahomapaganquarterly.com/

 

 

Book Review – “Greeks Bearing Gifts”

Kerr NovelI’ve been a big fan of Bernie Gunther ever since I read the March Violets trilogy in the early ’90’s. Kerr’s insight, to transfer the techniques and plots tropes of ’40’s film noir to the context of Nazi Germany, worked well to generate dramatic tension and an overwhelming atmosphere of danger, corruption, and doom. Bernie Gunther, Kerr’s protagonist, the ex-Kripo homicide inspector, is a solid, believable character, basically decent but compelled by fate to work with the worst, a survivor who still can’t quench his cop’s instinct to find the guilty man, regardless of the cost.

Kerr has also performed the remarkable feat of sustaining interest as the series continues. Many fictional detectives peter out as series go on and authors run out of steam and invention. There’s also the fact that the reader always knows that Gunther will survive since he’s the narrator. Yet Kerr still provides taut, suspenseful stories. This is quite an achievement. The Lady From Zagreb is a good, recent example of this.

Unfortunately, Greeks Bearing Gifts doesn’t quite meet this admittedly high standard. This is unfortunate since I’d looked forward to reading the novel for some months beforehand. It had the plus of being located mostly in Greece, one of my favorite places in the world. So you can say I read the book predisposed to be pleased.

While it was a pretty typical entry in the series, I didn’t experience the suspense the other novels succeeded in generating. Without trying to give away any spoilers, the plot followed the standard arc for a Bernie Gunther novel. Living undercover as an insurance adjuster in Munich, he’s sent to Athens where he’s quickly embroiled in intrigue involving Nazi profiteers, Israeli vengeance squads, and gold stolen from the Jews of Thessalonika. Add in, of course, the standard Gunther love interest, this time a righteously stacked Greek babe who conveniently speaks fluent German.  (A notable point of the Gunther novels is the fact that this this middle-aged, beat to hell guy who’s always on the lam and short of funds still manages to bag more sex than James Bond.)

Despite these colorful plot elements, it never seemed Gunther was in any serious danger during the novel’s course. There was violence and vivid depictions of bad characters doing horrible things, but I never got the sense of Bernie with his back against the wall I got from the other novels, locked in some sort of horrible dilemma, moral or otherwise, with no choices left but bad ones. Part of this stemmed from the fact that the principal villain in the piece, a particularly odious, vicious, real life Nazi named Alois Brunner, only appears in passing without posing any real threat to Gunther. I’ll also note that Kerr does a good job illustrating how eager supposed anti-Nazis like Konrad Adenauer were to rehabilitate Nazis and welcome them back into German society. Hopefully, this novel is just an off effort rather than the beginning of a decline.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes the Bernie Gunther series or interested in European WWII and post WWII history or just looking for a good summer read.

https://www.amazon.com/Greeks-Bearing-Gifts-Bernie-Gunther/dp/039917706X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529544131&sr=8-1&keywords=greeks+bearing+gifts