I haven't blogged for awhile because I've been busy working on my fifth novel, Stop and Frisk. For anyone interested in a sneak preview of my latest story, I would like to share the "pitch" with you. At the rate I am going, this one will not see the light of day until Summer 2015, but hopefully it will be worth the wait!

"Thirty-five year old Paulie Beckwith lost his only remaining family when his brother, Lloyd (a promising young pharmacist) was senselessly gunned down in his prime. Raised in foster care after their mother’s death and father’s incarceration, Paulie isn’t expecting any answers from police—they still haven’t made an arrest two years after Lloyd’s fatal shooting in an alleged robbery-gone-wrong.

Following a stint of heavy drinking and prolonged unemployment, Paulie lands a bouncer job at Insanidad, a roadside strip joint where Lena, his Colombian ex-girlfriend (and love of his life) works as bartender and manager. Six nights per week, he protects pole dancers, breaks up brawls, and pats down the farm workers and drug dealers who patronize this “gentlemen’s club” in the heart of Modesto, California—a town best known for its meth labs and car thefts.

But Paulie’s a peacekeeper with no peace. Grief-stricken by day, Paulie leads a hardscrabble life on rural land he inherited in the middle of nowhere. When not feuding with his lonely neighbor up the road—a gun-loving retired paralegal who believes she’s being haunted by spirits—he talks to his brother’s ashes in the run-down camper where he dwells. Mistrustful by night, Paulie tries to talk Lena out of marrying Hernán, the slick criminal lawyer nearly 30 years her senior whom he instinctively but unaccountably detests. Paulie yearns to declare himself and stop their wedding, but Lena’s ready to settle down—and tired of being “friends with benefits” to a man who’s mired in sorrow, unwilling to commit, and seemingly content “frisking” his favorite exotic dancer. Only when he receives an unexpected visit from Lloyd’s former boss can Paulie begin to face the truth about his brother and untangle the web of deceit linking two seemingly-unrelated but equally vexing characters in his life."

For the many quirky and colorful tales of dance club life that will give this story its realistic texture, I owe special thanks to my Goodreads buddy Ashley, as well as to my brother-the-bouncer (another “regular guy” who, like Paulie, is trying to cope with loss, longing, and loneliness—while keeping groping male hands at bay).