The Lazy Pug Café was a dilapidated old farmhouse abandoned years ago. A massive, ancient oak tree, Ol' Lightnin', lurked out back while the house itself served as a sad but charming reminder of days gone by. Locals were grateful someone was finally bringing the old girl back to life. Come meet pugs Daisy, Chandler and Joey! There are cats and humans, too, but it's all about the pugs! Pugs rule! Click Here For A Brief Audio
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As recently as a few months ago, the Lazy Pug Café was nothing but a dilapidated old two-story farmhouse. Set back forty yards from the road, there was a beautiful old weeping willow in front and massive ancient oak tree out back. Abandoned years ago, the estate's only purpose lately was to serve as a sad but charming reminder of days gone by. Locals witnessing its resurrection were grateful someone was finally bringing the old girl back to life.
Despite the storm moving in from the southwest, people came from far and wide to have a look-see at the renamed, repainted and refurbished Lazy Pug Café. Originally white with a red tin roof, faded to pink, the newly dubbed Lazy Pug Café was now soft yellow with white trim and a solid black roof. From a distance, the thin film solar panels on top were invisible.
Between the Café and road was a long, gravel horseshoe driveway. In the middle of that space now stood one of the Café owners, Kirk Winley. Just shy of six feet, with thick brown hair and a full beard, his farmer's tan made his blue eyes stand out more than they might have otherwise. He crossed his arms and soaked it all in with a deep, satisfied breath..
Beyond the Status Quo
Anti-corporate crusader Dobie Pokorny wants to save the world from oligarchs like Colonel Charonne. On his speaking-truth-to-power tour, he meets and falls in love with Kaylie while enduring attacks at every turn. They each think the other is out of their league, but there's a connection. Can they outrun Charonne and his minions? And, what's up with Semmy, the little blue alien? Click Here For A Brief Audio
REVIEW: "I can wholeheartedly say I have never read a book quite like this, at all. It's a zany tale with warm, wholehearted moments as well as satirical humor and a sharp bite. I loved witnessing the adventures of our flawed protagonist, Dobie, and his jaded but goodwilled heroine, Kaylie. Watching their love unfold amidst chaos was fulfilling, and I thought you weaved in the two characters' backstories into the central plot nicely." -- Caroline
REVIEW: "It's hard to describe, a concoction of fiction and genre that reminded me of Thomas Pynchon, Jennifer Egan, Richard Farina, Douglas Adams, and Donald Antrim. What they all have in common is a kind of manic, comic energy married to big ideas and serious intent. What I've read so far of Another Way gave me the same feeling, and I was really entertained. It's not easy to do what you're doing here: to make the absurdities, silliness, and tragedies of life into comedy. And, of course, the voice of Semmy [and his] wide-eyed interest in humanity, is both weird and real. I liked this a lot. Bravo!" -- Duncan
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Dobie Pokorny was on tour in support of his manifesto, Another Way: Beyond the Status Quo. He started in Tennessee, then north through Kentucky and Indiana before escaping an angry mob and veering southwest. After stops in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, things got weird in New Mexico.
His latest book was an anti-corporate diatribe born of a lifetime of people-watching and corporate jobs. He never had a career, per se. Just jobs. One after the other, never quite fitting in anywhere, never believing in the company he worked for.
The manifesto was something he did believe in, and spouting off for a living would be his career from now on, despite those who did not like his message or its messenger.
There were plenty who did, though, and word was spreading. Crowds were growing with each passing week. Well into his tour, he was filling up those previously half-empty hotel conference rooms, even the occasional small concert venue, as he shared his plans to save the world.
He was feeling good about things by the time he made it to New Mexico. Despite a rough start, he was doing exactly what he wanted: staying sober and saying what needed to be said. Selling more books online, in st.
Clay and his adopted daughter Jenna look forward to their upcoming "homeland tour" to Russia. His intentions are pure. Hers, not so much. When she goes missing, he goes looking, only to find she is not the innocent little girl he thought she was. Not even close. His only hope is to get her on the Last Train Out. Click Here For A Brief Audio
REVIEW: "Learned a lot about Russia!" -- Don
REVIEW: "Last Train Out is very fast-paced, with lots of twists and turns. The protagonist, Clay, uses a lot of self-deprecating humor. A fun read overall." -- Lucy
REVIEW: "I like to read stories set in places I haven't been before, and since this one was set in Russia, it fit the bill in that regard. The story is fast paced and well written, with a credible plot. The author injects a fair amount of humor into the story, even when the protagonist is in a terrible fix. I found it best to read in a few days, in order to keep all the characters straight." -- Greg
REVIEW: "I enjoyed this book very much. It kept me guessing. My friend is reading it now and she says she likes it too." -- Jeannie
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Zenya was just two-and-a-half when two very strange people came to visit her orphanage. They talked funny, she thought, as if almost able to speak properly, but with such horrible accents it was difficult to understand them. She assumed they were stupid. Gloopy, in Russian. They were there to see her, though – just her! – so she let it go.
She was devastated when they stopped coming after one week. It was not fair! They had been coming every day, and she had bows in her hair and wore a pretty dress every time! She thought they were The Ones! Guess not.
After a couple months – forever at that age – the memory of her visitors faded as that infamous Russian winter approached and she blended back into daily life at Dome Rebyenka (Baby Home) No. 1 on the outskirts of town. Someday, she knew, she would have her very own grown-ups to take care of her. She just knew it! They needed to hurry up, though.
Sure enough, one day as she and a dozen other children sat in kid-sized chairs along the back wall, those same two wonderful strangers reappeared.
Smiles all around lit up the playroom. Zenya's exuberance then collapsed into a withering pout as she remembered the abandonm.
A beautiful young black ops agent on her first assignment tries to turn a complete stranger into an asset, just to prove she can. When he loses both his job and girlfriend, she thinks he's putty in her hands. When he decides to go out with a bang, she's afraid she's overplayed it. Click Here For A Brief Audio
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Riva's gray eyes reach out and grab anyone careless enough to look directly at her. Her flawless skin glows in contrast to her long black hair.
She knows the effect she has on men and is not afraid to use it... most days. Not today. Her hair is a tangled mess, eyes bloodshot, skin a sickly pallor from whatever ailment has befallen her as she holes up in a 4-star high-rise hotel on LA's west side. She hates waiting on anyone or anything, but is now awaiting the arrival of her boss and mentor, Serge. The fact that she might be coming down with something only makes it worse.
She is in the downward-facing dog position, doing her evening yoga, when she gets the feeling she is not alone. Someone is in the room with her.
She ends the session with namasté, picks up the small-caliber pistol always within reach, and digs into her purse for a device given to her at training. The thing magically detects electronic bugs and heat signatures, all in one. She is not typically impressed with gadgets but has to admit this thing is pretty cool.
"There you are," she coos when she finds what might be mistaken for a cell phone. Clipping it to her waistband to leave her left h.
For most people, winning $300 million in the lottery would be enough. They would retire, buy a big house and travel the world. Not Benny. He took the money and ran... for president. The house he had in mind was the White House. He didn't want to travel the world so much as save it from politicians. Retire? "I'll retire when I'm dead!" he said, not knowing so many people had that exact retirement plan in mind for him. Click Here For A Brief Audio
REVIEW: "A humorous, sarcastic and irreverent short story about an improbable candidate for the presidency of the United States. Rather bizarre ending." -- Larry
REVIEW: "This is a quick read, and it's amusing enough to capture your interest. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to while away a half-hour." -- anonymous
REVIEW: "I seriously loved this book. I read it about 2 years ago, I think. There was one part that was so funny, at least to me on that day, I could not stop laughing. I completely lost it. My daughter actually caught that on her iPod and I think the author was able to use it somehow to promote it. Now I am about to read the author's next book, 'Last Train Out.' It's been sitting patiently on my shelf while I finally finished another book." -- Doug
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Benny sat alone by the door in a recently opened Asian restaurant. The laminated menu offered Mongolian, Chinese and Japanese dishes, with each written in its native language. He had to flip it over for the English version on the back.
He was taking his therapist's advice, "throwing caution to the wind" and "letting the chips fall where they may." A sex therapist branching out to grief counseling, she was all about the clichés.
Several months earlier, she suggested he get out more. Try new things. "Socialize! Experiment! eXult!" she quoted the tag line on her business card.
The "exult" line made him laugh, but he had to agree with the "get out more often" part. It had been a year and a half since the accident, and he was becoming a hermit.
Now, he was reconnecting with the world, getting out and going to restaurants with indecipherable menus. When the fortune cookie arrived, he cracked it open. One side of the paper displayed his lucky numbers. The other side said, "You will be a great leader someday."
"Ha!" he said to no one. "Who writes these things, my therapist?" A young.
Long before winning the lottery and running for president, Benny was living in L.A. working as a word processing temp. He thought his latest assignment was just another gig, never anticipating Venelia and the Dynamos. The what? Click Here For A Brief Audio
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Benny was on the elevator of a building he'd never been in before. It was climbing fast. Too fast. "It didn't stop on those floors," he said, looking at the still-lit numbers as it sped upward.
When no one replied, he looked to see if anyone heard him. Apparently not.
To his right stood an attractive blonde woman, thirtyish, in a blue blazer, matching skirt and white silk blouse. Seeing the crazed look in his eyes, she turned away and clutched her purse with both hands.
To his left stood a young couple. The woman's long black hair hung down over most of her face. She seemed intent on avoiding eye contact. Her heavily-muscled friend met Benny's gaze with a silent glare.
Benny returned his attention to the elevator control panel. He was the only one concerned or even aware the elevator was not stopping on their floors. What is with these people? he thought. He hadn't pushed all those buttons. Didn't they?
The elevator continued upward with increasing speed. A knot formed in the pit of his stomach. It's going too fast! They were just a few floors below Benny's, and the knot in his stomach cinched tighter and tighter.Get it here.