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All “Pitch My Book” Entries

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The Italian Daze: Notes from a Lost Traveler

This book is a hybrid text. In one sense, it is a collection of stories; but the protagonist is the same throughout and the stories appear in chronological order, so that the book is a kind of fragmented but coherent bildungsroman or romanzo di formazione, as readers watch the protagonist mature, learn from his mistakes, as his many experiences with friends, lovers and acquaintances help him grow in his understanding of Italian Americans, Italian, Italy, and life itself, especially in relation to his own ethnic and national identifications. By following the protagonist, readers may learn what he learns, but they can also keep distance enough to critique what he comes to understand and thereby achieve a richer understanding of themselves.
The protagonist in question is a Jewish American, originally designated almost Kafka-style as M but now renamed as Mel; we follow his Italian American and Italian-related experiences and connections in the course of his life from his early teens to his old age. The book opens with an introduction by a famous Italian critic, Alessandro Carrera. Then comes an invocation—a Jewish awakening to Italian foods, performers, and their like. The core is composed of four parts involving twelve texts, and then a double coda—all materials joining together to cover early loves, travels with an Italian American wife, and then subsequent Italian-American romances and encounters in Italy. With reflections on Jewish-Italian relations, and depictions of key Italian cities and towns, the book includes some of the paradoxes in Italian and Italian American life, as well as the author’s concerns with Italy’s Fascist period, the Holocaust, the mafia, afro-phobia, and recent turns of Italian politics. The text concludes with a double coda, portraying Mel and his three successive wives in a series of demonstrations political and otherwise, as well as a final fantasy of being old and virtually hapless in Rome.

Alternate Titles: Dazed: A Lost Traveler and his Italian Days (or Ways) Or: Lost: A Traveler’s Gaze at Italian Ways (or Days) Read more »

Deadwood_In_My_Blood_Cover_for_Kindlevol2

Deadwood In My Blood: Boone May, Gale Hill, Shotgun Messengers on the Deadwood Stage, and Their Historic Families

Volume 2 features U.S. Deputy Marshal Boone May, the most famous shotgun messenger working for the Deadwood Stage. He was the protector of Robbers’ Roost Station. He was the most feared lawman by road agents on the Deadwood Trail. Historians will be excited to learn about Deadwood’s most lethal gunslinger, Boone May, and his family connections to other historical Wild West icons, such as the legendary outlaw Jesse James, and legendary lawman U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves. The author gives first hand family accounts about Boone May and his family. I located a velvet photo album full of cabinet cards and tintypes in the loft of an old barn which are featured in the series. This story is about two pioneer families that produced half of the first “elite eight” guards employed to protect the Deadwood Stage in 1876. Shotgun messengers Gale Hill, Boone May, Jim May, and Bill May had been overlooked for more than a century, according to many historians familiar with early Deadwood. Boone May was undoubtedly the most active shotgun messengers employed by the Black Hills Stage and Express Company, during the height of the Gold Rush Read more »

Lines on the Border

Lines on the Border presents twenty short stories dealing with the life and evolution of the protagonist, Ben, a young and confused California-based Jewish American professor, through his interactions with a growing cast of friends, lovers, and family members on and beyond the San Diego-Tijuana border..
Part I, “First Crossings,” presents early visits and relations, mainly dealing with Ben’s troubled first marriage; Part II, “Love & Loss on the Border and Beyond,” mainly deals with Ben’s post-marital searches for love on both sides of the border and further south.
Part II, Two Farewells, deals with Ben’s parents and new Latino friends and the circumstances that cause him to leave the border area. Perfect for fiction lovers and those interested in border themes Read more »

Pam

Just Friends – The Ultimate Girl’s Guide to Male Friendships

Several studies show how the millennials of today are not just twice, but four times more likely to have many opposite sex friends than those from our parents’ generation. Opposite sex friendships are the new normal. We study together, take on the same jobs, play the same sports and do other stuff men do, now more than ever before. Opposite sex friendships, however, do not have a straightforward social ‘script’ and hence they can range from a simple companionship to the more complicated ‘friends with benefits’ relationship. Just Friends’ has been designed for women to enable them to initiate and sustain long-term, fun and meaningful friendships with men Read more »

Towns’ End

If he had never heard the unearthly voices or discovered the entrance to the cavern in Red Rock Canyon, Tony Miccelli might have been just another casualty when the alien ships arrived. After four days of crawling around looking for a treasure that never even existed he emerges only to find Las Vegas deserted except for some desiccated bodies, and every attempt to communicate with the authorities or his family were to no avail. Now anxious to reach his family back east he encounters other survivors on the way…and thus begins their quest for survival and the battles that ensue against an army of men gone crazy Read more »

Close Encounters of a Disordered Kind: Surviving and Thriving Amidst the Challenges of Alcoholism and Personality Disorders

This book presents the author’s upbringing with a narcissistic mother, and her lifetime of subsequent struggles and triumphs in chaotic interpersonal relationships, which were significantly influenced by alcoholism and challenging personality issues. The narrative takes a well-referenced dive into specific Cluster B personality disorders and their varying manifestations from a layperson’s point of view. The damaging effects of alcohol abuse on the author’s family are detailed, including possible fetal alcohol syndrome/effect, her oldest son’s sociopathy, her youngest son’s death, her daughter’s struggles with bipolar disorder—and her journey to understanding her disproportionate attraction to men who lacked conscience and empathy Read more »

Borderland Punk

Gussy Barthe is a teenager living in the middle of nowhere. It’s 1999, the Y2Kamikaze looms in the distance. Gussy is obsessed with punk and the gutter lifestyle. School starts in three weeks and Gussy is trying to get into as much trouble as possible before summer freedom ends and the world descends into chaos Read more »

Miracle Girl: Finding the missing piece

Synopsis

A life changed forever by rape:
pregnant
refuses abortion
horrific car crash

Roxy enrolls in college. Fellow classmate Jason–cute, athletic, the college mascot–who did backflips when they scored–becomes her boyfriend. He wants sex. Roxanne said no. “I almost tore his penis off.”

Deans ignore her plea for help.
Points Jason out at the fitness center: “Better watch out. He’ll try to rape you.”
College president calls. Rox is threatened with expulsion.

Roxanne remains a passionate, high-energy woman. She lives live to the fullest. Throughout, she embodies Hemingway’s credo–grace under pressure Read more »

SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF CORPORATE BOARDS

Using the fictional story of a healthcare technology company, Coppryx, Seven Deadly Sins of Corporate Boards tells the story of a struggling organization with eroding market share and a paralyzed board. Poorly defined roles and responsibilities and constant infighting and conflict prevent the Coppryx board members from properly leading the company. Ron James, the newest director, sees a company rapidly moving towards its own self-destruction and mentors the board to transformation and success Read more »