Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

Can You Believe it? More Free Books!!

What’s better than a #FREEBOOK?

Easy…Two #FREEBOOKs!

It’s been a month of giving and I’m not stopping yet!

First – there is the Pre-Doomed-To-RepeatRelease Giveaway – which is now in its fifth week, and this week’s featured selection is Eyewitness Blues.

 

Eyewitness Blues is the story of Martin Aquino, a young man who believes the only thing that can save him from the black cloud hovering over his life is the witness protection program.

Unfortunately…he hasn’t witnessed anything.

This doesn’t stop him from trying though – and that’s where the fun starts!

But wait!! There’s more!

As promised last week – because the Boston Red Sox won the World Series we have yet ANOTHER #FREEBOOK to celebrate!

 

I understand that not all of you are Sox fans…that’s okay, I still want you to have a copy of Blood in the Water for FREE! (If you really hate the Sox you can pretend it’s just another #giveaway.)

Blood in the Water is the second installment in my Steve Salem series.

Flagler Beach P.I. Steve Salem and his partner Val came onto the scene in the extremely popular Backseat to Justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood in the Water has them trying to solve three mysteries in one!

Both books are free from midnight tonight (Monday, Oct 29, 2018) until midnight Saturday (November 3, 2018).

If all goes to plan we will have one more giveaway before the release of the highly anticipated Doomed to Repeat – so stick around!!

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Time to Take Care of Some Unfinished Business – Another #FreeBook

Here we go – Week #4 of the Pre-Doomed-To-Repeat-Release Giveaway!!

I hope you’re enjoying the free books – and if you’ve already read them – I hope you’re telling others to get them while they’re free!!

Before we get to the next giveaway – here’s a little info for those of you wondering how long the giving will continue;

As you know – I started the giveaway the day I sent my new book – Doomed to Repeat – to the editor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plan is to give away one book per week until Doomed is released.

Progress Report:

My editor – the amazing Karin Nicely – has returned the manuscript to me with her first round of edits. I am going through the edits and incorporating them into the work – once I finish (should be by the end of the week) I will send it back to her for round two. The process will repeat and possibly again for a third round if necessary.

Bottom line – I estimate two or three more weeks of free books…so get ‘em while they’re hot!! And don’t forget to tell your friends, family, coworkers, Uber drivers and strangers on the street about them!!

Back to business;

This week’s featured selection is Unfinished Business.

Unfinished Business – Free 10-23-18 thru 10 -27-18

Unfinished Business has an interesting background. It was my first novel not to feature Ike and the rest of the Flagler Beach regulars. Ike makes a brief cameo – but has very little bearing on the actual story.

 

Unfinished Business is sort of the intersection of my usual stories – and The Twilight Zone. It involves a mortician who, for reasons unknown to her, must carry out the dying thoughts of the bodies she embalms.

Speaking of The Twilight Zone – a very interesting (and a little spooky) thing happened to me while I was writing it – check it out here – it’s worth the read…

One final thought…October means it’s time for the Fall Classic and this year my team – The Boston Red Sox – are in the World Series. So if they win there will be an additional giveaway coming your way!

 

And this concludes today’s blog post…

 

As always – thank you for reading

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A Horse is a Horse, but I Remember #Secretariat

I will never forget the look on my Uncle Frank’s face as he tossed the small piece of paper in the air and walked away in disgust.

In fact, as I stood there looking at the faces of the others in the pool, I didn’t understand why they were looking at me so strangely.

There were even a couple who looked angry.

The date was June 9, 1973, and I was four months shy of my thirteenth birthday.

There was a cookout at my father’s house and I, along with a few of my brothers and sisters were there.

It’s rare to be able to recall your exact whereabouts on a specific day forty-two years ago, unless that day was historically significant. John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the day the space shuttle Challenger exploded on take-off and the day the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years are some examples (that last one probably more so for me than most of you).

So what was so special about June 9, 1973 that allows me to remember a Saturday afternoon cookout at my father’s house?

It was the day of the 105th running of the Belmont Stakes.

belmont

It would be an understatement to say my father had an affinity for gambling. For those of you who have read my novels, the character of Ralph Donabedian is loosely based on my dad.

So with a big horse race happening, it goes without saying that there were some wagers being placed at the gathering.

sting2

There was also a pool—the gambling kind, not the swimming kind.

The entry fee for the pool was $10 per couple.

When it came time for the entrants to draw their horse from the torn pieces of paper in the “hat”, my father noted that they were one couple short. There were six horses and only five couples, so my Uncle Eddy pulled my cousin Debbie and me from the sidelines and told us he would pay our entry fee so we could round out the pack.

I think I was the third one to pull a name from the hat.

I had no idea what was going on, I was just following instructions.

I reached in and removed a slip of paper and tried to pronounce the weird name written on it…the best I could do was “Secretary”.

That’s when Uncle Frank tossed his slip of paper in the air and walked away in (mock) disgust.

I asked my father what was going on. He laughed and said “You just won the pool!”

Secretariat made it look easy.

secretariat

Even after he won by thirty-one lengths, Debbie and I weren’t 100% sure what all the fuss was about, but we accepted the payout with huge smiles.

Only five horses ran in the race.

One of the six was scratched just before post-time, so we had to refund that couple’s money, and naturally we had to refund Uncle Eddy for staking us…

So we ended up splitting a forty-dollar pot.

A day of fun in the sun was great, but leaving with a twenty-dollar bill in my pocket made it a very memorable cookout indeed.

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The Birthday Gift

I was raised on baseball.

My parents, and all four of my older brothers, loved the game, so I was indoctrinated at an early age.

As a gift for making my First Communion I was given my first ball and glove (or mitt as some people call them). I believe I was about six-years-old at the time.

baseball

I lived in a baseball bubble for the next 6 years.

I had no interest in any other sport…zero…none.

The other kids in my neighborhood shared my love of baseball, but not my disinterest in other sports, so they were playing football and hockey (both ice and street). Since winter in Rhode Island is not conducive to baseball I decided that playing football and hockey would suffice until springtime.

When my twelfth birthday was approaching I put in a request for a football, a helmet and some shoulder pads.

Lo and Behold, my wish was granted (I still wonder how my mother managed to pull it off, given our less-than-privileged lifestyle). So…on my birthday in 1972 I suited up and grabbed Ray, the kid across the street, for some gridiron fun in the large empty field across the street from my house.

It was a beautiful fall day and we were having a blast, just the two of us, slamming each other around and enjoying the sound of our pads and helmets making contact. football

At some point during our “game” we looked up to see a lanky kid with a head of naturally curly red hair sprinting across the field toward us, waving. We didn’t recognize him, which was odd in our small and close-knit neighborhood, so we took a time-out until he reached us.

Our suspicions were confirmed…we didn’t know him, but that didn’t seem to matter to him.

With a huge smile he announced that he had just moved into one of the newly constructed houses around the corner. Still panting form his sprint across the field, he continued on, informing us that he had his own helmet and pads and if we would have him, he’d love to join us (if memory serves, there were several pleases and thank yous thrown in).

Since I was the oldest, and since it was my birthday, Ray deferred to me. The new kid had observed the rules of playground etiquette (not inserting himself into the game without permission, and tacitly acknowledging our seniority) so I granted his request.

point ave

The neighborhood as it looks today. Not much has changed. I lived in the brown house on the right. The field on the left served as our sports complex – although there were no trees in the way back then,

 

Have you ever looked back on one of your decisions in life and realized exactly how huge the resulting impact was?

That moment, there on a mostly-dirt field in the brisk October air, when I invited a stranger to join a game of football, has affected my life in more ways than I can possibly describe.

The new kid’s name was Kevin.

Shortly after he returned with his gear my mother interrupted the game by informing us that it was time for birthday cake and ice cream – and being my mother, she told me to bring both Ray and my new friend.

Ray and I didn’t need any additional encouragement…we sprinted to my house as if it were the end zone in the Super Bowl…assuming Kevin was right behind us.

When we were at the table awaiting the magic of chocolate cake…the festivities were delayed when mom asked where the “other kid” was.

In the excitement to get a good seat at the table, Ray and I had pretty much forgotten about him.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Probably still outside.”

He seemed like a good kid, but he hadn’t earned enough points to out-prioritize cake and ice cream.

My older brother Ted then took it upon himself to rectify the situation. He went to the back door and found Kevin, still wearing his shoulder pads, waiting silently and patiently outside.

Despite Ted’s urging, Kevin steadfastly, but very politely, declined the invitation to join us, so Ted did the next best thing…if Kevin wouldn’t come to the party, Ted would bring the party to Kevin.

Ted brought him a nice big slice of cake, a generous scoop of ice cream and a tall glass of soda.

Kevin was properly grateful and thanked my brother profusely, while simultaneously insisting that he didn’t want to impose.

The rest, as they say, is history…or, in my family, legend.

Kevin and I became instant friends.

Soon afterward Kevin was an honorary member of my family, and I, his. It wasn’t long before we formed the once-in-a-lifetime type of friendship that many people talk about, but few ever experience.

Best friend doesn’t even scratch the surface…

Tim Kevin PawSox

Kevin (right) and I when we were doing some work at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI – Home of the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox – it was a dream come true for us!

 

In the 43 years since that day, which included high school, college, jobs, houses, wives, kids, and cars, Kevin and I have weathered every conceivable type of storm and come out on the other side closer than we were going in. I can count on my hands the number of days we harbored anger toward each other (and it was always my fault), but I could never count the number of times we supported each other in times of need.

When I wrote my first novel I dedicated it to my mother and my son, they being the two most important people in my life.

My second novel was dedicated to Kevin.

I left Rhode Island in 2006. Since then, Kevin and I have only seen each other twice, but despite the separation we are still as close as any brothers.

As much as I enjoyed the football equipment I received on my birthday, I can honestly say that meeting my lifelong best friend was, by far, the best gift I could have asked for…so I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge him on his birthday.

 

Happy birthday, Reefus…I love you, my brother!

Sox cake

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