Literary Retro Snapshots and Quirky Whodunits offer a new voice in Northwest fiction.

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A Look Back at 1950's Innocence in Suburban America

 
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A Detour on the Road to Psychic Stardom

Marooned in an Oregon trailer park, Josie Wallgood thinks she's discovered a way to hit it big as a psychic headliner. While barely making rent money as a fortune-teller spinning tales for the gullible, a trusting heiress hires her to exorcise the spirit of her father Max who was killed in action during the Korean War. Josie teams up with Cain Reeves, a washed-out minor league catcher, and hatches a plot to bilk her client out of the family fortune. But something seems to be going wrong...

 

"...And Other Stories"

Can virtue be found in a turn-of-the-century bordello? Can a frontier teacher stand idly by as the Shoshone culture is subsumed by Anglo missionaries? Can a suburban lawyer justify that his casual dalliances don't amount to infidelity?  From the opulent parlor of an 1898 Seattle bordello to a Portland law firm in 1989, each heroine, hero, and villain in this memorable collection of short stories is captured at a crossroads in life. They are ordinary people: brave, timid, foolhardy, modest, brazen, and often self-sacrificing...

 
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Major Misunderstandings Mean Murder in the Basin Badlands

Woodrow Hand is off the rodeo circuit with a busted shoulder and stuck in the Great Basin Badlands of southeastern Oregon. He has a girlfriend all set to lasso his hide and drag him to the altar. He’s on the run from the preacher party when he runs into a twisted set of circumstances that make him wish he’d left town already. Bodies keep turning up in unexpected places, and nobody, including the sheriff is real sure who’s a corpse and who isn’t...

 
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All Roads Lead to Romance, Radicals and Revolution

Marsha Scamponi has a hobby to cure the housewife blahs. She spends afternoons romancing truck stop Romeos at the Lullaby Motel. When road jockey number 37 on her list threatens to spoil her fun, she lets her pistol even the score.  The State Trooper whose ring she's wearing has a sideline of his own named Phyllis. They get tangled up with wacky revolutionaries and a gang of zany misfits planning to blow up a Reno casino to finance their motley band...

 
 
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Two Luckless Drifters Looking for the Off-Ramp to Dream City

Two irrepressible midlife losers Lester McKue and Mike Bochsleiter, goodhearted, dead-enders are on a three-day odyssey across Idaho.  Lester is a short-changed dreamer who believes the Gospel according to Readers’ Digest. Mike is a bargain basement schemer whose latest game is selling burial and cremation polices for the Peaceful Assurance Company of Hackensack, New Jersey.  Ricocheting through the simmering summer of 1967...

 
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Slap Happy invites you on a quirky, riotous ride through the Galaxy with con men, eight-legged, three-eyed cephalopod nymphos and desperate writers to a crazy, hilarious parallel UNI that just might make even a skeptic’s dreams come true. Spurned and dissed by countless agents, book doctors, gatekeepers, editors and critics, an author’s only hope may be an alternate reality where a deal with a Uni parolee named Bob sounds like the ticket to fortune and fame...

A Writer's Guide to the Book of the Dead

 
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In the Christmas chill of 1944, Big Joe Welk is the hardcore crime boss in Oregon. He runs the rackets and the cronies who put the skim in his pocket. But he’s got enemies with a score to settle, and they’re willing to kill to make Joe pay.  Miles Brodie is just a bargain rate lawyer handling divorces for Joe’s Tiki Bar girls. He’s barely squeezing rent money from his third-rate law practice when Big Joe hires him to find out who’s knocking off his pals...

A Murderous Romp in Wartime Portland

 
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Bedtime Stories Grandma Never Told You

Old Wive's Tales uncovers the erotic secrets  of women long past their sexual prime. Thesis interviewer Charlotte Pulver exposes their reminiscences of deflowerings, torrid affairs, romances, dangerous liaisons. betrayals, lusty lovers and sins of the heart as well as the flesh.  Charlotte wonders if the contented old-lady image she's comfortable with is less like Opie Taylor's Aunt Bea and more like her grandmother’s idol Mae West. 

 
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A Portland Melodrama

Delilah Goodnight is a grieving WW11 widow when Nathan McCarthy rents a room from her in wartime Portland, Oregon. While he’s trying to complete his doctoral thesis on Roman History, he finds his mind and his work detoured by a growing passion for the beautiful, mysterious woman who ignites his sexual longings.