The Compleat Dartshooter
The Compleat Dartshooter is a dark and whimsical look at the world that lies nestled in the bosom of every small town in America. From the moment that the orphaned exile Aznap “Nappy” Ochnas meets a charismatic mafia bagman named Fletcher Widdy, the pair roam about searching for the meaning of life, or at least a good game of darts.
From the bars and taverns of the coal country in Northeastern Pennsylvania to the New York Open, the pair challenge each other and all comers for money and fame on the dart circuit. The competition is not limited to the dartboard: Nappy is heir to his late father’s deeply held belief in truth and beauty, while Fletch’s worldview is far more cynical. The picture gets even more complex when Nappy meets Patti Pulkowski, Fletch’s ex-lover and a top-ranked dart shooter in her own right.
What begins as a lark designed to distract Nappy from his loss and what seems to be a dead-end future quickly turns sinister when Nappy’s arrogance leads him to break his word to Fletch. Add a briefcase full of mob money, some dysfunctional Mafioso, Socrates, the law, sinus conditions, murder, Descartes, pride, and the North Carolina Coast, and you have a compelling examination of the landscape and personalities that make up small-town America. The Compleat Dartshooter is a tale of love, violence, faith and adventure.
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Bluegrass: A Novel
Bluegrass examines the startling possibility of faith and hope in a world defined by the impermanent and punctuated by pain and death. The story follows Cold Spring, a semiprofessional bluegrass band, from their obscure origins in Pigeon Forge, Pennsylvania, to the national stage. While the band tries for the golden ring of stardom, their home county is suffering from the growing pains caused by the opening of a new Interstate highway and the culture shock caused by a huge influx of people fleeing the city.
From the moment real estate mogul Hugh McAdam’s helicopter sets down in the parking lot of Chat Dalton’s Garage, a struggle for control of the county ensues that eventually involves the Governor, scrapple, the Drug Enforcement Agency, ice tongs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, cops, history books, drug dealers, auctioneers, bluegrass seed, construction workers, bibles, and assorted eccentric locals. Along the way, Dalton discovers that his past, like his beliefs about the future, are not all they appear to be.
Spanning one festival season, the sights, sounds, heart and soul of bluegrass music and the rural bluegrass community that loves it are the backdrop for a story of lost innocence, rapacious development, endangered love, and the daunting task the locals of Pigeon Forge have in dealing with a paradise lost.