I’m a Florida writer, published mostly in the crime field over the last twenty years, with five noir novels, MIAMI PURITY, IGUANA LOVE, VOLUNTARY MADNESS, SKY BLUES, CRUEL POETRY, a collection of short stories, FLORIDA GOTHIC STORIES, and a mainstream novel, FUR PEOPLE. In 2008, my novel CRUEL POETRY was a finalist for an Edgar Award. If you like the works of James M. Cain, author of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, you will enjoy my more contemporary style with graphic sex that was not allowed to be published in Cain’s era. In addition, my interest in the Florida environment and participation in adventure sports, such as scuba and skydiving, are prominent in the subject matter of my fiction.
When Sunny Lytle is evicted for keeping her fur family of thirteen dogs, eight cats, two ferrets, and two rabbits in her apartment in Kentucky, she packs them into a converted school bus and returns to her hometown, DeLeon Springs, Florida. Her dream is to create a no-kill animal rescue, but survival soon takes top priority. Camping in the woods no longer lives up to the memories of her teen years, and the brutal demands of nature and the threatening intervention of Rita, a well-meaning veterinarian, create an ongoing struggle. Buck, a quirky homeless man, becomes her brave ally.
To honor their memories, all animal names used in the novel are of deceased fur friends beloved by their families. True anecdotes of animal-human interaction enliven the scenes.
Separated from her husband, Ramona Romano is a thrill-seeking redhead addicted to adventure. She soon finds scuba diving and body-building insufficiently exciting. So she uses her strength to dominate man after man, testing herself as a lover, as well as a sportsperson. She wants perfection and insists on being in control, regardless of the price. But there’s one man who matches her in coolness and detachment, one man who can make her do anything he wants and then beg for more. Enzo. Her most tantalising challenge, her obsession and the man who lures her into a dark world of heroin and murder.
Punch is a beautiful man in his forties, slowly dying from alcohol abuse and diabetes. Juliette is his young, naive and adoring girlfriend, willing to do absolutely anything for him. Together they have made a twisted pact: to live a wild life in Key West, collecting material for the book Punch wants to write before they end it all a year later. Punch and Juliette’s craziness quickly accelerates. She flashes at strangers; he pretends to be blind in public; they break into Hemingway’s house to have sex. But the games quickly turn dangerous when a guard at the house interrupts them and dies in the assault. With money running out, Punch and Juliette get a gun and stage a series of restaurant heists in elaborate disguises. They’re known and loved by the restaurants, whose customers thrill to the safe danger of the notorious duo’s antics. But finally the danger escalates, and Juliette has to decide whether she’ll keep her part of the pact.
Hot and scrappy Sherri Parlay gives up her life of depravity, and with best intentions, finds a respectable job as a dry cleaner in hopes for a decent future. But nature and nurture plot against her when she meets the beautiful, tortured, and rich young Payne, who tempts her with the love and life she never thought possible. Even Brenda, Payne’s domineering mother, can’t keep the lovers apart when Sherri’s animal passions take control. Unfortunately, Payne is not only a different kind of man from those in Sherri’s past, he’s worse than any on her list of sordid affairs. Twisted psychology and a pure heart lead her into the dark realm of disillusionment and crime, where she reaches into her deepest reserves for the strength to survive.
This contemporary noir novel is reminiscent of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice with a heavy dose of sexual realism that Cain might have enjoyed if his times would have allowed.
I felt so heavy with love. I could feel it packed inside my chest.
I’d rather wear bare skin than raw silk any day.