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Future Projects

CURRENT FUTURE PROJECTS

I've completed the initial manuscript for a new projects: I am Everett. This novel will be published sometime in 2024-2025.

I am looking for female beta readers for Retribution. It's a dark romance novel, and (I hope) a page-turning crime story. Since I'm a guy writing a romance novel, I really need some early feedback from women who typically read romance novels. If you're interested, please go to my Contact page and give me your email address. This is a manuscript, so it will be a pdf, meaning you'll have to read it on your computer. It's not formatted yet for ebook or printing.

Hope to hear from you soon!

I AM EVERETT

I began writing I am Everett in order to take a temporary break from Retribution. This much lighter story is a very unusual look at American history from 1901 to present time. It takes place in Boston, New York City, Miami, Havana, a cruise ship, Tampa, and New Port Richey.  The story is told by a piano that became sentient when it was first purchased from the Everett Piano Company in Boston, Massachusetts.

The picture to the left was taken in my house. That's the actual, 122-year-old Everett featured in the story, except this one doesn't really talk, although It does sound very good.

There are several surprises in this story, so I can't tell you much about it, but I can guarantee you it will be one of the more unusual books you'll ever read.

You can check out the excerpt below to get an idea of how it begins.

EXCERPT

"Hello. I’m so happy you’re here. I’ve been standing here admiring this pillared lanai and the pool. I really love the view beyond the pool; the verdant lawn bordered by that thick, lush forest. Do you see how the morning sun is casting those mottled patches of bright yellow light on the shadowed green of the trees? And it’s also causing those playful reflections of the pool’s riffling water up on the lanai’s ceiling? Can you see that? It’s very peaceful here this time of day.  Moments like these make me feel quite content just to be alive."

The man looked all around the room trying to determine the source of the voice. “Where are you?”

I’m new here, just moved in. The house has been very quiet this morning, save for the occasional sound of cooled air rushing through the vents. I suppose most people don’t notice things like that. I’m grateful for the conditioned air. I don’t take it for granted, I assure you.  At my age, the Florida summers can be more than just uncomfortable, the humidity can be downright detrimental to my health, as I’m sure you know.

The man shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, it’s already hot and humid outside, but nice and cool in here.” He began to lay out the tools of his trade.

"When I look back on my life, it still seems odd to me that I ended up here in Florida. You see, I was born in Boston, but I’m sure you already knew that. My first home, though, was in New York City, a very different environment than here in the sub-tropics of Florida. But that was a very long time ago. By the way, I can tell that you’re from New York. It’s your accent."

“Who the hell am I talkin’ to?” The man was looking all around again, beginning to feel a little spooked. The voice sounded like it was right there next to him but there was nobody else in the room. He checked the adjacent rooms but there was nobody to be found anywhere.

"My name is Everett, but I suppose that’s obvious to someone like you. I was born in 1901, which makes me one-hundred-twenty-one years old. You probably think I’m saying that as if it’s something to boast about. I know there are others of my kind who are much older but not many. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel my age, and I’m glad you’re here to check up on me. I’ve been lucky I suppose. Despite some rather harrowing chapters in my life, I’d say that I’ve come through the years in pretty good shape. I’m interested in hearing your opinion."

The man’s name was Stephen Moriani, a piano technician of considerable repute and a long-time member of the Piano Technicians Guild of New York. He had several decades of experience. He’d been retained to tune a piano which had been purchased a month earlier. The piano’s owner, Jerry Yates, had texted Stephen to let him know that something had come up and he wasn’t going to be at the house, but the door was open so he should go ahead and begin the work. Jerry would return before the job was finished.

Stephen scratched his bald head, toying with the possibility that he might be going crazy. After a few minutes of quiet, however, he decided he should just focus on the work at hand. He sat on the bench and ran his fingers over the keys to get some sense of what he would be dealing with.

It was obvious the piano needed to be tuned, which was typical for a piano that had been moved, especially an older piano like this one. The action on some of the keys felt loose and he notice a couple other problems. Again, not unusual for an older piano. He opened the top board of the old grand using the long prop stick and immediately discovered that the bass key strings were corroded. “Oh, that’s too bad,” he thought.

The name of the piano, emblazoned in large letters on the sound board, caught his attention: Everett Boston, model number 31930. He got up off the bench and backed away a few steps, looking at the piano and regarding it with suspicion.

“Are you what’s talking to me?” he asked, immediately feeling ridiculous. There was no response and he chuckled nervously. “Crazy,” he said to himself.

He reluctantly returned to the keyboard and proceeded to strike the A4 key, listening to its audio properties with his practiced ear, but also using a digital device.

"I can tell you’re very experienced. You’ve probably already noticed several problems."

“Pianos can’t talk,” Stephen said with conviction. He didn’t bother to look up or stop what he was doing.

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