Cowboys Cheap as French Fries

(Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 12:36 p.m.

Hey, there. Hi, there. Ho, there. I wrote a western last fall. It’s not just any western. It’s a modern western, set at the end of World War II, when a couple Marines return home to Texas, looking for peace, love, and understanding even though they’d be willing to settle for two out of three.

By Monte Dutton

As it turned out, Ennis Middlebrooks and Harry Byerly really just got understanding. When they got back to Janus, things were only marginally less wild than they had been on the island of Peleliu. They didn’t expect war to prepare them for home. They expected war to prepare them for peace.

Cowboys Come Home’s writing had about as many twists as its plot. It goes way back, or at least as far back as me writing fiction, which began, in terms of publication, in 2011, when my first novel, The Audacity of Dope, reached shelves real and virtual courtesy of Neverland Publishing LLC. At about the time the second novel, The Intangibles, was also published by Neverland, in 2013, a publisher interested in westerns contacted me, through a third party, about writing one.

Cowboys Come Home

Kindle Sale, August 2-4

$0.99 Wednesday, August 2, 8 a.m. EDT — Thursday, August 3, 5 a.m.

$1.99 Thursday, August 3, 5 a.m. — Friday, August 4, 2 a.m.

$2.99 Friday, August 4, 2 a.m.-11 p.m.

(Steven Novak cover)

My first response was that writing novels is much too difficult if one isn’t in love with the story. By sheer coincidence, I took a long driving trip, and while I was driving through the Smoky Mountains, I dreamed up a modern western about two cowboys coming home from war. I’m fond of modern westerns, both in print and on the silver screen. I started thinking about Larry McMurtry’s Leaving Cheyenne and The Last Picture Show, and Clark Gable’s final movie, The Misfits, and Giant, the movie made from an Edna Ferber novel of the same name.

When I got back home, I started writing, and I sent a sample to the publisher, and the publisher … wrote back that it wasn’t what he had in mind.

I suspect it didn’t enough campfires, sagebrush, tumbleweeds, branding arms, spurs and chaps, saloons, cattle drives, and gunfights at high noon.

I left it there.

Amazon’s KindleScout program picked up Crazy of Natural Causes, the tale of a Kentucky football coach who loses everything, finds Jesus, wobbles between sin and salvation, and inexplicably finds a comfortable space there. KindleScout also chose Forgive Us Our Trespasses, a wild, outlandish, bloody tale of the political family from hell, conveniently situated right here in the Palmetto State.

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Then I went back to Cowboys Come Home, which was not chosen by KindleScout, so I self-published it through CreateSpace (for print) and Kindle Direct Publishing. It has law and disorder, cattle and oil, political corruption, horses and cars, a wild baby sister, and a killer on the loose. The skills Ennis and Harry hoped never to need again are what save them when they return home to Janus, a town just south of the border between Texas and Oklahoma.

It sold all right. Folks who read it liked it. I stole its thunder, though, this spring by releasing Lightning in a Bottle, my stock car racing novel.

Cowboys Come Home is not a classic western. It is brutal, profane, lustful, and violent.

In order to jumpstart recent sales that are almost nonexistent, I have concocted a brief, three-day blowout of the Kindle version. The full retail is only $3.99, but over the next few days, it will be offered first at $0.99, then $1.99, then $2.99, before returning to $3.99 by the weekend. The sale begins at 8 a.m. EDT on Wednesday morning.

Grab a western. Don’t cost much.

 

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

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Paradise? Yeah, Right …

(Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, July 6, 2017, 11:15 a.m.

It is no discredit to The Last Paradise that it took me too long to read it. It was circumstance. I’ve been buried in my own writing, and there’s no end in sight. I’ve gotten myself overloaded with writing, and my reading has suffered, which is ultimately counterproductive because, in order for one to write, one must read.

By Monte Dutton

I must anyway. Lack of reading makes me a dull boy. Jack, however, is not a dull boy. Jack Beilis is the resourceful protagonist of Antonio Garrido’s tale (translated into English by Simon Bruni).

Perhaps I am overly inquisitive. The realization that thousands of Americans migrated to the Soviet Union, seeking opportunity and fairness, in the depths of the Great Depression, fascinated me. I’m fond of history. Two of my novels, The Intangibles (set mostly in 1968) and Cowboys Come Home (mostly 1946), explore historical themes.

Garrido wrote a deft whodunit. Jack is exceptional at thinking on his feet but lacking in thinking things through. He trusts too many people, particularly when he reaches an unfamiliar land where almost no one is trustworthy. Jack is a skilled tactician but a naïve strategist.

The Soviet Union of the early 1930s has grown corrupt in its empty reliance on ideology. Philosophy becomes mythology. The leadership grows ruthless as the starving proletariat grows desperate and restless. Americans become the scapegoats. They have stumbled waywardly into a trap.

Jack and those he attempts to help wait too late. The only innocent becomes the tragic hero.

The author tricked me as an author must in a crackling whodunit. I thought he was tipping off his pitches. I was wrong. When I read such fiction, I want to be wrong.

 

 

 

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

The Mystery Immerses

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, May 12, 2017, 9:43 a.m.

Many readers – okay, at least one – have comfortable refuges and guilty pleasures. Read something heavy – a bulky bio, a literary classic, an historical tome – and then scurry back to relaxing, reliable delight. It might be a comedy – a Carl Hiaasen or a Dan Jenkins – or hard-bitten crime – Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler – or one of John Steinbeck’s short novels of whimsy, or a Larry McMurtry western …

By Monte Dutton

… Or a mystery. A Dick Francis mystery. Francis died a few years back. Fortunately, he was so prolific that I’m nowhere near reading all his reliable tales of horse-racing intrigue.

(I’m running out of Leonard. That’s a problem.)

In Farleigh Field, by Rhys Bowen, fills my void. It quenches the thirst left in the aftermath of Francis’s illustrious career, and it echoes a favorite television show of mine, Foyle’s War. Mystery, coupled with World War II intrigue. What a smooth combination.

It all starts with a thud. On the estate of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, a parachute fails to open. Though the body found on the estate, Farleigh Place, is clothed in a British Army uniform, the remains are those of an impostor. From the field where the body lies does the plot spread and thicken.

Ben Cresswell, confined to desk duty after surviving a plane crash, is sent by M15 to investigate why an apparent German spy has crashed into Farleigh Field. It all gets mixed up in love, family, loyalty, and, well, geography.

The reader winds up playing chess with the author, and it’s a lovely match. Disloyal members of the English aristocracy, the Gestapo, the French Resistance, and all five of Lord Westerham’s daughters take part with gusto. A dashing hero arrives home from a prisoner’s camp. Personal loyalties wither against the tide of war.

It’s a rousing yarn Ms. Bowen has woven into form.

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

As The Salesman Says, You Can’t Afford Not To …

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, April 28, 2017, 11:15 a.m.

I spend a lot of time writing, and I spend another considerable chunk writing about how you need to read … my writing.

Tell my whyyyyyy, whyyyy, why, why, why! Whyyyyyy, why should you read my boooooks?

By Monte Dutton

Among the reasons is I have expenses. I have bills to pay. This is how I make my living. Sort of.

I always use the analogy of the baseball scorebook. You know that one, right? There is only way to score a baseball game. That’s the way that works for you. Many more options are available than skinning a cat, though I’ve never done it, so I can’t say. There is allegedly one way. Google it, and I’m satisfied there’s more than one.

Wait a minute. The actual saying is, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Never mind. Thank goodness for Google.

Lightning in a Bottle is lightning in a wraparound cover. It’s in paperback (and Kindle, of course), so it has no book jacket. It’s built in. It’s still lightning, though.

The lightning is Barrie Jarman. He left home to make his fortune in stock car racing. He also chases women, drinks moonshine, and plays guitar. His daddy is an alcoholic. His uncle has been working on race cars for thirty years. He’s another reason Barrie leaves home. He gives him a cabin to live in. He spreads the word that his nephew wields a magic wand disguised as a steering wheel.

From the start, after Barrie signs a contract with Ford Racing and lands a ride in FASCAR’s Enervation Series, he and the ruling body are at odds. He speaks his mind and believes it’s necessary to do so in order to bring kids like him back to the sport, if not in the cockpits, then in the grandstands. FASCAR doesn’t want him to do anything his own way. The whippersnapper is supremely confident that he knows what he’s doing.

(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Barrie’s got to be good. He won’t last long, popping off at the mouth, if he isn’t. Winning races isn’t the problem. He starts doing that right off.

He’s lucky, though. He’s a brash kid and a throwback at the same time. His owner, Jerry McCarley, is a throwback, too. His manager, Frank Maglie, knows every FASCAR act of duplicity like the back of his hand. He knows how they think. He keeps Barrie aware of it.

Barrie is at his best when his back is to the wall. He thrives on controversy. His greatest knack is being lucky in the aftermath of being unlucky. Like all great racers, he’s most impressive when there are obstacles in his path.

If you’re a race fan, this novel is going to wow you. You’ve never read anything like it. It’s as fast as the cars.

If you’re not a race fan, it’s going to interest you because its lessons can be applied to many other pastimes. It’s about racing and race, love and deception, the temptations of youth and money, and learning how to adapt from being on the wrong side of the tracks to the wrong side of the (racing) law.

You’re going to love it. Some of it may offend you, but some of it is definitely going to make you laugh.

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

The Thunder Rolls, but Will the Lightning Strike?

Smoky Mountains, I-40. In Lightning in a Bottle, Barrie Jarman and Uncle Charlie spend lots of time on the road. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, April 13, 2017, 9:27 a.m.

Lightning in a Bottle struck me.

By Monte Dutton

It’s my new novel. I’ve written six. Right now I’m making up mind whether to start working on seven or eight, both of which are in progress. I guess the winner gets to be seven. I’m not stuck because of content, or deciding which yarn I want to unravel. I’m stuck because I’m obsessed with the one that just hit the market.

(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Last night I was sleepless in a way similar to the in January when Lightning struck.

Most of Wednesday was spent working on a newsletter, updating the email list, sending it out, and checking the latest sales figures too many times. They spiked last night, but it hasn’t taken off yet, at least not the way it must if it is to be a success. I’m not overly worried. It’s self-published. Word is still getting around. Everyone who has let me know he or she has read it has raved about it. The Amazon customer reviews have been “five-star.” So far, there are only two of them, but I’ve also gotten positive reactions via email and social media.

You’re one prolific novelist!

This is awesome!

Lightning in a Bottle will only stay on my bookshelf until my next flight! Can’t wait to read it.

Awesome fiction. Almost real. Best racing book I’ve read in a long time. Monte really did an awesome job on this one!

I think you have written your best book yet. It’s a shoo-in for your racing readers, but I think it has an appeal for a crossover audience, too. Anyhow, I really enjoyed reading it. EmmaJanes

It’s an old story with my fiction. People like it. I just need more of them. I can only spread the word so many ways, at least without spending a fortune, and what small amount I’ve spent already has not been overly cost-effective.

I need your reviews, whether they’re positive or not. I need your retweets and your shares, your gifts to others who would like it, your recommendations and your references. Even in a world in which information is so prevalent, a lot of it gets lost.

Lightning is a quick read. It’s frank. It’s shocking. It’s controversial. It’s honest. It’s funny. It’s my answer to the question, “What if a wild kid from a tough background happened upon the corporate-obsessed stock car racing of today?”

What if there was a real Barrie Jarman? Would he save the sport? Or would the sport eat him alive?

The jury is still out on Barrie and the novel about him.

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

From Books to Movies, without a Hitch

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, April 1, 2017, 4:14 p.m.

Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Both long dead. Both masters of a genre. They wrote about crime fiction about hard-boiled detectives. Both are known more for the movies made from their novels than the novels themselves.

I wanted to read Chandler and Hammett. I had for years. I watched many of the movies, and knew about Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, not to mention the Thin Man. A while back, I reviewed Chandler’s The Big Sleep here, and now I’ve completed Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.

By Monte Dutton

Once I thought Larry McMurtry’s most closely matched the characters of the miniseries to the characters envisioned in my mind while reading it. While working on my book True to the Roots: Americana Music Revealed, I interviewed the author’s son James. Larry is one of my favorite novelists and James one of my favorite songwriters. James told me that his father’s view of the characters conflicted with mine. He didn’t think the characters fit. That knowledge left me astonished.

If you have ever seen the movie version of The Maltese Falcon, the fit is snug. Humphrey Bogart was a perfect Sam Spade. Everyone – Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Ward Bond, Elisha Cook Jr., et al. – is perfect. The dialogue is mostly word for word, even though the script was written by director John Huston.

Greenstreet, as Casper Gutman, is exactly as I concocted him in the novel.

“By gad, you are quite a character, sir.”

My favorite scene in the movie is when Gutman (he’s Casper in the book, Kasper in the movie credits) discovers the statue is a fake. Greenstreet really looks like a man having a heart attack, even though he isn’t.

The book does not include the most quoted line in the movie, almost the last one. Detective Tom Polhaus asks Spade what the bogus statue is, and Spade replies, “The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”

But the last line of the film is, “Huh?”

I guess this is more film than book review, but what impressed me most about the book was that it was as identical to a movie as a film can be. A book has incidents and details that a film cannot hold. Huston must not have really written the script. He must have edited down the novel.

Hammett is a slightly faster read than Chandler, who will stop a reader in his tracks with the mere wonder of his metaphors. The easy call is that they are both masters. The hard one is deciding which is better. In fact, it’s impossible. It’s a matter of style and preference. I think I’ll sample one more apiece. I’ve got The Long Goodbye in mind for Chandler and one of Hammett’s Continental Op tales.

And, eventually, others.

 

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

Even the Best-Laid Lies …

 

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, March 20, 2017, 10:56 a.m.

Jesse Few lives in the suspended adolescence of the power life.

Suddenly, all of his indiscretions come back to haunt him at once. So goes the irreverent narrative of Lying for a Living, Steve McCondichie’s debut novel.

I traffic in such irreverence myself. Its smirk is reflected in some of my own fiction.

By Monte Dutton

The family Jesse has blithely ignored falls apart. No. It explodes. The wife has divorced him. The mistress is estranged. The son has been busted for drug possession. Unfortunately, JJ’s partner in crime is the daughter of a sleazy evangelist. The job is collapsing. The mother is acting mysteriously and apparently losing her marbles. In summary, hounds are baying at Jesse’s door.

What did Jesse do to deserve all this? Why, everything.

The trick is in the redemption of the tarnished protagonist. It’s a case worthy of Perry Mason (via Erle Stanley Gardner).

Jesse never lets responsibilities interfere with the aging playboy life until he finds that life has turned on him. He attacked life until life had enough and fought back, leaving Jesse out of options. It’s hard for a 49-year-old man to confront the maturity he has been fleeing for decades.

A story has to run its course. Jesse has to turn his world around, and that’s a shame for the reader who has found his bullshit art so richly malodorous.

Jesse isn’t such a bad guy, after all. Oh, bother. He was so good at it.

It’s a gun-running, whisky-swilling, pot-smoking, pill-popping, fornicating, Bible-thumping romp, but it has to end, and McCondiche ably gives the reader a soft and satisfying landing.

cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).