Monday, 18 May 2020

Buy Direct ...


All of my titles are available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, or free on KDP Select.  However, for those who prefer another electronic format such as ePub, PDF, etc, you can visit my website and order the book(s) in your favourite format and pay by etransfer via email.

Have a look at GangsterStory here and read sample chapters and choose.

All electronic versions are $3.00 Canadian.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Mothers' Day ...

Is your mom or grandma a child of the 70s?  Help her take a journey back in time with the series that transcends 1959 through 2015 ...


Little Gangsters (1959)
Where it all began - 12 year old Denny is surrounded by gangsters and is torn between two worlds and two dear friends.  Follow Denny's story as he comes of age, embraces his destiny, and falls in love in the summer of 1959
Kindle or Paperback


Bigger Gangsters (1969)
Amid the hippie movement Denny is an apprentice gangster, plying his trade
and growing his legend as he tries to save the love of his life from the drug that
is making his fortune in 1969
Kindle or Paperback


That Dog Don't Bark (1975)
Jackson and Angel are two ex-foster kids barely able to keep a roof over their heads
and food on the table.  Join them as they fall in love and try to stop an international sex trafficking gang from preying on teen girls on the gritty streets
Kindle or Paperback


Millenial Gangsters (1999)
Denny now faces a new century after 30 years in the mob.  The times are changing and he has to reshape his crew to change with it.  At the same time, he rescues a little girl and teaches her that it's safe to trust again while she teaches him it's safe to love again.
Kindle or Paperback


Gangsters' Girl (2015)
Jessie is grown up and a week away from her PhD in Psychology when someone tries to kill her father; the man who kept her safe all her life.  Now the roles have reversed as Jessie vows to find the people who want Denny dead, and she'll stop at nothing.
Kindle or Paperback

To read excerpts and watch the trailers from all of my novels, visit;
gangsterstory.ca

Happy Mothers' Day!

Thursday, 23 April 2020

One Year ...

It's been one year since I started this blog.  A lot has happened in that year and continues to happen as we move through a tumultuous 2020.

I am now working on my 7th novel and I will continue to share passages and tidbits as I go.

So far ...


Little Gangsters (1959)
Bigger Gangsters (1969)
Millennial Gangsters (1999)
Gangster's Girl (2015)
That Dog Don't Bark (1975)

coming soon ...
MAC&BETH - hurly burly

work in progress ...
BETWIXT - where the dead things go

coming in 2021 ...
Wonderland


Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Rebellious Characters …



Max Brandt is the main character in my work-in-progress, ‘BETWIXT - where the dead things go’.  Max dies in the first chapter, subtitled ‘Station’ – (dropping dead on page 4 to be exact) – and suddenly being dead and feeling wonderful, he finds himself in Betwixt.  Betwixt is the razor thin edge that is the dividing plane between life and death, between existence and oblivion, between the physical world and nothing.  It is where everything goes when it dies, be it people, animals, or even old buildings.  A certain type of reader would look at Betwixt as the world’s garbage bin, but the souls who live there see it as a world of endless recycling.
To Max’s delight he finds Betwixt is also where dead motorcycles go and he takes the opportunity to cobble together a bobber and resume his lifelong pursuit of riding the road as an outlaw biker; something the courts, prison, parole, and the illness that killed him kept him from.
In his adventures, Max meets extraordinary people such as Werner von Braun, Albert Einstein, and a homosexual humanist philosopher who was murdered in Florence during the bonfire of the vanities, named Lorenzo who helps him see what truly is important in life.  Well, death actually.
One of the ordinary people Max meets is a girl named Olive who died of a heroin overdose at the Monterey Pop Festival to the sounds of Grace Slick singing ‘White Rabbit’.  In Betwixt, Olive runs ‘Olive’s Coffeeteria’ and serves coffee, tea, and fresh baked pies.  Max discovers that Olive always smells and tastes of whatever pie she’d baked that day.
Olive was originally created to be a diversion for Max - a damsel in distress needing rescuing, someone kind and sweet and wonderfully fragrant to help him ease into his new existence in Betwixt.  But Olive took on a personality all to herself, and Max noticed.  My plan was for Max to eventually meet and fall in love with a biker chick who everyone calls Chloe, but who really is Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt.  Yeah, that Cleopatra.
It was going to be glorious; the story leading to the climax of a great battle between good and evil in the land of the dead, with Max and Cleopatra leading the charge for the good guys.  But Max is a consummate rebel – I designed him that way – and little did I know he’d rebel against me.
Max fell in love with Olive as her full personality emerged.  He didn’t know it at first, and when it starts creeping in around him he runs from it, putting as many miles between him and Olive as he possibly can.  He does meet Cleopatra and they do have an affair, but he is drawn back to Olive - his true ‘tribe’ as Lorenzo tells him.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to me.  The lifelong love Denny held for Carrie in the Gangster series was planned from the start, but Jackson falling in love with Angel who surpassed him as the driving force in That Dog Don’t Bark surprised me.  Max and Olive make it the second time that characters rebelled and fell in love and it’s a habit I want to break.
So in my next novel, titled Wonderland, my plan is for my male MC to be deeply in love with a girl he calls Rabbit, because the tale begins with him finding her body in an alley and not being able to remember her name.

A D McClelland, Penticton, BC 2020

Thursday, 9 April 2020

The Florenzer ...


The cabana looked like a veranda, closed in only on the back side, with windowless openings atop railed half-walls broken only by a doorway on the ocean side.
As Cleo hauled her bedroll and the food we’d scrounged into the cabana, I walked down to where the ocean met the sand.  The water was crystal clear and when I hunched down and wetted a hand, it tasted of salt.  Off shore was an island crowned by the ever present dark crimson clouds, but the ocean stretched to the horizon with clean blue skies above it as far as the eye could see.  As hopeful as the seascape was, I found it disturbing; the water lay flat and unmolested by wave or ripple.  No moon, no tide.
With this complete lack of movement  in the water and the island cloud, a small motion between me and the island caught my eye; a man in one of the cabana boats was waving at me.  I waved back, then watched him for awhile as he rowed his boat back toward the beach.
As I walked back to join Cleo, I saw a thin young woman in a sarong two cabanas down sweeping sand off her doorstep.  I waved at her, but I don’t think she saw me.
“A man in a boat waved at me.” I said to Cleo after I unstrapped my gear from Bone Shaker and carried it into our cabana.
“That’s the Florenzer.” Cleo said, “Him and his fenuclum live here permanently.”
“Fen-whazzit?”
“You saw her sweeping.” Cleo said, “You waved.”
“I don’t think she saw me.”
“She saw you.  She needs the Florenzer’s permission to talk to another man.”
“Even to wave?”
“Even that.” Cleo said, “Don’t misunderstand, the Florenzer isn’t cruel.  It’s a game she likes to play so he indulges her.”
I looked around and saw Cleo had placed her bedroll in a back corner.
“We bunkmates or you want solitude?” I asked her.
“Solitude.” Cleo said, staring out the front of the cabana at the beach, “I’ll come to you.”
“I see.” I said and laid my roll out on the other side of a kitchen island where I had cover and could see the door.  Old habits die hard.
“I think the Florenzer wants to meet you.” Cleo said as I heard him call out to Cleo.
“Salve Cleo, come va?”
The Florenzer had a smooth, melodic voice, thick with an Italian accent and I could hear he was right outside the door.
“English, Florenzer.” Cleo said to him.
“You wound me, Cleopatra.” he said, “We have each known the other for centuries, yet you call me names?”
“You’re a puppy in my eyes, Lorenzo.”
“Then come rub behind my ears.” I heard the laughter in his voice, “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your companion?”
It was my cue to make an appearance, so I stepped up beside Cleo and extended my hand through the doorway.  He didn't shake it – his hands were full.
Lorenzo looked to be in his late forties, his hair a long, wild tangle of grey and white with threads of black, his skin dark and leathery, his eyes a brilliant blue.
“Max Brandt.” I said, withdrawing my hand.
“Lorenzo di Piero del Tazzera, late of Firenze, now permanent dweller of these sandy shore.” he declared, “You ride the motor-horse like the bella donna egiziana.  Such power, such tuono …”
He looked at Cleo for a translation.
“Thunder.” Cleo said with a smirk.
“… such thunder!” Lorenzo finished.
“Yeah.  I ride the motor-horse.”
“Avventura!” he cried out, smiling and waving his arms.  I saw that he held a sack filled with something in one hand and five thick raw steaks on a hook in the other.
“Tonight, you come for cena.  Bistecca alla fiorentina!  Verdure grigliate!  E vino!”
“Meat, potatoes, and wine.” Cleo translated, “And some kind of vegetable I suppose.”
“You up for that?” I asked Cleo.
“Why not.” Cleo said, “He’s a good cook.”
“Si Grazie.” I answered him, nearly exhausting my personal Italian lexicon.
“Eccellente!” Lorenzo said, bowed, and walked off toward his own cabana, “I … fischio!” he said, then whistled loudly.
“He’ll whistle when it’s ready.” Cleo finished translating.

"BETWIXT - where the dead things go"

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The Sands ...



On the third day Cleo slowed and was watching for something as we rumbled along the dusty highway.  When she found it she waved for me to follow her into the desert.  As we traveled I saw other tracks in the desert clay and sand; other bikers had come this way.  I came up beside her and shouted over the thunder of our V-twins.
“Where are we going?”
“You’ll see.” was all she would say.
We traveled for over an hour before I saw our destination; a dark object in the distance, thrust up out of the desert’s flatness.  Growing nearer, I saw it was a building, slightly atilt and looming like a grave marker in the wasteland.  Soon I could pick out details of the building and it began to look familiar, but it was when I saw the tall sign that I knew it for what it was; under a bronze sunburst the swooping letters spelling ‘Sands’ and beneath that in block letters on the marquee; ’44 GREAT YEARS THANK YOU’, the last message that it conveyed to the world on November 26, 1996 when it was brought down in a series of demolition charges.
We rode up the grand entranceway of the hotel and heeled our bikes over on their stands.
“Holy shit.” I said, gazing around.
“This building is significant to you.” Cleo said.
“This building is legend.” I said, “Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, they made this place famous.”
“And they were who?” Cleo asked, looking at me like I’d started babbling.
“Legends from my time.” I answered, a bit deflated as we walked into the hotel lobby.
We found the Copa Room and the kitchen and found enough ‘fresh’ food to cook up a pretty good meal.  Like everything else in Betwixt, food materialized like magic – one of the benefits of being in the land of the dead I suppose.  It was odd, sitting in the Copa Room, just  the two of us, drinking wine and eating off Sands plates with Sands cutlery.  I didn’t say much and Cleo picked up on it.
“I hurt your feelings.” she said.
“What do you mean?”
“You were so excited about this place and I’ve only known it as a place to find food and shelter that was better than usual.” Cleo said, “So tell me about this Frank person.”
“Sinatra.” I said, “He was a singer and actor, part of a group of entertainers known as the Rat Pack.  Frank had hit songs in the nineteen-thirties right through into the two-thousands – seventy years.  Back then, nobody asked ‘Frank who?’.”
“He entertained longer than most people live.”
“Yeah.” I’d never thought of that, but it was true, “This hotel was backed by some big named gangsters; Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello, Joseph Stracher.”
“What’s a gangster?”
“A successful criminal.” I told her, “Here’s the thing about Frank; when the Sands opened, races were segregated.  Only white entertainers could play in the big casinos, and black people couldn’t even come to a place like this for dinner.  The Sands was the first to book a famous black singer named Nat King Cole to play this very room, but he wasn’t allowed to eat in the dining room.  It was Frank who broke that bullshit.  He invited Nat to join him for dinner and the segregation rule was gone.  Who knows, they could have eaten at this very table.”
“Was he really a King?”
“What?  No, that was his name.” I said, “How long have you been here?
“I told you; you wouldn’t believe me.” she said and smiled, her eyes at half-mast.  I could see the wine had relaxed her.
“Try me.  I’ve seen a lot of crazy since I got here, I’m starting to get used to it.”
She was quiet for a time as though contemplating whether or not to tell me her tale.  I discovered in those long, silent moments that her face was never truly expressionless.  Her emotions were sculpted there in minute movements; a slow twitch at the corner of her mouth; a slight raising of an eyebrow; a flare of her nostrils that was so glacial in its slowness it was barely noticeable.  When she spoke, she spoke softly, yet in the silence of the Copa Room her voice commanded the space, owning the very air we breathed.  The theatre was designed for great performances and hers was the greatest I’d ever heard.
“I died where I was born, in Alexandria, Egypt, on August twelfth, in the year you call 30 BC.” Cleo said, “I was thirty-nine years old.”
I set my glass down because I was afraid I’d drop it.
“And now I’m over twenty and a half centuries old.”
“Cleopatra.” I whispered, afraid to make even that sound.  She nodded.
“Daughter of Auletes, mother of Caesarion, Alexander, Selene, and Philadelphus.  Last Queen … last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty.” she said, “And I am bored with existence, Max Brandt.  I infused my flesh with the poison of a cobra to escape being humiliated by the cursed Romans, but here …” she smiled bitterly, “… here I can’t die.  I can only be gomered like Rosie, and more and more that looks like peace to me.”
“Such a long way to fall.” I said, feeling a tenderness for her.  She looked up into my eyes.
“I have already fallen.” Cleo said, “What better place than Fluffy’s to wait out eternity.  Unaware of who I once was.  Believing whoring is love, that every man’s hand on my body is kind.  Being cared for and cherished like a precious artifact.  Gently used and revered in an animalistic way.  Because after-all; who wouldn’t want to fuck a Queen.  I would never feel lonely again.”
After a time I stood and held out my hand and she took it.  Together we walked outside past the half-moon shaped pool to the hacienda-styled two story motel buildings.  The pool was inexplicably filled with crystal clear water and the motel rooms were level, unlike the tilted tower that loomed above.
We chose the third room we came to, it was luxurious with thick blue carpet and a king sized bed.  We stripped down and I led her to the pool and for the first time since landing in Betwixt I swam its length and together we dived deep to push off the bottom and play.  When we were clean we returned to our room and made slow, melancholic love on the crisp sheets, both of us silent and moving with purpose.  Afterward, I lay on my back and she pressed her body against mine.  As I cradled her head under my chin, she wept as quietly as she made love, but for much longer and without the reward of release.  Her sorrow was deep and eternal.
I felt shame rise in me as I compared Cleo to Olive, the two women I had known so far in Betwixt; one whose spirit was alive and vibrant and filled me with joy, and the other who had escaped a ruined life only to be immersed in the torment of endless existence.
Two thousand years.  After that length of time I wondered how I would fare.

"BETWIXT - where the dead things go"

Buy Direct ...

All of my titles are available on Amazon in paperback , Kindle , or free on  KDP Select.  However, for those who prefer another electr...