The Life Stories Series
These books revolve around the complex and combative relationship between a thirty-one year old stepfather, journalist Ethan, and his eighteen year old stepson, rebel Alex. The rich cultural life of Louisiana serves as a backdrop to mystery, adventure, drama and comedy.
Books in this series include:
Ethan McQuade is a recently-widowed investigative reporter for a New Orleans newspaper. Thirty-one year old Ethan and his step-son of eighteen, Alex DeLauder, live together in a fragile truce that is broken and repaired at least daily. Unfortunately, the glue is running out as the relationship deteriorates.
Then Alex mysteriously disappears and his clothes are found at the curb. The police are take this seriously: Alex is the tenth young man to have gone missing without explanation in the past year.
Nobody can find a pattern. No one knows who is responsible, why this is being done, or where the young men are. As the police investigate, Ethan enlists the help of his own confidential sources to navigate the danger-filled underworld of New Orleans crime. He looks for explanations in sex, drugs, murder and elsewhere. Each step into this cesspool brings Ethan one step closer to his own death. Ultimately Ethan is on his own. And he’s running out of time. Before Alex can be found Ethan is left for dead. Finding Alex just unpeels the first layer.
The kidnappings are nationwide. These young men all have something the kidnappers want, but for what purpose? Where are the young men, who are the perpetrators and who is behind this? Every time a layer is peeled back another, more complex, one is revealed. And, the final questions are not answered until the last page – if then.
Volume 2, coming of age/comedy-drama
Available now in the Kindle Store on Amazon.com
Alex acts out while Ethan tries to cope. The stepson/stepfather duo cycles among fighting, sulking, looking for love (and sex if available), and having spectacular meltdowns.
Alex is arrested for soliciting prostitution. A cast of unlikely characters – a gay artist, the artist’s straight boyfriend, a music groupie and Monica, the vibrator queen of the South – all pitch in to help. Is there anything wrong with this picture?
A bawdy trauma nurse and a sexually-frustrated policewoman keep the rest of the characters on their toes – and their backs and their knees and in other positions. Alex’s politically correct grandparents see no conflict in their support of Women’s and Gender Studies at a university while deploring the fact that Ethan lives next door to a ho-mo-sex-wall. Their NAACP membership is in fully consistent with lamenting the integrated nature of Ethan’s neighborhood.
Other characters make appearances. Officer Ding Dong and Officer Pantyhose are but two. Deidre, Alex and Ethan’s lawyer, wants to give legal advice to Alex’s Zanderpinky behind closed bedroom doors. Attorney-client privilege, you know. A couple of Swedish-speaking Finns raises serious questions. Are most Americans prunish? No, not that prunish, that one’s a breakfast pastry. The other prunish. Would America ever have invaded Iraq if its men’s manslems hadn’t been mutilated as infants? Read and find out.
Alex gets arrested again, this time for attempted murder. His innocence can be proven, of course. Just as soon as a woman comes out of a coma, a young girl regains the ability to speak, and a violent drug-maker stops clinging to his right to remain silent.
Throughout the narrative the single most important character is already dead. Alex’s now-deceased mother (and Ethan’s now-deceased wife) drives the characters’ actions, motivations and accomplishments. Dana DeLauder’s sudden passing left her widower and her orphaned son each trying to save himself while working to sink the other. She left a legacy of lifted hearts and golden opportunities for the large number of musical groups she helped launch. She left a gift of unconditional love for many others. How does the extended cast cope with her death?
As Dana said, Life Continues.
Volume 3, drama
Ethan and Alex evolve and grow, adjust to new circumstances and forge a closer relationship.