Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Sinister Activity of My Neighbor

I'm not afraid of a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack. I'm not afraid of getting killed in a car wreck. I'm not afraid of pianos falling from the sky. But I am paranoid about spending time in my bedroom, leaving the house, or doing anything that might make me visible to the people who are watching me.

Well, person.

My neighbor. She's spying on me.

It all started last Friday night at a cozy, intimate dinner with the neighbor to the left of my apartment. Her name is Kathleen, a plump brunette who invited me, my roommate, and another neighbor named Mandy over for pork chops (which were very good, by the way, served with steamed potatoes and a mix of veggies). Kathleen is the quiet type while Mandy is a vocal fireball blonde who is 27 but looks 35 because that's what 15 years of smoking and drinking will do to you. Not that there's anything wrong with smoking and drinking, of course, as I've been known to puff a cigar and drink a bottle of Crown now and then. If by "now and then" you mean "nightly". But anyway....

The "before dinner" conversation was pretty light. I told a recent story of narrowly missing a deer along the road passing our complex; in my attempt to swerve and avoid the stupid animal that jumped in front of my vehicle, my passenger side mirror took a hit from the deer's head and went flying.

Mandy said in response: "How did it damage the mirror on a Saturn?"

That's key, my friends. I didn't tell her what kind of car I drive. Now, in fairness, she drives a Saturn, too. Its gold, like mine; a few years older, with two doors compared to my four. I've certainly seen Mandy driving hers so it's not impossible that she has seen me in mine as well. (We Saturn owners like to look out for each other, you see. We're a tight-knit group.)

But then we talked about work. She said to me: "I see you coming and going at odd hours. What do you do?"

Now, when she says odd hours, we're talking up at 3 a.m., back around seven or eight; then I'm home all afternoon. She works at home, too, selling some kind of software for a local computer company.

So what it boils down to is, she's home all day except for when she goes on sales calls and probably gets bored, so she'll look out the window when there's activity outside.

Of course that begs the question, what the heck is she doing awake at 3 a.m. when I'm leaving for work????

I was somewhat comforted by the fact that she was aware of another neighbor's moving away (this individual had these two annoying wiener dogs I think everybody wanted to strangle), and the activities of the college boys who live in the so-called "party house" at the front of the complex.

But I think it's more sinister than that. Mandy is obviously a CIA agent sent to spy on me because of my, uh, subversive opinions and the general up-to-no-goodness that I just naturally ooze. Plus she has probably seen my Facebook posts. Gotta fight the power any way you can, you know.

But how can she be spying when she was there before I moved in, you ask? Simple: She heard ahead of time that my roommate was going to tell me about his open room (she may even have the place bugged).

I'm not as dumb as I look, however, and Mandy has another thing coming if she thinks her mission will be that easy. As Bogart once said, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. It’s the only way that I can find out who she's working for. I can only stop the surveillance by tracking down the man who ordered it.....

Boy, this is starting to sound like the plot of a Robert Ludlum novel.

If I suddenly vanish from the face of the earth, you know what happened.

If I suddenly make an appearance in "Letters to Penthouse"....well, that's another post.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's a Rogue Christmas!

From now until the end of the year, you can snatch up THE ROGUE GENTLEMAN, my new ebook, for only .99 cents. Hurry. Won't last.

Click here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Roger Moore Slept Here

Barbara and Michael, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY 007???

I have just returned from a showing of the new, so-called James Bond movie SKYFALL, which from here on out I will refer to as S*ITFALL,

Where to start in describing S*ITFALL?

It's a well-made movie. It's well-photographed. The actors are superb. It's a well-produced movie....but it's not a James Bond movie. There's a guy in it who talks with a funny accent who calls himself James Bond, but this is not James Bond. I don't know who this guy is.

There was a time when Bond stood out from the crowd. The movies had amazing stunts and set pieces and great humor and over-the-top moments that were unique and everybody else had to play catch-up. There were times when Bond got too silly but he was always there with his smirk and his one-liner and his babe and there was a formula and elements you could count on being there that made you feel welcome and comfortable and ready to see what they were going to do this time. They always found a way to make it different, but the same, and a good time was always had by all (until you started reading the forums!).

There is nothing that makes S*ITFALL stand out from any other stupid action movie, and there is plenty of stupid action in this one (at least in the Silva escape sequence, the rest is OK). Remember in the '60s when Bond was popular and a ton of copycat movies were made to cash in? Today, Bond is a copy of himself. The filmmakers are trying to imitate their own movies and they've given us this new thing that is like Bond but not quite Bond because that would be copying.

S*ITFALL does not feature smirk Bond, funny Bond, or any other Bond we've come to love. That man hasn't been present over the last three films. Instead we have gritty Bond, gloomy Bond, pissed-off Bond, angry Bond. I don't want that kind of James Bond.

But it's Fleming! Horse manure. But it's realistic! Nuts to that. There are enough outlandish "Bond moments" in S*ITFALL for the attempt at "reality" to be a waste of time. The Bond in the Fleming books wasn't perfect and had second thoughts and was gloomy and got pissed off and all that, yeah, but I don't want to see that on screen. If this is Barbara and Michael's attempt at a "literary" interpretation, I wish they'd go back to the other way. Book Bond does not equal Movie Bond.

Bond is just not fun anymore.

Luckily, I have DVDs of the old movies. The "real" Bond movies. I think I'll watch OCTOPUSSY and wait for the Tarzan yell. Or A VIEW TO A KILL and laugh when the Beach Boys come on and listen for my favorite line ("Anybody else want to drop out?"). I'll watch FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and cringe when I hear "I'll buy you a delicatessen in stainless steel!" but Goddammit I will have a good time watching those movies!!!!!

If I want a gritty spy story, I'll watch THE SANDBAGGERS.

James Bond is not the Sandbaggers.

Maybe some day Bond will be fun again. Let me know when that happens, okay?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ready To Buy Reviews

Designed by Carl Graves
Just kidding.

I think.

Anyway the full novel version of The Rogue Gentleman is now out, and I appreciate y'all taking a look.

Follow the globe-hopping adventures of Steve Dane as he takes on an international arms dealer trying to sell a nuke to terrorists. Action + humor = a fun read. Because everything in the world, lately, has been too damn serious.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rogue Update

You  may have noticed that I removed the links to my "Rogue Gentleman" stories. I had decided to try serializing this novel, but that experiment did not work out, so I am repackaging the sections into a full novel. I expect to have the book out in October; currently, my editor and I are going over the final section, but delays keep pushing back the original release date, which I had hoped would be last week! My editor and I are having a conversation about the piece later today. I don't know if I biffed the whole thing or what but she wants to have "a talk". Ugh. Wish me luck. But the book will be out soon, I swear.

The point is that some of you who did buy the serialized sections have an incomplete story, and my apologies for that. If you bought those sections and wish to read the whole story, send me an email at briandrake88 at yahoo dot com and give me the very last word of the story as proof you have any of the sections. In exchange I will send you a complimentary copy of the whole book.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Indie Scene: KILLER INSTINCTS by Jack Badelaire

If you’re looking for a good action novel, look no further than Jack Badelaire’s Killer Instincts.

It’s a crisply written story about a young man pursuing the men who murdered his family.  But before you dismiss it as a Death Wish knock-off, read a few pages.  This is a story that grabs you from page one as we catch up with William, the protagonist, in the middle of a mission.  Once the smoke clears, we learn how he became the commando expert we see in that first section.  William Lynch links up with some shady characters to learn the finer points of wet work, and we get to watch him transform from mild-mannered kid into something much more. Unlike The Executioner or other characters of this type, who are fully formed when we first meet them, we get to watch Lynch grow and it’s almost as if we are changing along with him.  The difference between Lynch and The Executioner is more empathy.  More empathy equals more suspense as he takes on one challenge after another.  We know he wins in the end, but how he gets there, and how he grows with each step, is the story.

Badelaire chose to write this in first person, which is admirable.  It provides another sense of immediacy you don’t often get with action stories.  We’re in William’s head the whole time.  We see what he sees and change as he changes. While some might say the first person perspective and the thriller are mutually exclusive, in this case it works because the suspense isn’t really in whether or not he gets the bad guys or lives or dies.  It’s about the characters and how they relate; how they became who they are; and what they chose to do with their positions in life.  While they’ve indeed chosen “the good side”, if you will (and I’m not even sure about that!), we learn that sometimes a hero must adopt methods of the bad guys.  Nice guys finish last, you see, and unless you are as equally capable with a submachine gun as your enemy, you’re going to lose the fight.  How one gets to that point is what Killer Instincts is about.

It’s available as an ebook and print edition, a nice print edition at that, and you will be well rewarded for the time invested.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jerry Ahern, 1946-2012

I found out this evening that Jerry Ahern passed away earlier this morning.


I found out because we were "friends" on Facebook and his family was kind enough to post the announcement. Jerry was one of my favorite writers growing up. I read everything I could get my hands on and I never did complete the Ahern Library, but I tried. His novels were full of exciting adventure and it was everything a growing boy needed. He was gracious enough to grant me an interview for this blog shortly after I started it and I had hoped we could maintain a correspondence, but that didn't work out. Maybe he was already sick.

I am including a link to the interview here because I can think of no better tribute, from me, anyway, as meaningless as it may be, than to once again highlight the dedication to the craft of writing that Jerry had. It's a dedication that all writers should have. He wrote in the men's adventure genre, but he wrote far above the limitations of that genre, and his point of view should not be missed.

I entitled my interview "Jerry Ahern: King of Adventure".

He never told me if he thought it was silly or not.

So long, Jerry.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Howard Browne's Paul Pine Novels

"I hear he's improving."

So said Raymond Chandler himself in a BBC interview with Ian Fleming back in the day when the two were on top of the world with James Bond and Philip Marlowe. Chandler had just released Playback, Fleming's Goldfinger was in proofs, and Ray also talked about what would later become Poodle Springs where he has Marlowe married and wasn't really sure what to do next. Of course, Chandler died before finishing that book and Robert B. Parker completed it. But Chandler uttered the quote above after Fleming talked about his enjoyment of Howard Browne's Paul Pine novels. Everybody who reads PI stories knows the Pine books were Chandler clones--and good ones, too.

One can almost see Chandler's tongue planted in cheek when he says that line, and you know that he knew what Browne was up to. How could he not?

If you have never had the opportunity to read Howard Browne's Paul Pine books, very soon you'll get your chance. Haffner Press is releasing the books and we are very excited to hear of this development.

I have, so far, only read Halo for Satan, which I picked up at a used bookshop one day many years ago. In the introduction, Browne states that he wanted to write a story where the identity of the murderer hinges on a clue that no reader would be able to guess or predict. And he was right! It's been used time and again since but you'd never know it while reading the book and you'll marvel at how poorly such a twist has been handled by others and how smoothly Browne pulled it off. Granted the clue is based on the prejudices of the time it was written, even Browne admitted so, and it will surely cause much weeping and gnashing of teeth from the PC crowd, but it's a heck of a thriller and anything that offends the PC crowd is OK in my book.

Paul Pine is a Chicago private investigator; in Halo for Satan, he's hired by worried parents to track down their missing daughter. He gets conked on the head a few times, engages in the usual hokum, and solves the mystery. But it's so well-written and so engaging that such a bland premise takes on new life and you cannot help but stay glued to the page.

I am very excited to be able to get my hands on all of the books in one collection. Hurry, Santa, hurry!

Friday, May 18, 2012

E-Book Experimentation, or: Back to the Drawing Board

For the last few months I've been releasing as a serial The Rogue Gentleman, featuring the adventures of globe-trotting thrill-seeker Steve Dane. I designed the stories to be read in one or two sittings and wanted to see if readers would support this new format.

Well, bluntly, the entire experiment has gone over like the proverbial lead zeppelin Tommy Page once joked about.

This has been discouraging, to say the least, and has caused some delay in the fourth and final episode in this first set, but it's almost done and should be out shortly. Nobody is complaining that it's late, so I'm not in any rush.

Unfortunately my other ebooks, steady sellers throughout 2011, seem to have suffered but I have no way of knowing if they've been affected by the serial or not. I can't imagine why, but you never know. The folks who have bought the older books have not come back for the newer ones.

So here's what I know: full-length novels sell.

Serialized books, at least my books in this case, do not. Perhaps you will have better luck should you go that route. Perhaps the idea of paying, overall, $4.00 for a story isn't appealing. I have no trouble selling some titles for the usual $2.99, so maybe that is truly the sweet spot price point.

It's been a fun experiment, and happily one that the new world of ebooks allows an author to attempt. It could have gone like gangbusters as we'd hoped, but that isn't the case. I also have the freedom, when the results are not what we'd like, to go back to what we know works.
Proposed cover for the collected set.

So once The Rogue Gentleman #4: The Hard Way is done, and released, I will wait a few months, withdraw the serialized versions, and re-release it as a full novel along with a sequel that is already in the can. Steve Dane will continue with single-title, fully-contained stories.

I think we will all be much happier that way.

After The Rogue Gentleman II it will be time to turn my attention to the next book, where I plan on going back to my hard-boiled crime roots with a murder mystery called Kill Fever. I also have plans to bring back Mr. Pierce from Justified Sins, which I know some of you will be excited to hear, but that won't get done until 2013, more than likely after I finished Kill Fever.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ian Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me, Or: When Ian Almost Killed Off 007

The Spy Who Loved Me is a good James Bond book. I know he thought that it was terrible and felt that the experiment in writing about Bond from a woman's point of view failed miserably but that simply isn't the case (he hated it so much, he asked that it not be reprinted--ever). You can make the case that Fleming stank at writing from a female point of view, because I don't think Vivienne Michal sounds much like a real woman at all, but that's a minor point and we must admit that most male writer do not write female characters very well. Female writers, on the flip side, also do not write male characters very well. It's a Mars / Venus thing. You can't write about what you don't understand.

The story of how Vivienne Michal, the heroine we spend time with throughout the story, encounters James Bond doesn't give us much insight to Bond as a character, but it's a fun ride, and I think we've had all the insight required from the other books. There isn't much more to reveal about him at that point in the series.

While working alone at a roadside motel, Michal is harassed by the mafia thugs who arrive to carry out a scheme for their boss, who owns the motel, and Michal will be the unfortunate victim of that scheme. Fleming's dialogue for his bad guys sounds like he copied it from a bad 1930s Bogart movie; however, the two thugs themselves are very well drawn and one of them even has metal teeth which must have inspired the Jaws character who appeared in the film version. The hostage situation he describes is also nail-biting. When James Bond, after getting a flat tire, shows up at the motel, we let out the breath we've been holding because the brave knight has arrived to rescue the damsel in distress. Bond is quickly recruited to save Vivienne (not that it takes much!) and he does so in typical fashion.

I think it was with this book that Fleming toyed with killing off 007, having tired of the character and the hassles of dreaming up new adventures. It would have been the perfect vehicle. Instead of a third person report on the death of Bond (like he tried, almost, in From Russia, With Love), we have an eye witness report. The tell-tale sign occurs just before the final battle. Fleming practically foreshadows Bond's death when he tells her to "remember who I was". He gives her his 007 recognition number and runs off to fight. She wonders why he would use the past tense, and in the suspenseful fight that follows we hold our breath as Bond and the baddies shoot it out.

Of course, Fleming did not kill off 007 and he followed up this novel with the terrific On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

My only complaint about the story is how many times Bond apologies to Michal for this, that, and the other, usually after he fails to accomplish a goal, or a trick fails, or for some other reason, and while he may be trying to reassure her that he can finish the job, it made him seem weak.

Other than that, if you've avoided The Spy Who Loved Me because of its reputation as one of the lesser Bond books, give it a read. I dare you to put it down--you won't be able to. I think you'll find it earns its place in the Bond Canon quite nicely.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

REVIEW: How to Survive Anything by David & Yetta Kane

How to Survive Anything has been a hard book to review. It makes you take stock of your life and evaluate how you see yourself and your current situation. But I'm getting ahead of myself....

The book is about a couple who lived separate lives prior to World War II and weren’t bothering anybody, but then a poor excuse for a carbon unit decided he wanted to start a war. This couple fought their own battles through that war, on the run, in the camps, and neither survived unscathed.  Mothers, fathers, siblings, entire life histories were lost.

What they did with their lives after emerging from the battlefield is where their story really begins.

What did I learn reading How to Survive Anything by David and Yetta Kane? First, I learned that no matter how tough things have been for me the last few years, I was never in a Nazi concentration camp. The Nazis did not kill members of my family or force me from my home. Second, I learned that no matter how hard things have been for me the last few years (unemployment, moving constantly, scraping by, busted relationships and personal tragedies), they are but a drop in the bucket compared to the overall length of my life, and to wallow on the pain and difficulty of those years is counterproductive to what else life has in store for me. There’s something wonderful beyond where I am; it’s my job to go and find it.

The Kanes tell a story of Rising Above. Fill in your own blank after that.  In their case, the horrors of World War II. In your case…what? Abuse? Sickness? Fear?

After the war the Kanes came to the United States for a new start, and they have certainly made the most of that start. There was no time for a pity party. There were only new opportunities! As a rabbi, David has used his position to change the story of his life from despair, fear, and death, to faith, hope, and love. Who else does that? Why is it so easy to stay negative and define ourselves by our troubles?  And don’t give me any “I don’t like religion” garbage—you don’t have to be religious to “get” their story. This is a story about people of faith, yes, but if you dismiss it because of that you're wrong to do so. What the Kanes made me realize is that the rough patches in life are indeed patches and our attitudes shape how we recover. David Kane tells a great joke about a fellow who broke a leg in an accident, and started laughing.  When asked why he was laughing, the fellow said, “I could have broken them both!”  

The real survivors.
Attitude is everything, they say. You can remain down in the dumps, pulling a woe is me act, but if you do you will always be in that place.

Or you can be determined to survive and stay positive and know that there’s Something More for you Somewhere Out There and go and find it.  It took many years for the Kanes to see the fruits of their efforts; now, with a family that has multiplied beyond their dreams, a ministry, if you will, that reaches thousands every year, they can look the past in the eye and say not only did they survive, but we thrived, and we took what somebody meant for evil and turned it into good. They speak at a lot of high schools, and the letters section of the book, which displays the feedback from students, makes one believe that perhaps the U.S. is more than a population of mush-headed bon-bon sucking half-wits who vote for a hand out.

I don’t mean to write such a charged review, but the constant weeping and gnashing of teeth that Americans have demonstrated since a certain someone was elected in 2008 leaves me sick to my stomach. Students are protesting high tuition costs? Can’t find a job? Gas prices are too high? Can't retire? Cry me a river! Would you prefer to be marched naked into an oven or forced to play a violin while others around you burn stacks of bodies that contain the remains of your relatives? Americans need a wake-up call louder than any trumpet Gabriel can blow.

The Kanes paint a picture of two individuals who said NO to the pity party and carried on with strength and courage.

Remember, Hitler blew his brains out.

But the Kanes are still alive.

You lose, Adolf.

How to Survive Anything by David and Yetta Kane is available at Amazon.Com.  Here is a link to their personal website and I encourage you to check it out.

Your education as a human being is incomplete until you read this book.  It’s going to be one of those books you keep around for when you need a reminder that nothing can defeat you except yourself.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Inspiration is Where You Find It

Does any writer like the "where do you get your ideas?" question? I don't. Luckily, I don't get asked that very often but lately I have discovered a terrific source of inspiration and I thought it would be of interest to you, my fellow writers, and maybe it will provide a compact answer when some knucklehead brings up your ideas over cocktails.

When you write thrillers (as I do), it is important to have either experienced thrilling things, know of thrilling things, or to be able to make things that are not thrilling into things that are. A scan of the daily news can, usually, produce material for at least one decent thriller depending on your imagination (Michael Newton made the same point in How to Write Action Adventure Novels). One thing that helps one's skill in using the day's events for story fodder is learning how other writers do it, and the best source of this sort--for me--is a coffee table book called JAMES BOND: THE LEGACY by John Cork and Bruce Scivally. This huge tome covers the entire history of the first 20 James Bond movies and even gives a few pages worth of mention to a chap named Ian Fleming who wrote the original novels (which are better than the movies, but that's another article for another forum).

Throughout the book, you read not only how the movies were made and the behind-the-scenes machinations that took place, but you get an insight into what was happening in the world at the time, politically, socially, etc., and how some of those events made it into the writer's room and eventually into the Bond movie scripts and how those events were molded and shaped to fit the final version of the films. It has made me reconsider how I look at current and historical events and how I might use those to my own advantage.

Some examples: Dr. No, about a madman's plan to alter the course of U.S. rocket launches, used the Cuban Missile Crisis as a springboard. You Only Live Twice used the space race as a backdrop. Goldfinger took advantage of developing technology (the infamous laser cutter being a prime example and Bond's DB5 another). The energy crisis of the 1970s played a heavy role in The Man with the Golden Gun. Diplomatic efforts to maintain the balance of world power between the U.S. and Soviet Union in the '80s influenced For Your Eyes Only. Nuclear expansion, disarmament, and fears of Soviet aggression in Europe fueled the story behind Octopussy.  Of course, nothing overtly political ever made it into the movies which is a skill in and of itself. All we saw was an exciting story taking place in exotic locations, fantastic and silly in some cases, but anchored somewhere north of reality.

I am currently writing a series called The Rogue Gentleman, about a globe-trotting adventurer named Steve Dane who rights wrongs wherever he finds them, and to say he wasn't partially inspired by Bond would be a lie. Steve Dane is very much inspired by our British friend, and by other literary heroes such as Simon Templar. I have quite a career planned for Mr. Dane and seeing how the Bond writers worked has opened the door to ideas I had not previously thought would work, and highlighted events that I either did not know of at the time or was too young (or not alive!) to remember. With a few changes here and there I can not only mine the past but the present as well and turn out stories that will be worth reading for years to come. Perhaps a melding of the two will give me a glimpse into the future and I can use those ideas to produce some real surprises.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Follow Me on Twitter....

I'm not sure why, but what the hell....stay on top of book announcements and the Drake and The Deacon radio show....


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Big Announcement--Brian Drake On The Air!

Part of the reason I have been so quiet lately is because I've been developing a talk show for an internet radio station called RadioSlot.Com. Me and a pal will be doing a weekly show called "Drake and the Deacon" and, no, it's not a religious broadcast. My show partner likes to think he is a "deacon" of all things--whatever. I don't know if even he knows what it means but he does not want to use his real name. And who can blame him? I'm not using my real name, either.

Anyway we record the first show tonight and it should air this week, once I get bio and other promotional materials to the station so they can load it onto the site. RadioSlot.Com has been doing a music format for about ten years now but they want to add a talk radio side, and one of my buddies in the broadcasting industry within which I already work "recruited" me to try this.

Anyway I hope you'll give us a listen but it won't be for everybody. We're doing a mix of commentary on current events, pop culture ridicule, life stuff and whatever else comes up. In the auditions we've done I try to keep things light and funny but the Deacon fancies himself a Mensa candidate so he has to ruin all of my punchlines. He's so smart he can think three steps ahead of me. Whatever! He's nothing without me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Till Further Notice.....

Hey, everybody....I promise I'll get back to this blog soon. You won't believe the stories I have to tell! But I wanted y'all to know that my Rogue Gentleman series has been discounted to .99 for a limited time. Links are to your right and my left! Thanks for looking!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

One Night in the City

It was supposed to be a quiet evening of dinner and dancing as my friend Corinne celebrated her 33rd birthday.

It was supposed to be fun. Aren't birthday parties supposed to be fun?


We met at a nice Mexican place off the Embarcadero where I paid too much for a vodka martini that wasn't even filled to the top, the cheap bastards, and paid way too much for a platter of beef tacos. These were mini tacos, the kind you might get off a corner roach coach, and $12.50 to boot. What arrived on my plate, looking like something you might find in the gutter, I would have paid $2 for at one of those street-corner establishments, and I would have enjoyed it more too.

One of Corinne's coworkers was supposed to be there and she is an attractive lass with whom I wanted to get more acquainted, but she didn't show. However, Corinne's roommate did attend. Her name was Renee and she was very nice and we had a lovely chat. Things were going so well that I decided I wanted to get her phone number and continue our conversation at a later time.

But as Jack Benny might say, Well....

Things didn't exactly go as planned.

Renee had a "friend" with her. They had similar hair cuts, which should have been a clue. Straight black hair down to the shoulders with thick bangs across the forehead. Like a helmet. I should have known....

So the night ends and I decide to walk the girls to the MUNI station where they can catch their train back home; as I'm preparing to ask Renee for her home telephone number, she says, "Wow, I'm cold," and snakes her arm through that of her friend and pulls her close. They walked that way all the way to the station.

Call this "The Night I Almost Hit On a Lesbian"

Not that, you know, there's anything wrong with that.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rogue Gentleman #2: Moving Target....Available NOW!

I apologize for the lack of updates in recent weeks. Real life has been crazy! But out of the craziness has come a couple of stories that are doozies indeed and I will post them soon. One of the anecdotes involves me and a partner starting a new radio talk show, so very soon you may not only be able to READ Brian Drake but LISTEN to him as well!

Anyway, we are gathered here today to announce the release of the second episode in the Rogue Gentleman series, Moving Target, which picks up a day or two after Private Vendetta ended. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy New Year, my friends. We are kicking things off with the release of the first episode in my new series, The Rogue Gentleman. There will be a new episode each month. Thrills, chills, comedy, suspense, action, romance, cliff-hanger endings... it's all here. If you like James Bond or The Saint, this is your stuff.

Steve Dane, The Rogue Gentleman, an international adventurer who rights wrongs wherever he finds them, fails to prevent a young woman’s abduction. But that does not stop him from finding her.

Gotta love a chick with two guns!
Officially hired by the girl’s father, Dane battles gunman and evades police as he discovers the decades-old vendetta behind the kidnapping; he soon learns that the grudge is just the beginning and peels back the layers of a more fiendish plan that goes beyond a desire for vengeance.

Assisted by his lover, the luscious Nina Talikova, Steve Dane dives head first, the only way he knows how, into a conspiracy of terror the likes of which the world has never seen, orchestrated by a powerful and mysterious woman known only as “The Duchess”.

When Dane finds The Duchess he will sacrifice anything, including his life, to destroy her.

Private Vendetta will be followed by Moving Target and The Zeta Connection; we have a long career planned for Dane & Company and we hope you all enjoy the ride.