Puget Sound Trilogy
A Bit of Candy in Hard Times
Set in the late 1920s, at the height of prohibition, this is the story of Emmett Dougal, fisherman and rumrunner who, after having his boat shot out from under him by the Coast Guard off the coast of Maine, decides to return to his Puget Sound roots. Emmett’s journey to rediscover a sense of home puts him on a dangerous path when he is forced back into the rum running business. Along the way he finds an unexpected love interest and rekindles his love for the sea.
Emmett’s story provides a markedly different regional perspective of this infamous chapter in our nation’s history.
Playing Out the Hand
Picks up eight years later during the last years of the Depression, and examines the anti-Japanese sentiment in the run-up to WWII.
The protagonist, Arlyn Dunne (prominently featured in A Bit of Candy in Hard Times) is now working as an insurance investigator in Seattle.
Arlyn’s inquiries into a potential arson lead him into relationships with several Japanese-Americans living in the Seattle area.
Down, Beat Down
Set in 1955, Down, Beat Down chronicles the ongoing and interweaving lives of the Dunne and Dougal families. Emmett Dougal and Noémi have turned the fish camp into an oasis safe from the reactionary overreach of a growing Puget Sound community. Two of Arlyn Dunne’s boys – Charley and Sammy - have returned from war in the Pacific and Korea, carrying psychological and physical wounds that affect their daily lives. Charley is now a sheriff on the Kitsap Peninsula; Sammy is a union official in Tacoma; Teddy is a jazz pianist who is fighting the most devastating battle of all, that of a heroin addict.
Twice Removed is an unforgettable saga that follows the journey of 3 Czech friends who meet in their teens and whose paths interweave between 1927 – 1953:
Josef Skala: the talented Jewish filmmaker
Sara Hruska: the beautiful actress whose work is critically acclaimed across Europe
Jan Mensik: the idealogue who turns both Josef’s and Sara’s lives upside down forever.
Twice Removed explores complex and intricate layers of friendship, love and betrayal against the backdrop and politics of the Nazi invasion of Europe and the subsequent Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia.
Turkey Farm Blues
Set in South Korea in the late 1960s, Turkey Farm Blues recounts the tour of duty of James ‘Buddy’ Hensley who is posted at a small compound – Camp Halo - on the DMZ just prior to the seizure of the USS Pueblo. The threat of all-out war, punctuated by sporadic incursions by the North Koreans, compels the GIs at Camp Halo to fight a daily battle with fear, anticipation and ennui. To numb themselves the soldiers - and Hensley among them - find their way to the ‘ville’ where they escape into a haze of alcohol, drugs and women. And just like the transient relationships that soldiers form on each assignment, the men forge temporary romances with women who barely speak English and for whom the relationships provide more financial than emotional sustenance.
Hensley, ever the consummate soldier, struggles to tend to his flock and soon becomes entangled in the dealings of his subordinates and colleagues. And then, much to his dismay, his life becomes even more complicated when he falls in love with the most unlikely of women, the madam of the high-end brothel affectionately known as “The Turkey Farm.”