About this blog...

FUNERAL PARTY takes Zak O'Neill from the SW side of Chicago to a private Club in hidden Wisconsin and then back to gangs, guns, and the Chicago Outfit (the Mob). While writing FP, I had to do some research in Chicago--I'd been gone a long time (except for some wife-induced Cultural Tours, which were nice but hardly gritty) and for some of the trips, I needed Mike Da' Cop or John the Marine for protection, and that ain't right. So this blog is about former neighborhoods and old memories and how you can't go home again in some places, even for the best food in the world (at least while/after you're drinking). For now, this is going to be about my Zak and Freddy books. But feel free to jump in with stuff about about Chicago vs. Wisconsin, and gangs, guns, and crime, and some somehow-related cool music and books and movies. And, of course, food and the perfect drink.
So relax, read, and have a martini, pal. You deserve it.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Took you long enough, pal...

Yeah, I'm sorry I'm late. But FUNERAL PARTY (Mystery, Murder, and Martinis: On The Run) is now at Amazon and Smashwords. Hey, I had extenuating circumstances, OK? Here's the description I wrote for the book:

FUNERAL PARTY (Mystery, Murder, and Martinis: On The Run). (Approximately 154,000 words; Adult Content--contains sex, violence, and frequent profanity). Tavern owner and former bagman for the Chicago Outfit while he was a cop, Zak O’Neill is forced to do one more job for his old Mob boss: take the gangster’s girlfriend out on a date to see if she can be trusted. Of course she can’t—but for an entirely different reason than suspected—and Zak is forced to shoot his way out of a set-up and flee, leaving behind his tavern, his house, and the girl he’s in lust with. Driving far north into Wisconsin to hide, low on cash and gas and lost, Zak winds up at a desolate saloon and all too soon wonders if he wasn’t better off back in Chicago, hit-men be damned. Besides the fact that he’s a hated Flatlander in Cheesehead-land, there’s the hulking but too-short Freddy who’s always looking for a fight, the WANTED fax with Zak’s face that brings those darned bounty hunters, the mysterious private club that hosts a funeral party complete with strippers dancing around the casket, and finally the ultimatum: Die here, or head into dangerous territory to deal with gangs, guns, and a lot of missing money.

So it's not a short book, but that's a good thing, in that I read about people complaining they didn't get their money's worth. Then I put in that "disclaimer" so they can't bitch about the sex and swearing and people getting shot etc. I admit there is a lot of swearing, but I conducted a personal study by driving in to Chicago last weekend, and that will get you swearing like (insert your own term here), especially the tolls and the holes. But that was not a real scientific test, like +/- 5% or whatever. So I had to test further, which mainly involved drinking with my friend John, who swears like a Marine, because he was one, and because he drinks Busch Lite during the day (Actual quote: "This is my lawn-mowing beer. You don't want to waste a good beer while you're just sweating it out."). After we did a road trip for some "research" (drinking in Loop bars) we fortified ourselves with 312 beer from a downtown liquor store and drove around and basically swore up a shitstorm about other drivers, upset wives, and stuff in general. It was very soothing. And it proved my point, I think: Two guys drinking (which my main characters seem to do a lot) are gonna' swear.

As for the sex stuff, it's just mentioned. Well, except fot that in-the-car scene, which I really enjoyed writing. And the cave scene. As for violence--well, it is about gangs; just read the Chicago Trib or Times online to get a refresher-course on what I'm talking about in the book (Better yet, read the "secondcitycop" blog for what the papers don't print).

If you're in Chicago, I really do envy you. It is a great City--if you know where to go and where not to go. I lived there for 28 years and come back almost every year as a tourist. I still think I know my way around, but since I've been out of the action for a while, I always bribe a driver who knows better than me about certain areas. It's a smart thing to do, especially at night. 

Don't think so? Say so. See you next time. In the meantime, you can get FUNERAL PARTY (Mystery, Murder, and Martinis: On The Run) by clicking on the book covers to the right. Smashwords gets you all formats except for your Kindle; Amazon for your Kindle and for the free download to view it on your computer (Smashwords has a computer-view also).

PS: Yes, I'll get the web site up asap. Thank you for mentioning it. Got to go--cocktail hour.


  1. OMG...I loved every second of this book. I am a tough read people and I have been very pleasantly suprised!!! Hooked me chapter 1, word 1. Anxiously awaiting the next!!!

  2. WOW...you are an excellent writer...congrats my friend.

  3. I found out about your book because of DSLC's Blog. I hopped right over to Amazon to purchase it and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next story about Zak and Freddy!

  4. I posted reviews for you on Goodreads, Amazon,and Barnes and Noble! I really enjoyed your book and am looking forward to more Zak and Freddy adventures. Thanks to DSLC for posting your book on his blog or I might not have learned about it! Keep on writin'!