Uncorking a Story
Stories move us and shape us. They impact how we see the world and how we act in it. I believe in the power of story and on this site you will not only find my published stories but also the stories I have uncorked from other people. If you see something you like, please share it will a friend.
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A Source of Inspiration
Be inspired by ordinary people doing extraordinary things
Written reflections designed to inspire and provoke thought
Recently Uncorked Stories
As many of you know, I write novels and a few weeks ago I did an email promotion with an author services company to get the word out about my first mystery Uncorking a Murder. While that promotion was running, I received an email from a fellow author who was also...
Imagine going through basic training for the US Army as you approach the age of 40. It's more than challenging at 18, but at 40 - come on it takes a special kind of person to raise his or her hand and say, "Bring it on," but that is just what Captain James P. Carlon...
John Seigel Boettner is a social studies teacher at Santa Barbara Middle School, but he’s not like one I ever had. It’s a special kind of person who can take middle school kids on a cross country...
Motel California (Farrah Graham Book 3)
Farrah Graham and Jimmy Doubts, hosts of the wildly popular Uncorking a Murder podcast, are living it up in Los Angeles promoting the latest season of their show. As part of their media tour, the two appear on a late-night talk show where Bernie Deville, an outlaw country singer hell-bent on distancing himself from his past, performs as the show’s musical guest.
After the show, Jimmy heads to the Hotel Palomino where he meets with an entertainment executive to pitch a concept for a television show. When Deville shows up at the hotel and recognizes Jimmy, all hell breaks loose in the form of a very public and bloody fight between Doubts and Deville. Shortly thereafter, the singer’s life meets an untimely end when he checks out of Motel California face first from his third story balcony. After a video clip of Jimmy’s fight with the singer goes viral, Doubts becomes a prime suspect in the subsequent murder investigation of Bernie Deville.
Farrah, meanwhile, is distracted by another matter; Interpersonal Audio, a patent holding company, is trolling after Uncorking a Murder and other successful podcasts claiming content infringement on a patent the company holds. If this patent troll wins, Uncorking a Murder would come to an untimely end (much like Bernie Deville). The stakes couldn’t be higher as Jimmy fights for his innocence and Farrah struggles for their future.
Twin Detectives who constantly argue about Heavy Metal music, a sociopathic killer dressed like a cowboy, and a mob boss addicted to home improvement television round out the cast of Motel California, a story that could only be told in the backdrop of a city as unique as LA.
The Last Homily (Farrah Graham Book 2)
A Catholic priest is murdered while celebrating mass in the resort village of Chatham, MA and it is up to Farrah Graham, host of the Uncorking a Murder podcast, to find out who did it and why, before the killer strikes again. Father Gregory Hart is an outspoken reformer in the Catholic Church and has been a thorn in the side of church hierarchy ever since the sex abuse scandal broke in 2001. In his homilies, Fr. Hart has advocated for the ordination of women, the welcoming of homosexual couples into union with the Church, and the reversal of his Church’s stance on artificial birth control.
One Sunday, Fr. Hart drops dead on the altar just before the end of mass and his congregation is shocked to find out that he was murdered. Farrah Graham, host of the Uncorking a Murder podcast, sees the priest die and immediately inserts herself into the case. When a sexual abuse survivor is arrested for the murder of Fr. Hart, Farrah has her doubts about his guilt and launches her own investigation.
As her exploration proceeds, it becomes clear that the police have arrested the wrong man and this puts Farrah, her brother Michael, and “Jimmy Doubts,” in harm’s way as the real killer will stop at nothing to hide from justice.
Uncorking a Murder (Farrah Graham Book 1)
The Uncorking a Murder podcast took the nation by storm. Farrah Graham, the creator and host, struck a nerve with listeners through a ten-episode serial that combined investigative journalism, old fashioned radio drama, and compelling storytelling.
Farrah’s loyal listeners and advertisers are hungry for season two! While Farrah and her partner Melody struggle to agree on a topic for the second season of the podcast, their intern takes a call from a retired detective in Ft. Lauderdale pitching his request to focus on a case he was involved with five years earlier.
Interested to hear why a retired detective is driven to have a conviction overturned, Farrah follows her curiosity down to Ft. Lauderdale where she uncovers a conspiracy involving a narcissistic CEO fueled by greed, a US Senator, and a wrongly imprisoned man; but will she live long enough to uncork the story?
All the F*cks I Cannot Give
Three weeks before Christmas, New York-bound mild-mannered marketing consultant Kelly Carson gets fired from his job over the telephone while sitting in an airport lounge at LAX. Terri Flynn, a fiery and controversial starlet running away to New York after walking off the set of her latest feature film, overhears Kelly’s unceremonious firing and becomes hell-bent on transforming him from the Clark Kent he is into the Superman the impulsive actress feels he’s destined to become.
After their flight to New York is cancelled, Kelly and Terri take a last-minute jaunt to Hawaii, putting in motion a series of hilarious events and misfortunes that shake their worlds to the core, but not always for the better. From romps on the beach and overindulging on edibles to swingers’ parties and diverted flights, Michael Carlon’s fifth novel, All the F*cks I Cannot Give, will have you belly laughing on every single page – and maybe even wishing you were in Kelly Carson’s shoes for just one day.
At twenty-nine, Patrick “Trick” Evans has just accomplished what no golfer since 1930 has been able to do, win all four of golf’s major championships in the same calendar year. There’s no doubt that he’s the sporting world’s newest superstar but he walks away from it all after the sudden death of his father and retreats to his secluded home in Chatham, Massachusetts.
Casper Quinlan is helping her father reinvent his magazine, Fore!, to have a place in the digital age. As part of her new job, she accepts the challenge to land an interview with the reclusive Trick Evans. While she has recovered physically from the car accident that took her leg fifteen years prior, she’s been unable to sustain a long term romantic relationship and finds it impossible to believe anyone will truly love her because of her handicap.
Robert McMullen has not been to Chatham since his teenage daughter’s death three decades ago. Recently widowed, he returns to Chatham to grant his wife’s dying wish, to be buried with a necklace that their late daughter gave her for Mother’s Day over four decades ago. Along the way he comes to realize that his late wife may have had ulterior motives for sending him back to the town where their daughter died.
Winning Streak is the story of how these three lives intersect and how each comes to learn critical lessons in order to heal from the pain of loss in their lives. Readers will be taken on an emotional journey full of laughter and tears while enjoying this novel which is reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom.
Return to Casa Grande
Blaze Hazelwood is a former “household name” actor searching for relevance in an entertainment environment that is remarkably different from what it was in his heyday.
Blaze was the breakout star of Casa Grande, a 1980s primetime soap beloved by millions. Twenty-five years after the show’s finale, the rest of the cast is struggling to get by but Blaze manages to stay busy doing voiceover work as well as participating in marketing focus groups taking on different personas to continually “build his chops.” Blaze loathes reality TV; for he truly believes that it represents everything wrong with the entertainment industry – and quite possibly the world – today.
Harvard educated Allison Hart, meanwhile, has a hit on her hands with Bling it on Featuring T-Bang – a “celebreality” show crafted around Hollywood “bad-boy” Thaddeus Stevens. The show’s popularity doubled the sales of a sponsor’s product and she has been approached to repeat its success for a product line geared towards women in an age group who still romance over Blaze Hazelwood and Casa Grande.
When Blaze unknowingly appears on an episode of Bling it On, the US goes with Blaze Fever – an affliction that many suffered in the 80s. This puts Blaze, Allison, and the former cast of Casa Grande on a collision course filled with hilarity, over the top revelations, and twists and turns that can only be true in a story featuring aging soap opera stars.