Category Archives: Book excerpts

Book Excerpt 1: ‘I Married a Psychic’

When Leela was nine years old, she realized that she could see auras. She thought it was just rainbows around people. She told her mother and the mother took her to a “specialist,” thinking her little girl was autistic.

When she was 12, she discovered that she knew things that others didn’t know. She could, for example, deduce the real intentions of the adults around her. She sensed when people were lying. She felt Uncle Harry’s evil intent beyond the gifts and smiles and extravagant attentions.

When she was still a teenager she learned how to astral project—how to have out-of-body experiences whenever she wanted—and how to tune in to people’s thoughts and emotions. She became an empath without really understanding what was going on.

I learned all of this while sitting on Leela’s whitewashed deck overlooking the palm trees and shabby apartment buildings in rent-controlled Santa Monica, California. She had scored a somewhat shabby apartment building of her own—six singles, no frills—when she finally divorced her evasive husband.

“I married this guy when I was just 19—”

“A child, really.”

“—yeah, a child, ’cause that was just what you did then. They wanted to marry you off, get you out of the house, start raising a family.” She made a face; she had never reproduced, didn’t believe in it.

“My father had died the year before, so maybe I was looking for a new daddy, too. He was only 53. Hit by a lady drunk driver at 11 in the morning about three blocks from where we lived.” She shook her head and looked away.

“My father died at 53 too. Heart attack.”

Leela looked at me strangely. “You didn’t like your father much, did you. Or rather he didn’t like you. He had a terrible temper, right? I’m getting this image of a lot of snow and a little boy almost naked running through the snow being chased by a red monster. Wow.”

Cover by Wildside Press

My jaw dropped open. “Leela, are you psychic or something?” I asked. This was very confidential information, known only to my two former shrinks. That image, the stuff of nightmares, was stored in my unconscious mind. “What else?” I said.

“Well, it was almost an arranged marriage. I’m talking about me, now,” she giggled. “Barry was good-looking and came from a good family and had a job in real estate. He was my first man. I was a virgin on our wedding night.”

“Jesus!”

“Well, not exactly.” Leela laughed, a hearty, surprising laugh from deep in her throat. “And luckily there was no conception, because I was on the pill.”

We bantered so easily, as if we had known each other for years. This was our first “date,” actually. After my new friend from the meditation center rescued me on that drunken, dangerous night—no one had died in that car accident, fortunately—and taken me home with him to the Tantra House, it took awhile before I was cleaned up and sobered up enough to face the light of day, much less meet my goddess.

It took a month. It was like being born again, leaving behind a broken body and a broken past and given a chance to start afresh. I had blown the temp gigs and got evicted from the Valley pad. My ragged old Toyota had been towed after sitting on the street for a month. I had no money, no job, no home, no car, and no future. I was just a nobody.

It was wonderful.

Book Excerpt 2: ‘The Alien Manifesto’

Cover image by Create Space

Chapter 11

“As you say, Hacker, these are strange times. All bets are off. Now, what’s the big story? Late-breaking news, dude. Give it to me. I know you’re tuned in. Know you got your sources. I’ve been out of the news loop lately.”

“Okay, Marty, here are the headlines. Our environmental crisis was coming to a head of its own accord, the droughts, the warming, the glaciers melting, the sea levels rising, the fires, the whole shot. Volcanoes erupting. Earthquakes. Running out of water. You know. Then a few months ago some new people suddenly made the scene—Black Swan Galactic. They decided to exploit the situation and make it even worse. They blackmailed governments for huge amounts of money so they could do their thing, which is this cockamamie scheme to launch a satellite and live forever, or explore the solar system, or something.”

“Uh, Hacker, my man, you must know from your intrusion, uh, your surveillance of my meeting with Jill that we discussed the Black Swan business. So tell me something I don’t know about these creeps.”

Hacker exhaled long and deeply, took a short time-out to munch on his dinner. “Okay, Marty, you asked for it. This is what I found out on HNN, the Hacker News Network. Black Swan Galactic Limited is registered and incorporated in Geneva. They have offices all over the place: in Moscow, in London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, New York, Mexico City, you name it. They started out a few years ago as a group of wealthy investors who made a lot of money in the international markets and especially in currency trading, and gave huge donations to environmental causes. But that was just a front.”

“A front for what?”

“For their real business, which is to fuck up the planet, scare the bejeezus out of the politicians, blackmail their ass, take the money and run. To outer space. They got some crazy space travel agenda. Marty, do you know what ‘Black Swan’ means?”

“No, not really,” I said. I remembered that Jill had some intel on the Black Swan thing, but she was vague on it. “Is there such a thing as a black swan?” I asked my friend. “I thought all swans were white.”

“That’s just the point. Black swan is all about the unpredictable. The unexpected. You can assume that all swans are white, but if you just see one black swan, it disproves the whole friggin’ thing.”

I shook my head. “What the fuck are you talking about, Hacker? What do swans have to do with an environmental crisis?”

“Okay, my man, here’s the intel I got from my hacker network. A few years ago a former Wall Street hotshot named Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote a book called The Black Swan. According to this book, life is totally unpredictable. Just about anything really significant that happens—historically, personally, whatever—is a black swan event. Something really game-changing. Usually catastrophes. Nine Eleven, for example. The atom bomb we dropped on Hiroshima. The stock market crash of 1929. Political assassinations in the Sixties.

“In short, a black swan event is an unexpected event that has a major impact on the world. In other words, shit happens. Life can never be the same again.”

Hacker stopped and took several deep breaths. “So this book is their bible. These freakin’ billionaires and power-mad bigshots who think they can do whatever they want and fuck the rest of the world. They think they can create black swan events, and, by the way, live forever. They’re all taking some weird drug called EMC-2. They think it jacks up their cells and gives them eternal life. This stuff has weird and unpredictable side effects, like boosting testosterone levels. You know what that means: unchecked male aggression. One of the core problems on this planet for thousands of years.

“So. Black Swan Galactic Limited. That’s who they are. They are very interested in your psychically gifted wife. And they have got her pretty ass under lock and key right now, according to my surveillance data. So if you, my friend, and my ex-girlfriend, Jill, are headed for Europe to try to find Leela, you are headed right into the lion’s mouth.”

 

Book Excerpt 3: ’93 Rolls-Royces’

Chapter One
(I was the Ghostwriter for this book, writing as the author of record)

How did I get here? Sometimes I ask myself that question. I was peacefully minding my own business, running a successful auto body and paint shop in Ojai, California, and quietly contemplating suicide. Then, a series of remarkable events landed me at the feet of an enlightened master, in an ashram in Pune, India.

But let me start at the beginning.

I was born and raised in Chicago’s inner city, the first of two sons. We lived in a two-story brick apartment building, which was filled with relatives of all kinds, a Polish extended family. On the street level was a nightclub owned by my family, the famous Orange Lantern. My parents welcomed me into the world like the Prodigal Son: I could do no wrong. Even as a young delinquent and troublemaker, I was always loved and supported.

My mother worked for the famous and powerful Mayor Daley, a Democrat with supposed ties to shady characters – aka politicians – and had a huge influence in local and national politics. My younger brother Ken and I would often hide under the big dining room table and listen in while my parents entertained local power brokers.

I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools. My grade school was run by your typical nuns; some got off on corporal punishment. I often got into trouble, and was just a step away from reform school, when the nuns called my parents and me to a meeting with the head nun.

My father was a strong, silent type. He hung out with a few men friends who were probably borderline criminals. Dad’s “gang.” My father didn’t say much, but his look could make men weak in the knees. When you run a nightclub in Chicago, you’ve got to be tough and have the cops on your side.

Anyway, Sister de Sade was telling my father what a bad boy I was and that she wanted his permission to administer the ruler or riding crop or whatever to my quivering behind. My father gave her the look, leaned over and got right in her face. “If you ever touch my son, I will break your arm,” he said menacingly.

My father always supported and defended me, no matter what. That must be why I grew up with some kind of attitude: Nobody tells me what to do. Don’t fuck with me because I know who I am and what is true for me. That attitude has always served me well. It made me fearless.