Blood Red Syrah Returns

Blood Red Syrah, A Gruesome California Wine Country Thriller, is my first novel.

Published in 2019 by Avventura Press, a small independent publishing house, the book seethes like a rabid desert coyote on the prowl. Complex characters both real and imagined move into your head and refuse to leave. Wally Wilson wields a psychotic corkscrew. Syrah, the voice in Wally’s head, taunts, teases and tortures her victims like an unhinged ghost child channeling sunlight through a magnifying glass into the burning body of a sizzling piss ant.

Racism, sexism and assorted raw bigotry rage against ragged violence and unpredictable psychedelic chaos. Leftover countercultural madness descends like sea smoke then lifts fading like June gloom on the Central Coast. Twenty-first century psychosis builds to a crescendo of peace, love and pot.

And Jesus Zarate and Tripper, our heroes, marry, run off to Mexico and live happily ever after among extra-strength tequila dreams of tomorrow.

We’re good up to that last part.

Happily ever after?

Don’t even try it.

Current reality demands I write a sequel that provides potent doses of Mexican cultural mysticism, blessings and curses steeped in hallucinatory encounters with American heroes and devils who continue to blow your mind.

Weed Wine Magic, A Freaky California Cannabis Country Chiller, slams Cali stoner bliss headfirst against berserk corporate degeneracy, secret Dunite mysticism, death saint Santa Muerte and the human embodiment of mythical south-of-the-border bandit Jesús Malverde vs. ruthless fentanyl drug cartels/

We got multi-colored dancing gummy bears, too.

Twenty-twenty-three is just the 60s turned inside out – a societal facelift marinated in pharmaceutical LSD and bathtub fentanyl.


Merry Pranksters legend Neal Cassidy would loan this book to Ken Kesey and Richard Brautigan if they hung out on the same cell block. Red Hot Chile Peppers’ “Californication” might still bake modern hipsters’ heads but Cali’s deep-fried tribal experience fuels authentic stoners’ brains forever.

My responsibility is to write – yours is to read. I expect some loyalty if you consider me a friend or even just a passing acquaintance.

That’s why I’m giving you another chance to sense the power of Blood Red Syrah and prepare you for the follow-up.  In coming weeks I’ll read and post online videos of select chapters from the book, tempting you to pick up your own copy and throw open the doors to perception for the second trip in this sequence of tales twisted tight as the ends of a hard-rolled joint.

Maybe you’ll get it.

Maybe you won’t.

Most people don’t ponder life the way I do.

Different strokes and all that Sly and the Family’s Stoned stuff. So free your mind. brothers and sisters and everybody else. Reading my novels will take you to the center of your brain stem.

Unless Syrah digs out your cerebral body part with a corkscrew.