Listen To “George Winthrop Jr. Park”

When Ben and his friends notice an old man staring at their children in the splash park, he decides a confrontation is in order. But the old man has his reasons, and those reasons will resonate with you.

Listen to “George Winthrop Jr Park” at Podbean, Amazon Music, or by using the player below. If you prefer to read, check it out in my short story collection called Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.

Why Should You Read My New Book?

“So you’ve got a new book out. Big deal, Foley. So does everyone and their dog. Why should I read it?”

Fair question. As an avid reader myself, I’m very particular about what amount of time I’ll allocate to what book. For those who don’t read fiction regularly, that time is even more precious.

The bottom line is this: I’ve loved super heroes, mythologies, and legends my entire life. I’ve admired epic series like The Dark Tower (King), The Lord Of the Rings (Tolkien), and especially The Chronicles Of Narnia (Lewis). Greek mythology, Roman mythology, King Arthur–these are things that have always fascinated me. As a result, I began fashioning my own heroes, legends, and comic books while still in elementary school. In fact, some of the characters in my latest book are versions of those early attempts.

The Chronicles of Purgatory Station is my love letter to everything mentioned above. This six-book series is also my take on the super hero genre. It’s my exploration into the moralities of heroes, the complexities of “evil,” and the very nature of the universe–time, space, and physics.

As I said, I created some of these characters when I was literally a child. In the beginning, they were clearly derivative of the popular icons of the era. However, as time marched on, my worldview grew more sophisticated, and so did my characters. In the beginning, they will seem quite conventional. As the series unfolds, though, they will change. Some for the better … some for the worse.

Why do good people do bad things? What makes someone truly “evil?” Is “good” and “evil” merely the construct of a society’s perspective, or does the universe itself recognize “right” versus “wrong?” These questions intrigue me–they always have and always will.

In fact, mythologies, legends, and super heroes have consistently been a community’s means of exploring complicated issues. It’s human nature to investigate an idea through thought, imagining, and story. The Chronicles Of Purgatory Station continues that tradition.

This all sounds pretty heady, doesn’t it? Trust me, The Chronicles Of Purgatory Station can be read simply as an action/adventure story as well. The concepts I’ve discussed certainly exist in the writing, but providing a good story is my perpetual goal. In my opinion, a story should be engaging, fast-paced, and universally applicable. I want every single one of my readers to be able to see themselves in some aspect of my stories and, as a result, make it a part of their own reality. I also want them to stay up too late at night reading my work because they can’t put it down; each page needs to urge the reader forward. If my reader doesn’t really care what happens next, then I’ve failed.

So … that’s why I think you should read my book.

You can get your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

You can also take a look at many of my characters here.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.

Listen To “Cold Turkey: A Thanksgiving Misadventure”

Utterly unapologetic, Eddie stands fuming outside in the bitter cold while his son, wife, and in-laws sit silently at the dinner table, surrounding a cold turkey. How did such woeful events occur on Thanksgiving Day? Click the player below, Podbean, or Amazon Music to find out! Or, if you prefer to read, check it out in Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.

Listen to “Follow Me”

TJ’s big brother wakes him up with a simple order: “Follow me.” By the night’s conclusion, he’ll wish he had stayed in bed.

Listen to “Follow Me” at Podbean, Amazon Music, or by using the player below. If you prefer to read, check it out in my short story collection called Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.

Listen To “Gunsmoke’s All-In”

If you like poker, and you like catchphrases, and you like severe discomfort, “Gunsmoke’s All-In” is for you. Listen at PodbeanAmazon Music, or by using the player below. Read “Gunsmoke’s All-In” along with many, many other short stories in Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.

Black Adam – A Movie Review

(Warning: the tiniest of spoilers ahead, mostly concerning what is NOT in Black Adam)

As you know, I am a unapologetic DC apologist. I’ve loved Super Friends since my childhood and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Donner, Burton, Nolan, Snyder, Jenkins–whomever. Put them on the screen and I will watch them.

I won’t claim to be a big Black Adam fan, though I did thoroughly enjoy Geoff Johns’ JSA run, which heavily featured Black Adam, Hawkman, Captain Marvel (Shazam), Dr. Fate, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher (among many, many others).

I’m also not a huge Dwyane Johnson follower. I like him in movies, certainly, but I don’t consider his films a “must-see” experience. There’s no denying his charisma, however, and so when I heard he was almost maniacally dedicated to getting Black Adam onto the big screen, I thought the exposure would be good for DC, good for the character, and good for Dwayne Johnson. Furthermore, once I learned the film would also feature Hawkman and Dr. Fate, I found myself getting very excited. Black Adam, Dr. Fate, and Hawkman have been linked for centuries in the comic books and I assumed they would lean heavily into that rich history.

I just left the theater a few hours ago and here’s my one-sentence review: Good … not great.

Black Adam has tremendous action, special effects that sometimes look amazing, superb costumes, elaborate sets, and a pace almost as fast as the Flash.

Also, there are some real twists in the story that I did not see coming.

But let’s talk about that–story. The story? It’s fine. They do a good job firmly establishing Black Adam’s past and current status. They manage to introduce the JSA and its members while providing the audience a baseline understanding of each member’s motivations, histories, and dynamics. Additionally, they address the necessity of the gray area in which Black Adam exists. They call into question the morality of good and evil as it pertains to perspective. I frankly found it admirable that they did not shy away from such complexity at all.

But the dialogue? Woof. It’s bad, folks. It’s really bad. It’s the typical giant studio beating a dead horse with cliches, one-liners, catch phrases, and lazy talk. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it.

Some bright spots? Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate. Brosnan brought the wisdom, regality, and wit needed for this version of the character. And the costume? The Dr. Fate effects? Wowzers. Fantastic. Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone brought a vitality and freshness to the film that it sorely needed. Her bright colors and interesting visual impact delivered a much needed contrast to some otherwise dreary visuals (excluding Dr. Fate, of course). Noah Centineo’s Atom Smasher gave us the levity we craved, and boy-oh-boy did they deliver on his powers. You want to talk about nailing a comic book look and power set! Aldis Hodge played Hawkman, and while I loved the look, I didn’t love the angle they made Hodge take with the character. He was a little too much like Black Adam himself, which could work, and did (at times), but his hard-stance approach seemed to register in all the wrong ways. I look forward to more of Hodge as Hawkman, though, because he absolutely looked the part! Finally, we had some really, really fun cameos. I’m not going to spoil them, of course, but they are there, and they give me great hope.

I know the DCEU gets knocked for being too serious, and I get that. I do. It’s never bothered me, because Batman is rooted in some pretty tragic stuff. Joker is the pinnacle of psychosis. When the public’s modern perception of DC are primarily the Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder movies–yeah, they’re on the dark side. But don’t forget that Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam are also DC movies, and I would not define them as overly serious.

All that being said, Black Adam is too damn serious. Notice I didn’t italicize Black Adam there. I mean the character, not the movie. I understand Black Adam is a very, very serious character in the books, but Dwayne Johnson is a megawatt superstar known for unyielding charisma. He’s playing Black Adam about as straight as it gets, so much so that the attempts at humor are misfires because they are in such contrast to his general demeanor.

I’m also SORELY disappointed they did not dig into the connective tissue binding Dr. Fate, Hawkman, and Black Adam. Didn’t even scratch the surface. Maybe at one point, early in the writing, they tried. This could be the reasoning for Hawkman and Dr. Fate’s inclusion. The final version, though, left it all out.

Finally, Black Adam keeps the unrelenting comic book trope going, the one only She-Hulk dared defy. I won’t spoil it other than to say we have our prerequisite CGI monster at the end. <sigh>

If you’re a DC fan in general, I think you’ll enjoy quite a bit of Black Adam. Dr. Fate, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher alone are pretty fun to watch. If you’re a casual movie goer, you may enjoy the unrelenting action and eye-popping special effects. No one can deny that Black Adam and Dwyane Johnson took a big, big swing. They definitely made contact, but I wouldn’t call it a homerun.

Like I said earlier: Good … not great.

Listen To “Chubby Tummy”

The shower is a sensory experience, one that can elicit memories both good … and bad. Listen to “Chubby Tummy” at Podbean, Amazon Music, or by using the player below. Read “Chubby Tummy” along with many, many other short stories in Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.

Listen To “The Miscarried”

For some, the miscarried are always remembered … and always loved. Listen to “The Miscarried” at Podbean, Amazon Music, or by clicking the player below. You can also read “The Miscarried” in Happy, Sad, Funny, Mad.