An Innocence Lost

Birr Lore: Growing Up in the 1950’s

Many who have lived through the 1950s refer to it as one of America’s “Golden Eras”, similar to the “Roaring Twenties”. Both decades began shortly after a World War had ended. Both saw America full of confidence and hubris. And both were times of unbridled prosperity, when a burgeoning war-producing machine was converted into an engine for consumer consumption.

But was the magic of the decade more myth than reality? Were times quite as simple as they seemed. The radio was largely replaced by the television and with it a whole new consumer mentality, and the money to support it, came into play. Private home ownership and a move to the suburbs fueled a buying frenzy. The terms “keeping up with the Joneses” and “Madison Avenue”, first coined in the Roaring Twenties, took on a whole new meaning in the 1950’s when a strong segment of the American economy, the mushrooming “middle-class”, took the reins. But this was also the decade when best-selling book The Ugly American was published.

Look inside and you be the judge. Was this a golden era or a gilded one?

Sharna’s Dream

Imagine a world in which the outcome of war can be controlled by people’s thought patterns. Or where such patterns can control violence and depression. Or hope and despair. Sharna’s Dream is an Eckhardt Tolle allegory. A clear and significant message is embedded in its pages. The message is simple – change your thinking, change your life. Sharna’s Dream is a story of the pursuit of an impossible goal, in the J. R. R. Tolkien tradition. Sharna is the daughter of a deposed king who returns to her former kingdom of Esira after ten years in exile, set on avenging her father’s death and retaking her kingdom – by any means. Her adversaries are creatures called the Moleteg, creatures that live underground and are obsessed by personal power and the accumulation of possessions. After several failed attempts, she enlists the aid of a mysterious Traveler, and together they are able to change the kingdom’s mindset and finally defeat the enemy.

A Stranger in the Mist

A Stranger in the Mist is a story that portrays the frantic lifestyle of those preparing for Christmas in a small town. To those who inhabit the town, the required preparations for what is perceived as a meaningful holiday is all that is on anyone’s mind. There is an inventory of obligatory things that must be accomplished, gifts that must be purchased, a business-like check list it seems, and woe be to anything or anybody who gets in the way fulfilling the season’s compulsory tasks. That is, until a stranger comes to town. The town is enveloped in a pervasive fog, causing the inhabitants to lose their way, literally and figuratively. It is not until the stranger shares his message with the townsfolk that the people begin to see clearly again. And what they see is shocking, until they turn to the stranger’s message.



As I Was Saying

Truth be told, people are everyday quietly looking for ways to simplify and de-stress their lives. At the same time, by their daily choices, they are unwittingly adding more and more complexity to these same lives. The problem is we don’t often ask ourselves the right questions as we proceed on our daily journey. Asking the right questions, however, takes time and moments of reflection and those are two things of which we increasingly seem to have less and less. It’s a true “catch twenty-two”, “damned if I do and damned if I don’t”. As I Was Saying…. is a ten minute a day rest-stop that allows you to consider some of the significant societal questions of our time and ponder a couple questions that may assist you in altering your thinking and behavior, and in the process, help you unclutter your life and refresh your spirit.

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The Poisoned Book

Bart Conners, private investigator, needs a change from his seedy profession, but his latest case gives him more change than he bargains for. In order to protect his client and help her trace her family roots across three continents, he must first come to terms with his own personal shortcomings and the heritage of his early ancestors. Before he is through, he will have to outwit blackmailers and thugs, confront grave robbers, and heal a broken family, all the while trying to reconcile ancient myth with current reality. The journey spans history from ancient Babylon, through the California gold rush to modern day Ireland. This well-researched novel unearths the true stories behind many biblical references and the history of a legendary Celtic queen. If you miss Spencer or Jesse Stone, then Bart Connors, who is born of that great hard-boiled detective tradition, should happily help you fill that void.

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Park Avenue Stories

Every city has its trendy or bohemian districts. New York City has Soho and the Village, San Francisco has Haight-Ashbury and Hayes Valley and Boston has Back Bay and Cambridge. Though much smaller in size, legions of young professionals and students in Rochester, New York have long made a pilgrimage to the city’s Park Avenue district to live, dine, and hang out. And over the years, Park Avenue has developed a cultural identity of its own, as well as many fascinating stories about past residents and events. The Park Avenue Stories chronicle some of the colorful stories and people of this district and leaves readers trying to pinpoint locations and places that are thinly veiled throughout the stories.

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Lost & Found

Tough, but charming Bart Conners seeks justice for his clients, all the while trying to make sense of life’s foibles in general and his own dysfunctional life in particular. Conners is a private eye living in southern California in the 1950s. His sentimental nature is alluring to the women he meets, but his six foot two frame and rough-and-tumble background make him deadly to his adversaries. The three fast-paced cases of love, deceit, and intrigue make this trilogy of hard-boiled detective stories an engrossing read that is hard to put down. Each story is a well-researched period piece that will have you reminiscing about Barbasol, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Howdy Doody and the other cultural icons of that era. If you miss Spencer or Jessie Stone, then Bart Conners, who was born of that great tradition, should happily help you fill that void.

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The Temagami Factor

Thirty-one-year-old Christopher Blackhawk, a professional environmentalist and proud descendent of the native American tribe of Algonquins, stands ankle deep in the frigid water of his beloved Lake Temagami searching for signs of life. Although its water seems clear and unspoiled and one could still peer down to a depth of six feet, now there is practically nothing left to see. The truth soon becomes evident: the lake is dying.

Blackhawk’s determination to save Temagami sends him to conference tables in Sweden, law courts in the US and ultimately to the bedroom in a torrid affair with an environmentalist like himself, who is also the young Swedish mistress of wealthy mine owner, Jonas Harding, his congressional foe. Blackhawk’s heroic quest for salvaging nature’s resources brings him to grips with his own inner struggle to preserve The Beautiful and The Good in every aspect of his life, regardless of the cost.

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