10-Minute Audiobook Preview for Creaky Stairs: A Book of Dark Truths Vol. 1

Here is an exclusive 10-minute clip from the audiobook for Creaky Stairs: A Book of Dark Truths.  It is the first ten minutes of Chapter 21, which I wrote, titled: A Losing Game.  There is also another short preview on the Amazon page for the audiobook.

You can get the audiobook for free with a trial of audible; audible bucks can go towards the purchase as well!

I hope you enjoy this clip of my story, narrated by me.  And if you like what you hear, don’t forget to pick up a copy of the full audiobook, available now for your listening pleasure.

Keep it creaky!


What Happened At the Karaoke Competition?

I remember the feeling I had when I first learned that Russia had interfered in the karaoke competition, which I had so desired to win, like it was yesterday.  Because it was announced just yesterday.  But the more-than-a-week leading up to that moment was filled with trials and tribulations, which I had to come to terms with.

In the very moment that I lost the karaoke competition, I knew there was foul play afoot.  It was as if the entire bar asked at once, “Sam who?”  Even the karaoke DJ reaffirmed my suspicions of prejudice from the judges, though his ramblings about Russian accents in that moment didn’t register with me, because truthfully, I was hurt.

It’s not that I wanted the beer cooler with attached bottle opener.  Hell, I would have just given them the beer cooler if they really wanted it.  I just wanted to be number one at karaoke.  I mean, all the signs pointed to me winning, so you can imagine I was pretty devastated.  You see, this is now my third-consecutive time placing second in a karaoke competition.  These competitions only come around a few times a year, and I’ve been practicing songs almost every Thursday night, when Finny’s Pub hosts karaoke night.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to keep practicing and trying to earn that “number one at karaoke” title, which I so deserve.

Most of the week after losing the karaoke competition, I spent hiking in the dense woods of Pennsylvania.  I camped and backpacked when I had to, but mostly I just walked.  I felt like I had lost touch with reality and needed to realign myself.  I tried singing the songs I had sung the night of the competition, but I began to feel a sense of loathing toward those songs; I felt so naïve in thinking that song selection could win a karaoke competition.

By the end of the week, I had reintroduced myself into normal society and was ready to return to the karaoke stage.  My unnamed source inside Finny’s Pub continued to claim he had information about interference in the karaoke competition and what I immediately found strange was that the word Russia kept coming up.  Part of me wanted so badly for it to be true that I wasn’t responsible for my own loss, but addressed it with a grain of skepticism.  Within the next few hours, as the evidence began to pile up, I launched a full-throttle investigation into the potential of Russian interference in the karaoke competition.

That investigation continues and more and more revelations pour in everyday.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  You can read all about my personal accounts of Russian meddling in my upcoming tell-all book, What Happened At the Karaoke Competition?


Book Review: The Hike by Drew Magary

The Hike by Drew Magary is a cynical mindfuck of a page-turner, which begs the question: Is it possible to have a more complete understanding of a person after being separated for more than a decade?

The book opens with Ben who, upon a whim, decides to take a hike in the Poconos and somehow gets lost in a parallel universe, or a dream, or a coma; part of the intrigue of the story is the mystery surrounding what precise circumstance has Ben experiencing this metaphysical world.  As he gets more lost, we delve deeper into who he is as person and the memories past, which have shaped him, and in fact, have shaped his current predicament.

The novel presents a complete adventure, from start to finish, which takes Ben across an ever-changing landscape of trials, each one more mind-bending than the last.  The inertia of the narrative is constantly on edge; not just pulling the reader through the story, but doing so at such a rapid speed that you’ll quickly lose track of page numbers.  This is the kind of book where once you read those fated two words, “THE END,” you don’t stare at them and ponder what they entail; instead you slam the book closed, because you know in your heart that everything that needs to be said has been said.

Ben is the perfect character for the reader to discover themselves as: imperfect, lazy, cynical, crude, and deeply hilarious.  He is an unwitting imbecile being prodded forward by fate, quick to notice his own suffering and loud at expressing it.  Much of the humor comes from him trying to pinpoint exactly who is responsible for his situation, God or otherwise, and his feeble attempts to express his outrage.  Ben has limited control; he’s being taken on a journey – just like the reader – and through his experience we get a more profound understanding of what really matters to him, and in turn, what matters to us.  I am he as you are me, and we are Crab together.

As we experience Ben’s predicament, we ponder what it means to our own lives.  For example, being lost in a parallel universe can be very similar to living with depression; people don’t know how to reach you, you feel dead to the world, you trudge along a predetermined path hoping it will lead to happiness.  Then long enough on that path, years maybe, you can look back and see the progress you’ve made as a person, building yourself back up like a castle.  It is in this way that Ben’s psychological experience is transformed from profound to personal, as his pain mirrors our own.

With full force you will be compelled to the end of this novel and (just for the sake of outdoing violent metaphors on the book cover) the ending will bulldoze your face with a spiked baseball bat, leaving your decimated jaw agape in silent wonder.