Category: Picaroon Coast (Page 1 of 3)

‘Picaroon Coast’ is now on Amazon

The second book, Picaroon Coast, in the Grigsby series, launches today on Amazon. The Grigsby series began as a simple Instagram post but grew into now two books, with a third releasing this Winter. I’m really excited to share this with you. Pick up a copy today in paperback or Kindle.

One more thing, it would mean the world if you posted a review on Amazon, this greatly improves the visibility of the book. Thank you!

Concorde of Elegance

Grigsby embraced Dalia and whispered something in her ear. Ryūki and Ira thanked her and then climbed aboard the Concorde. The French pilots saluted their three passengers and fired up the engines.

Ira had flown on the Concorde when it was in service in the 1990s. This Concorde was different to him. It had couches, a bar, an upright piano and other strange amenities. Grigsby was trying to unlock a humidor and ended jimmying open with a safety pin. He pulled out a cigar, cut it, and lit one.

“Grigs is that an animal pen?” Ira asked.

Grigsby set his cigar down and looked toward the rear of the plane where chicken wire and hay was strewn about. He laughed.

“That’s coach.”

The pilot came on and told everyone to take their seats. The Concorde taxied to the absolute end of the airstrip. The idling exhausts were uprooting small trees. At once the throttle went full tilt and the plane was tearing the Earth apart. Grigsby gazed out the oblong windows and saw Dalia waving. Seconds later they were weightless in flight. The green hills of Kenya shrank below and soon vanished under the clouds. Moments later a sonic boom roared as they broke the sound barrier.

Once they reached cruising altitude Grigsby went over to play the piano. He began with Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor.

“Grigs, where are we heading? Tokyo?” Ira asked.
“No,” Grigsby said without breaking a beat, “We’re going home gentlemen.”


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Supersonic

Dalia met Grigsby outside by the airstrip. She’d been working all morning and sweat beaded off her dark skin. Grigsby was on his at-phone speaking French, he asked Dalia how long the runway is twice.

“It’s narrow but any talented pilot could land here,” Dalia said.
Grigsby looked at her and grinned, “Merci,” He said hanging up.

Ryūki helps Ira along the soft grass toward Grigsby. They didn’t have much to pack but wanted to take bags of Dalia’s coffee.

“We all set?” Ira asked.
Grigsby nodded and checked his watch. “They’ll be here soon.” He took a deep breath. “I’ll miss the air here.”

They stood in silence for a moment and listened to the cacophony of birds and animals. Thunder boomed somewhere over the hills and far away. A family of monkeys scurried by and paused to look at Grigsby who was still wearing the African patterned pants. He stared down the largest monkey until it ran away. “I’m the alpha,” Grigsby said.

Grigsby’s watch pinged. “Okay gentlemen and lady, time to get off the runway, let’s go.” Dalia laughed and asked if he was afraid of prop planes. Grigsby smirked and pushed her further away from the runway. “Trust me.” He said with a wild look in his eye.

“So this is goodbye?” Dalia asked.
“For now, please come visit. Bunny and I would love to have you at the manor.” Grigsby said. The sound of thunder echoed but from another part of the hills.

Dalia looked up and squinted, “There’s not a cloud in the sky—”

Out from the hills, the whistling of jet engines blared and all the birds in Kenya flew from the trees. A massive white triangle with a bent nose crossed under the sun and descended toward the airstrip. Some farmers blocked their eyes and watched, others ducked for cover. Dalia hadn’t seen a shape like this in decades. As it landed the plane spit dirt and dust up a mile high. It made an about-face and slowed in front of Grigsby. The engines powered down and soon the dirt settled.

Dalia was wide-eyed staring at Grigsby. “Grigsby?!”

“What? You don’t have friends who own a Concorde?”


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I'm providing a free copy of Finding Bunny to my readers. All I ask in return is that you leave an honest Amazon Review on the day it's published, Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

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Pay to Play

Ryūki never thought he’d be a game show host. He always knew his mission in life, to serve an honorable master. This meant that he couldn’t argue with Grigsby about making him the host of a silly game show.

“I’ll do it.” Ryūki said, “When do we start?”
“Whoa pump the breaks, we have to get things finalized and contracted up first,” Ira said.
Grigsby agreed.

Ryūki considered this and poured himself another cup of coffee. Ira looked at Grigsby and asked him what the show is going to be about.

“If we blended Fear Factor and The Price Is Right we’d have our show. There will be intense physical challenges, knowledge tests, and constant danger.” Grigsby said. “Oh and animals.”

Ryūki and Ira only stared.

“We won’t need a studio either,” Grigsby said. “It’s going to be on a ship, well actually a ferry. That’s where the audience will be.”

“Jesus Grigs, the insurance alone will bankrupt us regardless of the business model we structure behind this.” Ira lamented.

Grigsby took a sip of Ira’s coffee, “Wrong. This will be live streamed with payment upgrades that affect the contestants. Viewers from around the world will be able to truly interact with these people.”

“What do you mean interact?” Ryūki asked.
“Well, if you think a contestant is a snooze-fest, you can pay $50 to see them covered in molasses. Pay $5,000 we can to have them dropped into a box of otters. The possibilities are endless.” Grigsby said.

Ira laughed, “You got a point, people are sick.”
“So you’re on board?” Grigsby asked.
Ira nodded.
“Terrific, let’s pack and get started.”


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The New Host

“A game show?” Ira asked.
“You bet your ass, but it won’t be the regular boring shows the sheeple watch during the day. This one will be unique because, well, it’s Japanese. They know entertainment.”

Ryūki walked into the dining room sweating, he’d gone on a fifteen-mile run this morning in the Kenyan foothills. He poured himself a mug of coffee and the smallest smile perked after his first sip. “Good coffee.” He said.

“Ryūki, did you watch any game shows when you were growing up in Japan?” Ira asked.
“No.” Ryūki answered, drinking his coffee.
Ira sighed, “Well who’s going to be the host Grigs? You?”

Grigsby was preoccupied with trying to get an old toaster to work. He was craving cinnamon and cardamom toast, a special dish his daughter Becky loves. Grigsby missed his girls and Pemberton Manor’s amenities.

“Grigs!” Ira shouted. “Are you the host of this silly game show?”

Grigsby abandoned the toaster and faced his upset friend. “I’m not going to be the host.” Grigsby pointed at Ryūki, “He is.”


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Coffee, Migraines, Sushi

Rooster’s and farm equipment woke up Ira. He’d been nursing a migraine since they left Ethiopia. His therapist says he gets them from of stress. The last three days hadn’t improved his quest for a balanced life. All he wanted was coffee and a bagel with lox. He looked out the window at the rolling green hills of the Kenya plantation. The latter may be thousands of miles away but he felt confident there’d be good coffee downstairs.

Ira dressed slowly and continued to breathe with calm. The orbs shrank and faded as he entered the breezy dining room, lace curtains danced in the wind. Ira never smelled air this fresh. Dalia had left a fresh pot of coffee for her guests while she dealt with some business matters. Ira smiled and limped over toward the pot, his bullet graze still hurt.

Out of nowhere, Grigsby came into the room, shirtless, in African pattern pants. “Jambo! Jambo Bwana!” Grigsby sang. Ira felt the migraine orbs growing in strength again, he hurried for the coffee. Grigsby swooped in and grabbed the pot. Ira tried not to weep. Grigsby poured himself a cup, still singing. As the song came to a close he finally poured Ira a cup.

“Why are you so chipper this morning?” Ira asked.
“Ira my friend, I hope you’re well rested, we have a lot of work to do.”
“Grigs…”
“Mr. Hayakawa and I spoke, it seems our trip to Tokyo was well worth it.” Grigsby said chugging the coffee. “Damn fine coffee, like a Snickers Bar screwed an Eclaire.”

Ira considered the tasting notes and had to agree. The Pemberton palate is remarkable. The orbs came back with full force and Ira winced.

“You alright Ira?”
“I’m fine. What did Mr. Haya…”
“Hayakawa. I negotiated last night with him and we agreed on suitable terms.”
“Oh no Grigs, that makes it a verbal contract.” Ira moaned.
“Yep! Ira, we’re going to start a Japanese Game Show in the United States.”


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Kenya

They landed after dusk. By the time Dalia pulled the plane inside a rusty hangar, the plantation had vanished as night fell. Dalia’s farmers, who held lanterns, helped her new guests out of the plane and to the main house. As they walked over soft earth hundreds of birds called out whistles, squawks, and screams. It felt prehistoric. Grigsby walked slowly, taking in the scene.

“Keep up Grigsby, you can lost here when the light goes away.” Dalia said.

Grigsby jogged up beside her.

“Thanks,” Grigsby said, looking into her eyes as they walked. He went to speak but couldn’t find the right words.

“Things may not have ended the way we thought it would, but I still care for you Grigsby.” Dalia said.

Grigsby nodded. “Agreed. Have you found someone else?”

“No. I’ve been busy turning this little coffee farm into an empire.”

Grigsby nudged her with a smirk, “You titan,”

Dalia smiled, “I may have learned a thing or two from you,”

They laughed as they entered the main house. The staff showed Ryūki and Grigsby to their rooms while a doctor checked out Ira’s injuries. After Grigsby showered he called home. Bunny was speechless, then upset, then relieved. “I’ll be home soon.” He said.

Once Grigsby hung up, the satellite phone rang. Grigsby didn’t recognize the number. He answered it and a man spoke in rapid fire Japanese.

“What?” Grigsby said. “English dammit!”

The man stopped speaking and cleared his throat, “This is Mr. Pemberton yes? Grigsby Ives Pemberton, from America?”

“Yes, how the hell did you get this number? Who is this?”

“This is Mr. Hayakawa, we met in Tokyo 3 months ago.”

“Right! I remember you, we sang karaoke together. ‘I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango—‘”

“Mr. Pemberton. This is serious.”

“Oh well, you’re no fun during the day.”

“Sir, I want to discuss the game show we were meeting about.”

“The one with the ferry?”

“Yes. We’re prepared to offer Pemberton Investments the rights to make your own show in the United States. Grigsby would you be interested?”


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Bless the Rains Down in Africa

Dalia’s Cessna leveled out to a steady altitude. She feathered the throttle to a cruising speed and exhaled a sigh of relief.

“Well, that was as close as it gets,” Dalia said into the microphone. Everyone in the cabin had on teal headsets. She turned and looked at Grigsby. He’d gained a few pounds since they last saw each other in Paris years ago, but he still looked dashing. “Good to see you, Grigsby.” She said.

Grigsby was looking out the window at the ground a thousand feet below. He stuck his middle finger to the country of Ethiopia and looked back at Dalia and smiled. “I cannot thank you enough, poor Ira was almost the lunch special.” He chuckled.

Ira frowned. He didn’t find it funny. His Upper West Side therapist will never hear the end of this one. “Thank you, Dalia.” He said quietly into the microphone.

Clouds shifted and let in the afternoon sun. Dalia’s dark eyes glistened behind her her gold and black aviators which sat amongst a riot of curly hair. Grigsby found his mind drifting. It was like he was looking into the past. A flush of memories from their time in college and Paris came rushing in. The adventures they had were unlike any other college relationship. From flying around New England during weekends to getting kicked out of French museums. They were like Bonnie and Clyde but without the bloodlust. Grigsby thought about reminiscing but didn’t want Ira or Ryūki to overhear it, he’d have to wait.

“How far are we from the coffee plantation?” Grigsby asked.
“Three hours,” Dalia said, “Check the bag at your feet.”

Grigsby looked down and heaved out a massive pot of spaghetti and bolognese. “You’re an angel Dalia.”

“Just make sure you and Ira get working on these,” Dalia handed him a manila folder with invoices and contracts.

“Of course,” Grigsby said tossing it at Ira. He dolled out small bowls of spaghetti for everyone and then ate from the pot. Grigsby noticed an iPod connected to the radio system. He scanned through the songs and blasted Toto’s Africa at full volume for the rest of the flight.


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Prison Break

Grigsby sprinted out of the hut toward the zebra. He leapfrogged onto one like he’d seen the cowboys do in old western films. The zebra was spooked and tried to buck but Grigsby held the mane tight and let him know who was boss. Ryūki looked for the largest male zebra and leaped on to it from a running sprint.

“Get the hell out of here, I’ll get Ira.” Ryūki ordered.

Grigsby kicked the zebra and galloped toward the narrow gated road of the village. Ryūki made his way for the feeding area where Ira was being submitted too. A bunch of hungry cannibals bore their sharp teeth at him. Ira kept screaming.

Ryūki leaned off of the zebra and grabbed a tea pot from the ground. He loaded the gunpowder in there and began riding at full gallop toward Ira. As he rode toward him a deafening sound of a Cessna 182 buzzed just 50 feet over the village. The tribesmen screamed, beating their drums and readying their spears. They formed a shield around their prey.

Now only 25 yards away Ryūki threw the teapot in the air and unholstered his pistol, shooting it on the first try. It exploded fire onto the tribesmen and they fell to the dirt. This provided an opening for Ryūki. He didn’t slow. He shot off the restraints they placed on Ira and heaved him on the zebra. “Go! Go! Go!” Ira screamed.

They rode out of the village. Ryūki shot at the nearby bandits making them take cover. This gave them enough time to make it down the long corridor and away from the village. Ryūki saw Dalia’s Cessna skirting on the ground. Grigsby stood with its door open waving them on. Ryūki looked behind and saw a hundred men with spears sprinting after him. He kicked the zebra for more power but it began to wheeze and a moment later collapsed.

Ira sprinted toward the plane, keeping pace with Ryūki, he was happy that he took so many SoulCycle classes in TriBeCa. They arrived at the plane, Ira jumped in after Grigsby while Ryūki emptied the clip of the pistol on the approaching tribe. A spear came sailing through the air but Ryūki caught it and heaved it back. This was a sight Grigsby had never seen, his samurai butler in full combat. It was remarkable.

“Hey! You’re not Miyamoto Musashi, get in the plane!” Grigsby shouted. Ryūki nodded and climbed into the cockpit. He did not notice the beautiful pilot with chestnut skin. Ryūki looked dead ahead as the Cessna howled and bounced down along the African floor. Soon the bouncing ceased and they felt weightless as they glided through the air and disappeared in white clouds.


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The Horse Archer

Grigsby peeked out of the hut at a herd of zebras that were grazing nearby. He proposed the plan of riding them out of the village toward the landing zone. Ira was having second thoughts.

“These are wild zebra’s Grigs, they’re nothing like the show horses back at Pemberton manor,” Ira said.

“I’m a fine horseman and can handle any steed. Ryūki is an awarding winning Yabusame Archer, the practice of Japanese horse archery. He’ll carry you. If he can hit a bullseye target at full gallop he can hold on to you.”

Ryūki nodded.

“Fine.” Ira said. “Did you hear that?” Ira moved Grigsby out of the way and peeked through the crack in the hut. “Oh no.”

Outside the tribespeople were setting up fires and stakes long enough to hold humans. A few of the butchers were sharpening long blades and bone saws. Ira went pale and hid behind Ryūki.

Grigsby smirked and checked his watch. “Don’t worry, we’ll be out of here before their little dinner party starts.” He said powering on the sat-phone. Grigsby dialed Dalia, she picked up on the first ring. Grigsby urged her to hurry. Dalia said she’d be there soon and to tear ass out of there the second they hear an engine. Grigsby set his watch timer and powered down the phone.

Ryūki tightened his boots up and began stretching. Then he did some pushups to get warmed up. Grigsby nodded at him.

“Ira, stay behind Ryūki and hold on to him like a fat desperate prom date.” Grigsby advised.

They waited in silence. They could smell the campfires growing in strength. In the distance, Grigsby heard a faint buzzing. He closed his eyes and listened.

“Is that the plane?” Grigsby asked.

A tribesman leaped into their hut and grabbed Ira. His smile showed small and yellow teeth. Ira screamed as more tribesmen ran into the hut to carry him away. Ryūki went to fight but knew to wait for the opportune moment. The samurai way.

“Grigsby,” Ryūki said. “Run!”


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