Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bonus "Is It Spartanburg?" Edition

When common sense attacks,
them Spartanburg boys don't cut it no slack.
I'm aiming for posting these once a week, but sometimes you come across stories too good to wait. So here's a bonus edition of Is It Spartanburg? featuring a little sword play today. Here are your choices:

1. Pregnant Woman Bites Teen After He Cuts Her With Sword
2. Man Holds Up Waffle House While Wielding Samurai Sword
3. Three Arrested in Pirate Sword Fight Re-enactment Gone Awry

Swords aren't generally the weapon of choice with gang members, but in Sparkle City, anything goes. If you picked headline number one, you're today's big wiener. Coming to us from the scenic west side of town, sheriff's deputies say Malaki Alberto Dominic Aguado got a little ornery when talking about his gang and challenged another man to a fight. One thing led to another, as in the man kicked Malaki in the chest, causing him to drop his knife, and then Malaki's father dragged him in the house as he threatened to kill everyone.

Deputies say Malaki returned with a sword and began thwacking at everyone in site. He hit the original target, but also sliced a pregnant woman in the neck. Malaki foolishly dropped his weapon (I mean, you're already pot-committed at this point), and in the ruckus, the woman bit him on the shoulder.

Dad cleaned up the mess until the deputies arrived to haul Malaki away. According to deputies, Malaki, of course, gave them all the obligatory "I know where your families live" threat.

I may have to work a little sword play like this into my next book, which you can read about... now!

Sparkle City Cleaners
Divorce. Lay off. Cancer. Three old high school friends have hit the wall, and they haven't even reached 30 yet.
But one night as they drown their problems at their favorite watering hole in their hometown of Spartanburg, their lives take a turn. They meet a notorious criminal who just got off clean in a high profile murder case. When an unfortunate series of events leads the three friends to killing the man in a desolate field, one of them hatches an idea:
Spartanburg is filled with crime and scum. Why not clean it up... and make a little cash on the side?
The three start the Sparkle City Cleaners, a hitman-for-hire business that offers its services to victims who can pay up and keep their mouths shut. Operating out of a rundown skating rink, the friends find business pouring in a lot faster than they can keep it up.
And it isn't long before their successful venture starts attracting the attention of the FBI... and one of the most notorious crime families out of New York.
Because in a bad economy, the killing business is always good. And everyone wants their cut.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Free books, free rides, and free fruit.

So good we're giving it away.
Download Tallyho in the Squat free on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I'm offering another giveaway with my book. You can download it here Tuesday and Wednesday, free of charge. Even better, the top ten rated reviewers on Amazon will be entered to win a $50 gift card from Amazon.

Don't have a Kindle? Don't worry. You can download the Kindle app for your computer or smart phone free of charge. Don't make Rye ornery. Download the story today.

Is it Spartanburg?
In this edition of is it Spartanburg, we're getting a little fruity. See if you can guess which headline comes from Sparkle City:

Man assaults victim with watermelon
Man allegedly steals $1,800 worth of peaches
Melon truck overturns; shuts down I-85

Think you know it? One of the little known facts about South Carolina and the Spartanburg area in particular is that although Georgia boasts its title as the peach state, the Palmetto State actually produces more peaches than our neighbor to the south. So, according to police, Richard Hill couldn't resist raiding a local peach farm and making off with $1,800 worth of the fuzzy fruit, which as you know, is a helluva lot of peaches.

Police say Hill also had 30 grams of marijuana on him. Hey, when you get the munchies, it's always good to eat healthy.

This Ain't No Free Ride
Hopping down the road to my new home in Charleston, the city has declared war on people who use UberX, the ride-sharing app that circumvents the taxi industry in the area. City officials and taxi company owners met to discuss how this service would cause them a massive loss in profits wasn't safe for locals to use. Violators will first receive a warning, then they could face over a $1,000 fine.

It's not exactly a surprising ruling as Charleston has a knack for kicking businesses in the teeth for the sake of tourist revenue and good press in tourist publications.

Uber has responded by offering to pay the fines of anyone the police ticket. I'm not sure if that's a good screw you to the city as they'll continue to make money off the issue, but at least Uber is watching out for its customers.

We locals can rest easy at night knowing the Charleston cops are cracking down on violent ride sharers instead of wasting time on all the unsolved homicides in the city (Charleston city beats out every other area law enforcement agency for unsolved homicides).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A City that Sparkles

Introducing Spartanburg's new city flag.
Whenever I see an amusing crime headline online coming out of South Carolina, or sometimes anywhere in the nation, I like to play a game called "Is it Spartanburg?" It's a simple game, really. If I click on it and the dateline reads my hometown, I pat myself on the back and take a swig of beer. If I lose, I skip the pat and still take a swig.

Since Spartanburg holds the title of South Carolina's most dangerous city and is the 12th most dangerous place to live in the U.S., there are no doubt a wealth of crime stories coming out of Sparkle City. And many of them are absurd. As Bill states in Tallyho in the Squat, if Spartanburg had a city flag, it would be black with a chalk body outline.

So in what I've decided to be a weekly segment here, I'm going to let you play my favorite game at home. Beer swigs not included. I'll give you three off-the-wall crime headlines, and you have to guess which ones occurred in Spartanburg. Here is your first entry:

Bullets Fired into Home Shoot Down Fan

Woman Tries to Sell GPS to Trucker She Stole it From

Wedding Ring Found in Goldfish Snack Bag

Man Fires Shots at Toddler's Birthday Party

So which one is in Spartanburg? Okay, I cheated this time. They all are! And that's just for the past week. Granted, a discovered wedding ring isn't a crime story, but I found it unique no less. The most Spartanburg County-esque one was the shooting at the birthday party, although thankfully no one was injured. In that one, police say the suspect shot a .22 pistol and then a BB gun into the ground during an argument with someone else at the party.

I'll try to keep the stories recent. But it's hard not to go back to classic blasts from the past like this one. Or the time truck hitch testicles making one sheriff's deputy ornery. Or when things get really hot down in the South, just grab an ice cream and stick your family jewels in a money deposit bag.

But sometimes, the news out of there gets really grim.

In good news out of Spartanburg (but probably bad news for police), another Blue Law takes a tumble as Sunday alcohol sales get the green light in the county. This should no doubt produce some fun stories after church for me to share with you. Cheers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Of Beer and Futbol

Woke up this mornin', grabbed myself a beer.
Unique. Brilliant. Those are just some of the words the Magnolia Blossom Review used in their superb analysis of Tallyho in the Squat. You can watch the complete video review on the Youtubes. As the review says of the book, "A solid and humorous tale… I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting an afternoon of side-splitting down home humor and debauchery."

Today I'm heading over to Brewery 85 for the U.S. World Cup match vs. Belgium. Before we get into discussing the lesser version of football, lemme tell ya why you need to check this place out. Brewery 85 recently opened in Greenville, SC. It's run by two local boys, Will McCameron and Jeremy Caldwell. While Bud Light may flow like wine in the South, I align myself in the beer snob/craft brew faction. And if you're looking for some beer that's also unique and brilliant, look no further.

Not only does Brewery 85 have a great set up to enjoy a few cold ones while watching a sporting event, but some of their concoctions are better than the usual craft brew fair you'll find at your local watering hole. I personally prefer the Quittin' Time, a delicious Helles Bock.

Look. If you're a beer aficionado, do yourself a favor and check em out. Not in driving range? Give em a holler by phone and I'm sure you can work something out.

I certify that they did not offer me free beer to plug their brewery. Although that would be nice...

While I'm there today, we'll be watching the futbol. I don't care much for soccer. It doesn't drive me into fits of irrational hate like it does this favorite Fox News psycho, but like most Southerners, I'd much rather watch the American pigskin variety than guys in knee socks rolling in the grass in pain whenever someone blows on them. But why do I give a damn today? Cause 'Murica.

It's a superb anomaly. People who ordinarily avoid soccer like the Mark Clark Highway in Charleston cannot overcome their jingoistic zeal when the boys in red, white, and blue take the field. Chalk me up as well. Hey, if it makes us forget about which side of the political spectrum we fall for 80 minutes of united debauchery (plus three minutes added time for Congressional bullshit), then bring it on.

I don't really understand what warrants a yellow card, but I understand "Goal, y'all!"