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Harold Kushner and his roommate of thirty years, Murray Schwartz, are average senior citizens facing down their mortality in a trailer park in Land O' Lakes, Florida. On a weekend getaway to Disney, they treat themselves to a stay at an economy hotel on International Drive. Harold and Murray go bowling at an alley nearby, where they meet two Mongolian bowlers in the next lane. By happenstance, they're invited to join the Mongolians as teammates, with Tomorbaatar, Kulan and his beautiful sister Odetsegseg, in what is dubbed the first-ever Great Mongolian Bowling League Tournament of the United States of America.
The rivalry becomes a high stakes roll-off when the owners of the bowling alley, two loveable mobsters, set the fix on the game. Murray and his new younger Mongolian friend, Kulan, agree to throw the game but don't tell their teammates. Unfortunately, Harold and Tomorbaatar are on fire and Harold is on his way to bowling a perfect three-game series, placing them in the lead. Winning is not an option as their well-being depends on losing the competition.
Bowling three three-hundred-score games in a row is extremely rare and is defined as "perfection" in the bowling world. The game is televised as the world watches Harold in hot pursuit of perfection. The publicity his performance draws shines a light on the myriad problems the people of Mongolia are facing in their quest to transition from a broken-down, old Soviet satellite state to a modern democracy when they declared their independence from Russia in 1990.
The uncanny action unfolds in this beautiful comedic tale illuminating that although we come from worlds far apart, we share a common humanity. Can Harold roll perfection and live to tell the tale? The outcome will impact millions… and strike you right in the heart.
Lizard of Transition (Forthcoming)
Joe Rabinovsky, a ninety-one-year-old Jewish World War II veteran, is lying in a Chicago area hospice facility. His son sits by his side holding vigil for his dying father. Joe awakens and says to his son, "I just had a vivid dream." He had come back from the world of transition, the world between life and death, where he is reliving his past war experiences. In an act of confession, Joe looks for redemption in his final moments in this world. His killing in the war has stained his soul and haunted him his entire life.
His son Joshua is under tremendous pressure as his own world is falling apart around him. His marriage is dying after his wife of thirty-six years has been unfaithful. She has come to visit her father-in-law at the hospice facility, and Joshua and she are brought together to face their problems under the gut-wrenching veil of the father's imminent passing.
From the wisdom of the ages and from the Jewish perspective on death and redemption, the family finds their way forward. In one final closing gesture, the son brings reconciliation not only to his father and his family, but also to the family of a Japanese soldier his father killed in the Battle of the Driniumor River, New Guinea, over seventy years ago.
Lizard of Transition is a historical fiction novella that explores how the after-effects of war impact a surviving soldier and his family. This story reveals how an understanding of death and dying can lead us to live richer, fuller lives.
It's a Good Day to Liquidate (Forthcoming)
Eddy Ackerman is a young retail furniture store owner, born into the business. Eddy has failed at most everything he's done in his life. His dead father once said, "Find your talent, do what you're good at, and you'll find your success." After one of the worst days in his existence—the day when the IRS stormed into his business and padlocked the doors, on the same day his wife left him and took all his money—Eddy has an epiphany: he's done one thing consistently well, and that one thing was his talent… failing!
The liquidation industry recruits its workers from companies who have gone out of business. Eddy looks to find his success in the liquidation business because, he reasons, "They're a bunch of failures like me who have found their success helping failing business owners…fail."
Eddy goes to work for what appears to be a reputable liquidation company, but they're more than they appear to be. He gets caught up in the criminal world and finds himself in a life-or-death struggle to survive. Working in his first liquidation sale in Poughkeepsie, NY, as the assistant sale manager for a reputable third-generation furniture storeowner, he's soon arrested and convinced to wear a wire. Discovered, he's dragged into a hidden underground complex. After witnessing two murders, he escapes, gets shot, and ends up in the Hudson River.
It's a Good Day to Liquidate illuminates how failure and liquidation are integral parts of our lives. And like the mythical Phoenix, we rise from the ashes, hopefully in one piece and better for it.
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