Writer Anthony Venutolo delivers a collection of nearly 50 flash fictions and short stories that splatter onto the page at 90 proof. From the deserted bus stations of Route 66 to the smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives of the big cities, these wanton tales of longing introduce us to desperate vixens on the fringe and those shifty men that drove them there.
Get your shot glass ready because in this retro world, showgirls, drifters, barmaids and thieves have one thing in common — they’re all painted on a seedy canvas drenched in a hearty barrel of Kentucky’s finest nectar.
~ Bottoms up…
Targeted Age Group:: 17 and above
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The material in this book was culled from my several years of writing short fiction. At one point, I discovered a theme (bourbon, noir, romance) and decided to string them together for the first in a series named ‘LADIES OF LIQUOR. The second book, ‘REdheads & Rye’ is forthcoming and a sneak peak is included in this volume.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I have always been drawn to retro-feeling characters and everyone in ‘Bourbon & Blondes’ feels as though they jumped out of a Turner Classic film, circa 1954. I am drawn to all things nostalgic and this is a homage to a bygone era of bus stations, Route 66, Vintage Las vegas and smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives.
Aggie slipped into Nunzio’s Tavern at about half past ten. The saloon was one of those gloomy places where lost souls came to meet, greet and get behind that cork with a blinding vengeance. It all reeked of guilt and disgrace.
During this early hour there wasn’t much going on except for a morning poker game buried under the neon fizzle of a Lowenbrau sign. Aggie’s heels on the linoleum floor seemed to wake the place up for a moment until everyone realized she was there to make her own act of contrition.
At the bar, she ordered some bourbon. When Smitty asked what kind, Aggie snapped, “The kind that’ll do the trick.” Then she smiled politely before placing down her purse and heading to the jukebox. After all, what’s the sense in drowning your sorrows if there’s no song?
She thought of her three men and how they each weren’t worth a squirt of piss between them. She also wondered which one was responsible. Dickie, a Salvation Army Santa, was good and honest enough but only seemed to show up when the gettin’ was good. Then there was Louie, whose good looks and padded wallet didn’t make up for his left hook and apology.
And Pete? He was her boss, a stoic leader who unfortunately came with a wife.
More Granddad. More quarters. More songs.
Lunch came in the form of a BLT ordered from the greasy spoon up the block that delivered. It was better than she expected—as was her day at Nunzio’s.
She marveled at the barfly wisdom but wondered, though, at the same time. How could these dampened men give such great advice when they’ve made such poor decisions in their own lives? By three o’ clock she pretty much understood what was so very unspoken in that dark bar to begin with and through everyone’s help, Aggie knew what she needed to do.
She kissed the men goodbye, thanked them and stumbled home.
About the Author:
Anthony Venutolo has won five critical writing awards from the New Jersey Press Association and has appeared in such publications as Bikini, Details, POV and Playboy Online. He’s also written columns for the gambling magazines Chance, Casino Player and Strictly Slots.
Online his flash fiction and poems have appeared at Zygote in My Coffee, Red Fez, Deuce Coupe, Gutter Eloquence, Shoots and Vines, Six Sentences and is a Revolutionary Voice at the site Drunken Absurdity.
The former features editor at The Star-Ledger, is now a member of the Digital Operations team for the New Jersey Advance Media Group and his first book Front Page Palooka was released in October, 2013 as part of the FIGHT CARD book series. It was nominated for three New Pulp Awards including Best Novella, Best New Writer and Best New Character.
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy Bourbon & Blondes On Amazon
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought!