Good morning, lovelies.
Today, we’d like to share with you the cover for John Bauer’s upcoming novel, All The Bay’s Clams And All The Bay’s Men. The cover was created per the author’s specifications. We hope you like it.
Without further ado, here it is!
Title: All The Bay’s Clams And All The Bay’s Men
Author: John Bauer
Release Date: August 22, 2020
Publisher: Lysestrah Press
Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Clamming
His best and worst days were those bay days, the ones that shaped his future.
From the moment he’d graduated high school, Peter Halstead dreamt of a life full of political grandeur and solid achievements. Mocked at every turn, he refuses to make his old man’s mistakes, nor will he dig clams forever. A “most successful” career waits for him on the horizon.
Moments in Peter’s young life soon steer him away from Clayport, his first love, and his buddies. He never returns to his halcyon bay days.
A forty-year high school reunion brings him back to encounter former classmates. He wants nothing more than to showcase himself. Instead, he compares his life to theirs and discovers he may have squandered his existence.
A crumpled napkin channels him toward an uncharted destination. Illogical choices cause his unconventional actions, altering his remaining days on earth.
Will his future have any purpose? Will yours?
(Currently not available.)
July 5, 1969
“You dicks wanna pop some cherries tonight?”
Wolfie’s left hand gripped his T-handle, and his right cupped a Rheingold bottle. A Marlboro swaggered from mustached lips smeared with creamy sunscreen. Underneath his khaki floppy beach hat, blue eyes brooded. He tugged twice on his bull rake stuck in the muck. My fast-going bald, closest thing to a friend swiveled his head my way.
“We’ll ride over in my boat. Leave around eight from the canal, then bar hop the dives on the island. I plan on getting laid against the dunes.”
Before I answered, two calloused hands climbed the slippery skin of my twenty-five-foot aluminum extension pole, avoiding its jagged clamps. Ten minutes of sweat-stained forearms wrought up an iron-barred basket packed with prized little necks and worthless shells. After flipping the load onto my cull box, I three-quarters flung the basket and pole like a javelin into the water again to hunt. My rake head’s twenty teeth kissed, then bit into the bay’s soft bosom, which would soon feed my money hunger . . . with clams.
I hesitated to agree to party with him. Three months ago, cops had hauled his butt to jail for underage drinking and driving. His rich old man had gotten all the charges reduced on a prayer for judgment. Didn’t want one ill-conceived escapade with him screwing up my life.
“You going to make an ass of yourself? I don’t want to get kicked out of college before I register.”
Through the hollow pole, clams began to jingle-jangle in the basket below—music to my big ears. Goals numbered one, two, and three were graduating cum laude in Poly Sci from Cornell, punching through law school, and then moving on up the corporate law ladder.
“Pumpkin, try to live a little before you sell your soul to suckers who don’t give a shit.” Wolfie snorted smoke like a dragon through both nostrils. “You’re the only one who’s going to fuck up your life. Or fuck down your life. Who the fuck knows?”
Goals numbered four, five, and six were marrying into wealth (the woman had to have nice legs), successfully campaigning for a State Assembly seat (conservative platform, of course), and then busting my hump to charge into DC and have them balance the budget, once and for all!
“Let Stitches pick us up and drive your boat over there and back. Then, I’ll go,” I suggested. “I’m not taking any chances on you getting wasted.”
To my portside, in the garvey between Wolfie and me, our scar-faced, clam-digging compadre had been listening and yanking on his own bull rake.
“Fuck yeah.” Stitches smiled. “Just tuned up your rig. Again. If the bay’s calm, I’d love to open her up tonight.”
A better mechanic than clammer, he’d tinkered with all of our outboards at one time or another, working with his dad at the Clayport Marina.
Wolfie parked his beer on his deck, gripped both hands on his frozen T-handle, and sucked long on the remainder of his smoke. Then, he spit the filter into the water. He glanced sideways at me.
“One day, someday, Pumpkin Head, I hope you’re not so screwed up.”
“Better than ‘fucked up,’ huh?” was my grinning come back.
I didn’t think I was fucked up. No fucking way. Ambitious, sure. Nothing wrong with working to make something of myself.
With my head down, I focused on digging clams. Before doing any chick chasing, I still had a full count bag to rake up. I’d lost a valuable summer day.
Attended Mother’s funeral service in the city. Didn’t shed a tear, though.
On my starboard side, Buddy, Hank Smith, and Matt were digging and drifting, about five yards apart from one another. A coquettish breeze kissed our cheeks. The man-in-the-moon pulled the strings of a puppet-like tide, toying with our boats.
Our mini-armada, normally configured as a frayed nautical line, normally disjointed, was anything but normal today.
n nnnOur poles jerked in rhythm, like an invisible maestro was conducting a “raking symphony.” Our boats were aligned in a perfect straight line across the horizon. We all mouthed the words to “Crimson and Clover,” blaring from Wolfie’s radio.
Shell fishing serendipity.
About The Author:
John Bauer read, lived, worked, loved, won, and lost, well before he ever wrestled with words.
In 2007, fired as county manager for no good reason from a place he’d previously managed for six productive years, he mistitled, and under-achieved with a textbook/cathartic memoir—boats, knots, other things.
Undaunted, John sold health insurance and stocks and bonds, and then served five (5) twelve (12)-month tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Senior Governance Advisor for the US Department of State.
Since 2013, ScribesValley, Stone Canoe Literary Journal, AnotheRealm, the Magazine of Speculative Fiction, Andrews UK Limited (House of Erotica), WildSound Novel Writing Festival, and Stringybark Stories have published his scribblings. Thrice, he’s successfully participated in Nanowrimo. In November 2013, he drafted All the Bay’s Clams and All the Bay’s Men. Six years and multiple re-writes later, this novel is soon-to-be published.
His genres are adult contemporary, dark comedy, farcical, horror, erotic, and non-fiction. A believer in pre-destination and Divine Providence, John opines the endings to each of his manuscripts are not entirely his own.
Born in Brooklyn, and raised on Long Island, New York, where he dug clams for eight summer seasons, John was schooled at Notre Dame and Syracuse, with detours to Mexico City, Mexico, Raleigh, NC, and Little Rock, Arkansas. Since 1979, he has worked as a public servant in southeastern North Carolina. There, he and his wife raised three children and currently have five grandchildren.
Oldmanwrite—website and brand—reflects by any quantitative measure, John is old.
Qualitatively? That part of his BIO has yet to be written.
Connect with John Bauer online via the following social media outlets to keep up-to-date on what’s coming next for him and his writing.