Thursday, October 13, 2016

Grand Slams: The cover design story of the soon to be released novel

Let's start with the back because that's where much of the story takes place, the back area of Grand Slams restaurant. Christopher Reilley, Big Table Publications cover designer, and I came up with the back cover design to look like a menu. The prices do not reflect the authors--but the new items appear at the top ( Todays Grand Slam Appetizers).  The new items are blurbs by Nadine Darling, Jessica Keener and Daniel Nester. 

Favorites and Wordy Meals are just that. These are my favorite blurbs from the past or just the wordy meals about my writing from some of my most favorite authors, writers and poets. To see the photo in it's larger form, just click on it.

Hope you're ready to place your order.

 The front cover is an actual table shot of a Grand Slams Breakfast, oops I mean, The Double Home Run Breakfast served at Grand Slams. The font used is the actual font that Denny's uses and the border strips of color reflect the 1980's, the time period the novel takes place. So open the pages for a story with good eats--open anytime, 24 Hours.

And then there's the spine. I don't have anything to say about the spine

Thursday, October 6, 2016 does Denny's: This is some "novel" research

I did plenty of research for my novel Grand Slams, much of it first hand as an employee in the chain the novel is based on. Most of the information is verified right on their website.

There's also this link on

Now I'm obsessed.

But to make it is their ten things you need to know. (credit

1. It all started in 1953.

Harold Butler and Richard Jezak opened the first Denny's in Lakewood, CA. Except back then, it was known as Danny's Donuts.



2. It went through many, many name changes.

Three years after launching Danny's Donuts, Jezak jumped ship and Butler renamed their six spots Danny's Coffee Shops. Then he changed it again because he was worried people would confused it with another L.A. chain, Coffee Dan's, so it switched it to Denny's Coffee Shops. It wasn't until 1961 that he decided to drop the extra weight and go with simply "Denny's."

3. Denny's has been operating 24 hours for 60 years.

When Butler changed the name in 1956, he changed the operating hours, too. And the rest is history. (Or a whole lot of midnight and 2 a.m. flapjacks at least.)

4. It changed the pancake recipe for the first time in recent history

Denny's no longer griddles flapjacks from a just-add-water powdered mix. And apparently the pancakes are 50 percent fluffier. The new recipe includes fresh buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Apparently the tweak took three years to complete and the new ingredients will cost its 1,7000 restaurants across the country $5 million more. "Good isn't good enough anymore for the average American," Sharon Lykins, senior director of product innovation for Denny's, told USA Today. "The customers liked (the pancakes) fine. But there wasn't anything special about them that said, 'I've gotta go to Denny's to have pancakes.'

5. The grand slam is a tribute to Hank Aaron.

In 1977, it debuted on the Denny's menu in Atlanta as a nod to the home run slugger and living legend who played for the Atlanta Braves.

6. In 2008, the chain served over 2 million free Grand Slams.

On the Tuesday after Super Bowl XLIII, two million customers got to eat on the company's dime. Must have been nice.

7. Denny's was featured in 'Breaking Bad.'

And the company freaking *loved* it. Fans of the gritty show and customers liked it, too, some were even ticked off when the Albuquerque, NM location that made a cameo moved two miles away.

8. South Park is also obsessed with Denny's.

Thanks to all those "Baconalia" specials—like bacon inside pancakes, bacon meatloaf, and a bacon sundae for dessert.

9. One man tried to eat the 'Hobbit' menu in one sitting.

Denny's decided to create a Hobbit-themed menu for each of the trilogy films and one man attempted to devour the spread in one sitting.

10. Its Twitter account is out of control.

Between snarky Taylor Swift commentaries to odd musings and cheesy puns, Denny's social media game is on fire. It'll make you laugh and also get you hungry.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Coming in November, Grand Slams, the novel

Coming Soon: Grand Slams, my latest novel.

Most people think of the diner chain, Grand Slams as a place to get lots of food--especially breakfast food--for little money. Most of their employees think something else. For some, like Woody Geyser and Bobby Maloney, it’s just a summer job. For others, the young and independent Sugar, it should have been just that; now working year round, with a college education seemingly blown.  

There’s a loyal, long-time matriarch, Maura, the waitress, who trekked across the country from the original California location. A sleazy manager, Joe Keating, who cuts corners for every benefit possible, both inside and outside of his employment. There's also the slow minded busboy, Kenny Slatts, whose only goal is to save money for a kayak so he can live the simple dream of paddling waitresses around Spy Pond. 

Within the greasy confines of Grand Slams, located in Bedford, Massachusetts, the characters find love, redemption and growth the way it was in the early 1980’s.

Some book settings now resting in peace: 
The Web Brook
The Orson Wells Theater
The Super 8
Wonderland Dog Track
The Bell Canto
Sinclair Gas
Dodge Monaco 

For some of the blurbs click :