Civil Discourse Now

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Here's the basic plot of "Billion Dollar Ball$", launch party on 1/31 at BRT, 5-7 p.m.

   Billion Dollar Ball$ is my tenth novel, third that I will have published. It is an e-novel and will be available for $2.99. E-publishing means less overhead and greater ease of publication. Self-publishing means I have joined the great numbers of writers who have abandoned conventional publishing in which large corporations pass on the risk of previously unpublished writers.

   We will have a launch party on Thursday, January 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Broad Ripple Tavern. All (21 years of age or older) are invited. Everyone should have a good time, but please drink responsibly or have a designated driver.

   Billion Dollar Ball$ consists of several story lines. The main plot, set in late 1983 and early 1984,  involves the plan of a clerical assistant of a Chicago-area law school library who is in the middle of a divorce. He was stung by his soon-to-be-former spouse when she said he was the smartest person she knew, but he had no money. The statement becomes a challenge to the clerical assistant who, the previous year, had stung a neighborhood bookie during the annual national college basketball tournament. (Did that get around use of the acronym to which we all are so familiar?) In other words, the kid has a knack for picks in the tournament.

   He arbitrarily decides to make One Billion Dollars ($1,000,000,000.00), to prove he not only is smart but also can get money. He purloins an original edition of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations as a stake large enough for a parlay bet to pay the amount he has set as his goal. A parlay bet, in these circumstances, is a bet on a series of games. If he is wrong on one bet, he loses the stake. Parlays are easy to lose. That is why the odds on a parlay are so high.

He scouts teams and finds an obscure college—but still Division I school and member of a conference with an automatic bid to the tournament —purchased by a billionaire as a homage to himself, who wants publicity through sports. Football is too capital-intensive. Basketball, however, involves only 12 players and minimal equipment. He hires as a coach a recent college graduate who, as a trainer, took over as coach of his Division II school and won a lot of games. The coach’s idea to recruit? Hire high-profile criminal defense lawyers to spring former blue chip high school prospects from various correctional facilities—i.e., prisons—around the country.

   The book involves a lot of characters and themes—all purely fictional and any similarity with actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental—and includes the Mob, a basement bowling alley, a panhandler, psychoses, dead by retention pond, a would-be International Supermodel from Terre Haute, and a man who stalks the coach, firmly convinced the coach is Satan returned to the Earth.

   This is a work of satire. It makes fun of greed, higher education, organized crime, and law enforcement. Oh yeah—J. Edgar Hoover, as "Mary," makes several appearances.

   It will appear Thursday on Amazon and only is $2.99. I will sign covers of the book at the Launch party. Hey—I can’t sign screens on laptops or Kindles®. Well, I guess I could, but I doubt many people would be pleased. 

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