An excerpt from Marc's romance novel, AGAIN...

     Saturday came soon enough. Richard dressed his best,

shaved his closest and combed every hair. He was ready to

m eet the parents. On the way, he stopped off at the

Reading Terminal Market and bought fresh flowers for

Patricia’s mother. He also bought a few pints of Bassetts

ice cream, an exclusive gift from the gods offered at the

market and a Philadelphia delicacy since 1861. It was

Patricia’s favorite food on earth.

     So, fully loaded to impress as best he could, Richard

circled the streets around 22nd and Lombard until he

finally found a legal parking space. Then he walked the

three blocks to Patricia’s house and climbed the steps to

the front door. Despite psyching himself out regarding

previous feelings about the house, he noticed his hand

shaking nervously as he reached up to knock on the door.

Within a brief moment, the door opened and there stood,

not Patricia, but her mother.

     “Well lookie here,” she said. “You must be Richard,

the drive-by boyfriend who has finally decided to come

meet the parents. And as luck would have it, it’s the

mother you must face first.” Louise was all smiles. Richard

smiled back.

     “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Peterson, well worth

parking the car. And not to worry, I am up for the

challenge because your daughter is the wonder of my life.”

     “Do come in, you’ve won round one.” Louise told him

as she opened the door wider. Richard held up the flowers.

    “These are for you.”

    “And round two, also” Louise said as she took the

flowers. By now Patricia was running up behind her


     “Oops, I guess I’m too late,” she said as she gave

Richard a brief kiss on his cheek. “At least she hasn’t eaten

you alive.”

     “Yet,” said Richard.

     “That’s because he came with a bribe,” Mrs. Peterson

said as she showed the flowers to Patricia.

     “I told you he was smart,” Patricia said.

     “Hey, I got my “A” game on tonight,” Richard said as

he handed an insulated bag to Patricia.

     “Is this what I think it is?” she asked.

     “Yep, but I get some of the French Vanilla.”

     “Come in the kitchen while I put this in the freezer,”

Patricia said as she took the ice cream from Richard. He

followed her and as he walked through the doorway into

the kitchen he froze and just stood staring throughout the

room. It was the most incredible feeling he had ever had

and it must have shown.

     “My God, what is wrong Richard?” Patricia asked.

“You look like you’ve seen a real ghost.” He didn’t

respond. He kept staring with an intense look of


     “Richard!” Patricia said, this time loudly.

     “I’ve been in this room before. I can’t explain it. But I

know this room. There used to be a wall there, between

the door and the entrance into the parlor.”

     “Parlor?” Patricia asked. “You mean the living room,

don’t you? No one says parlor anymore. And besides,

many of these old houses have the same floor plan so

you’ve probably seen it somewhere else.”

     “But he is right,” Mrs. Peterson said. “There used to

be a wall there. My mother told me it was one of the first

changes made to the house.”

     “And just under the bottom edge of the cabinet over

there.” Richard said as he pointed, “you can see where the

floor is scorched. That’s where the oven used to be. And

right up there, see on the wall where there’s a slight round

impression under the paint? That’s where the stovepipe

went out through the wall.”

     By now, both Louise and Patricia were staring at

Richard with concern. Richard reached over and pulled a

chair out from under the table.

     “This is all too much,” he said. “I have to sit down.

None of this makes any sense. I don’t know how to handle

it. But if ever there was déjà vu, this is it.”


Excerpt from Marc's Suspense Mystery, DEAD LETTER...

     Adding to the difficulty of launching an assault against

some of Japan’s best troops, the American effort would be

hampered by miscalculations and unanticipated problems.

The tide levels expected for launch time were misjudged.

The Higgins boats were not able to make it over the coral

reef offshore. Consequently, many sat stranded atop the

hard coral, easy targets for enemy fire. A good number of

them were merely blown apart where they sat. Their troops

were disgorged in the explosions, flying through the air and

then landing in the shallow water beneath them.

     Those aboard crafts that were not yet hit, quickly

abandoned them, finding themselves in chest-high water

with the weight of full gear and no protection from the

horrendous shower of machine gun fire from some of the

500 Japanese pillboxes that populated the rise above the


     Robert peered slightly over the side of the Higgins boat

and watched in horror at what was happening all around

him. There were bodies everywhere, many of them floating

lifelessly in the surf. Many were in pieces only. The water

had turned red all around him. Most of the Marines in the

boat with him were hunched over with blank stares or

quivering lips that were muttering prayers and other

thoughts out loud. Many were throwing up from nerves or


     Years of riding out storms or heavy swells on the

Chesapeake had made his body accustomed to rough seas.

He was alert to everything going on around him. This was

definitely not the Chesapeake. Nor was it the tranquil,

scenic shore of the Corsica River. And, most certainly, it

was not like looking down at the water lapping up against

the dock of an old abandoned boatshed where he sat next to

a beautiful girl whose laughter he could no longer hear.

     No, where he was now was unlike anything he could have

ever envisioned. This was some strange, horrific nightmare

he was in...and all of it was so far from home, and so distant

from all that he had once known and loved.

     A total of 125 landing craft, Amtraks and Higgins, were

launched that day onto the beach at Tarawa. Only 35

completed their mission.