Book 4 of The Roaring Road series, currently with the working title Speakeasy Blues is coming soon. For those who are not familiar with the series, here's the setup:
A combination of Johann's family history during Prohibition, along with his work in the whiskey and wine business in California and a deep interest in history created the idea behind the story line of his first series of historic fiction novels.
The Roaring Road Book 1 and Book 2 was originally one large volume of 280,000 words. After editing, Johann split the tale into two books. We invite our readers to travel the roaring road to read the thrilling and suspenseful tales describing the adventures of Laure and Dan, a young couple just getting to know each other and thinking about making a normal life for themselves. However, fate has something else in mind for Laure and Dan, who must quickly work their way up a steep learning curve to adapt to events outside their control in order to survive.
The cover of The Roaring Road Book 1 features young Laure getting off the New Alton Limited, the flagship passenger service of the Chicago & Alton Railroad. The Limited was the fastest passenger train from Chicago to St. Louis in its day, and Laure needs to get there fast. Note that the name of the passenger car is Long Grove, a small village northwest of Chicago, where the famous Village Tavern was and still is today. While many dangerous challenges find them, by the end of the first book Laure and Dan are friends of many important Hollywood icons including Louise Brooks, Douglas Fairbanks, Jesse Lasky, W.C. Fields and Billie Dove, to name just a few.
The Roaring Road Book 2's cover shows that the naive young Laure has come a long way in a short time. Laure is an independent-minded girl who raises her glass of Champagne to the flapper movement that brings new fashions and freedoms to young women. In the background is Dan's new Duesenberg Model X Dual Cowl Phaeton, AT&SF #3447 Pacific 4-6-2 locomotive, and the outline of the Santa Fe Railroad's Cherryvale Kansas train station in the background. Where the hell is Cherryvale Kansas, and what are Laure and Dan doing there? And why do Hymie Weiss of Chicago's North Side and Al Capone of Chicago's South Side Outfits want to meet Laure and Dan? More importantly, how will our intrepid protagonists survive the meetings? And what are they going to do with their huge inventory of whiskey and wine?
Road Trip Blues is Book 3 in the series and Laure is now an assistant producer and director in Hollywood. She is also an actress of growing fame, having been a dancer in the first "The Great Gatsby" movie made in 1926 and a few other flickers with her new friend Louise Brooks. Dan hasn't been standing around either. When they are not rescuing each other from the clutches of evil mobsters [with help from their faithful companion, the Road Trip Dog] Dan finds time to write the screenplay for Road Trip Blues and will be the director. Can you guess who is The Messenger Boy, and if he is friend or foe? Hollywood movies and good booze are in high demand and so are Laure and Dan, which is why they need their own private train. The location background includes Napa/Sonoma, Hollywood, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlantic City and points in between.
Al Capone's infamous Green Mill is a feature in each book of the series because that's where Dan and Laure liked to dance and drink whenever they are in Chicago. The Green Mill and the Long Grove Village Tavern are real, and are still in business. Go there for a visit and imagine Laure and Dan gliding around the dance floor, or Laure and her friend Louise Brooks on the stage performing a wild and sexy Charleston.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
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