Murder, Corruption, and The Unthinkable in The 1950s Heartland Suddenly Resonate Today…

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Thunderfoot Press announces its premier title, “Midland Club.”

December 12,  2016 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Since November 8th, LGBTQ citizens have come to fear a surge in hate crimes after reports of homophobic attacks, some verbal, some physical. Sadly, the potential is evident.

But in 1958, that potential was a frightening certainty, especially in Midwestern cities where homosexuals were considered “perverts” and “degenerates” and law officers ignored assaults on them – law officers not unlike the fictitious Sheriff Pat Brundy, who quickly pronounced the death of an old, gay, black man as suicide. No investigation. Case closed.

In Midland Club, a new murder mystery by Mark Spano, one man refuses to believe Puce Bordeaux’s death was suicide, despite Sheriff Brundy’s assertion. That man is Rich St. Pierre, a member of the wealthy, white First Family of the town who was locked up, along with Puce, after a raid on a dive where the town’s otherwise hidden homosexuals hung out. He’s certain that Puce, the quiet, genteel “Negro” who served as a waiter in the exclusive Midland Club for decades, was killed. He’s certain that the subsequent death of Puce’s priest, Monsignor Corliss, was murder.

Ostracized by his influential family, Rich St. Pierre also knows that his own life will be in grave danger if he attempts to prove his assumptions by unraveling the town’s secrets, lies, and corruption.

fiction/mystery/gay literature
Author Mark Spano

“I set this book in the neighborhood of my childhood,” said Spano, a gay man who knew life before the Stonewall riots of 1969. “I came of age in the era of gay liberation. My story is a glimpse back at how it used to be.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Spano’s 120-page book is a quick page-turner that suddenly stops the reader in his or her tracks with such moments as art dealer and self-described “queen” Luther Beaumont’s drunken rant on human instincts:

“We were taught that the only two instincts we humans have are self-preservation and species preservation.

“That is not so. There are more than those. The third instinct is just as primitive but has somehow been ignored by all these research people as being part of the human creature. It’s the preservation by the tribe of those things beautiful about the tribe. That’s why we’re decorators and designers and art dealers. While the rest of the world is cranking out babies like there’s no tomorrow, queers are at home saving what’s beautiful in the world so there’ll be something to look at or listen to tomorrow.”

Midland Club has all the elements of a good mystery: vibrant characters, a familiar setting, and a plot in which the solution to the mystery is ultimately revealed. Beyond a good mystery, it also addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him. And if the reader is paying attention, that pain foreshadows the conclusion.

Review copies of Midland Club are available by contacting

publicist Kim Weiss at Blueplate PR:

Paperback and Kindle editions are available for purchase on Amazon.

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

Media Contact:

Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR



The Frugal Travel Guy To Be A Featured Guest on “Around The World” Radio Talk Show on June 23

Rick Ingersoll will share his best recent travel deals and teach listeners

Rick Ingersoll, The Frugal Travel Guy

how they can become frugal travelers.

June 21, 2011 (Santa Barbara, CA) – Rick Ingersoll, author of the popular blog “The Frugal Travel Guy,” will be a featured guest on “Around The World” an international travel talk-radio show on KZBA AM 1290 in Santa Barbara, CA, on Thursday, June 23, at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EST), with re-broadcasts on Thursday evening from 8-9 p.m. PDT and on Saturday the 24th at 10 a.m.

Ingersoll is a recognized leader among “travel hackers,” a term used for people who amass and maximize frequent flyer miles and rewards points, and combine those with other techniques to travel the world for free or nearly free. He is frequently in the media for his expertise on frugal travel, including The New York Times, Consumer Digest, Budget Travel, and the Kiplinger Newsletter.

Ingersoll shares his knowledge and tips with over 5000 readers each day on his blog, and he receives email every day from readers who have been on trips they say they never could have afforded were it not for what they’ve learned from his blog and his book, The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook.

There are many “travel hacking” blogs similar to Ingersoll’s. What sets his apart from the others is that he is “on a mission to teach ‘regular’ folks, who don’t think they can afford to travel, that they can if they use my tips and techniques,” he says. “I call it ‘seeing the world at prices we can all afford.’ “

 Ingersoll’s 10-minute segment on Around The World will let him take his mission to an even larger audience. The show is also on a delayed broadcast in Australia on Queensland’s 99.7 FM as well as on over 30 other radio stations via ComRadSat. It also streams live audio and video online at and

Among the tips and techniques Ingersoll may touch on during the June 23 segment are:

  • How to use “the bump” to amass travel vouchers from airlines.
  • How to find mistake rates and make the most of them.
  • How to capitalize on consumer promotions that offer miles or points.
  • How to make the most of fare wars and best-rate guarantees.
  • How to “churn” credit cards responsibly to get thousands of rewards points and miles.

Around the World is a live 60-minute travel talk show that was launched in 1998. Veteran travel writer and broadcaster Arthur von Wiesenberger hosts the weekly show, which received the International Restaurant and Hotel Award (IRHA) for the Best Dining and Travel in Radio in 2008. For more information, go to

For more information on Rick Ingersoll, visit his blog at

About The Frugal Travel Guy:

Rick Ingersoll is the author of The Frugal Travel Guy blog, which is read around the world and averages 5000 views per day, and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook. He is constantly on the lookout for the best credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses and other promotions. He posts frugal travel tips deals every day on his blog with the goal of reducing his readers’ travel costs for the rest of their lives. He is also available for seminars and speaking engagements. A retired mortgage banker, Ingersoll and his wife live in Hilton Head Island, SC, and Traverse City, MI, when they’re not traveling the globe. For more information visit

“Twisted and Turned” Author T. Lyn Fletcher Launches New Website

The site is designed to inform and intrigue future readers and fans.

June 14, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – T. Lyn Fletcher, the author of the upcoming supernatural/horror/vampire book series “Twisted and Turned,” has launched a new

website specifically designed to capture the ambiance of the series and to keep future readers enthralled.

“It was a bit of a challenge to build a site as eclectic and dramatic as T. Lyn Fletcher’s needed to be, without making it difficult for a user to navigate,” said Karin Bilich, founder and president of Smart Author “I think we found a really nice medium in which readers can really feel like they’ve delved into the ‘Twisted and Turned’ series, while still being able to find any pertinent information.”

Against a black backdrop, where the gray form of a raven takes wing behind the author’s name, the team at Smart Author Sites created a window on the landing page that recalls a dark, worn desk. On the desk are various items — from an old, leather book to a 21st century cell phone — that become links to other pages as users scroll over them.

Fletcher’s photograph appears in a small black frame propped on the “desk” and leads to the “About The Author” page. A black leather-bound book becomes the link to “The Series” page for a synopsis and excerpt. A computer keyboard leads to a page of links to the author’s social media sites. An open address book goes to “Fun Facts,” and a newspaper on the desk will lead to reviews of the books. The cell phone links to contact information and downloads (including Fletcher’s head shots and promotional posters), while an ornate, pink envelope takes visitors to a page where Fletcher will post comments and questions readers submit to her by email. All of these items/links remain on the bottom of each page for easy navigation.

Throughout the site, Bilich has sprinkled dramatic photos of the author as well as esoteric symbolism and a sneak peak at the cover of the first book in the series, “Unholy Union.”

“T. Lyn Fletcher is quite an interesting woman, and we wanted to make sure that her personality really came through in the website,” Bilich said. “She has some great photos of herself, which we tried to work into the site wherever possible. It’s important that an author’s website reflects his or her personality, and I think this one does just that.”

The see the new website and for more information on the author and the upcoming “Twisted and Turned” series, visit


About T. Lyn Fletcher:

T. Lyn Fletcher, the author of the upcoming supernatural/horror book series “Twisted and Turned,” is a medical software designer in her “other life.” A native North Carolinian, she is a member of the well-known philanthropic Fletcher family of Raleigh, NC, and member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She active in a number of charitable efforts related to the environment and animal welfare. She has worked with the Washington Charity Awards and participates in For more information go, visit her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.

Frank Harmon Architect PA Makes “Architect 50” List For Third Straight Year

The small Raleigh, NC, firm ranks 21st this year among the top 50 firms in the nation in terms of design quality, sustainability ethos, and profitability.

May 16, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – For the third consecutive year, Frank Harmon

Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal/founder, Frank Harmon Architect PA © f8 Photo Studios

Architect PA has made Architect magazine’s “Architect 50” list of architectural firms from across the nation, placing 21st.

Architect magazine ranks firms for its annual Architect 50 list based on a composite assessment of the firms’ commitment to sustainability, design quality, and profitability.

“The usual rating of firms by gross billing, number of employees, etc., would not include our firm,” said Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of Frank Harmon Architect PA. “But when we are rated on design recognition for our clients, sustainability, and financial performance, our firm shows up well.”

“By looking at the whole picture, we’re able to honor not the biggest, but the best,” writes executive editor Amanda Kolson Hurley in the May 2011 edition of the national journal. “The 2011 Architect 50…shows that [architecture] and [architecture/engineering] firms, large and small, can do well in this economy.”

Frank Harmon Architect PA, an intentionally small firm, specializes in modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate design. Among the firm’s 2010-2011 design awards, its thoroughly “green” Sunday school addition at the Circular Congregational Church in downtown Charleston, SC, received three awards: a national award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture; an AIA NC Honor Award; and an AIA Triangle Honor Award.

Harmon’s firm also received three awards for the Walnut Creek Wetland Center over the past year: an AIA NC Merit Award; an Environmental Design award from the City of Raleigh; and a Sir Walter Award for Community Appearance, also from the City of Raleigh.

The only other North Carolina firm to make the 2011 list is Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee of Raleigh and Asheville, at 23rd.

For more information on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit

To see the entire Architect 50 list, go to

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

Frank Harmon Architect PA is an award-winning architectural firm that is recognized nationally as a leader in modern, innovative, sustainable and regionally appropriate design. Its competition-winning design for the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design  is currently under construction in downtown Raleigh. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines, journals and online magazines on architecture, including, Dwell, Architectural Record, Architect, Residential Architect, and Recently, Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder and principal, was included in Residential Architect magazine’s “RA 50: The short list of architects we love.” For more information, go to

“Staying Crazy” Gets New Yorker Cartoonist’s Endorsement

Award-winning cartoonist Drew Dernavich looks forward to Cris Cohen’s new humor book.

May 9, 2011 (Cary, NC) – Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, an upcoming book

Drew Dernavich

by Cary, NC, humor writer and blogger Cris Cohen, has received a rousing endorsement from Drew Dernavich, cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine.

Due out in the fall, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, will be a collection of Cohen’s humor columns, most from the years he spent as a columnist for several newspapers in California as well as new ones he’s written since he and his family moved to Cary, NC, in 2008.

Cohen sent a pre-publication copy of his book to Dernavich, who is also the winner of the National Cartoonists Society’s “Reuben Award” as the best gag cartoonist in the nation.

“If Cris made a lasagna, it would probably be a funny lasagna,” Dernavich wrote in his endorsement. “If Cris made a chair, it would be a funny chair. Thankfully, he has decided to make a book instead, which I enjoyed reading along with a glass of the most hilarious Merlot. Keep it coming, Cris!”

How big of a deal is Dernavich’s endorsement for Cohen? “I am in awe of Drew’s talent,” Cohen said. “At least, that’s how I explained it to the policemen who found me hiding in the bushes outside his house. He can write. He can draw. He does speaking engagements. He’s like a Swiss Army Comedian.”

Cohen is publishing Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane as a way to raise money for a local baseball league for children with special needs, including his own son, Max. He will donate proceeds from sales of the book to the league.

Cris Cohen is also the author of the humor blog “Nothing In Particular: Trying Not To Take Life Too Seriously” at

For more information on Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, visit and the Facebook page:

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen, the author of the Nothing In Particular blog, was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, eventually graduating from the University of Southern California. After a stint in rock radio in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Cris started writing his humor column for a collection of California newspapers. He eventually gravitated toward the tech world and Silicon Valley, working for companies such as Netscape and Cisco Systems. Cris, his wife Michele, and their young son Max moved to Cary, North Carolina, in 2008. Cris’ blog is available at His first book, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, is due out in the fall of 2011. Welcomes Humor Writer Cris Cohen

Cris Cohen,'s newest columnist.

May 3, 2011 (Cary, NC) – The online newspaper has added another dimension to its offerings: a new humor column by Cary resident Cris Cohen. His first column, entitled “A Visit to the Chiropractor,” is online now at

For several years, Cohen wrote a weekly column that ran in several California newspapers. Since he and his family moved to Cary in 2008, he’s been writing a humor blog “Nothing In Particular” at He’s also preparing to publish his first book, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, a collection of his columns that he will use to raise funds for a local baseball league for kids with special needs.

This spring, Cohen ran a contest on the blog to celebrate the fact that he received an endorsement for the book from one of his humor-writing heroes, Pulitzer Prize-winner Dave Barry. He invited his readers to submit a guest post for “Nothing In Particular.” The writer with the funniest post would receive a copy of Barry’s newest book I’ll Mature When I’m Dead.

As it turned out, CaryCitizen editor-at-large Leslie Huffman came through with the winning post, “My Invisible Car,” which appeared on “Nothing In Particular” on April 15. And that brought Cohen’s work to the attention of CaryCitizen editor and publisher Hal Goodtree, who invited Cohen to start writing for the online newspaper.

“Cris Cohen reminds me of David Sedaris, another writer and essayist with roots in the Triangle,” said Goodtree. “Like Sedaris, Cris satirizes himself as much as turning the foil to poke fun at others. It’s personal, and it’s rooted in a place: Cary, NC. He makes a good fit with our readership and brings a new dimension to CaryCitizen. Special thanks to Leslie Huffman for bringing Cris into the fold.” covers news, sports, community events, and business in Cary, NC, and surrounding communities. Cohen said he’s delighted to be a part of the publication.

“I am very excited to be a contributor to the CaryCitizen, a publication whose history reaches all the way back to last Tuesday,” Cohen quipped. “It is possible that their offer of employment was meant for someone else. It would explain why their letter began ‘Dear Helen’. Still, I hope that, like all successful relationships, this one is filled with joy, tenderness, and only occasional threats of litigation.”

Cohen will contribute his humor column to CaryCitizen at least once a month. To read the current column, go to For more information on Cris Cohen and to read his blog, visit

Cary Citizen Editor Wins Humor Writing Contest

Cris Cohen Selects Best Guest Blog Post  

April 19, 2011 (Cary, NC) – Leslie Huffman, Associate Editor of the Cary Citizen, an online newspaper, has won humor writer/blogger Cris Cohen’s guest blog post contest with a 250-piece entitled “My Invisible Car.”

Huffman’s piece is posted on Cohen’s Nothing In Particular blog ( and she will receive a copy of Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry’s newest book I’ll Mature When I’m Dead.

“All of the entries were fun to read, so it was difficult selecting just one,” Cohen said. “I liked the fun spin that Leslie put on the topic of ‘potential vehicular homicide’. She has a slightly warped perspective that I can identify with. I’m sure Leslie will enjoy this coveted literary honor for at least l0 minutes.”

Huffman’s winning entry can be read at:

Cohen announced the guest post contest in early April as a way to celebrate the endorsement he received from David Barry for his upcoming book Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane.

Cohen’s book, due out this fall, will be a collection of Cohen’s humor columns from the years he wrote for several newspapers in his native California and new ones he’s written since he moved to Cary in 2008. Proceeds from sales of the book will go to a local baseball league for kids with special needs. Tyrannosaurus Max Press, Cohen’s new small publishing company, will publish the book.

“I want to thank everyone who entered the contest,” said Cohen. “It is really great that people from Maine to Washington state were willing to invest so much effort and creativity into what was essentially a colossal waste of time.”

Cohen intends to announce another contest related to his upcoming book in the near future.

For more information on Cris Cohen, visit his blog at For more information on Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, go to

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen, the author of the Nothing In Particular blog, was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, eventually graduating from the University of Southern California. After a stint in rock radio in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Cris started writing his humor column for a collection of California newspapers. He eventually gravitated toward the tech world and Silicon Valley, working for companies such as Netscape and Cisco Systems. Cris, his wife Michele, and their young son Max moved to Cary, North Carolina, in 2008. Cris’ blog is available at His first book, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, is due out in the fall of 2011.

Cary Blogger Announces Humor Writing Contest

Write A Funny Guest Post and Win Dave Barry’s New Book.

Humor writer/blogger Cris Cohen

April 6, 2011 (Cary, NC) —  Humor writer/blogger Cris Cohen of Cary, NC, has announced a humor writing contest to celebrate the fact that his upcoming book, Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, is endorsed by Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry. The winner will receive a free copy of Barry’s newest book I’ll Mature When I’m Dead.

“I am still in shock that I got an endorsement from Dave Barry. Almost every day my wife has to snap me out of my delirium with either cold water or electric paddles,” Cohen said. “I am holding the contest as a way to cope with this good fortune and to hopefully avoid further shock treatments.”

Cohen’s blog “Nothing In Particular: An Incomplete Waste of Time” ( entertains his readers with his wry and often hilarious takes on any number of everyday subjects. The contest is offering others the chance to prove that they’re just as funny – or funnier – than Cohen. Most of the entries will be published on “Nothing In Particular,” but the guest blogger Cohen deems as the funniest of all will be announced on April 15 and will win a copy of Barry’s new book.

Cohen’s contest rules:

  • One entry per person (“even if you have multiple personalities”).
  • Limited to people in the US and Canada (“I can’t afford the cost of shipping to Yemen”).
  • Entry cannot be longer than 250 words
  • Email entry to
  • The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, April 12, 2011
  • The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook page on Friday, April 15, 2011
  • Content must be PG-rated.
  • “Have fun!”

Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane will be published in September. It will be a collection of Cohen’s columns from his years as a humor columnist for several newspapers in California and some new ones he’s written since he moved to Cary, NC, in 2008. Proceeds from sales will go to a local baseball league for kids with special needs.

To learn more about the contest and Cris Cohen, go to To learn more about the book visit

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen is the author of the Nothing In Particular blog. Although he was born in Buffalo, NY, Cris grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, eventually graduating from the University of Southern California. After a stint in rock radio in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Cris started writing his humor column for a collection of California newspapers. He eventually gravitated toward the tech world and Silicon Valley, working for companies such as Netscape and Cisco Systems. Cris, Michele, and Max moved to North Carolina in 2008. His blog is available at


Metro Magazine To Spotlight Nonprofits’ “Unsung Heroes” In New Column

April 5, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — Raleigh Metro Magazine senior writer Liza Roberts will debut “Unsung Heroes,” a new column in Metro, beginning in the May 2011 edition.

According to Roberts, “I have been amazed at the number of innovative non-profits that give so much to the Triangle community – from providing vital human services to creating our cultural community — but receive little if no publicity. And behind each organization, caring and energetic individuals remain anonymous. My job will be to identify and profile these ‘unsung heroes’ who do so much to make where we live a better place.”

Lisa Roberts has contributed feature stories for Metro Magazine since 2007. Her pieces range from a wild ride in a single engine plane to view the mysterious “sinkholes” in eastern North Carolina to uncovering the secret recipe and family history behind McNulty’s famous chutney.

Before joining Metro, Roberts wrote and produced news for Bloomberg News, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC. She is the author of the non-fiction book Europe’s A-List, written while she was working in London.

Roberts has three children and is the current president of the Women’s Giving Network of Wake County.

For more information on Raleigh Metro Magazine, visit

About Raleigh Metro Magazine:

Metro Magazine is a leading regional publication with a circulation of 160,000 from the Triangle to the coastal area of North Carolina. Each edition features articles on art, architecture, fashion, food and wine, books and music, film and politics, along with other topics and special sections that appeal to its predominately affluent audience. For more information visit

Frank Harmon Makes National “Short List of Architects We Love”

Residential Architect releases its first-ever “RA 50”

Frank Harmon, FAIA © f8 Photo Studios

December 30, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) –  For the first time in its history, Residential Architect magazine has published its “RA 50: A Short List of Architects We Love.” And Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, NC, is among them.

According to editor Claire Conroy, “This collection comprises [firms] whose names keep rising to the top.” Along with Harmon’s firm, the list includes such illustrious names as Glenn Murcutt, Brooks-Scarpa Architects, Lake/Flato, and Michelle Kaufman.

Senior editors Nigel Maynard, Cheryl Weber, Meghan Drueding, and Bruce Snider say the RA 50 represents “a broad collection of people who simply – day in and day out – do very good, interesting work.”

Frank Harmon Architect PA is no stranger to Residential Architect’s pages. In 2003, the Taylor Vacation House the firm designed for a couple in the Bahamas was named RA’s House of the Year. In 2005, the firm received the magazine’s Top Firm of the Year accolade.

Since then, founder and principal Frank Harmon, FAIA, has been featured in a number of the magazine’s articles on sustainable, regionally appropriate residential design and construction, and he has been a speaker at RA’s annual “Reinvention” design symposium.

The RA 50 list first appeared in the magazine’s November-December digital version at then in print. Harmon’s firm appears on page 30 beside Australian architect Glenn Murcutt, Hon. FAIA. Expanded versions of each architect’s profile will soon be featured on the website

“One of the most exciting things about this is that my firm is featured on the same page as Glenn Murcutt, the most important contemporary architect working today, and a designer from whom I have learned so much,” said Harmon. “I’m also honored simply to be included in the pages of Residential Architect. RA is truly the finest publication on residential design and construction in the nation.”

Residential Architect is an award-winning national magazine focusing exclusively on the residential architecture profession.

“We put this short list together as an end-of-year tribute to this admirable profession,” the editors state.

For more information, visit

For more information on Frank Harmon Architect PA, visit

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

Frank Harmon Architect PA, a multi-award-winning firm headquartered in downtown Raleigh, is recognized nationally as a leader in innovative, modern, and regionally inspired “green” architecture. The year the firm was ranked 13th out of the top 50 firms in the nation by Architect magazine, an annual rating that emphasizes ecological commitment and design quality as much as profitability. Recent projects include Duke University’s Ocean Science Teaching Center in Beaufort, the NC Botanical Garden’s new Visitors Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Merchants Millpond Outdoor Educational building in Gatesville, N.C. The firm’s work has been featured in numerous books, magazines and journals on architecture, including Dwell, Architectural Record, Arch Daily, and Residential Architect. For more information, go to