Today, we're doing something a little different. I wanted to bring a new release to your attention. A.B. Funkhauser, an author I met on my journey as well as a previous visiting guest to the MLB blog, has an awesome new book coming out on March 13th. Let's check out the cool details, shall we?
And A.B. is giving us an exclusive excerpt of her book!
The old humpback with the cloudy eyes
and Orwellian proletarian attitude pushed past the young embalmer with a curt “Entschuldigen Sie bitte!—Excuse me!” That
Charles E. Forsythe, bespectacled and too tall for his own good, didn’t speak a
word of German was incidental. The man grunting at him, or, more accurately, through him was Weibigand senior
embalmer Heino Schade, who’d been gossiped about often enough at Charlie’s
previous place of employ: “Weibigand’s,”
the hairdresser winked knowingly, “is
like a Stalag. God only knows where the lampshades come from.”
Whether she was referring
to Schade specifically or the Weibigand’s generally didn’t matter. What he
gleaned from the talk and what he took with him when he left to go work for
them was that he was not expected to understand, only to follow orders.
Schade, muttering over a
cosmetic pot that wouldn’t open, suddenly tossed it; the airborne projectile
missing Charlie’s black curls by inches. Jumping out of the way, he wondered
what to do next.
Newly arrived from
Seltenheit and Sons, his new master’s most capricious competitor, expectations
that he perform beyond the norm were high. Trading tit for tat, his old boss
Hartmut Fläche had fought and lost battles with Karl Heinz Senior since 1937,
and wasn’t about to abandon the bad feeling, even as he approached his
ninetieth year. That his star apprentice had left under a tenacious cloud to go
work for the enemy would no doubt hasten old Harty’s resolve to plot every last
Weibigand into the ground before he got there first.
It was incumbent upon
Charlie, therefore, to dish some dirt hopefully juicy enough to shutter
Seltenheit and Son’s for good.
Stories of the two funeral
directors’ acrimony were legend: late night calls to G-men during the war
asserting that Weibigand was a Nazi; anonymous reports to the Board of Mortuary
Science that Fläche reused caskets; hints at felonious gambling; price-fixing;
liquor-making; tax evading; wife swapping; cross dressing; pet embalming;
covert sausage making; smokehouses; whore houses; Commie-loving; Semite-hating;
and drug using sexual merry-making of an unwholesomeness so heinous as to not
be spoken of, but merely communicated through raised eyebrows, was just a
Ducking under the low rise
water pipes that bisected Weibigand’s ceiling in the lower service hall,
Charlie shuddered with the thought of retributive action, if only because old
men were scary and he was still young. At twenty, he had finished his requisite
course requirements, albeit at an advanced age. A lot of the guys were
finishing at seventeen, only to be packed off to Vietnam. But Charlie had been
delayed by way of the family pig farm which in many ways, could save his hide
in a pinch. As the eldest male in a houseful of women, running the farm made
him essential if the Draft ever became an issue. It hadn’t so far—he was too
old, the 1950 and up birthdates pulled by lot would never include his. Yet he
was haunted by the prospect of a violent end.
His mother—a gentle soul
who knew the Old Testament chapter and verse—never missed an opportunity to
discourage his dreams for a life in the city. This only aggravated matters. He
was different, and he knew it. For that reason he had to leave.
“You’ll wind up in hell if
you try,” she said fondly, every time he negotiated the subject. In the end, it
was a kick in the ass from the toothless old neighbor that sent him running far
and fast off the front porch: “Yer not
like the others, are ya, sweetie?”
“Don’t expect an easy time from the Missus,”
Heino Schade said offhandedly from his vantage over a pasty deceased.
“Mrs. Weibigand?” Charlie
asked, noting that the old man used Madame Dubarry commercial cosmetic in place
of the heavy pancake Seltenheit’s favored.
“You assisted her out of a
particularly difficult situation. She will expect more as a show of your
constant devotion.” He knocked his glass eye back into place with a long spring
Charlie understood. He
hadn’t expected a call from the Lodge that infamous night, but then, it wasn’t
everyday that a good friend of the Potentate was found dead in a hotel room
under a hooker.
“In flagrante delicto,”
Schade continued ominously in what appeared to be Latin.
“Indeed,” Charlie said,
faking a working knowledge of the dead language; the unfamiliar term, he
guessed, having more to do with what Karl Heinz Weibigand was doing with a
woman in a seedy hotel room, than his desire to ask Schade how he made his dead
look so dewy.
What people are saying about A.B.'s books:
"Funny, quirky, and sooooo
—Jo Michaels, Jo Michaels' Blog
“Eccentric and Funny. You have
never read anything like this book. It demands respect for the outrageous
capacity of its author to describe in detail human behavior around death."
—Charlene Jones, author of THE STAIN
“The macabre black comedy Heuer Lost And
Found, written by A.B. Funkhauser, is definitely a different sort of
book! You will enjoy this book with its mixture of horror and humor.”
—Diana Harrison, Author of ALWAYS AND FOREVER
“This beautifully written, quirky, sad,
but also often humorous story of Heuer and Enid gives us a glimpse into the
fascinating, closed world of the funeral director.”
—Yvonne Hess, Charter Member, The Brooklin 7
“The book runs the gamut of emotions.
One minute you want to cry for the characters, the next you are uncontrollably
laughing out loud, and your husband is looking at you like you lost your mind,
at least mine did.”
“The writing style is racy with no words
—David K. Bryant, Author of TREAD CAREFULLY ON THE SEA
“For a story centered around death, it
is full of life.”
—Rocky Rochford, Author of RISE OF ELOHIM CHRONICLES
“Like Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Heuer
is not a likeable man, but I somehow found myself rooting for him. A strange,
—Kasey Balko, Pickering, Ontario
"Raw, clever, organic, intriguing and
morbid at the same time … breathing life and laughter into a world of death."
—Josie Montano, Author of VEILED SECRETS
A.B. Funkhauser is a funeral
director, classic car nut and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada.
Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism
fueled by the belief that life chooses us and we not it. Her debut novel HEUER
LOST AND FOUND, released in April 2015 after five years of studious effort, has
inspired four other full length works and over a dozen short stories. SCOOTER
NATION, her sophomore effort, is part of her UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series.
Funkhauser is currently working on POOR UNDERTAKER, begun during NaNoWriMo 2014.