BOOK SALE SUNDAY! Stories of Life, Death, Love, and Secrets

BOOK SALE SUNDAY! Stories of Life, Death, Love, and Secrets


my newest
novel, started as a screenplay represented by the legendary film and Broadway agent, Robert A. Freedman 
The story follows a flamboyant criminal defense attorney, Charlie Chessman, faced with choosing to live -- or die -- after a light-aircraft accident badly disfigures him.

Ilya Salkind, who with his father Alexander produced the original Superman films, briefly optioned the script for Christopher Reeve.
Death Magnanimous would have been Reeve's first film since the spinal cord injury he suffered after a fall from a horse.
But the hours and hours of make-up required to transform Mr. Reeve into a burn survivor would have been too physically taxing. Mr. Salkind and then wife Jane Chaplin decided against the idea.
To this day, I've never lost my passion for the subject -- or the real-life story that first inspired my interest and captured my heart.

Dax Cowart, a Texas-based criminal defense lawyer, was so badly disfigured in a natural gas explosion, he insisted on the right to end his life and the suffering he knew was ahead.
From the moment of his injury in 1973, when he begged a passerby for a gun, to his death 46 years later, Dax never let up on the idea that he had a right to die, a right to choose death over life, an absolute right to end his own suffering, despite the life-saving medical establishment's arguments against him.
In Death Magnanimous, Charlie Chessman faces the same choice, with the same obstinance, persistence, and passion Dax displayed that ultimately changed the course of medical ethics.

But Charlie's dillemmas are also very different.
Fast forward to modern-day medicine at the fictional Jacobsen Burn Center in Pittsburgh. Pain control is light years better today than it was fifty years ago. So is reconstructive surgery, psychological care, and social acceptance.

While Dax had few viable alternatives to extreme suffering when he was treated, Charlie not only has alternatives, but eloquent, committed, modern-day role models who instead chose to live through some of the most terrifying injuries imaginable.

What will Charlie Chessman choose? Is the life he wants to end instead the life he's been waiting to begin?

Advance Reader Remarks

"After a serious burn injury, Charlie Chessman reluctantly begins his road to recovery, discovering what quality of life truly means."

"There are two choices at play in Death Magnanimous: the external---Can I kill myself?—and the internal---Will I kill myself?  Ironically and beautifully, we see Charlie Chessman learn that even after tragedy, even after everything you’ve known is flipped upside down, life will go on. We are the only ones who can decide if and how we want to be a part of it."


NOW MORE SELECTIONS from this week's LIterary Fiction Free For All.

In a placid California suburb, a mother ends up at the wrong end of her son’s Colt .45.

Sean has taken Ginny hostage in her kitchen. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he says. “I want you to listen for once.”

While Ginny squirms in the ladderback chair, wrists chafing against the rope, lunch spoiling on the counter, Sean chronicles the thousand ways he has suffered and demands answers from his mother.

Ginny watches him pace. After thirty years of missed connections, how have they arrived here?

Finally, coaxed by fear and desperation, she shares the secret at the center of their family. But will her revelation come too late?


"If you enjoy introspective reads that will make you evaluate your own life circumstances, this book is for you."
— Carrie Rubin, Author of The Bone Curse, Eating Bull, and The Seneca Scourge

"Never mind that this dark and dramatic novel contains the most authentic scene I’ve ever encountered describing mental illness from inside the character’s mind. I keep thinking about the choices of all the other characters. Kalman is a writer’s writer, with beautiful turns of phrase and enlightening descriptions set among all the personal twists. Expect to turn pages quickly."
— Elise Miller, Author of  The Berkeley Girl

"I started this book at the gym… and read it steady for two days, and I had no idea until my hour was up that anything was happening except what was in the book. It was that engrossing."
— Martin Sorensen, Founder, Sand Hill Review Magazine

What Remains Unsaid


GET YOUR FREE COPY OF What Remains Unsaid



A man waits in the shadows watching his lover with someone else.

A young girl must say goodbye to the only friend she has - a friend no one else can see.

A boy writhes in agony in his hospital bed as his sister tries to calm him with a story.

A mother must learn to let go of the child she has already lost.

Between the Shadows is an eclectic collection of poignant and haunting tales about grief. If you like stories that fill the senses with ghostly interludes and meditations on life and death, then you'll love Jo Buer's new short story collection.

GET YOUR COPY OF Between the Shadows


Get your copy of Between the Shadows

Thanks for reading!  Until next time,

Michael Martin

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