Thursday, April 6, 2017

Well, I'm pausing in my short stories to write some television scripts.  I have two scripts currently being reviewed by producers.  It takes longer to get it reviewed than to write (producers receive hundreds of scripts and thousands of pitches each year).  But I've had some very complimentary responses to my work, so I'm encouraged.  Here are the two comedy pitches (summaries) for the scripts I have written.

Preheat the Microwave.Com

Preheat the Microwave.Com is a quirky comedy about senior citizens.

SETTING: Serenity Garden, a senior citizen home in New York City.

NUTSHELL: Seinfeld meets Waiting for God

LOGLINE: The eccentric and elderly residents of Serenity Garden (motto: “you don’t have to wait until you die”) overcome the challenges of daily life in spite of making mountains out of molehills.

MARIA MARIANI: (70s, short Italian, like Rhea Perlman)
LISA MARIANI: (30s, attractive, type A young business executive)
TONY ROSSI: (20s, attractive maintenance man)
SAM CHANG: (70s, Asian)
ALICE CHANG: (70s, Asian)
JEFFREY CHANG: (30s, Asian, Sam and Alice’s grandson)
RALPH GOLDBERG: (70s, Jewish, heavy set)
JUAN LOPEZ: (30s, Latino, police officer)
ISABELLA LOPEZ: (70s, Latina, Juan’s mother)
GREGORY COOK: (70s, African American)
PANDORA COOK: (70s, African American)
GINGER WHITE: (70s, owns Mr. Pickles, the ugliest dog on four legs)

Dear Exec,

My name is Jerry Guarino and I’ve written a comedy pilot for a television series called “Serenity Garden”.  It takes place in New York City with a cast of diverse characters.  The series may remind you of Seinfeld and the British comedy Waiting for God.  It’s a comedy for and about the baby boomer generation reaching their seventies.

The pilot episode, “Preheat the Microwave.Com” introduces the main characters and their senior home Serenity Garden (motto: you don’t have to wait until you die).  Maria Mariani tells her granddaughter Lisa that you have to preheat a microwave before cooking.  Lisa is so amused by the concept that she enlists Tony, the maintenance man, to install cameras around Serenity Garden, capturing the funny goings on there.  But it all backfires when the video feeds are reversed and the elderly residents witness an R-rated tryst between Tony and Lisa.

In subsequent episodes, the stories revolve around the quirky adventures of the cast.  Of course they are all concerned about their mortality, but treat it in the most humorous way.  A romance or two will develop.  The seniors view their end of life challenges as reasons to overreact, making their children and grandchildren crazy.  They fight for their independence and against bureaucracies of any kind.  Don Quixote lives.

I’ve also tried to infuse this very American story with some British comedy, as depicted in shows like Waiting for God and the Yes, Minister/Prime Minister series.  Both of these shows featured an element of bureaucracy.  In Waiting for God, Tom Ballard contends with the senior center’s administrator.  In Yes, Prime Minister, the honorable James Hacker fights Sir Humphrey Appleby’s red tape in the British government.  In Serenity Garden, the seniors battle against the bureaucracy of the senior center.

It’s really a comedy about everyday life, reminiscent of the Seinfeld stories.  As a lifelong Seinfeld addict, I wondered how these type of characters would change when they reached their seventies.  Serenity Garden is my exploration of that question.

Preheat the Microwave.Com is an adaptation of my short story by the same name.  

Big Harbor

An FX-style comedy set in modern day Gig Harbor, (near Seattle) Washington. 

NUTSHELL: It’s Wings meets Newhart.

LOGLINE: The Wilson family fun website is inundated by postings from a wild three day party, leaving Linda and Bill to stop it before the parents return.

BOB and NANCY WILSON:  (married 60s) run the Bed and Breakfast
DOUG and LINDA WILSON:  (brother 26 and sister 24) run the water taxi service
UNCLE JAKE:  (50) runs a pirate fishing charter
DEBBIE WILSON:  (daughter 22) works at the B&B
BILL:  (30s African American) maintenance man for the water taxis and fishing boat
LAURA:  (30s Asian) owns a Japanese steakhouse next to the B&B
MARIA:  (20s Latina) a sexy housemaid works at the B&B
SALLY:  (40?) a crazy seaplane pilot   

Dear Exec,

My name is Jerry Guarino and I’ve written a comedy pilot for a television series called Big Harbor.  The series may remind you of Wings and Newhart.  The Wilson family owns a B&B, a water taxi service and a fishing charter; the fishing charter is run by a crazy uncle who thinks he’s a pirate #ARGH.  The children run the water taxis and work at the B&B. As a variety of oddball characters visit the B&B, it’s up to the Wilson parents to manage the visitors while the children are looking for true love.

In the pilot, titled “Family Fun Day”, eighteen sexy tech executives invade the B&B for a three-day working party. Unknown to the children, the parents are facing some financial challenges.  Doug’s ex-college girlfriend is seducing him with a story about an affair she had in France.  Uncle Jake hosts six Japanese businessmen, armed with cameras.  They join the techies in a wild party, documenting the debauchery on the Wilson Family Fun website.  It’s up to Linda and Bill to stop the web postings before their parents return from an anniversary dinner.

All of the main characters are well defined in Family Fun Day, setting up the series for a number of episodes of love and laughter.  It was designed to appeal to all adult age groups, from the older B&B crowd to the new tech savvy millennial singles.  If you liked Wings and Newhart, you’ll love Big Harbor.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book Clubs and Book Signings

Well, it's 2017 and technology continues to impact authors, their writing and distribution of books.  I have used authorgraph (link below) to digitally sign eBooks.  The other two listed here may be of interest.

Goodreads is my favorite author site.  I have done many paperback book giveaways.  They are currently testing a Kindle eBook giveaway; I will be able to giveaway hundreds of eBooks when that is up and running.

If you have a book club that may be interested in reading one of my books, please let me know.  I will send you a digital copy that you can share with your club.  I would recommend one of these books.

The Da Vinci Diamond (novel)

Cafe Stories: relationships (love stories)

The Best of Cafe Stories (best short stories)

Please check out my website

or my Amazon author page

for more information.

Jerry Guarino

Monday, February 6, 2017

Reviews starting to come in for "The Best of Cafe Stories"

Top Customer Reviews

on January 28, 2017
Jerry Guarino, the author of "The Best of Cafe Stories" has a way of writing about his characters that makes them very believable. He tackles emotions along with discoveries to where your invested in each of their outcomes. Always entertaining with plot twists that surprise you. This and his other works are all worth the read. I highly recommend this book.

on December 28, 2016
This story collection is varied in terms of character and plot, but there's a strong element of compassion for the characters that runs throughout them. Long-lost loves is a frequent theme: People reconnect after years or decades with differing results but those feelings of nostalgia are well-evoked. The Old Man and the Sea is about a couple of middle-aged people who lie to each other about themselves, go through adventures good and bad, and end up finding what they need. Dream a Little Dream is another take on that feeling of loss in midlife that made me smile. Guarino's stories -- even ones involving murder -- have a kind-hearted perspective combined with plot twists that were entertaining and made me feel good about reading them.

on February 4, 2017
As a fan of Jerry Guarino's work, I've followed his writing for a while. I'm really impressed with the quality of the stories in this particular book. Jerry's fiction is always well paced and well researched, with lots of interesting little twists to keep the reader riveted. Give this collection a try. I'm sure you'll be as impressed as I was!

on December 23, 2016
The author, Jerry Guarino brilliantly assesses the human experience with a diverse compilation of plotlines, which creatively envelope a sprinkle of romance, mystery, suspense, and intrigue as well as espionage. Jerry continues to captivate his readership with his series of thought-provoking storylines that are highly relatable, compelling, and downright entertaining. Pandora H. King, Author

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Even a little is too much...

...I'm talking about explicit sexual language in writing.  I have come to the conclusion that while it may have its place in certain stories, I'll find a way to eliminate it from my writing.  Several of my author/editor/reader fans have said I write great sex scenes, but I'll find a way to write great sex scenes without mentioning specific acts or body parts, you know like some of the romance writers do.

For those who are wondering, these scenes appear in the Detective Tony Mariani series:

The Da Vinci Diamond (novel)
The 7 Hills Technology Group (#2)

but I will even take them out of future stories within that series.

I want to be able to market my work to all ages and using adult content in one story means a teenager can't (or shouldn't) read one of my collections.  For the most part, my writing is PG-13, similar to the content in a movie.  There will be sex, and certainly love, in the story, but it will be handled in an appropriate manner, so as not to offend anyone.

You would think in this day and age of  explicit music lyrics and videos, I would be fine with writing racy scenes and explicit descriptions, but I decided to opt out of that content.

I welcome comments on this decision as well as criticism. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Da Vinci Diamond 2nd Edition released

I've done some reformatting on the paperback so I'm releasing a second edition of my 5 star novel "The Da Vinci Diamond".  The kindle version remains the same.

"The Da Vinci Diamond" is the first in a series of Detective Tony Mariani Mysteries.  What is the secret of The Da Vinci Diamond?

Three beautiful Russian women, along with Italian and Russian mobsters are all after The Da Vinci Diamond, a million dollar blue gem once owned by the great Leonardo himself.

San Francisco Police Detective Tony Mariani follows all the suspects and uncovers clues from the Bay Area and around the world. The evidence eventually leads to The National Museum of Rome, the original home of the gem.

The women, a mistress, jewel thief and assassin, provide plenty of action, murder, intrigue and romance as they manipulate others to find the diamond. What is the key piece of evidence that unlocks the mystery? How does Mariani recover the diamond and arrest the conspirators? You’ll never guess the unpredictable ending but you’ll love the ride.

The second story is "The 7 Hills Technology Group", released as part of my collection "The Best of Cafe Stories".  It is the story of a North Korean terrorist group planning an attack on San Francisco.
The third story is titled "The Case of the Chinese Coins" due to be available in April, 2017.  A Chinese cartel is running an underground economy using counterfeit coins to move drugs around California.  This case links to a victim in the previous story.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cafe Stories: relationships now has a second edition

Decided to add ten stories to my book "Cafe Stories: relationships". The paperback and kindle versions are now available.

The second edition adds these stories:

The Angry Vegetarian
Boxes and Ladders
The Lighthouse
First Love
Apple Juice
Software Bugs
TV All the Time
Love Choices
Fresh Contacts

All of my stories were previously published in literary magazines around the world. The second edition now has 37 stories! Anyone who purchased the first edition will get the second edition for free.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Good, Evil and the Writer's Dilemma

Behind my reasons for being a writer is an unquenchable desire to understand life, death, good, evil and my purpose here on earth.  Reading Tom Morris' "Philosophy for Dummies" has been an excellent process for defining these important subjects.

Not that my writing is filled with philosophical concepts, peak experiences or deep religious visions.  No, I inject humor, romance, irony and everyday experiences to explain why the world works as it does.  I'd like to refer you to a few quotes from authors and editors (see below)

I'm not just blowing my own horn here (wish I had learned the horn, could have been in a marching band on a college scholarship), no I post these reviews to explain why I write.

There's my look at old age in "Preheat the Microwave.Com", inspired by my mom with a heart of gold.  Many of my stories have to do with lost love, a theme I have unfortunately experienced first hand.  (Thank God for Nancy).

My philosophy of life includes Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld and the Far Side cartoons.  Amidst this absurd environment we call living, there is love, happiness and grace from our Savior. (I know that's the only way I'm getting into heaven)

My ultimate goal is to write something of great substance, something that will elevate others and inspire them to good works and compassion for the less fortunate.  "The Social Justice Experiment" talks about this as does my signature work "The Devil's Orchestra" with a quote from Shelley.

"No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks."
Mary Shelley

When I examine my slips of righteousness, I recognize that I am seeking happiness through evil, but recognizing it is the first step towards changing it.

Life is a series of choices.  Our choices determine our destiny.  All of our choices bring us closer to or farther away from truth, goodness and righteousness.  "Choose carefully", as the knight in Indiana Jones said.

So when you are reading my stories, keep this in mind.  I have an agenda!  To make you a better person.  Someday I hope to see you all on the other side (but not yet).

Jerry :)


“50 Italian Pastries is a short story reader’s culinary delight.  Jerry Guarino’s 50 slice of life pieces are filled with delightful takes on people, places and things that make America great.  He infuses his stories with life’s delights: good food, great music, fine drink, and the emotional roller coaster of interpersonal relationships.  I found his work honest and filled with delightful irony.  He is a keen observer of the human condition and a writer of obvious talent.  He is a master at mirroring to his readers all their foibles, their fantasies and their forever quest to understand why the wheel of life turns as it does.  CafĂ© Stories is short story telling at its best.
Wayne C. Long (author of Eye Candy, Flash in the Hand and Stories from the Edges)

“Jerry Guarino's sends his readers on a merry chase through a wild array of micro/flash fiction--humor, satire, and pathos. He artfully captures gentle souls and slick cons, the high brows and their unsuspecting victims in characters that step from the page to engage the reader. He finds the tiniest trait that creates zany folks the reader wants to protect or strangle. Often at the same time. Prepare for the surprise twist at the end. He gets you every time.”
Myra H. McIlvain  (author of Legacy)

“The stories in the collection are tightly told tales with engaging storylines and interesting characters. There are plenty of twists and turns, and plenty of characters to delight in (and some to despise).”
Nathaniel Tower (Pushcart Prize nominated author and editor of Bartleby Scopes literary magazine)

“Guarino’s style is simple and consistently powerful, his storytelling a triumph of art over artifice.”
Ben Price (editor at Zouch Magazine and Miscellany (Canada)

“Jerry’s writing is consistently fresh and inventive.  His stories grab from the beginning, and then hurl the reader into surprising and powerful endings.  Definitely a must-read.  The Rich are Going to Hell, The Devil's Orchestra and The Grand Poobah are some of my favorite Guarino pieces.  Always inventive, Jerry Guarino is one of my favorite short story writers. His work hooks you from the first sentence and doesn't let go until you reach the end, making this one writer you won't forget.”
Earl Wynn (editor of Weirdyear, Daily Love and Yesteryear Fiction)

“I found myself intertwined in the lives of each character, not knowing until the end that every one of them held a magical piece to the puzzle we call human nature; the larger picture of which only became clear after reading the final word. This collection of shorts is something that avid fans of storytelling should go out of their way to find."
Jim Idema (screenwriter and author)

“Jerry Guarino’s writing reminds me of the late, but great, Jose Saramago’s.  His structure is both unique and compelling, always leading the reader to places that they never see coming.”
Weeb Heinrich (editor of Writing Raw)

“Jerry Guarino’s stories are a real treat for the reader.  Each story is well crafted with the natural elegance of a natural writer.  The Fringe Magazine has enjoyed his short stories and has had the pleasure of publishing these gems for the past year.”
Scott Wilson (editor of The Fringe Magazine (Australia)

“The beauty in Jerry’s work is the ease with which he breaks that serious concentration without sacrificing quality.  Preheat the Microwave.Com has a relevant, poignant subject at its heart but it is delivered to the reader with eloquent comedy.”
Jenny Catlin (editor of Scissors and Spackle)

“Jerry Guarino takes the nuances of everyday, places it on its head, and then tilts it slightly to the left.  His comical spin on life will make you wheeze with mirth and leave you wanting more.”
Daniel Poole (editor of Larks Fiction Magazine)

“I loved Jerry's short stories and his choice of words. These little tales are great! He has a way with words and pulling you into the story, wanting more! My one and only complaint was when the book ended. I wanted there to be 50 more short stories.”
Reyna Hawk (author of  Angels and Arrows and Looking Through Blind Eyes)

“Jerry Guarino has a knack for looking past the social illusions that poison our world.”
Sand Pilarski (managing editor of The Piker Press)

“Jerry Guarino’s writing is refreshing and authentic.  His storytelling grasps the nuances of life, leading the reader into expertly crafted moments of intimacy, humor, thoughtfulness, and surprise.  Read one story and you’re hooked.  "50 Italian Pastries" is a delicious read!  He knows how to tell a story and with this collection, one finds bite-sized nuggets that heartily fulfill any reader's palate for variety! Guarino is a connoisseur with words, flavoring his stories with the seasonings of life, including laughter, loss, revelation, insight and wisdom. Go ahead, dig in. You'll enjoy every bite, I mean, story.”
Sheila Pierson (author of Steak and Potatoes)

“What James Beard was to cooking, Jerry Guarino is to modern fiction.”
Paul Soderberg (author of The Elephant Queen)