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palmdaleFrank McManus was a burned-out lawyer in Palmdale when two new clients walked into his office on the same day. And they would change his life forever.

Their cases would intertwine with a human trafficking scheme devised by an activist Bolivian university professor, and McManus and his girlfriend would be sucked into a world of drugs, deception, murder and an unusual funeral business. As McManus peeled back the veneer of corruption, an old friend was slaughtered and his life became at risk. But, on a one-way flight across the Pacific in a derelict airliner to his death, he wrote the final chapter.

Frank McManus is an Everyman, a lucky few of whom may have a chance at redemption. He had lost much but now strives mightily to re-establish his life and self-respect. His story is the story of anyone who has lost but fights on to regain his life and dignity.

PALMDALE is available from Amazon.


“… a tantalizingly complex read, packed with changing motivations, twists of plot, and a healthy dose of Los Angeles culture and settings that are brought to life … benefit from Charles L. Carson’s background as a lawyer … These moments lend depth and sensuality, providing a well-rounded saga that ends with … a life-changing event.”
-D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review


Charles was born during an October blizzard, in a small town in southeast Kansas, in a hospital that no longer stands. That town is pretty much gone too. He worked on-air as a disc jockey and announcer in commercial radio when most kids were bagging groceries. He stayed with broadcasting through college and got a commercial pilot license along the way with the aim of being an airline pilot. But, in a turn of fate, Charles went to law school instead.

He always had an imagination, a sense into what makes people tick, or not tick, and intuition about how the world works, or not work. In high school he wrote poetry and short stories, not for classes, but just because he enjoyed telling stories. But, after 30 years as a California trial lawyer, he recalled the stories he wrote long ago and returned to pencil and paper.

Charles writes about people, good people, smart, high achievers, the salt of the earth and responsible, good providers, good neighbors, people you could shoot the bull with over a beer. But many of them carry a special gift hidden from others. Special knowledge. Special visions. Special talents. Under their skin they are different from the rest of us.

They carry their special gift quietly. Most don’t realize the extent of their gift until life goes off its tracks. In a circumstance where we might feel out of control, these people find strong footing. Where we might fear for our lives, these people have never felt more alive. Where we might die, these people live on.

Is this a gift born from their DNA? Or does it flow from a spiritual source? Or does it come from some unknown undiscovered wellspring somewhere out there. Or does it come from somewhere in here? We don’t know. They don’t either. Maybe someday we’ll find out. Or maybe we never will. But Charles will continue to try to unravel these mysteries that live under our skin.

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