Stories_on_the_Wind_Cover_for_KindleSTORIES ON THE WIND: Volume II

Stories on the Wind: Volume II: This is the second anthology of short stories named after Gardner’s radio show of the same title that ran on Hawaii Public Radio form 1995 –– 2001. Below I include a précis of some of those stories in this collection.

DER WALDERGEIST: A brother sees, emerging from a tabletop, the hair and profile of the older brother he abandoned as a boy, playing in a dead tree one winter in Germany.

AUGUST 11: Aman and his aborted son celebrate the son’s twenty-first birthday.

THE MALOCCHIO PEARLS: in Tilliantown, Maine, a woman discovers a strand of pearls hidden 42-years ago by the fiance she always assumed had abandoned her. The pearls become responsible for three deaths.

THE KITE STRING: in a place he’s never been, a boy finds a kite in a tree and follows the string to its source and discovers dead boys who had done the same.

THE GRIEF OF SHOES: A mother’s rape is recalled through a child’s eyes.

THE FALLING WINEGLASS: In Greenwich Village, an incestuous marriage between beautiful, talented twins ends badly.

THE CROW WHO WROTE: A New Jersey hunter who saves a crow’s life is killed because of a neighbor’s prank.

TOM: In his dog’s water bowl a boy sees Michael, his drowned twin, whom he has never been told about.

GRACE AND QUALITY: In Louisiana, a uncomplicated local athlete who has always loved the town’s princess, saves her life (to his chagrin) at the train crossing.

PROVENANCE: A returned islander, 25-years a convict on the mainland, finds Hawaii lost to him.

EX LIBRIS; in Provence, a man who has poisoned his wife and lover, finds on his shelves that loses stories one by one and describes his murder.

THE MAN WHO FORGOT TO DIE: A man who writes about our society’s impotents turns out to be one himself.

ALL THAT MATTERS: A couple who writes trashy romance novels that their dreadful romances are stronger than the realities they are facing.

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Stories_on_the_Wind_Cover_for_KindleSTORIES ON THE WIND

Stories on the Wind is an anthology of short stories. Named after Gardner’s radio show of the same title that ran on Hawaii Public Radio form 1995 –– 2001. This is a collection of suspenseful, gothic, eerie, otherworldly, some scary, and startling short stories …

AN INCIDENT NEAR SHAMBALA; a married yuppie graduates to manhood among lions.

MRS. SONDEGAARD; A Nobel Peace Prize laureate is found to have evolved from a diabolic but pivotal childhood.

41 NORTH, 49 WEST; on the boat deck of an ocean liner in the mid-Atlantic, a man considering suicide encounters a Titanic passenger from the neighborhood.

THE YELLOWFIN; a story of a the man who is towed out to sea, and his own death,  by the fish he hooks….that is, the fish he hooks hooks him.

QUID PRO QUO; a mother owl extracts revenge from the Fifth Avenue family responsible for her owlet’s demise.

ONE SUMMER IN CHARENTE; during World War II, a French farm boy kills an older cousin he loves and her lover, an enemy soldier.

THE PINCHBECK GENIUS; a classic painter creates an artist to give a critic what he wants.

THE WITNESS’ TALE; a well-meaning robbery victim becomes the victim of his charity.

INTO THE ROSE GARDEN; a woman who upgrades houses for resale, is destroyed by a rose garden she plans to convert into a badminton court.

BUTTERWEED; The Storyman who reads stories on the radio accepts an invitation from a listener who offers him a house that has been held in the past.

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trompeagain 4.17.38 PMTROMPE L’OEIL: A Trick of the Eye

Trompe L’Oeil is the story of a unique artist who refused to accept the truth – that the only woman he ever loved is dead. Simon Lister has the extraordinary power to do something about it. This is not a mystical story, nor a ghost story. This is a story of great love, power and madness.   – Gardner McKay

I have just moments ago finished a book that fascinated, frustrated, aroused and amazed me. It is like nothing I have ever read, something I realize now that could only have evolved from one unfettered imagination, one remarkable mind, one monkishly-disciplined writer whose previous creations, varied and whimsical as they are, gave no hint to what he was ultimately capable of creating… I am quite speechless. My God the man could write!!!!!   – Colby Chester

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TEn, Bloomsbury Square


On his way home after a late dinner at his club, 90 year-old Lord Peter Isling slips on a patch of ice and breaks the spell of amnesia that altered his life dramatically nearly eight decades earlier when he flew into the Eiffel Tower during WW1 while trying to find and rescue his beloved Wendy Darling’s younger brother, then a prisoner behind enemy lines. He soon discovers his true identity as Peter Pan, whose persona has lain dormant since that catastrophic event, and sets off on a journey back to Neverland to rescue the Lost Boys, who have been marooned there all this time, along with the dreaded Captain Hook…

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After Gardner’s untimely death in 2001, part of the plan was to release this book, the autobiography that he labored over as he lived out his final days.   Being one of the first lucky people to have read it, in proofs, I simply couldn’t believe the things that Gardner did and the places he went, after Adam Troy had been left on the beach when he truly took a journey without a map.

There are people who can write good adventure tales and always have, but to me, Gardner was one of those rare birds who, as Mark Twain described it, “lit out into the territory.”   To sailors, and readers, Gardner is gone, but this book allows us to share this amazing adventure. – Jimmy Buffett

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kinsman_coverTHE KINSMAN 

The Kinsman is an adventure of great proportion, as well as one of audacious success, where the impossible odds are a million-to-one.

It is a drama wherein the ancient, atrocious debasement of humanity is confronted and defeated.

It is a visually stunning tale of the richest, most beautiful sport on earth.  It is a love story of great contrast.  It is the story of a wealthy, divided family. And of a spoiled brat named Charles Rutledge, who discovers that his manhood is alive and well and living inside him.

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VANITY FAIR, DOMINICK DUNNE – “Gardner McKay’s Brilliantly intricate novel, Toyer, is frightening, fascinating, and wonderfully well written. There were times reading it when I had to put it down to collect myself before picking it up again.”

JIMMY BUFFETT – “The most effective, exciting, bizarre tale possible. In Toyer, McKay has given us an array of victims who fall into the venus flytrap of a villain as cunning as Richard III and as maniacal as Hannibal Lecter.”

JAMES CAMERON – “Toyer is a novel where Los Angeles stars as itself, the city of masks, Were relationships peel the onion of dark revelation, as two adversaries couple in a seductive death-lock.  Gardner McKay has woven a chilling and disturbing descent into the catacombs of the mind.”

LEON BING – “Whoever picks up Gardner McKay’s novel, Toyer, will know, early on, that a master has laid hands on them. This is a book of such sheer, brutal brilliance that the reader often feels like a passenger trapped on a runaway train racketing along a downhill track. Mr. McKay is a superb accomplished writer; not since Hannibal Lecter has there been a literary character of such silken and absolute menace as Toyer.” –

THE NEW YORK TIMES – ”Connoisseurs – will appreciate the gorgeous imagery of McKay’s novel – the bizarre beauty of his writing.”

LOS ANGELES TIMES – “Anyone should make a beeline for  McKay’s novel.”




TOYER (French)

Los Angeles est la proie d’un monstre très particulier. Un homme qui ne viole ni ne tue les femmes mais leur réserve un sort peut-être pire encore : il les séduit, les kidnappe, joue avec elles, puis les abandonne à l’état de mort cérébrale. Neurologue, Maude Garance est en charge des neuf victimes de celui que la presse a surnommé « Toyer ». Bouleversée par le sort de ces femmes, elle accepte la proposition que lui fait Sara Smith, une jeune journaliste ambitieuse : s’adresser directement au coupable par voie de presse. C’est le début d’une relation très particulière, par médias interposés, entre Maude et Toyer, qui bien vite passionne un lectorat avide de sensations. Grisé par une célébrité grandissante, Toyer commettra-t-il le faux pas qui permettra de l’identifier ? Alors que dans l’ombre Maude et Sarah continuent d’enquêter, elles ne tardent pas à réaliser que leur mystérieux interlocuteur est beaucoup plus proche d’elles qu’elles ne le croyaient.


toyer_germany_coverTOYER (German)

Los Angeles, der Beginn eines langen, trockenen Sommers. Lydia Snow Lavin, eine junge Frau Mitte Zwanzig, steht nachts auf dem verwaisten Parkplatz eines Kinos. Ausgerechnet zu dieser späten Stunde springt ihr Auto nicht an. Als sie am anderen Ende des Platzes einen jungen Mann sieht, bittet sie ihn um Hilfe. Er ist sogar so nett, bis zu ihrer Wohnung hinter ihr herzufahren – falls der Motor noch einmal streikt. Auf Lydias Drängen hin lässt er sich auf einen Drink einladen. Er setzt sich. Er schaut ihr ins Gesicht. Ein blasser, ruhiger und einfacher Mann. Ein Rosenkavalier. Und als er schließlich spricht, sagt er freundlich: “Ich liebe dich”. Doch Lydia Snow Lavin wird sich an diese Worte niemals mehr erinnern. Denn als die Neurologin Maude Garance am nächsten Morgen in die Augen von Lydia Snow Lavin blickt, weiß sie, dass auch diese junge Frau nie wieder aus ihrem Koma erwachen wird. Lydia ist gefangen im Niemandsland zwischen Leben und Tod, jeder Erinnerung beraubt. Nur eine un scheinbare Wunde am Hals offenbart, dass Toyer sein neuntes Opfer gefunden hat – und Maude ihre neunte Patientin. Die Ermittlungen der Polizei laufen immer noch ins Leere, aber Maude will sich nicht damit abfinden. Sie sinnt auf Rache. Zusammen mit der Journalistin Sara Smith versucht sie, Toyer in die Falle zu locken. Sie ahnen nicht, dass sie nur Marionetten in einem Schauspiel sind. Denn sie wissen nicht: Toyer ist ihnen immernah…