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Dessyre (des-i-ray): inspired by actual events

Alvey is an obscure singer/songwriter eking out a living as a soloist in eastern Kansas.  After a late gig on an exceptionally warm Thursday evening in June, he offers a stranded woman a ride to the edge of town.  Then everything goes awry.


The passenger is an alien.


From Canada.


Marissa grew up in Kansas City.  She went to high school in Kansas City, was the editor of the school newspaper, and dated the quarterback.

Then she served in the Marines.


When she is 35 and homeless, she is caught buying some marijuana from an undercover deputy.

For that, she is banished from the United States.


To Canada.


Then who exactly is Dessyre?

Dessyre (des-i-ray): inspired by actual events

Baby Pictures: My Year on the Road with Baby Lester and the Buggybumpers

B. John Burns was a middle-class Catholic school graduate destined, in the eyes of everyone who knew him, for law school. But after an unexpectedly rousing reception for one of his original songs at his senior class talent show, the only destiny in his mind was to become a rock star. "Baby Pictures" is a compelling autobiographical novel that tells his story of a life touring on the road – filled with nightclubs, hotels, and all that came with it. This is the story of a lifestyle that no longer exists today, but one that should never be forgotten.

After a year of college, Burns dropped out in 1975, assuming that stardom awaited him outside the University.

For months he floundered hopelessly, searching for an entry into music. He joined his first band in January of 1976, a year that for him was a progression of false starts. Then, on Halloween Eve, he took a phone call from a stranger, a singer/guitar player/comedian who until then had worked for a west coast show band.

A month later, John was on the road with the Band. The eight months that followed were his coming of age. The band played the Holiday Inn circuit in thirteen states, from New Mexico to North Carolina, from Indiana to Wyoming. In several ways, John lost his innocence on the road. He nearly perished in a blizzard in the Badlands of South Dakota. His one and only skydiving lesson put him in the hospital in Texas. The people he encountered were a diverse cast of characters.

Throughout this one-of-a-kind book, readers will get first-hand insight into a life like no other. "Baby Pictures" is a snapshot of a lifestyle from a time gone by.


The Reviews


"Compelling memoir about a musician's coming of age"

"Recalling a 1970s cross-country tour and written with dry wit, Baby Pictures is a compelling memoir about a musician's coming of age."— Carolina Ciucci, Foreword/Clarion Review.


"Joyful nostalgia trip to 1976"

"B. John Burns takes readers on a joyful nostalgia trip to 1976 with this account of his memorable year in a struggling Omaha, Nebraska-based band. This memoir conveys a transformational period in his young life, when gas was cheap and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours was in heavy rotation on the car's AM radio." Blue Ink Review


"A young man's road trip through the US making music"

"This book was a joy. A tale of humorous adventure, a young man's road trip through the US making music. John is fearless in his portrayal of his young self and unafraid to laugh at his misadventures. His writing style reminded me a great deal of John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces". Thanks John for this portrait of the '70's I think you were one of the few who got through it sober." — Iowa Blues Legend Vicki Price


Baby Pictures: My Year on the Road with Baby Lester and the Buggybumpers

Dead Horses: a random collection of long-winded but entire true stories about my favorite subject.

In his 2022 book, Baby Pictures, B. John Burns told the tale of the one great adventure of his life, his nine months on the road in the mid '70s with the Omaha show band Baby Lester and the Buggybumpers. Dead Horses is an autobiographical compilation of all the other stories he tells about his life, the ones that didn't make it into Baby Pictures. Many, in his mind, are humorous accounts of what he characterizes as "things that only happen to me."


In no particular chronological order, John tells his stories about being raised first in Massachusetts and then Iowa, his stories about growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, and his stories acquired while following diverse career paths that include being a bank messenger, a department store stereo salesman, a lawyer, a community theater actor, a singer/songwriter, a political organizer, a published author and a security guard. There were some well-timed lucky breaks and some abysmally bad decisions.


John Burns is no hero.


Along the way, he's crossed paths with some extraordinary people. Presidents and other heads of state. Congressmen. Movie stars and recording artists. But many of the most memorable were people just as obscure as he is.


To the best of his recollection and from the perspective from which he viewed them, the events in this book actually went down in the way they are set out. But it's a story book, not a history book. Many, though not all, of the characters who populate them are fictitious people.


If you know John Burns, it's likely you've heard some, if not all, of these stories. More than once. John has no qualms about beating a dead horse, as they say.


Now they're all down on paper.

The New Rules: An Old Man Held Hostage by the Radical Right Iowa Legislature and Governor


B. John Burns' memoir about being caught in the crossfire between the Repblican Legislature and Governor on one side and the Supreme Court on the other as he attempts to publish his annual edition of 4A Iowa PracticeCriminal Procedure. This book explores the proud history of the Iowa Judicial Branch, which now stands as the final check on the Republican stranglehold in the state.