Thursday, April 28, 2016
If you'd like to meet Sophia, one of the best biographies is
Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, a Life by Patricia Valenti
Friday, April 22, 2016
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Doors/Jim Morrison Fans and Music Lovers: Meet Linda Sienkiewicz and Read About Her Visit to Jim's Grave and her Beautiful Homage to Jim
My author friend Linda Sienkiewicz (and the true Polish way to say it is shin-KEH-vich). is a poet, artist and fiction writer. Her debut novel is titled In the Context of Love. One of the main characters, Joe Vadas, who comes of age in the 70s, is obsessed with Jim Morrison and the Doors.
For diehard Jim Morrison and Doors fans, Linda has a beautiful story about visiting Jim's grave in Paris on her blog. What a story, I loved it, as a kindred soul, a history buff who has been known to sneak around historic sites after closing (Carisbrooke Castle) and touch every historical artifact I see...and I've gotten into a bit of trouble doing that (touching Chopin's piano keys, for instance).
Read about her experience and her homage to Jim.
I stared at his monument in awe, flushed and a little woozy, thinking about how much this long-haired, leather-clad icon has meant to me over the years. The makeshift gate at Père Lachaise Cemetery wouldn’t let me get any nearer than 20 or so feet. At last I was here and yet this was the closest I’d ever get to him. It was a bittersweet moment that brought me near tears.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Abraham Lincoln has fascinated me since I was eight years old. I don’t know what got me started, but it might’ve been a book which I still have titled The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1, written in 1895. When I was in 3rd grade, in the mid-60s (which shows how long I’ve been a Lincoln nut), my teacher asked us to bring a book to school from home, for a show & tell. My mother suggested I bring this Lincoln book, which even in 1966 was in bad shape—yellowed, stiffened strips of Scotch tape barely held the covers to the spine. With the wisdom of an 8-year-old that sadly, all of us outgrow, I demurred, saying, “This old book? She’ll think we’re poor!” My mother corrected me: “No, she’ll think we’re rich. Books like this are rare.” Then she proceeded to tape it up some more. Those 47-year-old Scotch tape fragments adhere to the book’s spine and pages to this day. My teacher, Miss Cohen, was duly impressed. I treasure that book to this day, and it’s one of many on my “Lincoln shelf” which holds books about our murdered president, his wife Mary, his assassin John Wilkes Booth and his family, the “Mad Booths of Maryland” and the conspirators who faced the gallows or years of hard labor because Booth, their charismatic leader, sucked these poor impressionable souls into his insane plot.
Purchase the Kindle Version
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Meet My Guest From Dracula's Country, Renaissance Man Dumitru "Mit" Sandru, Now an Author of an Adult Coloring Book
Mit, full name Dumitru Sandru, is a true Renaissance man. He was born in the greater area of Transylvania in the last millennium; make that last century since he's not a vampire. Yet. When he was six years old, a soldier shot him at point blank range with a Kalashnikov. He survived. He outsmarted his German teacher, and survived a tornado in the middle of a wheat field. Not concurrently. When he was 18 years old, he escaped from a country resembling a concentration camp, luckily without being killed. He outran mean border patrol dogs in a foreign country, in the darkness of night, while jumping over six-foot tall stonewalls. Superman he's not. He came to the USA in search of freedom, glory, wealth, and fame. He's still searching for three of those. Lightning grazed him, and he caught a shark by the tail. Once. A monkey attacked him in Japan, but his daughter saved him. He avoided many rattlesnake bites, and built a house. No relation between the snakes and the house. Life eventually tamed him and he became a responsible citizen, with a wife, two daughters, dog and cat. And lately two grandsons. The taming part is questionable. He acquired an engineering and management degree and attempted to acquire other degrees in music, marketing, and IT. A certified student. He obtained many professional licenses, which he hardly used, but looked good on his wall. At 59-¾ years old he quit the corporate life and a six-figure salary. Rumor has it that he was given the golden handshake. He was finally free to pursue his dreams of writing, painting and music.
During his professional life he painted hundreds of canvases, and composed dozens of tunes, while since his golden handshake he wrote 11 books in YA Fantasy, Sci-fi, Paranormal, Thrillers and Vampire genre. He is an artist, composer, painted hundreds of canvases, and composed dozens of tunes. And that was in just the first half of his life.
Disclaimer: Everything written here is true, and the bullets were blanks.
I am Dumitru Sandru and I approve this unabashed bio.
Want to see and read more about the second half of his life?
Friday, April 1, 2016
I met John last October during the ABA's conference in Connecticut, and he graciously agreed to be my guest here.
Jane Merrill, John's co-author, is the author of many books and magazine articles. She lives in Saint George, Maine.
John has practiced law in New York, Texas and Connecticut. He lives in Litchfield, CT, the town in which Aaron Burr first studied for the bar.
Meet John, read about his research and writing journey, and his famous ancestors.
About AARON BURR IN EXILE
Aaron Burr--Revolutionary War hero, third vice president of the United States and a controversial figure of the early republic--was tried and acquitted of treason charges in 1807, and thereafter departed for self-imposed exile in Europe, his political career in ruins. Adrift in Paris for 15 months, he led a marginal existence on the run from creditors and the courts, getting by on handouts. While other Americans in Paris enjoyed official status that insulated them from life in the capital, Burr dreamed up fruitless schemes and pawned his possessions, yet remained in high spirits, enjoying Parisian theater and cafes. He shopped, flirted, paid for sex and associated with friends old and new while gathering the resolve to return to America.
Burr's Paris journal is a rare item, with only 250 unexpurgated copies printed in 1903. In it he relates his fascinating stories and describes Parisian life at the height of Napoleon's power. Drawing on Burr's journal and other sources, this book provides a self-portrait of the down-and-out Founding Father abroad.
My neighbor and good friend Peter Tavino, Secretary of the Aaron Burr Association, put on a play at the Litchfield, CT library based on Aaron Burr’s treason trial and Peter cast me in the role of the prosecuting attorney. Thereafter, I read a biography of Burr which mentioned that Burr had kept a journal during his stay in Europe. It turned out that the only Connecticut copy of the 1903 published edition of the journal was to be found at the Litchfield Historical Society. When I read the journal there, I realized that it could be the subject of a very interesting book, which would be the first to consider in detail how Burr spent his time in Europe and particularly his very interesting and eventful 15 months in Paris in 1810 and 1811.
Do you have another book in the works, and can you give us a hint as to what it will be about?
What are some of your favorite books about Aaron?
What are some of your favorite books of all time?