Friday, December 15, 2017

ONEY: MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY Now Available for Pre-Order


When I decided to write a biographical novel about Martha Washington, I wanted to use someone else as narrator: maybe her granddaughter or a friend...but it hit me like lightning...Oney Judge, her 'favorite servant' (but a slave, of course) she let work in the "big house" at Mount Vernon. It slowly became Oney's story. My friend, author Piper Huguley, helped me and the result is ONEY, MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY. Oney thirsted for her freedom. One evening she walked past the Washingtons as they ate dinner and out the door, never to return. A very brave girl. I greatly admire her.

Pre-Order ONEY here



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ELIZA JUMEL BURR, VICE QUEEN OF THE UNITED STATES on Sale for Kindle Free This Week, #1 in Biographical

Thanks for your support on my new my bio novel about Eliza Jumel Burr...it is #1 in the Bio category on Amazon.




I became interested in Aaron Burr when researching my Hamilton book, and his last wife Eliza really grabbed me...a woman after my own heart! By age 50 she owned half of New York City, married Aaron and divorced him when he started blowing thru her money. He also had a girlfriend in Jersey City and Eliza charged him with adultery. He died the day he got served with the divorce papers. Who was her lawyer? Alexander Hamilton Jr. of course! (can't make this stuff up!)



It's free for Kindle this week.

Monday, December 11, 2017

THE DOLAN GIRLS are on my blog--Western Romance by S.R. Mallery

THE DOLAN GIRLS
by S.R. Mallery

Friday, December 8, 2017

Steamy Romantic Suspense GRAY'S PROMISE by Anni Fife

GRAY'S PROMISE
A King Security Novel, Book 2
by Anni Fife

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Check Out Paranormal Suspense Romance MAGICK'S PATHWAY by Lauren Marie

MAGICK'S PATHWAY
The Haller Lake Series, Book 2
by Lauren Marie

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Book Quote Wednesday, #BookQW

For Book Quote Wednesday, #BookQW my author friend Mindy Klasky @MindyKlasky sends out a word. We find that word in our book and Tweet the sentence/excerpt it's in. Today's word is IMMEDIATE. 


This is from my new bio novel, ELIZA JUMEL BURR. She became Aaron Burr's last wife. I believe he was the love of her life: 


"Mr. Burr is married. I have no immediate designs on him or becoming his missus.” I hadn’t thought that far ahead, even in my wildest fantasies.

Purchase ELIZA on Amazon


Monday, December 4, 2017

Meet Eliza Jumel Burr, a True Rags to Riches Story, in my new Biographical Novel


A true rags-to-riches story: how “Bouncin’ Bet Bowen” George Washington’s daughter, became Eliza Jumel Burr, wife of Vice President Aaron Burr and 
New York City’s wealthiest woman

While researching Hamilton, I became fascinated with his political nemesis Aaron Burr, which led to Aaron's last wife Eliza Bowen Jumel. Only a handful of biographies of her exist, so I learned as much as possible about her from these books and other sources I found.



She came from the filthy streets of Providence and wound up owning to the grandest mansion in New York City, which has been Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War and is open to the public. The urchin Betsy Bowen used her street smarts and business acumen to become Madame Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of America. Her legacy lives on—in the Morris Jumel Mansion of Washington Heights, where her spirit still lingers, 147 years later.

During her ninety-one years, she begged on the streets, sold her body, married a rich man, married a former Vice President, and as New York City’s grand dame, traveled Manhattan in the coach Napoleon Bonaparte gave her. 

Throughout her adventurous and unconventional life, Eliza’s one regret was that she could not publicly announce that George Washington was her father. When Eliza was ten years old, her mother told her of Washington’s visit to Providence. They spent one night together at the home of Freelove Ballou, an aunt who later adopted Eliza. She was born nine months later. Her many attempts to reach her father gained her an invitation to Mount Vernon weeks before his death. 

Eliza’s love of make-believe brought her to Manhattan’s John Street Theatre, where she played many leading roles. When the theatre was bought by a speculator and torn down, she “made a living how I could” – at the brothel of Manhattan madam Sally Marshall, whose ladies entertained senators and other prominent figures.

Eliza met the charismatic Aaron Burr when he became New York’s Attorney General. While standing outside Federal Hall after President Washington’s inauguration with her best friend Susannah Shippen, she caught a flash of dark eyes that sparkled and caught the sunlight like jewels. Susannah innocently introduced them, unaware of their instant attraction. 

Deeply in love, Eliza wrote: “Colonel Aaron Burr appeared to me the perfection of manhood personified. Wherever he went he was petted and caressed by our sex. And yet, he never took advantage of his position.”

Eliza named her only son George Washington Bowen, believing Aaron was the father. 
While Aaron climbed the political ladder on his way to the Vice Presidency, Eliza met wealthy wine merchant Stephen Jumel, a native Frenchman. Knowing Eliza’s heart belonged only to Aaron, he wooed her and trusted her to invest his capital in Manhattan real estate. With her shrewd negotiating skills and street smarts, they amassed an empire.


Eliza Jumel Burr

On Eliza and Stephen’s first trip to France together, the fallen and beaten Napoleon Bonaparte boarded Stephen’s brig the Eliza,seeking an American vessel to ensure his escape from the British. Stephen, in all seriousness, offered the Emperor a wine barrel to stow away in. The Emperor, haughtily put out when he realized Stephen wasn’t joking, accepted Eliza’s invitation to hide in their New York home, but never made it to the new world. However, he did give Eliza his yellow coach and other costly gifts, now on display in the Jumel Mansion. Stephen’s business connections afforded him and Eliza introduction to the upper echelons of  Paris society. She met King Louis XVIII, but he shunned her begging to let Stephen join court circles. 


Back home, she resumed her love affair with Aaron, whose wife Theodosia had died of cancer. He was now Vice President, having lost the presidency to Thomas Jefferson. Eliza asked him to marry her, but he turned down her proposal. He just wasn’t ready for remarriage.

After the most famous duel in American history, Aaron fled New York City while Alexander Hamilton lay dying. When Hamilton died the next day, Aaron was indicted for murder. After four frantic months, Eliza finally received a letter from him, under an assumed name, R. King.

Financed by his son-in-law Joseph, he’d bought the rights to a half million acres in the South. He planned to make it into a new state, settle it with adventurous pioneer men, attract a slew of colonists and settlers, and make himself Governor.

His next hurried missive told her that he’d abandoned the entire plan. Why? He didn’t say. But President Jefferson had filed a formal charge of treason against Aaron. He was brought to Richmond, Virginia for trial.

He’d gathered so much support and adoration from Richmond, he was wined, dined and acquitted, with his daughter at his side.

He finally returned to Eliza after finishing out his term as Vice President, but soon sailed for England. Believing her life with him was over, she dragged herself back to Stephen and proposed marriage to him—only to be turned down once again. Determined to become Mrs. Jumel, she faked her impending death with the help of a loyal servant, a bottle of hot water to raise her temperature, and white powder to mimic deathly pallor. She called her doctor and had a stable hand inform Stephen that she was dying. When he rushed to her bedside, she begged him, “Before I leave this world, it would mean so much to me if I could leave as Mrs. Jumel.” He summoned a priest and they were wed even before she received last rites. But of course she made a miraculous ‘recovery’ and once again, returned to her wheeling and dealing.

While tending to his farmlands, Stephen fell from a cart and died in Eliza’s arms two days later. She was brought up on murder charges which were dropped. A despondent Eliza once again turned to her true love, Aaron, back in New York at his law practice.
One evening, Aaron showed up at her doorstep with a minister in tow, the same Reverend Bogart who’d married him to his first wife Theodosia fifty years before. He proposed to Eliza on bended knee: “I give you my hand, Madame; my heart has long been yours.”
She finally became Mrs. Burr at age 56. Aaron was a robust and youthful 78.
He began to spend Eliza’s money recklessly, plowing through $13,000 within a few months. The bickering became grounds for divorce when a maid caught him in a compromising position with another woman. Brokenhearted, Eliza hired a lawyer Who handled family matters—including divorces. Who was this lawyer? Alexander Hamilton Jr.

Aaron received the final papers on September 14, 1836, and died later that day.
Eliza returned home to her family and lived another 29 years as Mrs. Burr, the name she’d always longed for.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion still stands in Harlem, New York City and is open to the public.

Visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion


Me on the front steps of the Morris-Jumel Mansion

Friday, December 1, 2017

Check out Historical Romantic Suspense THE LADY AND MR. JONES by Alyssa Alexander

THE LADY AND MR. JONES
A Spy in the Ton series, Book 4
by Alyssa Alexander

Monday, November 27, 2017

Meet Eliza Jumel Burr, a True Rags to Riches Story, in my new Biographical Novel

A true rags-to-riches story: how “Bouncin’ Bet Bowen” George Washington’s daughter, became Eliza Jumel Burr, wife of Vice President Aaron Burr and 
New York City’s wealthiest woman

While researching Hamilton, I became fascinated with his political nemesis Aaron Burr, which led to Aaron's last wife Eliza Bowen Jumel. Only a handful of biographies of her exist, so I learned as much as possible about her from these books and other sources I found.





She came from the filthy streets of Providence and wound up owning to the grandest mansion in New York City, which has been Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War and is open to the public. The urchin Betsy Bowen used her street smarts and business acumen to become Madame Eliza Jumel Burr, Vice Queen of America. Her legacy lives on—in the Morris Jumel Mansion of Washington Heights, where her spirit still lingers, 147 years later.

During her ninety-one years, she begged on the streets, sold her body, married a rich man, married a former Vice President, and as New York City’s grand dame, traveled Manhattan in the coach Napoleon Bonaparte gave her.

Throughout her adventurous and unconventional life, Eliza’s one regret was that she could not publicly announce that George Washington was her father. When Eliza was ten years old, her mother told her of Washington’s visit to Providence. They spent one night together at the home of Freelove Ballou, an aunt who later adopted Eliza. She was born nine months later. Her many attempts to reach her father gained her an invitation to Mount Vernon weeks before his death.

Eliza’s love of make-believe brought her to Manhattan’s John Street Theatre, where she played many leading roles. When the theatre was bought by a speculator and torn down, she “made a living how I could” – at the brothel of Manhattan madam Sally Marshall, whose ladies entertained senators and other prominent figures.

Eliza met the charismatic Aaron Burr when he became New York’s Attorney General. While standing outside Federal Hall after President Washington’s inauguration with her best friend Susannah Shippen, she caught a flash of dark eyes that sparkled and caught the sunlight like jewels. Susannah innocently introduced them, unaware of their instant attraction.

Deeply in love, Eliza wrote: “Colonel Aaron Burr appeared to me the perfection of manhood personified. Wherever he went he was petted and caressed by our sex. And yet, he never took advantage of his position.”

Eliza named her only son George Washington Bowen, believing Aaron was the father.
While Aaron climbed the political ladder on his way to the Vice Presidency, Eliza met wealthy wine merchant Stephen Jumel, a native Frenchman. Knowing Eliza’s heart belonged only to Aaron, he wooed her and trusted her to invest his capital in Manhattan real estate. With her shrewd negotiating skills and street smarts, they amassed an empire.


Eliza Jumel Burr

On Eliza and Stephen’s first trip to France together, the fallen and beaten Napoleon Bonaparte boarded Stephen’s brig the Eliza, seeking an American vessel to ensure his escape from the British. Stephen, in all seriousness, offered the Emperor a wine barrel to stow away in. The Emperor, haughtily put out when he realized Stephen wasn’t joking, accepted Eliza’s invitation to hide in their New York home, but never made it to the new world. However, he did give Eliza his yellow coach and other costly gifts, now on display in the Jumel Mansion. Stephen’s business connections afforded him and Eliza introduction to the upper echelons of  Paris society. She met King Louis XVIII, but he shunned her begging to let Stephen join court circles.


Back home, she resumed her love affair with Aaron, whose wife Theodosia had died of cancer. He was now Vice President, having lost the presidency to Thomas Jefferson. Eliza asked him to marry her, but he turned down her proposal. He just wasn’t ready for remarriage.

After the most famous duel in American history, Aaron fled New York City while Alexander Hamilton lay dying. When Hamilton died the next day, Aaron was indicted for murder. After four frantic months, Eliza finally received a letter from him, under an assumed name, R. King.

Financed by his son-in-law Joseph, he’d bought the rights to a half million acres in the South. He planned to make it into a new state, settle it with adventurous pioneer men, attract a slew of colonists and settlers, and make himself Governor.

His next hurried missive told her that he’d abandoned the entire plan. Why? He didn’t say. But President Jefferson had filed a formal charge of treason against Aaron. He was brought to Richmond, Virginia for trial.

He’d gathered so much support and adoration from Richmond, he was wined, dined and acquitted, with his daughter at his side.

He finally returned to Eliza after finishing out his term as Vice President, but soon sailed for England. Believing her life with him was over, she dragged herself back to Stephen and proposed marriage to him—only to be turned down once again. Determined to become Mrs. Jumel, she faked her impending death with the help of a loyal servant, a bottle of hot water to raise her temperature, and white powder to mimic deathly pallor. She called her doctor and had a stable hand inform Stephen that she was dying. When he rushed to her bedside, she begged him, “Before I leave this world, it would mean so much to me if I could leave as Mrs. Jumel.” He summoned a priest and they were wed even before she received last rites. But of course she made a miraculous ‘recovery’ and once again, returned to her wheeling and dealing.

While tending to his farmlands, Stephen fell from a cart and died in Eliza’s arms two days later. She was brought up on murder charges which were dropped. A despondent Eliza once again turned to her true love, Aaron, back in New York at his law practice.
One evening, Aaron showed up at her doorstep with a minister in tow, the same Reverend Bogart who’d married him to his first wife Theodosia fifty years before. He proposed to Eliza on bended knee: “I give you my hand, Madame; my heart has long been yours.”
She finally became Mrs. Burr at age 56. Aaron was a robust and youthful 78.
He began to spend Eliza’s money recklessly, plowing through $13,000 within a few months. The bickering became grounds for divorce when a maid caught him in a compromising position with another woman. Brokenhearted, Eliza hired a lawyer Who handled family matters—including divorces. Who was this lawyer? Alexander Hamilton Jr.

Aaron received the final papers on September 14, 1836, and died later that day.
Eliza returned home to her family and lived another 29 years as Mrs. Burr, the name she’d always longed for.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion still stands in Harlem, New York City and is open to the public.

Visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion


Me on the front steps of the Morris-Jumel Mansion

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Check Out Contemporary Literary Fiction Romance, The Last Breath by Leigh Lennon

THE LAST BREATH
The Breathless series, book 1
by Leigh Lennon

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Meet Mya O'Malley and Read About her Paranormal Romantic Thriller THE HOUSE THAT ADELIA BUILT

THE HOUSE THAT ADELIA BUILT
by Mya O'Malley

Monday, November 20, 2017

Power Surge, Power Shift, Power Play...The Anna Jennings Super Novel Series by E.J. Whitmer

THE ANNA JENNINGS SUPER NOVEL SERIES
by E.J. Whitmer

Friday, November 17, 2017

Meet Bill Walker & Read About his Imaginative Alternative History/Fantasy Novel ABE LINCOLN ON ACID

I've been a HUGE Lincoln buff since childhood, and last week received a message from Bill Walker telling me he'd just ordered my Lincoln/Civil War paranormal A NECESSARY END, and that he'd written a few alternate history books featuring Lincoln. Of course I checked out his books and invited him to be my guest here. I ordered his latest title ABE LINCOLN ON ACID but haven't read it yet. This is one Lincoln book out of the fourscore plus I've read that I couldn't pass up.

About Bill

Bill is an award-winning writer whose works include novels, short stories and screenplays. His first novel, Titanic 2012, was enthusiastically received by readers, and Bill's two short story collections, Five-Minute Frights and Five-Minute Chillers, are perennial Halloween favorites. A highly-respected graphic designer, Walker has worked on books by such luminaries as Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. 

About ABE LINCOLN ON ACID



There are whispers even now that Abraham Lincoln never really died, that a voodoo spell cursed him with a terrible eternal life. It has even been claimed that he robbed banks in the 1930s with John Dillinger, only to mysteriously disappear once again into the pages of history. But the truth is even stranger than the rumors... 

Watched over by a vengeful J. Edgar Hoover and held in a secret location near his old Springfield home, Lincoln re-awakens in the 1960s, and finds himself thrust into an era even more turbulent than the Depression, a time where a divisive war is once again tearing a nation apart and political intrigue and assassinations are rampant. 

Escaping Hoover's clutches with a clever bit of deception, he navigates an even more treacherous and unfamiliar terrain, finding an ally in John Voci, a young San Francisco folk-singer. Together they journey across a counter-cultural landscape, meeting those who believe a great man has returned, and striving to remain free from those who want to bury him once and for all. 
Will Lincoln inspire the younger generation and save his country from its final reckoning, or will he turn on, tune in, and drop out?

Excerpt

Lincoln walked off among the graves, pausing now and then to study the names and dates on the stones still legible.  According to what he’d read, the cemetery had buried both whites and blacks when it was founded in 1808, the year before his birth; it had become exclusively black in the 1840s, remaining in use right up until its abandonment in 1950.  

Lincoln felt an acute kinship with that abandonment.  After surviving Booth’s fateful shot, the government had hidden him away, content to let him slumber in obscurity rather than let the world know he lived.  They’d been afraid of what he might do if he ever awakened.  Afraid he would usurp their precious power.  Perhaps now times had changed.  Perhaps now they would let him live in peace.

He found the grave a moment later, nestled in the shadow of a gnarled oak tree.  His eyes clouded with tears and he wiped them away with a swipe of his callused hand.  The inscription on the headstone was worn, but still readable:

HANNAH WHEELHOUSE
February 2, 1859 - July 22, 1934
Beloved wife, mother, and friend

How ironic that she was born the day John Brown was hanged for treason, he thought.  
And how ironic that I should be standing on this very spot in the here and now to note it.  

He glanced toward the SUV then back at Hannah’s headstone.  It was another moment before the significance of the second date sank in.  The tears returned and he let them fall.

“Such a calamitous day for us all, Hannah,” he said with a hitch in his voice.

At least she’d lived a full and worthy life.  The same could not be said of his old friend John Dillinger.  His brief, meteoric existence had left an indelible mark on the national consciousness.  Some, such as J. Edgar Hoover, had reviled him as a common thug, while others hailed Johnnie as a latter-day Robin Hood.  He was neither.  Lincoln remembered him as a determined man fiercely loyal to his friends and family until the bitter end.  A better man than those who’d brought him down.
Sighing, Lincoln knelt down and placed the roses on Hannah’s grave.  The grass immediately surrounding him was browned and sparse, the roses offering the only splash of color in the otherwise pallid gloom of an overcast day.

“You were a good friend, Hannah. If Heaven truly exists you have earned its eternal reward, and it shall be all the more resplendent for your presence.”

And then he heard her, her child-like voice riding on the soft breeze caressing his face, her words a prayer dimly recalled from a lifetime ago:  “Then for each of us the moment comes when the great nurse, Death, takes the child by the hand and quietly says, ‘It is time to go home.  Night is coming.  It is your bedtime, child of earth.  Come, you’re tired.  Lie down at last in the quiet nursery of nature and sleep. The day is gone, Abraham.  Stars shine in the canopy of eternity.’”

He knew she was beckoning him home. But the spell of John Wilkes Booth’s bullet, cursing him with eternal life, was stronger than the natural order of things. The tears filled his eyes again and he reached out and touched the headstone, feeling warmth radiating from it that should not have been there.

“Show me the road, Hannah, and I will gladly walk beside you.” Lincoln mouthed a silent prayer of his own and rose to his feet.  He turned and saw the young FBI agent standing at a respectful distance.

“Ready, sir?”

“About as ready as I’ll ever be, son,” he replied, offering the young man a gentle grin.  “I expect your boss will be a bit taken aback when he sees me.”

The young agent returned the grin, holding open the door to the Escalade.  “I expect you’re right about that, Mr. Lincoln.”

Lincoln climbed in and a moment later they were on their way.  

“You know, son, you’ll have to forgive me, but I never got your name.”

“Mullens, sir.  You knew my grandfather.”

Mullens....  The young federal agent who had been so kind to him in 1933, and suffered Hoover’s wrath for it.

Lincoln smiled sadly and settled back into his seat with a hiss of fragrant leather.  Some things never changed.

An Extensive Interview with Bill

You, the Author

A graduate of Emerson College's prestigious film school, Bill wrote and directed his first feature film, Pawn, while still a student. After graduation, he founded Newbury Filmworks, Inc., an award-winning production company renowned for making high-quality corporate films and commercials.
In 1990, Bill relocated to Los Angeles, and began a freelance story analysis career for various studios and independent production companies, while devoting his spare time to the writing of novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is also a highly-respected graphic designer, specializing in book and dust jacket design. He has worked on books by such luminaries as: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. In addition, Bill is a member of the Authors Guild.

He has won awards for his screenwriting, his two short story collections for Mid-Graders, Five-Minute Frights and Five-Minute Chillers, are perennial Halloween favorites, and his first novel, Titanic 2012, was enthusiastically received by readers. His latest novel, Abe Lincoln On Acid was released in 2016. Bill lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Debbie, and their sons, Jeffrey and Brian.

If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why? 
Probably read, play guitar, or watch a film.

What kind of books do you love to read? Why? 
I love to read books about time travel, as well as suspenseful fiction of all types.  I love biographies and Civil War and World War II histories.

What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to? 
Mostly classic rock, especially favorites such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Black Sabbath, AC/DC.  But I also appreciate progressive rock, my favorite band in that genre being Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

What is your stress buster? 
Weightlifting, reading, and guitar playing, but not necessarily in that order.

What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you’re sad, sort of a comfort food? 
Unfortunately, my favorite foods tend to be fattening, and I’m not eating any of those lately.

Describe yourself in one word. 
Ambitious.

If a fairy grants you one wish and one wish only, what would it be? Why? To be a popular brand name author.

What’s your biggest regret in life? 
I regret not taking writing more seriously earlier in my life.  While I’ve always had a talent and a facility for words, I didn’t sit down to truly learn the craft until the early 90s. I think if I’d started in college, I would have been published earlier.

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? 
I’m not a thrill junkie, but I can answer the question: It was writing my first novel and submitting it for the first time.  That felt pretty adventurous to me.

Your writing:

When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it? 
I wrote my first book when I was nine years old.  It was about an intelligent mouse, who, with his human companion—a young boy—would get into various hair-raising adventures.  It was inspired by the children’s book Ben and Me.  So, I guess you would call my first book a pastiche of sorts.  The first true novel I wrote is Camp Stalag, a story where the children of WWII veterans learn a hard lesson about what the war was really like.

Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? What are they? How did you overcome them? 
I wish I was as prolific as some of these brand name authors are, although I suspect that some of them are getting help.  It’s only ones like James Patterson and Clive Cussler who are gracious enough give their collaborators credit.  So, I guess my biggest obstacle is coming up with an idea that won’t let go. I need to be obsessed with a potential story to carry it through. 

How did you feel when you receive your first contract? What did you do? Any celebratory dinner, dance, event, etc to commemorate the occasion? 
My first published novel was the second one I wrote, which is entitled Titanic 2012, and is about a descendant of John Jacob Astor rebuilding the ship for the 100th anniversary of the sinking.  Cemetery Dance published it in 1998, as both a signed/lettered limited edition hardcover and a trade hardcover.  The interesting part of this story is that I had been a longtime collector of CD’s books and had gotten to know the publisher, Rich Chizmar.  When I told him about Titanic 2012, he asked me to send it to him.  I said, “sure,” figuring he’d read it and give me a nice pat on the back and that would be it.  Instead, two weeks after I’d sent him the manuscript, he faxed me an offer. To say the least, I was floored—ecstatic.  Here was validation!  It may not be Random House, but Cemetery Dance is highly respected.  Another little tidbit: it was also around that time that Rich hired me on as a freelance book designer.  I’ve designed dozens of their titles, but the first one was—you guessed it—Titanic 2012!  That was also very satisfying, because I had total control over the look of the entire book.  Let me just say that authors almost never get a say in layout and design, so I considered myself fortunate.

Any writing peeves, things you wish you could improve on, things you do with exceptional talent?  
I wish I was a better self-editor, which is one of the advantages of working with a collaborator.  My co-author, Brian Anthony, is a much better editor than I am.  I, on the other hand, excel at plotting.  For me, knowing just where to place the plot twists, is nearly instinctual.

Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason? 
When I’m in the midst of writing a book, I’m in what I call “Story Mode” 24/7.  I’m always thinking about my story, trying out different things.  This comes in handy when I get stuck as my mind will work the problem until it’s solved.  As to where I write, it can be anywhere my laptop can go.  I am able to tune out distractions and live in the world of my creation.  

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books. 
Sometimes it’s just a title and other times it’s a premise that intrigues me.  With one of my books, Abe Lincoln: Public Enemy No. 1, it was the title.  The irony of that is my co-author came up with that title back in college.  In fact, we even shot a short film that was basically a scene of Abe robbing a bank in the 1930s.  That film sat on the shelf for nearly forty years.  We dusted it off and cut it together, and during the process, I said to Brian, “You know, this would make a great premise for a novel.”  And I was off to the races.  It only took forty years!

What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc? 
The two best books I’ve ever read are written by two of my favorite authors.  How to Write Best-Selling Fiction by Dean Koontz and On Writing by Stephen King.  Koontz’s book was originally published by Writer’s Digest and is long out of print and a valuable collector’s item.  It is also an invaluable tool.  I’ve been toying with the idea of approaching Mr. Koontz about revising and republishing the book.  

What is your advice to aspiring writers?
The main thing I would stress is discipline.  Write three pages per day, no matter what.  You can write more, but that doesn’t let you off the hook for the next day.  If you force yourself to write those three pages every day, you will have a finished draft in a couple of months.

Among those that you’ve written, which is your favorite book and why? 
It’s hard to play favorites.  There are things I love about all of them.  However, if I had to pick one that truly resonates with me it would be A Note from an Old Acquaintance, which is a romance/love story written from a man’s perspective.  I wanted to give Nicholas Sparks a run for his money.

Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot?
I get them from anywhere and everywhere.  Sometimes I’ll have a vivid dream or I’ll read or see something that sparks an idea.

Which book that you’ve read (not one of yours) is the closest to your heart? Why? 
My favorite book is Jack Finney’s Time and Again.  The original time travel love story.  It was published in 1970 and has developed a cult status.  Still waiting on the movie. Second and third favorite books are A Clockwork Orange and Somewhere in Time.

Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you?  Why? 
That would be Brian Weller from A Note from an Old Acquaintance. Like me, he aspires to be a bestselling author.  The main difference is that Brian achieves his ambition in a big way.

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters 
are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation? 

Yes, that happens quite a bit.  When it does, I very often know instinctively that it’s the right direction.  At other times, when it’s not, I start writing slower and slower until it grinds to a halt.  And that’s when I realize I need to go back and try something else.

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?
I like to work different genres, as it keeps me from getting bored.  Suspense, Horror, Science Fiction, Alternative History, Romance/Love Stories, and Fantasy.  Now, I don’t mean fantasy in the way that publishers do.  I don’t write stories about magic, elves, and dragons.  To me, that is only a corner of what fantasy means, but is inevitably what everyone thinks of when you mention it.  My version of fantasy, is one where you take the normal world and throw one fantastical thing into it, such as a voodoo curse that backfires and leaves us with an immortal Abraham Lincoln.  The masters of that kind of fantasy were Jack Finney and Richard Matheson, both of them being huge influences for me.

What is your favorite part of writing?
I actually enjoy the entire process of conceiving, writing, rewriting and publishing.  

What is your least favorite part of writing?
Again, self-critiquing is something I don’t enjoy, but it is a necessary evil.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of editing.  How about you?
As I advised other writers, I endeavor to write three pages per day, or more.  Each morning, I’ll read over the previous day’s work and—more often than not—I’ll see something that needs tweaking.  So, I do edit and revise as I go.

How much research was involved in writing your book?  How did you go about it?
I actually hate the idea of open-ended research or over-researching something.  Instead, when conceiving an idea, I’ll have specific questions that need answering and I’ll go about finding those answers.  It could be a major or minor plot point.  For example, in Abe Lincoln On Acid, we have Lincoln listening to Martin Luther King give a sermon.  I was able to have my characters in the church on a particular day and I excerpted the actual sermon MLK delivered on that day.  I find those kinds of details really enjoyable.  For both Lincoln books, we endeavored to put as much real history into the story as we could.

What inspired your latest release?
Abe Lincoln On Acid was inspired by its predecessor, Abe Lincoln: Public Enemy No. 1.  The first book was such a kick to write that we wanted to keep it going. 

How much time do you spend promoting your books?
As much time as I can without taking away from doing the writing.  I’ll be honest, I don’t enjoy promoting, at least not the kind that an independent author has available to him or her.  I think the Internet has actually made it harder to be noticed because everybody and their brother are promoting their book.  There is also the stigma one has to overcome that self-published books are crap.  While that’s unfortunately true to a great degree, there are gems out there.  I guess what I’m getting at is one can spend eight hours per day and more money than the book will ever earn and not make the tiniest of splashes.  It’s disheartening, but I keep writing, because it’s what I do best.

Please tell us your experiences with social media.  What are your favorite and least favorite parts of it?
My experiences with social media is that it seems to work for some, but not for me. This is going to sound silly, but social media feels like perpetual high school, where the popular kids still have the upper hand.  Then again, maybe I’m just anti-social. ;-)

Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
I’ve been a filmmaker and a graphic designer.

Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?
I really do believe I was born to write.  I’ve always loved it.  

Do you have or belong to a writing organization?  Which one?
I currently belong to the Authors Guild, an organization that looks out for the interests of authors worldwide.

What do you read?  Do you read different genres when you’re writing versus not writing?
There are some writers who refuse to read anything while they’re writing.  I don’t subscribe to that.  To me, any and all reading feeds the muse—and she is VERY hungry!

Do you have a favorite book from childhood?
The aforementioned Ben and Me, as well as a collection of short stories called The Mad Scientists’ Club, which are about a group of kids who use their brains and their wit to construct all kids of mischief.  These were written well before the age of computers and cell phones and contain a certain whimsical magic.

What are you reading now?
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks.


Contact Bill





















Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pleasure Your Fantasies Series: Book 1 - MISTLETOE FANTASIES by Stacy Eaton

MISTLETOE FANTASIES
Pleasure Your Fantasies Series: Book 1
by Stacy Eaton

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meet J.M. Maurer & Check out CURVEBALL BABY--New Adult Romance with Baseball, Baby & Christmas Themes

CURVEBALL BABY
by J.M. Maurer

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Wacky Kidhood in Jersey City by a Boomer

Readers like to know about their authors: Read about my wacky kidhood: watching Captain Kangaroo, my blonde Barbie I renamed Judy, and "out of the mouths of babes" on my website:









Photo of Journal Square, the 'hub' of Jersey City

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Unwilling Recruit, Supernatural Thriller by John Evans. is On Tour

THE UNWILLING RECRUIT
A John Hunt Novel
by John Evans

Friday, November 10, 2017

Release Tour for GUARDIAN UNRAVELED, Paranormal Romance by Georgia Lyn Hunter

GUARDIAN UNRAVELED
Fallen Guardians, book 3
by Georgia Lyn Hunter

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Meet A.L. Simpson & Check out her Contemporary Romance A MATTER OF WAR

A MATTER OF WAR
by A.L. Simpson

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Romantic Thriller BOUND BY SHADOWS BY Riley Garrett is on Pre-Order Tour

BOUND BY SHADOWS
The McAllister Justice Series, book 2 by Reily Garrett

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Crap in a Cauldron" -- IRISH WAR CRY by Victoria Danaan

IRISH WAR CRY
D.I.T., book three
by Victoria Danann

Monday, November 6, 2017

Historical Thriller SHARING HAMILTON - Love, Romance, Deception, Blackmail....Murder



I'm delighted to announce that my historical romantic thriller, SHARING HAMILTON, co-written with best selling author Brian Porter, is now on sale. It centers on the nation's first sex scandal in 1791 between Alexander Hamilton and the beautiful Maria Reynolds, whose con artist husband James blackmailed Hamilton. This became tabloid fodder of the time, known as "The Reynolds Affair." 

My British author friend Brian Porter writes murder mysteries set in England. I needed him to add his skills on writing about the darker side of life to produce the subplot about a Jack the Ripper-type murderer prowling the nighttime streets of America's first capital, Philadelphia. The challenge was to take my completed manuscript and seamlessly add the subplot as though the whole book was written in one continuous stream.

It's available for Kindle, and will be in paperback soon. 

Read Chapter One on my website.

Purchase SHARING HAMILTON


Historical Thriller SHARING HAMILTON Now on Sale

I'm delighted to announce that my historical romantic thriller, SHARING HAMILTON, co-written with best selling author Brian Porter, is now on sale. It centers on the nation's first sex scandal in 1791 between Alexander Hamilton and the beautiful Maria Reynolds, whose con artist husband James blackmailed Hamilton. This became tabloid fodder of the time, known as "The Reynolds Affair."
My British author friend Brian Porter writes murder mysteries set in England. I needed him to add his skills on writing about the darker side of life to produce the subplot about a Jack the Ripper-type murderer prowling the nighttime streets of America's first capital, Philadelphia. The challenge was to take my completed manuscript and seamlessly add the subplot as though the whole book was written in one continuous stream.
It's available for Kindle, and will be in paperback soon.

Read Chapter One on my website.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Meet my friend and fellow author Alois Lohn and read about his new thriller THE HUNT FOR CELL-X


About Al

Al was born in 1934 on the outskirts of Cologne Germany and educated in the art of apparel manufacturing. He worked until 1956 in his father’s business. In November 1956, he immigrated to the USA with his parents and younger brother. Drafted thirteen months later, he served in the US Army for two years stationed in Germany where he met his wife.

After a fifty-year career in the apparel industry, he retired as corporate vice-president from the Spiegel group and turned to writing to fill his ample leisure time.
His extensive travel during his 50-year career took him around the world to all five continents. The travels gained him a deep understanding of the world’s cultures  as well as their trials and tribulations. This, combined with his experience growing up in a war-torn country during World War II, and his military service,  gave him enough stories and imagination to spin the yarn for his  novels.

Al has seven published novels to his credit and is presently working on his memoirs.

He resides in New Jersey with his wife of fifty-eight years where they enjoy their children and three grandchildren. 

About THE HUNT FOR CELL-X



A terrorist attack, the sinking of an American cruise ship, starts an eruption of multiple Isis-terror attacks impairing the peaceful life of the US. The attacks leave mass casualties in its wake. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Hajji Al Hajji, selects Special Agent Jim Vandergelden, the deputy director of the CIA, and retired Marine Corps Colonel, as the commander of the Special Homeland Security Force. Jim is a battle hardened ex seal commander and a proven international CIA operative. He picks his team members from the best the FBI and CIA has to offer. They all had served as Seals or as Special Forces combatants during their enlistment.

Colonel Vandergelden’s mission is to locate and destroy the Isis cells that have infiltrated the USA. Vandergelden uncovers the existence of a secret terrorist group named, Cell-X. Intel from reliable sources alleges that Cell-X is developing weapons of mass destruction on US soil.


An Interview with Al

If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?
Read a good book.    
What kind of books do you love to read? Why?
Spy novels, Historical Fiction, or any good thriller. It relaxes me; I don’t read books to critic them. I read for enjoyment. The story has to intrigue me.
What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to?
Classical, (Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, etc.) or Erwin Berlin composition, and Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin etc. 
What is your stress buster?
Any kind of TV show that prevents me from thinking.
What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you==re sad, sort of a comfort food?
Cuisines that I have enjoyed during my global travels. (Italian, all Asian cuisines, French, middle eastern, etc.
Describe yourself in one word.
Adventurous
If a fairy grants you one wish and one wish only, what would it be? Why?
Good health for my family. 
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
A picture taking safari in the national parks of Kenya. 
What makes you happy/sad/disappointed/frustrated/hopeful/angry? (Pick one)
Greed and Lying.
What are your wildest dreams/fantasies/kinks/quirks?
Revisit countries that I have seen and enjoyed.
Your writing
When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?
My first book, THEY FOLLOWED THE CALL I started to write in 2002. Two years after I retired.
Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? What are they? How did you overcome them?
A learning process never stopped. Thinking up stories come easy to me. But rewrites are laborious. 
How did you feel when you receive your first contract? What did you do? Any celebratory dinner, dance, event, etc to commemorate the occasion?
After 150 rejections, it was a dream come true. I celebrated by hurrying to finish my second book, THE OLD LADY AND THE RIVER.
Any writing peeves, things you wish you could improve on, things you do with exceptional talent? 
I wish I could rewrite some of my first books. I would change some things in there.

I wish I could come up with ideas faster without help from my crit group, and not write so many drafts.
Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?
I usually get up at 5 AM, have some breakfast, and start writing until 5 PM; except Saturday or Sunday. I have an office in our house where I write. I have a problem writing anywhere else.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.
A story comes to me first. Usually have several lined up in my head. Than I do an outline and start writing. Sometimes the characters start to talk to me during the process. If you are a writer, they forgive for being crazy. But if you are not a writer, well….
What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc?
There are many. Starting out with Clancy’s books, Patterson’s books, and many more. However if you are looking for a perfect book, there are none. Every book I have read, had flaws that were overlooked by editors. 
What is your must-have book for writing?
The Breakout Novel workbook by Donald Mass.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t let rejection stop you from writing and submitting. Moreover, join a writer’s group. You need the exchange with other writers and their experience. 
Among those that you’ve written, which is your favorite book and why?
Sacred Blood, because it shows philosophy of war seen by the soldiers in the foxholes on both sides of the conflict, and how alike their take on war is.
Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot?
Since most of my books are about human interest stories, subject matters are easy to find. No I don’t write them down. However, quite often the choice of which one to write next chances frequently.
Which book that you’ve read (not one of yours) is the closest to your heart? Why?
WIND SAND AND STARS by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 What is your favorite part of writing?
Crafting the story.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
Editing and rewriting.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of editing.  How about you?

I finish the story first and then edit the book.

How much research was involved in writing your book?  How did you go about it?
I use a great deal of researching for my books. I do it as I need it.

What’s the strangest thing you have ever done in the name of research?
Getting lost in the research forgetting the reason for it.

What inspired your latest release?
The scary uncertainties governing today’s world.

Can you tell us about your road to publication?
After numerous rejections by agents, one of my writer friends pointed me to a small publisher that acccepted manuscripts without going through an agent.

How much time do you spend promoting your books?
Not enough. Neither am I good at it.

Please tell us your experiences with social media.  What are your favorite and least favorite parts of it?

I use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I love meaningful posting but I hate meaningless postings like I just woke up and had a cup of coffee. Who cares.

Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
Yes, I spent fifty years in the apparel industry.

Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?
I became interested in writing after I retired. It was purely accidently. I had put together a Family Tree for my children and grandchildren when I realized that the names didn’t mean anything without some story about the ancestors. That’s when I got hooked on writing.

Do you have or belong to a writing organization?  Which one?
I belong to two. The Writer’s Coffeehouse, which has over 2000 members. And a small local group, The Jackson Writer’s group. 

What’s your favorite comfort food?  Least favorite food?
I hate many different vegetables. My most favorite meal, which I always request for my birthday, is Lentil and Spatzel with Pignucles and a plum-sheet cake.
  
Favorite way to relax?
With a nice glass of wine in my hand.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Yes, eating.

3 must have items if you were stranded on a tropical island?
A boat, a seaplane, or someone that picks me up. 

Contact Al