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EXCERPT GOD’S BANKER by Chris Malburg

       The young SEAL slowly raised his right hand in salute. All 243 of America’s Squadron saluted their President at the same time.

“Oorah, son,” said the President.

The young lieutenant hadn’t expected that from America’s chief executive. “Oorah, Mr. President,” he said back in a loud and proud voice that did justice to any man or woman who ever wore the uniform.

“Oorah,” thundered 243 voices behind him.

The President stood in the summer sunshine of Washington DC. At this moment, he realized there was no place on this earth that he would rather be than right here. The finest examples of courage and bravery in the American people he had the privilege of serving stretched before him. These people had taken time out of their busy lives to come here to the White House to see him. About what the President still couldn’t say. But he could smell the ribs already beginning to smoke next to the hastily erected canopies that shaded picnic tables off to the side near where they land Marine 1, the presidential helicopter.

A White House staffer had already brought a microphone and plugged it into the permanently installed outlet. They often used this spot for events when the weather was nice. The President stepped up and said, “America’s Squadron, I salute you and the American people salute you. I am…” he bowed his head for a moment as it slowly began to dawn on him why they might be here. “…I am humbled that you have taken the time to come here to what is truly your house. You have fought for it and have bled for it. Your families have paid dearly for it. I am just its temporary caretaker. But make no mistake, it is yours and by God always will be yours.”

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

God'sGod’s Banker

Publication date: May 14, 2014

Cardinal David Caneman took just three years to engineer his ascension into the CEO’s office of Vatican Bancorp. His cabal of fundamentalist zealots now quickly moves to seize the world’s largest institution. First by publicly assassinating the Pope. Next by replacing him with Caneman. Finally by giving the masses a common, everyday object—unquestionably used by their savior—to rally behind. For centuries, folklore has claimed the sacred item laid in wait sealed within the Church’s lost treasury vault. Caneman races to unearth the vault—if it exists. He has bet everything that he can find the blessed object, surely buried within. He intends using it to sweep the faithful from their ungodly ways and into his personal standards of piety.

The Taliban took just two years to overthrow Kabul. Armed with over a billion faithful worldwide and a $200 billion war chest—and the sacred Broom Of Formia—Cardinal David Caneman figures it will take him just half that time to conscript the hearts and minds first of Europe, then…

Jackson Schilling enjoys his happy, early retirement. He attends minor league ball games near his home in Elkhart, Indiana. He’s an amateur chef. And Jackson Schilling is a hunter. Then the SEC drafts him. Come on, Jack. One last audit. It’s mandatory after an attempt on the Vatican Bank Chairman’s life. But Jackson Schilling is no ordinary auditor. And it was his Commander in Chief who personally ordered him drafted. Schilling exhaustively uncovers Caneman’s deadly purpose. First he must stop a professional assassin from completing his mission against the Pope. Now the hard part—derail a fundamentalist faction led by a brilliant, ruthless [and some would say] saint to over a billion faithful. Jackson Schilling battles a force growing faster and more deadly than the Crusades, the Inquisition or the Taliban ever were. Legitimate governments will surely topple, becoming answerable to one man and his band of strict fundamentalists if Schilling fails.

 

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The Author

Chris’s  Website / Twitter Facebook Goodreads 

Chris Malburg is a widely published author, with work spread over 11 popular business books–includingHow to Fire Your Boss (Berkley) Chris Malburg Photoand Surviving the Bond Bear Market (Wiley, March 2011).  In his other life, Chris is a CPA/MBA, a former investment banker and now the CEO of Writers Resource Group, Inc., providers of professional financial literary content to corporations (www.WritersResourceGroup.com).  That’s the professional side of Chris’ career.  The fun side began when UCLA’s Writers’ school taught him to transition from biz-speak to fiction. GOD’S BANKER and the first installment in the Enforcement Division series, DEADLY ACCELERATION, both combine Chris’ natural talent for story telling with his professional command of the high-stakes investment world and what money and power do to some people.

GOD’S BANKER  came to fruition from Chris’ hospital bed while recuperating from an athletic injury.  As a long-time endurance athlete, Chris is no stranger to the surgeon’scalpal.  Over 130,000 words later,GOD’S BANKER was complete.  “It just poured out me,” says the author.  “I carried my note pad to physical therapy; made plot notes during the hours in the gym doing rehab; even while on my long bicycle rides through the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean where we live.  Slowly endurance returned and with it, GOD’S BANKER.”

Chris Malburg lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Marilyn.  Their hobby is raising service dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind.  As of this writing, they have raised eight Labrador retrievers and have had three make the cut for placement with their disabled partners.

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Title: What is Growing Out of Your Ear

Author: Angela Graham

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Pages: 24

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

It is summer and Angela eats a bowl of cherries. After she swallows some cherry pits, her Grandpa warns what will happen — “A cherry tree will grow out of your ear.” Angela thinks that is silly. Do you believe a cherry tree can grow out of Angela’s ear? 

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 Angela Graham lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband, two lively children and their dog. She has enjoyed writing stories for her children since they were young to inspire the love of reading. Angela’s stories add a humourous twist to real life. This story is motivated from Angela’s own childhood.

 

Angela is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 1 and ends on September 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 16.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

bible bandsBible Bands is a fun, educational how-to book for children who love making jewelry. Not only does it teaches how to make lovely designs, but it also strengthens children’s faith by combining hands-on creativity with Bible verses and stories.

Rubber band jewelry seems to be the hottest new craze, so Eden’s book comes at the right time. Though at first glance, when you look at the jewelry, it might seem complicated and difficult to make, especially for kids, the author demystifies it with simple step-by-step instructions accompanied by colorful photos. I found the language and descriptions clear and straight-forward, easy for most kids to understand, though the younger ones will need guidance from an adult, at least at first. There are over 12 designs, from the simplest to the most elaborate.

Eden incorporates faith with verses and symbols, such as a blue and white pattern to symbolize Christ’s baptism, a heart design to remind you of God’s love, and a multi-colored weave to match Joseph’s coat of many colors, among others.

Bible Bands doesn’t come with the looms or bands, but you can find these at most craft shops. This will make a lovely gift for any child, especially those who are into crafts. It is also a good book for those long summer and Christmas holidays, as it will keep children entertained for hours. Recommended!

Find out more on Amazon.

My review was previously published in Blogcritics.

H. Peter AlessoAs a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.

His latest book is the science fiction space opera, Lieutenant Henry Gallant.

For More Information

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Not really.

Lieutenant Henry Gallant 2I love words, but that wasn’t always the case. My first infatuation was with numbers which explains my career as a research scientist. However, with maturity came insight into the elegance and efficacy of words. I learned to express myself in narratives rather than in algorithms.

I discovered that basic human behavior—emotional and physiological reactions to specific internal and external stresses—could be well-expressed though stories. What makes a science fiction story special is the tension originates at unexpected locations with unusual characters and strange circumstance, all of which combine to produce surprisingly ordinary human responses.

I’ve enjoyed this wonderful form of entertainment

What was your inspiration for Lieutenant Henry Gallant?

Science fiction novels provided wonderful adventures in unexpected places with unusual characters and strange circumstance. I’ve enjoyed them all my life, so when I first began to develop science fiction stories, I wanted to write adventures that I could vicariously enjoy.

Henry Gallant is handsome, brave, and daring—just what you want in a hero who sets out on a great adventure. A rival challenges him for the love of a young, beautiful, and bold woman—just what you’d expect in a warrior princess. Together they face an alien invasion, a jungle full of dangers predators, and a malevolent artificial intelligence bent on exterminating humanity.

Can you guess who wins in the end? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the corrupt politicians who maneuver to upset all Gallant’s efforts to protect the people and stop the malicious AI.

How much fun do you think I had writing this tale?

Actually, I had more.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

In the past, the scientific speculation of science fiction has helped spark the curiosity of researchers in many fields.

As a result, I believe science fiction should start on hard scientific principles. I researched the technologies included in the story and tried to predict their development path into the next centuries. For example, genetic engineering is current an important social topic and humanity faces difficult choices ahead. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against a competing innovation—Artificial Intelligence.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It takes me about a year to write, edit, and prepare to publish a book—though the time flies by once the basic story arc is firm. I enjoy most aspects of the project including the second and third draft stage when I have a good idea of the chapter content and I am ready to embellish the descriptions and bring personality to the dialog.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

My work habits are ‘slow-and-steady,’ but not a rigid regimen. I let the day unfold and find a quiet time to do some writing when I feel I have worked out some ideas in my mind.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

I believe science fiction should be based on hard scientific principles. I researched the technology included in the story and tried to project their development path into the next centuries. For example, genetic engineering is current an important topic in our society and humanity faced difficult choices as it develops over the course of the next century. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against another important innovation that also may prove a future concern—Artificial Intelligence.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

In the past, I have published several books through large traditional publishers, but for Lieutenant Henry Gallant I chose self-publication in order to get the book to market more quickly.

Where can we find you on the web?

My Web Site is: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

My books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel as well as most web outlets.

Lawrence St. JohnLaurence A. St. John was born on January 11, 1965 in Toledo Ohio. Laurence has one older brother and two younger sisters. Laurence along with his parents, brother and sisters moved once while growing up to Genoa Ohio, just south of Toledo. While attending Genoa Area schools, he was active in track, football and baseball. Later, after he graduated from Genoa High School (Comets) in 1983, he worked for a few manufacturing companies.

At the age of 23 and after three years of dedication, hard work and sweat, in 1988, Laurence received his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in Tae Kwon Do. This gave him the self-confidence and perseverance needed to surmount anything that came his way.

When Laurence was 25 years old he fell in love then married the love of his life, Julie in 1990. He then adopted her two young wonderful children Joe and Jan shortly after.

Out of high school for nearly fifteen years and after persuaded by his former manager, Laurence attended Owens State Community College where he obtained an Associates Degree in Microcomputer Business Systems while working full-time. In addition to computer classes, he enjoyed composition classes where he could free his mind and write what he wanted.

While working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, Laurence’s place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for his job, again. In the same year his first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. He described this as one of the most uplifting moments of his life. In addition, it was during this time when his emotions were running wild; he became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper.

Nearly four years later, he had completed his first middle grade fantasy novel, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen. His latest book is Metatron: The Mystical Blade.

Laurence currently lives in Northwood Ohio with his wife of 24 years, Julie. His son Joe is married to Cari and they have three daughters, Kendall, Sadie and Harper. His daughter Jan is married to Andrew and they have a son Eli and a daughter Evelyn. Laurence currently holds the position of Administrations Manager at Precision Strip, Inc. in Perrysburg Ohio, where he works full time. He continually writes in his spare time; weekends and after work, and is endlessly inspired by his five grandkids Kendall, Elijah, Sadie, Evelyn and Harper.

For More Information

Would you call yourself a born writer?

I think so. My writing started in my head when I was probably around ten years old. I had these cool characters and story lines in Metatron 2my head but I never acted on them. I was too busy playing sports and being a kid.

What was your inspiration for (METATRON: THE MYSTICAL BLADE)?

One day while working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, my place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for my job, again. In the same year my first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. This as one of the most uplifting moments of my life – one of the few times I remember crying with happiness. In addition, it was during this time when my emotions were running wild; I became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper. My first novel was published in 2012. The second novel in the series, Metatron: The Mystical Blade was published August 2014.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

To believe in yourself; Whatever you want to do, you can rise above your doubts and attain anything you set your mind on doing.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

This novel took me nearly six months to write then another three months for editing. Unfortunately, since I have a full time job that pays the bills it takes longer to write my books. Hopefully one day writing will be my full time job.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I am very much disciplined. I wish I had a typical day of writing. But when I do write which is usually at night and/or weekends I input all my recent thoughts then begin on the paragraph where I left off. I try to get at least 1000 words typed at one sitting. In the back of my head I’m constantly thinking of the first and last sentences of the book. They have to be the most awesome sentences – in my opinion.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The most challenging aspect was trying to get the book written and edited in time to make the cut-off date of my publisher along with to make the story better than the first book. I think it came out pretty good.

What do you love most about being an author?

When my readers such as Jarod, a ten year old boy walked up to me after a church Christmas play a year ago and asked me, “Are you Mr. St. John who wrote Metatron The Angel Has Risen book?” “I replied, yes I am, did you read it?” “He replied, yes I did and I loved the book and the story – thank you for writing it!” That is what I love most.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

This is actually my second book published by the same traditional publisher, Imajin Books. After my first book was completely drafted, I had no idea what to do next. Ironically, the next day in the mail was a quarterly letter from the college I graduated from – Owen State Community College. In it was an article about an alumnus who was also an author. And behold, his email address was also included in the article. I sent him an email introducing myself then asked some questions. Within a few days he actually called me and provided me with valuable advice and contact information of an author/editor. After my manuscript was edited by the author/editor along with another editor and query letters sent out to over 100 agents and publishers, I didn’t receive a contract. Contemplating the idea of self-publishing I sent out a help memo to my networking contacts from Facebook and Twitter. I received some great advice from many of them but most importantly a reply to have my manuscript reviewed. Finally, after a couple of months I was offered a contract with Imajin Books. I smiled so much my cheek muscles began to hurt. With my current novel, Metatron: The Mystical Blade, the process was so much easier. I’m happy with my current publisher however maybe someday I’ll acquire a much larger publisher; one that would stock books in bookstores and other retailers.

Where can we find you on the web?

My website has all my social networking sites along with where to purchase my novels.

www.laurencestjohn.com

Thank you for having me, I greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Laurence

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To the Breaking Pointe 2Title: To the Breaking Pointe
Author: Cindy McDonald
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Pages: 250
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Pushed to the breaking pointe!

Five years ago First Force operative, Grant Ketchum, let the ballerina of his dreams dance right of his life. Silja Ramsay returned to her birthplace, Russia, to take the position of principal dancer for the Novikov Ballet Company.

The owner and director of the ballet company, Natalia Novikov, has a dark secret: her beloved ballet company is almost broke. Natalia forces her dancers to prostitute themselves to financial contributors at exclusive after-show parties. Silja has been exempt and kept in the dark about the parties—until an American financier offers to bail the failing ballet company out. His prerequisite: Silja must become his personal companion, live in his home, and fulfill his every desire. Against her will, Silja is taken to the American’s mansion, but before she goes she manages to send a text to the only man who can save her, Grant: HELP!

Now Grant is on a mission to find his lost ballerina and rescue her from this powerful man’s subjugation. He will do anything to get her out alive. If they survive, will he let her chasse out of his life again?

Book Excerpt:

“Where is Silja?” Ballard Crafton asked Natalia as he searched the reception room in the basement of the theatre. The room wasn’t particularly large, yet it was quite elegant with red velvet swags hung in the archways, gilded crown moldings, and crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. A bar was set up in one corner while a violinist played softly in another. The room was filled with men, a few older women, and most of the dancers from the Novikov Ballet Company. Only one dancer in particular was missing… Silja Ramsay.

Natalia picked up her glass of wine from the bar. “Silja is not ready to attend our little soiree yet. She hasn’t been informed of my… financial situation.”

Ballard pulled a bracelet from his suit jacket. “Silja doesn’t like diamonds?” Natalia huffed at the sight of the bracelet that she thought she had convinced Silja to keep. He continued, “She had this returned to me by messenger this afternoon. Doesn’t she…don’t you understand just how wealthy I am?”

Natalia took a sip of her cabernet. “She still believes in love, Ballard—“

“I am in love with her!” he bellowed.

Taken aback by the sudden outburst, the crowd hushed, looking in their direction. Natalia forced a laugh, waving her hands carelessly at the crowd. She spoke to them in Russian, “Mingle, mingle, get to know our beautiful dancers.” With hesitant glances at Ballard, the crowd returned to their conversations. The women in attendance ran their hands up and down the male dancers’ muscled arms, while the men flirted mercilessly with the ballerinas.

“You told me that she would be here tonight, Natalia.” Ballard said, more hushed.

“As always, there are plenty of lovely ballerinas here to choose from this evening, Ballard. Forget Silja for now. I will keep working to make her come around. She still… how do you say… pines for another.”

“Who?”

“I do not know this. Be patient. Pick another for this evening. Here…” Natalia gestured to the bartender. He retrieved a box from behind the bar. Natalia took the box and offered it to Ballard. Lifting a brow, she said, “You may have first pick tonight, yes?”

“No. I am tired of spending time with ballerinas that I don’t want. I only fantasize that she is Silja. I want Silja!” Ballard said.

Natalia set the box on the bar. Slowly she dragged her gaze to meet his. He was like a spoiled child who had not received the gift that he desired on Christmas morning. No, he was worse—much worse. Finally she decided to put Ballard Crafton in his place. “I am quite aware of what it is that you want, Ballard. But I must wonder…will Silja meet the same fate as your other lovers?” His eyes widened in raw indignation, except Natalia did not allow his glare to dissuade her. “The opera singer from New York who no longer sings—instead she sits in a home with head injuries so severe that she can barely speak, or the concert pianist whose fingers are now crippled from the hammer that was used on them? What could these women have done to make you so angry, Ballard? What kind of monster lies within? I am desperate to save The Novikov Ballet Company, this is true. But I won’t let you destroy a beautiful dancer in her prime. How do you Americans say…we understand each other, yes?”

Ballard’s hands curled into fists of righteous agitation. The red flush started above the Armani tie that he wore around his neck and crept to his cheeks. He spun on his heels and marched out of the gathering.

Letting out a relieved breath, Natalia looked into the box which was filled with pointe shoes. Each shoe had the signature of the dancer from the Novikov Company to whom it had belonged. Her nerves tightened the knot in her stomach and shame swelled in her chest. She took another long drink of the wine, and then she managed a faux smile for the crowd, who anxiously anticipated the beginning of the evening’s event.

Natalia called out in Russian, “Who will be first to choose a pair of shoes tonight?” She held the box up high, shaking it. “Edvar! Where is Edvar?”

From the far corner of the room the ballet company’s dance instructor and choreographer, Edvar Kozlovski, brushed his fingers through ballet dancer Dominik Potrovic’s hair. After a whispered promise of return, he raised his hand calling back in their native Russian, “Here I am! Are you ready, Natalia?”

The crowd buzzed with excitement. The dancers exchanged nervous glances. All eyes were on Natalia. She said, “Yes! Who is our highest bidder this evening? Who will get first pick of the shoes?”

Edvar fished a paper from the pocket of his jacket, and then he announced, “Ballard Crafton!”

Everyone searched the room waiting for Ballard to come forward to choose a shoe for his evening of sultry delight, with the ballerina whose name was on the shoe.

Natalia shook her head. “No. He had to leave. Who is the second?”

Edvar squinted in a big show of reading the next name on the list. He proclaimed, “Belsky!”

From the back of the crowd, a tubby man merrily trotted forward to where Natalia stood. He could barely contain his excitement. He danced in place from one foot to the other. The ballerinas were now exchanging curled lips of derision hoping that he would not pull their shoe from the box.

He wiggled his fingers in anticipation of what lovely, well-toned ballerina would be his for the night. Belsky reached into the box and snatched a pair of worn European pink pointe shoes. The crowd tensed waiting for a name to be called as he handed the shoe to Natalia.

“Anna Antkowiak!” Natalia called out. The young girl from Poland shoulders drooped. Her face dropped. She was the newest member of the company. She hadn’t signed on for this. She had heard whispers among the dancers that Natalia’s ballet company was almost broke and about the after-performance requirements: prostituting the dancers for contributions to keep the ballet company above water. Tonight was her fist time to be summoned by Natalia to the contributors’ party. She could barely breathe as she watched Belsky’s eyes scanning the crowd for her.

Locking eyes with the innocent girl, Natalia crooked her index finger at the ballerina to come forward to claim her date. Trepidation filled Anna’s face. Her stomach twisted into a tangle of knots as she looked at the other dancers, who silently urged her to do as Natalia requested. When Anna suddenly noticed the bulge in Belsky’s trousers, she kept her head bowed, as she slowly crept through the crowd. Belsky grabbed her by the hand to hurry her out the door.

Natalia clapped her hands. “Another happy contributor to the Novikov Ballet Company! I’m sure Anna will make his night!” She shook the box again. “Who will be next to choose, Edvar?”

 

7EE71BA8-578A-448C-B133-DA2589C5AC92Carew Papritz grew up in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.  He now lives with his wife and son in the Southwest and his native Washington state.  The Legacy Letters is his first novel.

 

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Legacy Letters. What was your inspiration for it?

A: The inspiration behind The Legacy Letters?—I had an early mid-life crisis.  I wasn’t in need of a new wife and a Cadillac. (Besides, I wasn’t married and I drove an old beat-up Chevy.) What I needed was the opportunity to take my soul out for a long, long walk.  While working in Hollywood on feature films in the art department, I realized that the celluloid bright-lights lifestyle I was living was making me materially richer but spiritually depleted.  The long journey back to reclaim my soul began with a series of “drive-abouts” throughout the Western United Sates and ended up in a small bar in Southern Arizona.  I asked an old cowboy if there was any work nearby and he told me about a fencing job “far from the heck and gone.”

Thirty miles by dirt road and with not a house in sight, I ended up at my job on the open range putting up post holes and barbed wire fence—mostly alone and for days on end.  Twenty-five years had gone by since I had last seriously picked up the pen, and like a god-given divining rod, that pen roared back to life.  For six months, I worked by day, washing in a horse trough, cooking by campfire, and living in a tent. At night, I wrote by lantern light on the back of my pickup.

In a sense, I had come full circle.  When I was growing up, my grandfather had a small ranch in Washington State. And now, here I was, back on a ranch, working as a cowboy in the high mountains of the Great Sonoran Desert.  Imagine a place where the stars are so bright at night that they almost hurt your eyes.  Imagine not seeing a soul for days on end.  Imagine what true quiet is—the noise of wind and rain, coyotes and birds, grass rustling and the chink of the pickaxe against the hard soil.

I had come back “home” to write this book.  This is where I reclaimed my soul and began the life

unnamedI was always supposed to live—but never knew quite how to find.  Only by giving up the security of everything I knew could I then begin to discover everything I was meant to know.  The Legacy Letters was the genesis of this amazing journey that I am continuing, even to this present day.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A:  He’s a cowboy, a rancher, and a small-town newspaper editor.  He’s educated and poetic.

He lives by the earth and constantly strives towards the heavens.  He is dying. He’s alone in a cabin in the mountains of his youth.  And this is where he’s going to die. He’s tragically separated from his wife.  And he will never live to see his children born.  But he transcends the suffering of these last months of his life to write to his wife and children about his passion for living and everything that he believes in.  It is not only a redemption story but a love story about life.

Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A:  Have you ever read The Rise and Fall of The Roman Empire? The writing of the complete Legacy Letters was unbelievably long, difficult, and extraordinary. Someday, I’ll have to tell you about it after I recover.

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?

A:  It’s easy.  You read what you wrote the next day.  And if it stinks, you throw it out.  The two greatest forces in the world are fear and love.  You have to love your work enough to throw it out.  My greatest fear is falling in love with what I wrote.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?

A:   It’s my job to be inspired.  It’s my job to trust that inspiration.  Every day as artists we dive off the edge of ourselves and fall into the wonderful and darkly abyss of creativity, and somehow we are caught by some immensely beautiful magical force that eventually brings us back to ourselves.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A:  I work early.  4:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The workaday hustle and yap is not allowed to invade this pure and concentrated time to create.  After I’m finished, I can rejoin the rest of the world and my obligations to it.  If world is ending at noon, I won’t know about it until after 10:00 o’clock.

Q: How do you define success?

A:  A great conversation with an old friend under a starry night with a fine scotch and good cigar.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?

A: If you don’t have a choice and you have to write, then you have to write.  There’s always a price to pay for being your own person and remaining true to yourself.  Sometimes it’s the price of love, other times it’s respect.  Either way, you don’t have a choice, and that will be your destiny.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?

A:  Thanks, George. Now I know I’m both sick and possessed.

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A:  Live, live, live and then write.  And then live some more . . .

 

 

 

 

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