Archive for May, 2014

“Jason King weaves powerful stories that grip the reader to the last word with a perfect blend of amazement, fear, love, and destiny…” ~James Wymore, author of Theocracide and The Actuator 
History repeats itself like a song. The verses may vary, but the melody is always the same. 

The eastern empire of Aukasia has a new leader, a man who means to bring war to all the land. Yet, even in all his bloody ambition, he does not realize that he is but the puppet of a greater evil. 

Only the Kalyra – The Children of the Crystal Star – can stand against what’s coming. Only they can protect the world of Valcoria from the mad hatred of the fallen god, Aedar. 

A new verse of the song has begun. The last verse…
Jason’s Website Twitter Facebook / Goodreads 

*Jason King is the author of Valcoria, Lure of Fools, and Thomas Destiny. Other books attributed to him are an error. 

Jason King wishes he was raised on a desert planet by his aunt and uncle and watched over by a mysterious old recluse, but his life is much duller than that. He supposes that’s why he started making up stories. Born in Salt Lake City Utah, Jason grew up on a steady diet of anime, science fiction, Dungeons and Dragons, JRPG’s, and chocolate cake donuts. He pretended not to be a nerd just long enough to get married and start a family. And although dismayed by the revelation that Jason was a geek, his wife stuck with him and they are now the proud parents of four beautiful children. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in I.T. Management and is currently the Internet Marketing Manager for a local bookstore chain, but he is determined to one day quit his “9 to 5” and write full-time. Jason has two indie books; “Valcoria Children of the Crystal Star” and “Thomas Destiny,” but “The Lure of Fools” is his first published novel.

This tour was hosted by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours
Follow the rest of the Valcoria tour here!

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Chain Reaction 7Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Richard Hacker
Publisher: Champagne Books
Pages: 232
Genre: Thriller
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

When Nick and his partner in love and business, Theresa, take a client caught in a grudge between competitive bass fisherman, they soon discover he has unknowingly entangled himself in a plot by healthcare magnate, Bruce Reynolds, to take over Texas and secede from the Union. Hoping to pass the case to the Texas Rangers, Nick is instead recruited to head the Governor’s special task force. He learns Governor Fran Adamson’s major campaign contributor and secret lover, Reynolds, has a plan to resurrect the Republic of Texas. Faced with Reynolds’ hit woman killing enemies of the Republic and a remotely controlled drone air force destroying strategic targets across the state, Nick and Theresa make a desperate attempt to prevent civil war, the destruction of the Governor’s political career, and Dillon’s murder, while keeping their love intact. In his scheme for glory, Bruce Reynolds didn’t plan on Nick Sibelius, who wants the wannabe secessionist to know, when he says don’t screw with Texas, he damned well means it.

First Chapter:

Leaning back in the cockpit of a rental sailboat, admiring a very fine, bikini clad ass, death wasn’t on Nick’s mind. Theresa, his partner in business and, over the last few months, in life, made her way across their boat’s sparse deck. With line in one hand, she fed loops until only a few feet remained, then twirled it around the center of her coil to make a neat package. Nick kept them sailing generally on course, but he found the small gold bracelet on her left ankle, the tuck of white bikini panties between those round, muscular butt cheeks and her dark, straight hair tumbling down her back, to be quite distracting. When a wake from a bass boat, racing past at high speed, slammed into their sloop, he initially admired Theresa’s athletic form flipping gracefully overboard. Then she hit the warm water of Lake Travis with a ferocious smack.

Nick yelled over the roar of three hundred Evinrude horses. “WHAT THE HELL! SLOW DOWN!” The boat, lost in its own engine spray, sped away like some giant buzzing water insect.


Having focused on the offending boat, Nick had kept sailing on, which meant Theresa was somewhere behind him. He searched the water, making out her head fifty yards away.

“I’m coming around!”

Nick tacked, and the sails fell limp then gathered air, flapping loudly. Theresa, who learned to sail as a young girl, had talked him into going out today. Nick’s entire sailing career consisted of a single outing on a twelve foot Sunfish at camp in high school. Sailing a twenty-eight foot sloop with a mainsail and whatever they call that triangular sail in the front, left him with a steep learning curve. Not the optimum conditions for saving your girlfriend from drowning.

As he turned, he kept an eye on Theresa, and then watched in disbelief as another bass boat raced toward her. Frantically waving, he yelled at the boat. “Stop. Turn away. STOP. STOP!” It missed her by only a few feet, then passed Nick, its wake leaving him grasping for a firm hold.

“Theresa!” I can’t see her. Did he hit her? Oh, god. “Theresa!” He saw a flash of white. Her bikini. Screw this. Nick dropped the sails, and then dove in, swimming in the direction he last saw her. He stopped, treading water to scan the lake.


A splatter of water.

He raced toward it, each stroke an explosive splash. Pausing, he looked, seeing part of her head rise above the surface and her arm attempt a weak stroke. He closed the fifteen feet between them, slipping an arm around her chest, and then rested her back on his hip.

“You’re okay. I’ve got you.”

“Nick.” She gasped, coughing. “What…happened?”

“Let’s get back first.”

He got them to the boat’s stern, slipped a life preserver on her and with some effort, hauled her onboard. Blood dribbled down her forehead.

“Goddamn fishermen. Jesus.” Nick pressed a cloth to her head, already imagining the looks of terror and anguish those fishermen would experience from his vengeance.

Theresa smiled, placing a hand on Nick’s. “My own fault.”

“Your fault? You’ve got to be kidding me. Those assholes came through here at a hundred miles an hour.”

“Yeah, but I should have been wearing a life vest. Anyway, I think I hit my head on the boat as I went overboard.”

“Maybe you should be in a life vest, but those guys shouldn’t be racing through here like hell on a hydroplane either. When we get back to the marina, I’m going find those bastards.”



She smiled, then winced. “Thanks.”

He touched her cheek, leaning in to kiss her. “I believe rescue is part of my job description with you.” They never talked about Izzy Zydeco impaling her with spikes to a wall or Nick fighting a blood match against a huge adversary to free her, while Izzy made his escape, but the pain of those experiences left an imprint on both of them.

She pulled herself up, pausing as if to realign her senses, then stepped down into the hold.

“What are you doing?”


“Let me get it for you.”

She turned, only her head visible. Swollen and bruised skin surrounded the gash on her forehead, still seeping blood. “I’ve got it Nick. Just make sure we don’t get run over by a cigarette boat or something.”

A mixture of relief and anger swirled inside Nick’s gut. If she’d been killed… How could he let his guard down, after all she’d been through? And the jerks on those boats. Clearly they didn’t care about anyone but themselves. Well, he’d make sure they remembered this day.

“Hey, move over.”

Nick, lost in his thoughts, hadn’t noticed Theresa back on deck.

“You doing okay? Maybe you should let me get us back to the marina.”

She pressed a plastic bag wrapped in a towel to her head, taking the tiller from him. “I’m fine, Nick. How about if I steer and you follow my every command.”

Given he didn’t know what to do with the sails, her plan did make sense. However. “Or I could fire up the outboard and you could kick back with your ice pack.”

“We came out here to sail. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a couple of fishermen mess up my day. Now get ready to come about.”

They sailed up the lake, then tacked their way back to the marina. Theresa expertly maneuvered the boat into a slip. The marina office, a small wood building on a floating dock, held an assortment of fishing, boating, and skiing gear. Stuffed striped bass, blue gill and crappie hung on walls, each posed to celebrate the epic struggle of man versus fish. A grey haired man in his late sixties, wearing a green gimme cap emblazoned with a large mouth bass leaping out of blue water, sat behind a glass counter filled with reels.

“How can I help you young man?”

Nick laid the boat keys down on the counter. “Just turning in our boat. By the way, we had bass fishermen flying around us like they were at NASCAR. Knocked my girlfriend right out of the boat and then almost ran her down.”

He let out a sigh. “Yeah. Striped bass.”

“What do you mean?”

“We’ve got a big striped bass tournament goin’ on this weekend.” He laughed, shaking his head. “Some of these folks will kill their kin to get a lunker. So I’m not surprised. Those ol’ boys put some big engines on the back of them bass boats. Crazy fast, tryin’ to beat each other to the best spots.” He paused, concern etched on his face. “They didn’t damage my boat, did they?”

“Well, no, but like I said, my girlfriend took quite a fall.”

He relaxed, leaning back in his chair. “That’s good. Not good about your girlfriend, mind you. But good about the boat.”

“They were moving so fast I didn’t get a registration number, otherwise I’d call it in.”

The man took the keys chained to a bright yellow float, and turned to hang them on a board crowded with other boat keys.

“Well, the tournament’s being held at the Mansfield Dam Park. I’ll bet if you remember what the boat looked like, then you’ll find the guy there. He’s got to bring his catch in if he wants to win.”

“I tell you what. If I find ’em, that will be the last damned fish he’ll catch for years to come.”

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ImageA Russian love story.
Gerald Lombard, is on a mission, he is searching for Tanya Brodovskaya, he knows how to recognise her, and so he goes to Red Square, after all, he’s been told, she is always there ‘on any Wednesday.’ Then he sees her, just as she had been described to him, and she agrees to tell her story, and so the biography begins…
This is the story of the love between an older man, and a naive young girl whom he met, in 1931, when she worked at the offices of Pravda in Moscow.
Tanya Brodovskaya, had been infatuated with the poet Boris Petrovich Beretzkoy, for a long time, however, on that day, when he took her hands in his, their lives were about to change forever.
As they say, love is blind, and when one is in such a state, nothing else matters, barriers such as age and marital status are overcome in the bat of an eyelid. Thus began their love affair, one in which Boris shaped her life, and she accepted the restrictions, making sacrifices, and giving up on dreams, freely, as only a woman who is in love will do.
It is Russia, Lenin has just died, and Stalin has taken over the reins of this enormous, harsh country. It is a country which is in a state of political unrest and turmoil, its people living in fear for their lives never knowing when they are going to be dragged away and interrogated, or deported to Siberia, some never to return…
Life for the Russian people is hard. The country is suffering from terrible famine, and pandemics ravage the country’s population, who are already weak and living in terrible conditions.
As you read this book, you realise that not only are you following the lives of these two lovers, but you are also being given an insight into this turbulent period in Russian history.
The book I believe, is based on two real people, although the names have been changed. Through meticulous research, the author has written a very thought provoking and fascinating story, which lovers of modern history will enjoy.
I am informed by the author that a French translation is available.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Available on Amazon

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Adam Craig, a forty year-old stock trader in Chicago, finds his marriage teetering on the rocks and his life at a standstill. Desperate and on the edge of personal collapse, Adam takes the advice of a therapist and travels to his childhood family compound on Black Bear Lake with hopes of making peace with his past. Stepping onto the northern Wisconsin property, he relives the painful memories of the summer of 1983, his last summer at the lake. 

In August 1983, a self-conscious fifteen year-old Adam carries a world of worry on his shoulders as he arrives at Black Bear Lake for a month long family reunion. Between anger and fear of mother’s declining health as she quietly battles a quickly spreading cancer and his cherished cousin’s depression over her parents’ bitter divorce, Adam is swept up in smothering familial love among the multiple generations and heartbreaking misunderstanding and betrayal. The arrival of a sensual but troublesome babysitter throws the delicate balance of his family into a tailspin. Blinded by his attraction to the newcomer, Adam fails to see his cousin’s desperate cries for help and the charged electrical current running through his family’s hierarchy. Crushed in the middle of it all, Adam is forced to learn that there’s a fine line between self-preservation and the strength of family blood, all the while unaware of the impending tragedy that will ultimately change his life forever.
Leslie Liautaud is the author of Midnight Waltzes (2006), He Is Us (2008), The Wreck (2009), SALIGIA (2011), The Mansion (2012) and Summer Nights and Dreams (2012). She is also the author of the coming-of-age novel, Black Bear Lake (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014).
Leslie is originally from Kansas City, MO where she worked in the performing arts. Currently, she divides her time between between Key Largo, FL and Champaign, IL with her husband, three teenage children and three rambunctious dogs.
Follow the rest of Leslie’s tour HERE

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Title: For Country

Genre: Military Memoir

Author: Donald G. Bartling

Publisher: Xlibris

Pages: 111

Language: English

A study of history shows us that a Nation is only as strong as the will of its citizens to fight for it. America has been tested many times over in its relatively short history. From the Revolutionary War on down to the present conflicts in the Middle East, the majority of the American citizens were willing to place their lives and futures in danger to preserve and build the future of this Nation. Even when the requirements of the military required the use of conscription in order to meet the needs of the day, most citizens were willing to shoulder their responsibilities and deliver the results that were of benefit to all Americans. Many times they have assured a future for this Nation by rising to the occasion. This is especially true today as the burden is falling on an entirely “volunteer force”.


Our Nation’s citizens have over the past century decided to remember and recognize citizens that have served this Nation in war and peace over the years of our history. MEMORIAL DAY which is celebrated the last of May is primarily in respect for those of this group that are deceased, and VETERANS DAY that is celebrated on the 11th of November recognizes those veterans that are living. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day in regard to the cessation of hostilities in WWI.
Immanuel Lutheran has had many that have served in both categories over the time that this congregation has been in existence.  To my knowledge we did not have any members serving in the military in 1898, in the Spanish-American War.  However in WWI there were a number of men that served in various capacities.  I knew some of them in my earlier years, and they are now at rest in our Immanuel Cemetery  To my knowledge only one of those died while in the Service.  That was my Uncle Dietrich Bartling.  He was a Medical Doctor that was drafted in the early months of 1918. He was sent to Ft Sill  OK. The flu epidemic that plagued the entire world that year was also a problem in Ft Sill.  In treating the servicemen that were ill with the disease he contracted the disease and it took his life.  We learned in our History lessons that that War was a very brutal and bloody one.  In 1941 the United States became involved in WWII. This turned out to be one that lasted until August of 1945. This one took many of our younger members to many places throughout the world. North Africa, Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, in Europe.  Australia, New Zealand, many Islands of the South Pacific, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japanese Islands of Okinawa, and the Aleutian Islands. Five years after the close of WWII, war erupted in Korea.  This turned out to be a different type of struggle in several ways.  1. It was a war of ideology  (Communism vs, Capitalism)  2. It was conducted under the auspices of the UNITED NATIONS with the United States being the largest contributor in both men and materiel.  There also was the problem of the opposing sides being represented in the UN.  3. It was the first war that concluded in an ARMISTICE; there still is no peace treaty after over 60years.  Alaska became a “frontier”that needed to be defended as the “COLD WAR” with the Soviet Union was in full force.  This also called for a sizable Force in Europe, fortunately that
force was never needed.  In the 1960’s, and continuing until  1975, we became involved in
the VIETNAM WAR.  Congress closed down that conflict by not appropriating the funds to continue the fighting. {A very good account of this was written by Leroy Eckhardt.  He was the person in charge of the BASE EXCHANGE  in Saigon when Saigon fell.  He should have published that account. This was the second war in which we had no VICTORY.  Since that time we have had a number of incidents in which AMERICAN CITIZENS have been attacked and killed.—Beirut Lebanon, The Gulf War, Kuwait, and then IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.   Immanuel Members have been active in almost all of these events.  We are still involved in many areas in the world.  The American people can and should recognize the sacrifices and dedication that these people have made to give our citizens the standard ofliving that we enjoy here in the UNITED STATES. This especially includes the FREEDOMS that we enjoy as enumerated in the Constitution of the UNITED STATES.
Nobody hates war more that those individuals that have been in war or observed the death and devastation that is caused by war.  Many of my comrades and myself included were grateful that the wars that we were involved in were not being fought in their home country or hometown.
Inthe course of time that these people serve their Country, they also develop a comradeship that often lasts a lifetime.  Many that are living today will say that their lives were often saved  by a comrade, sometimes by someone that they do not even know.  I will  relate and incident that occurred to me several years ago.
I had gone to Arbor Manor to visit my cousin and noticed as I parked, a vehicle on the other side of the lot with a bumper sticker that said” IRAQ VETERAN”. A young man came walking across the lot with a leg amputated above the knee.  I went over to him and said ” I as an American Citizen want to thank you for your service and sacrifice”  He said “Thank You, but I should be thanking you for the time that you did the same thing for our U S.”  I asked  “How did you know that I am a veteran?”  His answer ” Veterans are the ones that talk to me, the others do not seem to care”,  There was a lesson there.  It is estimated that at the present time only 1% of the families in this nation have a member or someone that they know in the military,  The effect ofthis is that their interests are focused in other areas i,e. travel, sports, gambling, or other forms of entertainment.
A personal experience that illustrates concern and dedication to your fellow soldiers was this occasion.  We were on a tank-mine removal detail at night near Porkchop Hill.  I was leading the patrol and my very dependable Squad leader ( S/Sgt Dale Moffitt) was second in command.  We located a Russian MK12 Mine.  Inorder not to disclose that we were very close to the enemy’s line defenses we would defuse the mines in the dark.  I never asked anyone to do what I would not do myself, so I told SGT Moffitt to take the patrol back a safe distance and that if I made a mistake and the mine exploded that he should get the patrol out of the area immediately as there would be heavy fire from the enemy.  I successfully defused the mine and nothing more was said about it.  Dale and some of his family visited here in 1997.  We were recalling some of our experiences and he said.  ” If that mine had exploded we would have tried to come back and help you” To me that is “loyalty.”
Most of the publicity that surrounds these types of incidents portray the soldiers that are directly involved as being totally credited with the success. I have always felt that every serviceperson is of importance as those that are on the “frontlines” can not be successful without the support of the many in the supply lines.to deliver the necessary supplies when they are needed. Another area that is not really accurate is “commendations” . I take nothing away from those that have been awarded Medals for their personal actions, but I always think of the many that have done the same or more that did not get recognized for it.
Because of the foregoing discussion of veterans views on many issues concerning them and the Nation as a whole,the veterans themselves have organized organizations that represent those views.  I have been a member of the American Legion for almost 60 years. The Veterans of Foreign Wars is another strong veterans organization.  There are
many more; they usually concentrate on the welfare of the wounded and disabled veterans and their families.  With the advancement of fast evacuation of the wounded, many more wounded are surviving their wounds than was true in earlier wars.  These organizations are needed to represent their member’s needs in the Legislature and the Congress.  Many seem to feel that election of a person to a legislative position automatically makes them experts in almost everything.  This is not true, they need assistance in arriving at good solutions to all problems.
From personal experience I can say that “Danger is a test of courage and faith.”  It was in my first “firefight” that I realized that the solid religious training that I received here at Immanuel School and Church would stand me in good stead no matter the outcome of that battle or those that were to follow.  Once a determination that ‘”GOD ALMIGHTY IS IN CONTROL’,  is made; a person can apply his abilities and knowledge to the job at hand.  Itbecame apparent to me as time wore on that there were others that had the same view that I had. Religious soldiers are more productive and more dependable.  Immanuel was blessed in that we have not had a seriously wounded or killed serviceperson.
Another area that deserves mention is the Chaplaincy.  I met a number of them over my time there. They add much to the quality of service life in that they give comfort and guidance to individuals that are in periods of stress.  Also they conduct the services that bring back a portion of the life that the servicepersons had prior to becoming a serviceperson.  My current observation is —–that it is more difficult to be a Chaplain today that it was 60 to 70 years ago.  The current high level of “suicides” both in the service and with retirees is very disturbing.  Certainly that is also an area of concern for the chaplains.
Inthis day and age—it seems that truth, honesty, and integrity, are not as important as they should be.  It has even become that “swearing under oath ” does not get the honesty and truth that it once did.  When we as SERVICEPEOPLE took our oath on entering the
service it said ” that we would protect the Constitution at all costs, even it that would be death”. I have taken the “public service” oath several times over the years and it,too, has the same impact on me..  Finally, we should remember that we also took a more
important oath on our Confirmation Day.  We promised  to stay faithful to the Triune God and suffer death rather than fall away from Him. Even today there are many in this world that are being persecuted and killed for their Faith in the Triune God.
Veterans are interested in all areas of citizenship and they are active in those areas especially at this time in our history. They are interested in the application of the US Constitution, operation of the Court System, and the functioning of the Executive Department. .
My experience during that time made me appreciate the blessings that I have had in my lifetime, and I hope I can convey some of that attitude to those around me.  I recall that I was told by a father that had just lost his 16yr old son in a car accident that ” the two times that you appreciate and value a person or property the most is JUST AFTER YOU GET IT AND JUST AFTER YOU LOSE IT.”  This also true of nations.  Citizens value their FREEDOMS  in the same way.  Many people seem to feel that the UNITED
STATES is invulnerable; I contend that we are vulnerable to many dangers, both from the outside —and the inside.  We should be grateful to the ALMIGHTY GOD every day that we still have the AMERICAN VALUES, and that we continue to have them for generations to come
As I referred to earlier, veterans are citizens too. As citizens we are interested in voting and as a group we vote in larger numbers than some other segments of our population . We weigh things with the added knowledge of National Defense that we have acquired through Service in the Military. We again appear to be on the way to repeating an error that we as a nation have done several times before in our history. That is of failing to keep our military properly maintained. I see a very marked similarity to the decade of the 1930’s in the economic, social, and political spheres of influence in the Nation and the world. Inorder to solve the economic problem—-we reduce our military capabilities to the point of inadequacy; then, when an emergency anywhere in the world presents it self We are unprepared to cope with it. We repeated that error in the 1946-1950’s period and again in the 1990’s. With the speed and devastation that can be delivered over long distances in today’s high technology world, there is not a time window in which to build defenses after the beginning of hostilities. I recall the Spring of 1952 we were rationed ammunition because of a sympathetic strike by West Coast longshoremen in loading the supplies that we needed on the frontlines in Korea. They were backing a strike by the United Steel Workers. President Truman solved this problem by ordering the Army to load the ships. Our National Economic problem is very large today, and no real answer
seems to be in view at this time .This problem applies to all of us in some way, to some, it applies in more than one way.
Trust and commitment to GOD ALMIGHTY is the only answer that has any hope of success.  We should pray that our Nation realizes that soon enough.


The author is farmer that took this time to serve in the US Army in 1951-52. He returned to his chosen occupation in October 1952.

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When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fiancee at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder on the same night. She has to find the killer and quick, or she’ll be put to death for the crimes she didn’t commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.

On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.
There’s only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison’s desire for self-preservation may very well transform into a quest for vengeance…






RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn’t playing pretend, she likes to think she’s a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband, and obeys the commands of Tsu Dhi, the great warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Favorite Books & Series
In no particular order:
Anne McCaffrey’s Pern
Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar & Gryphon Series
Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera
Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris
Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega & Dragon Bones
Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time



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Ken Malovos photo

Ken Malovos is a mediator and arbitrator in Sacramento, CA . Previously, he was a trial lawyer, as a public defender for 12 years and a business litigator for 25 years. He is a graduate of Stanford University (philosophy) and UC Hastings College of the Law. Ken is a past president of the Sacramento County Bar Association and Legal Services of Northern California. He is a panel member for the American Arbitration Association, a fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators, a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and a member of the California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. This is his first novel. He lives in Sacramento with his wife. You can visit Ken Malovos’ website at www.malovoslaw.com.

About the book

Sacramento trial lawyer, Mike Zorich, is finally coming to grips with the death of his wife from cancer five years ago. There is a new woman in his life.  His son is making his way in the business world. His law practice is going well. And he has a new case that promises to be very demanding.  Members of the Darnoff wine family are at odds with each other, amidst a divorce and partnership dissolution.

Then things go wrong. Mike becomes the target of some unexplained personal attacks.  He is mugged on the bike trail and his house is ransacked. Is it someone connected to the Darnoff case?  Is it an old client from his years in the Public Defender’s Office?  Is it some disgruntled witness from a trial? To top it off, Mike is held in contempt of court and remanded to jail.  The attacks continue and only get worse. The authorities don’t have a clue. Can Mike figure it all out before someone is killed?

Purchase on Amazon.


Q: Would you call yourself a born writer? 

A: I have never seen myself as a born writer, but I can say that I love to write.  For most of my life I have written non-fiction, either writing essays in college or case summaries in law school.  As a lawyer, it was writing legal briefs and as an arbitrator, it is writing arbitration awards.  There was a creative aspect to all of this, in that I had to learn how to express myself so that someone else can understand it and, in some cases, be persuaded by it.

I have always loved writing and I promised myself that someday I would write a novel.  Of course, writing fiction is a whole different thing from what I had done in the past.  My interest in writing fiction started with reading a lot of novels and marveling at the stories that authors created.  I love trying to imagine events that have not occurred and to put them down on paper in a way that people will enjoy reading.  This is my first novel, so I am learning a lot in the process.

Q: What was your inspiration for Contempt of Court?

A: In thinking of a good story for my book, I thought of a case that that happened a few years ago, when a judge threatened to hold some of the attorneys in contempt of court for not turning over financial documents.  The attorneys stood up in court and told the judge that they would not obey his order because they were under another order from another judge not to turn over the documents.  The first judge was not deterred.  So, the question was how far does an attorney go in standing up in court and telling a judge that he or she is not going to obey the judge’s order?  Isn’t it just easier to give up and avoid the hassle? That was the start of this story.  It is not a common situation in the law, for sure.

Q: What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

A: I like to explore the themes that are common to trial lawyers, such as regret, justice and fairness.  Also, there is the theme of total frustration when a lawyer can do nothing to help someone in need.  I especially like to explore the theme of the personal impact on a lawyer of trying a case in court, whether it is elation, disappointment or failure. What is the impact on the lawyer’s family? I am familiar with all of these feelings, so exploring them seems natural.

I also like exploring ideas that are new to me such as how someone reacts when a loved one dies or how far someone will go to save a loved one in peril.   What does true friendship or love mean?   Another theme that I like to explore is how to handle a huge set back in life, something totally unexpected, maybe something embarrassing.

Q: How long did it take you to complete the novel? Contempt of Court cover

A: This novel took five years and ten revisions.  I did not work continuously on it, as I have an active law practice, working as a mediator and arbitrator.  So, I would find time on a weekly or monthly basis to work on the manuscript.  It was always in the back of my mind and I spent a huge number of hours just thinking about it, thinking of transitions or plot twists or ways to make the novel more exciting.  I wrote a lot of outlines and changed most of them.  I deleted a lot of writing out of a lot of earlier drafts when I realized that some portions just were not needed to advance the story.

Part of the reason why it took me so long was that I was learning how to write fiction at the same time.  I took some courses, both live and online, and I read quite a few books on writing.  I listened to CD’s from lectures by writers.  It was all inspiring but it usually meant that I saw something in my manuscript that needed to be changed, so that brought about a new revision.  I am sure that my next one will not take as long.

Q: Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

A: I am not disciplined.  In fact, I often look for ways to procrastinate.  Whenever I get back into a manuscript, it takes an effort because I cannot write every day, due to my day job.  The effort is to try to remember everything that has happened so far and to not repeat myself or change some fact.  I am getting better at this.  I need to consult my notes a lot, just to be sure that I am being consistent in my story and my character.

When I have a full day, which is not often, I start around 10 in the morning, after I have done my daily internet surfing and after playing a few games of solitaire.  I stop for lunch and go to about 3 in the afternoon, maybe later if I am really on fire.  I will think about what I write in the evening and make some notes about changes or plot lines that I will pursue.  I can think about my manuscript while I am reading other books, jogging, watching television or taking a shower.  It seems as if the story just sticks right in the center of my brain.

Q: What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

A: The biggest challenge for me was creating a believable and interesting story.  I started with something that I knew from personal experience and tried to enlarge it into a complete plot with likable characters.  I added sub-plots and details.  But it took time.

I always asked myself if a reader would be engaged in my manuscript, as I was writing.  Would they find it interesting?  Would they relate to the characters?  It was hard for me to be as objective as I wanted to be, although I think I got better the more I wrote.

Another challenge was making changes to a manuscript.  It is a whole lot harder than it would seem.  If you change something on page 32, you basically have to read the entire manuscript to be sure there are no inconsistencies in the other 250 or so pages.   The internal consistency and logic was a struggle.

Q: What do you love most about being an author?

A: I love most the pure ecstasy when I am alone, sitting in front of my computer and writing, especially when I have figured out exactly what I want to say.  It means that I have given a great deal of thought to the particular passage or chapter and have a clear plan for what will happen.  Even when I have not figured out exactly what to say, there are times when it just comes to me, as I write.  It is obvious and it feels right. There is pure joy in writing at those times.  I have started sometimes in this writing mode in the morning and all of sudden realized that it is 5 p.m., with no recognition of the passage of time.

I have to say that there are other times when it does not come so easily.  Then I have to grind it out.  But as long as I am making progress, it is still very exciting.  I am creating something out of nothing.

Q: Where can we find you on the web?

A: I am at www.malovoslaw.com.  However, most everything at this website is about my legal work.   It does tell you who I am and what I do.  And I have written about my novel and the writing process.   My book is available on amazon.com, in paperback and  kindle and at smashwords.com.

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