Can geckos write books?

 

Well, yes, because the lovable, popular Geico Gecko has written and illustrated a book called You’re Only Human: A Guide To Life, released today by Workman Publishing for $11.95.

Gecko's book

Courtesy of Workman Publishing

Bloomberg Businessweek online quoted Workman saying the Gecko “has spent the last few years traveling across America, like a modern-day de Tocqueville.” What’s more, it adds:

“He’s a philosopher, an aphorist, a humorist, an artist, a warm companion, a natural storyteller—and, in a grand tradition, a keenly observant and wise outsider who in the course of living and traveling among us has discovered quite a lot about the things that make us human.

“He makes curious and interesting observations on everything from dreams to job interviews to adversity, Twitter to the Golden Rule (it’s not what you think it is) to talking animals: I’m really not sure what all the fuss is about. Lots of animals talk, including humans. The bigger question is, what do you have to say worth listening to?

See the trailer on YouTube.

Available at bookstores everywhere.

________________________________

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761174826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761174820
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches

 

 

 

If you liked ARGO, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK is for you

 

If you liked ARGO, you will love The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, a similar story based on true events.

Order your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $12.99, list is $15.99.

Just click on our Bookstore tab and then click on Fiction.

We decided to reprint this interview with Douglas Roberts about what inspired him to write such a book. The interview was  originally published June 19, 2011.

_______________________________________

Cover for The Man Who Fooled SAVAKWhen Doug Roberts approached us with his manuscript, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, it was one of those stories that completely engrossed you where you couldn’t put it down until it was finished.

Inspired by true events in the early 1970s, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK captures what it is like to live in a dictatorship with secret police monitoring your every move – an atmosphere of fear that still pervades today in many countries in the Middle East.

What makes Doug’s book so appealing is that what he wrote today about events 40 years ago is still going on today in many parts of the Middle East. And all of these events are carefully woven into a love story that will make you fall in love all over again.

Q. The release of your book coincides rather well with Arab Spring.   When did you start writing it?

A. In the summer of 2008. A woman I’d met on line named Erica Murray was interested in Iran so I started writing to her about it.   I started doing some very preliminary research into the history and politics of Iran in 1971 in order to refresh my memory of things I had experienced when I was in Iran during that time.   The book was completely finished several months before the uprising in Tunisia.

Q. Even though that was 40 years ago, there are many common elements with what is happening across the Arab world.

A. Yes, especially the fear people experience when living under an autocratic regime is something I hope I have captured, and as the book proceeds, the breaking out of that fear.  Perhaps it will give people hope.  Just like in my book, the methods used by various dictatorial regimes to maintain control seem to be taken from a common playbook:  trample a free and independent press, keep the people fooled, use an iron fist to silence dissent, eliminate fair trials, use torture to extract confessions – the list goes on and on.

Q. But when you wrote the book, you weren’t thinking about that.

A. (laughs) True! I don’t have a crystal ball and the Arab Spring was as big a surprise to me as the rest of the world.

Q. Can I ask you about one of the characters in your book?  Was there really a Junior?

A. Yes there was.  I think Junior made the story possible to write.  We really did sell our liquor and cigarette rations to him.   I recently learned from a fellow who served in ARMISH/MAAG just before I arrived that Junior mostly dealt with the domestic workers, the Iranian nationals who worked at the bachelor quarters where we lived.

Q. I’d like to ask you about another character, Mihan Jazani.  She is a historical figure, the wife of the Bijan Jazani who founded one of Iran’s guerilla movements.   It appears that she’s a friend of yours on Facebook.

A. (Blushes)  Um, well yes…so it would appear.   (laughs)  Actually, Mihan Jazani doesn’t like Facebook and never uses it.  The Facebook account was set up for Mihan by her granddaughter, Aida.  Aida and I exchange messages occasionally.

Q. How were you able to remember so much about what happened then?  It was 40 years ago after all.

A. I was assisted in several ways.   I had some writings I had done about Iran when I was in journalism school at Kent State in 1972.  I had a large number of slides that I’d taken when I was there.  Those were crucial in reviving old memories.  A huge help was finding a 1977 map of Tehran on the (now defunct) Tehran American School website.  I was able to use the exact names of places, even street names.  The fellow I’d mentioned earlier who told me about Junior had sent me a copy of the ARMISH/MAAG directory, which was very useful.  Finally, talking to people I worked with at that time was extremely important, namely Heidi Eftekhar and Barry Silver, who are characters in the story.  I obviously couldn’t remember all events specifically, but I found I could generate them as needed by being very specific in my language.  I would take seeds of ideas and extrapolate and grow them into full blown events.   For example, a certain lecherous officer really did say to Heidi, “I think you’re a woman who needs a lot of loving.”   I took that and ran with it.  Last, but also important, the Internet was a valuable tool in researching the historical incidents in the book.

Q. So, where does the novel part come in?

A. Some of the human rights related events are novelized, but they’re very accurate in their portrayal of the times.  I’ll leave historians to figure all that out.   They will have their work cut out for them because I’ve spent a lot of effort weaving the story line into the history of those days.

Q. How close is your character Doug Roberts to the way you actually are?

A. That’s a really good question. (laughs) I had originally intended that Doug the character would be an extreme version of myself.   But after having read my book now over and over, I’ve come to see that what’s extreme are the circumstances he’s in.   Doug the character is a lot like I was back then: ok in the smarts department, and a little too cocky sometimes.  He’s not very romantic or knowledgeable about women, but does all right in spite of himself. (laughs)  There’s an element of male fantasy in the book I suppose. In the story, I have two charming female lunch companions in addition to Fari my Iranian girlfriend/fiancée.

Q. But you really were friends with Heidi Eftekhar your co-worker in the story.

A. I still am.  Heidi and I communicate regularly by email and her input on the book was immensely helpful.  Miss Farou is the fantasy.  She actually didn’t like me all that much. (laughs).

Q. I get the impression you had a lot of fun writing your book.

A. It was pretty trippy for me at times.  I would totally submerse myself in it.  For example, I had written the scene describing how I spent New Year’s Eve in Iran just a couple of weeks after New Year’s Eve in real life.  When someone asked me about how I’d spent my New Years, it shocked me as to how much effort I had to put into pulling up what I’d actually done versus what I’d just written.  That was a little scary.

Q. What do you think people will get out of your book?

A. I’m sure everyone will get a little something different, but what I’d like for people to take from it is that, like in the story, life may present you with some extreme circumstances.  When that happens, keep a level head and your wits about you.  Try to see beyond what appears to be happening on the surface.  There will always be some good things happening at any given moment. Try to focus on that.  To get through your ordeal it’s a good idea to engage all your friends to help you and your faith if you have that.  Most important of all:  never give up.

The Man Who Fooled SAVAK is available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle and in various ereader formats from Smashwords.com

Available in print Feb 2013

Preorder your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $10.99 plus 4.99 shipping & handling – $15.98 or $5 off list price.
Send an email to info@outerbankspublishing.com with your name, address, phone number and email address.
List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
376 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993125
ISBN-10: 0982993129
BISAC: Fiction / Espionage

Renowned Shelf Unbound Magazine interviews Mary L. Tabor

 

Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor was interviewed by Shelf Unbound, the literary magazine for small press and independent books.

This is probably the most enlightening interview I have ever read on why writer’s write. A must read on Page 12.Mary L. Tabor interview with Shelf Unbound m

Here is an excerpt from the interview – Mary explains how the main character, Robert narrates and invents the story as it is told.

“As Robert and I invented the story he didn’t know, my own memories invaded as they inevitably will for the writer of any story. Memory is by its very nature is flawed, but the need to revisit memory over and over again is part and parcel of being human and alive. Revisiting memory is the way we search for meaning in our lives, for the narrative of who we are and who we might become. In some sense, we’re inventing. But in fact we’re searching for emotional truth.”

You can find Who by Fire on Amazon in print or as an ebook and in bookstores and retailers everywhere.

 

 

 

Mansfield Killings Novel comes to life for Author

 
It was the worst two-week killing spree in Ohio’s history. On the night of July 21, 1948, Robert Daniels and John West entered John and Nolena Niebel’s house in Mansfield, Ohio with loaded guns. They forced the family including the Niebel’s 21-year-old daughter, Phyllis, into their car and drove them to a cornfield just off Fleming Falls Road in Mansfield. The two men instructed the Niebels to remove all of their clothing, and then Robert Daniels shot each of them in the head.

Scott Fields of Mansfield, Ohio was so intrigued by this true story that he turned the horrific events into a page-burning novel that you cannot put down until you turn the last page. During a recent book signing in his hometown of Mansfield, Scott was approached by a man he had never seen before. The man introduced himself and Scott’s jaw dropped.

By Scott Fields
Author of The Mansfield Killings

I had just begun a book signing when a dignified, older man walked through the door. He stood in the back of the room as I finished with the person in front of me. He then approached me and shook my hand introducing himself as Roger Winger. I had no clue as to who he was in spite of his obvious pause as he waited for me to take heed of his presence.

Roger Winger

Roger Winger and Scott Fields

“You don’t know who I am, do you?” he asked.

“No, I don’t,” I said. “Sorry.”

“In July of 1948, I saw the dead bodies of the Neibel family lying in a cornfield off of Flemming Falls Road.”

For several seconds I stood there with mouth open trying to comprehend what he had just told me. “What did you just say?”

“I actually saw the dead bodies.”

I grabbed him by the arm and led him into another room. “How could you have seen such a thing?”

“I was six years old at the time. I lived next to the cornfield where the Niebels were found. That day was like any other summer day. I had seen the group of boy scouts marching down Flemming Falls Road earlier in the day. I hardly gave notice because boy scouts on that road was a common sight to see. Later that day, I stepped outside my house to see find police cars, ambulances and even fire engines all up and down the road. Out of curiosity, I walked down to the cornfield. There were men rushing back and forth but seemed to be concentrating on a spot about 50 feet into the field. I cautiously walked through the corn stalks until I was within a foot or so from the spot where the three people had been shot.”

“Did you see the bodies?” I asked.

“Yes, I did. Their bodies had turned white and were extremely bloated.”

“Was there signs of blood?”

“No. I don’t remember seeing any blood.”

“That’s a bit surprising,” I said. “Considering thThe Mansfield Killings Cover IIat they were shot in the head. What happened next?”

“One of the policemen saw me and yelled at me to get the hell out of here. I took off running thinking they were chasing me.”

“Daniels declared that they did not rape twenty year old Phyllis, and yet the bodies were found completely nude. The first coroner stated that there was no evidence of rape and yet the coroner at Daniel’s trial stated that she had been raped. Why do you think Daniels would admit to everything but deny raping Phyllis?”

“I’m not sure,” said Roger. “I personally think he did it. Back in those days, murder was one thing. Rape was another.”

Small talk followed, and soon we said our goodbyes. I did manage to get his phone number and address, because I have many more questions for him.

_______________________________________

The Mansfield Killings now at this special publisher’s discount price of $12.99 (List $14.99).

Publication Date: December 3, 2012

Discount Price: $12.99
5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on Cream paper
280 pages

ISBN 10 – 0982993137
ISBN 13 – 978-0-9829931-3-2

Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Language: English

Review: Who by Fire, a dissection of the turmoil and pleasures of straying couples

Reprinted with permission from Michael Johnson

By MICHAEL JOHNSON

Novels about love affairs outside of marriage are a genre unto themselves and I try my best to avoid them. John Updike made a career of these stories anyway, so what’s left to say? Yet once in a while a new writer emerges with such sharp sensibilities, such descriptive powers, and such a rich story that I am forced to reconsider.Who by Fire by Mary L. Tabor

Mary L. Tabor is such a writer, and her new book, “Who By Fire” (Outer Banks, $17.95), launched a few weeks ago to a full house in a Washington, D.C. bookshop, kept me turning pages to enjoy the careful prose, the fascinating digressions and most of all the unspooling of the story.

To my mind, the story is the fire in the relationships. The ice is Ms. Tabor’s masterly control of the complex plot. The reader begins to suspect what is to come as hints are dropped along the path toward the climax. This book is hard to put down.

“Who By Fire” is a near-surgical dissection of the turmoil and pleasures that straying couples experience – and the effect on the betrayed.

Ms. Tabor takes the time to develop characters so that you care about what they are going through. She finally kills off Lena, the woman who succumbed to her lover’s charms, and she does it abruptly after setting the scene: “And then she died.”

Who by Fire by Mary L TaborMary Tabor is a writer who likes to say it is never too late. She started publishing her prose at age 60 and already has to her credit a frank memoir of her life and marriage entitled “(Re)Making Love: A Memoir.” Her best short stories are collected in “The Woman Who Never Cooked.”

She takes stunning risks in her new novel, the most impressive being her decision to write from the perspective of Lena’s husband, Robert, the man who suffers as his emotions of widowhood and awareness of his dead wife’s affair mingle in his thoughts.

Jay McInerney tried the gender-swap in “The Story of My Life” but he never let you forget he was trying to sound like a girl. Ms. Tabor glides into the male perspective effortlessly and stays there.

As the narrator “Robert” reconstructs the story of his life, Ms. Tabor makes him recall what he had failed to see before his wife’s death:

“If I’d seen them on the street, I’d have known because they would have done the sorts of things that reveal: They would have passed between them a bottle of water, their hips would touch, as if by accident, when they walked; they wouldn’t touch with their hands the way safe lovers do, but an observant eye could catch both the intimacy and the caution—and know. It was when she was dying that I knew. It was the way he touched her head before he left her bedside. What I thought was an obligatory visit from a colleague changed with one gesture.”

I was propelled through this book most of all by the taut language, the dialogue and the perfect sentences, honed in the author’s years as a teacher of creative writing at George Washington University, Ohio State and University of Missouri, among others. From the outset, you are in the thrall of a confident storyteller.

Her digressions take the reader into worlds she clearly knows — the detail of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the art world, the finer points of classical music, quantum physics and the business of psychology. She has her psychologist character Evan say at one point:

“I’m beginning to think I give more comfort than cure. Not such a bad thing but not what I expected. I feel like an old broom—cleaning up, moving around the messes in people’s heads, never sure if that’s all I’m doing.”

She will throw odd words at you and expect you to understand. The apple trees are espaliered. The plants are pleached.

I was drawn into the suspense when the lovers realize that the betrayed wife is returning home early. With cinematic realism, the lovers find themselves about to be discovered when they hear the key in the lock:

“A familiar sound, merely a click, but they thought, almost as if their minds were one, that they heard the separate mechanisms of the lock moving, tumbling like thunder.”

This reader quickly turned the page to watch them awkwardly lie their way out of trouble.

Mary L. Tabor tells me she is at work on a new novel. Somehow she finds time to do a weekly internet interview about writing, broadcast on Rarebirdradio.

It is never too late, as she would be the first to tell you.

The Mansfield Killings – a true story on a brutal killing spree in Ohio

 

It was the worse two-week killing spree in Ohio’s history.

On the night of July 21, 1948, Robert Daniels and John West entered John and Nolena Niebel’s house with loaded guns. They forced the family including the Niebel’s 21-year-old daughter, Phyllis, into their car and drove them to a cornfield just off Fleming Falls Road in Mansfield. The two men instructed the Niebels to remove all of their clothing, and then Robert Daniels shot each of them in the head.

The brutal murders caught national attention in the media, but the killing spree didn’t stop there. Three more innocent people would lose their lives at the hands of Daniels and West in the coming week.

Scott Fields tirelessly researched the killings, the capture and trial of Daniels and even interviewed a surviving member of the Niebel family to weave this tragic story into a must-read novel bringing the reader back to those dark days in the summer of 1948.

What led to these brutal killings, and why was the Niebel family singled-out to be savagely murdered? It has been over sixty years since the tragedy, and, yet, this question still remains unanswered. The killing spree is not only remembered to this day, but is an important and dark part of Mansfield lore.

Order your copy today at this special publisher’s discount price of $12.99 (List $14.99).

Publication Date: December 3, 2012
Discount Price: $12.99

5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on Cream paper
280 pages

ISBN 10 – 0982993137
ISBN 13 – 978-0-9829931-3-2

Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Language:English

Who by Fire – a captivating story about relationships within the bonds of marriage

 

Who by Fire by Mary L. Tabor breaks new literary ground as a complex tale of love, betrayal, and the search for one self. Quite simply, we have chosen Who by Fire for publication under our name because it is like nothing else we have read and has earned its place among books that matter.
Order your discounted copy at a special publisher’s price of $13.99  (List $17.95) in our bookstore.
#WhobyFire
Reprinted from the author’s blog.

 

Who by Fire is told by Robert, Lena’s husband, as he attempts to understand her affair with Isaac, an affair that he has become aware of after her death. He imagines the story of his wife and her lover.

Robert the narrator is trying to know himself in the story he is writing as he tells his imagined version of his wife’s betrayal. The story becomes a paradoxical tale of his own undoing that he comes to realize by telling it.

In the epigraph to the novel, Robert says, “Life has a way of raveling. Story discovers how it happened. That is the fiction.” This is the reader’s first introduction to Robert’s persona, a man who must control the world he inhabits. The telling of the story as he imagines it, reveals more than he would have wished and as this occurs, his telling moves into real time, for there is no way for him to deal with what he discovers except to report what is actually happening versus what he has imagined.

Pre-publication praise:

Robert Olen Butler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain: Mary L. Tabor’s Who by Fire is a lovely, innovative, deeply engaging novel about how it is that human beings make their way through the mysteries of existence.

Lee Martin, author of Break the Skin and The Bright Forever, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize: Mary Tabor’s Who by Fire, is a lyric meditation on love and desire, one that will catch you up in the blaze of its eroticism, its tender evocation of love and the passions and accommodations of a life lived through the flesh and through the imagination. Can memory lead to forgiveness? Who by Fire explores that question in a story I won’t soon forget. The beauty of the prose, the nuances of the characters, the ever-building plot—everything is in place for a novel that will touch you in all the right ways.

 

Marly Swick, author of Paper Wings and The Evening News: Who By Fire is a profound and lyrical novel, deeply felt and deeply moving. Intricately layered, this novel loops through time with the dare-devil courage and grace of a seasoned stunt pilot. In the narrator’s unflinching journey of self-discovery, he comes to understand the past, both his failures and his saving graces. In the end, it is a hero’s journey, both for the narrator and the reader. This is beautiful truth.

Michael Johnson, foreign correspondent and writer for The International Herald Tribune, American Spectator and The Washington Times: Mary Tabor’s captivating story of love and death tackles the tangle of relationships within and outside the bonds of marriage. Her eye-popping knowledge of men’s and women’s behavior is effortlessly recounted as couples face their anguished choices. Set in a world of art, music, anthropology and science, her novel enlightens the mind while it stirs the emotions. She does all this in a confident style of prose that ranks her alongside the finest novelists working today.

• “The Fire,” excerpt from completed novel, Chautauqua Literary Journal, summer 2006, review of The Woman Who Never Cooked also appears in this issue.
• “The Fire,” excerpt from novel, second prize for prose, Tall Grass Writers Guild (Lee Martin, judge) and publication in Falling in Love Again, anthology, Outrider Press, September 2005 (Mary L. Tabor, featured reader at Chicago Book Fair, June 2005).
• “The Fire,” excerpt nominated in January 2005 for Pushcart Prize XXXI by Joan Connor.
• Semi-finalist, 2004 James Jones First Novel Fellowship under former working-title Controlled Burn.

Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN: 978-0-988299-314-9
Language: English
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Publication Date: November 2012

Potter author’s first grown-up novel ‘best I can do’

LONDON (AFP) Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:07:54 PM

A member of staff fills a display with copies of 'The Casual Vacancy', the new novel by British author J K Rowling, in a bookshop in London on September 27, 2012, as it goes on sale for the first time.A member of staff fills a display with copies of ‘The Casual Vacancy’, the new novel by British author J K Rowling, in a bookshop in London on September 27, 2012, as it goes on sale for the first time.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling spent the day “trying to avoid newspapers” as her first novel for grown-ups hit the bookshops, but she is confident the book is “the best I can do”, she told fans.

“The book is what I wanted it to be,” she told about 900 fans at London’s Southbank Centre on Thursday night after “The Casual Vacancy”, a black comedy of village life, was published — having already sold one million advance copies.

Kept closely under wraps until publication day, the book is a gritty tale involving sex and drug addiction that is widely expected to be Britain’s best-selling fiction title this year. It is already topping the Amazon charts.

Set in the fictional village of Pagford in southwest England, it tells the story of the fight to fill a slot on the parish council after the incumbent’s sudden death, and hinges on the fate of a squalid housing estate.

It took Rowling, 47, five years to complete and required another half-written children’s novel to be put on the back burner, she told her audience.

But writing it was “a lovely place to be — there was so much pressure for the Potter books”.

File photo of Harry Potter author J.K Rowling, who spent the day her first novel for grown-ups hit the bookshops

File photo of Harry Potter author J.K Rowling, who spent the day her first novel for grown-ups hit the bookshops “trying to avoid newspapers”. Kept closely under wraps until publication day, the book is a gritty tale involving sex and drug addiction that is widely expected to be Britain’s best-selling fiction title this year.

“I kept telling myself ‘you don’t have to publish this,'” Rowling said.

She spent Thursday watching “Men in Black 3″ with her children in an effort to avoid reviews, she said — and the book has met with a mixed reception from critics.

Several found it dull in parts despite scenes of sex and drugs, and that Rowling’s most vivid writing was on the familiar ground of children pitted against the power of adults.

Famously tough critic Michiko Kakutani wrote in the New York Times that “there is no magic in this book — in terms of wizarding or in terms of narrative sorcery.

“Instead, this novel for adults is filled with a variety of people like Harry’s aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley: self-absorbed, small-minded, snobbish and judgmental folks, whose stories neither engage nor transport us.”

But in Britain, Allison Pearson wrote in the Daily Telegraph that “The Casual Vacancy” was “sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed, and full of cruelty and despair”.

And Boyd Tonkin in the Independent called it a “song of freedom” as Rowling was able to abandon the constraints of children’s writing following her seven books about the boy wizard.

Rowling revealed Thursday that her favourite characters in her own books were Fats — a foul-mouthed schoolboy in the new novel — and Dumbledore, the bearded wizard, wise but troubled, who is headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry books.

She said that she would change “quite a few things” about the Potter novels, and that the actors who played Harry and his magical friends Ron and Hermione in the blockbuster films were “all too good-looking”.

Rowling has previously said she left “the door ajar” for a return to the world of Harry Potter, although she said she was not intending to write any more books about the young wizard.

Asked about the constant spectre of death in the new novel, Rowling described herself as “death obsessed”.

“Why does it obsess me? I don’t know. The easy answer is my mother died when I was 25 — she was only 45. That was clearly a formative experience.”

Writing about death had made her “less afraid of it”, she said, but she was still “frightened of leaving my children”.

Danielle Salvatore, 19, a student from North Carolina, had paid £200 ($325, 250 euros) for a resold ticket to the event.

“It’s worth it because JK Rowling inspired a lifetime of magic for me,” she said.

Rowling told fans she “hated” the intense secrecy which has surrounded each of her books before publication day, but said the risk of online leaks had forced her publisher’s hand.

In advice for budding writers, she said they should “get an agent!” and not always expect to feel inspired.

“Inspiration is clearly necessary, but then comes the long and hard work of writing,” she said. “I definitely don’t wake up and ask myself, ‘Am I inspired today?'”

Photos by Carl Court/AFP/File

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Review: Video shows the Fire’s shortcomings

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Kentucky Author Ron Rhody to announce next THEO novel at A Gathering of Authors

 

Outer Banks Publishing Group Author Ron Rhody will be one of the guest authors at The Paul Sawyier Public Library at its fifth A Gathering of Authors on Saturday, August 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Ron Rhody

Ron Rhody

Ron will introduce his next THEO novel, the third in a series, at the library.

The Gathering is a celebration of the rich tradition of literature in Kentucky.

This event features gifted writers who play an integral role in the library’s service to readers throughout Frankfort, KY and the Commonwealth.

Authors from across the Bluegrass come to sell and sign their works as well as carry on a dialogue with attendees about their craft. The Gathering is an excellent opportunity to meet some of your favorite authors in a casual atmosphere. Stop by and chat with the participants, and be sure to pick up their newest releases!

This event is free to the public and open to all ages.  For more information, please contact Diane Dehoney at (502)352-2665×108 or Mark Kinnaird at mark@pspl.org.

Excerpt from Scott Fields’ steamy novel, Summer Heat

 

From Chapter 3 of Summer Heat

Earl glanced at her chest. Her firm, ample breasts strained the buttons on her blouse. He slightly lowered his head to peek through the openings at the soft skin. Earl swirled his finger down her arm to the soft skin on the inside of her elbow. She was panting now. Her eyes were closed and sweat trickled down her neck and disappeared behind her blouse. He could see the outline of her hard nipples. His finger was only inches away. So far, it had all been innocent play. He had not crossed any line, but that was about to change. His head throbbed. He could feel the blood pounding through his veins.

 

It was near closing. The last of the patrons were walking out the door. Jessie was wiping down the bar when Earl leaned back in his chair.

“Hey, there, Lil’ Darlin’, bring me a bottle of the good stuff,” he said. “And bring two glasses.”

Jessie knew what the good stuff was. Earl loved Crown Royal and kept cases of it in the backroom. She carried the bottle and two glasses across the room and set it on his table.

“Sit down, girl,” he said. “I don’t want to drink alone.”

“It’s late, Earl,” she said.

“What are you talking about? We still got a half hour before closing.” He poured two drinks. “Here, this will get you where you need to go.”

“I don’t think I ever had any Crown Royal before.” She sipped the drink. “Damn, that’s good stuff.”

“How come that old man of yours never got you any?”

“Frank doesn’t drink.”

“He doesn’t? Hell, that don’t sound American.”

“He ain’t never even tried it.”

Earl gulped his drink. “Don’t know what he’s missin’, does he?”

Jessie took another sip. “This stuff is so smooth.”

“Drink up, girl,” said Earl filling the glasses. “We got this whole bottle here to kill off.”

“Must be terribly expensive.”

“Are you enjoying it?”

“Yes.”

“Then don’t worry about it,” he said. “It wouldn’t hurt you none if you untied a few of them knots.”

Jessie gulped her drink. “What are you talking about?”

“You just look like you might need to unwind,” said Earl. “You seem tense or upset about something.”

“You might be right.”

Earl filled her glass again. “Must be hard on you with Frank gone.”

She leaned back in her chair. “Yeah, I miss him a lot.”

“Pretty young thing like you must miss havin’ a man carry you off to bed.”

“Oh, Frank isn’t that kind of guy,” she said, her words slurring already. “He loves me. I got no doubt about that, but in his own way.”

“In other words, you ain’t getting any.”

Jessie filled her glass and took another drink. “Why? You applying for the job?”

Earl reached out and placed his hand on top of hers. “That I am, darlin’,” he said with a sober voice.

Jessie set her drink on the table and leaned back. Her head was spinning from the alcohol. It had all been light-hearted banter until now. Even in her drunken stupor, she could see that he was serious.

“Think you’re man enough?” she asked with a smile.

Earl tightly gripped her hand. His smile disappeared. “I know I’m man enough.”

It was about that time that the other waitress started towards the front door. Earl bolted across the room to let her out. He said his good nights, let her out and latched the door behind her.

“We’re all alone,” he announced with a smile.

Jessie pointed at a chair next to hers. “Come and sit down next to me.”

Earl slowly swaggered across the room. Beads of sweat erupted on his forehead. He had thought about this moment ever since he met her. Fantasies of her swirled in his mind.  His head throbbed with excitement. He pulled up a chair and sat next to her.

“Now where were we?” he asked, his voice raspy.

“You were telling me how much of a man you are.”

With one hand, Earl began rubbing her back and shoulders. Jessie moaned in approval.

“Tell me something,” said Earl. “How married are you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean.”

She held up her hand. “I have a ring.”

Earl sneered. “That don’t mean anything.”

He ran his hand over her shoulders and lightly caressed her bare arm.

“I didn’t think that would make much of an impression,” she said closing her eyes. “Damn, that feels good.”

He ran one finger lightly over her cheek. “I know something else that would feel even better.”

Jessie said nothing. She groaned as he lightly swirled his finger over her bare skin.

“Relax,” he said. “You seem tense.”

“It’s been a long time.”

“A long time for what?”

“Since…since a man has touched me.”

“How does it feel?”

“Incredible,” she said with a slur. “Simply incredible.”

Earl glanced at her chest. Her firm, ample breasts strained the buttons on her blouse. He slightly lowered his head to peek through the openings at the soft skin. Earl swirled his finger down her arm to the soft skin on the inside of her elbow. She was panting now. Her eyes were closed and sweat trickled down her neck and disappeared behind her blouse. He could see the outline of her hard nipples. His finger was only inches away. So far, it had all been innocent play. He had not crossed any line, but that was about to change. His head throbbed. He could feel the blood pounding through his veins.

Earl reached over and lightly touched the side of her breast. It was firm and yet soft to the touch. Jessie jerked. She moaned and arched her back. Earl withdrew his finger. He wasn’t sure. Was that a cold reaction? Was she pulling away? Then, Jessie moved her chair closer and turned in his direction. “Please,” she uttered softly.

Her breasts were right in front of him, heaving now from her heavy breathing. Earl could see her nipples through the sweat-soaked blouse. He could feel his manhood throbbing in his pants. He reached over and gently unbuttoned the top button of her blouse. He glanced at her face for a reaction.

“Faster,” she muttered.

His hands trembled as he fumbled with the remaining buttons. When he finished with the last one, he slowly pulled her blouse open. Cool air from a slow-turning ceiling fan washed over her exposed breasts making her nipples even harder and leaving small bumps on her skin.

In spite of his gruff exterior, Earl knew women and he knew what pleased them. He reached over with both hands and lightly touched the sides of her bare breasts. She jumped slightly but moved even closer. He slowly moved his fingers to the underside of her breasts, caressing the soft skin, coming close to her nipples but never touching them. He then formed circles around the breasts even closer to her nipples, occasionally, brushing them as if by accident.

By then, Jessie’s chest was rising and falling as she gasped for air. Earl firmly grasped her ribcage and leaned towards her. He lightly touched her lips with his. As she moved closer to kiss him, he pulled away, then lightly, hovered his lips over hers.

Crazed with lust, Jessie pulled him close to her, savagely kissing his lips. The taunting and teasing was over. Earl wrapped his arms around her and kissed her long and hard. Still locked in a tight embrace, Jessie slid her cotton blouse over her shoulders and let it fall to the floor. Earl fumbled with his belt sending his pants sliding down his legs. He stepped out of them just as she did hers.

“Take me now,” she said with a raspy voice. “I don’t care where, just do it.”

Earl picked her up and sat her on the edge of the table. He grabbed her ankles and slid her closer to the edge. Jessie lay back on the table. She wanted to scream. Her whole body was on fire. He had to do, and he had to do it now. What was he waiting on? She could feel hot liquid as it dripped from the tender folds of her skin and onto the floor. He wasn’t going to tease her again. He wouldn’t do that. He couldn’t.

Then it happened. She felt his strong, hard manhood as it slid, effortlessly, into her. She screamed with pleasure. Her whole body screamed with pleasure. It was obvious that the teasing and taunting of foreplay was over. He was at the right height and could easily slam it deep into her. She screamed with pleasure at every thrust that he made.

Her first orgasm came within seconds, the second and third minutes later. He picked up speed, slamming home even faster. Jessie was delirious with pleasure. Her orgasms seemed to be coming with every thrust. It went on for what seemed like an eternity. She had never experienced anything like this before. He was man enough. That was for sure.

Just as she was about to pass out, he slowed his movement. He leaned his head back and emitted a guttural, almost primal growl. She felt him pulsating inside her, then, slowed to a stop.

___________________________

Summer Heat is available in print from The Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore at $9.99 and on Amazon, the Kindle, and bookstores everywhere.

Paperback: 212 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982993110
ISBN-13: 978-0982993118
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

 

New Author is Never without an Idea for his Next Book

 

Newly-published author, Scott Fields talks openly about his writing, how he does it and his newest book, Summer Heat.

Here is the synopsis:

When she was 17, there wasn’t a man alive she would let get near her, and when she was 18, there wasn’t a man she would keep away.

She stood five feet seven inches tall, weighed one hundred twenty pounds, her green eyes sparkled like brilliant cut emeralds, her inviting full lips always ruby red and moist.

Women universally hated her, men continued to hold doors for her long after she passed by – just to watch her walk away. To imply that Jessie exuded sex would be an understatement, akin to inferring that water was wet.

Ninety-nine point nine percent of the men in Steam Corners wanted her, but she only wanted one man, Spencer Deacon. He was everything that she was not, even-tempered, amicable, well respected and kind. The one thing that Spencer didn’t want was Jessie, and his firm and undeniable rejections infuriated her.

What followed was a series of sordid events involving murder, deceit, betrayal and the conviction of an innocent man.

_______________________

Publisher: I couldn’t help but notice that your latest novel, Summer Heat, is quite diverse from some of your earlier novels which were small town, nostalgic works. Why is this book different?

S. Fields: All my life I’ve had this obsession with ideas for stories. I never know when one of these germs is going to somehow penetrate my head. I certainly have no control of it. It just happens. I’ve written 12 novels, 8 screenplays and 13 short stories, and each one of them was inspired by one of those germs that was implanted in my head. I’m always writing something, and all the while I have four or five story ideas buzzing in my head.

Publisher: Bestselling author James Patterson has the same problem. Maybe you could give us a little history of your writing career.

S Fields: All my life I’ve always wanted to write. I didn’t really get started until I went to college. Believe it or not, I turned down a contract from the Detroit Tigers, so that I could go to college and learn to write, a decision I’ve questioned more than once. The sad part is that I learned that nobody can teach you to write. The only way to learn is by simply writing, and I mean writing everyday. To hone the craft to an art form, one must be dedicated to the point of obsession. After college, I continued writing short stories and was lucky enough to have four of them published. Later, I began to write novels and now my fifth one has been launched by Outer Banks Publishing.

Publisher: So you actually turned down a chance to be a professional baseball player. That must have been a difficult decision.

S Fields: You have no idea. I was drafted in 1966 after graduating from high school. There were over 700 young men in that draft, and I was the 34th pick. You better believe that was a tough decision.

Publisher: How long does it take you to write a novel?

S Fields: Up until a year ago, I was working a full time job, and most of my books would take about a year to write.

Publisher: Where did you get the idea for this one? Was it another one of those germs from out of nowhere?

S Fields: I was driving along the highway. My wife was asleep, and my mind was in neutral thinking about what I was going to do when I got home. The next thing I know I get this idea about a young, sleazy woman who loves to party married to an older, serious-minded farmer. Every man in town wants her, but she wants a young, Afro-American man. To her frustration, this young man wants nothing to do with her sexually.

Publisher: I’m a bit surprised that someone who writes warm and fuzzy stories could write such a book.

S Fields: Most authors have a certain genre that is their expertise. It is a genre in which they excel. Stephen King is famous for his books of horror, and Danielle Steele writes women’s fiction. I write whatever excites me at the time. I have no niche or particular genre to call home. I even wrote a book about two men who went on a killing spree back in 1948. In a two week period, they murdered 6 people in Ohio. Even after all these years, it still remains the worst killing spree in Ohio’s history. On the other end of the spectrum, I wrote a religious book called Just Believe. Actually, I hope I never settle for one particular genre. I think I would get bored.

Publisher: Where are all of these projects that you have written? You’ve only had four novels published.

S Fields: They are buried somewhere in my computer. Generally, when I finish a project, I’m aching to get started on a new one. Many of my projects were written years ago and have been forgotten.

Publisher: Have you ever dreamed of becoming a nationally-known author?

S Fields: I’m sure every writer has a one time or another dreamed of seeing his books in stores across the nation. I like to keep things in perspective. I consider writing as my hobby, then I’m never disappointed.

 Publisher: Do you think Summer Heat will be successful?

S Fields: Not to appear immodest, but, yes, I do. Women’s fiction in 2004 represented 55 per cent of all book sales. Today’s trend is thrillers, but women’s fiction is still right up there.

Publisher: Well, we believe Summer Heat is a hit.

S Fields: Thank you very much.

Photo of Scott during a recent book signing at the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library in his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio.

___________________

About Scott

In 1996 with a lifelong dream of being a writer, Scott Fields started writing short stories. Within the next two years, he had four stories published. Since then, his first novel, All Those Years Ago, was published, and in the fall of 2004, his second novel, A Summer Harvest, was released. His third novel, The Road Back Home, was published in the fall of 2007 by Charles River Press, and his fourth novel, Last Days of Summer, was released by Whiskey Creek Press.

He was born and raised in La Rue, Ohio, a small village nestled in the farmlands of mid-Ohio. It was there that he learned to appreciate small town life and country living, which he incorporates into his novels. He graduated from Ohio University in 1970 with a degree in English Literature.

Scott and his wife, Deb, now live in Mansfield, Ohio. Their children, Sara, Angela, Michael, and Matt live in the Detroit area.

_______________

Summer Heat is available in print from The Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore at a special discount of $9.99 and on Amazon, the Kindle, and bookstores everywhere.

Paperback: 212 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982993110
ISBN-13: 978-0982993118
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

So you want to be social and accepted?


There is no better time than now
. Social Media is exploding as the new paradigm for the 21st century as the new way to communicate, connect and be accepted.

It is as revolutionary as the iPhone and ironically it is the iPhone and other smart phones that are driving this life-altering movement.

Take the explosive Arab Spring that toppled regimes – it was spawned and grown by social media. Without Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype and other social media it may never have happened.

No other time in the history of mankind has so many people on the planet communicated in mass, instantly with a deeper, richer form of communication combining audio, photography and video in a single message.

Now there is Instagram and Pinterest where people post photos of their life or other people’s lives that inspire them. You can see a collage of a person’s personality and maybe a glimpse of their soul on a single web page in the form of photographs. It’s like walking into a person’s home – you immediately get a closer look of that person by the smells, the choice of their furniture style, the colors of the walls, the knickknacks on the shelves and animals that run about your feet.

And because of this transparent and brutal honest by most people in their quest to be liked, accepted and one of the gang, savvy business people are finding this is the platinum age of marketing and advertising.

Social media reveals what’s in the hearts and souls of potential customers.

Go back 50 to 100 years to small town America. Everyone knew everyone and what they liked. So when a local resident went to the local grocery store, the grocer knew exactly what that resident wanted and what they liked. He or she may have put aside certain items knowing that particular customer always shopped on a specific day. Social media is the revival of the small town, but on a global scale.

Businesses can customize their products and services to what people say they like or love on social media. Every business owner, marketer or product manager is now like that small town grocer – they know what people are saying and can orient their wares to appeal to those people with precision accuracy. This is marketing nirvana.

And the staunch, slow-to-adapt Fortune 500 companies are also noticing and beginning to tap this global market on social media.

So you want to be social? Now is the time.

________________________________

A good place to start is by reading Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha. Thoroughly researched, written and compiled by two Raleigh residents, Social Media for Business, is filled with articles by experienced social media professionals who live and work in the Raleigh area.

It has hands-on useful advice for the beginner and advanced user of social media focused on promoting your business with social media.

Author revives 60-year-old Murder Mystery in his Newest Novel

Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody ventured back to his hometown, Frankfort, KY recently to speak before the Frankfort Women’s Club about his new upcoming murder mystery novel based on true events, THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes. Kay Harrod of The State Journal in Frankfort covered the event. Here is her story.

By Kay Harrod of The State Journal, Frankfort, KY
October 16, 2011

It may be Frankfort’s oldest unsolved murder. Few remember it, but author Ron Rhody does.

Rhody, a Frankfort native and 1950 graduate of Frankfort High School, remembers it so vividly that he focuses his latest work of fiction on the story to be released at the Kentucky Book Fair, Saturday, Nov. 12.

Rhody’s latest work is a prequel to “Theo’s Story,” a Frankfort-based novel of political intrigue and murder written in 2009.

“Theo and the Mouthful of Ashes” examines the protagonist’s younger days as a reporter at The State Journal when it was on West Main Street.

The book sets it sights on a murder in Frankfort more than 60 years ago. A woman was discovered at the bottom of a flight of stairs, her head bashed in and her throat stuffed with ashes.

The impetus for the story comes from Rhody’s recollection of Frankfort as a young man. Read the rest of the story here.>

Photo by  Tricia Spaulding

__________________________________

THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes is available at special pre-launch discount until Nov. 12 at the Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore.

Order yours now at this special pre-launch discount price.

Publication Date: January 2012THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes

Prelaunch Price: $12.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
274 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9829-9316-3
ISBN EL: 978-1-4524-0970-2

Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Language: English

Interview with Heidi Efteckhar Silver, a real life character, reveals strong character of the author

“I was completely surprized…especially to know only now how this quiet person had gone against all odds, exposed himself to so much danger and took the risk to do something that he believed in and acted upon to bring resolve. I must say that with all that he was going through, he did not show it.” – Heidi Efteckhar Silver, a character in the novel, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK.

Doug Roberts exciting novel, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, came into being with the help of his long-time friend and co-worker, Heidi Efteckhar Silver, who helped him remember a lot of the details of his daring escape from Iran forty years ago.  Mrs. Silver, one of the major characters in the book, played an integral part in helping Doug smuggle his then fiance and her mother out of Iran when the secret police, SAVAK, would not allow them to leave.  SAVAK watched the family closely because they wanted the family to lead them to the husband and father, who was a human rights activist and lawyer who had escaped a decade earlier. Here is Mrs. Silver’s thoughts on The Man Who Fooled SAVAK.

Q.  Not many novels use the names of real people but Doug Roberts in his book The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, portrays you as being a friend and co-worker in the Administrative Services office in the U.S. military advisory unit to Iran, ARMISH/MAAG. I find that rather remarkable.

A.  Since Doug’s story is based on a real life experience, it’s great that he has used people’s real names in his story.  Most things mentioned in his book did happen. Technology, such as Facebook, also played a big role in Doug being able to find some of the people he had worked with in ARMISH/MAAG, such as myself, and hear more stories from them that made his book more authentic and I am glad I was part of it.

Q.  Did you know why Doug was sent to Administrative Services before leaving Iran?

A.  I had absolutely no idea.  I must say that Captain Seaman and Del, with whom I worked closely had great respect for Doug and kept his ordeal, which was extremely serious, strictly confidential.

Q.  What was it like working with Doug.Cover for The Man Who Fooled SAVAK

A. I found him to be a pleasant fellow, who was very easy to work and get along with.  I was completely surprised when I read “The Man Who Fooled Savak,” especially to know only now how this quiet person had gone against all odds, exposed himself to so much danger and took the risk to do something that he believed in and acted upon to bring resolve. I must say that with all that he was going through, he did not show it. He exercised great care in keeping the situation under wrap.  This also speaks of Doug’s strong and determined character which is well played out in the book.

Q.  What did you think of the book.

A.  I thought the book was amazing.  When I was reading the book, events played out in front of my eyes.  His description of the culture, food, the Iranian way of life and their hospitality is so authentic that it also took my life for a review during those years in Iran.  The amazing thing about this book is that Doug, as an American GI, who was stationed in Iran for a brief period of time witnessed the signs of the revolution which came about only a few years later.

Q.  Would you recommend this book to your friends.

A.  Absolutely.  Especially young adults.  My own children, who are now young adults, were very small at the time and knew nothing when we had the Iranian Revolution in 1979.  This book is not only intriguing and entertaining, but also has a great historical value.  During the 2009 uprising, I found myself explaining to my boys, their friends and even some of my friends how all this had come about.  Doug has done a great justice in describing what was going on in Iran during the Shah’s reign which lasted nearly 37 years before he was overthrown during the 1979 Revolution.  I think those who read this book today will not only be intrigued by the story, but will also learn about Iran and gain great respect for this ancient country, with rich culture and history whose people are kind, friendly and hospitable, but have suffered much in the hands of politics.

__________________________________________

The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, a suspenseful romance, is available on the Kindle, the NOOK and in other ebook formats from Smashwords.com.

Electronic Edition
eIBSN 978-1-4524-4281-5
435 Pages
Published June 2011

Am I Crazy or What? Or how social media and YOU can bring a book to life

By Mary L. Tabor

So you wanna get published, right? So you think only a big house can get you anywhere worth getting, right? So, you think you need an agent first thing, right? I thought all these things and have the credentials to prove that I’ve been on a literary journey: English major, Phi Beta Kappa, teacher, professor, MFA degree, literary journal editor, literary prize winner. But no big house and no agent.Mary L. Tabor

Instead, I did what some may think is crazy. I went with a product development company that dabbled in publishing. But my book got out. And I went to work. I have an active public Facebook page that is linked to my Twitter account, a website always under revision as new stuff happens and I write a blog where I try to post at least once a week.

Today’s post that you are reading would have been this essay. But this site begged for it and it’s theirs. But later you may see this post on my blog. Go check out this: How to buy a dress and end up with a book party.

I don’t tweet about my memoir (Re)Making Love: a sex after sixty story much, though some. I don’t blog about my book much, but some: actually, I blogged the book while I lived it—that’s the first crazy-some-say thing I did before the product development company found me—and that (Re)MAKING LOVE: a sex after sixty storyaccounts for the banner of a blog that deals not with erotica but with literary thought, interviews and essays on writing and books.

Now you’d think a book with this sordid, unconventional history wouldn’t be doing very well, right? And, indeed, I’m not getting rich. But is that what we artists are really about? Okay, a girl could hope but that’s never been the goal: The work will out.

But get this: The small print in the visual of my book  on Amazon says, #7 top rated in the Kindle store for Non-Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Arts &literature, Authors. The week before it was #5 behind The Diary of Anne Frank and Steven King’s On Writing.

And guess what: The book party at Upstairs on 7th (aka: “How to buy a dress and get a book party”) resulted in the promise of another book party by one of the women who came. Then I went to dinner with a banker-friend I know and told him what happened. He called his wife and is planning another book party in another dress shop and he’ll be providing the wine.

Is there a moral? Ain’t no good here at morals. But I will say this: If you put your heart and soul into your book and you’ve edited it like crazy with a cool eye, had others eyeball it and critique it, then find a reputable publisher and work—yes that means you—to sell one book at a time. Because like the memoir I wrote, it’s all personal.

PS: Another piece of good news: A new and much more experienced indie publisher has taken my memoir. Be sure to check out the second edition (more edits and a prologue) now from Outer Banks Publishing Group.Mary L Tabor, author of (Re)MAKING LOVE: a sex after sixty story

 

 

 

(Re)MAKING LOVE: a sex after sixty story, second edition, is available on Amazon, the Kindle, Barnes & Noble, the Nook, iBook, Sony ereader, the Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore and in other electronic formats from Smashwords.com.

An Excerpt from The Man Who Fooled SAVAK by Doug Roberts

 

I happened to look in my rear view mirror to see a black Mercedes sedan zoom up behind me then pass. It shot around me at an extremely high rate of speed and was soon out of sight. “Wow, where’s the fire?” I though. A few minutes later as I was about to make my final right turn off the main highway, the same black Mercedes shot out of the intersection I was about to turn into. It turned left and roared past me, heading west Cover for The Man Who Fooled SAVAKtoward Tehran.

I took my foot off the accelerator, my stomach feeling queasy with deep apprehension. I had caught a glimpse of the driver’s face with dark glasses and thick mustache. It seemed vaguely and ominously familiar. I slowed the car and idled toward the vacant lot where I was to meet Junior, afraid of what I might find. I could see Junior’s old Peykan in the distance, the driver’s door open. I was sure I saw him move and at first I thought he was about to get out of the car, but as I got closer I could see Junior’s body suddenly fall forward against the steering wheel, sounding the car’s horn.

“Oh no! Please God! Oh no! This can’t be!” I said over and over. “Oh Jesus, no!”

I pulled my car alongside his. My knees were shaking as I got out of the car, and walked toward Junior. As I approached, I could see the back of his head was covered with blood. He had been shot, execution style. I pulled his torso off of the steering wheel to stop the horn from sounding, and then I lifted his left arm to feel his wrist. I thought I detected a faint pulse, but then a few seconds later, it stopped.

The only pulse I could feel now was my pounding heart, ready to burst through my chest. Flooded with a mixture of fear and sadness, I tried to ponder what to do next.

“We’ll need to notify his wife,” I remember thinking. I started searching his pants for a wallet with an ID, but I found nothing. The only thing I found was a large roll of bills in the left pocket of the old tweed jacket that Junior always wore. My hands were shaking.

“My god, this is a lot of money! His wife is going to need this,” I thought as I crammed it into the pocket of my fatigue jacket. I looked across the vacant lot to see an old man who was walking with a shuffled gate toward me from one of the distant houses. I waited for him as he approached. When he came up to the car, he was shaking his head.

He looked at me, quizzically. “SAVAK?” he asked.

I nodded. “Bali Agah. SAVAK.”

The old man started shaking his head again. “Shah very bad. Very bad man.”

I nodded. The old man and I stood together in silence appraising the ghastly scene.

“You want me call police?” he asked.

“Yes, you call the police. Don’t tell them I was here,” I said in my best Farsi.

“I no tell. We see nothing.”

At that moment we heard a siren somewhere in the distance growing louder.

“I need to leave now,” I said.

“You go! Boro! Boro! Zud bash!” (Go! Go! Hurry!) exclaimed the old man waving me away vigorously with his hands.

I stepped away from the old man and got into my car, knees and hands still shaking. I turned the key in the ignition and headed out to the main highway by first going around the block. I waited until I heard the siren stop and then proceeded. As I drove, I kept checking the rear view mirror, side streets, and intersections for any sign of a black Mercedes. But it had done its dirty work and was long gone. When I got back to the Teamhouse, I unloaded my car and took the goods up to my room. The boxes seemed incredibly heavy and my shaking knees complained at the load as I came up the stairs the last time. When I had finished, I collapsed into my bed and started sobbing again. “Junior, I am so sorry man,” kept repeating as though he could hear me.

I looked at the huge roll of cash, and was suddenly struck with an irrational fear that Lou might think I was trying to cheat him. I counted out what I felt Junior would have paid him that day and put it in an envelope, then slipped it my desk drawer. I took out a sheet of paper, and scrawled simply, “Lou, bad news. Junior’s dead. SAVAK shot him.” I placed the note on the desk where he could find it then walked downstairs to my car.

I dreaded having to tell Fari what happened, but forced myself to the car. When I walked into the house minutes later, Fari emerged from her room to meet me and immediately stepped back. “Oh my god, Doug! What happened? Your eyes are all red!”

“Fari, Junior’s dead. SAVAK shot him in the…in the…back of the head,” I said with my voice breaking.

Fari put her arms around me and held my while I continued to weep. “Doug, this is awful.”

I put my face down onto Fari’s shoulder. “Junior was a good person,” I said through my tears. “He didn’t deserve to die.”

__________________________________________

The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, a suspenseful romance, is available on the Kindle, the NOOK and in other ebook formats from Smashwords.com.

Electronic Edition
eIBSN 978-1-4524-4281-5
435 Pages
Published June 2011

Snapshots of a Successful Book Launch

Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha know how to launch a book. Over 50 people attended the event on Aug. 4 celebrating the launch of Social Media for Business, a comprehensive anthology focused on small business and the power of social media. More than 35 books were sold with some guests buying two and three copies. The launch was held at the Center for Excellence, a training and speaker center in North Raleigh, NC.

Social Media for Business is available on Amazon and fine bookstores everywhere.

For more information about Social Media for Business, visit the book web site.

Social Media Book Introduces Small Business to Successful Internet Marketing to Help Revive Economy

Social Media for Business, Martin Brossman, Anora McGahaRALEIGH, NC – Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha, co-authors of Social Media for Business, an Outer Banks Publishing Group book, held a “book launch”  on Thursday, August 4 at The Center for Excellence on Six Forks Road South in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Celebrating Mr. Brossman’s third social media book, and Ms. McGaha’s first book, the authors offered door prizes at the event including a social media consultation by Martin Brossman & Associates and a Kindle ebook reader. Catering for the event was by Catering by Design.

Mr. Brossman’s first book on social media, Brossman’s Social Media and Online Resource Directory for Business, had a North Carolina focus. Mr. Brossman said he received overwhelming feedback from his readers to produce a national, more comprehensive version that would cover the entire spectrum of social media and its use in business.

For Social Media for Business, Mr. Brossman partnered with Ms. McGaha, a social media manager and Internet researcher, to write and edit the book. They included chapters from twenty contributors to deepen the coverage and expertise, covering audio and video, mobile, Facebook and LinkedIn ads, articles, press releases in addition to dozens of other topics.

Social Media for Business includes a section on perspectives about social media and Internet marketing with a rich collection of articles; a large central section on the building blocks of social media and the Internet; and a substantial section on online marketing through social media. Visit the Social Media for Business web site for more information.

Social Media for Business is particularly valuable for the micro-business and solo professional, as well as small businesses with under 25 employees because it was written by micro-business and solo professionals who bring their own fresh experience and research,” said Ms. McGaha. “Readers will learn about building, establishing and maintaining a strong, genuine, appropriate multi-dimensional presence for their business on social media and other Internet channels.”

Mr. Brossman, who has been using and teaching LinkedIn since 2006, and is the leading trainer of social media and business success for small businesses in North Carolina, brings fascinating insight and perspectives to the book.
Social Media for Business!, Martin Brossman, Anora McGaha
Mr. Brossman’s second social media book, Linking Into Sales, was written with fellow LinkedIn expert and community builder Greg Hyer, to show readers how to use LinkedIn to increase sales.

“My personal and professional mission is to help individuals live lives so meaningful it moves them and others to tears,” Mr. Brossman said. “Extending out from that, it is to help micro-business thrive for a grassroots rebuilding of the American economy. This book sets out to give a solid and motivating push for small businesses to use social media and online marketing to be successful in business.”

The audience for Social Media for Business is both the newcomer to social media and online marketing, as well as the experienced practitioner. “Each reader will take out different insights based on their experience and needs,” said Ms. McGaha.

“I don’t think there is a single book on the market that covers so expertly every aspect of social media,” said Anthony S. Policastro, Publisher of Outer Banks Publishing Group. “And what makes this book so valuable is that the contributors provided honest and frank viewpoints on their particular expertise based on actual experience. It’s like being in a room with all of them and they are telling me the best practices and techniques to be successful using social media.”

Anora McGaha is a writer and author, with three years of experience in social media management and Internet research. Prior to that her career spanned twenty years in marketing communications and business analysis. She provides training and consulting on Internet publicity, social media and online marketing and is an associate with Martin Brossman & Associates and Carolina Web Consultants, Inc. For more information visit her Linkedin site.

Martin Brossman is a success coach, speaker, trainer, and author specializing in teaching social media and business success to accelerate growth for entrepreneurs and small businesses. He’s the founding director of Martin Brossman & Associates and collaborates with micro-business and solo-professionals in delivering the latest training and services. He is the author of three books on social media; travels and trains frequently; and is a powerful keynote speaker on dozens of relevant topics. An early user of LinkedIn, Brossman has built a meaningful and significant network of his own. For more information see his Linkedin site.

Photos of the event can be seen on the Social Media for Business Facebook page.

Social Media for Business is available directly from the printer at a discount of $16.50.  Use the discount code of “EJUCVT36″ at checkout to get a $6.45 discount off the list price for a sale price of $16.50. The book is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine bookstores.

Suspenseful Debut Novel reflects repression of Middle East still thriving

 

When I heard this sad story on NPR radio this morning it moved me so much and reminded me of Doug Roberts novel, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, a suspenseful love story based on true events. This is the kind of repression that still pervades a lot of the Middle East today as it did forty years ago when Mr. Roberts staged the successful escape of his fiancé and her mother from a repressive and threatening Iran.

Salman Taseer, Doug Roberts, The Man Who Fooled SAVAKIn January of this year in Pakistan, the governor of Punjab province, Salmaan Taseer, who was an outspoken defender of civil rights, was gunned down for criticizing the hardness of Islamic law. He was merely sticking up for a Christian woman who was accused of blaspheming Islam. Her punishment: death.

His daughter, Shehrbano Taseer, is a journalist in Pakistan, and she talks to Steve Inskeep, host of NRP Radio’s Morning Edition, about her father’s legacy and her own fight against extremism.

Here is part of that interview:

“INSKEEP: And it was not that your father committed this alleged act of blasphemy, but merely spoke up for the rights of someone who was accused of blasphemy and asked for her to be accorded mercy. This is what many clerics described as itself being blasphemous.

Ms. TASEER: Yeah, because my father had criticized the law. He had criticized the misuse of the law.

INSKEEP: Did anyone speak up for your father after his murder?

Ms. TASEER: There were three people who believed that this law was being misused and that this was an unfair Cover for The Man Who Fooled SAVAKallegation of blasphemy. There was my father. There was our federal minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, and there was Syeda Imam, who is a parliamentarian. And she had tabled a bill in the national assembly trying to water down this law and stop the misuse. And two out of three of these people are now dead. Shahbaz Bhatti, our federal minister for minorities, was gunned down outside his mother’s home two months after my father was shot dead.”

You can read the rest of this moving interview or listen to it on the NPR site. And if you want to read more about a similar story with a much different outcome, download a copy of The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, available on the Kindle, Barnes and Noble NOOK, Apple iBooks and in various ereader formats from Smashwords.