Monday, January 28, 2013

G. Gordon Dean - Scam Factory - Author Interview & Giveaway



Congratulations to our winner!
marypres [at] gmail [dot] com

About the Book

Whoever said 'white-collar crime doesn’t pay' never lived in Washington D.C. TierGroup is a business consultancy firm located in the heart of DC. Its Division Heads have a very cold and calculating unorthodox approach to conducting business. Protecting and serving their clients is the only thing that matters. Nevertheless, loyalty can swing both ways in this journey through greed, corruption, and absolute lack of accountability.

As a former Las Vegas Casino Surveillance Director, Michael Crayter, a straight shooter, becomes an unaware, almost, employee of TierGroup in mid-2001. His transformation takes many shapes from idea man to fraud guru. He embarks on a journey to Iraq, through Hurricane Katrina and eventually takes part in one of the biggest scams in the history of the United States - the TARP funding program. His boss, Charles “The Czar” Zarin, is the ultimate manipulation mentor. Michael Crayter’s experience will last for more than eight years and will make his old Vegas job seem like child’s play.

The investment opportunities the United States has to offer during this timeframe are seemingly endless and the public joins in on the greed. The whole country is riding high on the inflated value train with careless abandonment. There are no regulations followed or laws unbroken by the Mortgage Lenders, Stock Brokers, and Bankers. The bubble is getting bigger and the clock is ticking. It's every man for himself. Divide and conquer. Borrow and spend. No one sees the tsunami coming, except for Charles Zarin. Capitalism will be turned upside down and the money spigot will run dry.

By late 2007 the bubble bursts and our country’s economy is left in ruins. The Treasury is sent in to bail out the white-collar thieves. While losing most of its clients TierGroup and Michael Crayter are left to fend for themselves. The tables are turned on the fat-cat bankers who caused the meltdown. Michael Crayter uses his hard gained experience to get even with the fake bastards. Almost everyone loyal to TierGroup gets away with highway robbery and the American taxpayer is left holding the bag. Michael Crayter begins to tell his story, in this Four Part first-person narrative, during a 2005 interview at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.


Author Interview

1. Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening.
SCAM FACTORY - PART 3 - Chapter 20 – Failure Is An Option:
During a private meeting with the three largest U.S. bank owners Michael Crayter (the CEO of TierGroup) speaks privately with Henry Strassburger (the secret owner of 100 independent banks) against the strong advice of his legal team. Michael knows that now is the time to take advantage of a very lucrative opportunity, find cracks in the system, and manipulate Strassburger. Their ‘mutual’ goal is to keep Strassburgers interest in the 100 independent banks a secret while acquiring the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funding from the US Treasury Department. The amount Strassburgers’ banks need is about $125 million for each bank (or $12.5 billion total). Michael Crayter does not trust Strassburger at all. He senses Strassburger is hiding the 100 banks loses and making false statements about their true financial condition to the government. What Henry Strassburger does not realize is that Michael Crayter does not intend to help him keep the banks from taking major loses or closing…

2. Do you plan any subsequent books?
I am not sure about that right now. I have two or three other fictional book ideas in mind, but want to see how this one goes. I have been told that SCAM FACTORY would make a great movie, so a movie script may be in the works in the near future.

3. Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.
I am not an avid reader, but I am always interested in new documentaries, news, and events that help me stay connected to current events. I watch programs on public television, cable and learning channels, and other major media outlets. I am usually going over Business and Real Estate opportunities being offered by others. Sometimes I am doing the actual business planning, modeling, and research for others, which requires a ton of evaluation, writing, and revisions.

***

Scam Factory can be purchased at:
Kindle, Nook


Price: $4.99 ebook
Pages: 263
Release: October 15, 2012


About the Author

G. Gordon Dean is a Real Estate agent and Business Consultant currently living in Arizona. He has been a media buff for over two decades. As a media buff he has kept himself well aware of past and current events in business, government, and politics. He lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for over 30 years. This is his first novel.

Links to connect with G. Gordon:
Facebook
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site


About the Giveaway

Leave a comment with your email address to enter to win an ebook of Scam Factory
Ends January 31, 2013.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Malve von Hassell - Rennefarre - Author Interview and Giveaway



Unfortunately, there are no giveaway entries, so there is no winner.

About the Book

Imagine riding on the back of a blue heron across time and space. Imagine befriending crows, being kidnapped by magpies, and being given a lift on the back of a kindly stag. Imagine experiencing life as an outcast from human society, encountering spirits and mythical creatures from the world of legends, experiencing the plague in Dresden, and being chased through Berlin by Frederick the Great.

Dott is a twelve-year old girl. She lives in the countryside east of Berlin in an unspecified time between the two world wars. When Dott sneaks out to see the bonfire at the edge of her village on the evening of the midsummer night festival, she has no idea what will happen next. In the dark of night, the magical Rennefarre flower falls into her shoe. It not only makes her invisible, but also allows her to see things no one else could see. No longer able to stay with her parents and her young brother and sister, she begins her search to find a way out of her predicament.

Her quest to return home to her family winds its way through the cities and countryside of 20th century Germany—and beyond. As she befriends the local animals, they help her on her way with gifts of food, shelter, and—through the help of a kind spirit—a magical cup which allows her to become small and ride on the backs of the birds.

Flying across the country on the backs of crows and herons, Dott finds herself seeing the country not only as it is, but also as it used to be. She lives through moments in history others can only read about—meeting historical kings and fanciful spirits along the way. But, even with all of the excitement of her travels, she always has one goal in mind: returning home to her family.

Part coming-of-age story, part fantasy, and part social-cultural portrait of Eastern Germany in the early part of the 20th century, the book covers real ground. That is, one could follow Dott's travels on a map of the area. Seamlessly blending elements of fantasy and history, the book contains a fascinating array of details of day-to-day life in rural and urban areas in eastern Germany. Dott’s adventures are interwoven with folklore and myths as well as vivid accounts of different eras and the diverse cultural and ethnic strains that have formed the basis for a rich and complex history of Germany and Eastern Europe. Written on the eve of World War II, the book offers a sobering perspective on the human potential for causing devastation. At the same time it is filled with hope. In one scene, Dott gets a glimpse of the future — an utterly destroyed cityscape; it inspires her to look to her own responsibilities and actions in life.


Author Interview

1. Do you plan any subsequent books?
I have completed a manuscript of historical fiction for young adults entitled Falconello. It is set in the 13th century and involves the journey of a young man from the north of Germany to Italy. I am now working on another historical fiction work set in Jerusalem in the 12th century.

2. Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.
Aside from rereading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice whenever I am in the need of balance, I always have a stack of books that I check out of my local library. The latest gem has been a book by Helen Dunmore, The Siege, about the siege of the city of Leningrad in World War II. It is a book hard to forget; the relentless cold and the gnawing hunger seep into your bones as you read it, and at the same time, Dunmore captures something exquisite and beautiful about the human spirit.

***

Rennefarre can be purchased at:
MyBookOrders.com


Price: $13.99 paperback
ISBN: 9781938690389
Pages: 297
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Release: December 11, 2012


About the Author

Malve von Hassell is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a Ph. D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. Working as an independent scholar, she published several books and journal articles, in particular, The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell's memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schlie├čt sich - Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994). She has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College, while continuing her work as a translator and writer. She has published a children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (Mill City Press, 2012), and completed a manuscript for a historical fiction book set in the 13th century for young adults, Falconello. She is working on a historical fiction novel set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades.

Links to connect with Malve:
Web Site
Facebook
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

Leave a comment with your email address to enter to win a PDF ebook of Rennefarre. Ends January 31, 2013.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kathleen Gerard - In Transit: A Novel - Guest Post & Giveaway



About the Book

WINNER!
Best Romantic Fiction
New York Book Festival 2011


Can a rookie cop survive the men who cross her path in the NYPD?

When a psychic in a shopping mall tells Rita Del Vecchio that she is "destined for greatness," and she will "marry a man in uniform," the restless, wet-behind-the-ears, 22 year-old decides to finally take control of her life. Rita sets out on a quest to become a New York City Police Officer. But can a spry, feisty, single woman thrive in the gritty world of New York's Finest?

Leaving behind the suburbs of New Jersey and a job as an under-tipped waitress, Rita Del Vecchio hangs up her apron and ballet slippers for a bullet-proof vest. But will she wear it? And if she does, will it protect her on the mean streets of Manhattan? Can it also protect her from Cupid’s arrows if they should land amiss?

Rita is assigned to the New York City Transit Police Squad and gets more than she bargained for. Riding the Lexington Avenue Subway Line, Rita winds up meeting not one man in uniform, but many. Whom will she love?

In Transit is a woman-in-jeopardy story, a post 9-11 novel, that delves into the ordinary lives of NYPD career cops and how their fates are often determined by people who hold secrets as dark and as labyrinth-like as the New York City Subway System.

Reviews

"Rita Del Vecchio is a great, fresh character; vulnerable yet tough . . . In Transit is suspenseful and rings with authenticity. Ordinary citizens are usually unaware of the role of the transit police and seeing Rita work against the very real backdrop of New York City is a real treat."
–Barbara D'Amato, Agatha, Anthony and Mystery Writers of America award-winning author of Authorized Personnel Only and Death of a Thousand Cuts

"The characters are as big as real life and the story realistic and dramatic...IN TRANSIT is a winner!"
-Romance Reviews Today

"You get involved with (these characters) and want to know what happens...The development of Rita and Billy was believable, well-constructed and covered their complex relationship very well."
-The GenReview

"A dark and dangerous story . . .The police work and interactions are well done . . . If you enjoy suspense and danger with romance and great characters, you will enjoy this book. It is quick paced and full of action, with an eye to realism and human emotions."
-Seattle Post Intelligencer


Excerpt

It was a blood bath at Grand Central. By the time Franko and Rita arrived on the scene, commuters were scrambling, trying to get away from the pandemonium. The victim was flat on his back, face up and unconscious on the cold tile platform. It was obvious that life was quickly draining from him. The tails of his tie were flung back over his shoulder, and the lapels of his suit jacket were parted like a curtain that revealed a bull’s-eye of blood right at the center of his starched white business shirt. Papers that had spilled from a leather briefcase were strewn around the lifeless-looking body and sopping up the growing pool of blood.

“Freeze! Freeze!” came the shouts of Rita and Franko, who raised their weapons in order to corner three Latino men wearing leather jackets and holding switchblade knives.

“Drop your weapons. Now!” The commanding shrill of Franko’s voice echoed in the terminal. The two men in the rear of the group did as they were told. They threw down their knives. But there was one holdout—the pack leader, the guy heading up the trio. He waved a bloody knife in front of him, itching for a fight.

A spike of fear rose up in Franko. He stared into the man’s face. The image of those wild eyes, his thick nose and taut lips seared into Franko’s brain as he firmed his grip on his weapon, tight and damp, and ordered, “C’mon, man. I said drop it. Drop your weapon and put up your hands.”

“But I ain’t done nothing,” the pack leader said. He had a well-defined V-shape to his body that made him appear the most muscular-looking of the three. He kept his feet firmly planted. He didn’t blink. Perspiration was raining down from beneath the fringe of his black hair.

“Don’t be stupid,” one of the other men said, his voice rising from behind the group. “Just give ’em what they want. It’s over.”

The pack leader yelled something incoherent in Spanish that sounded like a bark.

Every muscle in Franko’s body was tense, but he could feel his hand, his fingers wrapped around the gun, beginning to quake. Locked in this standoff, Franko couldn’t see a way out of this, but he tightened his bicep so that his arm might feel stronger.

You’re the one in control here, spouted Franko’s internal dialogue. Keep your hand steady and your mind even. Finger on the trigger. Be cool. You’ve got this guy.

With his piece still aimed on the defiant pack leader, Franko took a step closer and said, “Get against the wall.” Franko could feel his adrenaline rushing, even through his eyes. “I said, put your hands up and drop your weapon.”

The two men in the rear backed up toward the wall of the terminal. But brazenly, the pack leader stood his ground. He brandished the knife in front of him like a shield, ready for Franko’s attack.

Franko kept his aim on the leader and again moved closer. One step… Then another. The perpetrator moved from side to side. He wouldn’t back down. Rita, creeping alongside Franko, kept her own weapon drawn and followed Franko’s lead. But as Franko took his fourth step toward the perp, Rita’s and Franko’s police radios hissed and crackled with static. The sound must’ve jarred the man with the outstretched knife. He lunged for Franko.

Pop!

A bullet, a single shot, released from the chamber of Franko’s gun. It echoed like the roar of a cannon. The assailant collapsed onto the platform. Franko had lodged a bullet in the man’s leg.

The perpetrator looked stunned, and so was Franko. His arm was outstretched, and he kept the gun pointed straightaway. For a terrifying instant, a light, gauzy feeling filled Franko’s head. Everything in the cold, desolate terminal looked and sounded muted, except for the bloodied knife-edge. The shiny part of the blade glimmered on the ground next to the perpetrator, and Franko saw it as clear as if he were holding it in his own hand.

“Franko, you all right?” Rita asked.

He couldn’t speak. Have I imagined this? Have I really just shot a man? Franko could feel his face flush. He felt as though he’d just showered with his clothes on.

When the back-up team arrived, along with paramedics, the adrenaline of the scene finally began to drain from Franko. And on he went, business as usual.

The injured businessman, who’d been lying unconscious, was quickly put on a stretcher and rushed out of the terminal. After the victim’s wallet was recovered from the pack leader, Rita and Franko discovered there was only one hundred dollars inside.

The two other assailants were handcuffed. They were read their rights and whisked away. As the wounded aggressor was being carted off on a stretcher, the medical crew worked hard to restrain him. But what they couldn’t restrain were his words.

“I’ll be back to get you, you fat pig,” he wailed.

“Aw, I bet you say that to all your arresting officers,” Franko chimed, trying to act nonchalant while a sick feeling shivered through him.

Through the barrage of paramedics and police, the aggressor defiantly craned his neck. When he found Franko through the crowd, he raised his hand in a gesture of an imaginary gun.

“Bang, bang,” he said, taking aim and firing a make-believe shot in the direction of Franko’s head.

When Franko turned away, his gaze landed on Rita. He saw his own horror reflected in her pale face.


Guest Post 
New York City - More than just a "Sense of Place"

In fiction writing, a sense of place can anchor a story. But setting is also a tool for exploring character. Often a character's reaction and response to a place can reveal a lot about him or her.

I set my novel IN TRANSIT in New York City, as the NYPD Transit Police Division and the subway system figure prominently into the story. The idea of "transit" represents the transient nature of life - how things ebb and flow and are constantly changing, especially for the protagonist of the novel, Rita Del Vecchio, whose life is "in transit" - literally and figuratively. For Rita, life changes fast. She's a 20-something young woman who leaves her family and the life she knows and sets out for NYC to become a member of the NYPD. She's also a woman who is falling in love for the very first time . . .

As IN TRANSIT progresses, NYC, the place Rita once deemed as a "promised land," suddenly transforms into a place of danger. She learns (the hard way) that people and places aren't always whom or what they appear to be. Rita is ultimately forced to confront the choices she has made for her life, and she is forced to rise up against some in the mighty city and the powers therein.

I've lived in a suburb of New York City my whole life, and I've always been intrigued and enamored by The Big Apple. In my novel, IN TRANSIT, NYC and the whole idea and flavor of New York gives texture, depth and resonance to the backstory of each character . . . The dark shadows and dank passageways of the labyrinth-like subway system mirror the hidden, dark places and the secret motivations driving some of us - consciously and unconsciously.

What city in the world do you live closest to? What do you think is the greatest city in the world - and which ones would like to visit and explore? Share your thoughts/experiences and be entered to win a complimentary copy of the novel, IN TRANSIT.

***

In Transit: A Novel buy links:

Hardcover (U.S.):
Amazon U.S.
Barnes and Noble

Hardcover International:
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

eBook:
Kindle
Nook
Untreed Reads

Price: $4.99 ebook, $25.95 hardcover
Pages: 246 ebook, 284 hardcover
ISBN: 9781594149665
ASIN: B009RR815S
Hardcover Publisher: Five Star (Gale-Cengage-Thorndike Press)
eBook Publisher: Untreed Reads
Hardcover Release: May 2011
eBook Release: October 2012


About the Author

Kathleen Gerard writes across genres. Her fiction has been awarded The Perillo Prize, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award and was nominated for Best New American Voices, all national prizes in literature. Her prose and poetry have been widely published in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). Several of her plays have been staged and performed regionally and off-Broadway.

Links to connect with Kathleen:
Web site
Blog
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site


About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What I'm Reading Now - Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves by Dianne Ascroft

Buy Link: Amazon

Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves is a collection of half a dozen short stories. Tales of outsiders who discover they belong, a humorous slice of life yarn, heartwarming love stories and a tale of taming fear. The shadows are on the wall, in the heart and clouding a woman’s memories while tangible foes tramp through the physical landscape.

The stories were previously printed individually in a variety of publications, including Ireland’s Own magazine, Dead Ink Books’ website, and the writing collections, Fermanagh Miscellany and Tuesdays At Charlie’s.