Monday, February 25, 2013

Tim Forbes - It's Game Time Somewhere - Guest Post & Giveaway

Unfortunately, there were no entries, so this is no giveaway winner.

About the Book

Tim Forbes was like many Americans: painfully unsatisfied in his corporate job but making too much money to walk away. But then, one momentous day, he and his wife struck the Deal, leading to a career in the one field he loved more than anything: sports.

Years later, having carved out his place in the sports business, he was surprised when a friend asked, "Do you still love sports?"...And stunned when he didn't know how to reply. Of course he still loved sports! Didn't he? Was it possible that walking away from a perk-filled Corporate American life had all been for nothing?

His year-long quest to find that answer started with a single game. But what he discovered there soon led to an unlikely coast-to-coast “sports walkabout” involving 100 more games and 50 different sports—from major-market events to the smallest of the small. Poignant, irreverent, and ultimately inspiring, It’s Game Time Somewhere chronicles one man’s search for the love of the game.


Video Book Trailer


Guest Post

Cards on the table – yours truly is not quite right.

How else could you explain the fact that I spent a year of my life attending and writing about 100 uniquely different sporting events involving 50 separate sports? But that’s what I did, and literally thousands of readers helped me keep score. And when it was done, we all knew more about sports in America than it was thought to be humanly possible. Or at least I did, anyway.

“But why?” you ask. Well here’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

As Bill Cosby once said, I started out as a child. A child inexorably drawn to sports – the organized kind and especially the disorganized kind favored by my circle of friends. Consequently I grew up chasing a ball. It didn’t matter what size or shape, I chased them all. I was fortunate enough to have come of age in a time when kids themselves scheduled their own games and “officiated” them via the kid’s code of sports ethics – an arcane collection of arguments, declarations, and insults that inevitably led to the Do Over. Or somebody taking their ball and going home.

On those occasions when a quorum wasn’t available for even the most streamlined of games, I played them solo. Some might call it “practicing”, but I knew it as “having fun”. And as is the case with many things one repeats endlessly, I managed to develop some level of skill. So it came to be that I went to college on a basketball scholarship.

Annoyingly enough, they don’t let you just major in Basketball – well, not in 1977 anyway, and not in any conference that, like mine, did not start with the word “Big”. So I chose to pursue a degree in Psychology. Don’t ask me why. And when my undergraduate days ended, I decided to obtain an MBA, because, well…because.

The ironic thing was that neither Psychology nor Business Administration would have even been in the race had Sports Management been an academic option. Ubiquitous now, at the time that I entered college there was no such degree program. And so, a career match made in heaven went by the boards…for the time being, anyway.

In my mid-30’s, having acquired over a decade of experience in Corporate America, I became vaguely aware of the fact that people were getting paid to work in sports! Having thus discovered the existence of what was rightfully MY chosen field of work, I spent the next several years alternating between a state of agitation over having been born a decade too early, and thoughtful rumination on how I could still pull off a second half rally and transition to my natural calling.

At the age of 40, the confluence of a certain set of circumstances, not the least of which is the most understanding wife in the cosmos, enabled me to take the plunge. I enrolled in an accredited four semester program that rewarded me upon completion with an Associate’s Degree in Professional Golf Management. I was on my way – a little late out of the gate, but with a full head of steam and ready to use my transferrable skills to claw my way to the top of the sports business.

Nearly a decade later, having come to know quite well the good, the bad and the ugly about pursuing a second career within the sports industry, I was innocently confronted one day with the following question: ”After working in the industry for ten years, do you still love sports?”

Hmmmm…great question. One I honestly didn’t have an answer for. As you can imagine though, it became critically important for me to find one. And thus began germinating the idea of a “sports walkabout” – an effort to reconnect with my ball-chasing, sports-loving roots.

I went to a game. And then another. And another. Big games, little games. Tournaments, matches, meets and bouts. Men’s games, women’s games. Professional. Amateur. High School. College. Games that I was intimately familiar with. Games that I didn’t have the faintest idea as to their rules.

To those that virtually accompanied me I offered to share everything that I found – both positive and…not so positive. I promised to keep it light-hearted, and they in turn agreed to laugh, learn and share the link with others. This blog, this portrait of Americans at play, became a love letter to sports, warts and all. My friends at Google Analytics tell me that it has been read by thousands of people all over the world.

I hope it brings a smile of pleasure and recognition to your face as well. Because it’s always game time somewhere.

To read more of my stories, please visit:


Video Interview


It's Game Time Somewhere can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble,

Price: $15.95
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781938008122
Publisher: Bascom Hill
Release: February 12, 2013

About the Author

Alternately blessed and cursed by the notion that everyone should do what they love for a living, Tim Forbes creates and writes about the games that people play.

Tim grew up in the farmlands of northern Connecticut, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College—where he played Division III basketball in front of literally tens of people. He received an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an Associate’s Degree at the Professional Golfers Career College in Temecula, CA. Yes, in that order.

After 15 years spent meandering about in Corporate America, Tim went on to work for three professional golf tours: the Symetra Futures Tour, the LPGA Tour, and the PGA Tour. He also served as general manager for golf clubs in Nashville, Tennessee and Orlando, Florida. In 2009, he founded Outside the Mode, a sports marketing and production company based in his adopted home of Los Angeles.

Tim lives in Redondo Beach, California with a perennially underachieving fish named Halo, a cat, and a wife he fondly calls Bird..

Connect with Tim:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

Leave a comment with your email address to win an ebook of It's Game Time Somewhere
Ends 3/01/13.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

G. Jay - Summer Spirit - Author Interview & Giveaway

Congratulations to our winner!

About the Book

Ryan Kinkaid, a successful gay Manhattan antique dealer has had it with life in New York City, especially his random love life. Ryan has what most New Yorkers want — his own successful business, and a mortgage-free brownstone on West 71st Street. However, at age forty-one he discovers he is lacking one very important thing in his life: a meaningful and loving relationship. With summer just around the corner, the approaching heat and his restlessness are reasons for his escape from the city. A four-month rental in historic and picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with his best friend Lauren was the answer.

Renting a house built in 1810, kindred spirit Nicholas reaches out for contact, and Ryan finds himself wanting to know about the past. However, Nicholas is not the only one wanting Ryan’s attention. Ty, a handsome local man, also has strong desires for Ryan.

The stark contrast of the past collides with the present in this tale of lost and betrayed love, and irrational and undying prejudice.

In the end, all that is left is the affirmation of the value of honesty and commitment in love.

Author Interview

1. Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening.
Ryan, Lauren and Jason are traveling from Manhattan to Portsmouth for the weekend. On the way they stop at a rest area in Connecticut to use the facilities and Jason takes care of someone else’s business (if you catch my drift) along with his own.

2. Do you plan any subsequent books?
Yes, this is the first in a series of at least four. The next book will be a continuation of the story between Ryan and Ty and is called Autumn Reveal.

3. Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.
I’m not reading anything at the moment. I am focusing on writing Autumn Reveal. However, when I do, I’m sure it will be one of the more popular fiction books on the market. I doubt it will be gay erotica because I don’t want to influence my writing by how another author depicts sex in their story.


Summer Spirit can be purchased at:
Kindle, Nook, iBookstore,

Price: $3.99
Pages: 132
mobi ISBN: 9781938008665
ePub ISBN: 9781938008672
Publisher: Publish Green
Release: October 15, 2012

About the Author

A communications graduate of the City Universities of New York, and after twenty-nine years as a human resources administrator, Jay decided to apply his understanding of the complexities and foibles of the human character in a more creative way.

Like the main character, Ryan Kinkaid, Jay is a gay man who believes in love and commitment. He and his husband have been together for over thirty years and live on the West coast of Florida with their two cats. A transplant from New York, Jay continues to travel regularly to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to connect with the New England life which he so loves.

Connect with G. Jay:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

Leave a comment with your email address to win an ebook of Summer Spirit. Ends 2/28/13.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Frank Nappi - Echoes from the Infantry - Author Interview & Giveaway

Congratulations to our winner!

About the Book

Echoes From The Infantry is the tale of one Long Island World War II veteran, the misery of combat, and the powerful emotional bonds that brought him home to Rockaway Beach and the love of his life, Madeline Brandt. It is about a father and son, and their ultimately redeeming struggle to understand each other's worlds - one a world at war, the other shaped by its veterans. Nappi moves artfully between the present and past, weaving a fictionalized tale of this Long Islander's struggle to reconcile with the demons from long ago and his family's neverending battle with many of the intangible burdens caused by the private life of a man they never really knew. He touches our hearts with a story of courage and perseverance...a story of men who faced the greatest challenge of their generation.

Author Interview

1. Why did you choose this setting?
The setting of Echoes From The Infantry vacillates between war-torn Europe and the tiny town of Rockaway Beach, New York. James McCleary's time as a soldier during WWII is obviously set in several towns in Europe, while the scenes depicting his life post war are all limited to his hometown, which is Rockaway Beach. I chose Rockaway Beach for several reasons, the most compelling being that this is where one of the veterans on which the novel is based grew up. It is the sort of quaint, folksy, post WWII town that embodies so much of what America was about during this time period.

2. How is it a fundamental part of your overall theme?
Well, the story is told in a series of flashbacks and runs simultaneously on three tracks. Naturally, the war scenes are essential as they allow the reader entrance into the private world of James McCleary. The other two tracks chronicle James' life in Rockaway immediately following the war and in the subsequent years, and the present situation he is in with his family. The theme of war having a lasting effect of a soldier's life is conveyed easily and powerfully through this structure.

3. How challenging was it to write about?
Not as challenging as one would think. I was not a part of WWII in any way, nor was anyone on my family. However, the relationship that I forged with two very special WWII veterans and their willingness to share with me their experiences both during the war and of course afterward made the whole topic come to life for me with startling clarity. I really felt, after all was said and done, that I had walked next to them while they were engaged in combat.

4. How did you develop your setting as you wrote your book?
As I said previously, the setting of Echoes From The Infantry vacillates between war-torn Europe and the tiny town of Rockaway Beach, New York. James McCleary's time as a soldier during WWII is obviously set in several towns in Europe, while the scenes depicting his life post war are all limited to his hometown, which is Rockaway Beach. As noted earlier, I chose Rockaway Beach because of the connection to one of the men who inspired the novel and because of what the area represents. The book unfolds in a series of these alternating flashbacks.

5. How do you transport them there through your writing?
Like any author, I use description, particularly of the sensory variety, as the vehicle through which I transport readers into another time and place. It is essential that a reader feel connected to the surroundings in order to feel what is happening as they read. This makes the setting come alive for the reader.


Madeline came home to find James on the couch. She set her bags down and kissed his cheek. He was unavailable. He reminded her somehow of those German cities in ruin: not functioning and only remotely hopeful for a future. “My goodness, the stores were mobbed,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” He barely acknowledged her arrival. He was lost in the familiar practice of stuffing those goddamned socks under his arm. Those socks. How she hated those socks. More than anything. More than the way he sat in the living room of their home in the evenings, staring vacantly out the window into the darkness; more than the way he jumped to attention each time an airplane passed overhead or a car door slammed. Those socks. He had them squirreled away in every room. There were enough pairs to outfit all the New York Yankees.

They were more disconcerting than the way he ground his teeth while he slept or the way his mind drifted during moments such as these. She had tried. From the moment he came back to Rockaway, she tried to guide him gently toward his new life. She prepared all of his favorite meals. She made certain that the house was always warm. Fresh flowers adorned the tables in each room, and the soothing tones of classical piano insulated their home from the harsh sounds of the street, which always seemed to bring him back to the front line.

“Jimmy!” she admonished him. “Did you hear a word I just said?” Her arms were folded. The tapping of her foot on the oak floor echoed like a drumroll. “Yeah, yeah, Maddie. I heard you.” He pulled his hand out from under his shirt. His gaze was still off in the other direction. “Look, Jimmy. This has gone on long enough,” she said. “It’s time to live again. Time to be a husband again. Jimmy, please. Put those damn socks away.” They were the most difficult words she had ever spoken. She labored for weeks over how and when and even if she should. He was unpredictable and at times volatile, particularly when she questioned the reason behind what he was doing. This fear had held her voice captive. Until now. When she heard the words leave her lips, she was surprised, almost as if they were uttered by someone else.

“What did you say?” he responded, cutting her down with his icy stare. “Why would you ask me that?” She cowered in front of him like a frightened child. She did not answer. Why had she said anything? She should have kept her mouth closed, left him to his thoughts. Now she was reeling, and with nothing else to say, her silence enraged him. He grabbed her by the wrists and shook her violently, muttering something about soldiers and shell holes and Bastogne in the winter. She started to cry. He released her abruptly and stormed upstairs, leaving her crumpled on the floor.

She had bundled up his uniforms and his pack, buried them in his footlocker and tucked it all away neatly in a corner of the attic. She had hidden his souvenir weapons and photographs as well. Even the decorations he had received were placed out of his reach, in the back of her jewelry box. She thought she had covered everything, separated him from the world that still haunted him. But she had forgotten something. She sat on the floor, feeling stupid and childish. Dusk had crept through the window and there she sat, crying, wiping her eyes on her shirt sleeves. She did not want to feel this way. It was worse than any confrontation with James could ever be. She lifted herself off the floor, grabbed a bag, and gathered every last pair of socks he had, leaving only the ones under his armpit and on his feet.

She found him upstairs, sitting in the shadows of their bedroom, his head resting in the palms of his hands. “Jimmy,” she whispered. “I don’t know exactly why you are still carrying those socks. I’m sure you have a good reason. But you’re home now. You don’t need them, sweetheart.” She ran her hand gently across her protruding belly. There wasn’t going to be room for an extra pair of socks in the life Maddie had planned for herself and for her family. There were things now more important than socks, something inside of her, a new life, full of hope and promise. He needed to understand that. “Let me have them, Jimmy. Please. I want them.”

He rose slowly but said nothing. He slid his hands around her waist and locked them behind her back. Then he started to crumble. “I’m sorry, Maddie. I’m sorry. But I can’t. I can’t do it,” he said, choking on every word. “I can’t do it, Maddie.”

……she was right. Everything would be great. He could do this. Husband. Father. Plenty of guys did it. Why not him? He turned to her and opened his eyes. Her face was just a silhouette, glinting in the sheen of the moonlight. He pressed his mouth against hers. It was great. Everything would be great, he thought, if he could find a way to just forget.


Echoes from the Infantry can be purchased at:

Price: $3.99
Pages: 256
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release: October 13, 2005

About the Author

Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the just released thriller, Nobody Has to Know, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. Frank is presently at work on a third installment of his Mickey Tussler series and his next thriller. He lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.

Connect with Frank:
Web Site
Blog Tour Stops

About the Giveaway:

Leave a comment with your email address to win an ebook of Echoes from the Infantry. Ends 2/28/13.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sarah Pleydell - Cologne: A Novel - Guest Post

About the Book

London, 1960: Renate von Hasselmann, a nineteen-year-old German au pair, arrives at Victoria Station prepared to meet her new charges, Caroline and Maggie Whitaker. Yet she is ill-prepared for their parents: the mother, Helen, knows more about Nazi Germany than Renate does, and the father, Jack, disarms Renate with his quicksilver charm.

In Sarah Pleydell's debut novel, childhood and history collide, blurring the distinctions between victim and victor, ruin and redemption. With delicate humor, Pleydell presents a portrait of a family on the cusp of great social change, while reminding us that the traumas of war revisit the children of the peace.

Guest Post

After living for twenty years in the United States, I developed an overwhelming nostalgia for England, the country of my birth, a longing for the consolation of native not adoptive soil. I loved the United States but felt in my bones that these were not my lands, mountains, rivers or streams. I think this is true for many expatriates. As I journalled and reflected, I realized that Kew Gardens, the affluent London suburb where I grew up, presented the perfect setting for a novel. It had a beguiling beauty and melancholia than was distinctively British but also fertile soil for more universal themes.

As I wrote the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew became a central motif; it represented (as Christmas does for so many) the idealized childhood that every child yearns for but especially those -- and certainly for the two sisters in my book-- whose domestic world has been invaded by personal and historical trauma. It was the sanctuary where Caroline and Maggie Whitaker went every afternoon with their au pair, Renate, to play, to fantasize and to escape. They climbed the steps of the tropical hot house imagining themselves big birds flying away to a locale outside time and history. But then had to come back down to earth and endure yet more conflict and discord.

Returning to the landscape of my own childhood was challenging, as I found myself reliving not only sensory details but also the sensate experiences they evoked, replete with both kinds of “feeling”: I felt them on my skin and I knew them as emotions. As the book addresses child abuse this was both difficult and cathartic.

The novel covers nine months in the Whitaker girls’ lives, so I had to track the changes in setting over four seasons. On the one hand, I derived great joy from recalling the flowers --rhododendrons, marigolds, wallflowers and exquisite roses—the butterflies, moths and bees, and, on the other, the dreariness, the damp, the pervasive grey of the British weather. The book’s terrain had grown to include streets, houses, shops and even the British seaside.

I realized that not only were these details—the sights, sounds and scents of London – essential for me as the British writer, but they were also the lures that would make this foreign environ tangible to the American reader. In addition, therefore, I added signature British tastes –the sweet and starchy puddings, the kippers, kidneys and tripe. Every sense would come alive, every sense would draw the reader in and every feeling could be tasted.


Price: $14.95 paperback, $6.47-$12.95 ebook
ISBN: 9780984990856
Pages: 252
Release: September 18, 2012
Buy Links: Kindle, Nook, Fuze Publishing (paperback), Fuze Publishing (ebook)

About the Author

A graduate of Oxford and London Universities, Sarah Pleydell is an award-winning writer, performer and playwright who teaches English and writing at the University of Maryland. For the past twenty years, she has been a master teaching artist and arts integration specialist, working with institutions that include The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Luce Institute. In 2000, she won the American Association for Theatre Educators’ award for best book of the year with co-author Victoria Brown. Most recently she wrote the script and played the role of Isadora in Revolutionary: The Life and Times of Isadora Duncan with Word Dance Theater.

Based on her childhood in London, "Cologne" (Fuze Publishing) has been twenty years in the making. It has benefited from fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and input many generous and gifted writers.

Connect with Sarah:
Blog Tour Site
Fuze Publishing Web Site
Fuze Publishing Blog
Fuze Publishing Facebook
Fuze Publishing Twitter