Monday, October 17, 2016

Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson by William Hazelgrove

Madam President

Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson by William Hazelgrove

After President Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralyzing stroke in the fall of 1919, his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, began to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of the Executive Office. Mrs. Wilson had had little formal education and had only been married to President Wilson for four years; yet, in the tenuous peace following the end of World War I, Mrs. Wilson dedicated herself to managing the office of the President, reading all correspondence intended for her bedridden husband. Though her Oval Office authority was acknowledged in Washington, D.C. circles at the time--one senator called her "the Presidentress who had fulfilled the dream of suffragettes by changing her title from First Lady to Acting First Man"--her legacy as "First Woman President" is now largely forgotten. William Hazelgrove's Madam President is a vivid, engaging portrait of the woman who became the acting President of the United States in 1919, months before women officially won the right to vote.

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William Hazelgrove's riveting style lets us into the backrooms of the White House to see how a woman who had only two years formal education was able to pull it off and do it for two years! A great read and ride! ~Robin Hutton New York Times Bestselling Author of Sgt Reckless add to goodreads Excerpt - Chapter One The Cover-Up President Woodrow Wilson lay with his mouth drooping, unconscious, having suffered a thrombosis on October 2, 1919, that left him paralyzed on his left side and barely able to speak. The doctors believed the president’s best chance for survival was in the only known remedy for a stroke at the time: a rest cure consisting of total isolation from the world. His wife of four years, Edith Bolling Wilson, asked how a country could function with no chief executive. Dr. Dercum, the attending physician, leaned over and gave Edith her charge: “Madam, it is a grave situation, but I think you can solve it. Have everything come to you; weigh the importance of each matter: and see if it is possible by consultation with the respective heads of the Departments to solve them without the guidance of your husband.” From there, Edith Wilson would act as the president’s proxy and run the White House and, by extension, the country, by controlling access to the president, signing documents, pushing bills through Congress, issuing vetoes, isolating advisors, crafting State of the Union addresses, disposing of or censoring correspondence, and filling positions. She would analyze every problem and decide which ones to bring to the president’s attention and which to solve on her own through her own devices. All the while she had to keep the fact that the country was no longer being run by President Woodrow Wilson a guarded secret.

hazelgrove Author William Hazelgove

William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of thirteen novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, Jackpine and The Pitcher 2. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway's birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR's All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, WGN. The Pitcher is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors. net. His next book Jackpine will be out Spring 2014 with Koehler Books. A follow up novel Real Santa will be out fall of 2014. Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson will be out Fall 2016. Storyline optioned the movie rights. Forging a President How the West Created Teddy Roosevelt will be out May 2017.

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Ends 11/8/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Last of the Firedrakes Blast

Last of the Firedrakes

Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy  

A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic. 16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad. Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear. With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

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Praise for the Book
“…the narrative components echo the classics; the Academy of Magic at Evolon could be Hogwarts, while the Shadow Guards are reminiscent of Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths or Rowling’s Dementors…a beautifully drawn fantasy world.” Kirkus Reviews

“THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES is a magic-filled romp that carries you back to the fantasy stories of childhood…Lovers of classic fantasy will likewise gobble down Oomerbhoy’s scrumptious story.” Dr Vic James, author of the SLAVEDAYS trilogy

“The world building is beautiful…That really made the book more complex for me…it is the journey of discovery for Aurora and the reader that makes this an interesting story.”Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite

The Last of the Firedrakes has all the elements of popular fantasy – an orphaned princess, Magical powers, an alternate sphere with seven kingdoms, a young girl with a destiny to fulfil. They are all elements of the Narnia Chronicles, The Faraway tree, The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and a bit of Enid Blyton fun.” – Mitali Parekh for Mid-Day newspaper

FarahAuthor Farah Oomerbhoy
Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel,The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.

Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 7/29/16
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard is the second book in the Red Queen series, following the first book titled Red Queen. This young adult dystopian fiction with elements of magic, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, adventure and romance is lavishly mounted on a gigantic scale, with thrilling action sequences, some nerve-wracking scenes and quite a few memorable acts. I’m in awe of Victoria Aveyard’s ability to stitch together a plot that not only reinforces the scope and ambition of Red Queen but takes the story forward to a new and higher level.

23174274In this well-written and wonderfully conceived follow-up, Mare Barrow is still unable to come to terms with the treachery that infiltrated her ranks, and she almost paid for it with her life. However, she realized that she must quickly come to grip with the unexpected situation and carry out an almost impossible mission – to save her friends before they are found and destroyed by the King. Mare is also bent on taking revenge for the harsh betrayal she suffered. But it is easier said than done. As the Silver king unleashed his wrath on the Reds, Mare knows that she must act quickly, and act decisively. Only if the Scarlet Guard were on her side, she would stand a chance of winning…

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard is a riveting read, and in more ways than one an exhilarating sequel to Red Queen. With a strong female character who is prepared for deathly duels with dangerous enemies as the main protagonist, the story is as electrifying as it can get. Glass Sword is every reader’s fantasy coming true with strong and unforgettable characters, flowing narrative, breath-taking landscape with an array of characters planted to inhabit it and a story that is free-flowing and difficult to forget. While opinions may differ if weighed against the scale with the first book, I can safely conclude that Glass Sword is one thrilling read that you won’t want to miss.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Big Fear by Andrew Case

Practically ripped from recent headlines about police brutality and misconduct, Andrew Case’s debut novel THE BIG FEAR plugs directly into the live wire of current events, taking readers deep inside the world of the men and women who “police the police,” through a heart-pounding story of suspense, police corruption, profiteering and betrayal in the city that never sleeps.

Perhaps one of the most truly authentic NYC-set crime suspense novels ever written, THE BIG FEAR has an unmatched caliber of insider detail drawn from Case’s long and distinguished career as an investigator, spokesman, and policy director at the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board—the influential civilian committee that oversees NYPD misconduct claims. Case’s first hand knowledge of the goings-on in police stations, courtrooms, and lower Manhattan’s corridors of municipal power makes for a truly riveting reading experience.

At age fifty-three, Detective Ralph Mulino has certainly put in his time as a New York City policeman. He’s a good cop, but when he looks at how much the city has changed since he first walked the beat as a raw rookie, he feels increasingly out of place. New Yorkers aren’t fearing the “little” things like muggings, car thefts, and petty robberies the way they did—with very good reason—in the 1980s. To an outside observer, New York is safe now. But somehow the “big” fears are stronger than ever… Fears of buildings falling down. Fears of poison gas filling elevators and subway cars. Fears of bridges—full of cars, cyclists, and pedestrians—collapsing into the East River.
And policing has changed too. In Mulino’s day, it was about busting real criminals and getting them off the streets so the people in your precinct (whose names you knew) would be more secure. Now it’s all about meeting the statistical quotas handed down by some faceless bureaucrat—and as far as the statistics are concerned, a stop is a stop whether the guy is carrying a gun, a joint, or a bag of groceries.

But Mulino is still determined to do his job and do it well. It’s all he knows to do. So when a call rouses him out of bed at 2 A.M. one August night during a sweltering, tense summer, he doesn’t hesitate (even though it’s supposed to be his day off, which seems odd for a moment…). But what seemed to be a routine check of a docked cargo ship soon goes violently awry, and when the chaos settles Mulino sees one of his gunshots has killed another officer… who appeared to be an armed and threatening criminal.

A dead policeman is a big deal, and everyone from newspaper readers to City Hall big shots want answers... and perhaps a quick official conclusion that Mulino was a dirty cop who whacked an inconvenient colleague. It falls to Leonard Mitchell, the new head of the Department to Investigate Misconduct and Corruption (DIMAC) to figure it out. With all eyes on him, Mitchell knows his job likely depends on this case.

Sitting across the interview table from Mulino, Mitchell doesn’t see a careless shooter, and certainly not a cop killer. And there are just too many bizarre questions: Why was an off-duty Mulino called to the scene of the crime? What was the dead officer really doing there? What happened to the gun Mulino saw—was it really there and if so, who took it? And what was on the cargo ship and who did it belong to?

The surprisingly difficult search for answers quickly has Mitchell thinking that there is much more going on than a tabloid-friendly story of a disgruntled, corrupt detective. And when sabotage and more dead bodies start to surround the investigation, Mulino and Mitchell enter an uneasy partnership in a dangerous bid to save not only their careers and perhaps lives, but also the integrity of the city both are sworn to serve.

Q: Was the plot of THE BIG FEAR informed by any specific cases you oversaw while serving at the Civilian Complaint Review Board?
A: While the overarching plot isn't based on any one case, many of the details and incidents of the book are informed by CCRB cases. The first draft of the original shooting was very much based on the case of Ousmane Zongo, who was shot by police officer Bryan Conroy after a chase in a dark storage unit in 2003. Eventually the storage unit became a container ship, and Zongo became another police officer. The case in Mulino's backstory, in which a man dies after being pepper sprayed, is based on a very similar case that I investigated in 1997. I also used to do outreach and press for the CCRB, and much of the interplay between Leonard and Tony Licata has its roots in my work with the tabloid reporters who covered the NYPD.
Q: You’ve written plays in the past but this is your first novel. How did you find the fiction-writing process to be different from writing a dramatic script in terms of character, plot, pacing, etc.?
A: Plays are all dialogue, and the audience watches from the outside. That means that everything about a character has to come through in how she speaks. The plot has to be played out in speech. Writing a book gives you so many more options--you can describe the world, you can go into someone's mind--but it also means you have many more choices to make. In a book, you can't write a weak line and hope the actor will save you. What was most new to me in writing the book was the chance to write from a point of view: seeing the world from inside the character is something that theatre doesn't easily allow. At the same time, I'm so glad I had the experience I had writing for theatre, because you are trained to write crisply, and to always write in a voice. Not only does being a playwright mean I focused on strong dialogue, it also means that even the narrative scenes are written in a voice. There is never a dull neutral narrator simply walking you through the action.

Q: Leonard Mitchell’s job seems to be similar to yours at the CCRB. Is the character of Leonard based on you to any extent? What about the characters of Ralph Mulino and Christine Davenport?
A: There are models for all the characters, but as I went through many drafts of the novel they all moved away from who they were based on and became themselves. Originally, Leonard was very much like me: he had my background, he had my family life, he had my job. But the more I worked on the book, the more he grew to serve the novel, rather than my image of myself. His ambition to be seen by the mayor's side after breaking a big case is something that some people at the agency had, but it wasn't my focus. I did outreach to tenants at the Ebbets Field apartments, but I never lived there. At the same time, some of my personal history started creeping into other characters: Christine Davenport's family life is more like mine than it is like the woman who ran the CCRB when I was there. And while there are a few cops whose character traits found their way into Mulino, he probably changed the most over the course of the revisions, and in many ways I have become more fond of him, and identify more with him, than anyone else.

Q: Many who read this book are likely also going to be very interested in the many real-life instances of police misconduct occurring today, and the ways those cases are handled. What, if anything, do you hope your readers learn about how this process really works from THE BIG FEAR?
A: Investigating police misconduct was the most challenging, most rewarding, and most exciting job I ever had—on most days more than writing novels. I'm really heartened that the issues I devoted much of my career to are talked about so much more than they were ten years ago.

When I spoke to the community council after Timothy Stansbury was shot, there was not nearly the interest that there is now in the many cases that have been in the news. But one thing that I think people who have started following the issue of police misconduct over the past two years may miss is that the people who have been in the field for a long time are working their hardest on very challenging cases. There seems to be a meme nowadays that the people who investigate the police are compromised or challenged or biased. I never saw that. Flo Finkle, who prosecuted the "dirty thirty" cops in Harlem and ran the CCRB when I worked there, is incredibly driven and devoted to justice. Phil Eure, who ran the DC oversigh agency and is now the NYPD's inspector general, Kelvyn Anderson, who runs the equivalent in Philadelphia, or Richard Rosenthal, who investigated the police in Denver and Portland, are tough people doing a tough job. The reason these investigations don't always turn out the way people want is that they are usually incredibly complicated, very dense, and filled with competing narratives. So I hope that people come away, in some part, with a respect for the hard work done by the people who investigated police conduct.

Q: The massive changes in New York City over the past thirty years are an important part of your novel. Do you think that, on the whole, the city is better or worse off now than it was when Ralph Mulino was starting to work the beat? Do you foresee the trends towards less crime and higher costs of living continuing?
A: In 1995, I worked at a theatre on 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. Every day I would walk past the porn theatres on my way in to work. That was also the year that Times Square underwent its sudden, wrenching, change. During the two months or so that the porn houses were shut down but before they had been rehabbed to house Disney productions, the marquees all sported poems. Weird, three-line odes and haikus. I saw Fiona Shaw perform The Waste Land, directed by Deborah Warner, in one of those theatres before renovation. It was the purest marriage of setting and content I have ever seen on stage.

So in many ways, I miss the old New York. I am just barely old enough to remember it. I feel bad for people who didn't have the chance to see it, to walk through a city that had truly wild places, rather than places that merely performed wildness. But I also recognize the importance of safety: I have two kids, and where I live in Brooklyn was not a great place to raise two kids in 1995. So I'm torn, because I love both New Yorks, in their way. I love the mess and the carnival that we used to have, and I love being able to get on a subway with my six-year old and not have to worry for a moment about her safety.

As for crime and the cost of living, I think that we have been sold a false narrative that the two are related. Safety doesn't have to be expensive. It's great that crime is down, but the fact that it costs so much to live in the city is crime of a different sort. The reasons that real estate costs have spiraled out of control are a story for another time.

Q: What are your plans for your next book? Will we see Ralph Mulino and/or Leonard Mitchell again or are you working on something completely different?
A: I am deep into a sequel, in which we will see both Mulino and Leonard again, and not only them. And it's funny you should bring it up just after talking about real estate, because the new book is an exploration of the dark side of development, with Leonard and Mulino teamed up to investigate what looks at first like a construction accident, but turns out to be so much more.