Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Blast! Introducing Larry D. Thompson's DARK MONEY!



We're thrilled to be hosting Larry D. Thompson's DARK MONEY Book Blast today!  Pick up your copy!





Title: DARK MONEY           
Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Pages: 420
Genre: Legal Thriller
DARK MONEY is a thriller, a mystery and an expose’ of the corruption of money in politics.

Jackson Bryant, the millionaire plaintiff lawyer who turned to pro bono work in Dead Peasants, is caught up in the collision of money and politics when he receives a call from his old army buddy, Walt Frazier. Walt needs his assistance in evaluating security for Texas Governor Rob Lardner at a Halloween costume fundraiser thrown by one of the nation’s richest Republican billionaires at his mansion in Fort Worth.

Miriam Van Zandt is the best marksman among The Alamo Defenders, an anti-government militia group in West Texas. She attends the fund raiser dressed as a cat burglar---wounds the governor and murders the host’s brother, another Republican billionaire. She is shot in the leg but manages to escape.
Jack is appointed special prosecutor and must call on the Texas DPS SWAT team to track Van Zandt and attack the Alamo Defenders’ compound in a lonely part of West Texas. Van Zandt’s father, founder of the Defenders, is killed in the attack and Miriam is left in a coma. The authorities declare victory and close the case---but Jack knows better. The person behind the Halloween massacre has yet to be caught. When Walt and the protective detail are sued by the fund raiser host and the widow of the dead man, Jack follows the dark money of political contributions from the Cayman Islands to Washington to Eastern Europe, New York and New Orleans to track the real killer and absolve his friend and the Protective Detail of responsibility for the massacre.

For More Information

  • Dark Money is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

Jack Bryant turned his old red Dodge Ram pickup into the driveway of the Greek revival mansion at the end of the cul-de-sac in Westover Hills, an exclusive neighborhood in Fort Worth. He was amused to see Halloween ghosts and goblins hanging from the two enormous live oaks that fronted the house. The driveway led to wrought iron gates that permitted entry to the back. A heavy set Hispanic man with a Poncho Villa mustache in a security guard uniform stood beside the driveway near the gates, clipboard in hand. He was unarmed.

Jack stopped beside him and lowered his window. “Afternoon, officer. Fine autumn day, isn’t it?”

The guard sized up the old pick-up and the man wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. “You here to make a delivery?”

Jack reached into his left rear pocket and retrieved his wallet from which he extracted a laminated card. “No, sir. Name’s Jackson Douglas Bryant. I’m a lawyer and a Tarrant County Reserve Deputy. My friend, Walter Frazier, is part of the Governor’s Protective Detail. Said Governor Lardner is attending some big shindig here tomorrow night and asked me to lend a hand in checking the place out before he hits town. My name
should be on that clipboard.”

The guard took the card, studied it closely and handed it back to Jack. He flipped to the second page. “There it is. Let me open the gates. Park down at the end of the driveway. You’ll see another wall with a gate. Walk on through and you’ll find your way to the ballroom where the party’s being held tomorrow. I’ll radio Sergeant Frazier to let him know you’re on your way.”

The gates silently opened, and Jack drove slowly to the back, admiring the house and grounds. The house had to be half a football field in length. Giant arched windows were spaced every ten feet with smaller ones above, apparently illuminating the second floor. To Jack’s right was an eight foot wall. First security issue. Not very hard to figure out a way to scale it. Fortunately, cameras and lights were mounted on fifteen foot poles that appeared to blanket the area.

Jack parked where he was directed and climbed from his truck. Before shutting the door, he took his cane from behind the driver’s seat. He flexed his left knee. It felt pretty good. He might not even need the cane. Still, he usually carried it since he never knew when he might take a step and have it buckle under him. Better to carry the cane than to fall on his ass.

He found himself in front of another wall. He was studying it when Walt came through the gate. Walt was ten years his junior, six feet, two inches of solid muscle. He bounded across the driveway to greet Jack. They first shook hands and then bear-hugged
each other like the old army buddies that they were.

Walt pulled back and looked at Jack. “Damn, it’s good to see you. Been, what, about three years since you were in Austin for some lawyer meeting?”

“Could have been four. I think I was practicing in Beaumont then.”

“Still carrying the cane. That injury at the barracks causing you more problems?”

“No worse, not any better. Every once in a while the damn knee gives out with no warning. I may have to put an artificial one in some day. Meantime, the cane does just fine. I’ve got a collection of about twenty of them in an old whiskey barrel beside the back door of my house. This one is my Bubba Stick. Picked it up at a service station a while back.”

Walt’s voice dropped to just above a whisper. “Follow me into the garden. There are some tables there. We can sit for a few minutes while I explain what’s coming down.”
They walked through the gate. Beyond it was a garden, obviously tended by loving hands. Cobblestone paths wound their way through fall plantings of Yellow Copper Canyon Daises, Fall Aster, Apricot-colored Angel’s Trumpet, Mexican Marigold and
the like. Walt led the way to a wrought iron table beside a fish pond with a fountain in the middle, spraying water from the mouth of a cherub’s statue. The two friends settled into chairs, facing the pond.

“This is what the help call the little garden. In a minute we’ll go around the house to the big garden and pool that fronts the ballroom. You know whose house this is?”

“No idea.”

“Belongs to Oscar Hale. He and his brother, Edward, are the two richest men in Fort Worth. Their daddy was one of the old Texas wildcatters. The two brothers were worth a few hundred million each, mainly from some old oil holdings down in South Texas and out around Midland. Life must have been pretty good.

Then it got better about ten years ago when the oil boys started fracking and horizontal drilling. Counting proven reserves still in the ground, word is they’re worth eighty billion, well, maybe just a little less now that we have an oil glut.”

“Edward still around?”

One of the servers in the kitchen had seen the two men and brought two bottles of water on a silver tray.

“Thanks…Sorry, I forgot your name.”

“Sarah Jane, Walt. My pleasure. Let me know if you need anything else.”

Walt took a sip from his bottle as Sarah Jane returned to the house. “Yeah. His legal residence is still in Fort Worth, and I understand he and his wife vote in this precinct, only they really live in New York City. He always kept an apartment there. When the oil money started gushing, he upgraded to a twenty room penthouse that I hear overlooks Central Park. He’s big in the arts scene up there, opera, ballet, you name it. He’s also building the Hale Museum of Fine Art here in Fort Worth.”

Jack nodded his head. “Okay, I know who you’re talking about. My girlfriend is thrilled about another museum in Fort Worth. She’s into that kind of thing. When I moved here, she took me to every damn one of them. The western art in the Amon Carter museum was really all that interested me. So, the Hales play with the big boys, and the governor’s coming. From what I read, Governor Lardner travels all over the world. Never seems to have a problem. What’s the big deal here?”


About the Author



Larry D. Thompson was first a trial lawyer. He tried more than 300 cases throughout Texas, winning in excess of 95% of them. When his youngest son graduated from college, he decided to write his first novel. Since his mother was an English teacher and his brother, Thomas Thompson, had been a best-selling author, it seemed the natural thing to do.

Larry writes about what he knows best…lawyers, courtrooms and trials. The legal thriller is his genre. DARK MONEY is his fifth story and the second in the Jack Bryant series.
Larry and his wife, Vicki, call Houston home and spend their summers on a mountain top in Vail, Colorado. He has two daughters, two sons and four grandchildren.
For More Information

Friday, February 26, 2016

The CIA International Thriller Series Book Blast



We're thrilled to be hosting R. Lawson's THE CIA INTERNATIONAL THRILLER SERIES Book Blitz today!  Existential Threats is Book 4 and The Carrington Prophecy is the latest and is Book 5.  Pick up your copies!





Title: Existential Threats (Book 4 of The CIA International Thriller Series)
Author: R. Lawson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 345
Genre:  Thriller/Espionage
The CIA's incoming Director of Counter Terrorism, Biff Roberts, is inheriting a multitude of challenges. For starters, there is the existential threat of a nuclear Iran. Added to that, the Middle East has become enmeshed in a surge of radical religious extremism ranging from fanatical Muslims of the Islamic State to the Taliban, groups who commit unspeakable atrocities using violence to pursue their atavistic goals. Syria’s civil war could result in Assad's weapons of mass destruction getting into the hands of the splintered groups of Islamic Jihadists fighting there. This radical ideology has now spilled over into Africa with furious intensity.

And as if these international problems were not enough imminent threats to confront, Iranian mullahs have issued an Islamic death warrant fatwa on Biff, and those hoping to see it through are chasing him to the ends of the Earth.

Things move closer to home when CIA intelligence discovers that Iran has dispatched Mahmoud Abu Javari, the notorious IED bomb maker to the U.S.  Biff now faces a Homeland threat of 9/11 proportions and has to thwart a bomb plot in San Francisco without knowing the target or timing for the planned act of terror.

For More Information

  • Existential Threats is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, ITALY
New Year’s Day

The assassins hid behind a huge boulder above the timberline, giving
them an excellent view of the ski slopes below.

“In the red parka at the top of the Tofana piste,” the handler, Rashid,
said, spotting the target first. He spoke in Arabic with a distinctive French
inflection, his calm voice belying his excitement. “Look to the right side of
the slope. He’s just inside the tree line, leaning on his ski poles and talking
with the woman and her children. See him?”

Beside Rashid, Mustapha frowned as he peered through the scope of his
rifle. “Your binoculars have a wider field of view,” he complained. His accent
was foreign to Rashid, an African version of Arabic that fell heavily on
Rashid’s ears. In addition to disliking his accent, Rashid found Mustapha’s
facial tattoos—tribal markings apparently—distasteful. But Mustapha had
a reputation as a skilled shooter and he seemed dedicated to their mission.

“Big guy, blond hair,” Rashid said as he laid his Bushnell binoculars
on the hood of their snowmobile and pointed. “About six hundred meters
down to the right. Use my binoculars if you can’t spot him.”

“Okay, now I have him,” Mustapha said, grinning. “He’s much bigger
than I imagined, good target. But there’s a tree branch in the way
now. I’ll wait until he skis out to the first mogul, then I’ll have him in my crosshairs.”

* * *
Biff Roberts stopped at the top of the Tofana run, enjoying the rest and
the magnificent early morning view of Cortina below. The gondola had
dropped them off at over ten thousand feet, and after traversing over
to the piste, they were even higher. It was easy to get winded at this
altitude.

“Let the youngsters go first, Patricia,” Biff said. “I doubt we can match
their pace.”

“Okay, Biff,” Patricia said, smiling warmly. Patricia DeBartola was
in her fifties, but Biff thought she looked better than most women thirty
years younger. Like him, she kept herself in great shape, another reason
they were a great match.

Biff was enjoying a rare break from work before the next big step in his
career. After four decades in the CIA, he was about to take on his most challenging
role yet—as the head of Langley’s clandestine Counterterrorism
Division. He was looking forward to getting started, but first he wanted to
spend time with Patricia and get to know her kids better.

“Watch out for ice on the downside of moguls at this hour,” Patricia
told him. “It’s so easy to catch an edge when you check and turn downhill.
And although it’s a black diamond run, it’s really not too difficult if you
control your speed. That’s essential. Rest if you start to tire.”

Patricia could see from Biff’s smile that he didn’t mind her advice. But
she realized she might be overdoing it.

“Don’t do anything crazy trying to impress me, okay?” She smiled to
try and hide her concern. “I know how you are sometimes.”

Maybe I do worry too much, she thought. But she was an expert skier
and this was a challenging slope. Biff was strong and athletic, and he’d
told her he could ski, but could he handle this steep hill? She didn’t want
to jeopardize their holiday vacation with an injury. In retrospect, maybe
she shouldn’t have brought him up here, but the Tofana chute was her
children’s favorite run, and the view was absolutely spectacular. She would
just have to watch him closely.

“You got it, lady,” Biff said. “I promise to take it nice and easy.” Biff
didn’t want her worrying about him today. Biff’s work meant he was
often in danger, but this was time to relax and get to know her family
better.

Patricia glanced at her daughter. “Alessandra, I suggest you go first, in
case you fall. Your brothers will follow to pick you up.”

Her daughter remained silent, not taking the bait.

“Right, Enzo and Donatello?” Patricia added. “You’ll look out for your
baby sister? She might be a bit rusty.” Alessandra had given birth last year
and missed the ski season. “Be sure to keep a close eye on her, okay?”

“No problem, Mom,” Enzo replied without hesitation, smiling widely.

Unlike his sister, Enzo appreciated his mother’s sense of humor, which
was often half in jest, half in earnest.

“Same old predictable Mom, looking out for her brood,” Donatello
said quietly beside Enzo. Donatello leaned on his ski poles, raring to go.
They had both heard that refrain for years, to look out for their baby
sister.

“Yeah, right, Mom,” Donatello said loudly. “No problem.” He replied
like a good son should, no matter his age. Their dad had disciplined
them well.

“Doubt we’ll keep up with her, though. She’s definitely the
best downhiller in the family, maybe the town,” Donatello reminded
her, as if she wasn’t cognizant of that well-established fact after all these
years.

‘Baby sister’ had been a top notch ski instructor on this mountain
and the winner of many alpine competitions before she married ten years
ago and started her family. Now the mother of three, Alessandra still
had a cult-like following of aspirant young female skiers in Cortina who
stopped her on the streets for her advice on training exercises and hints
on succeeding in timed trials.

At Donatello’s remark, Alessandra just politely smiled, shunning the
time-honored family banter, and pushed off. She checked adroitly on the
first mogul and swiftly weaved her way gracefully down the fall line, starting
the five-thousand-foot vertical descent to the Dolomite village in the
valley below.

Biff watched her glide effortlessly down the steep slope, darting
through the moguls like a rabbit, changing direction unpredictably but
smoothly.

“The whole scene is definitely like an edited Warren Miller ski clip,”
Biff observed. “Good show.”

“She’s a talented skier,” Patricia replied. She was clearly proud of her
family, especially her daughter, and rightfully so.

“She doesn’t look a bit rusty to me,” Biff complimented.

“She’s still got it at thirty, hasn’t lost a move.” She nodded to her sons.
“OK, boys. Go catch her, if you can.” Patricia laughed delightedly, realizing
she hadn’t been this happy in years. She had been nervous about
having the kids meet Biff, but everything was going wonderfully.

The brothers immediately set off after their sister, laughing. They were
strong, athletic skiers but lacked their sister’s grace as she short turned in
the fall line, taunting them to catch her.

“A classic display of sibling rivalry?” Biff suggested. “You raised some
great kids, Patricia. Look at them go, having a ball.”

“Thank you. This is always a big part of our family New Year’s tradition.
They’re trying to make an impression. They intend to test you out as
a prospective stepfather, so heads up.”

“Natural thing to do, I suppose.” Biff smiled down at Patricia. “You
sure scored impressively with my family last week.” Patricia had gone to
Arizona with him for Christmas festivities. “You turned Caroline’s life
around, thank God.”

Patricia smiled, pleased. “She just needed some motherly TLC. I
understand what she’s going through.”

“You gave her helpful insight, dear,” Biff said. “It’s been a whirlwind
experience introducing our kids, judging if they’ll accept our relationship.
Like you said, so far, so good.”

Less than a year ago, Biff’s wife and childhood sweetheart, Mary Beth,
had been gunned down by an assassin, in place of Biff. Many years ago,
Patricia’s husband, the Italian ambassador to Israel, had been assassinated
by Hamas while visiting Gaza on a peacekeeping mission. It was that
shared experience of traumatic grief that had brought Biff and Patricia
together so quickly and so intensely. His children, rather than angered at
his finding love again so soon, seemed to understand all the more that life
was short and precious, and should be lived to the fullest. Patricia’s kids
seemed to want the same happiness for their mother.

“We better catch up with them,” Patricia said. “I see them waiting
downhill for us, joking around. Look, they’re waving to us to come on.
Let’s go. Try and keep up.”

“Keep up with them?” He grinned. “You’ve got to be kidding.”

“Well, let’s try and not let them out of sight. You’re next, I’ll follow.”
She smiled, thrilled at the positive start to their vacation and family
introductions. After her family tragedy, she’d doubted if she’d ever be
deeply happy again. Yet in Biff, she’d found someone to spend the rest
of her life with, someone who had experienced a similar misfortune.
Empathy drew them together, and the whole was greater than the parts
that bonded them.

“Be patient,” Biff said. “It’s been a while since I last skied at Tahoe.
And I’m not in your kids’ class, believe me. But it’s just like riding a bike,”
he added, smiling. He took off, bouncing off the first mogul, trying to
imitate her kids’ skillful execution of a check turn and hot-dogging it.

Despite Patricia’s warning, he immediately caught an edge on the
mogul’s icy downhill side. Biff lost his balance and began to fall.

His fall was a fortunate event as it turned out. Just as he began to slip, a
.223 caliber bullet ripped through his left shoulder, sending red fragments
of his insulated parka flying. Groaning in pain, he crashed head over heels
downhill between the steep moguls.

Patricia noted the muffled sound of a gunshot fired through a suppressor
from uphill an instant before Biff fell. Despite the silencer, the rifle’s
resonance followed instantly through the clear mountain atmosphere. She
had heard that unforgettable “bap” sound before, and her years of association
with Mossad conditioned her response. She glanced furtively uphill
at the ridge. She saw no one, but suspected more incoming fire.
Had the shot caused Biff’s awkward spill? It all happened too quickly
for her to tell.

“Biff!” she called as she immediately skied to his assistance, not fearing
exposing herself to danger. He could be shot, and she had to help him.



Title: The Carrington Prophecy (Book 5 of The CIA International Thriller Series)
Author: R. Lawson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 298
Genre:  Thriller/Espionage
Biff Roberts, the CIA's counterterrorism director, receives actionable intelligence that a rogue regime is planning a sneak attack with the goal of exploding a nuclear device above the United States, triggering an unnatural Carrington Event.
The cosmic storm of the Carrington Event’s electromagnetic pulse waves released by the explosion would cripple all electronic systems and power grids in the U.S., leaving the homeland defenseless and vulnerable to conventional warfare.
With North Korea looking to be the most likely suspect, Biff is tasked to intervene and prevent this attack without triggering a global world war. Collaborating with NIS, the South Korean Intelligence Service, Biff and his team work to thwart the impending disaster, while also leaving the CIA with plausible deniability.

For More Information

  • The Carrington Prophecy is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
Andrews AFB

After brief conversation, considerable reflection, and two bottles of vintage champagne, Biff Roberts and the other members of the CIA’s counterterrorism team finally slept for the remainder of the flight from San Francisco back to Andrews Air Force Base. It had been a long, harrowing week that thankfully had ended in averting a national disaster. They had successfully aborted an Iranian terror plot, one potentially of 9/11 dimensions that could have killed thousands.
Upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Biff noticed the CIA’s DCI Admiral Delaney, his attaché, and an entourage of Langley officials and security guards were waiting to greet them on the tarmac. As the CIA G-4 taxied to its designated parking spot, many in the crowd waved excitedly. Biff also noticed the DCI had a large dossier under his arm.
That’s usually not a good sign, Biff thought. Something’s brewing — something big.

Biff and his team descended from the plane into the smiling crowd. They received a combination of applause, thumbs up, and salutes as acknowledgement of their lead role in thwarting the terrorist plot in San Francisco.

“Fine job, Biff,” the admiral said. “Welcome back.” They shook hands and exchanged pats on the back.

Admiral Delaney was sincere in his admiration of his top field operative, recently promoted to Director of the Counterterrorism division. Even after all the long hours and stress of his work in San Francisco, Biff seemed as sharp as ever. His energy and appearance were the envy of many younger men. His six-foot-four athletic frame was still packed with muscle well into middle age, and his thick, wavy blond hair belied his age.

“Extraordinary how you pulled it off, Biff. Impressive tactics,” Delaney said as they walked toward a line of waiting cars. “You never cease to amaze me. That Switchblade drone/flash bang caper will become a classic in our CIA annals.”

“Thank you, sir. I had some good help.”

“Word is Javari will talk at GITMO,” Delaney said. “They’re confident they’ll break him. Another good move, whisking him offshore as an enemy combatant. We’re sure to get some blowback, but what the hell. I’m certain we’ll get valuable intelligence from him that will outweigh any misguided liberal bellyaching about enhanced interrogation.” The admiral shook his head. “They can’t fathom the distinction between harsh interrogation and torture. They should take a sabbatical in the Middle East and observe the prisons there. Their methods are torture. And when they’re finished with you, they cut your head off.”

“Jihadists and terrorists don’t fall under Geneva conventions,” Biff said. “The treatment at GITMO is harsh, but humane. I’ve personally observed the methodology.”

“Enough of this interrogation method talk,” Delaney said. “I’ll manage the blowback… Back to your San Francisco exploit. Job well done, my good man, glad I made you a director. You’re making me look good. After that Snowden NSA fiasco, we needed to score some points. Our NSA colleagues over in Fort Meade caught a lot of flak over that security lapse.”

“They sure did,” Biff said. “I appreciate your comments, sir.”

Biff and the admiral reached the line of cars, pausing in front of a limo.

“I want you to spend a week at Rose Hill with Patricia. You deserve a good rest.” The admiral gestured toward the vehicle beside them. “Our limo will drop you off.”

“Thank you again, sir. Glad to be home.”

“I bet. Listen, when you get a chance, please review this information carefully and let me know your thoughts. It’s very important to get your input before I advise the Chiefs of Staff next month with our intelligence estimate about how we should manage this grave situation.”

The DCI handed the dossier to Biff like a hot potato, as if he couldn’t wait to get it out of his hands. This was more than a homecoming reception. As Biff had anticipated, something big was brewing, and Biff sensed he’d soon be in the middle of it.

Biff noted the thick folder was marked CARRINGTON EVENT – Classified: Top Secret – B.C. ROBERTS V’s copy (# 2 of 5)

“Know anything about this subject?” The DCI asked as Biff looked at the cover title.

“The Carrington Event?” Biff said. He paused, probing his memory. The subject did ring a bell, setting off his remarkable recall, a trait that had distinguished him at Yale and contributed to his successful CIA career.

Biff nodded. “A cosmic event involving the sun’s electromagnetic pulses, a flare or burst of gamma rays. A major solar storm occurred in the mid-1800s. The Carrington Prophecy says that the event may recur every 150 to 180 years or so, as a natural catastrophic event.”

“Your recall is incredible, Biff. Actually it was September 1, 1859. A solar super storm hit the earth with the flare power of a billion atomic bombs exploding. Night became day. Telegraph systems went down worldwide and electrical outages occurred nearly everywhere, resulting in general chaos. That geomagnetic interruption was like a dirt road compared to today’s information superhighway. Our almost total dependency on electronics in modern life makes us frighteningly vulnerable to another solar storm of that magnitude.

“Think about the ramifications of a foreign attack generating a massive electromagnetic pulse,” the admiral added, “a form of sabotage that would elicit a similar catastrophe.”

“It’s a scary scenario, Admiral, very threatening. Not sure I want to go there.”
“I like your choice of words, Biff. But I’m concerned we will have to go there. Consider a nuclear device detonated in the stratosphere over the U.S. That scenario would make the Carrington Prophesy come true, maybe much sooner than a natural occurrence. It would paralyze all of our power grids, bringing all electronic communication and basic functions to a halt. It would pitch our IT-based society into perpetual night, vulnerable to attack.”

The admiral’s expression was grim. “That’s our next existential threat, Biff. It’s essential for us to avert such a doomsday scenario.”

“You’re thinking of an ICBM attack?” Biff asked. “Iran? China? North Korea?”
“Who’s got the craziest leader, the loose cannon?”

Biff didn’t have to think long about that one. “Kim Jong-un.’’

“Precisely. Come up with a plan. You’re our Counterterrorism Director.”


About the Author


R. Lawson is a retired vascular surgeon and served as a captain in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon. With over 120 academic works under his belt, he moved into the fiction genre and began writing thrillers with a focus on terrorism, cyber spying, national security and more.

He hopes that you enjoy his CIA International Intrigue series featuring Biff Roberts, veteran CIA agent, as he travels the globe thwarting threats to the United States and its allies.

His latest books are Existential Threats and The Carrington Prophecy, Book 4 & 5 in The CIA International Thriller series.
For More Information




 






Thursday, February 25, 2016

Guest post: "Why I Love Research," by Vasudev Murthy, author of 'SHERLOCK HOLMES, The Missing Years: Timbuktu'

The one good thing about growing older is that you discover how phenomenally ignorant you’ve been all the preceding  years.

I no longer care for degrees and formal education. Now, it’s the process of learning for its own sake.  Tastes and interests do change over time. The same areas of knowledge that seemed so absurd and pointless seem to shimmer with esoteric and wonderful information. I can make very sincere and determined efforts to learn and be enlightened.

I’ve written a number of books and I can say that the ones I have a particular soft spot for are those where I had to make efforts to learn something new to make the story even more believable. The two Sherlock Holmes, the Missing Years books, Japan and Timbuktu, are examples of where I had a chance to apply that new found zeal to learn, learn and learn.

What I really like to do is find out what might have happened at different parts of the world during the same period. Once, an event could happen in a region and no one might know about it even a thousand miles away till several weeks or months later. In other words, the rate of influence took much longer that our current instant appreciation of events that may happen anywhere in the world. That means, cultures had a better chance to blossom in a somewhat insular way, with the occasional flavour of a new language or religion or cuisine mysteriously showing up. Those days are over now, and technology has started creating homogeneity, though it may still take several decades. But the heterogeneity of the past and the present make for a collage of fascinating material.

Research in literature to make the plot seem more believable is not new, of course. People like fiction with overlays of facts so that they feel a sense of familiarity and grounding, and can relate to the plot a little better.  Research is oftentimes like Brownian motion, which refers to the random movement of particles; you find one nugget and as you read about it, you discover something else in addition that’s equally interesting. It’s easy to wander away into new areas and ‘waste’ time but who can deny the happiness of discovering things you had no idea about.

The Japan book involved considerable digging into European politics, the Trans Siberian Railways, the ships of the time (1891-94), events in Japan, Korea and China, opium, botany, the art and music of various countries and, of course language.  The Timbuktu book was even more complex – the Vatican, the state of politics in Northern Africa, Timbuktu, the Tuaregs and their astonishing culture, the geography and music of the land, the Sankore Mosque, the situation in the lower Nile (Sudan), the ancient culture of the Meroes. Along the way, I learned about the Cathars and integrated that into the plot. I really didn’t feel like ending the book. Both the books would have seemed much lighter without the integration of colour and context, created by research, both internet and library.

Of course, you can’t have a jumble of incoherent facts thrown into a blender. There has to be an overall plot that is uplifted by the addition of relevant information gleaned from research.  And one must have common sense and know what to red-mark and delete.

Another danger is that of coming across as wide but not deep. That is possible. I view it as an acceptable risk simply because it is not possible to know every single detail and you may alienate the reader with too much. This is where the wisdom of an editor comes in.


Research requires patience, risk taking and lateral thinking. All must work in tandem to reveal strains of thought that can weave beautifully in a core plot. I like it and highly recommend it! 

Find out about his book on Amazon
Vasudev Murthy Final - CMYK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vasudev was born in Delhi and has meandered around the world with lengthy stopovers in Tallahassee and Dallas. His books span a variety of interests, from Indian classical music to crime fiction, humor, and business management. A violinist and animal rights activist, Vasudev lives with his family and five snoring dogs in Bangalore, India where he runs a consulting firm.

Interview with Dr. Princess Fumi Hancock, author of Release Your Vision Torch


 

Inside the Book:

Fumi Book
Title: Release Your Vision Torch 
Author: Dr. Princess Fumi Hancock 
Release Date: January 8, 2016 
Pages: 346 Publisher: Princess of Suburbia 
Genre: Motivational/Inspirational 
Format: Ebook/Hardcover/Paperback

Release Your Vision Torch will take you on a life journey. The exercises ushers you into a place where you have to be brutally truthful, for restored strength and rejuvenation to occur. Reading Release Your Vision Torch made me get real with myself about my life, relationships, pass failures and aspirations.

This book should be used as a roadmap to renew your passion in life and as a guide to the keys, unlocking your hidden potentials. At the end of this experience, you will not only learn who is in your train or if you have derailed your vision; but also learn who’s on your boat or if you are heading for a shipwreck.

Once you finish the “Step out “development process in the book, you are transformed. It’s like having a makeover for your life or a life hack that will change your spirit.

Release Your Vision Torch cannot be refuted or disproved.

Release Your Vision Torch is

“Undeniable”, “Tangible”, “Honest”, “Irrefutable”, “Concrete”, “Authentic=Real” and “Fire in the Belly.” ~ Maxine Holt Donaldson Vogue Model, Vice President & Co-Host, Southern Warrior Sister-Tribe

Release YOUR VISION TORCH, a Success Blueprint for Achieving Your Dreams, Igniting Your Vision, & Re-engineering Your Purpose, part of YOUR VISION TORCH series is not a book! It is a system… an innovative program which is geared to help you move from where you are to where you ought to be. Therefore as an innovative system, it will require a lot of you…. It will insist that you be a participant in your own success journey…. It will push you to think, address, and confront issues you would ordinarily sweep under the rug. Release Your Vision Torch will demand you tell the truth, tear the veil, and unmask the hidden parts of you which have literally set you back for years! It will not indulge you but provide tools to help re-engineer your life purpose, rediscover or for some people discover your dream, fuel your vision, and ultimately liberate your inner genius.

Release Your Inner Genius! Unshackle Your True Calling. ~ Dr. Princess Fumi Hancock

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Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?

I have always wanted to write ever since I can remember. Release Your Vision Torch™ was written to provide exit strategy and success blueprint for those who are overwhelmed, frustrated, confused and ready to transition from where they are (i.e. discontent, disconnected, or misaligned) to where they ought to be (i.e. aligned) with their life purpose. I provide accounts of my own journey from being broken spiritually, physically, financially, and mentally loosing my 1st marriage, my businesses, my mind, and left with two very young children (ages 2 and 1yr) to now having 4 bestsellers under my belt, a thriving Lifestyle brand, radio show, Hollywood film award and having a book made into a feature film.  It is not a book but an innovative system whose goal is to help discover, ignite, launch, and live your passion fearlessly, without going broke!

Is this your first book? 
No, this is my 13th book.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

My parents told me I started writing at the age of 2 when I would lay my hands on anything not nailed down. At first, it was cute to everyone who visited our home in West Africa and guests would laugh as they watch me scribble on the newspaper and share the story I was trying to convey. After finally getting a hold of an important document and scribbled on it, my parents finally decided to wear me off by locking me in a room and placing all the newspapers they could lay their hands on. They in their opinion would bring some sense into my writing journey. Needless to say, it did not work. They now understood my need to write. For over 30 years, I tried to get a traditional publisher to peek at any of my writings but none took interest. So, I decided to start building my own lifestyle brand, The Princess of Suburbia® (www.theprincessofsuburbia.com) which now publishes my books and makes films in conjunction with its principal film company, Cambium Break Pictures. Since then, I have published 15 books, 4 of which became bestsellers!(
http://theprincessofsuburbia.com/literary-works)  One of it, Of Sentimental Value, which became a bestseller, too has been made into a feature film scheduled for release in theaters this year, 2016!         ( http://theprincessofsuburbia.com/screenwriter-and-filmmaker). Since it’s production, it has won 5 Hollywood & International film awards. I have won two African Oscars, one for adapting Of Sentimental Value into a Screenplay and just last year, September 15, 2015. I was in Hollywood as the very first recipient of Literary Arts Award. I want someone who has been told it will never happen to get inspired by this imagery (https://youtu.be/ScL2QsoEgDw).
   
                                  AFRICAN OSCARS SEPT. 15, 2015

The morale of my journey is to never count yourself out, even when it looks like it will never happen! When the doors keep getting shut, in one direction it may be that there is a major way ahead of you in the opposite direction, one that may not be treaded by many others. Since I branded myself, many more doors have opened. Just few months ago, I signed an historical licensing agreement with an international fashion house. We will be releasing the collection, THE PRINCESS OF SUBURBIA Couture in April 2016 and will be showcasing the collection in Las Vegas this month: (http://theprincessofsuburbia.com/fashion). Not only that, because of all the mistakes and hardship I made through my 30 year journey and many people reaching out to me to mentor them, my company has now launched some mentoring programs which will cater to those, particularly women who are looking to write their own stories, career women who are ready to ditch fear, quit their jobs and earn living in writing and film, stay at home mothers who are not only nursing their children but their vision babies as writers. Bottom-line aspiring writers, filmmakers.


More information can be found here:
 
(http://theprincessofsuburbia.com/mentoring-programs) and on my daily motivational scopes on Periscope: @PrincessinSub. I have terrific news coming up in March 2016; one, which will change the life of one person whose story needs to be heard globally. So, I urge your readers to keep dialed into my periscope broadcast. What a journey.

What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?

The industry is quite unpredictable. Because you wrote a book and everyone in your circle love it does not mean those who the traditional publishing houses will! Understand that their no does not mean you failed as a writer and it is certainly not a signal to stop but an opportunity to really build your own empire with you in the director’s seat.  Their opinion is just that, theirs and everyone are entitled to one.

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?

Absolutely nothing. I don’t regret going to self-publishing route. I had a choice to wait beyond 30 years and keep day dreaming about one day writing, or just learn the ropes, build my brand and keep it moving. I choice the latter and it has paid off far more than even traditional publishing would have.

Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?

YOUR VISION TORCH™ series of which Release YOUR VISION TORCH™: A for Blueprint Success is one of was published through Ingram Spark. This was a tasking journey, as they required perfection in publication. The end result was however incredible… The best publication I have ever had. I also want to credit my Book cover artist in Britain, Tim: noveldesignstudio@hotmail.com. He helped to define the book presentation all over my social media and the covers too. A big thank you to Nick Wale (nick@nickwale.org) who is part of the team helping in launching the book, Jay Caple and his team who developed my latest website and are doing more behind the scenes. My wonderful husband, Dr. David Allen Hancock who helped in editing the collection; our children, Bola, Demola, Holly, Marlee who are always my inspiration for wanting to be the best (not perfect) role model for them; and yes my family in particular my parents, Prince & Princess T.A. Ogunleye (Adumori Nigerian Royal Family:
http://theprincessofsuburbia.com/bio ) who are constantly nudging me to reach for the stars even at an age, over 50! Yes, I am an authentic African Princess living in Diaspora, which is another story for another time.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Never! Never! Never give up! Do not allow anyone to tell you that you don’t have what it takes. If you are willing to do the work, get organized, reach out and be mentored by those who have worked the path, invest in yourself and in your future, if it means getting someone to mentor, you give yourself and your dream a chance to be ignited. IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU FIRST BELIEVING!

More About the Book:
 



OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://theprincessofsuburbia.com/your-vision-torch-series
TRAILER: https://youtu.be/Kwp4XgzNuOI

This is not a book! It is an innovative program, geared to help you move from where you are to where you ought to be. It will push you to think, address, and confront issues you would ordinarily sweep under the rug. It will demand you tell the truth, tear the veil, and unmask the hidden parts of you, which have literally set you back for years!
Release Your Vision Torch will take you on a life journey. The exercises ushers you into a place where you have to be brutally truthful, for restored strength and rejuvenation to occur. Reading Release Your Vision Torch made me get real with myself about my life, relationships pass failures and aspirations.
This book should be used as a road map to renew your passion in life and as a guide to the keys, unlocking your hidden potentials. At the end of this experience, you will not only learn who is in your train or if you have derailed your vision; but also learn who’s on your boat or if you are heading for a shipwreck.
Once you finish the “Step Out “Development Process in the book, you are transformed. It’s like having a makeover for your life or a life hack that will change your spirit.

Release Your Vision Torch cannot be refuted or disproved.

Release Your Vision Torch is
“Undeniable”, “Tangible”, “Honest”, “Irrefutable”, “Concrete”, “Authentic=Real” and “Fire in the Belly.”
~ Maxine Holt Donaldson
Jewelry Designer, Vice President  & Co-Host, Southern Warrior Sister-Tribe


Meet the Author

Fumi Hancock
Did you ever wonder if the story “Coming to America” was true? This is a Cinderella story about an African Princess. Only, this is not a fairy tale but a true story. Fumi grew up in the Western Region of Nigeria, West Africa as an African Princess. Her grandfather, Odundun Ogunleye ruled the people in peace and harmony. As a young princess being groomed to one day take up her responsibility in the royal household, that is, to help her kingdom, Emure Kingdom, she had other dreams of also becoming a prolific and celebrated writer both in the literary world and in the movies. Her dreams to one day write books, design clothes and make name for herself outside of royalty, was the driving force behind her agreeing to her father’s demands to come to America to further her post-graduate studies at the age of 17.

One thing her father did not bank on was that Princess Fumi would later on decide to stay behind in America, fend for herself and live a simple life amongst Americans. Now, almost 30 years; she realizes the importance of her royal blood, the responsibilities and the obligations she must face on a daily basis to help her people in Emure Kingdom. Six years ago, with the advent of the reigning King- His Royal Majesty- Emmanuel Adebayo, she finally discloses her royal status to her American friends and now shuttles between the kingdom and her home in USA to bridge the gap between both worlds. 2010 when the King visited her at her US residence, it marked a pivotal moment as the capital of the Kingdom was named a sister city to Spring Hill, TN, a TN suburb where the princess has also called home for years. This marked a new era for Princess Fumi and the saga continues….
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