Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A. Keith Carreiro - The Penitent: Part II - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

Hidden in the bottom of a roadside ditch as a baby, Evangel is only steps away from her viciously murdered parents. An old hermit finds her there a day later and takes her to his home in the heart of a sylvan wilderness. She is raised in a hermitage built by Matthew where he learns she is touched by a rare spiritual power. 17 years later a series of miracles occur that rock the very nature of her reality. Befriended by outlaws and a king’s champion, she is also betrayed by a woman of the cloth during a bard of the realm’s performance. That night, in a dream, Evangel envisions her future soul mate, Pall Warren, on a battlefield of death, and casts a prayer of protection around him. Thus begins a remarkable journey to save herself and those who believe in her. A hauntingly beautiful and startling tale of wonder.




My Review

"The forces and omens are assembling into play…to ignite into being."

Now that's what I call a great introduction. With opening references from the Bible to Shakespeare, the scene is set. What has been predicted, by so many for so long, is now about to come true.

So is this a novel all about doom and destruction? Surprisingly, no. Yes, there are parts that are graphically violent and crude. Yet the main message revolves around, "there is goodness and innocence in the world if we but look for it." And happily, it resides in the heart of a 17-year-old girl and the tender restored eyes of her grandfather-protector. Together, they shatter the enveloping darkness that begins to surround them with their own combined light.

A genuine miracle occurs when the girl begins to work wonders for the people, so that "the laws of nature are suspended…or rather fulfilled." It's an interesting way to look at things, as if the possibility of the miraculous is just within our grasp if we but reach for it. In the story, "each moment in time is filled with this potential. We have but to invoke it in faith for it to be seen in our presence."

Yet the girl's strength centers not so much on performing unbelievable feats, but on forgiving her enemies. She doesn't let hate fester inside of her. Instead, she turns the violence committed against them into an act of healing and love.

Yet grave danger accompanies the revelation of tenderness and mercy. It makes some people very uncomfortable, and it's not long until all the deadly sins are unleashed upon them. Envy. Pride. Fear. You name it. The rich, the powerful, the well-connected—all want to overthrow their sense of comfort and peace.

Yet they carry on because they know what they're doing is right. It's a burden they're willing to bear, secure in the knowledge that their treasure isn't found in this realm, but "within man's heart and heaven's home."

***

The Penitent: Part II can be purchased at:
Amazon

Prices/Formats: $4.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 274
Release: May 15, 2017
Publisher: Copper Beech Press
ISBN: 9780997382716
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

A. Keith Carreiro earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education, with the sequential help and guidance of three advisors, Dr. Vernon A. Howard, Dr. Donald Oliver and Professor Emeritus, Dr. Israel Scheffler. Keith’s academic focus, including his ongoing research agenda, centers upon philosophically examining how creativity and critical thinking are acquired, learned, utilized and practiced in the performing arts. He has taken his findings and applied them to the professional development of educational practitioners.

Earlier in his teaching career he was a professor of educational foundations, teaching graduate students of education at universities in Vermont, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor of English at Bridgewater State University, as well as teaching English, philosophy, humanities and public speaking courses at Bristol Community College.

He lives in Swansea, Massachusetts. He has six children and 13 grandchildren. He belongs to an eighty–five–pound golden retriever, an eight–pound Maltese, and an impish Calico cat.

Due to his love of family, he has seen his fervor for history, as well as his passion for wondering about the future, deepen dramatically.

Starting on May 23rd until October 9th of 2014, he sat down at his computer on a daily basis and began writing the first book of a science fiction/fantasy thriller in a beginning series about the quest for human immortality.

Links to connect with A. Keith:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

R. Franklin James - The Bell Tolls - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

Hollis Morgan has survived imprisonment, received a pardon and persevered to finally become a probate attorney. Tough as she is, her newest case will further test her mettle. She discovers her client, Matthias Bell, is a deceased blackmailer whose last wish was to return the damaging documents he collected, letting his victims off the hook. It falls to Hollis to give them the good news. But it’s revealed that Bell was murdered, and the victims of “Bell’s tolls” are now suspects.

Hollis’ white-collar criminal past has left her with keen survival instincts. A gifted liar she knows a liar when she meets one. A lot of people in this case are lying and one is a killer.

On top of that, she’s also representing a dying stripper, a wealthy widow whose estranged daughter spurns her attempts at reconciliation, but whose husband sees the potential inheritance as mending all wounds particularly financial ones.

Clients aside, Hollis is defensive and wary. Her mother, who hasn’t spoken to her for years, needs a kidney, and Hollis is a match, but neither are ready to put away the past. With Hollis’ fiancĂ© and emotional support off on an undercover mission for Homeland Security, she must count on her own survival instincts. She is swept along on an emotional roller coaster as her absent love and her family’s coldness take their own toll.

Work is her salvation. The specter of a killer keeps her focused. Hollis has always had to rely on her wits, but now she finds that others who don’t have her well-being in mind are relying on them as well.



My Review

What are you supposed to do with a blackmailer?

For the five victims manipulated in this story, you wait for him to die.

What exactly did he have on them, you wonder?

Well, one had a fling outside of marriage. Another cooked the books at work, concocting a fraudulent banking system. A third failed at properly hiding his gambling addiction. While a couple of foreign spies were willing to pay an exorbitant amount to keep their true identity under wraps.

And you can say, living under the constant strain of such torment gets to be too much for them. So when their blackmailer unexpectedly dies, they can't believe they've actually reached the end of the line with him. Finally, they can let go of the imminent threat of exposure he's been holding over their heads for far too long.

However, Hollis, the probate attorney hired to let them off the hook, becomes acutely aware of her own precarious situation, now that she, too, is privy to all their secrets.

And when the blackmailer's family orders his body to be exhumed, suspecting foul play, the cause of death turns out to be murder. Now constantly looking over her shoulder, Hollis is afraid the killer may be out to get her too.

The big twist comes at the end of the book when it's revealed that the blackmailer never intended to return the material he was holding on his victims after all. Someone else set them free from his reign of terror. But did that person (or persons) kill him too? You'll just have to read the book and find out.

***

The Bell Tolls can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
Kobo
Overdrive

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback
Genre: Women's Sleuth, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 239
Release: June 1, 2017
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812177
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

R. Franklin James grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. From there she cultivated a different type of writing—legislation and public policy. After serving as Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles, under millionaire Richard Riordan, she went back to her first love—writing, and in 2013 her debut novel, The Fallen Angels Book Club was published by Camel Press. Her second book in The Hollis Morgan Mystery Series, Sticks & Stones, was followed by The Return of the Fallen Angels Book Club, and The Trade List. The Bell Tolls, book five was released in June 2017.

R. Franklin James lives in Northern California with her husband.

Links to connect with R. Franklin James:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rich Zahradnik - Lights Out Summer - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

In March 1977, ballistics link murders going back six months to the same Charter Arms Bulldog .44. A serial killer, Son of Sam, is on the loose. But Coleridge Taylor can't compete with the armies of reporters fighting New York's tabloid war--only rewrite what they get. Constantly on the lookout for victims who need their stories told, he uncovers other killings being ignored because of the media circus. He goes after one, the story of a young Black woman gunned down in her apartment building the same night Son of Sam struck elsewhere in Queens. The story entangles Taylor with a wealthy Park Avenue family at war with itself. Just as he's closing in on the killer and his scoop, the July 13-14 blackout sends New York into a 24-hour orgy of looting and destruction. Taylor and his PI girlfriend Samantha Callahan head out into the darkness, where a steamy night of mob violence awaits them. In the midst of the chaos, a suspect in Taylor's story goes missing. Desperate, he races to a confrontation that will either break the story--or Taylor. Book 4 in the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series.




My Review

"Stereotypes had a bad way of making you wrong."

But for poor Martha Gibson that sentiment no longer applies…because she's dead.

And the sad thing is no one seems to care that a young, black woman has been murdered, not when the press and the police are fixated on one thing: stopping the Son of Sam killer from killing again. Unsurprisingly, her case falls through the cracks, until a lowly news wire reporter named Taylor makes it his mission to tell her story.

"There was a White city and a Black city. He knew too little of the Black city."

Taylor is no rookie to witnessing racism in action in the city, but he becomes thoroughly disgusted by it when he starts investigating Martha's case. Just how did a college-educated woman get stuck cleaning toilets for a living? She started off well, rising from secretary to a sales position for a company located in the Empire State Building…until her boss started making unwanted sexual advances on her.

"He came on real strong. She said no. He fired her."

Holding fast to her principles, Martha was left with no other choice than to take a job as a maid on Park Avenue, until her predatory ex-boss came after her and assaulted her in an alleyway.

"Did she go to the cops?" Taylor questions a witness.
"You kidding? Black woman. White man. Black witness."

A rhetorical no.

Of course, she didn't. That's why she's dead. But did her ex-boss kill her? That's what Taylor is trying to find out.

Martha was a girl who didn't make enemies. She didn't make mistakes. She only talked about people if she had something good to say. And yet it quickly becomes clear to Taylor that Martha didn't know how she fit, or was supposed to fit, in 1977 New York.

No one else seems to know either, when her death is mocked by:

1) The tabloid press
"A black woman was murdered? We're looking a different reader."

2) The mother of her ex-boss
"A news story about her?" She laughed. "They can't even read."

3) Her friends and family
"A white man is doing a story on a black woman from Queens by coming up to Harlem?"

The story subtly addresses the question, has anything really changed?

***

Lights Out Summer can be pre-ordered at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback, $29.95 audio
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 288
Release: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812139
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Rich Zahradnik is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Coleridge Taylor Mystery series (Lights Out Summer, A Black Sail, Drop Dead Punk, Last Words).



The first three books have been shortlisted or won awards in the three major competitions for novels from independent presses. A Black Sail was named winner in the mystery category of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Drop Dead Punk collected the gold medal for mystery ebook in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Last Words won the bronze medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2015 IPPYs and honorable mention for mystery in the 2015 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards.

"Taylor, who lives for the big story, makes an appealingly single-minded hero," Publishers Weekly wrote of Drop Dead Punk.

 A Black Sail received a starred review from Library Journal, which said, “Fans of the late Barbara D’Amato and Bruce DeSilva will relish this gritty and powerful crime novel.”

Zahradnik was a journalist for 25-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter.



Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1960 and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where he writes fiction and teaches kids around the New York area how to write news stories and publish newspapers.



Links to connect with Rich:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog


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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sharon St. George - Spine Damage - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

Paulo Ferrara, a young Portuguese man, lies comatose in the Intensive Care Unit of Timbergate Medical Center, shot in the spine. The neurosurgeon who would normally be in charge of his care has left town to attend to an injured daughter, and the only other neurosurgeon, the rude and egotistical Dr. Godfrey Carver, is about to be suspended for not completing his continuing education requirements. The unpleasant duty of ensuring that the staff obey the rules lies with Aimee Machado, the medical center's forensic librarian and Continuing Education Coordinator. Aimee and her pilot boyfriend Nick live together on her grandparents’ llama farm. While dealing with Dr. Carver, Aimee learns the circumstances of Paulo’s injury and enlists Nick’s help. Aimee is half Asian and half Portuguese, and her parents live on Faial, one of the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal. Faial is the closest neighbor to Pico, home of Paulo and his family. Paulo came to rural Northern California in search of his fifteen-year-old sister Liliana, who vanished two weeks ago. Nick’s wealthy employer Buck Sawyer takes an interest in the girl’s plight as well, especially when they learn that she left the Azores on a superyacht. Not only is Buck a yacht owner, but he is also on a crusade against drug trafficking, and Paulo and Liliana have clearly stumbled onto a criminal operation of some kind. The trail leads Aimee and Nick from Timbergate, to the Azores, to San Francisco. Paulo’s condition is deteriorating, and he might never be able to explain what got him shot. Can Aimee, her brother Harry, and Nick unravel the mystery in time to save Liliana? Book 4 in the Aimee Machado Mystery series, which began with Due for Discard.




My Review

Are you two really serious about each other?
When are you getting married?
Don't you want to have a baby and start a family?

These are just some of the questions a young woman usually faces once she starts living with a man. Everyone is eager to move the couple along to the next step, whether they're ready to move forward or not. Most people mean well with their good-natured ribbing, and sometimes…yes, sometimes…they may encourage a young woman to really think about where her life is heading.

Aimee Machado is one of these women. When her on-again off-again relationship with her boyfriend, Nick, turns into a more stable arrangement, he shocks her with the revelation that he's been working with his boss to ferret out illegal drug traffickers. Needless to say, it's not something she expected to hear.

Defending himself, Nick claims he didn't tell her sooner because, "It isn't about trust. It's about timing, back when you and I weren't solid, it wasn't necessary to pull you into the deep end."

Yet all Aimee can think to herself is, "I wasn't convinced his definition of need to know matched mine."

So does she really want to continue down this dangerous road with him? He's never home as it is, and she admits her instincts aren't always reliable, no matter how much she wants the comfort of being close to someone.

When their romantic getaway to the Azores turns into more of a crime-solving mission than anything else, she's left more conflicted than ever. Nick doesn't have to solve this mystery. He's not a part of any police investigation. He could very well be putting the two of them in harm's way for nothing. So when Nick urges Aimee to keep a loaded weapon on her at all times, she laughs ruefully to herself that it's certainly not an expectant baby bump that's protruding from her midsection.

By the conclusion of the book, she's left to ponder whether or not she wants to raise a baby in this kind of environment. And the only answer Nick can give her is, "A ship is safe in harbor but that's not what ships are for."

***

Spine Damage can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
Kobo

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $16.78 paperback
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 328
Release: May 15, 2017
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603815819
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Sharon St. George’s writing credits include three plays, several years writing advertising copy, a book on NASA’s space food project, and feature stories too numerous to count. She holds dual degrees in English and Theatre Arts, and occasionally acts in, or directs, one of her local community theater productions. Sharon is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and she serves as program director for Writers Forum, a nonprofit organization for writers in northern California.

Links to connect with Sharon:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads


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Friday, June 9, 2017

Tricia Dower - Becoming Lin - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

It’s 1965. Twenty-two-year-old Linda Wise despairs of escaping her overprotective parents and the town of Stony River where far too many know she was sexually assaulted as a teenager. Deliverance arrives in the form of marriage to the charismatic, twenty-six-year-old Ronald Brunson, a newly ordained Methodist minister who ignites in her a dormant passion for social justice. He tells her war and racial discrimination are symptoms of the “moral rot” destroying the country, conjuring up something dark and rancid in her mind, thrilling in its wickedness. He sweeps her away from New Jersey to serve with him at a church in a speck-on-the-map prairie town in Minnesota. What lies ahead for her over the next seven years is the subject of Tricia Dower’s penetrating study of a marriage and a woman’s evolving sense of self as she confronts the fear that keeps her from an unfettered future. Becoming Lin conjures the turbulent era of Freedom Riders for civil rights, Vietnam war resistance, the US government’s war against the resisters, the push for equal rights for women and the unraveling of the traditional marriage contract—an era that resonates today in tenacious racism and sexism, perpetual war and wide-reaching government surveillance.




My Review

"Gender is the single most important factor in attitudes toward the use of military force."

So says the thesis of pastor's wife / college student, Lin Brunson. But her undergrad independent study project turns into a whole lot more than she bargains for when she starts handing out surveys to the women in her husband's congregation. They stir up a whole hornet's nest of questions including: Why not use the huge chunk of federal funds earmarked for war and allocate it for women and children's services instead?

But the ladies are quickly silenced when a veteran among them voices aloud that no one can deny the type of bond that forms between men serving in combat, guys who are willing to risk their lives for one another. In his mind, a woman just can't understand what that means to guys like him.

So the question is rephrased: "Do men get saddled with war and women childbirth in some cosmic balancing act?"

And Lin doesn't stop there. She starts marching in rallies for peace as well as sheltering draft dodgers in her home, on their way to Canada. But when she starts getting threatening letters in the mail saying, "Beware traitor," she begins having second thoughts. The exhilaration she felt at speaking out about the war soon turns into a sickening dread.

So much so that her marriage breaks apart and she ends up on her own as a single mom, trying to make ends meet. But she keeps crusading, taking on the upper levels of management and bringing to their attention the lack of women executives, not to mention minorities. When the company tries to stonewall her, a fellow female employee congratulates her, "You must be doing something right. Somebody's looking to shut you up."

This quiet, little mouse of a woman turns into a mighty crusader. Lin starts calling the shots of her own life, and it's inspiring to journey with her through the growing pains of her transformation.

***

Becoming Lin can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
IndieBound
BooksaMillion
Midpoint Trade
Kobo

Prices/Formats: $12.99 ebook, $22.95 paperback
Genre: Women's Fiction, Historical, Coming of Age
Pages: 240
Release: March 20, 2017
Publisher: Caitlin Press
ISBN: 9781987915075
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Tricia Dower hails from Rahway, New Jersey. You can find her on the “Rahway’s Own” website with other individuals the town has recognized for innovation and creativity. A graduate of Gettysburg College and a Phi Mu, she built a career in business before reinventing herself as a writer in 2002. Her literary work has crossed borders and won awards. She expanded a story from her Shakespeare-inspired collection, Silent Girl (Inanna 2008) into Stony River, which was published in both Canada (Penguin 2012) and the US (Leapfrog 2016). She gave a character from Stony River her own novel in Becoming Lin (Caitlin Press 2016), now available in the US.

The Vancouver Sun says, “Some of the most powerful and eloquent novelists of the 20th and 21st centuries…including Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence and Ethel Wilson...open up what had been cloaked in silence, the oppression of women and their self-discoveries in resistance. We can now add to this important liberation canon the name of Tricia Dower.”

A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, Dower lives and writes in Brentwood Bay, BC.

Links to connect with Tricia:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog


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Friday, June 2, 2017

Michael J. McCann - Burn Country - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

The latest in a series of barn fires in Leeds County turns ugly when a body is discovered inside the burned-out husk of an old hay barn near the village of Elgin. When the victim turns out to be Independent Senator Darius Lane, a renowned artist and social activist recently appointed to the upper chamber by the prime minister, Detective Inspector Ellie March of the Ontario Provincial Police finds herself coping with an RCMP national security team which must first assess whether the senator’s involvement in sensitive government business led to his brutal murder by forces hostile to Canada. While Detective Constable Kevin Walker works the case files of the previous barn fires looking for a serial arsonist within Leeds County who may have killed for the first time, Ellie discovers that the intervention of RCMP Assistant Commissioner Danny Merrick, unexpectedly polite and charming, will place her directly in the cross-hairs of a homicide investigation with national repercussions! This is the second book in the March and Walker Crime Novel series and the sequel to Sorrow Lake, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Hammett Award for best North American crime novel.


My Review

"This is burn country, man. I think half the population of this province just likes watching s*** burn."

From weeds crackling in ditches to bonfires set in newly cleared fields, the residents of Sorrow Lake, a small, backwater community in Canada, like a good blaze. So why in the world is the latest arson case considered a possible threat to national security?

Well, as it turns out, it's not just arson—but murder—when a charred body is found among the smoldering rubble. And it's not just any corpse, either. Oh no, it's that of a left-wing senator. Immediately the stakes are raised for the investigators assigned to the case, especially when the prime minister, himself, is expecting frequent updates when it comes to their findings.

That's why I love how the mindset of the killer is explained through magic tricks. Walker is a young cop who trusted the wrong people early in his career. He can't lie for the life of him, and he's sick of people taking advantage of his good nature. So he takes up this new magician's hobby in order "to see what it's like to fool people," much to the chagrin of his snarly, more experienced partner, Bishop.

But there's a method to Walker's madness. It's all about misdirection, or "forcing attention to one spot while doing something at another spot when they're not looking." In other words, it's like studying the art of getting away with a crime.

It's a neat technique that the author uses in order to get us to think about how someone goes about committing the perfect murder. Some plan everything down to the last detail, while others get caught up in the heat of the moment and make mistake after mistake after mistake, leaving a trail of evidence a mile long. Walker and Bishop don't know who they're dealing with as they begin crisscrossing the countryside investigating a series of confirmed arsons, but they're about to find out what kind of a firebug they're dealing with.

And when Walker begins making some serious headway, his star just may get a chance to shine a bit brighter higher up the ladder. Sometimes good guys don't always finish last, and this one may not have to settle for being a part-time magician at children's birthday parties after all.


***

Burn Country can be purchased at:
Amazon
Kobo

Prices/Formats: $5.99 ebook, $24.99 paperback
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781927884096
Publisher: Plaid Raccoon Press
Release: March 17, 2017
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Michael J. McCann was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He earned degrees in English from Trent University and Queen's University in Kingston, ON.

He is the author of Sorrow Lake, the first March and Walker Crime Novel, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Hammett Award for best crime novel in North America.

He is also the author of the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel Series, including Blood Passage, Marcie's Murder, and The Fregoli Delusion. The Rainy Day Killer, the most recent in the series, was longlisted for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel in Canada.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog (mystery)
Blog (paranormal)
Pinterest
YouTube
Blog Tour Site


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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jerome Charyn - Jerzy - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

Jerzy Kosinski was a great enigma of post-World War II literature. When he exploded onto the American literary scene in 1965 with his best-selling novel The Painted Bird, he was revered as a Holocaust survivor and refugee from the world hidden behind the Soviet Iron Curtain. He won major literary awards, befriended actor Peter Sellers (who appeared in the screen adaptation of his novel Being There), and was a guest on talk shows and at the Oscars. But soon the facade began to crack, and behind the public persona emerged a ruthless social climber, sexual libertine, and pathological liar who may have plagiarized his greatest works.

Jerome Charyn lends his unmistakable style to this most American story of personal disintegration, told through the voices of multiple narrators—a homicidal actor, a dominatrix, and Joseph Stalin’s daughter—who each provide insights into the shifting facets of Kosinski’s personality. The story unfolds like a Russian nesting doll, eventually revealing the lost child beneath layers of trauma, while touching on the nature of authenticity, the atrocities of WWII, the allure of sadomasochism, and the fickleness of celebrity.




My Review

Jerzy Kosinski, the title character of this book, was quite simply a con artist. He could spin fabulous tales to amuse high profile people at parties and social gatherings, but when it came to writing it all down, he used the hidden talent of a troubled young girl, claiming it as his own.

But like all those who try to pull off wearing different masks throughout life, Kosinski's eventually had to come off. When he's exposed as a fraud by The Village Voice, a quote from his childhood hits the nail squarely on the head, "I'm tired of chess. [My] whole existence has been a chess game."

Let's face it, his formative years growing up in German - then Russian - occupied Poland couldn't have been easy. He learned from a young age that to stay alive, "the best lies keep as close as possible to the truth." Humorously enough, he became "the village's Jewish altar boy." Yet it makes one understand his need for subterfuge.

However, the esteemed literary circles of Manhattan show him no mercy. He falls from the heights of grace becoming a social pariah among the elite and the powerful. No more talk show appearances. No more best sellers. In fact, it could be said that suicide was built into the very fabric of his work since he survived the war on his fierce will alone. One could conclude that his tragic demise was inevitable.

Is despondency Poland's national disease? Possibly. If as a child, Kosinski says, "I feel like I'm a hundred - when will I have time to be a boy?" And his parent replies, "When all our enemies are in the grave." It has to damage a person's psyche, and when it comes to Kosinski, the damage is beyond repair.

Ultimately, he turned into a creepy voyeur rather than a fully actualized person. He even admits it in the novel, when he says to someone, "I meant to say hello. But I was enjoying my little game too much - the pleasure of watching you."

On the whole, I found Jerzy the novel to be a sad tale of a man who was willing to do anything to live, yet didn't know how.

***

Jerzy can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Bellevue Literary Press

Prices/Formats: $16.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback
Genre: Historical, Jewish
Pages: 240
Release: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
ISBN: 9781942658146
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

Excerpt

CLICK HERE to read an excerpt from Jerzy.



About the Author

Jerome Charyn is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction, including A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century, Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories, I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War, and The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson: A Novel. Among other honors, he has been longlisted for the PEN Award for Biography, honored as a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, named a Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York.

Links to connect with Jerome:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

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