Friday, February 22, 2013
Congratulations to our winner!
marypres (AT) gmail (DOT) com
About the Book
Tim Forbes was like many Americans: painfully unsatisfied in his corporate job but making too much money to walk away. But then, one momentous day, he and his wife struck the Deal, leading to a career in the one field he loved more than anything: sports.
Years later, having carved out his place in the sports business, he was surprised when a friend asked, "Do you still love sports?"...And stunned when he didn't know how to reply. Of course he still loved sports! Didn't he? Was it possible that walking away from a perk-filled Corporate American life had all been for nothing?
His year-long quest to find that answer started with a single game. But what he discovered there soon led to an unlikely coast-to-coast “sports walkabout” involving 100 more games and 50 different sports—from major-market events to the smallest of the small. Poignant, irreverent, and ultimately inspiring, It’s Game Time Somewhere chronicles one man’s search for the love of the game.
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Cards on the table – yours truly is not quite right.
How else could you explain the fact that I spent a year of my life attending and writing about 100 uniquely different sporting events involving 50 separate sports? But that’s what I did, and literally thousands of readers helped me keep score. And when it was done, we all knew more about sports in America than it was thought to be humanly possible. Or at least I did, anyway.
“But why?” you ask. Well here’s my story and I’m sticking to it…
As Bill Cosby once said, I started out as a child. A child inexorably drawn to sports – the organized kind and especially the disorganized kind favored by my circle of friends. Consequently I grew up chasing a ball. It didn’t matter what size or shape, I chased them all. I was fortunate enough to have come of age in a time when kids themselves scheduled their own games and “officiated” them via the kid’s code of sports ethics – an arcane collection of arguments, declarations, and insults that inevitably led to the Do Over. Or somebody taking their ball and going home.
On those occasions when a quorum wasn’t available for even the most streamlined of games, I played them solo. Some might call it “practicing”, but I knew it as “having fun”. And as is the case with many things one repeats endlessly, I managed to develop some level of skill. So it came to be that I went to college on a basketball scholarship.
Annoyingly enough, they don’t let you just major in Basketball – well, not in 1977 anyway, and not in any conference that, like mine, did not start with the word “Big”. So I chose to pursue a degree in Psychology. Don’t ask me why. And when my undergraduate days ended, I decided to obtain an MBA, because, well…because.
The ironic thing was that neither Psychology nor Business Administration would have even been in the race had Sports Management been an academic option. Ubiquitous now, at the time that I entered college there was no such degree program. And so, a career match made in heaven went by the boards…for the time being, anyway.
In my mid-30’s, having acquired over a decade of experience in Corporate America, I became vaguely aware of the fact that people were getting paid to work in sports! Having thus discovered the existence of what was rightfully MY chosen field of work, I spent the next several years alternating between a state of agitation over having been born a decade too early, and thoughtful rumination on how I could still pull off a second half rally and transition to my natural calling.
At the age of 40, the confluence of a certain set of circumstances, not the least of which is the most understanding wife in the cosmos, enabled me to take the plunge. I enrolled in an accredited four semester program that rewarded me upon completion with an Associate’s Degree in Professional Golf Management. I was on my way – a little late out of the gate, but with a full head of steam and ready to use my transferrable skills to claw my way to the top of the sports business.
Nearly a decade later, having come to know quite well the good, the bad and the ugly about pursuing a second career within the sports industry, I was innocently confronted one day with the following question: ”After working in the industry for ten years, do you still love sports?”
Hmmmm…great question. One I honestly didn’t have an answer for. As you can imagine though, it became critically important for me to find one. And thus began germinating the idea of a “sports walkabout” – an effort to reconnect with my ball-chasing, sports-loving roots.
I went to a game. And then another. And another. Big games, little games. Tournaments, matches, meets and bouts. Men’s games, women’s games. Professional. Amateur. High School. College. Games that I was intimately familiar with. Games that I didn’t have the faintest idea as to their rules.
To those that virtually accompanied me I offered to share everything that I found – both positive and…not so positive. I promised to keep it light-hearted, and they in turn agreed to laugh, learn and share the link with others. This blog, this portrait of Americans at play, became a love letter to sports, warts and all. My friends at Google Analytics tell me that it has been read by thousands of people all over the world.
I hope it brings a smile of pleasure and recognition to your face as well. Because it’s always game time somewhere.
To read more of my stories, please visit:
It's Game Time Somewhere can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble, MyBookOrders.com
Publisher: Bascom Hill
Release: February 12, 2013
About the Author
Alternately blessed and cursed by the notion that everyone should do what they love for a living, Tim Forbes creates and writes about the games that people play.
Tim grew up in the farmlands of northern Connecticut, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College—where he played Division III basketball in front of literally tens of people. He received an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an Associate’s Degree at the Professional Golfers Career College in Temecula, CA. Yes, in that order.
After 15 years spent meandering about in Corporate America, Tim went on to work for three professional golf tours: the Symetra Futures Tour, the LPGA Tour, and the PGA Tour. He also served as general manager for golf clubs in Nashville, Tennessee and Orlando, Florida. In 2009, he founded Outside the Mode, a sports marketing and production company based in his adopted home of Los Angeles.
Tim lives in Redondo Beach, California with a perennially underachieving fish named Halo, a cat, and a wife he fondly calls Bird..
Connect with Tim:
About the Giveaway
Leave a comment with your email address to win an ebook of It's Game Time Somewhere.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Congratulations to our winner!
bn100candg (at) hotmail (dot) com
About the Book
Ryan Kinkaid, a successful gay Manhattan antique dealer has had it with life in New York City, especially his random love life. Ryan has what most New Yorkers want — his own successful business, and a mortgage-free brownstone on West 71st Street. However, at age forty-one he discovers he is lacking one very important thing in his life: a meaningful and loving relationship. With summer just around the corner, the approaching heat and his restlessness are reasons for his escape from the city. A four-month rental in historic and picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with his best friend Lauren was the answer.
Renting a house built in 1810, kindred spirit Nicholas reaches out for contact, and Ryan finds himself wanting to know about the past. However, Nicholas is not the only one wanting Ryan’s attention. Ty, a handsome local man, also has strong desires for Ryan.
The stark contrast of the past collides with the present in this tale of lost and betrayed love, and irrational and undying prejudice.
In the end, all that is left is the affirmation of the value of honesty and commitment in love.
1. Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?
The main graphic on the cover is a male figure. This figure can represent one of two male characters in the book, Ryan Kinkaid or Nicholas Walsh. In each case, the characters are unfulfilled until this certain summer where love and contentment gives life and color, uplifting their spirits.
2. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if it’s a quick, but I do not outline the book beforehand. I let the story happen as I write it.
Summer Spirit can be purchased at:
Kindle, Nook, iBookstore, MyBookOrders.com
mobi ISBN: 9781938008665
ePub ISBN: 9781938008672
Publisher: Publish Green
Release: October 15, 2012
About the Author
A communications graduate of the City Universities of New York, and after twenty-nine years as a human resources administrator, Jay decided to apply his understanding of the complexities and foibles of the human character in a more creative way.
Like the main character, Ryan Kinkaid, Jay is a gay man who believes in love and commitment. He and his husband have been together for over thirty years and live on the West coast of Florida with their two cats. A transplant from New York, Jay continues to travel regularly to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to connect with the New England life which he so loves.
Connect with G. Jay:
About the Giveaway
Leave a comment with your email address to win an ebook of Summer Spirit. Ends 2/28/13.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Congratulations to our winner!
bn100candg (at) hotmail (dot) com
About the Book
Echoes From The Infantry is the tale of one Long Island World War II veteran, the misery of combat, and the powerful emotional bonds that brought him home to Rockaway Beach and the love of his life, Madeline Brandt. It is about a father and son, and their ultimately redeeming struggle to understand each other's worlds - one a world at war, the other shaped by its veterans. Nappi moves artfully between the present and past, weaving a fictionalized tale of this Long Islander's struggle to reconcile with the demons from long ago and his family's neverending battle with many of the intangible burdens caused by the private life of a man they never really knew. He touches our hearts with a story of courage and perseverance...a story of men who faced the greatest challenge of their generation.
1. Who is the plot based around?
Echoes From The Infantry was inspired by my fascination with the WWII period and a very special relationship forged between me and and two WWII veterans, Mr. Bill McGin and Mr. Eddie Hynes, both of the 95th Infantry Division of the United States Army. Some years ago, as a way of enhancing my students' understanding of WWII and the haunting experiences that many soldiers had, I invited my McGinn and Mr. Hynes to my classroom to share their insights with my classes. It was and still is the most rewarding moment I have ever had as a teacher.
I watched and listened as these two men captivated a room full of 16 year old students with their poignant reminiscences of their time in war-torn Europe, as well as the daunting specter of returning home, to family, friends and communities that just did not understand the unrelenting, insidious vitality of the war's residue. So many of our young men who fought valiantly in both Europe and Japan returned home damaged; true, they managed to elude the cold hand of death, and in many cases came back unscathed physically, yet they were damaged just the same; they remained mired in the cloud of combat for the rest of their lives. The atrocities they were forced to witness and engage in became indelible snapshots that infiltrated every facet of their lives. Everywhere they looked they saw the ruin, and the senseless violence. And when the closed their eyes, it was worse. Their was no rest from the "echoes from the infantry." Many of these men who made up our nation's "greatest generation" found it very difficult to function in the conventional sense, although they tried. However, it was an impossible task for many, and their family lives, as well as their professional existences, suffered because of their previous lives on the battlefield.
2. What is the main idea of the plot?
The novel, which is an amalgam of both fact and fiction, is the tale of one Long Island World War II veteran, the misery of combat, and the powerful emotional bonds that brought him home to Rockaway Beach and the love of his life, Madeline Brandt. It is about a father and son, and their ultimately redeeming struggle to understand each other's worlds - one a world at war, the other shaped by its veterans. It is a fictionalized tale of this Long Islander's struggle to reconcile with the demons from long ago and his family's neverending battle with many of the intangible burdens caused by the private life of a man they never really knew. It is also a story of courage and perseverance...a story of men who faced the greatest challenge of their generation.
3. When does the plot take place and where?
The setting of Echoes From The Infantry vacillates between war-torn Europe and the tiny town of Rockaway Beach, New York. James McCleary's time as a soldier during WWII is obviously set in several towns in Europe, while the scenes depicting his life post war are all limited to his hometown, which is Rockaway Beach. I chose Rockaway Beach for several reasons, the most compelling being that this is where one of the veterans on which the novel is based grew up. It is the sort of quaint, folksy, post WWII town that embodies so much of what America was about during this time period. The timeline of the story, consequently, covers a range of years from 1941 to around 2000.
4. Why did the plot develop the way it did?
Well, the story is told in a series of flashbacks and runs simultaneously on three tracks. Naturally, the war scenes are essential as they allow the reader entrance into the private world of James McCleary. The other two tracks chronicle James' life in Rockaway immediately following the war and in the subsequent years, and the present situation he is in with his family. The theme of war having a lasting effect of a soldier's life is conveyed easily and powerfully through this structure.
5. How did you come up with the idea for the plot?
As I watched and listened to Mr. McGinn and Mr. Hynes captivate a room full of 16 year old students with their poignant reminiscences of their time in war-torn Europe, as well as the daunting specter of returning home, I knew I had the makings of a very special story. So many of our young men who fought valiantly in both Europe and Japan returned home damaged; true, they managed to elude the cold hand of death, and in many cases came back unscathed physically, yet they were damaged just the same; they remained mired in the cloud of combat for the rest of their lives. The atrocities they were forced to witness and engage in became indelible snapshots that infiltrated every facet of their lives. Everywhere they looked they saw the ruin, and the senseless violence. And when the closed their eyes, it was worse. Their was no rest from the "echoes from the infantry." Many of these men who made up our nation's "greatest generation" found it very difficult to function in the conventional sense, although they tried. However, it was an impossible task for many, and their family lives, as well as their professional existences, suffered because of their previous lives on the battlefield.
Mr. McGinn and Mr. Hynes passed away after visiting my classroom for 10 consecutive years. It was a devastating loss for me that I still feel to this day. Both men became very dear friends of mine and shared things with me that they never thought they would ever tell anyone else. My most treasured possessions include countless letters from both men, and some videotape of their stirring presentations that influenced not only me but countless numbers of students.
As a tribute to both men, and to all of the WWII soldiers who suffered quietly from PTSD after the war, I wrote "Echoes From The Infantry."
Echoes from the Infantry can be purchased at:
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release: October 13, 2005
About the Author
Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the just released thriller, Nobody Has to Know, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. Frank is presently at work on a third installment of his Mickey Tussler series and his next thriller. He lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.
Connect with Frank:
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About the Giveaway:
Leave a comment with your email address to win an ebook of Echoes from the Infantry. Ends 2/28/13.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
About the Book
London, 1960: Renate von Hasselmann, a nineteen-year-old German au pair, arrives at Victoria Station prepared to meet her new charges, Caroline and Maggie Whitaker. Yet she is ill-prepared for their parents: the mother, Helen, knows more about Nazi Germany than Renate does, and the father, Jack, disarms Renate with his quicksilver charm.
In Sarah Pleydell's debut novel, childhood and history collide, blurring the distinctions between victim and victor, ruin and redemption. With delicate humor, Pleydell presents a portrait of a family on the cusp of great social change, while reminding us that the traumas of war revisit the children of the peace.
The story of Cologne began with my reminiscences of growing up in England during the nineteen fifties and sixties. After spending twenty years in the US, I began to feel an overwhelming nostalgia for the country of my birth, a longing for the consolation of native not adoptive soil. I love the United States but feel in my bones that these are not my lands, mountains, rivers or streams. I think this is true for many an expatriate. As I journalled and reflected, I realized that Kew Gardens, the affluent London suburb where I grew up, presented the perfect setting for a novel. I understood this could be derived from characters and events from my own life, but that they would need to be both crafted and tempered by the rules of the novel. In short, I would need a stronger plotline than my own biography.
As I was casting around for ideas, I remembered the au pair girls who had come from abroad to take care of us as children; I began to wonder what their experience of post war Britain would have been like, especially the Germans given how jingoistic and fiercely ante-German the British still were during that time period. What would it have meant to come to the country of the victors as the child of losers?
In early drafts there were three au pairs, one German, one Polish and one Scandinavian, but as I was honing the plot I knew they had to cohere into one: Renate. So I folded the other two characters into hers and used their stories to represent different phases of her experience in England.
I began writing this book around the period in my life when I was becoming conscious of how truly abusive my father had been to both my sister and to me. I began to ruminate on ways I could integrate these two themes into one narrative, to weave personal and political trauma into one interconnected, inter-penetrating whole. Thus the ultimate vision of Cologne was born. But it still took me many years to craft an artful plot. I credit Molly Tinsley as a major editorial influence in helping me shape the final drafts. She helped me flesh out aspects of the story that remained sketchy. For example, the history of Renate’s family was still quite vague, especially her relationship with her father and brother. Filling these out helped me understand how important it was to include Helen’s pre-war romance with Dieter, Renate’s much older brother, how this created a counterweight to her marriage with Jack.
One major change happened toward the end of this book’s long, long journey. I had the epiphany that Jack could die in the car accident instead of being injured (as he was in earlier versions), and that if the novel started with this event, the rest would work as flashback. Suddenly the shape of the plot became clear, but it had taken over fifteen years to get there.
Price: $14.95 paperback, $6.47-$12.95 ebook
Release: September 18, 2012
Buy Links: Kindle, Nook, Fuze Publishing (paperback), Fuze Publishing (ebook)
About the Author
A graduate of Oxford and London Universities, Sarah Pleydell is an award-winning writer, performer and playwright who teaches English and writing at the University of Maryland. For the past twenty years, she has been a master teaching artist and arts integration specialist, working with institutions that include The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Luce Institute. In 2000, she won the American Association for Theatre Educators’ award for best book of the year with co-author Victoria Brown. Most recently she wrote the script and played the role of Isadora in Revolutionary: The Life and Times of Isadora Duncan with Word Dance Theater.
Based on her childhood in London, "Cologne" (Fuze Publishing) has been twenty years in the making. It has benefited from fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and input many generous and gifted writers.
Connect with Sarah:
Blog Tour Site
Fuze Publishing Web Site
Fuze Publishing Blog
Fuze Publishing Facebook
Fuze Publishing Twitter