#VISIT WITH PAUL GILLEBAARD….

MBA&M PROUDLY PRESENTS……

PAUL GILLEBAARD,author of “Moon Hoax”..

MBA&M: Please give our readers a bit of background about yourself?

I am a small business owner of Gillebaard Engineering Corp. I graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I coach track at the local high school.  My wife and I have been married 20 years and have two wonderful daughters. We live in Orange County California. I have absolutely no background in writing, and can’t say I ever had any aspirations to be a writer.  The story of Moon Hoax started out as an idea in my head that developed into a page of notes. After months of prodding from my wife, I decided to attempt writing the book (having no idea how to start). A year and half later I had the first draft.  

 


MBA&M: Where did the idea of “Moon Hoax” come from?

I lived in Nassau Bay Texas, which is right across from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s where many Apollo astronauts lived.  Having men who walked in space or on the moon as neighbors was no big deal at the time (we moved away in 1971 when I was 10). 

Nassau Bay was a very cool place for a little boy (the neighborhood was built like a resort with a lake, bay, and country club with a pool). Builders were trying to make the neighborhood as attractive as possible to lure future astronauts joining NASA (the neighborhood was completed in time for the third group of astronauts selected….like eventual moonwalkers, Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Gene Cernan).

It was one of the best times in my childhood years. When my children where the age I was when I lived in Nassau Bay, I came to realize what a special time it was. I began to appreciate the history that was being made at the time.  Soon I was spending hours googling Apollo. Eventually I decided I needed to do something with all this knowledge I was gaining. 

The idea for the novel developed when I wondered how quickly America could get back to the moon if it was of national importance (a week, a month, a year…?).  And how would we get there (by using old proven technology, or new?).  I then came up with the China angle (China claiming we never landed, and the US having to get back to the moon today to prove we did or lose credibility and eventually its world leadership to China).  


MBA&M: How hard was it to get your research information and where it you find all the facts related to this title?

Very easy.  That is the great thing about writing books today, we have the internet. You have instant information right at your finger tips, and this information is current. So for example I could Google, “Problems docking with the Space Station” and all these great articles come up. However, I should point out I did interview a handful of astronauts that had some great technical suggestions that made it into the book. Also one of these men did a final technical read for me.

MBA&M: Tell our readers a little about one of your secondary characters in “Moon Hoax”?

Viktor Alexandrov, a 75 year old retired cosmonaut who joins the lead character to fly the dangerous mission to the moon.  Viktor was the comic relief in the book. He was my favorite character, and joy to write (he has a little of my dad in him).

MBA&M: What was your favorite part about writing “Moon Hoax”?

Finishing the book!  Having no experience in writing, I felt I could crank out the book in 6 months.  Not true. Instead it wasn’t until after a year and half of research, interviews and rewrites, that I finally typed that last word of the manuscript. My wife and I shared a bottle of champagne that night.  Of course probably the best moment for any first time writer, is holding that first hardcopy from the printer.

MBA&M: If you could pick a character in this title to be for a day,who would it be and why?

Peter Novak, the lead character. How cool would it be to be a part of the CIA, and your area of expertise is flying in space. Plus his love life wasn’t too bad.   

MBA&M:  Give our readers three words you feel describe your writing style?

Entertaining easy read

MBA&M: How do you separate your personal life from your professional life?We realize writing,book appearances,online social networking takes up a lot of your time.

Fortunately my other job (I am a long ways from making a living as just an author) allows me to work at home, which helps being a father of two active teenagers (my wife works at an office).  Of course I am also a track coach.  So I am quite busy. I do most of my writing in the morning, and at night (as well as doing things like this).  I am halfway through the second book (which is a sequel to Moon Hoax, and will be part of three book set).

MBA&M: What do you hope readers will come away with by reading “Moon Hoax”?

First and foremost, be entertained.  I love hearing people say they couldn’t put the book down because of how much they were enjoying it.  Getting positive feedback is very rewarding; especially from people I don’t know.  Also the book is very relevant for today, so I also hope readers get a little education on both the past and present space programs.  


MBA&M: Please tell our readers where to find you and where they can purchase “Moon Hoax”?

I am happy to offer your readers a special 40% discount for a limited number of signed first edition copies.  To take advantage of this offer, your readers can go to my website, www.MoonHoaxBook. com and enter the code: BookAddiction. Of course the book is also offered at all the regular sites, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble (which are the best places to get Ebook editions).

LINKS:

www.paulgillebaard.com

 www.moonhoaxbook.com

~~~~~~~~

MOON HOAX

PAUL GILLEBAARD

  • Hardcover: 405 pages
  • Publisher: Dream Access Books; First edition (January 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061545576X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615455761

(From the publisher)

CIA agent and former NASA candidate Peter Novak, son of a U.S. moonwalker, is selected to fly a mission back to the moon against UN sanctions to set the record straight. With no manned rocket close to flying, America must figure out how to get their man into deep space undetected and without international help.

Restoring his father’s good name and the reputation of his country on a one-way ticket to lunar orbit sounds crazy–but it’s Peter’s only chance to break free of Earth’s atmosphere and fulfill his dream as an astronaut. Peter enlists a former space rival as his unlikely co-pilot, and the two battle to outwit China’s efforts to sabotage the operation and beat the Chinese back to the moon.

 ~~~~

Thanks for visiting with us and our readers today,Paul!

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT AND TOUR SCHEDULE: ENDING ADDICTION FOR GOOD BY CONSTANCE SCHARFF,Ph. D….

MBA&M IS PROUD TO PRESENT A BOOK SPOTLIGHT FOR:

ENDING ADDICTION FOR GOOD

By

CONSTANCE SCHARFF,Ph.D.

Virtual Book Tour November 15 – December 14, 2013 


Constance ScharffABOUT CONSTANCE SCHARFF

 

Constance Scharff has a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies, specializing in addiction recovery. She is a researcher with the Institute for Creative Transformation and the world’s leading expert on using ecstatic spiritual experience to maintain long-term sobriety. Her ground breaking publication, “Filling the God-shaped hole: Reframing alcoholism as an opportunity for spiritual transformation,” is available from UMI Research Press. She is also a Transformative Studies and Addiction Research Consultant for Cliffside Malibu, a leading addiction treatment center in Malibu, California. Dr. Scharff writes for a variety of  journals and speaks to healing professionals on helping addicts in recovery maintain their sobriety.

 

 

 

ABOUT ENDING ADDICTION FOR GOOD

 

In Ending Addiction for Good, authors, Taite and Scharff present their personal true-life struggles with addiction and how they eventually overcame their problems. Each discovered solutions that were widely understood in the treatment community, but not put together into a comprehensive, holistic treatment protocol. Using this knowledge, Taite created the Cliffside Malibu addiction treatment center. Scharff became an addiction researcher, delving into the scientific evidence base to learn how addiction grabs hold of addicts and how, exactly, addiction is overcome.

 

Taite and Scharff delve into the nature of addiction and addiction recovery, focusing on addiction as a behavioral disorder. They suggest that at least in early sobriety, a focus on facing and healing past painful or traumatic episodes is of utmost importance in overcoming addiction. To do this, they introduce readers to the “Stages of Change” model, a method of creating psychological change developed in the 1990s, to help addicts at any stage of readiness to change – from complete denial to a deep understanding of and willingness to overcome their addiction. The authors also provide a brief discussion on many of the concomitant treatments that an addict may need in addition to in-depth psychotherapy – so that body, mind, and spirit are all treated simultaneously. This book brings a strong message of hope: recovery is possible for even the most desperate addicts.

Ending Addiction For Good Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Thursday, November 15

Guest blogging at My Devotional Thoughts

Friday, November 16

Interviewed at Examiner

Tuesday, November 20

Interviewed at Review From Here

Wednesday, November 21

Guest blogging at Allvoices

Monday, November 26

Interviewed at As the Pages Turn

Wednesday, November 28

Guest blogging at Open Salon

Thursday, November 29

Interviewed at Divine Caroline

Friday, November 30

Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, December 4

Interviewed at Broowaha

Wednesday, December 5

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Thursday, December 6

Interviewed at Literal Exposure

Monday, December 10

Guest blogging at Shine

Wednesday, December 12

Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

Thursday, December 13

Interviewed at American Chronicle

Friday, December 14

Interviewed at Digital Journal

 

ENJOY!

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PROUDLY PRESENTING….TRACY SANDS AND HER “THE CHRISTIAN ALPHABET”…

MBA&M AND PUMP UP YOUR BOOK PROUDLY PRESENTS……

TRACY SANDS...

The Christian Alphabet banner

Join Tracy Sands, author of the Children’s Christian novel, The Christian Alphabet, as she tours the blogosphere November 19 through December 14, 2012 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

 

Tracy SandsABOUT TRACY SANDS

 

 

Tracy Sands is from Peachtree City, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Albert, and their three sons, Chase, Gabe, and Adam. Tracy taught art and “church school” to all ages for many years. She now spends her time caring for her active family and working on The Christian Alphabet™.

To find out more, please visit her at www.thechristianalphabet.com

****

ChristianAlphabetBook-400x500ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN ALPHABET

In 1999, the Lord inspired me at a church choir event. As I sat in the back pew, listening to the awesome Christian music, an incredible urge to draw came over me. Being an art teacher, I had experienced this feeling, but never with such intensity. I had a pen in my pocket, but the only paper available was the program I received at the door. In the empty space of that program, I sketched like crazy. I felt as though I would pop if I didn’t get the ideas out of my brain immediately.

I will never forget that experience. I felt peaceful yet energized. God was just getting started with me. Over the next nine months, God and I created this alphabet.

 

 

 

****

FOLLOW TRACY ON TOUR:

The Christian Alphabet Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Monday, November 19

Book Spotlight at My Devotional Thoughts

Monday, November 26

Interviewed at My Book Addiction and More

Tuesday, November 27

Book reviewed at Splashes of Joy

Wednesday, November 28

Interviewed at Review From Here

Thursday, November 29

Interviewed at Literal Exposure

Friday, November 30

Guest blogging at The Phantom Paragrapher

Monday, December 3

Book reviewed at Reading, Writing, and Ruckus

Interviewed at Digital Journal

Tuesday, December 4

Book reviewed at Day by Day in Our World

Wednesday, December 5

Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Thursday, December 6

Interviewed at Read it All Book Reviews

Friday, December 7

Book reviewed at Blooming With Books

Monday, December 10

Guest blogging at Books, Books, the Magical Fruit

Book reviewed at Thoughts in Progress

Tuesday, December 11

Book reviewed at A Year of Jubilee Reviews

Guest blogging at Shine

Wednesday, December 12

Book reviewed at The Children and Teen’s Book Connection

Interviewed at Examiner

Thursday, December 13

Book reviewed at Melina’s Book Blog

Friday, December 14

Book reviewed at Read It All Book Reviews

Book reviewed at 4 the Love of Books

Book reviewed at Reading Rendezvous Reviewz

****

We hope you have enjoyed our author/book spotlight today!

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CLASSIC READS BLOG HOP….

MBA&M PROUDLY PRESENTS….

Classic Reads 2013

Dates: Post any date 3-7 January

Theme: What makes a ‘classic read’/What will be the ‘new classics’

Post about the books you think are great and why. They don’t have to be ‘classics’ as we traditionally know them but anything you think is a fantastic read, in any genre.

$300 in prizes: $200/£130 Amazon gift card (open to hoppers), 2x$50/£35 Amazon gift card (open to everyone)

Sponsored by Terri Giuliano Long, Molly Greene, Rachel Thompson and Christine Nolfi

Visit http://bit.ly/CR2013 to get more information and sign up

HAVE FUN AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

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RELEASE BLITZ: Intergalactic Heat by Jessica E. Subject…

MBA&M PROUDLY PRESENTS:

COMING SOON…

**18+ mature content**

Intergalactic Heat by Jessica E. Subject

Intergalactic Heat by Jessica E. Subject

A date on a space station? Alien lovers? Madame Evangeline, owner of the exclusive 1Night Stand dating service is known to be magical in fulfilling the ideal dates of her clients, but she’s outdone herself this time, bring together beings from Earth and beyond. As long as applicants are willing to let go of their pasts and open their hearts and minds, she will find their perfect match, whether they be a former sci-fi television star, a nurse, an employee of the Space Service, a former Marine, or even an extraterrestrial. Because everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after…

Buy Links:

 

Decadent Publishing / Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Barnes & Noble / more

 

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/8pY8tDTBhbk

Excerpt from Beneath the Starry Sky – MF Contemporary Erotic Romance

She’d held onto so much hope for this date, and nothing had gone right. She still didn’t know who this guy was. Yet, he’d already rejected her with his expression. This is the last date Im going on, unless Im lucky enough for my hair to grow back.

His gaze never left her, making her even more humiliated. “You’re….”

“What? Ugly? Bald?”

He shook his head. “No, I was going to say my date. I’ve been so busy lately and Madame Evangeline had to send me a reminder.”

She paused at the Frenchwoman’s name. Could this hunk of a man really be her date? Didn’t matter. He wouldn’t want her now. “Well, surprise! I’m damaged goods, so you might as well leave and ask her for a refund.”

As she slumped to the floor, more tears streamed down her face. Why is life so unfair? She’d worked hard all of her life, never taking shortcuts or the easy way out. Not an outcast or popular, she’d been friends with everyone in school and college. And healthy. She’d taken extra care to eat properly in order to avoid being diagnosed with diabetes, like her parents.

Since that fateful day when she’d discovered her two, oval-shaped bald patches, she’d been dumped by her fiancé and lost all of her hair, along with any chance to find love and have a family vanishing. Kids were out of the question. Sure, their chances of inheriting alopecia were unlikely, but on the chance they did, they’d hate her for passing her faulty genetics on to them. She couldn’t live with that. She’d be alone. Forever.

 

**Due to mature content excerpts for the following can be found on the author’s website**

Excerpt from Celestial Seduction – MF Science Fiction Erotic Romance

 

Excerpt from Satin Sheets in Space – MFM Science Fiction Erotic Romance

*Due to mature content, excerpts available on the author’s website*

Bio:

Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.

Website/Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon

 

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CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS……

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING WINNERS……

*You have 72 hours to email us with your information or forfeit your prize*Please email us at: [email protected]

**Have already been notified*

1. SAVING SAVANNA-Sara Fitzgerald

**Connie Fischer

2. WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE-Victoria Vane

**BN100

3.TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD

Rita Wray

Thanks for visiting with us and our guests!

HAPPY READING AND ENJOY!

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#SPOTLIGHT ON NATURALLY,CHARLIE BY S.L. SCOTT….

MBA&M AND THE WRITER’S COFFEE SHOP PROUDLY SPOTLIGHTS…..

CONTEMPORARY AUTHOR, S.L. SCOTT

Summary for Naturally, Charlie:

Twenty-five year old Charlotte “Charlie” Barrow is caught between her old life and the one she is beginning to build when she crosses paths with a handsome stranger on the subway. Not looking for romance, she closes her heart off to the possibilities of love. With a knack for mishaps, Charlie maintains her sense of humor while befriending the kind stranger who seems to be there at all the right times.

New York freelance writer, Charlie Adams, is forging his own path beyond the expectations of the society circles of his childhood. Rejecting family money, and fast-lane friends, he is snubbed by his family as he follows his own compass to a life more extraordinary.

Their chemistry is palpable as they balance precariously on the line that divides them as friends or more.

Charlie walks close, so close, and drops his arms forward on either side of mine. He’s trapped me between them, and although I shouldn’t want this with a friend, I do with him. I want it more than I should. I love being this close to him, but instead of giving in, I hold my own, standing my ground. His head moves even closer to mine, but he purposely keeps our bodies apart.

“I bet I can.”

I stare into his blue eyes. My heart is pounding in my chest as his breath hits my face. I often find myself reacting to him in ways that I wouldn’t normally to others. Maybe it’s because I like these games we play, the ones that involve our heads and our hearts.

“I dare you.”

This is the tale of two Charlies learning to trust again while fighting their fates to create

####

BUY LINKS –
TWCS – http://ph.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/books/detail/73

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/161213131X/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=thewriscofsho-20&camp=213381&creative=390973&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=161213131X&adid=1TY678M96Q4ZVM7P2Q44&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Fph.thewriterscoffeeshop.com%2Fbooks%2Fdetail%2F73

Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/naturlly-charlie/id561743617?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/naturally-charlie-s-l-scott/1113130461?ean=9781612131313

#####

Author Biography:

S.L. Scott is a former high-tech account manager with a journalism degree pursuing her passion for telling stories. She spends her days escaping into her characters and letting them lead her on their adventures.

Live music shows, harvesting jalapenos and eating homemade guacamole are her obsessions she calls hobbies.

Scott lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country of Austin with her husband, two young sons, two Papillons and a bowl full of Sea Monkeys.

She welcomes your notes at [email protected]

 

 

###

We hope you have enjoyed our spotlight on S.L. Scott today and thanks for visiting My Book Addiction and More!

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Dollar Deals – One Day Only! – November 21 | Diane Capri – Licensed to Thrill

Dollar Deals – One Day Only! – November 21 | Diane Capri – Licensed to Thrill.

Here’s how it works: For one day only, we’re offering our ebooks at one dollar! (Well, really 99 cents on Amazon. Even better!)

That’s right – only one day – Today!!

All individual e-books by these authors are 99 cents Only November 21, 2012 on Amazon.com (and as a special gift to my UK readers, I’ve also offered my e-books on Amazon.co.UK). CLICK HERE for the full list of all the Dollar Deals on a special link at The Indie Bookshelf.

On November 21, 2012, for 24 hours, Pacific Standard Time, you can buy individual e-books for yourself. You can buy gifts for the readers on your list and schedule them to be received later, too (simply choose your delivery date after you’ve clicked on “Give as a Gift”). Heck, you can buy gifts now for your whole year! Those folks at Amazon are always on the ball, aren’t they?

Choose from these and more! Click the links below to get started or click on any book cover! And please share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media! This is too great a deal to keep to yourself!!

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SPOTLIGHT AND EXCERPT OF EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION by Paul Batista….

MBA&M AND BLUE DOT  LITERARY PROUDLY PRESENTS….

SPOTLIGHT AND EXCERPT FOR ……

PAUL BATISTA

Thriller Examines Extraordinary Rendition

Action Pinpoints Issues in Constitutional Controversy

When Ali Hussein—suspected terrorist and alleged banker for Al Qaeda—is finally transported from Gitmo to the US mainland to stand trial, many are stunned when Byron Carlos Johnson, pre-eminent lawyer and the son of a high-profile diplomat, volunteers as counsel.  On principle, Johnson thought he was merely defending a man unjustly captured through Rendition and water-boarded illegally. But Johnson soon learns that there is much more at stake than one man’s civil rights.

 

Hussein’s intimate knowledge of key financial transactions could lead to the capture of—or the unabated funding of—the world’s most dangerous terror cells. This makes Hussein the target of corrupt US intelligence forces on one side, and ruthless international terrorists on the other.  And, it puts Byron Carlos Johnson squarely in the crosshairs of both.

 

Pulled irresistibly by forces he can and cannot see, Johnson enters a lethal maze of espionage, manipulation, legal traps and murder. And when his life, his love, and his acclaimed principles are on the line, Johnson may have one gambit left that can save them all; a play that even his confidants could not have anticipated. He must become the hunter among hunters in the deadliest game.

 

Written by no-holds-barred-attorney Paul Batista, Extraordinary Rendition excels not only as an action thriller, but as a sophisticated legal procedural as well; tearing the curtains away from the nation’s most controversial issues.

 

Provocative. Smart. Heart-pounding. A legal thriller of the highest order.

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions LLC (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938231260
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938231261

###

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Paul Batista, novelist and television personality, is one of the most widely known trial lawyers in the country. As a trial attorney, he specializes in federal criminal litigation. As a media figure, he is known for his regular appearances as guest legal commentator on a variety of television shows including, Court TV, CNN, HLN and WNBC. He’s also appeared in the HBO movie, You Don’t Know Jack, starring Al Pacino.

 

A prolific writer, Batista authored the leading treatise on the primary federal anti-racketeering statute, Civil RICO Practice Manual, which is now in its third edition (Wiley & Sons, 1987; Wolters Kluwer, 2008). He has written articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The National Law Journal.

 

Batista’s debut novel, Death’s Witness, was awarded a Silver Medal by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). And his new novel, Extraordinary Rendition, is now being published—along with a special reissue of Death’s Witness—by Astor + Blue Editions.

 

Batista is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Cornell Law School. He’s proud to have served in the United States Army. Paul Batista lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

  ~~~~~~~~

An Excerpt from
Chapter 1
of
Extraordinary Rendition
by
Paul Batista

When the guard left, the iron door resonated briefly as the magnetic lock engaged itself. Byron sat in a steel folding chair. Directly in front of him was a narrow ledge under a multi-layered, almost opaque plastic window, in the middle of which was a metal circle.

Ali Hussein seemed to just materialize in the small space behind the partition. Dressed in a yellow jumpsuit printed with the initials “FDC” for “Federal Detention Center,” Hussein, who had been described to Byron as an accountant trained at Seton Hall, in Newark, was a slender man who appeared far more mild-mannered than Byron expected. He wore cloth slippers with no shoelaces. The waistband of his jump suit was elasticized—not even a cloth belt. He had as little access to hard objects as possible.

He waited for Byron to speak first. Leaning toward the metal speaker in the partition and raising his voice, Byron said, “You are Mr. Hussein, aren’t you?”

The lawyers at the Civil Liberties Union who had first contacted Byron told him that, in their limited experience with accused terrorists, it sometimes wasn’t clear what their real names were. There were often no fingerprints or DNA samples that could confirm their identities. The name Ali Hussein was as common as a coin. It was as though genetic markers and their histories began only at the moment of their arrest.

“I am.” He spoke perfect, unaccented English. “I don’t know what your name is.”

The circular speaker in the window, although it created a tinny sound, worked well. Byron lowered his voice. “I’m Byron Johnson. I’m a lawyer from New York. I met your brother. Did he tell you to expect me?”

“I haven’t heard from my brother in years. He has no idea how to reach me, I can’t reach him.”

“Has anyone told you why you’re here?”

“Someone on the airplane—I don’t know who he was, I was blind-folded—said I was being brought here because I’d been charged with a crime. He said I could have a lawyer. Are you that lawyer?”

“I am. If you want me, and if I want to do this.”

All that Ali’s more abrasive, more aggressive brother had told Byron was that Ali was born in Syria, moved as a child with his family to Lebanon during the civil war in the 1980s, and then came to the United States. Ali never became a United States citizen. Five months after the invasion of Iraq, he traveled to Germany to do freelance accounting work for an American corporation for what was scheduled to be a ten-day visit. While Ali was in Germany, his brother said, he had simply disappeared, as if waved out of existence. His family had written repeatedly to the State Department, the CIA, and the local congressman. They were letters sent into a vacuum. Nobody ever answered.

Byron asked, “Do you know where you’ve come from?”

“How do I know who you are?”

Byron began to reach for his wallet, where he stored his business cards. He caught himself because of the absurdity of that: he could have any number of fake business cards. Engraved with gold lettering, his real business card had his name and the name of his law firm, one of the oldest and largest in the country. Ali Hussein was obviously too intelligent, too alert, and too suspicious to be convinced by a name on a business card or a license or a credit card.

“I don’t have any way of proving who I am. I can just tell you that I’m Byron Johnson, I’ve been a lawyer for years, I live in New York, and I was asked by your brother and others to represent you.”

Almost unblinking, Ali just stared at Byron, who tried to hold his gaze, but failed.

At last Ali asked, “And you want to know what’s happened to me?”

“We can start there. I’m only allowed thirty minutes to visit you this week. Tell me what you feel you want to tell me, or can tell me. And then we’ll see where we go. You don’t have to tell me everything about who you are, what you did before you were arrested, who you know in the outside world. Or you don’t have to tell me anything. I want nothing from you other than to help you.”

Ali leaned close to the metallic hole in the smoky window. The skin around his eyes was far darker than the rest of his face, almost as if he wore a Zorro-style mask. Byron took no notes, because to do so might make Ali Hussein even more mistrustful.

“Today don’t ask me any questions. People have asked me lots of questions over the years. I’m sick of questions.” It was like listening to a voice from a world other than the one in which Byron lived. There was nothing angry or abusive in his tone: just a matter-of-fact directness, as though he was describing to Byron a computation he had made on one of Byron’s tax returns. “One morning five Americans in suits stopped me at a red light. I was in Bonn. I drove a rented Toyota. I had a briefcase. They got out of their cars. They had earpieces. Guns, too. They told me to get out of the car. I did. They told me to show them my hands. I did. They lifted me into an SUV, tied my hands, and put a blindfold on me. I asked who they were and what was happening.”

He paused. Byron, who had been in the business of asking questions since he graduated from law school at Harvard, couldn’t resist the embedded instinct to ask, “What did they say?”

“They said shut up.”

“Has anyone given you any papers since you’ve come here?”

“I haven’t had anything in my hands to read in years. Not a newspaper, not a magazine, not a book. Not even the Koran.”

“Has anyone told you what crimes you’re charged with?”

“Don’t you know?”

“No. All that I’ve been told is that you were moved to Miami from a foreign jail so that you could be indicted and tried in an American court.”

There was another pause. “How exactly did you come to me?” Even though he kept returning to the same subject—who exactly was Byron Johnson?—there was still no hostility or anger in Ali Hussein’s tone. “Why are you here?”

In the stifling room, Byron began to sweat almost as profusely as he had on the walk from the security gate to the prison entrance. He recognized that he was very tense. And he was certain that the thirty-minute rule would be enforced, that time was running out. He didn’t want to lose his chance to gain the confidence of this ghostly man who had just emerged into a semblance of life after years in solitary limbo. “A lawyer for a civil rights group called me. I had let people know that I wanted to represent a person arrested for terrorism. I was told that you were one of four prisoners being transferred out of some detention center, maybe at Guantanamo, to a mainland prison, and that you’d be charged by an American grand jury rather than held overseas indefinitely. When I got the call I said I would help, but only if you and I met, and only if you wanted me to help, and only if I thought I could do that.”

“How do I know any of this is true?”

Byron Johnson prided himself on being a realist. Wealthy clients sought him out not to tell them what they wanted to hear but for advice about the facts, the law and the likely real-world outcomes of whatever problems they faced. But it hadn’t occurred to him that this man, imprisoned for years, would doubt him and would be direct enough to tell him that. Byron had become accustomed to deference, not to challenge. And this frail man was suggesting that Byron might be a stalking horse, a plant, a shill, a human recording device.

“I met your brother Khalid.”

“Where?”

“At a diner in Union City.”

“What diner?”

“He said it was his favorite, and that you used to eat there with him: the Plaza Diner on Kennedy Boulevard.”

Byron, who for years had practiced law in areas where a detailed memory was essential, was relieved that he remembered the name and location of the diner just across the Hudson River in New Jersey. He couldn’t assess whether the man behind the thick, scratched glass was now more persuaded to believe him. Byron asked, “How have you been treated?”

“I’ve been treated like an animal.”

“In what ways?”

As if briskly covering the topics on an agenda, Ali Hussein said, “Months in one room, no contact with other people. Shifted from place to place, never knowing what country or city I was in, never knowing what month of the year, day of the week. Punched. Kicked.”

“Do you have any marks on your body?”

“I’m not sure yet what your name really is, or who you really are, but you seem naive. Marks? Are you asking me if they’ve left bruises or scars on my body?”

Byron felt the rebuke. Over the years he’d learned that there was often value in saying nothing. Silence sometimes changed the direction of a conversation and revealed more. He waited.

Hussein asked, “How much more time do we have?”

“Only a few minutes.”

“A few minutes? I’ve been locked away for years, never in touch for a second with anyone who meant to do kind things to me, and now I have a total of thirty minutes with you. Mr. Bush created a beautiful world.”

“There’s another president.” Byron paused, and, with the silly thought of giving this man some hope, he said, “His name is Barack Hussein Obama.”

Ali Hussein almost smiled. “And I’m still here? How did that happen?”

Byron didn’t answer, feeling foolish that he’d thought the news that an American president’s middle name was Hussein would somehow brighten this man’s mind. Byron had pandered to him, and he hated pandering.

Ali Hussein then asked, “My wife and children?”

No one—not the ACLU lawyer, not the CIA agent with whom Byron had briefly talked to arrange this visit, not even Hussein’s heavy-faced, brooding brother—had said a single thing about Hussein other than that he had been brought into the United States after years away and that he was an accountant. Nothing about a wife and children.

“I don’t know. I didn’t know you had a wife and children. Nobody said anything about them. I should have asked.”

It was unsettling even to Byron, who had dealt under tense circumstances with thousands of people in courtrooms, that this man could stare at him for so long with no change of expression. Hussein finally asked, “Are you going to come back?”

“If you want me to.”

“I was an accountant, you know. I always liked numbers, and I believed in the American system that money moves everything, that he who pays the piper gets to call the tune. Who’s paying you?”

“No one, Mr. Hussein. Anything I do for you will be free. I won’t get paid by anybody.”

“Now I really wonder who you are.” There was just a trace of humor in his voice and his expression.

As swiftly as Ali Hussein had appeared in the interview room, he disappeared when two guards in Army uniforms reached in from the rear door and literally yanked him from his chair. It was like watching a magician make a man disappear.

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#INTERVIEW WITH HISTORICAL AUTHOR, KATE RIORDAN….

MBA&M AND DIVERSION BOOKS PROUDLY PRESENTS….

“A London Murder Mystery based on a true historical crime”

AUTHOR OF “BIRDCAGE WALK”,KATE RIORDAN

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So without further ado, welcome and now dear readers sit back and enjoy our guest….

WELCOME KATE!

MBA&M: Please send our readers some insight into Kate Riordan?
I am a magazine journalist by trade. These days I write on a freelance basis but previously I worked on staff at Time Out London magazine and the Guardian newspaper. I’ve written about (and done) all sorts of weird and wonderful things in the name of work – clambering about on the roof of Harrods department store, learning to sail, being hypnotised and tobogganing in Switzerland are just a few…

I’ve always wanted to write fiction, though, and the main reasons for going freelance and moving away from London to the Cotswolds were to free up more time to do this. I love writing but will also do anything to avoid it at the same time – it’s an ongoing inner battle and so having strict deadlines makes life much easier for me!

 

MBA&M: Where did the idea of “Birdcage Walk” come from?

A friend of mine’s aunt had been doing some research into their family tree and discovered George Woolfe (the main character) was an ancestor by marriage. In a sense, I got the skeleton of the story from that initial tip-off and my other research into the criminal case. The fiction part of it was putting flesh on those bones – hopefully in a convincing way!

MBA&M: How hard is it to write a true historical crime title and keep it true to the era and hold readers interest?

I think you have to be mindful that, even if the story is based on fact, it’s still got to be an interesting story for readers. The danger with doing too much detailed research is that you want to cram it all in and the book becomes an exercise in showing off how much you know about the period. I think a flavour of how people spoke, what they wore and what their rooms looked like is what’s important. Similarly, in terms of the facts of the criminal case in my story, I kept in as much as I could but occasionally had to whittle down the cast so readers didn’t get lost. So what was actually three witnesses in real life became one. The nice thing about writing something based on fact is that in the course of the research you get a real feel for the period just by being immersed in the language and concerns of the day.

MBA&M: 20th century London was a time of turmoil, interest, and changes. How hard was it to find research information on this crime? Where did you find the information?

 It’s true that the book is set during a fascinating period in English history. It marks the end of Queen Victoria’s long reign and, though they didn’t know it, the First World War is looming on the horizon. I began my research of the case with the Old Bailey Online, which allows you to sift through the proceedings of London’s central criminal court from 1674. It’s an absolute mine of period colour and many of the cases make fascinating – if occasionally gruesome – reading.

Aside from the case itself, I looked up all the main ‘characters’ in the 1901 English Census. This told me where they lived, their ages, occupations and the people they lived with. I discovered that two of the main characters lived just a road away from each other and that helped me to imagine how they might have met. The 1901 census was taken just months before the book’s action begins and it gave me a little shiver to think that when the forms were being filled in, none of them knew what would unfold in the coming months.

I also used the notebooks of philanthropist Charles Booth for my research, directly quoting from them a couple of times. Booth wrote a series of socially important books about London’s poor as well as creating ‘poverty maps’ showing what people earned (or didn’t) by street. These are kept at the London School of Economics but are also available to read online. They have been scanned in so you can read Booth’s footnotes to himself. I also went to Hackney Library in east London and read microfiche records of the local newspapers of the day.

MBA&M: Who was your favorite character in “Birdcage Walk” and why?

It seems like an obvious answer to choose the main character, George, but it has to be him. I wanted him to be someone the reader identified and sympathized with from the beginning and all through the events that follow. To me, he represents so many people who, in those days, were completely restricted by their low birth (as it would have been viewed then). Social mobility was non-existent for the vast majority.

MBA&M: Tell our readers a little about the secondary characters? Why some are and their importance to the storyline?


Without some of the secondary characters, the outcome of the book would have been very different indeed. I think all the secondary characters are important in one way or another. No one in real life exists in a vacuum and so the main characters inevitably do what they do in part because of those around them. George’s dissatisfaction with his lot is directly linked to his mother, for instance, and she’s not even alive when we meet him.

The key secondary character is Charles Booth, the well-known philanthropist mentioned above. As far as I know, he had no connection to George Woolfe – that part of the story is entirely invented by me. However, Booth did accompany a Constable Ryeland down Wiltshire Row around the time George was living there. I took that slender possibility of a meeting and ran with it! Other key characters are George’s father – the reticent birdcage maker – Charlotte’s odious brother-in-law Ted and her worn-out sister Annie. Poor Ted may have been very nice in real life but he’s not in the book!

 

MBA&M: If you were not writing,what would you be doing? Thanks, for writing…
I would be reading. I’ve always got a book on the go, almost always fiction. I read really quickly because I skim read, which is awful because sometimes I can’t remember a book and end up reading half of it for the second time before I realise. Obviously you remember all the really good ones though! I’m just about to start Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies.

 

MBA&M: If you could rewrite history, what would you rewrite and why?

Following on from the mention of Hilary Mantel’s books about the Tudor period, I’ll borrow something my mum has said about that time in England (she is obsessed with Elizabeth I!). If Elizabeth had married her sweetheart Robert Dudley and had lots of healthy children then the Stuarts – who were a bit of a waste of space – would never have ascended the throne after she died. Less specifically, and what should go without saying, I would do my best to un-write the two World Wars.

 

MBA&M: Please tell our readers where to find you and where they can purchase “Birdcage Walk”?
Birdcage Walk is an ebook (and shortly to be an audiobook available from AudioGO). It’s available online for Kindle, Nook and iPad.

Thanks,Kate, for spending a few moments with us and our readers. What a fascinating and wonderful interview! Good Luck in your future endeavors!

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Birdcage Walk: A Novel

By Kate Riordan

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On Sale 11/6/12

Diversion Books

$3.99 U.S., eBooks

 

A London Murder Mystery Based on a True Historical Crime

British writer and journalist Kate Riordan combines artistic imagination with detailed research into early 20th century London, to bring readers a new work of fiction based on a true historical crime.

 

A young working class east London printmaker befriends a well-to-do family in the hopes of escaping the constraints of his class and station, but this auspicious relationship takes a turn when, within six months, the printmaker is charged with the murder of a young woman.

 

Set in the early 1900’s, at the dawning of a new century when the rigid class and gender boundaries of the Victorian age were soon to shift and realign,Birdcage Walk is a historical novel that vividly brings to life a real-life Edwardian murder and the possible miscarriage of justice that followed it.  Kate carefully researched records of London’s criminal courts, family trees, the 1901 Census, and archived handwritten notebooks, to bring her characters to life in Birdcage Walk.

 

READ AN EXCERPT of Birdcage Walk.

Available:

Amazon

Barnes and Nobles

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/birdcage-walk-kate-riordan/1113739659?ean=2940015935424

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ABOUT KATE RIORDAN:

   Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist from England. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at the Guardian Newspaper, followed by a stint as deputy editor for the lifestyle section of London bible, Time Out magazine. There she had assignments that saw her racing reindeers in Lapland, going undercover in London’s premier department store and gleaning writing tips (none-too subtly) during interviews with some of her favorite authors. After becoming a freelancer, she left London behind and moved to the beautiful Cotswolds in order to write her first novel. Now at work on her second, a ghost story, she is visiting haunted pubs as part of her research.

 

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COMING SOON…..

“Our Thoughts” on the “Birdcage Walk” by Kate  Riordan!


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