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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Authors To Watch: Shawn M. Beasley, Author of Killing the Rougarou






Author Shawn Beasley was born and raised in small town Louisiana. She has a BSRN and has traveled the world only to return to the same small town where she was raised. Shawn has three grown children, one girl and two sons. She lives with her oldest son and grandson and has three other grandchildren that she adores. She has two fur babies, Pete and Taz. Killing the Rougarou is her debut novel and is the first book in a series of five. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Author Shawn Beasley captivates readers with the enthralling saga of two southern families-the
Gauthiers from the South Louisiana bayou country and the Thomases from rural Texas-and the nightmare that will ultimately touch them both. In her sweeping and richly evocative novel, Beasley unfolds two remarkable family histories, populated by unforgettable, deeply human characters, and then rocks their worlds with tragedy and true horror. A novel that succeeds brilliantly on many levels, Killing the Rougarou is, at once, moving and terrifying, tense and thrilling, while capturing the sights, sounds, and vibrant life of Louisiana's Cajun country and Brazos County, Texas.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon / iUniverse / B&N





We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction? 

My ex-husband had been diagnosed with cancer and so while he had his treatments, I spent a lot of time in the hospital library. A story began to form in my heart as he healed.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write? 

I start with an idea and then I am chaotic and type away, something will start to form in all the madness and I will begin to know my story. I don’t always know the whole story but I will know a good portion. I usually write on my couch, drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper and holding one of my dogs.

Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

The central theme to my story is a young girl is kidnapped, molested and left for dead. She survives the ordeal and grows into a beauty but has mental scars. Her attacker is caught and put in prison. He is released years later, time served no parole. He is fixated with her and wants to have her again. She has grown up and met the hero. Their courtship is stormy because of her past. The bad guy takes her again and is killed. She breaks it off with the hero to heal. They eventually reconcile and have a happily ever after. The epilogue sets up for book 2 in the series.

How did you get the idea for the book? 

As I wrote earlier, I was at the hospital library, reading a suspense book where the victim died...I thought what if the person lived, where would the story go? 

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why? 

Tally Mcneely, He is my book boyfriend! I constantly had to take things away from him and give to my hero! I loved writing about him.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? 

EDITING

What projects are you currently working on? 

Rougarou Series books 2-5

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors? 

Don’t give up!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Authors To Watch: Joerg H. Trauboth, Author of Three Brothers





Joerg H. Trauboth (Wikipedia) was born just outside of Berlin in 1943 during an air-raid. He discovered his love for writing early in his career as an officer and was awarded top honors by the General Inspector of the German Bundeswehr. Along the way, he flew over two thousand flight hours as a Weapons Systems Officer and instructor in the Phantom RF4E (in which he survived two critical lightening strikes). After a training in George AFB (CA), Major Joerg H. Trauboth flew the  Phantom F4F  and finally – followed by another conversion training in Cottesmore (UK) –  the Tornado aircrafts. Trauboth became a General Staff Officer in the Military Academy of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg-Blankenese and enrolled as LtCol  in the NATO Defense College in Rome. He has served in the German national operational headquarters as well as in the NATO Headquarters in Brussels as the German representative in the areas of Crisis Management, Operations, and Intelligence.

At the age of fifty, he retired early from his post as a Colonel in the German Air Force to become a Special Risk Consultant at the Control Risk Group in London. He was trained and engaged in negotiating extortion and kidnapping situations in South America and Eastern Europe.
The former Colonel, eager to start making money on his own soon founded the Trauboth Risk Management company. He received a startup award and quickly made a reputation for himself internationally as an top-notch crisis manager in Europe. During his time as CEO, he conceptualized crisis prevention strategies for a number of European companies and employed a 24-hour task force to protect them from product tampering, product recalls, kidnappings, and image crises. He was also a co-founder and the first president of the European Crisis Management Academy in Vienna and wrote a standard reference book on the subject of crisis management for companies at risk of threat.
Today Joerg H. Trauboth is an author, filmmaker with more than 75.000 youtube clicks, and an enthusiastic Grumman Tiger pilot. (See this latest night flight-video here. And if you want to know who his favorite Co-Pilot is, have a look here.)  The crisis manager and active pilot has served as the European Director and President of the US – based international American Yankee Pilots Organization.

His advice on crisis management is continually sought after and he is present as expert in radio and television interviews regarding his opinion on  international crisis situations.

Joerg H. Trauboth has been  53 years married with Martina. They have two sons, three grandchildren, and both live near Bonn, Germany. In addition, Trauboth voluntarily contributes his expertise to the Crisis Invention Team of the German Federal Foreign Office in Bonn and reads from his fiction and non fiction books on readers’ tours followed by discussions with his readers about the dramatically changing world.

Joerg’s latest book is the thriller, Three Brothers.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE




Marc Anderson and his two commando brothers Thomas and Tim are highly respected elite soldiers in the secretive German Commando Special Forces, the KSK. Together with the American Navy Seals, they successfully rescue the crew of a downed American F-15 tactical fighter jet in the Hindu Operation Eagle is betrayed, causes Marc, Thomas, and Tim to narrowly escape death. The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) starts the hunt for the informant.
Kusch Mountains under a barrage of heavy fire from the Taliban. However, their next mission – in Northern Iraq – to save two German hostages taken captive by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ends in disaster for the three brothers in arms. The perfectly laid-out strategy of

The devoted commando brothers decide to leave the KSK and start a new career together as security advisors with a family-owned company based in Cologne. But the terrorist activities of ISIS continue to determine their fate. The brothers are faced with one of their greatest challenges when ISIS kidnaps company heir Johannes Ericson and his partner Karina Marie. Moreover, the terrorists demand a ransom and extort the German government to immediately suspend its military intervention in the fight against ISIS. It is a race against time to save the couple from assassination.

Joerg H. Trauboth has written more than just an exhilarating novel. Three Brothers unites the current omnipresent threat of terrorism with the author’s first-hand experience as a crisis manager and a military and terrorism expert. The result is an unrivaled political thriller. In this gripping novel, Trauboth foretells possible scenarios for our society in light of the rise of radical Islamic terrorism. Read the full chapter 1 here …

Three Brothers is the English translation of the successful German thriller Drei Brüder (ratio-books), highly appreciated by thousands of readers, as well as military organizations and government officials alike. Jörg H. Trauboth’s storytelling skills can be compared to those of Tom Clancy and similar authors as James Patterson. The German version of the novel will also soon be available as an audio book.

Drei Brüder has been translated into English by (US native) Leanne Cvetan.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon




We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

Typically, I am not, at least I thought, a fiction writer. How could I be as an ex-soldier, business consultant and checklist-minded pilot? After my retirement as a Colonel of the German Air Force and at the age of fifty, I started a career as a security-related Crisis Management Consultant. My clients wanted to know more specifically about the “right” response to kidnapping and extortion. A well-known German publisher invited me to write a non-fiction book about Crisis Management. That was quite easy for me as a new author since prevention and response was my daily business. In 2001, the book became a standard source of information for all companies and persons who find it wise to be prepared; to think the unthinkable. In 2017, I developed that book further together with 5 other authors and it’s now used as standard lecture material in businesses and universities, but not is projected for translation.

In that time, I was consulting a family whose daughter and partner were kidnapped from a sailing boat in the Philippines by the terrorist organization Aba Sayyaf. The couple was held captive for six months and survived unbelievable physical and psychological pain. Her family did as well since they received almost no information about the negotiation process from the German government. Normally, a professional kidnapping consultant aids and assists the family regarding the police, the media, and negotiations for 4-6 weeks before being relieved by another consultant to allow them to recover also from their own emotions. The family insisted that I stay and I agreed. I couldn’t leave the lovely 81 years old mother alone in her grief. And also, because my ethical standards as a social crisis counsellor for the church in my hometown of Bonn, Germany made it imperative that I stay with the family.

I felt okay emotionally, but I also did something new this time which helped me to create more distance to the case. As a kind of self-assessment, I started writing a political kidnapping thriller but incorporated only a few details of the real case. I created my own heroes and, 570 pages later, my readers deemed the story an “incredible page-turner.” Between the lines the reader learns about managing a kidnapping case which is often a dirty, and always a dangerous business of “life for money,” about the brutal terrorist organization ISIS, and the difficult governmental crisis management surrounding the official policy of not paying extortion ransoms. Seventy percent of the drama in Three Brothers directly stems from my life experience, the rest is fiction. After that, I felt much, much better. And last but not least: the couple was released and I will never forget how the mother embraced her daughter upon her arrival at the Frankfurt airport after suddenly appearing through a secret door. I sat down and continued to write, sometimes day and night.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

Writing by the seat of my pants? Not really. I am not an author who just sits down and starts without some minimum preparation. I have to know in advance for whom I am writing. Who should read this book? Young or old, men, women, only thriller enthusiasts, Americans, English, Germans, French, etc.? This last point is very important due to the cultural differences. The typical patriotic thinking of the U.S. can be counterproductive in other countries and even turn the reader off.

So, I create a plot, develop my protagonists, and I let them change. Otherwise, it could get boring. I take them with me to bed, I speak with them. Sometimes they annoy me. I have a picture of each character and try to project that picture into words. I decide who the good and bad guys will be. And I try to keep the tension from the first to the last page. I like to work with cliffhangers and surprises and stay logical, otherwise I will end up losing the reader.

I am a detail freak but force myself not to divulge everything, I like to leave room the readers’ imagination. Also, I work with emotions but try to minimize clichés. The book should have the potential for a second reading even after you know the end. I decide relatively early whether the book ends positively or negatively. Three Brothers ends positively and the reader closes the book, hopefully, with a peaceful feeling. That’s my plan or it is what I wish happens. Would anyone recommend a book that ends in disaster?

I adjust my wording to the scenery.  In the romantic parts, the words are soft and match the backdrop or the general feeling. In a shooting or crisis situation, the sentences are short like the shots of a bullet. Sometimes I speak out loud and record a page and listen to my written words. At the latest, once your book has become an audio book is when you become very aware of what you have written.
 
Last, but not least:  I don’t think too much about moneymaking during writing. I contend with my book for as long as I feel it is necessary. Unfortunately, a book never stops in your head, but when you feel the baby is ready to be born, you have to let it go.  

Can you tell us about your most recent release “Three Brothers”?

Three Brothers is first political thriller of this genre in Germany. But it is not one of the typical Navy Seals thriller with a lot of shouting throughout the book. At its core, it is a fictional book about three young people finding their way to themselves. 

Marc Anderson and his two commando brothers Thomas and Tim are highly respected elite soldiers in the secretive German Commando Special Forces, the KSK. Together with the American Navy Seals, they successfully rescue the crew of a downed American F-15 tactical fighter jet in the Hindu Kusch Mountains under a barrage of heavy fire from the Taliban. However, their next mission – in Northern Iraq – to save two German hostages taken captive by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ends in disaster for the three brothers in arms. The perfectly laid-out strategy of Operation Eagle is betrayed, causes Marc, Thomas, and Tim to narrowly escape death. The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) starts the hunt for the informant. The devoted commando brothers decide to leave the KSK and start a new career together as security advisors with a family-owned company based in Cologne. But the terrorist activities of ISIS continue to determine their fate. The brothers are faced with one of their greatest challenges when ISIS kidnaps company heir Johannes Ericson and his partner Karina Marie. Moreover, the terrorists demand a ransom and extort the German government to immediately suspend its military intervention in the fight against ISIS. It is a race against time to save the couple from assassination.

The primary aim of this book was to create a page-turner for all kind of readers, not only for military-minded people. My wife said to one sex scene: “enough is enough.”  My twenty-year-old grandson, however, remarked about the same part: “Grandpa, it was a bit short…”

It is not easy to satisfy everyone and a writer shouldn’t try; the risk of losing the own style is too great.

The secondary aim of the book was to let the readers indirectly learn about what goes on during a kidnapping, how to overcome one’s fear, what governments and NATO can do, and to describe possible scenarios for our society in light of the rise of radical Islamic terrorism. Unfortunately, several of the scenarios have become already true.

How did you get the idea for the book?

It stemmed partly from a need to process the emotional experiences I have witnessed in assisting the families of kidnapping victims. 

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

My favorite is the (fictional!) German Chancellor. She is strong, educated, beautiful, and is having a private affair with the Minister of Defense. She takes on a huge responsibility by allowing the elite soldiers to go unauthorized by parliament into Iraq and the result causes a political crisis. The real German chancellor has received and obviously enjoyed the book as have several other ministers and high generals. I am pleased about their positive feedback. From my cases, I am familiar with the crisis management location and key persons in Berlin, and I think Berlin appreciates that the heavy burden of a political kidnapping and extortion is displayed in respectful reality in a thriller by a former German Air Force colonel. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

To write a page-turner with the potential of becoming an international bestseller. No more and no less. 

What projects are you currently working on?

There will be a follow-up political thriller with my main protagonist Marc Anderson. But this time, the story will start in the White House. The plot is set, writing will start in September, and it will be published next year. 

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?

1.      Have clear plan for your book (plot, characters, logic, ending)
2.      Write an exposé for publishers / agents.
3.      Don’t be frustrated by a no or negative answers. There are a great many alternative options for you
4.      Learn all about social media marketing and start your book marketing - as with Pump Up Your Book! – preferably short before publishing
5.      Believe in your success - as I do just in approaching the US market.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

New Book! Unlawful Desires by Sassy Sinclair



 
UNLAWFUL DESIRES by Sassy Sinclair, Erotic Suspense, 198 pp., $10.99 (paperback) $3.99 (Kindle)

Sparks fly when a handsome lawyer falls hard for a smart, seductive woman who thinks like a man and acts like one too.

Sharla Ratliff is done with having her heart broken. Her new dating rules are simple. No emotion. No expectation of commitment. Sex purely for her own physical enjoyment. Then she meets Marcel Dennard. The attractive lawyer has all the trappings of success: a thriving career, women at his beck and call, and enough money in the bank for the finer things in life.

Their lust for each other doesn’t just create sparks, it sets off explosions. The sexual attraction between them is so passionately erotic they behave in ways that can only be called reckless. After a shocking series of events place both of their careers in jeopardy, can they restrain their sexual desires long enough to keep everything they’ve worked for from going up in smoke?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon




Excerpt:

Marcel
“But I don’t understand. You said you loved me!”
Marcel stood in the doorway of his bedroom as Camille snatched clothes from his closet and tossed them onto the bed.
He didn’t realize she kept that much stuff at his house. They’d only been seeing each other for five months and had never lived together. Once he got her out of his crib, he wasn’t letting another woman leave a bubblegum wrapper at his house, much less a toothbrush.
“Don’t just stand there,” Camille cried. “Say something!”
Since he couldn’t tell her what he was really thinking—that he couldn’t wait for her ass to leave—Marcel thought it was best to keep his mouth shut. Yeah, he’d told her he loved her. More than once, in fact. But only in response to her saying it first and usually about three seconds before he came. Never once had he initiated the phrase or uttered the words while fully clothed. That should’ve been a clue.
“You’re upset,” he said, backing out of the room. “I’ll wait in the den until you finish packing up.”
As Marcel turned to leave, Camille hurled a bottle of deodorant across the room. It nicked him on the shoulder.
“Hey!” He rubbed the sore spot. “Was that really necessary?”
“You used me!”
Marcel almost laughed out loud. He’d taken her to Paris, bought her designer purses and treated her to the finest restaurants in L.A. He even paid off one of her credit cards. And she was being used? Go figure.
“I told you from the start, I didn’t want a commitment. We had a good time while it lasted.”
“But I don’t understand what happened,” she sniveled.
He did. The same thing that always happened. He got bored. All relationships were great in the beginning. Unfortunately, he had an addiction to pussy. New pussy in particular. But new pussy can’t stay new forever.
Marcel glanced at his watch. He wanted Camille and her drama to disappear before the Clippers’ game came on.
 As he headed into the den, he knew he only had himself to blame. He had let his guard down with Camille. The minute she started texting him ten times a day and trying to track his every move, he should’ve called it quits. But the girl worked wonders between the sheets and that did have its value. And those legs of hers. He loved doing her standing up with her back against the wall, her long brown legs clamped tightly around his waist. Even now, he got excited just thinking about it. Too bad she’d gotten so clingy.
Marcel picked up the remote and switched on the TV. It took another thirty minutes before Camille trudged down the hallway dragging two military-size duffle bags behind her.
When in the hell did you sneak in all this shit? And why didn’t I notice?
Camille wasn’t crying anymore, which he considered a good sign.
“I’m sorry I got so upset,” she said. “You were right. You did tell me you didn’t want a commitment. I should’ve listened.”
Marcel didn’t respond. Her apology was probably a trick. He feared saying something that might set her off again. His goal was to get her ass on the other side of his front door and lock the dead bolt. At least he’d been smart enough not to give in to her pleas for a key. If he had, he would’ve had to change all the locks.
“Do you need help with your bags?” he asked.
Camille nodded.
Marcel took the bags from her, surprised at how heavy they were. They had to weigh close to fifty pounds apiece. When they got to the front door, he waited for her to open it.
Instead of reaching for the doorknob, Camille just stood there.
Now what?
"Can you get the door?" Marcel asked.
She turned around to face him. “Despite everything that happened, I really enjoyed being with you. You’re a great guy.”
“Back at you. Now open the door.”
 Camille clasped her hands in front of her and spoke in an annoying little girl’s voice. “Don’t I even get a hug goodbye?”
Here we go. Women were so transparent.
Marcel let the bags fall to the floor with a thud and pulled her into his arms for a quick hug. Damn, she smelled good. Felt good too.
When he tried to pull away, Camille moved in closer, snuggling her face into the crook of his neck. Then she licked his earlobe, which she knew drove him wild. He instantly grew rigid.
Damn.
Camille grinded against his erection. “Uh-oh.” She grinned up at him. “Something tells me you don’t want me to leave.”
Women made the mistake of equating sex with love. Just because his dick wanted her to stay, didn’t mean he did.














 




 
  
Sassy Sinclair, AKA Pamela Samuels Young, is an attorney and award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers. Unlawful Desires is her first foray into the erotic romantic suspense genre. Her mystery Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction and was a Top Ten pick by In the Margins, the best books for at-risk teens. Her novels #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult adaptations of two of her most popular adult mysteries. Prior to embarking on a full-time writing career, Pamela was an associate at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP and Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law at Toyota. A former journalist, she also worked as a television news writer and associate producer for WXYZ-TV in Detroit and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. Pamela received her bachelor’s degree from USC and earned graduate degrees from Northwestern University and UC Berkeley School of Law. A natural hair enthusiast, Pamela wrote Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide to educate women about the true beauty of their kinky coils. The Compton native is a frequent speaker on the topics of child sex trafficking, teen sexting, self-empowerment, independent publishing and fiction writing.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


Monday, September 24, 2018

Book Blast: Juncture by M. Kelly - Win a $25 Gift Card





Title: Juncture
Author: M. Kelly
Publisher: XLibris
Genre: Fiction
Format: Ebook
A juncture is a place where two things join and where worlds collide. It is the end of one road and the beginning of another. Juncture can refer to a riveting point in time, especially one made critically important by the concurrence of circumstances. At this stage, one must decide to stay and fight or to walk out. This story tells about the lives of a group people and how they intertwine with each other in a way that changes all of them. Its layers of mystery that are circumvented by a simple key reverberate through the interaction of the characters. It is the third book in the series Pathways in the Mind, which tells of Riccardo’s struggle to deal with the pressures of his personal life that leave him wondering what is real and what is not. Can a combination of circumstances break him?


PURCHASE HERE
M. Kelly was born and livesin Western Australia. Although she has written many academic papers, this is her first novel. She developed the story based on her interest in paranormal psychology and the story, although fiction, is based on facts. She has a strong belief in social justice for all peoples of the world.
She is a proud grandmother of seven. She shares her life with one of her grandchildren and a crazy cat named Whiskers.
Her main interests are keeping up with the latest technology, painting abstract art and travelling.




M. KELLY IS GIVING AWAY A $25 GIFT CARD!

  
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins September 24 and ends on October 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on October 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone! 

ENTER TO WIN!



Book Blast: Era Un Espia Americano de la OSS en Salonica by Helias Doundoulakis and Gabriella Gafni - Win a $25 Gift Card






Title: Era Un Espia Americano de la OSS en Salonica
Author: Helias Doundoulakis
Publisher: XLibris
Genre: Biography
Format: Ebook

Imagine the horror: One day in May 1941 that did not presage anything special, a boy from a small town in Crete faces an unexpected threat - the invasion of the German troops. Run to take cover - your first meeting in a series of meetings with the destination. Imagine the adventure: The boy and his brother work on behalf of the SOE, a secret nucleus of British intelligence. When the patriotic organization enters the peephole with cross-focus of the Germans, they immediately turn to the mountains of Crete, where, even during the day, they hide from the enemy. The danger lurks at each step. Imagine the greatness: The child is trained to become a spy for the OSS or the Office of Strategic Services (Office of Strategic Services, the only one of the central US SOE: Executive of Special Operations (Special Operations Executive). Imagine the risk: During a secret mission in Thessaloniki, the spy soldier runs the risk of losing his life daily, operating a radio under the noses of the Nazis. Will the German police eventually find out? Imagine the value: If you are arrested, the soldier-spy will swallow a poison pill to avoid suffering horribly under torture. Many times your escape is a matter of seconds. Imagine the victory of living at 92 years old to tell your story. Everything is true! The imagination is overcome. You could say that it is a script made for a movie - a story starring the game of life that is necessary for all to read. The story of the author, along with the stories of other agents, was the theme of the documentary "Campo X:

PURCHASE HERE


Helias Doundoulakis was both an acclaimed Civil Engineer, an inventor, an author, a family man, and the patent holder of the world's largest radiotelephone "Arecibo Antena" is survived by his wife, Rita, their four children, and his ten grandchildren.


HELIAS IS GIVING AWAY A $25 GIFT CARD!

  
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins September 24 and ends on October 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on October 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone! 

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Monday, September 24
A Book Lover
My Bookish Pleasures

Tuesday, September 25
The Hype and the Hoopla
Write and Take Flight

Wednesday, September 26
Harmonious Publicity
Book Cover Junkie

Thursday, September 27
Fiction to Fruition
From Paperback to Leatherbound

Friday, September 28
She Writes
A Title Wave

Monday, October 1



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

First Chapter Reveal: Appointment in Prague by Michael and Kathleen McMenamin


Title: APPOINTMENT IN PRAGUE: A MATTIE MCGARY + WINSTON CHURCHILL WORLD WAR II ADVENTURE
Author: Michael McMenamin & Kathleen McMenamin
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Pages: 160
Genre: Historical Thriller

BOOK BLURB:

In the novella, Appointment in Prague, one woman, a British secret agent, sets out in May 1942 to single-handedly send to hell the most evil Nazi alive—SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the SD, the domestic and foreign counter-intelligence wing of the SS; second in rank only to the head of the SS himself, Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler; and the architect of  “The Final Solution” that will send millions of European Jews to their doom.

When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill authorizes the SOE—the ‘Special Operations Executive’— in October 1941 to assassinate Heydrich, he is unaware that the entire operation has been conceived and is being run by his Scottish goddaughter, the former Pulitzer Prize-winning Hearst photojournalist Mattie McGary. The SOE is Churchill’s own creation, one he informally describes as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare and, at his suggestion, Mattie becomes one of its Deputy Directors. 

Mattie has a history with Heydrich dating back to 1933 and a personal score to settle. In September 1941, when the man known variously as ‘The Blond Beast’ and ‘The Man With the Iron Heart’—that last coming from Adolf Hitler himself—is appointed Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, the remnants left of Czechoslovakia after the Germans had dismembered it in 1939, Mattie is determined—now that he is no longer safely within Germany’s borders—to have him killed. She recruits and trains several Czech partisans for the task and has them parachuted into Czechoslovakia in December 1941.

An increasingly impatient Mattie waits in London for word that her agents have killed the Blond Beast. By May 1942, Heydrich still lives and Mattie is furious.  The mother of six-year-old twins, Mattie decides—without telling her godfather or her American husband, the #2 man in the London office of the OSS—to parachute into Czechoslovakia herself and  “light a fire under their timid Czech bums”. Which she does, but her agents botch the job and Heydrich is only wounded in the attempt. The doctors sent from Berlin to care for him believe he will recover.

On the fly, Mattie conceives a new plan to kill Heydrich herself. With forged papers and other help from the highest-placed SOE asset in Nazi Germany—a former lover—Mattie determines to covertly enter Prague’s Bulovka Hospital and finish the job. After that, all she has to do is flee Prague into Germany and from there to neutral Switzerland. What Mattie doesn’t know is that Walter Schellenberg, Heydrich’s protégé and the head of Foreign Intelligence for the SD, is watching her every move.

ORDER YOUR COPY:


First Chapter

KEEPING SECRETS from her husband, Bourke Cockran, Jr., was nothing new for Mattie McGary as she gently kissed her sleeping husband goodbye before she left for her office where she had to prepare two pieces of correspondence. One was an ‘eyes only’ letter to her godfather, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, telling him everything about her new mission, one he never would have approved had he known beforehand. The other was a letter to her husband on the same subject where she most definitely would not tell him ‘everything’. The second letter would be much more difficult to write than the first.
When she had been a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist for the Hearst organization in the 20s and 30s, she often had promised confidentiality to her sources and kept their identities a secret even from Cockran, both before and after he became her husband. He understood because, as a lawyer, he never disclosed to her privileged and confidential communications he received from his clients no matter how newsworthy and interested she might be in that information.
Once her godfather, Winston Churchill, became Prime Minister in May 1940 and, at his request, she joined the SOE—the ‘Special Operations Executive’—Mattie’s entire professional life became a secret from Cockran, courtesy of Great Britain’s Official Secrets Act. The SOE was Churchill’s own creation which he informally, albeit accurately, described as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.
A year later, in June 1941, at the behest of his law partner, William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan, Cockran began work for a new United States government agency that became the OSS—the ‘Office of Strategic Services’—so that his entire professional life became a secret from her thanks to the America’s Espionage Act of 1917.
Now, Cockran was the #2 man at the OSS station in London and she was the Deputy Director of the SOE for Central Europe. It had certainly complicated their marriage, Mattie thought as she softly closed the door to their suite at the Savoy.

Inter-Services Research Bureau
64 Baker Street
London
Saturday, 2 May 1942

MATTIE STOOD up from her desk in her office at SOE headquarters, the outside of which carried on a brass plate the innocuous name of Inter-Services Research Bureau, and walked over to the sideboard. She made herself a cup of tea and looked down on the traffic below on Baker Street where it was raining and pedestrian umbrellas were out in full force.
A husband and wife being spies for different Allied governments raised more than a few eyebrows in the SOE and the OSS, but each spouse had their own high-ranking patrons, Mattie with her godfather as the British Prime Minister and Cockran with his old law partner Donovan as head of the OSS. Nevertheless, they never brought work home to their suite at the Savoy and never discussed with each other what they did.
Mattie was in a dilemma today, however, because they had made each other a promise that she was about to violate. For the sake of their two six-year-old children, fraternal twins Nora and Eric, they had promised not to volunteer for any dangerous assignments in the field. At the time, it seemed like a safe promise as both were sufficiently high-ranking in their respective organizations not to be sent into any countries occupied by the Nazis.
That was all before Operation Anthropoid—the assassination of SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the ‘Butcher of Prague’—went off the rails. No one else at SOE knew the reason why, but she did. The operation was her idea from the outset. She had conceived it; she had personally trained the three Czech SOE agents involved; and she was their handler now that they were in the field.  They had been in Czechoslovakia for almost six months and nothing had happened. Others might disagree, especially if they knew why she had pushed Operation Anthropoid so vigorously, but she thought she was the only one with the necessary background to get the show back on track.
That was why she was not flying to Stockholm tomorrow for her bimonthly interview with the SOE’s most highly placed asset in Nazi Germany—her former lover Kurt von Sturm, a high-ranking aide to the head of the Luftwaffe, Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring. Instead, she would be resurrecting from storage the leather flying outfit she had first worn over ten years ago—a shearling–lined sheepskin flying jacket with matching sheepskin trousers, boots and helmet—when she had flown across the country in Cockran’s autogiro in her attempt to break Amelia Earhart’s coast-to coast autogiro record. Then, that night, she would parachute into Occupied Europe to kick-start an assassination plan that should have been completed six months ago.
Travel outside Great Britain came with the job descriptions for her and her husband. Typically, they told each other when they left the country unless the destination itself was mission critical. Well, her destination this time was most definitely mission critical and she would be breaking her word to Cockran by doing so—she not only had volunteered for the mission, she had created it. Still, she didn’t want to lie and telling him she would be away for a month on assignment without adding that she would be out of the country would almost be the same as a lie.
Finally, Mattie settled on the least deceptive option. She would tell him the truth, just not all the truth. Isn’t that what lawyers did all the time? She would tell him she was going to Switzerland on assignment. Which she was, eventually, if she survived the most dangerous part of the mission. She just wasn’t going there first. She went back to her typewriter to finish her letter to the Prime Minister filling him in on her mission and instructing him on what he was to tell her husband if she didn’t make it back. She knew Winston wouldn’t like what she was doing any more than her husband and indeed likely would have forbade her to do so had he known. But her godfather had a war to run and he could not possibly keep track of every SOE or MI-6 mission abroad. From her days working for Hearst, Mattie had always believed begging for forgiveness afterwards was better than asking for permission beforehand.  After all, it wouldn’t be a violation of the Official Secrets Act for the Prime Minister to know what her husband could not.
Over nine years in the making, an old score was about to be settled. Reinhard Heydrich was about to discover that, just as Death once had an appointment in Samarra, Mattie McGary had an appointment in Prague.

About the Authors


Michael McMenamin is the co-author with his son Patrick of the award winning 1930s era historical novels featuring Winston Churchill and his fictional Scottish goddaughter, the adventure-seeking Hearst photojournalist Mattie McGary. The first five novels in the series—The DeValera Deception, The Parsifal Pursuit, The Gemini Agenda, The Berghof Betrayal and The Silver Mosaic—received a total of 15 literary awards. He is currently at work with his daughter Kathleen McMenamin on the sixth Winston and Mattie historical adventure, The Liebold Protocol.

Michael is the author of the critically acclaimed Becoming Winston Churchill, The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor [Hardcover, Greenwood 2007; Paperback, Enigma 2009] and the co-author of Milking the Public, Political Scandals of the Dairy Lobby from LBJ to Jimmy Carter [Nelson Hall, 1980]. He is an editorial board member of Finest Hour, the quarterly journal of the International Churchill Society and a contributing editor for the libertarian magazine Reason. His work also has appeared in The Churchills in Ireland, 1660-1965, Corrections and Controversies [Irish Academic Press, 2012] as well as two Reason anthologies, Free Minds & Free Markets, Twenty Five Years of Reason [Pacific Research Institute, 1993] and Choice, the Best of Reason [BenBella Books, 2004]. A full-time writer, he was formerly a first amendment and media defense lawyer and a U.S. Army Counterintelligence Agent.    


Kathleen, the other half of the father-daughter writing team, has been editing her father’s writing for longer than she cares to remember. She is the co-author with her sister Kelly of the critically acclaimed Organize Your Way: Simple Strategies for Every Personality [Sterling, 2017]. The two sisters are professional organizers, personality-type experts and the founders of PixiesDidIt, a home and life organization business. Kathleen is an honors graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and has an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. The novella Appointment in Prague is her second joint writing project with her father. Their first was “Bringing Home the First Amendment”, a review in the August 1984 Reason magazine of Nat Hentoff’s The Day They Came to Arrest the Book.  While a teen-ager, she and her father would often take runs together, creating plots for adventure stories as they ran.

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