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Thursday, January 31, 2019

New Release: Shirtless Men Drink Free, by Dwaine Rieves



Title: Shirtless Men Drink Free
Genre: Literary Fiction
Author: Dwaine Rieves
Publisher:  Leapfolio/Tupelo Press


 In Shirtless Men Drink Free, Doctor Jane Beekman has seen her dying mother’s soul, a vision above the bed—a soul struggling with a decision, some undone task, something in this world too noble to leave.  The question that lingers—why?—prompts a shift in the doctor’s priorities.  In this election year, Jane must do what her mother, an aspiring social activist, would have done. Soon, Jane is embroiled in the world of Georgia politics, working to make sure her dynamic younger brother-in-law Jackson Beekman is selected the next governor, regardless of what the soul of the candidate’s dead father or that of his living brother—Jane’s husband—might want done. 

Indeed, it is a mother’s persistence and a father’s legacy that will ultimately turn one Beekman brother against the other, launching a struggle with moral consequences that may extend far beyond Georgia. Set amidst 2004’s polarizing election fears—immigrants and job take-overs, terrorists in waiting, homosexuals and outsider agendas—Shirtless Men Drink Free makes vivid the human soul’s struggle in a world bedeviled by desire and the fears that leave us all asking—Why?

Engaging, beautifully written and resplendent with realism, Shirtless Men Drink Free is a standout debut destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.  A meticulously crafted tale that showcases an outstanding new voice in Southern fiction, Shirtless Men Drink Free has garnered high advance praise:

“This is brilliant and rare work, as attentive to an absorbing plot as it is to a poetic, chiseled cadence."—Paul Lisicky, award-winning author of The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship

“These characters are all too real. Rieves, as Faulkner, McMurtry and Larry Brown, writes people and story that will worm, burrow into you.  Change you even.” —Adam Van Winkle, Founder and Editor, Cowboy Jamboree

“Vividly sensuous, this novel is full of textures, sounds and smells.  Rieves tells a terrific story with the sensitivity of a poet.” —Margaret Meyers, author of Swimming in the Congo


About the Author


 Dwaine Rieves was born and raised in Monroe County, Mississippi.  During a career as a research pharmaceutical scientist and critical care physician, he began writing poetry and creative prose.  His poetry has won the Tupelo Press Prize for Poetry and the River Styx International Poetry Prize.  His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review and other publications. 

Links:




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Meet the Author: Rosalind Abel, Author of Lavender Shores Series


LAVENDER SHORES SERIES by Rosalind Abel,
M/M Romance

Lavender Shores is a charming little California town enclosed by the Point Reyes National Seashore. It has forests, wildlife, cliffs, beaches, and ocean views. At the center of it all is a fancy downtown of picture perfect restaurants and shops, surrounded by Victorian mansions and craftsman cottages.

The town was designed to be a safe-haven in the 1940’s by five families. The series follows the descents of those five founding families as they discover romance, redemption, passion, adventure, and love. Like all small towns, everyone always knows everyone else’s business. And when you’re ‘founding family royalty’ all eyes are on you, and that can make things… interesting.

While each novel is guaranteed to have you laughing, crying, sighing, and fanning yourself as you reach every happy ending, there will always be twists and turns along the way. Lavender Shores is pure storybook quality (of the grown-up variety) and the ultimate place to fall in love.


Title: The Palisade
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 230
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Garden
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 264
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Veranda
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 258
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Shipwreck
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 292
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Hideaway
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 258
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Glasshouse
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 304
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Alcove
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 312
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Wilderness
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 298
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Title: The Victorian
Author: Rosalind Abel
Publisher: Wings of Ink, LLC
Pages: 336
Genre: Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Fiction

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Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens alongside her sweet and faithful Chow, Lord Elgin. While her fantasy of writing novels was born during her teen years, she never would have dreamed she’d one day publish steamy romances about gorgeous men. However, sometimes life turns out better than planned.

In between crafting scorching sex scenes and helping her men find their soul mates, Rosalind enjoys cooking, collecting toys, and making the best damn scrapbooks in the world (this claim hasn’t been proven, but she’s willing to put good money on it).

She adores MM Romance, the power it has to sweep the reader away into worlds filled with passion, steam, and love. Rosalind also enjoys her collection of plot bunnies and welcomes new fuzzy ones into her home all the time, so feel free to send any adorable ones her way.

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2qoiuLC
BookBub Page: http://bit.ly/2E5fgUe
(Read by Kirt Graves)
Facebook Author page: http://bit.ly/2rH8C4o
Rosalind Abel Website:  http://www.rosalindabel.com
Rosalind Abel Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2v6iuXI
Lavender Shores Website:  http://www.lavendershores.com
Twitter: @rosalind_abel

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

Thank you so much for having me! I’m honored and thrilled to be here!

I started writing fiction when I was fifteen years old, a sophomore in high school. School had never been easy for me,  constant studying, tutors, help from teachers before and after school, on on and on. During my sophomore year, Ms. Hungerford assigned some stories to write during our English class. I loved it.  And though, looking back, I would imagine the stories weren’t very good, she bragged on them and loved them. She didn’t worry about that I couldn’t spell or the billions of other things I did wrong,  she simply highlighted the good parts of what I turned in and encouraged me to keep going. Twenty-five years later, I still am.

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

I am a plotter. I have family trees, timelines of characters lives, town events, countless outlines, notebooks filled up with details, questions, backstory, all of that. Much of it doesn’t end up in the books,  but I believe it can be felt. By the time I sit down to write a book, I know the characters in and out, why they do what they do, why they make the choices they make, why they have their strengths and weaknesses, etc. even with all that planning and outlining, the character still will go off on their own tangents sometimes and surprisingly, which is always my favorite. Of course, when they do, it only means I have to sit down and do a whole new outline to figure out where they’re taking me. I might be a slightly type A personality, LOL!

I’m also a structured writer. I have a set work schedule and write every single day for assigned hours.  Writing is my passion, and the only thing I want to do, but I most definitely treat it like a job. And I love it! It doesn’t hurt that I get to write from home, with my puppies by my side, and, of course, an endless supply of too much coffee.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

My most recent releases The Victorian.  It’s the ninth book of the Lavender Shores series, and while each installment can be read as a standalone, each book features returning characters. Each book also has a different trope that I play around with. This one is an enemies to lovers theme. It focuses on Seth Marino, the sexy, slutty, lovable bartender who is partial owner of the Victorian bed-and-breakfast in Lavender Shores. For nine books we’ve seen Seth and the local Mexican restaurant owner in town, Charley Perez,  absolutely hate each other.  And not that kind of I hate you but you’re so sexy…  I want you so bad and it makes me angry…  kind of way.  No, they actually truly hate and despise each other. In The Victorian,  life twists and turns, and their hatred  comes to a head in a way that leaves them seeing deeper into the other than they ever had before. It’s full of forgiveness,  struggle, hope, and, though it was a little unexpected on my part, the hottest sex scenes I’ve ever written.

How did you get the idea for the book?

I’ll answer that by telling you how I got the idea for the series. Lavender Shores is focused around a fictional town settled with in the Point Reyes National Seashore,  which is located about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, California. (Point Reyes is real,  if you have a chance, look up the images on Google. It’s gorgeous.)  The idea of the town is that five families came together in the early 1940’s and created a safe haven for LGBTQ and people of color,  basically any type of minority who simply wanted equality.  Flash forward to current day, and it shows what has become of this  inclusive, luxurious, beautiful town and the descendents of those five founding families. Each book focuses on different pairings and shows their romance. Again, each book can be read as a standalone, but the fun part is side characters that have been around the edges from the beginning eventually get featured, and as you go along, you get to visit past couples and see how their lives are progressing.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
                                                                   
That’s almost a painful question to answer!  As I write each book, the new characters worm their way into my heart to become my favorites. But as I look back on the series,  Lamont, from The Shipwreck stands out. There’s a lot of me in him, which makes sense as he is the author of the group. I infused him with a lot of my own insecurities and hopes, so can’t help but be thrilled when he finally found the love of his life. I also have an affinity for characters who are sarcastic, gruff, and sometimes use their  abrasiveness as ways of self protection. (Disclaimer: these are not Alpha-Male characters, despite their gruffness.  That is one trope I steer clear from.  Wonderful if that’s a quality a reader enjoys, it’s simply not for me.) I love seeing them find the strength to open up in genuine ways while still keeping the core aspects of their personality,  so for those, I love Gilbert in The Garden and Charley in The Victorian.  There’s also a timid, redheaded bookseller, Jasper, in The Alcove, who simply melted my heart.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

I’m sure romance authors not supposed to admit this, but for me writing the sex scenes is the hardest. Every book in the Lavender Shores series has a few fairly graphic sex scenes in them. They are steamy, erotic romances, after all. However, I can’t stand when there is sex in a book simply for the purpose of there being an expected sex scene. So for every one that I put in, there’s a purpose, it moves the story along, reveals something new about the characters, lets them discover some hidden truth about themselves--make sure that it’s vital enough that if it were cut, the story would be weaker. All the while, making sure the scene will cause the reader to need to pull out a fan to cool themselves off. That’s a tall order, and not easy to do, but I definitely experience a rush of pride when the writing session is over. And relief LOL!

What projects are you currently working on?

I am mapping out the final two books of the Lavender Shores series, The Lighthouse and The Refuge.  After spending nearly two years with these men and this town, it’s bittersweet to feel it coming to an end.  But there’s been so much growth for the town, the characters, and myself, that it’s thrilling to feel it blossom into something even greater than I hoped, but how I’m going to miss them!

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

Decide if you want this to be a hobby or a career. There are two very, very different things. I’ll speak to those of you who want it be your career:   Make sure it’s truly what you want. This writing journey has been the hardest, most painful, most challenging thing I’ve ever done. However… it is quite literally the only thing I want to do, and the only thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life, and during those times when you have no idea how you’re going to pay the bills, that keeps you going. It makes it worth it. And because you’re so passionate about it, because it’s your career, give it the respect it deserves--the time, the work, the planning, the blood, sweat, and tears. If you treat your writing and your craft with the respect it deserves, that will transfer to your readers. Spend the time and the money for as many editors as your writing style requires. For me, as you may have seen at the beginning of this interview, school was never easy, I spend a small fortune on editors because I’m such a poor speller,  but it makes it worth it. When I hit published, I know I’m giving my readers the highest quality art that I possibly can.  Give it everything you have, and love it!


http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Monday, January 21, 2019

Authors to Watch: Mark H. Jackson, Author of The Atlantis Deception




Mark is a qualified solicitor who splits his time between protecting the rights of academics, writing thriller fiction and raising five mostly lovely children. He studied Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham with a nod towards alternative theory, focusing on the relationship of the Giza complex to the stars; portolan maps; and the origins of civilisation and religion. It was within this flame the plots for his future novels were born.

Mark’s writing career extends back over a decade and his diverse portfolio includes three novels, a number of short stories and even a six-part sitcom. Long listed for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, he is currently a featured author on the popular writing website, Wattpad, with over 6,000 followers from all around the world and well over one million reads of his first novel. Aside from Wattpad, Mark is an active member on a number of other writing websites, spending his spare time offering editorial and structural advice to fellow authors. Up to now Mark has considered writing as a creative outlet for the myriad of characters and ideas roaming about his head. The time has come to tease them out of hiding and breathe a little life into their lungs.

His latest book is the adventure/thriller The Atlantis Deception.







Title: THE ATLANTIS DECEPTION
Author: Mark H. Jackson
Publisher: Unbound Digital
Pages: 288
Genre: Adventure/Thriller

BOOK BLURB:
A German property developer, Hans Hoffmann, revels in the belief he has discovered the key to unleashing the weapon responsible for sinking Atlantis. Hoffmann requests the help of Cambridge archaeologist, Dr John Hunter to validate his mysterious find. Hunter's acceptance leads the maverick academic on a journey from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, and climaxes inside a chamber hidden deep beneath Egyptian Heliopolis. Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years.

Atlantis is a very visual word. A word evoking mystery, forgotten realms, underwater palaces… the list goes on. I find this Plato inspired concept of Atlantis fascinating and read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. The theories are diverse and range from the feasible to the outlandish, but certain concepts keep reoccurring. The Atlantis Deception takes the ideas of accepted and alternative theory, weaving them together to create a believable universe where our past still dictates our future.

The novel follows the trials and tribulations of a fictional Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter. The focus is not on Atlantis itself, but rather on what happened to its people it the wake of the loss of their homeland. The Atlantis Deception is a classic action adventure tale with heroes, villains, shadowy organisations and self-serving plots, each underpinned by progressive archaeological theory. The novel is written with the aim of both exciting and making readers think in equal measure. Although imagined, many of the conclusions the characters reach are cutting edge and described in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.

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We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?
I suppose my mother is possibly to blame for fueling my interest in reading and writing, but I always wanted to read. I was that child under the sheets late at night with a torch and my latest book. I loved reading and writing just seemed a natural bedfellow. I remember attempting to write an Enid Blyton style mystery at primary school, so I guess it was in me from an early age. I was quite a solitary child and just enjoyed the escapism it offered.
Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
Planning the plot, at least at a basic level is unfortunately a must in my genre – unfortunate since I am probably a pantser at heart. Some novels can meander, dictated only by the tip of one’s pen and the whimsy of the particular day one chooses to write. Adventure novels cannot be created in this manner. They must be gripping from the start and sustain that level or risk losing the reader.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
The Atlantis Deception is indeed my first foray into the tumultuous world of novel writing, and a book I started writing way back in 2009. The journey to publication has certainly been lengthy and one scattered with numerous moments of elation, despair and lashings of writer’s block.
A German property developer stumbles upon a mysterious and ancient artefact. Enigmatic Cambridge academic, Dr John Hunter, is commissioned to investigate. Hunter's acceptance leads him on a trailblazing adventure from the headquarters of a clandestine organisation in England, to a lost city in the heart of the Brazilian Rainforest, before climaxing deep under the sands of Egypt.
Pioneering theory is spliced by epic battles, daring escapes, and elaborate schemes aimed at unravelling a secret history hidden from humanity for the past twelve thousand years. Although imagined, many of the conclusions are cutting edge and written in such a way so as to blur the line between fact and fiction.
What message are you trying to get across with your book?

I’m not going to pretend the main goal of my work is anything more than to create a credible piece of escapist entertainment, but if I can achieve that whilst educating and creating a situation whereby my readers can question the rhetoric of the establishment, all the better. I’m not saying we should all be looking for conspiracies under every rock, only that it is sometimes worth enquiring as to why certain rocks are harder to lift…
Can you tell us a little about the main characters?
If I’m honest with myself, my main protagonist, Dr John Hunter, is a parody of what I wanted to be and do in my adult life. He’s not perfect by any means – perhaps best described as a flawed individual, struggling through life while trying to rid himself of the scars and demons of his past. His back-story certainly dictates how he elects to deal with the situations thrown at him throughout the novel. As much fun as Hunter was to write, the villains of the piece are still my favourite characters. I found it quite cathartic transposing traits of the less likable figures I’ve encountered through my life onto my villains. None are based on any one person so hopefully no lawsuits are going to follow! Bizarrely, the easiest to write was the infamous Nazi, Heinrich Himmler. Bringing him to life was an interesting experience and the research phase, although harrowing in parts, certainly held my interest.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
I’ve often been told, writing the book only accounts for 10% of the work. I never believed it until I threw myself head first into the marketing of my work. Building email lists, websites, twitter, facebook and Instagram followings. Maintaining interesting content, responding to posts, the whole thing is like a day job on its own. I am slowly getting to grips with the minimum I need to do to keep my head above water, but it isn’t easy. I have been dedicating so much time to marketing, it left me with very little time to write – something I need to address and one of my new year resolutions.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am working on two novels at present in the same series as, The Atlantis Deception. The first, Roswell, The First Shot Fired, is complete and awaiting the editing phase. As the title suggests, the book offers an alternative to the Roswell narrative and throws my protagonist, Dr John Hunter, into the deep end of a world he doesn’t understand. It is a fast paced action adventure and takes in locations ranging from the Soviet era Russia, the Americas and Europe. The truth is out there! 
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?
Never give up and take any criticism on the chin. Not everyone will appreciate what you do and you will need the hide of a Rhino to survive in this industry!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Book Feature: The Liebold Protocol by Michael & Kathleen McMenamin


THE LIEBOLD PROTOCOL by Michael & Kathleen McMenamin, Cozy Mystery, 383 pp., $5.99 (kindle)


Title: THE LIEBOLD PROTOCOL
Author: Michael & Kathleen McMenamin
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Pages: 389
Genre: Historical Thriller

Winston Churchill’s Scottish goddaughter, Mattie McGary, the adventure-seeking Hearst photojournalist, reluctantly returns to Nazi Germany in the summer of 1934 and once again finds herself in deadly peril in a gangster state where widespread kidnappings and ransoms are sanctioned by the new government.

Mattie turns down an early request by her boss Hearst to go to Germany to report on how Hitler will deal with the SA Brown Shirts of Ernst Rohm who want a true socialist ‘second revolution’ to follow Hitler’s stunning first revolution in 1933. Having been away from Germany for over a year, her reputation as “Hitler’s favorite foreign journalist” is fading and she wants to keep it that way.

Instead, at Churchill’s suggestion, she persuades Hearst to let her investigate one of the best-kept secrets of the Great War—that in 1915, facilitated by a sinister German-American working for Henry Ford, British and Imperial German officials essentially committed treason by agreeing Britain would sell raw rubber to Germany in exchange for it selling precision optical equipment to Britain.  Why? To keep the war going and the profits flowing.  After Mattie interviews Ford’s German-American go-between, however, agents of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch are sent by Churchill’s political opponents in the British government to rough her up and warn her she will be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act unless she backs off the story.

Left no choice, Mattie sets out for Germany to investigate the story from the German side and interview the German nobleman who negotiated the optics for rubber deal. There, Mattie lands right in the middle of what Hearst originally wanted her to investigate—Adolf Hitler believes one revolution is enough—and she learns that Hitler has ordered the SS to assassinate all the senior leadership of Ernst Rohm’s SA Brown Shirts as well as other political enemies on Saturday 30 June, an event soon known to History as ‘The Night of the Long Knives’.

Mattie must flee Germany to save her life. Not only does the German-American working for Henry Ford want her story on the optics for rubber treason killed, he wants her dead along with it. Worse, Mattie’s nemesis, the ‘Blond Beast’ of the SS, Reinhard Heydrich, is in charge of Hitler’s purge and he’s secretly put her name on his list…

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Mattie McGary


21 Club
21 West 52nd Street
New York City
Wednesday, 13 June 1934

MATTIE McGARY tipped the taxi driver and stepped from the Yellow Cab and walked under the portico of the 21 Club, the former 1930’s speakeasy that had become, after the end of prohibition, one of the most popular watering holes in New York. It was known to its regulars, of which Mattie was one, as Jack and Charlie’s or simply 21. She was a few minutes early, but she didn’t want to keep her boss, William Randolph Hearst, waiting. The new Hearst headquarters building was just up the street at West 57th and Eighth Avenue and he also might be early.
Mattie was a tall, attractive and some—including her husband—would say stunning redhead whose figure turned heads in any room she entered. Now, she entered the Bar Room at 21 and stood there, scanning the room until she saw Hearst at his favorite table, #4, in the far left-hand corner of the room. Her hair was cut in a short tousled style that she had somewhat patterned after the American aviatrix Amelia Earhart. She wore a royal blue matching silk jacket and form-fitting skirt flattering a figure that, judging from the number of male heads that turned as she waved at Hearst and walked the length of the dark mahogany-lined room, drew men’s attention wherever she went. As she was the only woman in the Bar Room, she had no doubt most men were checking out her ass. She had wedding and engagement rings on her left hand, but she knew what her assets were.
There were various model aircraft hanging from the Bar Room’s low, dark ceiling. These included a British Imperial Airways Flying Boat, a Pan American Clipper, Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, a Ford Tri-Motor, a giant Handley-Page HP-42 bi-plane airliner, and, of personal interest to her, a Pitcairn-Cierva PCA-2 autogiro and the new German Zeppelin, the Graf Bismarck, formerly the British Vickers-built airship the R-100.
The autogiro was a model of the Celtic Princess, her husband Bourke Cockran’s aircraft. A few years ago she and her then-fiancé had flown it cross-country in an unsuccessful attempt to break America Earhart’s record set earlier that year. The zeppelin was the model of an airship commanded by her good friend Kurt von Sturm with whom, to her regret, she had a brief affair several years ago when she and Cockran had been briefly estranged and she thought, erroneously, that he had dropped her and taken up with a new blonde client.
Hearst stood up to greet Mattie when she arrived at his table. They exchanged brief kisses on the cheek and then a waiter arrived to pull out the table so she could sit beside him on the banquette. 21 had a specific protocol that if two people were dining together at a banquette table, then they had to sit next to each other facing out to the room.
Hearst was a tall, shambling man, well over 6 feet with a comma of gray hair boyishly falling over his forehead. He had clear, blue eyes and didn’t look his 71 years of age. For such a large man, however, he had a surprisingly high voice.
“Thanks for joining me for lunch, Mattie, I appreciate it.”
Mattie had been surprised Hearst asked her to lunch at 21 when she called him yesterday to schedule an appointment to discuss her next assignment. Usually, on those occasions, they met at his castle-like estate on Long Island Sound when he was on the East coast. “Any time you want to treat me to lunch at Jack and Charlie’s, Chief, all you have to do is ask and I’ll be there with bells on. What’s the occasion?”
Hearst smiled. “I always take my Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalists to celebrate at 21.”
“Well, Chief, this is the second year in a row I’ve had some stories nominated for a Pulitzer, but that’s not the same as being a winner.”
In fact, Mattie had four stories from 1933 nominated for a Pulitzer, all of which she believed deserved to be winners. One involved the Transfer Agreement between the Jewish Palestine Authority and the German government in which the Nazis agreed to allow Jews emigrating to Palestine to avoid the currency rules which forbade any German emigrant from taking assets with him. In exchange for allowing emigrating Jews to take with them to Palestine the equivalent of $5,000 US, the Jewish Palestine Authority agreed to buy exports of agricultural equipment from Germany in an equivalent amount. Further, the Jewish Authority agreed to actively oppose the Jewish-led worldwide boycott of German exports that was threatening to cripple the German economy and bring down the new Nazi government.
A companion story concerned the Concordat negotiated between the Vatican and the Nazis whereby the German government agreed to allow the Catholic Church to operate freely in Germany with no interference. In exchange, the Church agreed to forbid its clergy—priests, monks and nuns—from engaging in ‘political activity’ of any kind with the Nazis being the sole arbiter of what constituted ‘political activity’.
The third story consisted of exclusive interviews with the new German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, and the new U.S. President, Franklin Roosevelt, right before assassination attempts on both where Mattie had been sitting beside them during the attempts. A fourth story concerned the rise of the fascist movement in America, focusing on the Silver Legion of America and Friends of New Germany.
Hearst raised his hand and a waiter came over with a silver bucket of ice on a pedestal, inside of which was a bottle of champagne. He placed two champagne flutes on the table and held the bottle up for Hearst’s inspection. He nodded his approval and the waiter undid the foil, popped the cork and filled Mattie’s flute halfway to the top. She smiled when she noticed the champagne was Pol Roger, the favorite of her godfather Winston Churchill.
Once Hearst’s flute was filled, he stood up, tapped his spoon against the flute until the buzz of noise from the many luncheon conversations in that section of the room had died down. Then he raised his flute and said in a loud voice that carried to the front of the Bar Room. “I propose a toast to the Hearst organization’s newest Pulitzer Prize winner.”
Mattie blushed as applause and not a few wolf whistles greeted Hearst’s toast.
“Really, Chief, I won?” Mattie asked as she reached over and hugged Hearst after he sat down. “Which story was it?” she asked, her voice full of excitement.
“Actually, it was all four stories and two prizes. You received the prize for ‘Correspondence’ for your stories from Germany on the Transfer Agreement and the Concordat. I think it was your interview with Hermann Göring that did the trick. No other story had that. You got the ‘Reporting’ prize for your stories on the Hitler and FDR assassination attempts after your exclusive interviews with them as well as your story on American fascists. The panelists were impressed by your courage under fire with Hitler and FDR as well as your running the gauntlet of the Silver Shirts and the Friends of New Germany in front of Severance Hall in Cleveland.”
Hearst reached down into a briefcase beside him and pulled up a galley proof of The New York American dated for tomorrow and handed it to her. There, on the front page and above the fold was a bold headline: ‘Two Pulitzers For Hearst Papers’ Mattie McGary’. Right below it was a two-year-old photo of Mattie standing in front of Cockran’s autogiro that she had just flown across the country, almost breaking Amelia Earhart’s record. Shot from below, it was her favorite. She was wearing a leather flying outfit from head to toe—a shearling–lined sheepskin flying jacket, trousers and boots—a camera in one hand, her leather flight helmet and goggles in the other, her tousled red hair blowing in the wind and a big grin on her face.
“That’s only the galley for The American,” Hearst said, “but the same story in the same place will run in all my papers tomorrow.”
Thanks, Chief,” Mattie said as she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “I really appreciate it.”
“It’s a shame,” Hearst said, “that the Transfer Agreement and the Concordat undercut the anti-Nazi boycott of German exports that otherwise might have crippled the German economy and brought down the new Nazi government.”
“True, it didn’t do that,” Mattie allowed, “but don’t overlook the silver lining of the boycott. It accomplished two big things. It’s all there in my interview with Göring. First, Hitler issued a directive to the SA and its brown-shirted Storm Troopers to cease any actions like boycotts against the mostly Jewish-owned department stores and their suppliers. He even authorized a loan to a Jewish Department store that was close to bankruptcy. Sure, Hitler only did it to keep thousands of Aryans off the unemployment rolls if any department stores had to close their doors because of brown-shirt bullying, but he still did it and those stores remained open and prospering.”
Mattie paused and took a sip of champagne. “The second thing Hitler and Göring did in response to the boycott last year was even bigger. They forbade all violence against the Jews that the SA had been committing without authorization of the government. The penalty for doing so was, at a minimum, confinement to a concentration camp or, at the other end, death.”
“Really, death?” Hearst asked. “I don’t recall you mentioning that in your article.”
“I didn’t go into any detail,” Mattie replied, “and only mentioned it in passing. You remember Bobby Sullivan?”
“Sure, I first met him at San Simeon in 1929 right before the reception of the Graf Zeppelin when it arrived in Los Angeles on the round-the-world voyage I sponsored. He was in your wedding party last year in Scotland. Wasn’t he ex-IRA or something?”
“More like the Irish Republican Brotherhood led by Michael Collins. He was a member of ‘The Apostles’, Collins’ hit squad in the Anglo-Irish War in 1920 to 1921. Anyway, Bobby’s sister was married to a Jewish physician in Berlin who the SA castrated and killed last year. Göring practically gave Bobby a license to kill in taking revenge on all those responsible. He showed me photographs of Bobby’s six victims, all of them naked below the waist and missing their manly parts. Each man had a sign pinned to his chest that said ‘This is what happens to all who disobey the Fuhrer and kill Jews without his consent.’ We obviously couldn’t use them in your papers, but Göring actually had them published on the front page of Der Angriff.”
“Congratulations, Miss McGary,” the waiter said as he returned to their table to take their lunch orders. Mattie thanked him and then ordered a dozen oysters and chicken hash while Hearst went for the Dover Sole and, to her surprise, another bottle of Pol Roger. Her boss rarely drank alcohol and, in fact, prohibited alcohol in the guest rooms at San Simeon, his elaborate Spanish mission-style estate in Central California.
“I must say Göring was right,” Mattie continued after the waiter had left, “when he said the SA loved their, uh, genitals more than they hated Jews because violence against Jews over the course of the next year practically disappeared, especially in large cities where most German Jews live. I think the boycott deserves the credit for forcing Hitler’s hand to issue those decrees.”
“Okay, Mattie, what’s next? What are you going to give me to enter in next year’s Pulitzers? I’d really like to see you follow up on that SA leader Ernst Rohm and the story our Berlin correspondent filed in March about a speech he gave in early February. He said that the SA was the true army of National Socialism and that the Reichswehr should be limited to being a training organization for the SA. I’d like to know what your friend Göring thinks about that, not to mention the German General Staff.”
Mattie frowned. It had been well over a year since last she had been in Germany. As a consequence, her reputation in Germany as ‘Hitler’s favorite foreign journalist’ was beginning to fade. The last thing she wanted to do was revive that by doing a story on the SA and the German Army, notwithstanding that she had many high-level contacts in Nazi Germany including Göring and the Nazi foreign press chief Ernst ‘Putzi’ Hanfstaengl as well as Hitler himself.
Göring is not my friend, Chief. He is a source and that only because my friend Kurt von Sturm is his principle adviser on airships. Speaking of airships, Bourke and I are flying to Europe this Saturday on the Graf Bismarck. We’re going to spend the summer at our new house in Ireland. Bourke is going to finish his book on political assassinations and I’m going to use it as a base of operations for what I hope you’ll approve as my next story. Patrick and his grandmother Mary Morrissey sail tomorrow for Ireland. He’s going to spend a month in Galway with her getting to know his first and second cousins before he comes up to join us in Donegal.”
“That sounds like a wonderful summer. What did you have in mind for your next story, my dear?”
“Fascist movements in Europe other than Germany and Italy. A companion piece, if you will, to my story on fascism in America. Democracy is in trouble, Chief. I’ve done the preliminary research and there are fascist movements all over Europe. If the world’s economy stays bad, many of them could come to power just like Hitler and Mussolini.”
Her oysters arrived and Mattie ate one, took a sip of champagne and continued.
She held up her hand, and ticked them off on her fingers. “There are strong fascist parties in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Poland.”
“Well,” Hearst began, “I suppose it would be a good follow-up to the American fascist story, but I really was hoping to have an in-depth piece on the growing tension between Rohm’s SA and the German General Staff who I imagine don’t take kindly to becoming just a training cadre for Nazi Storm Troopers. Our new Berlin correspondent, Prescott Talbot, is good, but he’s not as good as his predecessor Isaac Rosenbaum or, for that matter, you.”
Mattie began to reply, but she was interrupted by their entrées being served. After the waiter had left and she had sampled her chicken hash, she looked over at Hearst. “Yes, it’s a shame you had to reassign Zack, but you had no choice after those SA thugs fractured his skull and cut off his ear for a souvenir. London is a far safer place for a Jewish journalist. Look, I really don’t want to get involved in any story about Ernst Rohm.”
“Why is that?” Hearst asked.
“Because when I was working on the Transfer Agreement, Kurt von Sturm and I were kidnapped at the Reichsbank one night by SA Storm Troopers and brought to Rohm’s hotel suite where, in plain view, he was buggering one of his adjutants, a young, very naked blond Storm Trooper.”
Hearst’s eyes went wide. “Oh, my God!” Hearst exclaimed. “I had no idea.”
“Wait. It gets worse. It’s common knowledge that Rohm is homosexual, so I wasn’t surprised, but doing it right in front of us was a tad off-putting. What’s worse is that he threatened to do the same to me if Kurt and I didn’t tell him why we had been at the Reichsbank that evening.”
“That’s…I’m at a loss...What a horrible person.” Hearst said.
“Yep,” Mattie said and slurped another oyster. “Fortunately, Sturm bluffed our way out of Rohm’s clutches. He said that I was an undercover Gestapo agent who used my position as a journalist with the Hearst papers as a cover for my work for the Reich and that we had been on a top-secret mission inside the Reichsbank at the behest of Reichsminister Göring with the blessing of the Fuhrer.”
“Well, given that, I understand your reluctance to go anywhere near that man again, but can’t you do the story without interviewing him?” Hearst said.
“Here’s what I can do. “Mattie concluded, “Göring and Rohm are bitter enemies. I’ve known Göring since 1923 when he commandeered my motorcar as a machine gun platform in the Munich putsch. If I have Sturm convey my request to Göring to have him give an exclusive interview to Prescott Talbot on the subject of Ernst Rohm, I’m sure he’ll agree. I’ll have Kurt brief Talbot off the record on what he knows. Göring has wiretaps on all the top SA people, not just Rohm. Transcripts of the calls are made daily. They’re called the ‘Brown Pages’ because of the color of the paper on which they’re typed. Sturm is on the approved list so he may well know a lot about what Rohm and other SA thugs are up to.”
Hearst sighed. “Well, it’s not the same as you doing the interview, but it’s better than what Talbot could do on his own. I’m not enthusiastic about your European fascist story, but let me think about it some more and I’ll get back to you. Why do I have the idea you always get the better of me when we disagree on your next story?”
Mattie grinned. “A faulty memory on your part, Chief. Sooner or later, you always get your way.”














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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