Thursday, July 21, 2016

Guest post: "From Playwright to Published Author," by Jonisha Rios

Hi all!  I’m a Puerto Rican Latina from the Bronx, not to be confused with the fabulous Jlo although we do share the same size ass.  Very proud of that, can I get “woot woot”!

Okay okay, I’m not actually from the Bronx originally but I did live there for over ten years before I moved to Cali and my name is Jonisha Rios.

 I’m thrilled to be sharing some words of wisdom on my journey from the stage to becoming a published author.   Some would say I did this process backwards. In other words, many writers first have their material in book form before they proceed to have it staged or even filmed. However, for me there was no other way. You see my goal was to have the experience of living these stories and producing them for the stage first.  And in some cases even directing them, and then once I did that, I believed the book would naturally follow.   I took to the stage worked out my material and then, chiseled it into what became “Curse of the Blue Vagina” A collection of two solo-shows transformed into narratives, followed by an ensemble piece I produced and directed. I never set out to “get published” or even “find an agent”, in fact- they found me after I decided to just do it on my own.

When I began this journey almost ten plus years go, I was traveling back and forth from the east coast to the west coast doing show after show and just working to make each one better.  It was my art, my expression. I did it for me and it was a bonus that people came to watch and many enjoyed my pieces. 

If I were to give any advice it would be “If you build it, they will come.” True, you may have heard this old saying time again- only in my case it was exactly what I did.  I was never one to wait for anyone to “open my doors.” So many people out there are waiting for their “Big Break”. But its bullshit, you can’t wait.  If you really want to act, learn how to write and write yourself something. Or hire me to help you.   

I remember I was shooting a movie in Italy and one of the actresses scoffed at me when she read the beginnings of my works that eventually became the material I used for my book. She said “Oh you do stand up? And solo-shows? You aren’t a talent.” Mind you I was starring in the movie she helped me get a role in. It was so odd.  I will never forget how rude she was. But I didn’t let her get me down, because I was clear.  So rule number: Be Clear about your gift and don’t allow anyone to bring you down, what they think of you and is not your concern, its their problem.  Stay focused. Thank God I felt sorry for her and kept on going. A few years later not only did my shows become successful, but I landed two TV series, sold a screenplay, directed countless commercials and was paid big bucks to help others create their own solo-shows.  And that same girl eventually reached out to me for advice later on.  No hard feelings, glad I inspired her. My point is, I knew where I was headed and didn’t let anything or anyone stop me.

To be clear, I didn’t do it to prove the haters wrong – and that’s a very important message from me to you. Do it because you love it and what you create is your passion. Period. No one can stop you from doing what you are meant to do, because if you are destined to do it. 

They say it’s always important to do that which makes you afraid. And for me that thing was stand up comedy.  In fact before I took the stage as a stand up comedian I actually did solo shows first to be able to conquer that fear. It was difficult to go from elaborate monologues to short set up punches –but I did it.  Was it easy? —Hell to the no! But I did it.  So do what scares you. Create your bucket list.

Now that I’m a mom and a little older wiser, I have really taken to writing.  No need to be on stage anymore.  I conquered that fear and moved on.  Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t necessarily turn down a role on Broadway; however, I am at peace with writing and creating new stories with characters that make me laugh. 

Ok enough with the inspirational pep talk, here are some hardcore rules.  Hire a book formatter ASAP.  For me formatting was an absolute nightmare that took way longer than it needed to.  Mainly because I wrote my book in "Word" which apparently is a pain to format.  The thing is, once I got the book formatted properly, errors jumped out at me that I never noticed after having the book copy edited several times.  I was shocked and annoyed and it was a very expensive process to fix.  So when your manuscript is complete have it checked several times by many different people  for 1) grammar, 2) spelling, 3) spacing, 4) indents—the works- get it proofed for everything again and again before you get into formatting so that when you convert the file you don’t need to fix a thing.  I tell you this because the formatters will make errors – so long as its theirs and not yours those are easy to find and free to fix.

Get professional photos taken, I had nothing because after I had given birth my focus was my son and at almost 200 pounds going from a sassy size 2 to a 10 plus… meat I didn’t want to take photos and frankly I didn’t care – being a mom was a dream just like being an artist was so I was fine with my weight.  The thing is I had no pro shots. So the photo I used in the back of my book, although I love it, it was a photo shoot from when my baby was teeny.  Hey it worked but now I need to do a photo shoot to get some new press photos - be prepared.

Have different readers read your stories.  Meaning don’t just go to readers that are your typical audience branch out, the notes I received from so many different people early on was invaluable because they were all from completely different walks of life and had different perspectives. 

Finally, once your have proofed and had others read your stories and once you feel the project is done-- move on.  Tell people who have more things to say or more notes to give “Thanks but this book is officially done, but I so appreciate your advice and will consider it for my next book.” This is so important, why? Because you are an artist and because as a writer especially a self-pub writer, you can write and re-write to death.  Believe me this book took 8 years to complete.  Yup, you heard that, 8 years! And it’s a collection of stories.  Don’t do that to yourself.  You want to put your best foot forward, and you also want to appreciate the fact that you have more stories in you – new ones that need to be told.  So when its time to let that go- let it go.  I for one will not be reading my own book again.  I did it, I read it I will produce plays from it but I have moved on.

Anyway, that’s all I got.  My son is finally asleep so that means, I get to have a glass of wine and just chill.  Goodnight! Read my book! Thanks for your support.


Jonisha Rios is an accomplished screenwriter, author, director and actress that currently resides in California. She teaches Solo-show workshops to adults and kids. 

Check her book on 

Book Feature: Unloved Again by Elan Golomb

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Inside the Book:

Unloved Again

Title: Unloved Again 
Author: Elan Golomb 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Psychology 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Love can be hell. It is not an accident which moves us to love the wrong person or to hate the right one, over and over again.

Most of us remain unaware of how to escape this perpetual cycle of bad relationships.

 • Do you continually fall for the wrong person?
 • Do you find yourself driving the right person away?
 • Do your relationships quickly switch from blissful to tortured?
 • Do you criticize unreasonably or find yourself being criticized disproportionally?

 In Unloved Again, Dr. Elan Golomb identifies the crux of emotional and psychological problems which underlie love's repeated failures. Only in addressing these deep-seated issues can one escape the dance of romantic folly. With this book you will uncover the secret to enjoying a happy and lasting love life.
Meet the Author:
Elan Golomb earned her doctorate in clinical psychology and her certificate in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy from New York University. She has been in private practice in New York since 1972. She is also the author of Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents in Their Struggle for Self.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Feature: Saving Jesus by Ralph William Ausman

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Inside the Book:

Saving Jesus

Title: Saving Jesus 
Author: Ralph William Ausman 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Alternative History 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

The canvas of history provides a complex pattern of culture, change, and conflict. Colorful individuals were often the driving forces behind the progression of history. Was there a grander purpose behind these developments, beyond the individual people, locations, and events? History often turns on a simple thought or decision by those in a position to have a significant impact on the ultimate course for humankind. What influence did some of the most significant personages in human history unknowingly contribute on the world stage, even beyond their own individual stories and experiences? Was his story truly the driving force of history, the basic thread that ties the global human experience together? Author Ralph William Ausman's novel, Saving Jesus: Resurrecting John the Baptist takes us on a journey through history, from the Holy Land, to China, India, Greece, and ancient Persia. It follows the origins of religious thought as world empires play out across the globe in preparation for the defining moment in world history: the birth of Jesus and the subsequent emergence of Christianity that would define world growth and development for the next two thousand years. Ausman looks at such questions as what would have happened had the wise men followed Jesus and his family or if John the Baptist had become Jesus's first disciple. Saving Jesus: Resurrecting John the Baptist is not intended as a refutation of the Bible. Instead, it invites you to take an interesting-and different-look at the most important events and people of history.

Meet the Author:
Ralph William Ausman earned a degree in computer science from California State University, Northridge. He then lived and worked in Europe and Singapore with his wife and daughter before returning to the United States. Ausman has always had an interest in different religions and their effects on culture and history.

Interview with J.J. Zerr, author of The Junior Officer Bunkroom


Inside the Book:

The Junior Officer Bunkroom
Title: The Junior Officer Bunkroom 
Author: J.J. Zerr 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Pages: 282 
Genre: Military 
Format: Ebook

It is 1970, and Jon Zachery is a young United States Navy pilot who wants nothing more than to gain combat experience during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, his patriotic sacrifice is of no value to the navy or the nation. His squadron has been slated to decommission with most of its pilots destined for dead-end jobs. As the pro-war lieutenant awaits his orders and drowns his sorrows in whiskey, his wife, Teresa, prays and hopes for a better tomorrow. Navy Lieutenant Amos Kane is a natural stick-and-throttle jockey who is known as Cool Hand Duke in the air and a prankster on the ground. As his dreams of being an attack pilot in ’Nam are taken away, he begins dating Charlotte Wilkins, who convinces him to adopt an antiwar philosophy. When orders cause Zachery and Kane’s paths to converge in a bunkroom aboard an aircraft carrier in the Tonkin Gulf, it quickly becomes evident that the two lieutenants have vastly different viewpoints. As tragedy strikes and antagonism escalates, everyone discovers just how quickly life can change. In this military thriller, the paths of two navy pilots come together in a JO bunkroom during the Vietnam War where their perspectives clash, instigating life-changing consequences.

The Junior Officer Bunkroom is available for order at

The Interview:

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? 

It is 1970. US Navy lieutenants Jon Zachery and Amos Kane are anxious to complete fighter jet training. Their careers diverge drastically. Amos loses his wings and becomes a “pounder,” a ground pounder, a maintenance officer relegated to life on earth. Zachery suffers through tribulations of his own, but both lieutenants wind up living in The Junior Officer Bunkroom aboard USS Solomons, an aircraft carrier in the Tonkin Gulf. Amos is bitter and disillusioned with the navy and with “the establishment.” He finds kinship with a group of anti-war oriented naval officers, and sets out to wage his own war against the navy, it’s immoral war in Vietnam, and against the Yankee Air Pirate pilots he rooms with. Jon finds his own disillusionment with the war he fought so hard to get to. The nation doesn’t seem interested in winning the war, only in trying to figure out how to get out of it, and unable to do that either. The missions Zachery and his squadron-mates fly are boring and seemingly accomplish no worthwhile purpose. Zachery is reminded of the saying: Flying is hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror. After months of boredom, the final mission of the deployment is punctuated by a number of stark terror exclamation points, including some apparently caused by sabotage to the airplanes. In the same way it could be said the real Vietnam war was fought in the US, for some of the pilots aboard Solomons, the real war for them was fought not in the skies over Vietnam but within the walls—bulkheads the US Navy calls them—of The Junior Officer Bunkroom. I wrote the story because Vietnam was a traumatic time for the nation. It, in my opinion, had a lot to do with shaping the politics of today.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it? 

One of the biggest was reading books and articles written by staunch proponents of the anti-war movement. I wanted to try to understand both sides of the issue. I found it difficult to read some of the material, but I persevered and I think achieved my objective. Improving my understanding of the movement.

Do you plan other books? 

The Junior Officer Bunkroom was my fifth book and third in series of Vietnam era stories. There will be two more in the series. Plus I am currently working on two other stand alone books.

When and why did you begin writing? 

I wanted to be a writer since 1967. Then I got busy with things, the US Navy and a job in aerospace. I retired from the aerospace industry in 2007, and in January the following year, I started work on my first book, The Ensign Locker.

What is your greatest strength as an author? 

I work hard to learn the craft. No matter how long I work at it, there will still be things to learn.

Did writing this book teach you anything? 

 I learned the importance of writing something every day. For me, if I keep at it on a daily basis, the writing not only gets me through a project in a timely manner, but the writing is better. And the value you get from an editor correlates directly to the quality of the work you give them to review.

Meet the Author:

J. J. Zerr is a United States Navy and Vietnam veteran who holds bachelor and master’s degrees in engineering. He has published poetry, short stories, and other novels. J. J. and his wife reside in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. Visit the author’s website at

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Guest post by Thomas Rottinghaus, author of 'Graywullf'

As a fledgling author just really stretching my wings in the world of publishing I feel very unqualified to ruminate about such matters in a public forum. However, even a novice such as myself can observe and learn and perhaps save someone else from making the same mistakes.

On the subject of promotion, there are two obviously different worlds to consider. If you have decided to publish your own work with a self publishing company, do yourself a favor and determine what your goal is before you commit any sum of money to such an endeavor. Are you publishing just to see your book in print? Or do you seek commercial success as a writer? If your only desire is to say that you are a published author, save yourself the time, money and headaches of trying to promote your own book.  If you do think your book is marketable, then by all means hire a professional publicist, but be prepared to do some work yourself. If you were one of the lucky few to be picked up by a traditional publisher, you obviously don’t even need to be reading this.

If you have published with a self publishing company, be very careful before buying any marketing packages. Unfortunately, some Indie publishers offer the sun and moon if you purchase their packages, but what they deliver is totally different. Yes, they will honor the literal translation of the contract, but don’t expect to see your book in any major markets.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from Indie publishing. But be aware marketing a book is a long and involved process and there are no shortcuts. 


 Title:  Graywullf
Genre: Western / Fantasy
Author: Thomas Rottinghaus
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Purchase on Amazon
About the Book:
The Dark Wizard Lynch had lived several ages of men being loyal only to himself. But when he was accidentally rescued from certain death by the Warrior Lorn Graywullf, he found himself in the unfamiliar position of being indebted to another. To repay that debt, Lynch offers to help the Warriors reverse a spell that would wreak havoc on their World. Of course, he neglected to mention that action would serve his own interests as well. In the process, Lynch discovers much to his chagrin that he does still have a soul and a conscience.
He also discovers that the Warriors are fighting a battle they can’t win against a common enemy, a Wizard named Timon Backhelm. Only Lynch knows his complicated history with Timon, and the real reason he has sworn to kill him or be killed trying. But when Lynch realizes the extent of Timon’s power, he knows the only way to win is to initiate the creation of the Dragonspawn, a magical, physical blend of the strengths of a Dragon and an ultimate Warrior. The question is, will the Dragonspawn be loyal to those who created him, or will he simply destroy them all?

Thomas Rottinghaus has been an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, as well as a student of the written Word, since becoming enamored with J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" as a freshman in high school. Drawing from influences as varied as Tolkien, Stephen King, and Isaac Asimov, he wrote his first foray into the publishing world, "Graywullf: Book One of the Dragonspawn Trilogy" Thomas studied literature and journalism at Colorado Mesa University before pursuing other interests. He resides in beautiful Western Colorado with his wife, Lisa, a herd of barn cats and their friend Scout, a shepherd and Labrador mix.

Twitter: Graywullf1

Baseball's Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them Book Blast

We're happy to be hosting Jonathan Weeks' BASEBALL'S DYNASTIES AND THE PLAYERS WHO BUILT THEM Book Blast today!

About the Book:

Title: Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them
Author: Jonathan Weeks
Publisher: Rowan and Littlefield
Pages: 408
Genre: Sports History

Baseball has had its fair share of one-and-out champions, but few clubs have dominated the sport for any great length of time. Given the level of competition and the expansive length of the season, it is a remarkable accomplishment for a team to make multiple World Series appearances in a short timespan. From the Baltimore Orioles of the 1800s who would go to any length to win—including physically accosting opponents—to the 1934 Cardinals known as the “Gashouse Gang” for their rough tactics and determination, and on to George Steinbrenner’s dominant Yankees of the late twentieth century, baseball’s greatest teams somehow found a way to win year after year.

Spanning three centuries of the game, Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them examines twenty-two of baseball’s most iconic teams. Each chapter not only chronicles the club’s era of supremacy, but also provides an in-depth look at the players who helped make their teams great. Nearly two hundred player profiles are included, featuring such well-known stars as Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, and Pete Rose, as well as players who were perhaps overshadowed by their teammates but were nonetheless vital to their team’s reign, such as Pepper Martin, Allie Reynolds, and George Foster.

With a concluding chapter that profiles the clubs that were on the cusp of greatness, Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them is a fascinating survey of what makes some teams dominate year after year while others get only a small taste of glory before falling to the wayside. Written in a lively style with amusing anecdotes and colorful quotes, this comprehensive book will be of interest to all fans and historians of baseball.

For More Information

  • Baseball’s Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
Book Excerpt:

With a roster full of superstars, the Orioles captured three straight pennants from 1894–1896. They followed with a pair of near misses, placing second in 1897 and 1898. Along the way, they developed a reputation as one of the nastiest teams in baseball. John Heydler, an umpire who would later ascend to the NL presidency, described the Orioles of the 1890s as “mean, vicious, ready at any time to maim a rival player or an umpire.” Infielder John McGraw was proud of that distinction. “We’d go tearing into a bag with flying spikes as though with murderous intent,” he boasted. “We were a cocky, swashbuckling crew and wanted everybody to know it.”
Pirates great Honus Wagner manufactured a tall tale about a harrowing trip around the bases against the Orioles. After driving a ball deep into the outfield, he claimed to have been tripped at first base by Jack Doyle and then knocked flat by Hughie Jennings at second. Climbing to his feet, he lumbered toward third, only to find John McGraw holding a shotgun on him. “You stop right there!” McGraw allegedly bellowed. Although Wagner’s story is obviously apocryphal, numerous reliable accounts confirm the fact that the Orioles resorted to underhanded tactics regularly. When they weren’t physically accosting opponents, they were treating them to streams of verbal abuse. Baltimore players were so free in their use of profanity that a resolution was adopted in 1898, imposing mandatory expulsions upon anyone using “villainously foul” language.
Even the groundskeepers at Baltimore were deceitful. Soap flakes were mixed with the soil around the pitcher’s mound to make the hands of opposing hurlers slippery when they reached into the dirt.  Orioles moundsmen knew to keep untainted soil in their pockets. The infield was mixed with clay and rarely watered, creating a surface not unlike cement. Baltimore players chopped down on the ball, creating dramatically high hops that gave them a head start to first base (hence, the origin of the term Baltimore chop). The outfield was ruddy and riddled with weeds. Outfielders allegedly kept extra balls hidden out there in the event that the ones in play eluded them.

About the Author

Weeks spent most of his life in the Capital District area of New York. He earned a degree in psychology from SUNY Albany. In 2004, he migrated to Malone, NY. He continues to gripe about the frigid winter temperatures to the present day. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, he writes about the game because he lacked the skill to play it professionally. He still can't hit a curve ball or lay off the high heat. Baseball’s Dynasties is his fourth nonfiction work.
For More Information

A Universe of Possibility by Christine Amsden, author of Kaitlin's Tale


Inside the Book:

Title: Kaitlin's Tale 
Author: Christine Amsden 
Release Date: May 16, 2016 
Publisher: Twilight Times Books 
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Pararnormal Romance

    Kaitlin Mayer is on the run from the father of her baby – a vampire who wants her to join him in deadly eternity. Terrified for her young son, she seeks sanctuary with the Hunters Guild. Yet they have their own plans for her son, and her hopes of safety are soon shattered. When she runs into Matthew Blair, an old nemesis with an agenda of his own, she dares to hope for a new escape. But Matthew is a telepath, and Kaitlin's past is full of dark secrets she never intended to reveal.  

A Universe of Possibility

As a writer of fantasy and paranormal tales, readers often ask: Do you believe in magic? Are there really psychics, clairvoyants, ghosts, or similar otherwordly phenomenons going on around us? I've even been asked if I myself am a psychic or if any of my stories are based on personal experience.

The short answer to all of the above is: No.

I may be a dreamer, but I'm also a pragmatist. I enjoy the escapism of fantasy, but I haven't lost touch with reality. And in the real world I have seen no evidence that would lead me to believe in paranormal phenomena. Call me Scully, if you like.

But like Scully, I'm not close-minded, I'm skeptical and analytical. You think you can read minds? What am I thinking? And none of that, “I'm getting something … it begins with an 'N'… “ Nonsense. You must be thinking of nonsense. :)

I double-majored in computer science and psychology in school. Both of these majors were scientifically based, and psychology helped me to understand people – especially myself. I'm the kind of person who longs for the mystical, but who won't take anything on blind faith.

A few years ago, while doing some research that led into the Cassie Scot series, I read about New Age religions, including Wicca. I found some of their ideas interesting, and in their way no more strange than anything a mainstream Christian believes. Their “spells” reminded me of prayers, and many of the most successful ones made me think of the psychology of self-affirmation. I wrote such a “spell,” meditated upon it for weeks, and in the end I made a positive change to my own life. It wasn't exactly magic, but it left me feeling powerful and in-tune with the universe.

There is a big universe out there. I know and understand little of it; the entire human race knows and understands little of it. One day, I hope, we'll meet a real “alien” and it won't be anything at all like anyone had ever imagined. It can't be written into a science fiction tale because we simply aren't capable of relating to it yet. We may never be.

In this vast universe, anything is possible. But here on Earth, today, I will maintain my healthy skepticism until such time as the possible becomes provable. Meanwhile, I will suspend disbelief for a time whenever I pick up a good book and escape into the wonder of fantasy.

Meet the Author:

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone. At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she's a freelance editor, mom, and foster mom. Please visit her at

Watch the Trailer


Christine is giving away a $50 Amazon 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 $50 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins May 16 and ends on August 5.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on August 6.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!



Monday, July 18, 2016

Book Trailer Blast: Scapegoat by Emilio Corsetti III

We're happy to be hosting Emilio Corsetti III's SCAPEGOAT Book Trailer Blast today!  Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!

About the Book:

Title: Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villians to Redemption
Author: Emilio Corsetti
Publisher: Odyssey Publishing, LLC
Pages: 472
Genre: Nonfiction Narrative

"This is the kind of case the Board has never had to deal with-a head-on collision between the credibility of a flight crew versus the airworthiness of the aircraft." NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Leslie Dean Kampschror

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew's actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.

While the crew's efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey "Hoot" Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.

From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.

This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot's decades-long battle to clear his name.

Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption is available at Amazon and B&N.

Book Excerpt:

When TWA 841 departed JFK on April 4, 1979, no one onboard had any idea of the drama that would soon unfold. One passenger, travelling with her husband, wrote in a journal about the smooth takeoff. She had been keeping a personal journal of her travels to share with her children on her return. She documented everything down to the most inconsequential detail such as her ears popping as the aircraft climbed. Days, weeks, and years later, after TWA 841 had become the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations in the agency’s history, investigators would scrutinize every minute of the flight in a similarly detailed manner. Much like a criminal investigation, the movements, actions, and whereabouts of each crew member were documented. Routine tasks such as when and where the meal trays were exchanged between the cockpit and cabin crew would take on added significance. Unraveling the mystery of TWA 841 was a monumental puzzle that needed to be solved. But unlike any accident investigation before or since, the same evidence investigators would use against the crew would be used by others to challenge the theories put forth by Boeing and the NTSB. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to which version is correct.

About the Author

Emilio Corsetti III is a professional pilot and author. Emilio has written for both regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Multimedia Producer, and Professional Pilot magazine. Emilio is the author of the book 35 Miles From Shore: The Ditching and Rescue of ALM Flight 980. The upcoming book Scapegoat: A Flight Crew's Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption tells the true story of an airline crew wrongly blamed for causing a near-fatal accident and the captain's decades-long battle to clear his name. Emilio is a graduate of St. Louis University. He and his wife Lynn reside in Dallas, TX.
For More Information

Friday, July 15, 2016

5 Questions with Lynn Steward, Author of 'What Might Have Been'

Lynn Steward, a veteran of the New York fashion industry and a buyer on the team that started the women’s department at Brooks Brothers, created the Dana McGarry series, set at a transformational time in the 1970s world of fashion and in the lives of multigenerational women. What Might Have Been is the second volume in the series. A Very Good Life, Steward’s debut novel, was published in March 2014.
Q: What’s inside the mind of a literary fiction author?
A: The characters’ inner narrative: their personal struggles and journeys, as they grow, learn, and conquer.
Q: Tell us why readers should buy What Might Have Been.
A:  Dana McGarry’s quest for identity will touch your heart. You will empathize with her challenges and be inspired by her tenacity. As a fashion buyer at one of New York’s most glamorous department stores, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get. Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And when a wealthy love interest wants to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the women’s movement paves the way, Dana finds a path to the career she wants at the expense of happiness that was not meant to be. Readers will discover that What Might Have Been is a story with life-lessons that transcends any period.
Q: What makes a good literary fiction?  
A: Likeable, lingering characters.
Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?
A: My favourite time to write is early in the morning, around 5:30 a.m., when my mind is clear, it is peaceful and there are no interruptions. I don’t let anything distract me for at least three hours, and I am always surprised and disappointed how fast the time passes. I also can spend thirty hours at my desk during a quiet weekend, researching, outlining and writing. I never spend enough time with my story.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?
A: The process: outlining plots, developing characters, researching historical events, and most of all, the quiet time required to weave and write the story.

NameLynn Steward
Book Title:  What Might Have Been
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Publisher:  Lynn Steward Publishing
As a fashion buyer at one of New York’s most glamorous department stores, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get.Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And when a wealthy love interest wants to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the women’s movement paves the way, Dana finds a path to the career she wants at the expense of happiness that was not meant to be.

Steward captures the nuances of 70s life in New York City and provides the perfect backdrop for an independent woman determined to make her mark. What Might Have Been is a story that transcends any period.