Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interview with Bob Smith and Sara Rhodes, authors of Iniquities of Gulch Fork








In the worn and tired town of Gulch Fork, Arkansas, certified nursing assistant Samantha Caminos heads to her patient Rob Dean's home and wonders how she can find common ground with the aloof, disabled Vietnam veteran who suffers from not only PTSD but also severe neuropathy caused by Agent Orange. As Samantha approaches the house, she has no idea that very soon their lives will take a new turn. Gulch Fork, a town once filled with Ozark tranquility, takes on an aura of evil when bizarre events begin to affect Rob and two other war-scarred veterans, Peter Ness and Ron Woods-Samantha's father. But when Samantha learns that two elderly couples without living relatives in the area have fallen prey to fraud and embezzlement by a man who claims to be a pastor, she sets out on a quest to piece together a complex mystery fueled by those hell-bent on taking advantage of citizens too fragile to defend themselves. In this compelling novel based on true events, three veterans seeking peace and serenity from PTSD fall victim to injustice, prompting a young health care worker to investigate the evil that has infiltrated their once peaceful Arkansas town.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 

Bob- Since I was 10 I worded seven days a week at a corner drug store in a small Oklahoma town. This kept me busy. I had to write 5000 times “An idle mind is the devils workshop”, when my sixth grade teacher caught me rolling bb’s across the floor each time her back was turned away from the students. In addition, my mother was a school teacher and constantly corrected me each time I made a mistake in the use of the English language. 
Sara- I don’t think my upbringing really had much to do with my writing style. 

When and why did you begin writing? 

Bob- I started writing when I was in the second grade. Why? Because I like the creative sensation that writing seemed to nourish. 
Sara- I started writing when we started this book, because Bob asked me to help him. 

What do you consider the hardest thing about writing? 

Bob- Making a sentence or paragraph sound interesting. 
Sara- Staying focused. 

Do you intend to make writing a career? 

Bob- My career ends with this book, my final endeavor. 
Sara- Heck no! 

Do you have a specific writing style? 

Bob- I like much variation from one paragraph to the next. I particularly dislike dialogue with merely “he said, she said,” but rather prefer many different methods to indicate who is saying what. 
Sara- I don’t think so.



Bob Smith is a naval officer who had Agent Orange spilled on him in Vietnam and suffers from severe PTSD in addition to disabling neuropathy. After living in Spain, he returned to America and settled in the Ozarks, where he is happily pursuing his dream of writing. Sara Rhodes is a wife, mother, and certified nursing assistant who originally lived in Alaska before moving to the Ozarks with her family. Bob is her former patient whose teachings about PTSD helped her recognize her own father's battle with it. Both Bob and Sara find animals to be a great source of comfort.



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Interview with 'The Call House' C.P. Stiles @carostiles


C.P. Stiles lives and writes in Washington, DC. The Call House: A Washington Novel is her first published novel, but she has a drawerful of new novels just waiting to be published.  

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

AUTHOR WEBSITE

BOOK WEBSITE

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK


How did you come up with the idea for your book?


About 15 years ago, a friend gave me a book called Washington Confidential. It wasn’t a great book, but there was an item in it about the best-known, high-priced call house on the East Coast operating out of an apartment building in a residential neighborhood. I used to pass that building on my way to work. I wanted to know more about it.


Can you tell us what your book is about?


The book is about that call house – the young women who work there, the men who visit. It’s also about what was going on in Washington, DC, right before World War II, when
the police and the FBI declared a war on vice.


Fiction Authors: Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?


There’s Mattie Simon, a young woman from Smyrna, Tennessee, who comes to Washington looking for adventure. Andrew Stevens is a freshman congressman, from Muskegon, Michigan, who’s trying to do what’s best for the country. And there’s Daniel Granger, who had to drop out of college and join the police force, even though it doesn’t really suit him.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?


I once read an article that talked about the difference between being serious about your work and taking yourself too seriously. I would tell my younger self, don’t take it all so seriously. Just keep on going.


Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?


So far, I’ve only heard from readers I know. What they say is that they enjoyed the book. What I like best is when they tell me they couldn’t put it down. My favorite comment was one reader said it was a “page flipper or whatever you call it when you’re reading an eBook.”


What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?


The very first time I wrote a novel, I had great hopes for it. I sent it to an agent and it came back almost the next day. I gave it to another agent who was also a friend and he told me it wasn’t good enough to be published. My husband and I went out and had a proper wake for the book so I could put it aside and start the next one.


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?


That’s a great question. I’m afraid to count. Every time I go back in that stack of papers I have near my desk, I’m always surprised to find some story I didn’t remember starting. Right now, I’m trying to get back to two books that I started. I have two others that I finished, sent out, and put away.


Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?


In the beginning of my book, I have a note to readers – if it’s all right with you, I’ll just repeat it here.
Dear Readers:
This story is based on actual events that took place in Washington, DC, during the early 1940s. All the names have been changed; most of the incidents have been invented; all of the conversations have been imagined.
It is not my intention to glamorize or romanticize prostitution—the women who ran this particular call house did try to protect the other women who worked there.
Please understand the portrayals of the DC police and the FBI are meant in fun. Both are more competent and less sinister. Most of the time.


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Interview with Ed Lin, author of This is a Bust







Set in New York’s Chinatown in 1976, this sharp and gritty novel is a mystery set against the backdrop of a city in turmoil
Robert Chow is a Vietnam vet and an alcoholic. He’s also the only Chinese American cop on the Chinatown beat, and the only police officer who can speak Cantonese. But he’s basically treated like a token, trotted out for ribbon cuttings and community events.
So he shouldn’t be surprised when his superiors are indifferent to his suspicions that an old Chinese woman’s death may have actually been a murder. But he sure is angry. With little more than his own demons to fuel him, Chow must take matters into his own hands.
Rich with the details of its time and place, this homage to noir will appeal to fans of S.J. Rozan and Michael Connelly.





January 20, 1976. The Hong Kong-biased newspaper ran an editorial about how the Chinese who had just come over were lucky to get jobs washing dishes and waiting tables in Chinatown. Their protest was making all Chinese people look bad. If the waiters didn’t like their wages, they should go ask the communists for jobs and see what happens.

Here in America, democracy was going to turn 200 years old in July. But the Chinese waiters who wanted to organize a union were going directly against the principles of freedom that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln had fought for.

Those waiters were also disrespecting the previous generations of Chinese who had come over and worked so hard for so little. If it weren’t for our elders, the editorial said, today we would be lumped in with the lazy blacks and Spanish people on welfare.

I folded the newspaper, sank lower in my chair, and crossed my arms. I banged my heels against the floor.

“Just a minute, you’re next! Don’t be so impatient!” grunted Law, one of the barbers. A cigarette wiggled in his mouth as he snipped away on a somber-looking Chinese guy’s head. When he had one hand free, he took his cigarette and crushed it in the ashtray built into the arm cushion of his customer’s chair.

He reached into the skyline of bottles against the mirror for some baby powder. Law sprinkled it onto his hand and worked it into the back of the somber guy’s neck while pulling the sheet off from inside his collar. Clumps of black hair scampered to the floor as he shook off the sheet.

The customer paid. Law pulled his drawer out as far as it would go and tucked the bills into the back. Then he came over to me.

Law had been cutting my hair since I was old enough to want it cut. He was in his early 60s and had a head topped with neatly sculpted snow. His face was still soft and supple, but he had a big mole on the lower side of his left cheek.

You couldn’t help but stare at it when he had his back turned because it stood out in profile, wiggling in sync with his cigarette.

He looked at the newspaper on my lap.

“We should give all those pro-union waiters guns and send them to Vietnam!” Law grunted. “They’ll be begging to come back and bus tables.”

“They wouldn’t be able to take the humidity,” I said.

“That’s right, they’re not tough like you! You were a brave soldier! OK, come over here. I’m ready for you now,” Law said, wiping off the seat. I saw hair stuck in the foam under the ripped vinyl cover, but I sat down anyway. Hair could only make the seat softer.

“I don’t mean to bring it up, but you know it’s a real shame what happened. The Americans shouldn’t have bothered to send in soldiers, they should have just dropped the big one on them. You know, the A-bomb.”

“Then China would have dropped an A-bomb on the United States,” I said.

“Just let them! Commie weapons probably don’t even work!” Law shouted into my right ear as he tied a sheet around my neck.

“They work good enough,” I said.

When Chou En Lai had died two weeks before, the Greater China Association had celebrated with a ton of firecrackers in the street in front of its Mulberry Street offices and handed out candy to the obligatory crowd. The association had also displayed a barrel of fireworks they were going to set off when Mao kicked, which was going to be soon, they promised. Apparently, the old boy was senile and bedridden. 

“Short on the sides, short on top,” I said.

“That’s how you have to have it, right? Short all around, right?” Law asked.

“That’s the only way it’s ever been cut.”

If you didn’t tell Law how you wanted your hair, even if you were a regular, he’d give you a Beefsteak Charlie’s haircut, with a part right down the center combed out with a Chinese version of VO5. I was going to see my mother in a few days, and I didn’t want to look that bad.

“Scissors only, right? You don’t like the electric clipper, right?”

“That’s right,” I said. When I hear buzzing by my ears, I want to swat everything within reach. Law’s old scissors creaked through my hair. Sometimes I had to stick my jaw out and blow clippings out of my eyes. The barbershop’s two huge plate glass windows cut into each other at an acute angle in the same shape as the street. Out one window was the sunny half of Doyers Street. The other was in the shade. How many times had I heard that this street was the site of tong battles at the turn of the century? How many times had I heard tour guides say that the barbershop was built on the “Bloody Angle”?

The barbershop windows were probably the original ones, old enough so they were thicker at the bottom than at the top. They distorted images of people from the outside, shrinking heads and bloating asses. In the winters, steam from the hot shampoo sink covered the top halves of the windows like lacy curtains in an abandoned house.

In back of me, a bulky overhead hair dryer whined like a dentist’s drill on top of a frowning woman with thick glasses getting a perm.

The barbers had to shout to hear each other. The news station on the radio was nearly drowned out. The only time you could hear it was when they played the xylophone between segments or made the dripping-sink sounds.

If you knew how to listen for it, you could sometimes hear the little bell tied to the broken arm of the pneumatic pump on the door. The bell hung from a frayed loop of red plastic tie from a bakery box. When the bell went off, one or two barbers would yell out in recognition of an old head.

The bell went off, and Law yelled right by my ear.

“Hey!” he yelled. Two delayed “Hey”s went off to my left and right. The chilly January air swept through the barbershop. A thin man in a worn wool coat heaved the door closed behind him and twisted off his felt hat. His hands were brown, gnarled, and incredibly tiny, like walnut shells. He fingered the brim of his hat and shifted uneasily from foot to foot, but made no motion to take off his coat or drop into one of the four empty folding chairs by the shadow side of Doyers. He swept his white hair back, revealing a forehead that looked like a mango gone bad.

“My wife just died,” he said. If his lungs hadn’t been beat up and dusty like old vacuum-cleaner bags, it would have been a shout. “My wife died,” he said again, as if he had to hear it to believe it. The hairdryer shut down. “Oh,” said Law. “I’m sorry.” He went on with my hair. No one else said anything. Someone coughed. Law gave a half-grin grimace and kept his head down, the typical stance for a Chinese man stuck in an awkward situation. The radio babbled on.

The barbers just wanted to cut hair and have some light conversation about old classmates and blackjack. Why come here to announce that your wife had died? The guy might as well have gone to the Off Track Betting joint on Bowery around the corner. No one was giving him any sympathy here.

Death was bad luck. Talking about death was bad luck. Listening to someone talk about death was bad luck. Who in Chinatown needed more bad luck?

“What should I do?” the thin man asked. He wasn’t crying, but his legs were shaking. I could see his pant cuffs sweep the laces of his polished wing tips. “What should I do?” he asked again. The xylophone on the radio went off.

I stood up and swept the clippings out of my hair. The bangs were longer on one side of my head. I slipped the sheet off from around my neck and coiled it onto the warmth of the now-vacant seat. Law opened a drawer, dropped in his scissors, and shut it with his knee. He leaned against his desk and fumbled for a cigarette in his shirt pocket.

I blew off the hair from my shield and brushed my legs off. I pushed my hat onto my head.

“Let’s go,” I told the thin man.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? 

I'm most proud of making my toddler laugh. I think it's important to have a core of humor to get through hard times that life can present at times. 

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 

I grew up in a coastal area of Jersey and as a second-generation Asian American, I know a lot of from where cultures intersect. The town was a bit of a playground for losers from New York City to come down and pollute our shores. As a result, I'm really great at creating Asian, dirtbag and Asian dirtbag characters. 

When and why did you begin writing? 

I began writing in elementary school. I had a few second-grade poems published in the school's lit journal that my wife likes to recite from time to time. It felt natural to write, to tell a story in that way.  

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

Maybe in a past life, because as soon as I knew how to write, I wanted to write. Stories just come to me, lodge in my head and could grow into horns if I don't write them down. 

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

I never had any doubt. Even if I weren't being published, I'd be writing. 

What inspires you to write and why?

I am incredibly motivated to write. Just the prospect that I won't be able to someday is enough to push me along. 

What genre are you most comfortable writing? 

I enjoy the mystery genre, particularly with a touch of humor. I've also written some YA stuff that I wish had been around when I was a kid. At some point, I want to write a horror book. 

What inspired you to write your first book? 

My childhood in that town in Jersey. My family operated a motel that in the fall, winter and spring housed poor people and families that had lost their homes. In the summer, our rates went up and all these maniacs came in from the city and partied all weekend. I was the guy who cleaned up all the beer bottles (many smashed), bottle caps, cans and other garbage left strewn across our rather extensive parking lot. 

Who or what influenced your writing once you began? 

I'm pretty much a guy who marches to his own drummer, sometimes off the beat on purpose. That said, in my early days, I really liked Dashiell Hammett, Charles Willeford, Norbert Davis, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Herbert Simmons, Chester Himes and Paul Cain. 

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? 

It's all challenging. Making the time and actually doing it is the hardest part, if you're not motivated. People tell me they really want to write but don't have the time. To me, that's like hearing, "Hey I'm holding this ice-cream cone with a scoop of pistachio and a scoop of chocolate fudge, and it's covered in a butterscotch syrup, and I really want to eat it, but I just don't have the time. Eat the goddamned ice cream! Now! 

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? 

Writing This Is a Bust wasn't terribly instructive, but in terms of trying to get it published, I learned invaluable lessons about the industry and that a writer cannot expect someone else to set what one will find creatively satisfying. That is always up to you. 

Do you intend to make writing a career? 

I intend to do it my whole life. I took one career test in school. Based on my personality, it said that I should be minister or a college professor. Nothing else was close. Writing is a bit of a mix of both those professions, isn't it? 

Have you developed a specific writing style? 

If I have, I can't see it myself. You can't ask someone who works in a cool-ranch flavoring plant what cool ranch tastes like. Her senses will be too hardened to tell. 

What is your greatest strength as a writer? 

I think keeping at it, the writing. I don't get writer's block. People who hate my books think I should see a specialist for that condition. 

What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

I'm stubborn but I'm also open to change if it leads to something better and/or interesting. 

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 

That I get tired and have to sleep X hours a night. What a waste! 

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? 

I have no idea who said this (and Google isn't helping out) but, "To move is to risk death. To be still is to be dead already."






Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all-around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid, and a trilogy set in New York’s Chinatown in the 70s: This Is a Bust, Snakes Can’t Run and One Red Bastard. Ghost Month, published by Soho Crime in July 2014, is a Taipei-based mystery, and Incensed, published October 2016, continues that series. Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son.


Connect with Ed at http://www.edlinforpresident.com or on social media at:





Monday, July 17
Book featured at Cheryl's Book Nook
Book featured at Chill and Read
Guest blogging at Mythical Books

Tuesday, July 18
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Book featured at Elise's Audiobook Digest
Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, July 19
Guest blogging at Must Read Faster
Book featured at Diana's Book Reviews
Interviewed at Harmonious Publicity

Thursday, July 20
Book featured at The Writers' Life
Book featured at Stormy Nights Reviewing
Interviewed at As the Page Turns

Friday, July 21
Book featured at Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm
Guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress

Sunday, July 23
Book featured at T's Stuff
Interviewed at The Literary Nook

Monday, July 24
Book featured at A Title Wave
Book featured at Stuck in YA Books

Tuesday, July 25
Book featured at The Angel's Pearl
Book featured at Write and Take Flight
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge

Wednesday, July 26
Book featured at Don't Judge, Read
Book featured at The Toibox of Words
Book featured at Comfy Chair Books

Thursday, July 27
Book featured at The Dark Phantom

Friday, July 28
Book featured at A Book Lover
Book featured at Mello and June
Read More »

Monday, July 17, 2017

Book Feature: Seeds of Malice by Dale Mayer







Charged with murder. Betrayed by her lover. Shunned by her friends. 

After being acquitted of the murder, botanist Fern Geller runs from her past to learn everything she can about poisonous plants. She ends up doing a six month contract at the Garden of Death before finding the answer she's seeking... 

When she returns to the same conservatory where she'd worked before, the new boss is missing and several other men are dead. Once again, all eyes turn her way. 

FBI agent, London Behring hadn't expected Fern to look like she does now. Ethereal. Gorgeous. Gentle. Why and how had she been a murder suspect? Even more intriguing, how had she been acquitted of all charges? And more mysteriously, she'd come back to the scene of the crime... at the perfect time to fall under suspicion - again. 

What magic did she possess to walk away from such crimes? And how can he stay free of her charms... a lure he's finding impossible to resist.










Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series). 

 She honors the stories that come to her - and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres! 

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format. 

To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her online with Twitter at www.twitter.com/dalemayer and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dalemayer.author. If you like Dale Mayer's books and are interested in joining her street team, sign up here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/402384989872660/  




Monday, July 17
Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Guest blogging at Mythical Books

Tuesday, July 18
Book featured at Chill and Read
Guest blogging at Hot off the Shelves

Wednesday, July 19
Interviewed at T's Stuff
Book featured at Cuzinlogic
Book featured at Happily Ever After Romance Book Reviews

Thursday, July 20
Book featured at The Bookworm Chronicles
Book featured at Perfect at Midnight

Friday, July 21
Book reviewed at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf

Saturday, July 22
Guest blogging at Indie Wish List

Sunday, July 23
Book reviewed at Bibliophile Ramblings

Monday, July 24
Book featured at A Title Wave

Tuesday, July 25
Guest blogging at Must Read Faster

Wednesday, July 26
Book featured at A Book Lover

Thursday, July 27
Guest blogging at Comfy Chair Books

Friday, July 28
Book featured at Mello and June
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Book Spotlight: Night in Jerusalem by Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy






Title: NIGHT IN JERUSALEM
Author: Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy
Publisher: PKZ Inc.
Pages: 246
Genre: Historical Romance

A bewitching love story that is also an extraordinary portrait of Jerusalem, its faith, spirituality, identity, and kaleidoscope of clashing beliefs, Night in Jerusalem is a novel of mystery, beauty, historical insight, and sexual passion.
David Bennett is invited to Jerusalem in 1967 by his cousin who, to the alarm of his aristocratic British family, has embraced Judaism. He introduces David to his mentor, Reb Eli, a revered sage in the orthodox community. Despite his resistance to religious teaching, David becomes enthralled by the rabbi’s wisdom and compassionate presence. When David discloses a sexual problem, Reb Eli unwittingly sets off a chain of events that transforms his life and the life of the mysterious prostitute, Tamar, who, in a reprise of an ancient biblical story, leads both men to an astonishing realization. As passions rise, the Six Day War erupts, reshaping the lives of everyone caught up in it.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble




David lay awake thinking about Anat. He was intimidated by her sexuality, but also fascinated by her free spirit and daunting intelligence. He had never met anyone like her. He wondered if Jonathan and the others knew she preferred women lovers, and why she had confided in him. He became anxious, thinking perhaps she sensed he had sexual issues and was someone she could easily manipulate. 
Earlier, out on the roof, he had asked her why she preferred women. She had answered simply, “For the same reasons you do,” then adding, “I find women more interesting intellectually, as well as sexually.” 
Her directness was equal parts frightening and exciting. He wanted to know her better. Perhaps, with her, he could get over his sexual problem. The truth was, he desired her as much as he found her intimidating.



Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy worked as an actress and writer in film and television in the United States and Israel. Night in Jerusalem is her debut novel, which she has adapted to film. She lives in Ojai California with her husband and daughter.

She writes, “I lived in Israel in the 1960s, a naive twenty-year-old, hoping to find myself and my place in the world. The possibility of war was remote to me. I imagined the tensions in the region would somehow be resolved peacefully. Then, the Six Day War erupted and I experienced it firsthand in Jerusalem.

I have drawn Night in Jerusalem from my experiences during that time. The historical events portrayed in the novel are accurate. The characters are based on people I knew in the city. Like me, they were struggling to make sense of their lives, responding to inherited challenges they could not escape that shaped their destiny in ways they and the entire Middle East could not have imagined.

I have always been intrigued by the miraculous. How and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny. How two people who are destined, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another.

Israel’s Six Day War is not a fiction; neither was the miracle of its victory. What better time to discover love through intrigue, passion, and the miraculous.

Writing this story was in part reliving my history in Israel, in part a mystical adventure. I am grateful that so many who have read Night In Jerusalem have experienced this as well.”

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dorothy Thompson
 CEO/Founder PUMP UP YOUR BOOK
Winner of P&E Readers Poll 2016 for Best Publicity Firm





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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book Feature: Pauli The Musical Pumpkin by Pamela O. Guidry





Title: Pauli the Musical Pumpkin
Author: Pamela O. Guidry
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Format: Ebook

This is an inspiring story of a family whose characters depend on each other's unique personality traits to see them through life's little journeys. With Luis, the strength and leadership is dominant, and Erin's motherly love is profound. The two boys are very different both in looks and in spirit. Dominic is adventuresome, and the outdoors is his passion, whereas Donovan's love for beauty and music is his motivation. Pauli, different from any of his family, is talented and musical and brings forth a feeling of magic when he plays his beautiful music. In the end, the family is reunited and reassured. Each of us is special in our own way. As long as we have each other, anything is possible.


Pamela O. Guidry was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1960. My parents were the most loving and wonderful parents. I grew up in a family of six children. With three sisters and two brothers, an adventure was always just around the corner. Because family is the most fundamental purpose in life, the experiences we have shared have shaped my life. At an early age, I developed a passion for music, as well as a love for art and creativity. As an adult, I further pursued the imagination and use of colors and textures in my work as a decorator. And now, my passion is to travel the world so that I may experience the beauty of nature and the people I meet along the way.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Bookish Conversation with 'Surgeon's Story' Mark Oristano




Mark Oristano has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16.

After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University.  A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.

Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network.  He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career.  He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.

A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK






What is it like to hold the beating heart of a two-day old child in your hand?  What is it like to counsel distraught parents as they make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives?

Noted pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian has opened up her OR, and her career, to author
Mark Oristano to create Surgeon’s Story - Inside OR-6 With a top Pediatric Heart Surgeon. 

Dr. Guleserian’s life, training and work are discussed in detail, framed around the incredibly dramatic story of a heart transplant operation for a two-year old girl whose own heart was rapidly dying.  Author Mark Oristano takes readers inside the operating room to get a first-hand look at pediatric heart surgeries most doctors in America would never attempt.

That’s because Dr. Guleserian is recognized as one of the top pediatric heart surgeons in America, one of a very few who have performed a transplant on a one-week old baby. Dr. Guleserian (Goo-liss-AIR-ee-yan) provided her expertise, and Oristano furnished his writing skills, to produce A Surgeon’s Story.

As preparation to write this stirring book, Oristano spent hours inside the operating room at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas watching Guleserian perform actual surgeries that each day were life or death experiences. Readers will be with Dr. Guleserian on her rounds, meeting with parents, or in the Operating Room for a heart transplant.

Oristano is successful sportscaster and photographer and has made several appearances on stage as an actor. He wrote his first book A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game, and continues to volunteer at Children’s Medical Center.

“We hear a lot about malpractice and failures in medical care,” says Oristanto, “but I want my readers to know that parts of the American health care system work brilliantly. And our health care system will work even better if more young women would enter science and medicine and experience the type of success Dr. Guleserian has attained.” 

Readers will find all the drama, intensity, humor and compassion that they enjoy in their favorite fictionalized medical TV drama, but the actual accounts in Surgeon’s Story are even more compelling. One of the key characters in the book is 2-year-old Rylynn who was born with an often fatal disorder called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was successfully treated by Dr. Guleserian.

Watch the Book Trailer at YouTube.

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Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Rest my fingers!  Just kidding. I’m a long-time stage actor in Dallas, and I also have a small photography biz. And my wife and I travel a lot. And I go to Texas Ranger baseball games.

When did you start writing?

Professionally, when I was 16. I got a job as a sportswriter on the local newspaper in my hometown, Mamaroneck, New York.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

The first time I signed a copy of a book for somebody.  Pretty cool.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Santorini, Greece. I’d sit on a balcony overlooking the sea and drink strong Greek coffee and write.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Watch Casablanca.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Something in sports, as I was a sportscaster for 30 years, for the Dallas Cowboys and others.

Back to your present book, Surgeon’s Story, how did you publish it?

We had interest from New York publishers, but they wanted the book to be in the doctor’s first person voice, and she refused, saying that was too egotistical. So we self-published.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Just to the OR, to watch many surgeries.

Why was writing Surgeon’s Story so important to you?

It’s a fascinating story about a fascinating woman with a fascinating skill set.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

From life. It’s the most interesting thing out there.

Any final words?

Surgeon’s Story, available in paperback, hardback, and Kindle form, on Amazon.com.
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