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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: 408Genre: 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.

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About the Author

Jonathan 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

 

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 ThemAuthor: 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.

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About the Author

Jonathan 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

 

The First Page: Interview with Davin Whitehurst, author of ‘I Have Faith’

I Have Faith

Title: I Have Faith
Author: Davin Whitehurst
Publisher: Childlike Faith Publishing
Pages: 26
Genre:  Children

Are you ready to get your child excited about faith? “I Have Faith” puts your child right in the footsteps of Danny as he begins to learn about faith. Danny and his older brother have been wanting a dog, but both know their parents don’t think they are ready for a dog. When Danny’s mom begins teaching him what the bible says about faith, he puts his faith into action. After praying and releasing his faith for a dog, doubt and even his best friend keep telling him that he will never get a dog. Over time Danny never loses his faith in the promises of God and finds that God is faithful and that faith works. Come along on this journey that is a real life event that took place in the author’s life as a child.

This book has great illustrations that support a wonderful story about finding faith in God. As you are teaching your child about principals in the bible; this book will help you teach faith. What a wonderful experience it is when we can see our children begin to develop their faith in God, and grow from a tiny mustard seed to a firmly planted tree. The back of the book has a parent/child discussion which will help children gain understanding in faith and some scriptures that Danny’s mom used to get him excited about faith.

The First Page:

(add photo)

Interview with Davin:

Welcome Davin. Can you tell us what your book is about?

The story is based out of my childhood. All names have been changed to protect the innocent, just kidding, but the names have been changed. Danny is a young boy who has always wanted to get a puppy. As his mom begins to teach him about faith, Danny decides to put his faith into action. Danny prays for a dog one night and believes it is a done deal. The only issue is everyone around him says the opposite of him. His brother, parents and even his best friend all say he can’t have a dog. Over time he comes home from school to find his dad with his prayer in his lap. The story shows how faith is developed and is a great way for parents to teach children about faith.

The first page is perhaps one of the most important pages in the whole book. It’s what draws the reader into the story. Why did you choose to begin your book this way?

I wanted to start the book from Danny’s prospective. It’s his story so he draws the child in and lets them know that he is going to show them what faith is and how they can develope it.

In the course of writing your book, how many times would you say that first page changed and for what reasons?

In my first draft I had it starting off with Danny and his mother reading and learning about faith. As the illustrations started coming together, I felt a void in the story. That’s when I came up with the idea of Danny telling the story. Not only did this show I needed a different first page, but I also had to change up the manuscript a little to reflect the change in storytelling. Once we had the first page done and the story change, it all seemed to fit.

Was there ever a time after the book was published that you wished you had changed something on the first page?

Because I was patient in getting the story and illustrations right, I never second guessed the outcome. I think it fits the story well so that children can relate to Danny.

What advice can you give to aspiring authors to stress how important the first page is?

To me, the start of anything is crucial. The first page is what sets the tone for the book in so many cases. I think that patience is a key element to the story line. Let the elements come together and when there is a hole in the story, fill it. Let the first page kick start the story and get the child or audience engaged with what is happening. Sometimes you only have a page to get them in. If that needs to be the first page, do it.

About the Author:

Davin Whitehurst

Davin Whitehurst lives in the beautiful high desert of Southern Arizona with his wife and son. He is releasing his first book “I have Faith” in May of 2016 but has so many more that are in the making. The motivation behind the books are deeply rooted from in his own past. He is a living testimony of Proverbs 22:6. Growing up in Southwest Kansas and in a Christian household, he was trained up in the way he should go. By the time he became a teenager, Davin turned away from God and left church. Fast forward into his late twenties and God brought him back with a powerful calling. He and his family have been faithfully serving at Seed of Abraham Christian Center International for over seven years now. Proof that when we teach our children the way they should go. When they get older, they know where to turn and will not depart from God. Davin wants each book written to be a resource that parents have to help train their children in the way they should go. He writes stories in a simple way that will be fun and practical for every child. He wants children to get excited about faith and the things of God.

His latest release is the children’s book, I Have Faith.

For More Information

In the Spotlight: Cocktales & Mock-Tales by Julianne McLean & Mark Lynch

Cocktails and Mock-TalesTitle: Cocktales & Mock-Tales
Authors: Julianne McLean & Mark Lynch
Publisher: ASJ Publishing
Pages: 90
Genre: Humor

Cocktails and Mock- Tales is not just about alcoholic beverages. The book is about sensations that tickle your tastebuds and humour that tickles your fancy. It includes non-alcoholic beverages that the whole family can enjoy and even herbal recipes for the adventurous.

Have one extremely tall high ball glass and a giant cocktail shaker at the ready

Ingredients:

Unlimited centilitres of wit and humour

9 cl or 3oz titillating snippets of history and gossip

Add flavours of exotic destinations

A dusting of spice mixed with satire

Several centilitres of high spirits (optional)

Shake with vigour. Garnish with an open mind and your own sense of humour

Now you are ready to truly laugh and savour Cocktails and Mock Tales!

Amaze your friends and family with your knowledge of the origins of international beverages and excite their tastebuds with these exotic sensations.

For More Information

  • Cocktails & Mock-Tales is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

Daiquiri

The daiquiri is a family of cocktails of which the primary ingredients are white rum, lime or lemon juice and sugar.

The drink was supposedly invented by American mining engineer Jennings Cox who was in partying and experimenting in Cuba at the time of the Spanish American War. Daiquiri is also the name of a beach and an iron ore mine near Santiago in Cuba.

Serves 1

6cl white rum

3cl lime juice

2cl sugar syrup

Sugar on the rim of the glass.

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Strawberry Daiquiri Mock-tail

Serves1

2 large strawberries

1⁄4 cup of white sugar

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

¾ cup of chilled lemon lime soda

4 ice cubes

In a blender, mix the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and lime soda. Add the ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled Tom Collins glass. Garnish with a slice of lime or lemon

Raven’s Peak Book Blast! Win a copy of RAVEN’S PEAK! Ends Today!

 

We’re thrilled to be hosting Lincoln Cole and his RAVEN’S PEAK Book Blast today! Fill out the form at the bottom and leave a comment on this blog post to win a FREE autographed copy of his book! Good luck!

 

Title:
Raven’s Peak
Author: Lincoln Cole
Publisher: Kindle Press
Pages: 276
Genre: Horror/Paranormal Thriller/Urban Fantasy
A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to discover the root of the evil affecting people. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.
Abigail rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, but also to trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is something hard to have for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger.
Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

Raven’s Peak is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

“Reverend, you have a
visitor.”
He couldn’t remember when he
fell in love with the pain. When agony first turned to pleasure, and then to
joy. Of course, it hadn’t always been like this. He remembered screaming all
those years ago when first they put him in this cell; those memories were
vague, though, like reflections in a dusty mirror.
“Open D4.”
A buzz as the door slid open,
inconsequential. The aching need was what drove him in this moment, and
nothing else mattered. It was a primal desire: a longing for the tingly rush of
adrenaline each time the lash licked his flesh. The blood dripping down his
parched skin fulfilled him like biting into a juicy strawberry on a warm
summer’s day.
“Some woman. Says she needs to
speak with you immediately. She says her name is Frieda.”
A pause, the lash hovering in
the air like a poised snake. The Reverend remembered that name, found it
dancing in the recesses of his mind. He tried to pull himself back from the
ritual, back to reality, but it was an uphill slog through knee-deep mud to
reclaim those memories.
It was always difficult to
focus when he was in the midst of his cleansing. All he managed to cling to was
the name. Frieda. It was the name of an angel, he
knew. . . or perhaps a devil.
One and the same when all was
said and done.
She belonged to a past life,
only the whispers of which he could recall. The ritual reclaimed him, embraced
him with its fiery need. His memories were nothing compared to the whip in his
hand, its nine tails gracing his flesh.
The lash struck down on his
left shoulder blade, scattering droplets of blood against the wall behind him.
Those droplets would stain the granite for months, he knew, before finally
fading away. He clenched his teeth in a feral grin as the whip landed with a
sickening, wet slapping sound.
“Jesus,” a new voice whispered
from the doorway. “Does he always do that?”
“Every morning.”
“You’ll cuff him?”
“Why? Are you scared?”
The Reverend raised the lash
into the air, poised for another strike.
“Just…man, you said he was
crazy…but this…”
The lash came down, lapping at
his back and the tender muscles hidden there. He let out a groan of mixed agony
and pleasure.
These men were meaningless,
their voices only echoes amid the rest, an endless drone. He wanted them to
leave him alone with his ritual. They weren’t worth his time.
“I think we can spare the
handcuffs this time; the last guy who tried spent a month in the hospital.”
“Regulation says we have to.”
“Then you do it.”
The guards fell silent. The
cat-o’-nine-tails, his friend, his love, became the only sound in the roughhewn
cell, echoing off the granite walls. He took a rasping breath, blew it out, and
cracked the lash again. More blood. More agony. More pleasure.
“I don’t think we need to cuff
him,” the second guard decided.
“Good idea. Besides, the
Reverend isn’t going to cause us any trouble. He only hurts himself. Right,
Reverend?”
The air tasted of copper,
sickly sweet. He wished he could see his back and the scars, but there were no
mirrors in his cell. They removed the only one he had when he broke shards off
to slice into his arms and legs. They were afraid he would kill himself.
How ironic was that?
“Right, Reverend?”
Mirrors were dangerous things,
he remembered from that past life. They called the other side, the darker side.
An imperfect reflection stared back, threatening to steal pieces of the soul
away forever.
“Reverend? Can you hear me?”
The guard reached out to tap
the Reverend on the shoulder. Just a tap, no danger at all, but his hand never
even came close. Honed reflexes reacted before anyone could possibly understand
what was happening.
Suddenly the Reverend was
standing. He hovered above the guard who was down on his knees. The man let out
a sharp cry, his left shoulder twisted up at an uncomfortable angle by the
Reverend’s iron grip.
The lash hung in the air,
ready to strike at its new prey.
The Reverend looked curiously
at the man, seeing him for the first time. He recognized him as one of the
first guardsmen he’d ever spoken with when placed in this cell. A nice European
chap with a wife and two young children. A little overweight and balding, but
well-intentioned.
Most of him didn’t want to
hurt this man, but there was a part—a hungry, needful part—that did. That part
wanted to hurt this man in ways neither of them could even imagine. One twist
would snap his arm. Two would shatter the bone; the sound as it snapped would
be . . .
A symphony rivaling
Tchaikovsky.
The second guard—the younger
one that smelled of fear—stumbled back, struggling to draw his gun.
“No! No, don’t!”
That from the first, on his
knees as if praying. The Reverend wondered if he prayed at night with his
family before heading to bed. Doubtless, he prayed that he would make it home
safely from work and that one of the inmates wouldn’t rip his throat out or
gouge out his eyes. Right now, he was waving his free hand at his partner to
get his attention, to stop him.
The younger guard finally
worked the gun free and pointed it at the Reverend. His hands were shaking as
he said, “Let him go!”
“Don’t shoot, Ed!”
“Let him go!”
The older guard, pleading this
time: “Don’t piss him off!”
The look that crossed his
young partner’s face in that moment was precious: primal fear. It was an
expression the Reverend had seen many times in his life, and he understood the
thoughts going through the man’s mind: he couldn’t imagine how he might
die in this cell, but he believed he could. That belief
stemmed from something deeper than what his eyes could see. A terror so
profound it beggared reality.
An immutable silence hung in
the air. Both guards twitched and shifted, one in pain and the other in terror.
The Reverend was immovable, a statue in his sanctuary, eyes boring into the
man’s soul.
“Don’t shoot,” the guard on
his knees murmured. “You’ll miss, and we’ll be dead.”
“I have a clear shot. I can’t
miss.”
This time, the response was
weaker. “We’ll still be dead.”
A hesitation. The guard
lowered his gun in confused fear, pointing it at the floor. The Reverend curled
his lips and released, freeing the kneeling guard.
The man rubbed his shoulder
and climbed shakily to his feet. He backed away from the Reverend and stood
beside the other, red-faced and panting.
“I heard you,” the Reverend
said. The words were hard to come by; he’d rarely spoken these last five
years.
“I’m sorry, Reverend,” the
guard replied meekly. “My mistake.”
“Bring me to Frieda,” he
whispered.
“You don’t—” the younger guard
began. A sharp look from his companion silenced him.
“Right away, sir.”
“Steve, we should cuff…”
Steve ignored him, turning and
stepping outside the cell. The Reverend looked longingly at the lash in his
hand before dropping it onto his hard bed. His cultivated pain had faded to a
dull ache. He would need to begin anew when he returned, restart the cleansing.
There was always more to
cleanse.
They traveled through the
black-site prison deep below the earth’s surface, past neglected cells and
through rough cut stone. A few of the rusty cages held prisoners, but most
stood empty and silent. These prisoners were relics of a forgotten time, most
of whom couldn’t even remember the misdeed that had brought them here.
The Reverend remembered his
misdeeds. Every day he thought of the pain and terror he had inflicted, and
every day he prayed it would wash away.
They were deep within the
earth, but not enough to benefit from the world’s core heat. It was kept
unnaturally cold as well to keep the prisoners docile. That meant there were
only a few lights and frigid temperatures. Last winter he thought he might lose
a finger to frostbite. He’d cherished the idea, but it wasn’t to be. He had
looked forward to cutting it off.
There were only a handful of
guards in this section of the prison, maybe one every twenty meters. The actual
security system relied on a single exit shaft as the only means of escape.
Sure, he could fight his way free, but locking the elevator meant he would
never reach the surface.
And pumping out the oxygen
meant the situation would be contained.
The Council didn’t want to
bring civilians in on the secretive depths of their hellhole prison. The fewer
guards they needed to hire, the fewer people knew of their existence, and any
guards who were brought in were fed half-truths and lies about their true
purpose. How many such men and women, he’d always wondered, knew who he was or
why he was here?
Probably none. That was for
the best. If they knew, they never would have been able to do their jobs.
As they walked, the Reverend
felt the ritual wash away and he became himself once more. Just a man getting
on in years: broken, pathetic, and alone as he paid for his mistakes.
Finally, they arrived at the
entrance of the prison: an enclosed set of rooms cut into the stone walls
backing up to a shaft. A solitary elevator bridged the prison to the world
above, guarded by six men, but that wasn’t where they took him.
They guided him to one of the
side rooms, opening the door but waiting outside. Inside were a plain brown
table and one-way mirror, similar to a police station, but nothing else.
A woman sat at the table facing
away from the door. She had brown hair and a white business suit with matching
heels. Very pristine; Frieda was always so well-dressed.
“Here we are,” the guard said.
The Reverend didn’t acknowledge the man, but he did walk into the chamber. He
strode past the table and sat in the chair facing Frieda.
He studied her: she had deep
blue eyes and a mole on her left cheek. She looked older, and he couldn’t
remember the last time she’d come to visit him.
Probably not since the day she
helped lock him in that cell.
“Close the door,” Frieda said
to the guards while still facing the Reverend.
“But ma’am, we are supposed
to—”
“Close the door,” she
reiterated. Her tone was exactly the same, but an undercurrent was there. Hers
was a powerful presence, the type normal people obeyed instinctually. She was
always in charge, no matter the situation.
“We will be right out here,”
Steve replied finally, pulling the heavy metal door closed.
Silence enveloped the room, a
humming emptiness.
He stared at her, and she
stared at him. Seconds slipped past.
He wondered how she saw him.
What must he look like today? His hair and beard must be shaggy and unkempt
with strands of gray mixed into the black. He imagined his face, but with eyes
that were sunken, skin that was pale and leathery. Doubtless, he looked
thinner, almost emaciated.
He was also covered in blood,
the smell of which would be overpowering. It disgusted him; he hated how his
daily ritual left him, battering his body to maintain control, yet he answered
its call without question.
“Do you remember what you told
me the first time we met?” the Reverend asked finally, facing Frieda again.
“We need your help,” Frieda
said, ignoring his question. “You’ve been here for a long time, and things have
been getting worse.”
“You quoted Nietzsche, that
first meeting. I thought it was pessimistic and rhetorical,” he continued.
“Crime is getting worse. The
world is getting darker and…”
“I thought you were talking
about something that might happen to someone else but never to me. I had no
idea just how spot on you were: that you were prophesizing my future,” he
spoke. “Do you remember your exact words?”
“We need your help,” Frieda
finished. Then she added softer: “I need your help.”
He didn’t respond. Instead, he
said: “Do you remember?”
She sighed. “I do.”
“Repeat it for me.”
She frowned. “When we first
met, I said to you: ‘Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the
process he does not become a monster
.’”
He nodded. “You were right.
Now I am a monster.”
“You aren’t a monster,”
she whispered.
“No,” he said. “I am your monster.”
“Reverend…”
Rage exploded through his
body, and he felt every muscle tense. “That is not my name!”
he roared, slamming his fist on the table. It made a loud crashing sound,
shredding the silence, and the wood nearly folded beneath the impact.
Frieda slid her chair back in
an instant, falling into a fighting stance. One hand gripped the cross hanging
around her neck, and the other slid into her vest pocket. She wore an
expression he could barely recognize, something he’d never seen on her face
before.
Fear.
She was afraid of him. The
realization stung, and more than a little bit.
The Reverend didn’t move from
his seat, but he could still feel heat coursing through his veins. He forced
his pulse to slow, his emotions to subside. He loved the feeling of rage but
was terrified of what would happen if he gave into it; if he embraced it.
He glanced at the hand in her
pocket and realized what weapon she had chosen to defend herself. A pang shot
through his chest.
“Would it work?” he asked.
She didn’t answer, but a
minute trace of shame crossed her face. He stood slowly and walked around the
table, reaching a hand toward her. To her credit, she barely flinched as he
touched her. He gently pulled her fist out of the pocket and opened it. In her
grip was a small vial filled with water.
Will it work?” he
asked.
“Arthur…” she breathed.
The name brought a flood of
memories, furrowing his brow. A little girl playing in a field, picking
blueberries and laughing. A wife with auburn hair who watched him with love and
longing as he played with their daughter. He quashed them; he feared the pain
the memories would bring.
That was a pain he did not
cherish.
“I need to know,” he
whispered.
He slid the vial from her hand
and popped the top off. She watched in resignation as he held up his right
arm and poured a few droplets onto his exposed skin. It tingled where it
touched, little more than a tickle, and he felt his skin turn hot.
But it didn’t burn.
He let out the shuddering breath
he hadn’t realized he was holding.
“Thank God,” Frieda whispered.
“I’m not sure She deserves
it,” Arthur replied.
“We need your help,” Frieda
said again. When he looked at her face once more, he saw moisture in her eyes.
He couldn’t tell if it was from relief that the blessed water didn’t work, or
sadness that it almost had.
“How can I possibly help?” he
asked, gesturing at his body helplessly with his arms. “You see what I am. What
I’ve become.”
“I know what you were.”
“What I am no longer,” he
corrected. “I was ignorant and foolish. I can never be that man again.”
“Three girls are missing,” she
said.
“Three girls are always
missing,” he said, “and countless more.”
“But not like these,” she
said. “These are ours.”
He was quiet for a moment.
“Rescues?”
She nodded. “Two showed
potential. All three were being fostered by the Greathouse family.”
He remembered Charles
Greathouse, an old and idealistic man who just wanted to help. “Of course, you
went to Charles,” Arthur said. “He took care of your little witches until they
were ready to become soldiers.”
“He volunteered.”
“And now he’s dead,” Arthur
said. Frieda didn’t correct him. “Who took the girls?”
“We don’t know. But there’s
more. It killed three of ours.”
“Hunters?”
“Yes.”
“Who?”
“Michael and Rachael Felton.”
“And the third?”
“Abigail.”
He cursed. “You know she
wasn’t ready. Not for this.”
“You’ve been here for five
years,” Frieda said. “She grew up.”
“She’s still a child.”
“She wasn’t anymore.”
“She’s my child.”
Frieda hesitated, frowning. He
knew as well as she did what had happened to put him in this prison and what
part Abigail had played in it. If Abigail hadn’t stopped him…
“We didn’t expect . . .”
Frieda said finally, sliding away from the minefield in the conversation.
“You never do.”
“I’m sorry,” Frieda said. “I
know you were close.”
The Reverend—Arthur—had
trained Abigail. Raised her from a child after rescuing her from a cult many
years earlier. It was after his own child had been murdered, and he had needed
a reason to go on with his life. His faith was wavering, and she had become his
salvation. They were more than close. They were family.
And now she was dead.
“What took them? Was it the
Ninth Circle?”
“I don’t think so,” she said.
“Our informants haven’t heard anything.”
“A demon?”
“Probably several.”
“Where did it take them?” he
asked.
“We don’t know.”
“What is it going to do with
them?”
This time, she didn’t answer.
She didn’t need to.
“So you want me to clean up
your mess?”
“It killed three of our best,”
Frieda said. “I don’t…I don’t know what else to do.”
“What does the Council want
you to do?”
“Wait and see.”
“And you disagree?”
“I’m afraid that it’ll be too
late by the time the Council decides to act.”
“You have others you could
send.”
“Not that can handle something
like this,” she said.
“You mean none that you could
send without the Council finding out and reprimanding you?”
“You were always the best,
Arthur.”
“Now I am in prison.”
“You are here voluntarily,”
she said. “I’ve taken care of everything. There is a car waiting topside and a
jet idling. So, will you help?”
He was silent for a moment,
thinking. “I’m not that man anymore.”
“I trust you.”
“You shouldn’t.”
“I do.”
“What happens if I say ‘no’?”
“I don’t know,” Frieda said,
shaking her head. “You are my last hope.”
“What happens,” he began, a
lump in his throat, “when I don’t come back? What happens when I become the new
threat and you have no one else to send?”
Frieda wouldn’t even look him
in the eyes.
“When that day comes,” she
said softly, staring at the table, “I’ll have an answer to a question I’ve
wondered about for a long time.”
“What question is that?”
She looked up at him. “What is
my faith worth?”

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About the Author

 

Lincoln Cole is
a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different
parts of the world, including
Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his
pugamonster and wife. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through
the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to
anyone who will listen.
For More Information

 

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Giveaway

Lincoln
Cole is giving away an autographed copy of RAVEN’S PEAK!!

Terms & Conditions:
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    the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
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    will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one autographed copy of RAVEN’S
    PEAK
  • This
    giveaway ends midnight July 11.
  • Winner will
    be contacted via email on July 12.
  • Winner has
    48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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Book Spotlight: MacClinton by Sam Griffith

 


Inside the Book:

 

 
Inside The Book
Title: MacClinton
Author: Sam Griffith
Publisher: Conservative Press Books
Pages: 176 pages
Genre: Political Science / Political Satire
 
Book Description:
 
MacClinton, a modern tale of Bill Clinton’s political career told in the format of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. This amusing drama is fleshed out with notes that detail Clinton’s scandals and cover-ups. After reading it, you’ll want to examine the character and actions of political candidates before voting for or against them.

“When a citizen gives his suffrage [vote] to a man of known immorality, he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.” (Noah Webster) Although Webster wrote this statement almost two hundred years ago, it is good advice for us today.

MacClinton illustrates this warning as it recounts Bill and Hillary’s immorality, scandals, and cover-ups in an entertaining and enlightening way. From the opening scene with the three *itches meeting Bill MacClinton to the closing scene of George W. Bush’s presidential election victory, you’ll view Bill’s political career and Hillary’s cover-ups for her political ambition in a new light. The preponderance of evidence against the Clintons as fit leaders of America should motivate you to investigate political candidates more closely before voting for anyone who will betray the interest of our country.


Book Excerpt:

*itch 1: When shall we three meet again
            In thunder, lightning or in rain,
            In the district court,
            Or on David Letterman?
*itch 2: When the hurly-burly’s done,
            When the court battles are lost and
won.
*itch 3: Or likely before the setting of
the sun.
*itch 1: Where the place?
*itch 2: At the motel at the edge of
town.
*itch 3: There to meet with MacClinton.
*itches
1-3:
Again!

 

Thus begins MacClinton,
a modern tale of Bill Clinton’s political career told in the format of
Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
 
For More Information:

MacClinton is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads



Meet the Author

 

 

Sam Griffith is a retired Justice on the Texas Twelfth Court of Appeals, a position to which he was elected three times, twice unopposed. As a high school senior, he worked after school each day full time in a manufacturing factory, then worked his way through college and graduate school, and through law school. Before being elected an appellate justice in 2000, he was a trial court judge and trial lawyer. He earned two legal specialization certifications from the Texas State Bar Association’s Board of Legal Specialization, an achievement of less than three percent of Texas lawyers.

Outside of the court room, Judge Griffith taught U.S. Constitutional Law at universities in Iraq and China, preached through northern Iraq and South Sudan, funded twelve water wells in South Sudan, and built homes for earthquake survivors in Nepal.  In addition, he co-founded a vegetable-growing ministry that was featured in a New York Times article and which, in five years provided more than one hundred tons of vegetables for local food banks.
 
For More Information: Author Website Goodreads  


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Book Spotlight: The Last American Wizard by Edward B. Irving

The Day of the Dragonking Banner

Inside the Book:

The Day of the Dragonking
 
Inside The Book
Title: The Day of the Dragonking
Book 1: The Last American Wizard Series
Author: Edward B. Irving
Publisher: Ronin Robot Press
Publication Date: Paperback – February 2, 2106 / eBook – May 17, 2016
Pages: 316 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Satire
Book Description:
 
A “mystical terrorist group” sacrifices an airplane full of innocents to a dragon and uses the deaths to power an event that wreaks magical havoc on Washington, D.C. All the wizards in the U.S. government’s employ abruptly lose access to magic, and the world’s computers and gadgets become sentient.
Second-string journalist Steven Rowan embodies the tarot’s Fool and is forced to figure out the card’s magic on the fly. Bombshell soldier Ace Morningstar, who used her magic to disguise herself as a man so she could become a SEAL, drafts Steve and his cell phone, which contains the ghost of a Chinese factory worker who now communicates through screen animations and bad autotranslations, to help fix the mess. Gathering allies, including NSA supercomputer Barnaby and Ace’s BMW, Hans, the team fights off newly transformed demons, dog monsters, and ogres while trying to find out who is controlling the Illuminati before the villains embark on the next step of their world-domination strategy.
Book Excerpt:
 

The airplane crash woke Steven Rowan. To be entirely accurate, it wasn’t a crash.
It was the insane screaming of four of the world’s largest jet engines being pushed twenty percent past their factory- recommended maximum thrust only thirty feet over his head.
 In addition, awake wasn’t really the correct term for his state of consciousness at that point.
 Steve was standing stark naked in the center of the room, jerking back and forth in the classic fight-or-flight reflex–his mind frantically spinning between possibilities, developing and rejecting dozens of possible threats every second, and running throughas many options for escape. A small part of his mind was simultaneously working on the less-important questions of who he was, where he was, and what he’d done to himself the night before.
 The pulsating howl of the jet began to diminish, but the screaming only grew louder and more intense. Suddenly, Steve fell to his knees, slamming clenched fists into his temples over and over, and screaming at the top of his lungs.
 Tears flew from his eyes as he crawled forward and began to pound his head against the glass door to the balcony. A small rational part of his mind wondered that he could be driven to such desperation that he would fill his mind with self-inflicted pain in the vain hope that it would expel the shocking sound, the sheer terror, and the infinite grief.
He felt a sharp spark of agony as the glass cracked.
 Suddenly, as blood began to stream down his face, the terrible pain diminished. The confusion and terror, the immense waves of emotions, all of that continued to pour through him, but the anguish had ceased. The massive assault of sound began to break down into hundreds of what he could only think of as voices.
Men and women were screaming, a mother was kissing the top of a tiny head and whispering soothing sounds, a man on a cell phone was frantically dialing and redialing–desperate to leave a message. In contrast, two men were running through a checklist with professional calm, but curses tickled at their throats, fighting to get out.
In the center, he heard a steady sound. A quiet chanting– young voices tinged with success and anticipation.
 The glass door exploded.
****
It was going to be a lousy morning, his head hurt even worse than usual, and his head usually hurt like someone dying from alcoholpoisoning.
 Steve opened his eyes at the sound of someone singing about hiding in Honduras and needing “lawyers, guns, and money.”
 OK, that was Warren Zevon, so it was probably his phone ringing. On Mondays, he set it to Afroman’s Because I Got High just to irritate any senior editorial staff he might run into, but this song pretty well summed up his mood every other day.
 He waited patiently until the late Mr. Zevon finished singing about how “the shit has hit the fan” and then listened for the Asian gong that would indicate a phone message.
 Instead, Max Weinberg’s driving drumbeat pounded out the syncopated SOS that began Bruce Springsteen’s We Take Care of Our Own. Since every journalist knew (but would never report) that this song raised the dead whenever the Boss played within a mile of a graveyard, Steve figured someone was truly serious about talking to him.
 In addition, he was curious because he’d deleted it from his phone over a month ago, exhausted by its contrast between the American ideal of “help your neighbor” and the reality of greed and selfishness that was currently sweeping the nation.
 “Hello?”
There was a series of clicks and several of those odd changes in the quality of silence that indicate a call is being bounced from machine to machine or area code to area code. Of course, these were also the sounds that you heard when a telemarketer’s robot war dialer realized it had a fish on the line and switched in the human voice to make the sale.
 “Is this a freaking robot?” he said, sharply.
 There was a short pause without any clicks. For some reason, Steve thought the caller was thinking.
“Mr. Rowan?” It was a man–the deep and authoritative voice of someone used to giving commands.
“Who the hell wants to know?” Steve hated people with that kind of voice.
Another pause.
“Mr. Stephen Rowan of 14500 Windermere Drive, Apartment D2?” The voice had changed, just slightly. It wasn’t quite as abrasive and superior. Steve thought he could have a conversation with this guy.
“Yes.” Steve’s state of awareness was beginning to recover sufficiently so that it wasn’t taking all of his concentration to talk on the phone. Unfortunately, that allowed him to begin to look around the room. If he hadn’t just received his ten-year chip from Narcotics Anonymous, he would have instantly identified this as a drug dream—and not a pleasant one.
The smashed sliding door. Glass shards covering the carpet. The dozens of framed photographs he’d hung to remind himself of the good times when he’d worked in cool places were gone. They were in a heap of wood, glass, and photo paper on the other side of his bed. Only one remained. A picture of a Lebanese militiaman with an AK-47 wearing a T-shirt decorated with a picture of an AK-47 and the words “Lebanon War.” He reached over and straightened it.
 “Mr. Rowan.” The voice on the phone had changed again. Now it sounded like a person cowering with fear. Hell, this guy was afraid to speak to him. “Umm. Are you busy at the moment?”
 Steve looked around the wreckage of his apartment. His cheek tickled and he touched it with a finger. He stared at the blood on his fingertip. “Busy? No, not really.”
 “Would you be so kind as to consider possibly doing me a favor?”
 Now the voice had gone all the way to obsequious.
 “Not until you tell me who the hell you are and what the hell you want.” Steve licked his finger, tasting the blood as if it might tell him something about what had just happened. “And stop sucking up.”
 “‘Sucking up’?” There was another series of clicks and silences, and the caller continued in its previous, more confident tone. “Mr. Rowan. Let me ask you a question. Could you use a job?”
 Steve reached into his back pocket to check his wallet for his current financial position. Suddenly, he felt a hand stroke his butt. He jumped. When he looked down, he realized it was his own hand because he was still naked. Then, a sudden stab of pain proved that the silvery dust all over him was tiny bits of glass from his broken door and he’d just shoved a shard into his ass. He pulled his hand away sharply and held it out in front of him–carefully examining both sides.
 “Mr. Rowan?”]
 “Oh. Sorry, I was distracted for a second. What…Oh, yeah. I have plenty of money.”
“From your increasingly occasional work as a freelance reporter?”
Steve didn’t say anything. The caller continued. “How’s that working out for you?”
Steve surveyed his ruined stereo and television and stopped as he saw his metal-cased laptop. It was rolled into a cylinder. He wonderedwhat in hell could do that to an expensive computer. Or at least one that had been expensive when he’d bought it.
 “Don’t worry about the laptop. I think you’ll find your telephone will be sufficient.”
Steve’s eyes widened and he slowly pulled the cell phone away from his ear and regarded it carefully–again, front and back. When he turned back to the main screen, a cartoon of a hand making a “thumbs up” sign had replaced his usual home screen picture of the Lebanese militiaman.
Steve just stood there and looked at the hand. He knew it was a cartoon because it only had three fingers and a thumb. Somehow, the artist had made it look happy and confident. That worried Steve.
He heard a faint squawking from the phone. He held the phone with only two fingers and raised it gingerly until it was an inch from his ear.
“Mr. Rowan? Can you hear me?”
 Steve cleared his throat and answered carefully. “Yes.” “Good, we can continue.”
 “Not until you tell me how you knew about my computer, we can’t.”
 “Your computer? Oh, you mean that you were looking at it?” “Yes. How did you know that I was looking at it?”
The voice sounded more confident, almost comradely. “That’s easy. Look straight out your window. See the apartment building with the exterior stairs?”
 “They all have exterior stairs.”
 “Well, the one with stairs and exceptionally ugly pink paint.” “Got it.”
“OK. Look at the left edge of the building and then run your eye straight up.”
 Steve saw the gleaming black cube of a building on the other side of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. There were dozens of round white satellite dishes on the roof.
 “OK, I see the building across the highway. The NSA or Fort Meade or whatever.”
 “Just keep watching.”
 Slowly, almost ceremonially, all the dishes on the roof turned, swiveled, swung, or tipped so that they were all pointed straight at him. Without thinking, Steve’s left hand moved to cover his crotch.
 He made a noise, but it wasn’t a word. Something between a cough and the beginning of a scream, but definitely not a word. On the top of the black building, all the dishes nodded up and down in what he could only describe as a friendly fashion, and then moved back to their original positions.
  “Mr. Rowan?”
 Steve cleared his throat again. “I guess you just made that happen.”
“Yes.”
 “That was better than anything I ever saw in college, even on mushrooms, but it still doesn’t tell me who you are.”
“No.”
 “But it does answer the question of how you could see me.” “Yes.”\\
“And demonstrates a certain amount of power over things.” “Things and quite a few people as well.”
“I would have to say that that remains to be proven, but I can agree that you’ve gone a long way in that direction.”
“Why don’t we leave the rest of your questions for a later time and let me ask you one?”\
Steve’s eyes wandered from the roof of the building across the highway. “What am I looking for?” he wondered.
Then he remembered.
 “Give me just one more question first.” Steve walked out on the balcony and scanned the horizon as far as he could. “Where is thesmoke?”
“Smoke?”
“Smoke. From the crash of the plane that just flew over me.”
“Mr. Rowan. Can I suggest you step back inside? Good. You were frightening several of your neighbors. No, there is no smoke and, as a matter of fact, no airplane. Since there is no airplane, there wasn’t a crash and, ergo, no smoke. That’s one of the things I’d like to hire you to investigate.”
 Steve thought for a second. “I don’t like it when people say ergo. But we can deal with that later. Right now, I’d like to know why–no wait, let’s begin with how I would investigate the nonexistent crash of an airplane that wasn’t there.”
 “You’re getting a bit redundant.”
“You’ll have to live with it. It’s a side effect of the unease I’m feeling due to the stress of this uncommon and aberrant situation.” Steve’s voice rose to a shout. “Stop fucking around and tell me what the hell is going on!”
 “Well.” The voice on the phone paused as if choosing the next words carefully. “The jetliner did crash. At the same time, it did notcrash.”
 “OK, I’m relieved that you made that clear. Now that I understand, I’m hanging up.”
“Mr. Rowan! Wait! Just one more minute.”
Steve didn’t say anything, but he didn’t punch the END symbol, either. He really wasn’t sure why.
“There has been a Change.”
Steve blinked and looked at the phone. He put it back to his ear. “Did you just capitalize the word change?”
“Hmm? Oh, yes, I suppose I did. This particular change is a pretty big deal and certainly deserves to be capitalized.”
“I’ll be the judge of that. What do you want me to do about this capitalized concept?”
 “Would you work for me? Investigate this Change?”
 Steve’s answer was quick and automatic. “I’m an experienced freelancer. I don’t work for just anyone.”
 “Really? Not even if it was for the Good of the Nation?”
“Stop talking in capitals and, if you mean working for the government, the answer isn’t ‘no.’ The answer is ‘Hell, No.’”
“I believe those last two words were capitalized.” Steve’s head felt like it was about to explode. 
“Possibly.”
“Would it make you feel better if I hired you on a temporary freelance basis?”
Once again, the answer was swift and automatic. “What are you paying?”
 “Well, I think I have unlimited funds…”
 “Then you’re full of crap. I’m hanging up now.”
The phone began to vibrate in his hand and the voice became agitated. “Mr. Rowan. Don’t do that! It has to be you. No one else observed the airplane!”
 Steve’s eyes closed and whatever it was that had woken him up came back with the feeling of a knockout punch. His face twisted up in anguish at the memory of all the people…their terror…their helpless panic. He groaned.
 “Mr. Rowan! Are you all right?”
“Not one of my better mornings.”
 “I am actually glad to hear that.” 
“Why?”
Because I’d hate to think of what it might take to cause a worse morning. What’s your daily rate?”
 “Five hundred dollars. Double over ten hours.” Steve always held out hope even though he hadn’t made over $350 a day for the pastdecade.
 “You’ve got it.”
 Steve opened his eyes. “Plus expenses?” “Expenses and the use of a car and driver.”
“A car?” Steve walked over and looked out to the space in the parking lot where he’d parked his light-blue Prius. He thought it was still there, but it was difficult to tell because an enormous jet engine was smoking sullenly on top of the entire row of parked cars.
 He could make out some twisted pieces of light-blue plastic in his usual parking space.
 “I guess I will need a car.”
 “Good. Then we are in business, right?” “I guess so.”
“Good. I’ve got some things to do right now, but I’d appreciate it if you could begin immediately.”
Steve slowly turned around and looked at his apartment. His clothes looked as though a knife-wielding fashion critic had attacked them. He touched his laptop and it rolled away, revealing fluttering bits of paper that he deduced must be his stack of notebooks. One of his shoes was lying by his right foot. He picked it up and slowly poured broken glass out onto the floor. “I’m going to need to be paid up front, I think.”
 “Not a problem. Just answer the door.” 
There was the synthetic clicking sound that cell phones made to indicate the end of a call.
 “Answer the–”
 There was a firm knock on his door.

 

For More Information:
The Day of the Dragonking is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreadsNetGalley
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads

Meet the Author

Terry - Edward Irving
 
Edward Irving was a respectable television journalist for 40 years in Washington D.C. Any shred of respectability has been destroyed by “The Day of the Dragonking.” He is waiting for the committee to call and demand his 4 Emmys back at any time.
 
He has worked for just about every TV channel: Nightline, Wolf Blitzer, Don Imus, and Fox News Sunday – talk about culture clash! He has written 4 documentaries – mostly on Moral Courage – and the last one was particularly fun since it was about rescuing Jews to the Philippines, a decision made over poker and cigars by Manuel Quezon, Dwight Eisenhower, a private detective named Angel Zervoulakos, and brothers from a family that was the biggest importer of cigars to the USA.
 
Mr. Irving enjoys many things he can’t do anymore: motorcycles, racing cars, hang-gliding, scuba-diving, and long vacations. The good thing is that he can put them into books. He has a very forgiving wife, two kids, two grandkids, and a LOT of old books.

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