Monday, November 18, 2019

Q&A with Brooks Eason, Author of 'Fortunate Son - the Story of Baby Boy Francis'

Brooks Eason has practiced law in Jackson, Mississippi, for more than 35 years but has resolved to trade in writing briefs for writing books. He lives with his wife Carrie and their two elderly rescue dogs, Buster and Maddie, and an adopted stray cat named Count Rostov for the central character in A Gentleman in Moscow, the novel by Amor Towles. In their spare time, the Easons host house concerts, grow tomatoes, and dance in the kitchen.

Brooks, who has three children and four grandchildren, is also the author of Travels with Bobby—Hiking in the Mountains of the American West, about hiking trips with his best friend.

Visit Eason at: 

Congratulations on the release of your book, Fortunate Son - the Story of Baby Boy Francis.
When did you start writing and what got you into nonfiction?

I'm a lawyer, so I've written for a living for more than 35 years. I've written off and on for pleasure even longer than that, from inappropriate limericks to short stories to books. My first serious nonfiction project was my first book, Travels with Bobby - Hiking in the Mountains of the American West, which is about six hiking trips with my best friend. We had so much fun on the trips and saw such magnificent places that I decided I needed to write about them. It was very rewarding.

What is your book about?

It's about my being adopted as an infant and the wonderful life my parents gave me, about learning the identity of my birth mother and the circumstances of my birth one week before my first grandchild was born under almost identical circumstances, about how I nearly got rich but didn't, and how times changed from when I was born until my granddaughter was born, which meant that my daughter got to keep and raise her baby. I won't brag on the quality of the writing because my parents taught me not to brag, but it's an amazing story.

What was your inspiration for it?

I love to write, and an amazing story that needed to be written fell into my lap when I learned my birth mother's identity. I was found as a result of litigation in four courts in two states initiated because I was a potential heir to a fortune from her grandfather, who owned oil wells all over the country as well as the only facility in the Western Hemisphere that made fluoride for toothpaste. There are lots of teeth in the Western Hemisphere.

Who is your target audience?

Anyone interested in a good family story or the subject of adoption should enjoy it. People who just want to read about good people should appreciate it as well. The parents who adopted me were as good as they come. My father was a Boy Scout leader for 60 years. He was the finest man I've ever known. My daughter, who made the brave decision to have and keep her daughter and has accomplished a great deal more, is one of my heroes. 

What type of challenges did you face while writing this book?

The principal challenge was that I kept learning things I had to add all the way to the end. When we were in final production, I learned that my best friend's mother handled the paperwork and logistics for my adoption and kept it a secret from me for more than sixty years. I said stop the presses, interviewed her - she was almost ninety-two - and added a chapter.

What do you hope readers will get from your book?

I hope it will underscore the importance of family. There has been a breakdown in the family in recent decades, and that has been very harmful. I also hope people will come to the conclusion that more unwanted pregnancies should end with an adoption instead of an abortion. Even those who are fervently pro-choice should be able to agree with that. If I had been conceived after Roe v. Wade was decided, there's a good chance there would be no me and my three children and four grandchildren would not exist. And my grandchildren make the world a better place.

Did your book require a lot of research?

A fair amount, but it was fun. I did some internet research about both my families, birth and adoptive, and travelled to meet my birth mother's family, which is now mine too. They were all kind and generous with their time and some with more than that. They gave me two portraits of my birth mother, one painted when she was fourteen and one on her wedding day in 1964 when I was in the fourth grade. I also tracked down some of her friends and her first husband, all of whom were generous with their time. Unfortunately I never got to meet her. She was beautiful, rich, and smart, but she had a short and tragic life. She was married twice, divorced twice, was in and out of rehab, and died of cirrhosis at forty-seven, eighteen years before I learned she was my mother. I was her only child.

What was your publishing process like?

It was pretty easy. I decided to try to find a small, independent press after doing some online research and getting some advice from other authors. One of them recommended WordCraft Press, I completed the submission, they said they wanted to publish my book, and we signed a contract the next day.

What is your advice for aspiring authors?

Write for the love, not for the money, because there's a good chance you won't make any. If you do your best and the work fulfills you, and if people appreciate what you've written, then you'll be a success even if you never make a nickel.

What has writing taught you?

To be more observant, to keep my eyes and ears wide open, and to see the potential stories in everything around me. I like to think that writing has made me more interesting. Writing has also taught me that I really love to write.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Meet the Author: William M. Hayes Author of Save Him

William M. Hayes lives with his beautiful family in a small suburb in New York. His passion for writing became apparent in his twenties, and he dreams of retiring to a secluded beach house where he can write all day.

website & social links

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Rydel Scott, a brilliant scientist working at a secret military lab, accidentally discovers a form of time travel while working on a project designed to save wounded soldiers in the field. Rydel’s sister, a
woman of faith, tells Rydel on her deathbed that she has received a message from God. The message—save Jesus Christ from the cross.

And Rydel Scott travels back in time to do just that.

It is believed even the smallest change to the past can cause catastrophic repercussions for future generations. An elite military unit is sent back in time to hunt Rydel down before he can alter history and possibly kill millions in the process.

The unit and its commanding officers, Colonel John Adams and Unit Commander Ray Catlin, become divided. Catlin, a devout Catholic, claims he witnessed a miracle by Jesus upon arrival in Jerusalem and fervently believes in Rydel’s mission. Adams hasn’t believed in God since he was a boy and his only concern is the safety of the people in the present. They must now choose between the fate of Christ and the fate of present-day mankind.

They must decide if they will Save Him.

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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

No one really inspired me. I just tell stories.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Around thirty.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?


Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

Later. However, looking back, it has always been with me.

Do you have a day job? What do you do?

I have a day job. I work in retail.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

It's a job, five days, even six days a week. You'll get discouraged just as all writers do and want to give up. You get one day to get over it—then get back to work.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Try not to. If I do, I'll have to make up those hours spent doing unimportant things. One way or the other.

What hours do you write best?


How often do you write?

Five, sometimes six days a week.

Are you an avid reader?


What are you reading now?

I am between books now.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

Storytelling has always been a passion.

What are you currently working on?

Promoting my second book, Save Him.


Monday, November 11, 2019

10 Confessions: Stephanie Bentley Author of Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical

Welcome to the blog tour for Stephanie Bentley, author of LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL.  Stephanie is here to give us her 10 confessions from an author's standpoint. While you're enjoying her 10 confessions, be sure to scroll down and find out about her new book!

1.      I am the proud owner of a notebook page full of every euphemism possible for all sexy body parts (it’s tough to do ‘research’ for a romance parody but somebody’s gotta do it).
2.      I have narrated more than 100 romance novels under a pseudonym.
3.      When I lived in NYC I had 7 addresses in 4 years and one was just a friends’ futon I rented for at least 6 months.
4.      I was the musical director at the off-Broadway theater Manhattan Ensemble Theater when Anna Chlumsky (My Girl, Veep) starred in a children’s theater musical version of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ called ‘Tempest Tossed Fools’.
5.      When I moved back to LA I worked as an assistant in comedy development for Fox Broadcasting (learning all the secrets of funny business) which is what led me to study at the Upright Citizens Brigade school of improv comedy.
6.      I went on to co-create two regular comedy shows in Los Angeles that each ran for several years, one was an all-female comedy variety show called ‘That’s What She Said: Ladies Night’ and the other was a musical improv show called ‘The Coconut Club’.
7.      My extended family could have been the Partridge Family: my dad has been a life-long professional musician and is now also a record producer, and everyone on his side of the family sings and performs, so when we get together it’s usually one of the first things we do (much to the embarrassment of anyone bringing someone new to a family gathering for the first time).
8.      As the oldest child, I grew up forcing all of my very talented cousins to act in impromptu plays that I wrote, directed and starred in. Ever since, they bring it up every single time we get together without fail to make sure that I will never, ever live it down. (Totally fair…)
9.      I’m currently coaching my toddlers to sing the parts to all the musical theater songs I want to have a duet partner for. (Clearly have not learned my lesson from the cousin debacle).
10.  I wrote this audiobook musical entirely in teeny tiny stolen moments between two toddlers wiping sticky things in my hair all day long.

Stephanie Bentley is the creator and composer of Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical, a funny, sexy love story inspired by romantic fiction and ’90s pop music. Stephanie is a musical theater/musical improv comedy performer and audiobook narrator with experience acting in television and film. She studied improv at Upright Citizens Brigade and has performed all over Los Angeles and New York.

Stephanie and her cast are available for live performances of pieces from the book.

Listen to a sample of the audiobook here:

Combining a titillating collection of romance tropes, LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK
MUSICAL, created and composed by Stephanie Bentley, and performed by a multitalented musical cast from the Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade, makes a surprising and innovative contribution to the audiobook listening experience. With 20 original songs inspired by ’90s pop music and a spicy story penned by erotica ghostwriter Miranda Ray at its core, the musical parody pushes the limits of sexual innuendo right to the edge before tipping over into the throws of uproarious ridiculousness.

When sassy Raleigh Jackson interviews for a six-week contract to be the fake girlfriend of Trystan Lay—schmillioniare playboy, politician, ex-Navy Seal, songwriter/astronaut, and “the world’s most perfect human”—she knows the outcome will change her life.

A student/waitress/intern living with her obligatory best friend, Kim, Raleigh overcomes her medical condition—chronic clumsiness—and snags the job, thus beginning a whirlwind of extravagant travel and glitzy events.

LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL covers the span of romance novel clich├ęs from the brooding playboy to the fake romance with sprinkles of paranormal love. The story is sultry, silly, snarky—and hilarious. Chapter titles are sung in harmonies invoking the R&B group En Vogue. The characters voice their own dialogue and routinely burst into song, as they fumble through pillow talk, and relive steamy memories in songs such as “Talkin’ Dirty” and “50 Shades of Lay.”

The creator’s inspiration for LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL came from her unusual day job. “I’m a romance audiobook narrator by day and a musical theater performer by night. Every day in the booth, I giggle at the same tropes coming up again and again. Then these song lyrics just started coming to me, “The models in my bed don’t keep me warm at night,” for example. I started writing and pretty soon, the whole musical just came tumbling out!”

LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL has an e-book companion containing the story and all of the lyrics, and there may be plans for a sequel: “I thought we had hit most of the tropes, but now I realize we may have only just begun,” Stephanie says.

Book Info:
Audiobook, $6.95; 2 hours 37 minutes; ISBN: 978-1089023753
E-book, $2.99; 104 pages
Publication date: August 2019
Published by Stephanie Bentley


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Dear Reader, Love Brooks Eason

Dear Reader,

Thank you very much for reading my book. Writing it was a wonderful experience, but it would be disappointing if nobody read it and liked it.

If you like fascinating family stories, I think you'll like this one. I won't brag on the quality of the writing because my parents taught me not to brag, but it's not bragging to say it's an amazing story. And it's a story that fell into my lap.

I was adopted as an infant, had wonderful parents, never searched for my birth mother, and never would have. But fifteen years ago I learned that Julie Francis was my birth mother as a result of litigation that lawyers pursued in four courts in two states in an effort to find me. The reason they went to all the trouble is that I was a potential heir to a fortune from Julie's very wealthy grandfather, who owned oil wells all over the country as well as the only facility in the Western hemisphere that made fluoride for toothpaste.

They found me in June 2004, exactly one week before my first grandchild was born under circumstances almost identical to my own. Julie got pregnant in the fall of her freshman year of college, my daughter Ann Lowrey in the fall of her sophomore year. My granddaughter Ada Brooks's birthday and mine are only sixteen days apart. Although the circumstances were the same, the times were very different and, because of the difference, my daughter got to keep and raise her child, who has grown into an extraordinary young lady.

My adoption file, from which I learned that my legal name was Scott Francis for the first year of my life, was mailed to me on the day Ada Brooks was born. Exactly fourteen years later, on Ada's birthday, Julie's family, which is now my family too, gave me a portrait of Julie painted in 1952, the year she turned fourteen. I looked at Ada and I looked at the portrait - my granddaughter and birth mother, the same age, both beautiful.

It was too good of a story not to write. I hope you enjoy it.

Brooks Eason

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