Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Meet the Author: Vernon Ennels Jr. Author of There's Something Your Son Needs To Tell You

Vernon Ennels grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and now makes Arizona home for he and his family. After a long day at work in the business world…he found that writing his book was most productive in the evening hours sitting by his swimming pool. Vernon holds a BS and an MBA in Business Management.  “I was inspired to write my book thinking of my own six-year-old son,” he asserted.


Author website: www.vernonennels.com

Page six of Vernon Ennels, Jr. book, THERE’S SOMETHING YOUR SON NEEDS TO TELL YOU, reads, “I still remember his face, his breath, and hear his voice demand me to lie on my stomach. He would down my pants my mother so proudly dressed me in. And then my Superman underwear…When he was done, he walked me to school and warned me, ‘If you tell anyone, I’ll kill your mother.’”
Author Vernon Ennels, Jr. lived with the horrible secret of being sexually abused and ashamed for some 40 years before he was able to recently summon the courage to tell his own family. “Studies show that one in six men have been sexually abused,” said Mr. Ennels. “Most are afraid to talk about it.” 
This book reflects the experiences of males, specifically black males, but encourages both men and women and those from various racial backgrounds to recognize the signs of sexual and mental abuse and to combat the epidemic. “My book,” emphasized Mr. Ennels, “is a mirror of my abuse to shed light on an on-going issue to inspire others to take immediate action when they suspect child sexual abuse. #Saveoursons is my mission to help spread awareness and spark change to save current and future victims of sexual child abuse.”
Forty-something Vernon Ennels, Jr. says his new book THERE’S SOMETHING YOUR SON NEEDS TO TELL YOU  is an “open letter” that prompts other men to step forward and share their very own experiences of child sexual abuse in order to save other young boys from the hands of an abuser.
My moniker ‘Save Our Sons’ encourages discourse and social activism to help boys and men who have been sexually abused,” said Mr. Ennels. “Many, many people believed these victims were lying, making up a story for attention. Since I am a certified ‘non-celebrity’ I wrote my book for every child abuse victim out there who is terrified of stepping forward.”


Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/30fPMzh
Xulon Press: https://bit.ly/2Ns26L6

What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

My 6 year old son. When I look at him I saw myself at his age and realize I was abused at 6 years old.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

I took audio notes. This allowed me to capture my complete thoughts.

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

I discovered my passion for writing as I begin my first novel.

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

I’m a project manager in energy conservation.

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

At first, I did. I was allowing others situation come first. I was thinking their issues was bigger than me sharing my story. Till one day I decided my story was more important than anything else. I put myself first.

What hours do you write best?

The best time for me write would be between 9 and midnight.

How often do you write?

I would write at least 10 hours a week.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently promoting my first book.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Meet the Author: Soren Paul Petrek, Author of Wolves at our Door

Soren Petrek is a practicing criminal trial attorney, admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1991.  Married with two adult children, Soren continues to live and work in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Educated in the U.S., England and France Soren sat his O-level examinations at the Heathland School in Hounslow, London in 1981.  His undergraduate degree in Forestry is from the University of Minnesota, 1986.  His law degree is from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota 1991.

Soren’s novel, Cold Lonely Courage won Fade In Magazine’s 2009 Award for Fiction.  Fade In was voted the nation’s favorite movie magazine by the Washington Post and the L.A. Times in 2011 and 2012.

The French edition of Cold Lonely Courage, Courage was published January 2019, by Encre Rouge Editions, distributed by Hachette Livre in 60 countries.  Soren’s contemporary novel, Tim will be released along with the rest of the books in the Madeleine Toche series of historical thrillers.

His latest book is the historical action adventure novel, Wolves at Our Door.

The Allies and the Nazis are in a deadly race to develop the ultimate weapon while supersonic V-2 rockets rain down on London. Madeleine Toche and Berthold Hartmann, the German super assassin
who taught her to kill, search for the secret factory where Werner von Braun and his Gestapos masters use slave labor to build the weapons as the bodies of the innocent pile up. The Allied ground forces push towards Berlin while the German SS fight savagely for each inch of ground.

Finding the factory hidden beneath Mount Kohnstein, Hartmann contacts his old enemy, Winston Churchill and summons Madeleine to his side. While she moves to bring the mountain down on her enemies, Hartmann leads a daring escape from the dreaded Dora concentration camp to continue his revenge against the monsters who ruined his beloved Germany.

Together with the Russian Nachtlexen, the Night Witches, fearsome female pilots the race tightens as the United States and the Germans successfully carry out an atomic bomb test.

Germany installs an atom bomb in a V-2 pointed towards London, while the US delivers one to a forward base in the Pacific. The fate of the Second World War and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.
Read the first chapter at Booksie and don’t forget to give it a like!



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

In early teens, I knew writing would be part of my life.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

No, unless I come across a word that I am unfamiliar with.  Then I look it up.

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

I discovered a passion and excitement about writing in my early teens.

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

I am a practicing trial attorney.

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

These are from Elmore Leonard:
  1.  Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  2. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
  3. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Excerpted from the New York Times article, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle."

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

The definition of unimportant varies from person to person.  I stay on top of things that have to be done, often the mundane chores of life.

What hours do you write best?

Mid afternoon when the sun is high in the sky and I’m fully awake.

How often do you write?

Several times a week.  Sometimes it may be a page of two or 10,000 words.

Are you an avid reader?

When I’m writing, I don’t read much.  Otherwise, I’m fairly steady and eclectic in my choice of books and subject matter.

What are you reading now?

Miss Lonelyhearts & the Day of the Locust, Nathaniel West. I thank Johnny Depp for the introduction.  In an interview he discussed his first meeting with Hunter S. Thompson.  Dr. Thompson was surprised and pleased (hard to do) that Mr. Depp even knew about Nathaniel West the author.  Nathaniel West was considered to be the finest American novelist of the 1930’s.  That includes, Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker and so many others.

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

When I was in early teens, I began with poetry.  I wrote my first novel at 40, one of those fish or cut bait moments.

What are you currently working on? 8/16/19

I finished my new novel, The Trophy Wife yesterday, a first-person account of a jilted wife and her treacherous ex-husband.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Meet the Author: Duane Byrge, Author of 'The Red Carpet at Cannes'

Duane Byrge has written for The Hollywood Reporter for more than 20 years. Starting out as a secretary for the entertainment industry newspaper while he was a graduate student at the University of Southern California, Byrge rose to serve in various capacities, including news editor and senior film critic. He serves as a consultant to the Chicago International Film Festival, where he brought Halle Berry to Chicago in 2001 for a career tribute.
A Wisconsin native, Byrge holds a Ph.D. in Communications, with an emphasis in Cinema, from the University of Southern California, where he has served as a lecturer. His Ph.D. dissertation was the basis for the book, “The Screwball Comedy Films,” which he co-authored. The book was re-released in hardcover in 1991 by McFarland Publishing and re-released in paperback in 2001 as part of the publication’s Classic Series.
Currently an assistant professor of Mass Communications at Virginia State University, Byrge teaches journalism, motion picture history and appreciation, and mass communications. He is working on a book on movie producers, “Before the Shooting Begins,” which will be published by the University of California, Berkeley Press.

Veteran film critic Duane Byrge takes readers on a behind-the-scenes thrill ride at the legendary Cannes Film Festival in his new mystery, THE RED CARPET AT CANNES.

A longtime movie writer and editor for the Hollywood Reporter, Byrge turns to the thriller genre to
tell the tale of Ryan Hackbart, who, like Byrge, covers the Cannes Film Festival for the fictional Hollywood Times.

Hackbart finds himself in the middle of a Hitchcock-style mystery as he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the lead actress of the festival's opening-night film. Interrogated but released, his passport is confiscated, and he is hounded by the world media. He must solve the murder before the culprit kills him or the police arrest him.

Aided by his female companion, Delisha, Ryan's investigation thrusts Hackbart into the underbelly of the most glamorous film festival in the world and opens his eyes to what lies underneath the glitz and glamour.

After a long, successful career as a film journalist, Byrge decided to change to the novel format to tell his story.

“You can reveal truths within a novel that you can’t convey with the ‘facts’ of a news story,” Byrge explains. “It allows me to flesh out the full story of the events I have covered.”

THE RED CARPET AT CANNES will please mystery fans and film buffs alike. It's a five-star travelogue straight into a celebrity universe of dazzling parties, high-end cuisine, superstar celebrities, high fashion, and movie-world politics.



Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

I have been a film critic for The Hollywood Reporter for most of my  professional life.  I take compulsive notes – I know shorthand –  which  serve as springboards for  my reviews. I  find I can enliven them with specifics from my  notes that one does not necessarily  always recall after seeing a movie.

When reading, I always read with a pen in my  hand.  I put slash  marks at passages,words, phrases,or dialogue that impresses me.  Years later, I might pick a book off my  shelf and speed-read it again by savoring my  markings.

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

I have a wonderful day  job.  I teach film, writing and journalism at Virginia State University.  The students stimulate me with their questions and curiosity.

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

Re-write, re-write, and re-write.

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

Nope. Not only that, I  do not let important things get in the way of my  writing. A blessing and a curse.

What hours do you write best?

I have developed a morning routine, inspired by the deadline demands of my reviewing for The Hollywood Reporter when it operated under a traditional newspaper cycle.  I would see a movie at night, and write my  review  the  following morning.  It was due at 10  a.m., so I developed a morning-routine.  An added benefit, I am most  creative in the morning when my brain has not been glutted by the minutiae of the day. 

I once read a very perceptive article by Stephen King where he noted that he writes in the morning to take advantage of the brain's transition from its sleeping-to-waking cycle.  The brain is in a fluid state and the dreamy  free-form  associations one makes in sleep co-mingle with our  “awake” brain. This confluence sparks creative thoughts not attainable during a  wide-awake state. I truly believe that is true: I have often had the great, early-morning writing wonder of asking myself, “How did I come up with  that?”

How often do you write?

Incessantly. Constantly.  Writing does not mean hunched over a computer. My  best writing –  ideas, etc. – occurs when I am not writing. I love to drive, phone off, no music.  Things pop into my head. But you can't  force it.  You can't make that as your goal. It needs to just happen.

Are you an avid reader?

Yes, I have very  eclectic tastes. I read every Tom, Dick, and Harry.  By the Toms,  I  mean Tom Wolfe and Tom McGuane whose  style and prose I admire.  By the Dicks, I  mean  mainstream writers such as Dick Francis, for their structural skill in  writing a genre mystery and from whose technique  I  can profit. By the Harrys, I mean for all the very bad, successful writers whose books I read to inspire my confidence:  if these no-talents can be published,  there is hope for me. In short, if I only read the Toms, I  would be overwhelmed and lose the necessary confidence to continue. So, I learn from the crafty Dick's, and am inspired to press on by the hapless Harry's. 

What are you reading now?

I just finished John Sanford's Neon Prey, and am now re-reading Tom Wolfe's My Name is Charlotte Simmons

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

No, I  always  wanted to play quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, but fellow students at the University of Wisconsin always complimented me on my editorials and articles for the student newspapers, the Daily Cardinal and, later, The Badger Herald. So, I decided to forego  a professional football career to become an  ink-stained-wretch and left the door open for Aaron Rodgers.

What are you currently working on?

I am writing the second in  my series of mystery novels centered on a film critic/detective.  It's titled Sundown  at  Sundance and takes place at the fabled Sundance Film Festival where my  franchise character, Ryan Hackbart, has to solve an independent-film world mystery. Once again the setting is beautiful, treacherous and enlivened by the crazy  caravan of film-fest personalities.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

First Chapter Feature: Love Never Quits by Gina Heumann

Author: Gina Heumann
Publisher: MadLand Press
Pages: 246
Genre: Memoir
WHACK… At three in the morning Gina was sound asleep, yet somehow she was smacked in the head. She looked over at her husband, thinking perhaps he accidentally rolled over and flopped his arm on top of her, but he was sleeping soundly and facing the opposite direction. She turned to the other side and glaring back at her was her eight-year-old child.

“Did you just hit me?”

“Yes, and I’d do it again.”


“Because you took away my video games.”

“That was EIGHT HOURS AGO. And you’re still mad about it?”

“I wish I could kill you.”

This is the true story of the hell one family lived through parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder, a severe diagnosis related to children who experienced early-childhood trauma.

This inspirational story covers over a decade of daily struggles until they finally found resolution and made it to the other side. The family remained intact, and this once challenging son is now achieving things never thought possible. 


First Chapter

The Beginning

“I think I want to be a mom,” I declared one day.

This came as quite a shock to my husband, Aaron.

Marriage itself wasn’t part of my original plan. After going through my parents’ contentious divorce and living with one of my mom’s abusive boyfriends, my view on “happily ever after” was a bit tainted. I wasn’t going to do that. I had dreams of being one of those Sex in the City girls—with a successful career, girlfriends, travel, and a closet full of designer shoes. Marriage and kids seemed so mundane and expected. So it was quite a surprise to me when I met Aaron and realized that the plan had changed.

It happened on our first date.

In college, I went out with one of my best friend’s brothers. I knew the entire family except him, as my future in-law’s home was a hangout spot for us in graduate school. My father-in-law was a professor and had a computer at home, which he generously allowed us to use. This was the early ’90s, so laptops hadn’t been invented and writing a paper for college meant waiting in line for the computer lab to type up the final copy and print. Visits to the Heumann house often meant dinner with the family and sometimes even a load of laundry. Aaron wasn’t living there, so I knew his mom, dad, brother, and sister before I knew him. I loved them all and was starting to see that “successful and single” wasn’t the only way to go. They were a pretty amazing family.

On our first date, we weren’t quite sure if it was a date or not. He thought I was going out with him as a favor to his sister, because he needed a date to a fraternity party that would feature a somewhat big-name band, and he already had two tickets. I thought he thought I was doing his sister a favor and just needed a date. I had met him several weeks prior and thought he was awfully cute, so I was secretly hoping it was a date. Turns out, we both really liked each other the last two times we had met, but each thought the other was dating someone. That first date was magical. I had found my soulmate.

After the party, the hot tub, and a two-block walk in subzero temperatures back to his apartment, he asked me to spend the night to avoid driving me home on black ice. He was gentlemanly, offering me some sweatpants and his bed while he slept on the couch. I took the sweatpants but shared the bed … but I knew in the back of my mind that whatever happened on that date would most likely get back to his sister. So it was a reasonably innocent night together. The next morning, we ordered pizza and watched a football game, and when he dropped me off, I had a somewhat panicked thought that I couldn’t shake:

“Crap, there goes my plan.”

I knew I would marry him and the Sex in the City dream would die. Or change. Or morph into something different.

So the new plan was now marriage to the coolest guy ever, a successful career, couple friends, travel, no kids, and a closet full of designer shoes.

About the Author

Gina Heumann is a true Renaissance woman: wife, mother, architect, designer, instructor, author, speaker, and sales rep for an award-winning Napa Valley winery. She and her husband, Aaron, adopted Landrey in 2001 from Guatemala and then went back for Maddox three years later. Gina’s love of learning and dedication as a mother inspired her research of different treatments and therapies that eventually led to this inspirational success story about conquering Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Her latest book is Love Never Quits: Surviving & Thriving After Infertility, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.


Website Link: www.ginaheumann.com

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Interview with Lee Matthew Goldberg, Author of The Desire Card

“A shadow passed behind a tree, bigger than any animal. He propped himself up against a rock, too exhausted to move any farther, closing his eyes and waiting to die. He could see tomorrow’s headlines declaring his death as a mugging gone wrong.”

--From The Desire Card by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.

Book Description:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That's the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than
the clients could ever imagine.   

Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.

After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.

THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.


Welcome, Lee!  Your crime/suspense novel, The Desire Card, sounds thrilling!  Why did you decide to write a whole series around a sinister organization where the actual price of being in the organization is the cost of one’s soul?
Lee: The sinister organization has a motto, Any wish fulfilled for the right price. The book came about when I thought of a character so desperate to attain his wish that he would do anything for it. And of course, some evil company would come up with idea to make money off of desperation.  

Can you tell us a little about the main characters in The Desire Card?

Lee: The main character is Harrison Stockton, who works on Wall Street in Mergers & Acquisitions. He has a wife Helene and two kids who he never sees. His goal in glife has been the sole pursuit of money along with drinking and pills. When he finds out his has liver cirrhosis, he assums he can just pay to get to get a new one. But after being placed far down on the donor list, he resorts to more unsavory measures to get a new liver.  

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Lee: There are a few big twists in the book that the readers will not see coming. One takes place about halfway through. The other about 2/3rds into it and then a final big twist at the end. I like twists so if someone reads a book a second time they can see all the clues that foreshadow the twists. And thrillers must keep readers turning the pages.

Do your novels carry a message or written for pure entertainment?

Lee: I would say entertainment first, message second. I want readers to be transported into another world but also to think. I would say this book is a literary thriller. It is certainly a page-turner, but also about morality. We might think we know our own morals, but in times of desperation, we might not be as ethically sound as we think.

Can you tell us what was it like when you saw your book cover for the first time?

Lee: I just saw it! I absolutely love it. It is ominous and eye-catching. The design team at Fahrenheit Press did a fantastic job getting the feel for the book. 
What did you want to become when you were a kid?

Lee: I have always wanted to be a writer. Since I was about six, I was writing stories. I remember one about my dog and a cat staying at a spooky hotel.

Where is your happy place when you are writing? You know – the place where imagination flows and a feel good environment to write your books?

Lee: My happy place is definitely writing in Central Park, which I call my outdoor office. From about April through November, I have a few spots in the park where I bring my laptop and write under a tree. The Desire Card was written during a mild winter where I bundled up and wrote it wearing gloves.

Where is your happy place when you just want to unwind?

Lee: I love the beach and to travel. Traveling is really the only time I take a break from writing. I love Santa Monica beach. I go there a lot.
Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?

Lee: If you are looking for a fast-paced, high-stakes thriller that will also make you think, The Desire Card is for you. It will also be the first book in a series. The second book Prey No More will be coming out soon. I have finished a draft of the third book and I am working on the fourth book right now, which is an origin story of the sinister organization set in 1978.