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Interview with author Harris Tobias

Why should I read your book?

For entertainment. If you’re looking for deep meaning, The Greer Agency probably isn’t for you.

Are you a cat or a dog person?

We have always had both dogs and cats in our home, but if I had to choose, I’d go with dogs.

What do you like about writing?

I enjoy the inner world of my imagination. I often think I am telling myself a story while another part of me is trying its best to get it down on paper. I feel that the story is out there in its pure form by the time it has passed through my mind and fingers it is a poor imitation of what it was.

How do you reach your muse?

Whatever that inner voice is that tells the stories I call it my muse. I love when she is present and talking. Then I could write all day. When she’s absent I turn to other genres, write letters or read. I often sit with a notebook on my lap and let my mind wander. I find writing with a pen freer and easier then trying to force a story on the computer.

What does your muse look like?

I have absolutely no idea, but she has been kind and generous. I expect she is beautiful and voluptuous.

Do you listen to music while you write, or do you require total and utter silence?

Silence always. Music distracts me.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I write in several genres: science fiction, detective/crime, children’s stories, song lyrics. I like to give myself assignments like Let’s see if I can write five little stories involving aliens or ten animal fables. That’s how I wrote my novel The Greer Agency. I assigned myself the task of writing 15 connected stories.

What other books have you written?

The Greer Agency is my second novel. My first A Felony of Birds is available from Amazon.

Anything in the works?

I’m going to collect some of my short stories into two short story collections—one for sci-fi and one for crime fiction. Also I’m collaborating with a couple of illustrators to bring two books of fairy tales to market. I’m also working with a talented composer on a musical called Gumshoe based on the characters in The Greer Agency. This is all very exciting for me personally. I love collaborations.

How long have you been writing?

I have always written but there was never any time to do it seriously. Five years ago I retired and found the time to write every day. I think I’m getting better at it.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

Storytelling is as old as language itself. I am pleased to be a part of so basic a human tradition.

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.

Intuition entirely. I rarely know how a story will turn out when I begin. I love it when a story reveals itself to me. It’s a very mystical thing. It’s almost spooky how a small clue or description in the beginning of a story suddenly becomes crucial toward the end. Where did that come from. It’s amazing to me.

Do you count time or words to your daily regimen?

Words. I like to write a thousand words a day.

Who’s your publisher?

I have been extremely fortunate to have been picked up by All Things That Matter Press (ATTMP). Phil and Deb Harris have been a pleasure to work with. They are caring and sympathetic professionals who are willing to give previously unknown and unpublished authors a chance.

How can we find out more about you and your work?

I have a blog and I publish stories on Scribd also you can email me directly at

harristob@gmail.com .


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Interview with author Monica M. Brinkman


When I read a book, or when I’m thinking of reading a book, I find that I would love to know more about the author.  What do they think about? Why should I care about what they have written? What insights can they give me about their process, characters, and reasons for even putting their words on paper and sharing with others? Here are some questions I have asked some of my favorite authors. I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I have.

Are you a cat or a dog person?

Definitely, a cat person. From my earliest memory, I was able to tame the proverbial ferret cat without getting my eyes scratched out of my face.  In fact, most who know me call me the “Cat Whisperer’.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

Caught me off guard with this one as my latest book, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, is a mixed genre containing suspense, spirituality, horror and the paranormal with a touch of romance. In this instance, I suppose I didn’t quite balance them but included them.

How long have you been writing?

Ever since I learned the English language. Even as a small child I wrote poetry and songs. Believe it was a way to deal with my extreme shyness and family situation. We had a very dysfunctional family.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

The Turn of the Karmic Wheel embodies 100% of my spirituality as well as allowing me the freedom to express, in written form, my path to justifying an unjust world. Without giving the plot away, let’s just say that you had better re-think the acts, deeds and choices you’ve selected in your life.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

As you will find in all my books and writings, my goal is to open the readers’ mind to seek other possibilities and choices in life. I am a bit of a rebel when it comes to writing.  Tell me I can’t write about it, write it in that format, or include certain types of characters and you better bet that is exactly what I am going to do.  To me, it is insulting to the intelligence of the readers of the world to put them in some sort of ‘readers’ box’.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them influenced your writing, share an example.

You chose the right person for this question.  I think I’ve held more jobs and variety of types of jobs than most people I have met.

A few of them have been a Singing Telegram, Radio Commercial Voices, Claims Adjuster, Operations Manager, Theatre Producer/Director and even a Window Washer.  The list goes on but it would bore you to death.

How I look at jobs is that whatever job you do, do it well and of course we learn much from each position we hold. In holding a diversity of positions, I ultimately came to see that life is not fair, nor perhaps was it meant to be so. One thing for certain is that life is hilarious.

Take the Singing Telegram, for example, it more than impacted my writing, it allowed me to actually write and be free of the fear of failure or looking the fool. I found out that looking the fool is what allows you to go after your passions and conquer fear of any endeavor you wish to accomplish.

After experiencing such things as knocking on a customers door and having a  stark naked

bi-sexual male with a smile spread across his face open the door…hey, you can’t write that material, it has to come from real life.

My philosophy is-Laugh at me all you want, just buy my books and enjoy them.

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?  Summarize your writing process.

What process? Only joking but I must say that I honestly just sit down and write. I’ve heard of other authors structuring their story, selecting the characters and actually having an outline before they begin the writing. That’s not me. It flows from my mind into the fingers and I just type, type, type. So, I must pick intuition on this question. My dreams bring forth fantastic stories. I hear people say that their dreams don’t make sense yet my dreams are so adventurous I could make movies out of them.  Sometimes they are so real, I must remind myself it is just a dream.

What projects are you working on at the present?

That’s an easy question as I am writing the sequel to my latest novel called ‘The Wheels Final Turn’. Believe it will surprise many due to the content. I’m not giving any secrets away just yet, let’s merely say it will be full of surprises.

What’s your favorite art form (excluding writing)? Why?

Painting in the oil medium is my favorite, though I do use acrylic or water-based oils on occasion. What intrigues me about painting is the process itself.  You start with what looks like dark blobs of color and by adding lights and darks; you bring the blobs to life in the form of beauty.  It as if you are creating life itself, from nothing.

What trash item did you see that inspired you to write a story?

A piece of glass that broke in such a way it held prisms. Such a simple piece turned into an object of beauty. It became a spiritual object at that moment.

I used it to write a wonderful bit of poetry and at that instant I decided I would always include a bit of poetry within each of my books.

I can’t get the poet out of my blood, as you will see in my novel. Each section has a bit of poetry before the first chapter.


Monica M. Brinkman, is a freelance fiction writer and poet.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia, PA area, she relocated to San Jose, CA, where she co-wrote and appeared in a small musical, How Lucky Can You Get. All proceeds were donated to The Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is a lover of all arts and has performed as a singer, actress, and voice of various radio commercials, along with dabbling in oil and acrylic painting.

She now resides in the St. Louis, Missouri area, which inspired her current fiction novel, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel.

In June of 2009, she released, Into the Tunnel of Darkness, a short poetry/prose book. It has received five-star reviews and was a featured book selection for the month of February 2010 on the Manic Readers site. You may find this book on-line at Barnes & Noble. She is a current member of The Writers Center and Writers3group.com., along with various other authors related groups and donates much time to reviewing new books for various Writers sites.

Please visit her web-site or contact her at radmmb@fidnet.com


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Interview with author Jesse Hanson


When I read a book, or when I’m thinking of reading a book, I find that I would love to know more about the author.  What do they think about? Why should I care about what they have written? What insights can they give me about their process, characters, and reasons for even putting their words on paper and sharing with others? Here are some questions I have asked some of my favorite authors. I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I have.

Why should I read your book?

I hope people will see it as a bona-fide alternative example of spiritual fiction about the human condition and our relationship with our Creator. It’s not just another sensationalistic story about some crazy people and some guy from outer space or something who thinks he’s God.

Do you listen to music while you write, or do you require total and utter silence?

Not total and utter. Some sounds of nature, birds, the wind, rain, things like that are nice. Or even the normal sounds of people going about their business—not everybody’s lawnmower at once, not the sound of them drilling for gas in my back yard. I never listen to music when I write.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

It came to me as I was finishing another novel, one that is, as yet, unpublished. It is a fairly common notion that the material world­, the cycle of birth and death in the world, is a prison in many ways—that spirituality, not just any kind of spirituality, mind you, but that the success of spirituality is freedom from this prison. This crazy prison.

Not entirely sure why my allegorical prison became a skyscraper. But it seemed to fit nicely with the different planes of existence that are manifest in creation, the different levels of existence.

Of course, as I explain in the author’s note at the beginning of the book, George, the character, George, has to dwell in the same conditions, have the same problems as the other prisoners or patients, just as did Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha, Kabir, and so many other Holy Men throughout history.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I don’t feel at home in this world. So I’m seeking a better one. I’ve been convinced that this is not our real home. It’s the only subject I’m interested in, although genre can change. Genre is just backdrop.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing all my life. Mostly songs. I’ve written a whole lot of songs. Want to make a book of them also. For the last five years or so, I began to focus on prose, to the frustration of my musician companions to some degree.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

I like this question. I’m going to sound like a snob here, though it isn’t my intention. I feel that writing, art, music, all the arts, that their main purpose should be to elevate the human spirit in some way. Not just entertainment. I can feel the pies, the rotten vegetables, hitting me in the face as I say it. Boos and catcalls too.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

Only in the sense that, just like the poor folks in my book are spiritually rescued by George (I’m not giving anything away here, that information is right up front in my story) I was and am spiritually rescued by my spiritual Master, Ajaib Singh Ji, who has, to my deep despair, left the world physically.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

The questions keep getting better here.

I feel I have achieved them personally, but that is so subjective. I know some people have gotten a lot from the story, but it’s just been published. I guess that if anyone at all gets any hope or inspiration from it then my intentions are achieved. Numbers aren’t important in that regard, but of course they come in handy in terms of getting paid for my work and being able to do more work. And to get published again, perhaps.

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

Sol Wachtler’s book, After the Madness: A Judge’s Own Prison Memoir, was a kind of catalyst. Otherwise, I did mostly internet research­—there’s a whole lot of material on the prison/mental facility phenomenon.

But I did do a nine week stint in a state hospital “drug ward” myself as a very young man. After the first couple of weeks of virtual imprisonment, we got to wander all around, visit the crazies, act ridiculous. We were just confused teenagers, you know.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Dealing with the idea that I didn’t know if my own spiritual Master would approve of it.

What inspires you?


What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

I always used to say I was an artist trapped in a blue collar body. I’ve worked in welding, shipbuilding, mechanical maintenance, farming, construction. As of this writing, I work in a retail furniture store. Had to get out of industry for my health.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

Well there’s three subjects really. There’s prison, your can explore that quite easily by becoming a criminal. There’s mental illness, you don’t want to go there. And there’s spirituality, that takes sincerity, just like I wasn’t being in the three sentences before this one. Spirituality is not for the faint of heart. I’m being sincere now.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

In terms of books dealing with spirituality, it’s old fashioned, as opposed to new age. There’s a lot of fluff out there, from self-made spiritual guides, etc. My book shows spirituality as a gift from God. Duck, here come the rotten vegetables again.

What are some ways in which you promote your work?  Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?

There’s no question but what promotion seriously cuts into writing time. I’m not sure what to do about that. Anyone want to do my promotion for me?

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m working on an earlier novel re-work, re-polish, about a multi-faith spiritual community, and I’m working on a new novel which I do not care to disclose much about yet. I will say that both of them are primarily rural settings. I can only stay in the city for so long.

What did your character do that totally shocked and surprised you and caused you to revisit your book?

The hardest thing for me was to portray George as a fully enlightened God Man and at the same time as a destitute with a severe mental illness. The whole concept of a man who is also God or conversely, God becoming a man is a miraculous thing quite beyond intellectual understanding. So when George would do something very human-like, it would kind of freak me out.

Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man






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Interview with author Timothy N. Stelly, Sr.


When I read a book, or when I’m thinking of reading a book, I find that I would love to know more about the author.  What do they think about? Why should I care about what they have written? What insights can they give me about their process, characters, and reasons for even putting their words on paper and sharing with others? Here are some questions I have asked some of my favorite authors. I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I have.

Why should I read your book?

TS: Because HUMAN TRIAL and its sequel, HUMAN TRIAL II: ADAM’S WAR are stories about people whom we all know, will root for and whom we can compare our sense of values to. They are a cross-section of America. The book asks the reader to ponder what they would do in a similar situation. While the book is of the sci-fi genre, it focus more on human behavior and group dynamics.

Are you a cat or a dog person?

TS: Cats. Outside of cartoons, or the movies The Uncanny and Sleepwalkers, when have you known felines to turn on their owners or maul someone?
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

TS: Actually, it chose me. My usual genre is social and political satire, and crime or family dramas. However, HUMAN TRIAL was inspired by a dream: An optical one and my desire to write a book about good v. evil and the group dynamics involved. The next two parts of the trilogy were inspired by T.C. Matthews who informed me that today’s better-known sci-fi works are trilogies. Also most of the people who read the initial draft were not sci-fi readers, but critiqued the manuscript anyway. Since then, I have banged out another sci-fi tome (A Junkie’s Paradise) and an anthology of Stephen King-esque stories (Strange Pictures.)

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

TS: I wanted to present two enemies: The earth’s assailants (and I kept them unseen as long as possible), and then the proverbial “enemy within,” portrayed as mankind’s tribal instinct and personal prejudices. I tried to juxtapose the two to let the reader determine in his mind what is the biggest threat to man’s survival. I also wanted to have an impact on how the reader looks at the things around him or her: and I get e-mails all the time from readers who state that every time it gets hot for any length of time, they think of HUMAN TRIAL.

Second, many of the people who read HT are reading the sequel, HUMAN TRIAL II: ADAM’S WAR, and have told me that the sequel is even better than its predecessor.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

TS: Brutal honesty interwoven with humor. My work allows the reader to think, because it raises the question, “What would I (the reader) do in this situation?”

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?

TS: That science fiction has to place the emphasis on “science.” Not true. I try to create an ever-so-slight exaggeration of reality or what is possible. From there I add the human variable and let them work out how the dilemma is overcome. Luke Rhinehart’s Long Voyage Home is an excellent example of this.

How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

TS: My parents shaped my future. They filled out home with books and all the other tools needed to be creative: Paper, pens, crayons, staplers, jigsaw and crossword puzzles, art paper, scissors, glue, scotch tape, a reel-to-reel tape deck, typewriters and even a mimeograph machine. I have ten siblings and we also collaborated on creative projects—even making our own board games.

I have relatives who have written scholarly tomes, a script fot the TV series Good Times, and others in my family who oil paint (portraits and landscapes),  and who are excellent singers. When people visited us and we were all at hoime, it was like watching a talent show. And as Walter Brennan might say, “Dat’s not brag, brudda…that’s fact.”

I also had wonderful teachers who actually took an interest in my writing and intellectual development.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

TS: My literary influences are an eclectic lot: Rene Guy De Maupassant, Richard Wright, Donald Goines and Stephen King. The latter is big oin character development, which I think drives a story; Goines was not afraid to “tell it like it is,” nor was Wright, who wrote about many intriguing but flawed characters; and Maupassant’s short stories (The piece of String; the Cake; Old Toine, et al) showed us the “complex simplicity” of life.

King has definitely influenced the writing I’ve done over the past three years—from three sci-fi novels, a horror novel and an anthology of unusual short stories.,

How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

TS: The printed book might not be dead yet, but it is comatose and has undergone an amputation. I like the print model is something you can keep on the shelf at home and literally pass down; whereas e-publishing has an impersonal quality. However, ebooks are the future, and the first hint of that truth was when the hyphen between e and book was eliminated.

As for self-publishing, I don’t really think that’s for me. I was elated to be published the “traditional” way, and I have enough rejection letters to prove it.

What do your plans for future projects include?

TS: I have my two “babies”: A semi-autobiographical coming of age novel, People Darker Than Blue, which interweaves the stories of two cliques—one black and one white—at a desegregated high school in the 1970’s. The second is a crime-drama titled Under Color Of Authority, about a desperate small-town police chief who hires soldiers of fortune to clean up the streets, where two competing gangs have not only endangered the citizenry, but have bought off some of the towns law enforcement officers.

As for sci-fi, I am getting ready to shop A Junkie’s Paradise, the story of a viral pandemic that wipes out half the earth’s population until it is discovered that those with immunity are the dregs of society. Also I have my sci-fi anthology, a compilation of 18 stories that address everything from a man who wakens to find himself as the lone remaining human being to a septuagenarian serial killer to drunken women who conduct a lynching. I just recently finished a “zombies in the hood” tale titled, The Undead.

I have a number of screenplays, and have developed two ideas for television shows: Of the latter, one a comedy centered around movie critics and the other, a family comedy that I call a cross between “What’s Happening!” and “Married…With Children.”

Will the “mechanical” standards of writing hold? Grammar, sentence structure, etc.? Does it matter? Why or why not?

TS: God no. We now live in a world of texting where kids are encouraged to spell words incorrectly! Who’d have thought that being a bad speller might someday be a good thing? Okay, jokes aside—no, grammar and punctuation are a dying art. They don’t teach it in school (at least, not very well), and the poor quality of writing (particularly in urban fiction) is creating a new generation of authors antagonistic toward acumen and accuracy.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

Q: “When will we see your work on the big screen?” The answer is simple: When the public no longer accepts Hollywood’s regurgitation—sequels and passing off TV shows from the past as “new blockbusters.” Today there is a dearth of creativity in Hollywood. The scripts are formulaic and pigeon-holed and too damn expensive to make. For example, Judd Apatow is doing is what Adam Sandler was doing ten years ago, and Sandler is doing what John Hughes and John Waters did–although with more crudity.

Black cinema is deemed “unsaleable” unless it starts a rapper, or brothers posing as ne’er-do-wells who live by the gun. (The exception being Tyler Perry., but his work is geared toward black women, a demographic all its own.)  Occasionally we’ll see a reworking of the blaxploitation genre, but few real meat and potatoes dramas; another Shaft rather than Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored.

Personally, I’d match my story, The Undead against Twilight or Zombieland and let moviegoers decided which is the fresher tale. I’d pit Human Trial I or II against Independence Day any day; or either of my TV shows against the schlock that today passes as “comedy.” The art of joke writing has been replaced by crudity and men being portrayed as buffoons. Okay, let me jump off my soap box….I have some rewriting to do.

Mr. Stelly can be reached by e-mail at stellbread@yahoo.com, or you can check out his blog: www.stellyhumantrial.com or you can go to amazon.com, click on BOOKS and type in “stelly human trial” and read the reviews.My essays can be found at www.ezinearticles.com.

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Check it out

“The Swindler” by Michelle Kaye Malsbury
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
ISBN 978-0-9844219-4-7
Genre: suspense, thriller, mystery, fiction
How easy is it for an investment broker to deceive clients? Very, particularly if his personal hero is Bernie Madoff. Skip Horowitz, along with his old pal A.J., has created what they believe is a foolproof scheme using commodities trading, bookmaking, and various other businesses as covers. Their plan has served them well for decades, surviving the scrutiny of government agencies lacking solid proof to support any allegations of wrongdoing. But luck can’t hold forever…or can it? Catherine O’Reilley, newly sponsored in the high-risk world of investment strategy by Skip Horowitz, is about to find out.
About the Author
Michelle Malsbury was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. Currently she resides in Florida. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Business Management. She has just completed her first year of doctoral studies in the discipline of Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies with high hopes of helping to build nations and sustain peaceful interactions around the globe.

Here’s What Others Are Saying About “The Swindler”:
1. Judy Ramsook from the Austin News Service, Austin, TX 4/9/10 Review for “The Swindler”:
In The Swindler, by Michelle Malsbury, you will find yourself being pulled in to a fictional tale of romance and a lot commodities swindling through the eyes of a third person narrator.

So come along and meet true to life and memorable characters such as: Catherine, The Realtor/Commodities Broker, Connie, Catherine’s best friend, Shamus, Real Estate Broker and the man who thinks he is the right man for Catherine and last but not least, Skip Horowitz, a ruthless Ponzi Schemer who is being investigated by the Feds.
It’s a gripping tale that will make you want to keep turning those pages to see what happens next.

Set in Key West, Florida, the author displays her vast love for and knowledge of the area so well, that if you have not been there and know nothing about Key West, perusing The Swindler by Michelle Malsbury will indeed give you a rich education into that paradise.
So come on and enjoy this well written and detailed tale and see if Catherine really thinks Shamus is the right man for her, and if the elusive Skip Horowitz gets the justice he so deserves.
I enjoyed it and I think you will too.
2. Mike Fentem, longtime friend of Michelle Kaye Malsbury, review for The Swindler on 5/21/10:

I’ve known Michelle since she was fifteen or sixteen years old. We grew up in the same small town in Illinois and went to the same schools, pools, and parks. She was always fun and had a good imagination. I’ll be the first to admit that back then who would have thunk that she would become a author? However, I have had the pleasure of reading both of her books and have found them to be well written and fun reading! The characters are inventive and interesting. The stories take places in fun and exotic locales. The plot builds from chapter to chapter keeping the reader engaged in what may occur next and how it will all end. The main character, Skip, is a enigma himself with a ego larger than life. His thirst for money and fast women was second to none, but I liked getting to know him while reading this book. Besides having little, to no, scruples, he does manage to keep his ponzi scheme and other illigitimate business endeavors pretty secret for a number of years while he rakes in oodles of cash and stashes it all around the globe. However, can he outlast the SEC and other regulatory agencies, who is hot on his tail or is his time up? I truly enjoyed The Swindler and I believe you will too!
3. Thomas Keyes Review for The Swindler by Michelle Kaye Malsbury, 5/14/2010:

The Swindler is a fast-moving, hard-hitting account of a swindler who, with his batch of subalterns, ran a Ponzi scheme in Key West and elsewhere. The tale is so realistic and convincing that you can hardly believe that it didn’t really happen and that the authoress is not in there somewhere, perhaps as Catherine, the honest realtor who gets embroiled in the mess.

The racket consisted of selling counterfeit commodities futures mostly to fairly well-heeled middle class types, and following up by generating bogus statements showing earnings. It may be difficult to feel overly compassionate for someone worth several hundred thousand dollars who gets stung for fifty, but there are a lot of smaller victims too.

The most touching was a young girl in Central America whom Skip, the swindler, got pregnant. She was hoping this pregnancy would bind them together and enable them to live a beautiful life. Then the blow fell. Skip was arrested and prosecuted, and the girl’s dreams flowed away in tears.

The pages are full of unsavory characters, and the action moves from Florida to the Bahamas to Costa Rica to Las Vegas.

The language is earthy. Read it, you’ll like it.

4. Billy O’Toole Pre-review for The Swindler by Michelle Kaye Malsbury, BSBM, MM
All Things That Matter’s Press, ISBN 978-0-9844219-4-7: 2/22/10
Hi Michelle,

During a long and successful career in the trucking business, I always carried a stack of books to entertain myself and hopefully learn a little something also. One of my favorites was Steven Frey because he always had some insights into the dark side of finance along with great characters. Move over Frey and make room for Michelle Malsbury!

The Swindler has great characters, some lovable, and some not, but all believable. Indeed, I felt like I already knew many and were acquainted with several others. There were the obvious evil ones but the mindset of good ones being led along and seduced by money and the good life was particularly poignant.

When my business blew up because I had no customers anymore, I began to study finance moved to being a Senior Financial Consultant. In the process of interviews and study I felt like I met many of her characters, things just didn’t feel right, but oh so seductive!

All this set in quirky and sultry southern Florida, I could feel the humidity, see the pastels, and revel in the ambience. What more could anyone want in book?

Bill O’Toole
Senior Financial Consultant
Southern Commercial Corp
Columbia, Mo.

573 808 2122
5. Marilou Trask-Curtin Review for TheSwindler:

Michelle: First of all, congrats on an absolutely incredible book!!! Have you also written this as a screenplay????!!!! Would be amazing to watch and the timing seems right as well.

I only found a couple of blips but after I wrote them down lost the note where I had written the page numbers. The main one: There was mention of the basketball team the KNICKS…you had it written as the NICKS…that would need to be corrected as we New Yorker’s who are KNICKS fans would probably retaliate by throwing soggy basketballs your way–LOL…otherwise, an incredible story…!!!

The Review: “The Swindler” – an incredibly fast-paced roller-coaster ride through the world of illegal commodities trading with enough sun and sin to heat up every reader’s day (and night.) Michelle Malsbury at her finest! A definite must read!
Marilou Trask-Curtin, Author of “In My Grandfather’s House:
A Catskill Journal”

Thanks again for the opportunity to read “The Swindler” and I wish you all the best with it. Also, sorry it took so long….

Take care,

PS: I love the way you got MJ into the story with the crotch grabbing episode :-]

Purchase Information:
http://www.amazon.com link for The Swindler and Kindle Reader orders (see above)

Author Links:


Tags: investment fraud, ponzi schemes, investment schemes, investment scams, commodities trading, SEC, NFA, CFTC, mail fraud, crime and punishment, Wall Street, Main Street, money and finance, Bernie Madoff, Florida, Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Costa Rica, gambling, trading, book making, financial sector reform, NYSE, CBOT, ALL THINGS THAT MATTER PRESS, THE SWINDLER, MICHELLE MALSBURY

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On Homer: The Eagle Lady

Many of the characters and situations in Halibut Rodeo are inspired by my stay in Homer.  Like most fiction writers, I often speculate on the lives of people I see on the street, inventing identities, imagining conflicts, etc.  Such ponderings often lead to fully developed characters in my short stories.  Many of the main characters in Halibut Rodeo have their origins in this process.  Other characters live on the fringe of the book as an aspect of setting, adding shades of detail to the main action. The Eagle Lady is one such “detail.” She worked at Seward Fisheries, and even though I saw her nearly every day, I never said more than a few words to her. It was hard to tell how old she was. Nearly 70 was my guess, though she still wore heavy make up and a mass of curly red hair that might have been a wig. She was about six feet tall and walked with a severe limp. Someone told me the limp was from a career as a rodeo rider. After retirement she moved to Homer. And why the Eagle Lady? Bald eagles are nothing unusual in Homer. You see one every day in the summer. For years the Eagle Lady had been feeding the eagles in her backyard with scrapes of fish. Up until a few years ago, at least, the second largest concentration of Bald Eagles in Alaska was in the ex-rodeo rider’s backyard.

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