Story Merchant is proud to announce the 2021 Independent Press Awards acknowledges nine of our authors, both those represented by Story Merchant or published through our imprint, Story Merchant Books.



Congratulations to the following Story Merchant authors for these awards:⁠⁠


444 Days: Memoirs of a Hostage Wife by Marge German; Winner in the MEMOIR category⁠
The Bronx Stagger by Daniel P. Moskowitz; Winner in the CROSS-GENRE category⁠
The Danger Game by Daniel Bull  Distinguished Favorite in the ACTION/ADVENTURE category⁠⁠
The Gift from Fortuny by Terry Stanfill Distinguished Favorite in the WOMEN’S FICTION category
Grizzly Justice by April Christofferson Distinguished Favorite in the WESTERN FICTION category
Inside the Lie by Gary Wenkle Smith Distinguished Favorite in the CRIME FICTION category⁠
Irrational Fears by Lee Lindauer; Distinguished Favorite in the THRILLER category⁠
Japanese In-Law: Words and Phrases for Day-to-Day Living by Kenneth Atchity and Keisaku Mitsumatsu; Distinguished Favorite in the REFERENCE category⁠
A Potter’s Tale by Dave Davis Writing  Distinguished Favorite in the SCIENCE FICTION category⁠


Luck of the Irish Leads to Hollywood Deal

AN AUTHOR from Weston-super-Mare has published her third novel after pitching to Emmy-nominated Hollywood producer, Ken Atchity.

Vicki FitzGerald, a former regional journalist, and PR company director followed her dreams to become a published author in 2017, with her debut crime thriller, Briguella.

Two years later, the mum-of-two flew to the Dublin Writers Conference to pitch her second draft manuscript, Kill List, for a novel adaption into a movie or TV series.

Vicki was selected from 50 people for the final ten to pitch again to Ken and Binnur Karaevli, writer and producer.

Ken, who has produced more than 30 Hollywood movies, including sci-fi shark blockbuster, The Meg, loved the concept and published Kill List via Story Merchant Books.

Vicki said: “When the conference organizer approached me and said my name was the only one given to him by Ken for a film treatment, I was stunned.

“I prepared the plot breakdown and several months later, while recuperating in hospital from multiple leg fractures, my dreams come true. Ken offered to publish Kill List.

“Good things come to those who wait and are brave enough to chase their dreams.”

Kill List has already attracted five-star reviews since publication on March 24, 2021. The pair are finalizing the film treatment to pitch to Hollywood agents.

Ken said: “Kill List is an extremely high concept idea, and those do not come around often. I believe it has the potential to make a fantastic series adaption, possibly spanning several seasons.”

Kill List, Briguella, and Vicki’s memoir, Still Standing, are all set in Weston and feature landmarks and locations across North Somerset.

About Vicki FitzGerald

After a decade as a journalist, Vicki founded the South West public relations firm, Paramount PR, which focused on tourism and the hospitality industries before committing to writing full-time. She has now published three novels and is working on the forth.


Ken Atchity’s “Sell Your Story to Hollywood” Now in Spanish!

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps. at Barnes & Noble.

Through the expanding influence of the Internet and the corporatization of both publishing and entertainment, the process of getting your book to the big screen has gotten more complicated, more eccentric, and more exciting.⁠

This little book aims to help you figure out how to get your story told on big screens or small.







Virginia Beach author sees characters come to life with graphic novels based on her books

Virginia Beach author Ama Adair just published her second novel in a trilogy about a female CIA operative, titled “Deeper Shadow.”  Available on Amazon
She also is turning her first novel, “Shadow Game” into a graphic novel with the help of California-based artist Ray Lopez and Conquest Publishing, a small Virginia-based company that supports aspiring writers and artists.

Writing the second novel in her series about CIA operative Elle Anderson, Ama Adair was determined to highlight the complexities of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Unlike many fictional characters with PTSD, Adair’s heroine doesn’t become violent, alcoholic, homeless or incapacitated by flashbacks. But after being tortured by terrorists, she does struggle to integrate back into her team and complete an undercover operation.

“I don’t shy away from the impact that PTSD can have, even on a very strong and smart woman like Elle,” Adair says. “I’ve felt that impact, my husband has felt it, and several of my close friends have felt it. If you don’t deal with it, it can become very debilitating.”A Virginia Beach resident and Navy chief warrant officer, Adair published “Deeper Shadow” — the sequel to the 2019 thriller “Shadow Game” — in November, under the name A.M. Adair. She hopes to complete the third and final installment of her trilogy, “Shadow War,” by the end of 2021 and also is in the process of turning “Shadow Game” into a graphic novel.

Adair, a counterintelligence and human intelligence specialist, is a veteran of 10 overseas deployments. The idea for “Shadow Game” came to her on a 2010 mission to Iraq, where her convoy had to navigate dark, narrow roads full of abandoned buildings. Anderson, leader of an elite anti-terrorism team, faces some similar physical and emotional challenges as her creator.
Describing herself as a “quintessential nerd,” Adair, 41, wanted to try a graphic novel to reach a wider fan base. She is collaborating with an independent California-based visual artist, Ray Lopez, who she found online.

“Seeing Elle and my other characters come to life on the page is so exciting,” she relates. “The little kid in me can’t stop jumping up and down.”

Pictured is concept art from Ama Adair’s upcoming graphic novel. Courtesy of Ama Adair

Adair also is working with Conquest Publishing, a small press imprint in Virginia that offers mentorship programs for new authors. Conquest board member John Millington, a retired Navy chief, is a partner in Jersey’s Cards & Comics stores, which likely will display Adair’s graphic novel in its Hampton, Hayes and Yorktown locations.

“Her story has an incredible pace and tempo, along with a strong individual character who is going through a lot,” Millington says. “My job is to help people with talent and potential get a foot in the door and just be noticed.”

To adapt the 300-page “Shadow Game” into a graphic novel of about 100 pages, Adair has been paring down dialogue, changing a few plot sequences to improve flow and focusing more on key action sequences. Adair hopes the graphic novel will be out by May, in time to attend that month’s Tidewater Comicon in Virginia Beach as well as the Hampton Comicon in October. Ultimately, she would like to turn all three books into graphic novels.

Once the trilogy is finished, Adair’s agent plans to pitch the story to film agencies. The author’s dream actress to play Elle Anderson: Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, star of the biographical romantic drama “The Danish Girl” and the science-fiction thriller “Ex Machina”.

An Ohio native, Adair joined the Navy shortly after the 9/11 attacks and has lived in Virginia Beach since 2005. She and her husband Jake, an active-duty Navy chief, have two children, Arya, 8, and Finn, 1.Between a full-time job, family responsibilities and the COVID-19 pandemic, Adair often had to write in short spurts during naptimes or after her kids went to bed. After she and her husband retire from the Navy in October 2022, she plans to dive into publishing spinoffs of her trilogy.

“It will be some of the same characters, but with totally different stories,” she says. “I can’t wait to see where they take me.”

Read more: Alison Johnson,


Dr. Meg Van Deusen: Coping With The Stress of COVID-19

In a special one-off episode, Karen Doyle Buckwalter welcomes Dr. Meg Van Deusen to discuss how to cope with the stress surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Van Deusen will also be Karen’s guest in the next two weeks of Attachment Theory in Action as they discuss her book Stressed In The U.S.


After spending a few years as a teacher, Dr. Van Deusen chose to return to school to study psychology. Her studies took her all the way up the Pacific Coast, starting at the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles and finishing her post-doctoral hours in Seattle’s Family Services, and then entering private practice in Seattle in 1994. Since then, Dr. Van Deusen has cultivated an approach to treatment that encompasses years of hard work and dedication to continuing education.

She has consulted on external projects and has a blog on a topics she’s passionate about, stress, loneliness, sleep and anxiety. Her new book Stressed in the U.S. Twelve Tools to Tackle Anxiety, Loneliness, Tech-Addiction and More was released December, 2019. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Washington State Psychological Association.


Daniel P. Moskowitz’s “Bronx Stagger” Places 6th in the Screen Craft Cinematic Book Competition

San Francisco Review of Books: ‘Your VIP Biography: How to Write Your Autobiography to Land a Hollywood Deal’ by Alinka Rutkowska and Kenneth Atchity 

‘You oughta be in pictures!’ – and making it happen

Co-authors Alinka Rutkowska and Kenneth Atchity are both significant personas and writers in their own right, and their joining forces has resulted in publishing that special book every writer wants to find – how to write important character biographies, including (inhale, breathe) our own autobiography! Alinka is not only a best selling author but also a coach to many writers, ably sharing her experience and skills with writers around the world, as well as being CEO of Leaders Press. Kenneth is a producer and author, a “story merchant,” editor, speaker, career coach, columnist and professor of comparative literature. Strong combo, very strong results.

In the flavorful Foreword, Kenneth states, “A life is a story when it has a compelling beginning, a conclusive and satisfying ending, and a middle filled with unexpected twists and turns, highs and lows, happy breaks and dismal setbacks. If you’ve led a life like that, if you’ve taken an extraordinary path we would like all to know about, then this book is for you.’ A fine invitation and what follows in this book is a key to the door of opportunity.

Alinka and Kenneth share examples of successful memoirs that have become both best sellers and successful movies, and in outlining the aspects of these winners, they instruct us how to get there, from basic information about what constitutes a ‘memoir’ – the definition (and meaning) of Character, Conflict, Structure, Theme, Secondary story elements, and all aspects of the ingredients necessary in creating a memoir. Once defined, and supplemented with outstanding examples of successful memoirs we all know (Angela’s Ashes, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Glass Castle, The Pursuit of Happyness), they then guide us as to how to make it all happen in book form – and getting that book form cinematically friendly.

This is not only a fun read, a journey of its own to read, including the impressive and substantial ‘Entertainment Business and Story Market Glossary of Term,’ but it also is a very practical course in writing by two highly respected authors. Highly Recommended.

~Grady Harp

Story Merchant Author Ama Adair Featured in VIRGINIAN-PILOT!

Ama Adair first got the idea for her book series on a dark, narrow road in Baghdad, Iraq, as her military convoy drove past seemingly abandoned buildings and the hair on the back of her neck stood on end.

A Navy chief warrant officer specializing in counterintelligence and human intelligence, Adair didn’t begin writing until about six years after that 2010 deployment. But her vivid real-life memories helped shape her thriller “Shadow Game,” published in October under the name A.M. Adair. The book is the opener in a planned three- or four-part series.

“Shadow Game” features a strong female protagonist named Elle Anderson, a CIA operative who leads an elite team charged with destroying a terrorist organization.

“No damsels in distress or princesses here,” says Adair, a Virginia Beach resident. “She is a powerful, intelligent woman who is not very emotionally driven. She certainly doesn’t need rescuing. I would love if my daughter and other girls could see more characters like her.”

Ama Adair’s book, which published in October, is the first book in a planned three- or four-part series. (Courtesy of Ama Adair)

As a first-time author, Adair, 40, had a steep learning curve with the writing, editing and publication process. And as a mother with a full-time job, she had to squeeze much of her writing into two- to three-hour sessions on evenings and weekends. Her husband Jake, an active-duty Navy chief, took over parenting whenever he could.

“Luckily, military life trained me for not sleeping a whole lot,” Adair says. “Things got easier once I let my characters take over and stopped trying to force the plot. A lot of my own ideas for how to get to the key scenes I wanted kind of disappeared, which made it more fun.”

Although the series is fictional, Adair’s 10 overseas deployments — including four in Iraq and one in Afghanistan — served as background research. In fact, creating Anderson’s story helped Adair address some of her own feelings: “Elle goes through some post-traumatic stress and a lot of physical and emotional challenges. I found it very therapeutic for me.”

An Ohio native, Adair joined the Navy shortly after 9/11 and has lived in Virginia Beach since 2005. While always interested in reading and journaling, she had no writing training beyond school classes and the formal military papers required in her job.

After years of considering a novel, Adair typed the first chapters of “Shadow Game” on her laptop during downtime on a 2016 deployment in Italy. A self-described introvert, she found the solo pursuit a perfect fit.

Back home, Adair often settled down to write in a favorite recliner after her kids Arya, now 7, and later baby Finn, born last April, were asleep for the night. She also has juggled work toward an online bachelor’s degree in intelligence studies through American Military University.

The 300-page “Shadow Game” took about nine months to finish, followed by a similarly long editing process. “It was often me being too wordy,” she says. “I discovered that having too many details actually slows down the tempo.”

Since Adair is active-duty military, the Pentagon had to screen her thriller before publication. “Shadow Game” was released through Kindle Direct Publishing with representation by Story Merchant Books, a company that facilitates such independent publishing. It is currently for sale exclusively on Amazon.

“I was a complete nerd when it came out,” Adair says with a laugh. “I immediately ordered like five copies of it, plus the Kindle edition. I was in awe holding it.”

Adair is almost finished with book two of the series, “The Deeper Shadow,” which she started in 2017 but put on pause during her most recent pregnancy and Finn’s newborn months. She hopes to publish it in the summer and then immediately dive into book three. Once she retires from the military, her dream is to be a full-time writer.

“In a perfect world, I’d do a lot of hanging out with my laptop and some good cups of coffee,” she says. “I just want to let my imagination keep taking off.”

Alison Johnson,

Read more





A fascinating and intriguing tale of life, love, betrayal and murder, Dave Davis’s A POTTER’S TALE challenges readers with mysteries from the past, the brilliance of a present day life snuffed out too soon and long held secrets that could spell the destruction of the universe.

When a former physician now reporter teams up with his tenacious partner, they had no idea that the story of the murdered teen would lead them across continents, civilizations, religions and scientific research facilities. Who is trying to cover up hidden secrets of the universe? To what end?

Dave Davis has added enough twists and left enough imaginative breadcrumbs along the way that science fiction buffs, history buffs and lovers of all things mysterious and suspenseful will each find a compelling reason to turn page after page! Taut writing, believable characters and some “didn’t see that coming,” moments make this one of those tales that boggles the mind, because, what if?…

SYNOPSIS: Love. Betrayal. Murder. Then the universe started to collapse. They say it all started in 1935 when Roz Lhulier and his team unearthed the massive tomb of Pakal, the greatest Mayan king, and with it, an ancient text, called a codex. They’re wrong.

The codex is deciphered by Alan Turing, the genius who broke the German’s Enigma Code during WWII, but its message is jealously guarded by the Astronomers, a lethal offspring of the Catholic Church. Astronomers have compromised or killed anyone with knowledge of the secret–presidents and prime ministers, just for instance.

The codex pulls others into its deadly orbit: Noah, a former physician, and his partner Kate, reporters for the Washington Post. They investigate the murder of DiShannia, a precocious teen, who’s achieved national recognition for her research on the demise of Mayan civilization. They’re led from Washington DC, to the British Museum, to the Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva, to Melbourne, Australia.

Each step enlightens them, offers clues, frightens them. And us.

The two strands of the novel–the codex and its rich human stories–are joined by another narrative, creating a kind of weird DNA. This third strand involves the Potter, who crafts the story. And the genes that craft us all.

Does the universe collapse? The Potter knows the answer. Noah, Kate discover it. We learn it too–on the last page.



Founded in Toronto, Ontario, the Book Excellence Awards is an international book awards competition dedicated to recognizing both independent and traditionally published authors and publishers for excellence in writing, design and overall market appeal. Previous Winners and Finalists of the Book Excellence Awards have doubled their book sales, garnered attention from film producers, received the distribution in bookstores, and increased their visibility and media attention.

“The Book Excellence Awards is highly recognized in the literary community. I was thrilled and honored to receive such a prestigious book award for my first novel. This will open many doors for me.”

From the Sky is a thrilling and poignant novel that is not only worthy of being read by all readers, but it will open their eyes to the possibility of life among the stars, which is why J. E, Nicassio wrote the book.

From the Sky is the story about Lucien Foster and Samantha Hunter. Lucien Foster never expected Samantha Hunter to live after he tried to save her from a car accident that killed her twin brother instantly. But, for some inexplicable reason, her body accepted his alien blood. Now, not only is she alive, she’s changing, becoming stronger. But there’s one problem: the rogue government agency MJ 12 that’s been after Lucien and his family from the start, knows her secret. Sam is the only human to thrive with alien DNA in her system, meaning she’s the one. Through her, MJ 12 can start to re-populate the planet with an alien/human hybrid, a superhuman.

J.E. Nicassio gives readers insight into the Roswell crash, government cover- ups, and the supernatural. The book helps readers learn more about the unusual and UFO’s and historical sighting, whether they are young adults or adults.

Nicassio’s book has already received some great reviews from industry leaders.‘I just wish I could figure all this out – An exceptional novel!’

Pennsylvania author Jennie E. Nicassio is a former freelance writer, MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) field investigator, and the author of ROCKY, LOUIS-JOSEPH’S OOH RAH, HAUNTING SHORT TALES OF TWILA, and SOUL WALKER the From the Sky Trilogy, of which FROM THE SKY is Volume 1. Her writing reflects her fascination with life on other planets, and she has become well known for her fascinating paranormal fantasy works. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The depth and sensitivity of Jennie’s projected trilogy are evident in the quotation she places at book’s opening: ‘Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe, or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” – Arthur C. Clarke. Knowing her passion for UFOs and the probability of life on other planets, this book sails into the mind with surety and succeeds in transporting the reader into Jennie’s special realm.

The tale begins in Pittsburgh with an auto accident in which Samantha (aka Sam) survives while her twin brother Finn succumbs Sam is visited by a stranger who comforts her, saying she will not die, and then disappears. Months pass, Sam’s mother dies in a depressed state, and Sam once again views the stranger in the cemetery after her mother’s funeral. Moving to New Mexico with her father’s new university position as Dean of the Archaeology Department, Sam continues to encounter visions of the stranger. Gradually she learns the stranger is from another planet, and her life becomes more complex after meeting the strange but enchanting Lucien Foster. From this point on the story becomes a much a mystery thriller as a fantasy, so perfectly blended is the line that normally separates reality and the unknown – intrigue, alien conspiracies, and yes, romance.

Though written for the Young Adult audience, this book is so fine that it is equally irresistible for imaginative adults. Exceptional writing, this, and an outstanding opening chapter of Jennie’s successful trilogy. Highly recommended,” wrote Grady Harp, San Francisco Review of Books.

About the Book Excellence Awards – Founded in Toronto, Canada, the Book Excellence Awards is an international book awards competition dedicated to recognizing both independent and traditionally published authors for excellence in writing, design and overall market appeal. Previous Winners and Finalists of the Book Excellence Awards have been New York Times’ best-sellers, spoken at the United Nations and TEDx, and have had their books optioned by movie studios. To learn more, visit:



Dublin, Ireland – Emmy Award-winning script-writer Michael Hirst, the script writer for all 69 episodes of the Vikings TV series will be awarded the Bard Award for Story Excellence at the Dublin Writers’ Conference this June.

Michael is best known for his films Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), as well as the Emmy Award-winning television series The Tudors and Vikings.

Dr. Ken Atchity, author, literary manager, publisher and producer will be awarded the Bard Award for Story Management at the Dublin Writers’ Conference.Ken is best known for The Meg, the blockbuster movie of Summer 2018,The Kennedy Detail (Emmy nominated), and his novel The Messiah Matrix.

The Dublin Writers Conference was established in 2015 by successful Irish thriller author Laurence O’Bryan, as an event dedicated to helping writers. contact the organisers email:

Laura Joh Rowland’s “Sano Ichirō ” made Book Riot’s list of 35 Great Historical Fiction Series

Sano Ichiro Series

Sano Ichiro, a samurai and private investigator for the shogun, in the 1600s in Edo, Japan:

Official webpage:

“Impressive . . . An eerie Japanese echo of Presumed Innocent.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Serpico, meet James Clavell . . . Rowland is a sturdy, persuasive storyteller,
and well worth keeping an eye on.”—Washington Post Book World

“The year’s most sparkling debut . . . one of its best novels . . .
An unusual and exotic mystery . . . “—San Diego Union-Tribune

“Sano remains one of the great protagonists of the last few years.”
—Harriet Klausner, The Best Reviews

Congratulations Samuel Bernstein Silver Winner New York International Screenplay Awards

New York International Screenplay Award for “Elephant and Castle
Best Feature Screenplay Silver Winner 2019!


Dennis Palumbo’s Mystery Thriller “Head Wounds” Named one of the “Best of 2018” by SUSPENSE MAGAZINE

Blurbworm Reviews Michael A. Simpson’s Sons of My Fathers

I read this first book, Sons of My Fathers, by Michael Simpson with much enjoyment. It was an easy narrative spanning over 100 years and moves back and forth easily between the story of Baylis Simpson in 1864, to Mike, Ron and Alex six generations later.

Each story is harrowing in its own way, with Baylis’ family and home destroyed, physically and mentally by deserters during the Civil War, and the latter Simpsons harrowing march through the Vietnam War years. Sometimes I felt a little bit of American Graffiti but the two stories were too exciting and informative to keep comparing.

It’s indeed hard to realize that this is Mr. Simpson’s first book, though he is a screenwriter, director and producer of note. In his narrative of his ancestor, Baylis, I could feel and hear and practically smell, the horrors and tragedy of his family and the war as he tries to make his way back home. Then moving to Mike as he gives us his tale from age 10, and the night of The Dixie Flyer, to growing up with his older brother and his best friend Alex, both heroically cool to the young boy. Then the decision that his brother, Ron, makes during the Vietnam War that almost destroys his parents.

Though I knew where his dad was coming from-a Marine in WWII and a fine upstanding, godly member of his town in Georgia-I was also remembering how I felt at that time, which was about the time of the Mai Lai Massacre.

Thank you, Mr. Simpson for your clear vision of these times and events, and your solid narrative that made me see things through your eyes. Great book!

If interested you can buy here.

Read more

Praise for author Kathleen Vail

We want to congratulate our author, Kathleen Vail, for receiving the award for Outstanding Informational Book: Makes Take on the Classics, for her book Reconstructing the Shield of Achilles, from Just Reviews.

Praise for author Frank Mitchell

Author Frank Mitchell received honorable mentions for American Pathfinder at the Florida Book Festival, the Beach Book Festival, and the New York Book Festival this year. He also received another honorable mention for Attack at Khoda Bridge at the Florida Book Festival. We congratulate him for his new successes and praise.

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!

An extremely well written fictional account of the friendship between a journalist and Marilyn Monroe, in the lead up to her death.

I loved the character of Rory Long and his determination to not be put off Marilyn and his decision to show Marilyn as he saw her.

His depiction of Marilyn is also refreshing and although it shows the known sides, it gives another facet to her.

I’m aware this is a fictional account but it does hook you in and causes you to rethink those who you think you know. Maybe we all need to look a little closer at the people we know in public and in private.

A lovely, sensitive and brave version of which it is not only enjoyable, but believable.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Praise for author Nicolas Bazan, M.D.

Of Mind and Music, based on the Story Merchant Books novel by Nicolas Bazan, M.D., who also helped pen the screenplay and executive produced the film, is the story of a beautiful street musician suffering from Alzheimer’s, and a disheartened neuroscientist intent on helping her, bringing together the city of New Orleans and the jazz that made it famous.

The Hollywood Reporter says it’s “a particularly moving entry in the genre, gaining strength through its undeniable authenticity…Featuring outstanding performances and making excellent use of its scenic New Orleans locations, the film handles its delicate subject matter with a deeply affecting emotional restraint.”

Praise for Sons of My Fathers by Michael Simpson

I read this first book, Sons of My Fathers, by Michael Simpson with much enjoyment. It was an easy narrative spanning over 100 years and moves back and forth easily between the story of Baylis Simpson in 1964, to Mike, Rob and Alex 6 generations later.

Each story is harrowing in its own way, with Baylis’ family and home destroyed, physically and mentally by deserters during the Civil War, and the latter Simpsons harrowing march through the Vietnam War years. Sometimes I must admit, I felt a little bit of American Graffiti but the two stories were too exciting and informative to keep comparing. It’s indeed hard to realize that this is Mr. Simpsons first book, tho he is a screenwriter, director and producer of note.

In his narrative of his ancestor, Baylis, I could feel and hear and practically smell, the horrors and tragedy of his family and the war as he tries to make his way back home. Then moving to Mike as he gives us his tale from age 10, and the night of The Dixie Flyer, to growing up with his older brother and his best friend Alex. Both heroically cool to the young boy. Then the decision that his brother, Rob, makes during the Vietnam War that almost destroys his parents. Though I knew where his dad was coming from-a Marine in WWII and a fine upstanding, godly member of his town in Georgia-I was also remembering how I felt at that time, which was about the time of the Mai Lai Massacre.

Thank you, Mr. Simpson for your clear vision of these times and events, and your solid narrative that made me see things through your eyes. Great book!


The Classical Roman Reader

Congratulations to Kenneth Atchity and The Classcial Roman Reader for receiving a Bronze Medal for Best Adult Non-Fiction Informational eBook in the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards!

Death at the Day Lily Café has been named by Suspense Magazine as one of the best books of 2016! Congratulations to author Wendy Eckel!


Sell Your Story to Hollywood by Kenneth Atchity

“I highly recommend Ken Atchity’s webinar “Selling Your Story to Hollywood.” It was thoughtfully prepared and delivered, completely satisfying every question I had—the why, the how, the when. Now I can move forward to sell my novel to the Indie Film Market. Thank you, Ken!” – Doug Fetterly, Story Merchant Author

“Thank you for a very informative teleseminar on ‘Selling Your Story to Hollywood.’ I guess the thing I retain the most about the lecture is that I should stop dreaming and start working on how to best pitch my books to movie producers. I know I’ve on my side the best person in the industry to help me do that!” –Georges Benay, Story Merchant Author

“Your class was informative and inspiring!” -Sara F. Hathaway, author “I love your presentation. There are certain presenters that are brilliant, humble, creative and personable; these qualities of who you are come across so strongly as I listen that it is already a pleasure to know of you, and hopefully make your acquaintance. Your presentation made my day!” -Sky Canyon, publisher, producer & screenwriter


A Writer’s Time by Kenneth Atchity

untitled“As I always do, I assigned your book to my class, and as I haven’t read it for 3 or 4 years, I thought I’d give it another go (also I’m at that page-80-brick-wall in my book, and there is no more perfect remedy for writers block than A Writer’s Time). It just gets better and better and more effective every time I read it. It’s a classic, Ken. I could not let today go by without letting you know” -Katherine Taylor, English Teacher & Book Author

Praise for author T.L. Farmer

Project Nephili Front Cover“A gripping mystery with historical and speculative-fiction flourishes that should captivate fans of all three genres”

–Kirkus ReviewsSee the full review

Praise for author James E. Pierre

“I just finished this wonderful book entitled Gambino: The Rise, by an excellent writer named James E. Pierre…[his book] makes the reader actually believe they are right there in the middle of all the goings-on in every one of the story’s pages. Being a 2nd generation Sicilian born in—where else—Flatbush-Brooklyn and living there in the 1940s and 50s, I have an appreciation for Mr. Pierre’s writing.  I recall like it was yesterday many of the incidents having taken place in Mr. Pierre’s book…and I certainly enter my praise for this book” -Gary Taibbi, Reader


Congratulations to Lucina Stone, author of Santa Muerte, a Finalist in the 18th Annual International Latino Book Awards, the largest awards in the USA celebrating achievements in Latino literature and culture.

eeerrCongratulations to R. Lee Walsh, author of Irin, the first novella in The Last Scribe Prequels series and a semifinalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Awards.


untitled“I watched Hysteria on DVD and I loved it.
Thanks for bringing it to us, send another one soon!”
-Howey Bonham, Client

Praise for Brea MacKenzie

untitled “Kenneth John Atchity has created a world of beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow and wrapped it in the gauze of belief, belief that sometimes things are not black and white, they are not obvious, they just are. Follow a broken soul as it finds the glue to repair itself in the arms of another as love blossoms between two people that would never have met, if not for an old and cryptic letter. Not a read to rush through, but one to savor and feel each scene, each emotion, including the love between family and friends that cannot quite reach Brae’s dark inner pain. Realize the truth that not money or fame can bring the joy of true love. Although not a long read, Mr. Atchity has mastered the art of storytelling that will float through your heart.”

–Good Reads 5-Star Review See the full review here

Jason Statham to Star in Prehistoric Shark Movie ‘Meg’

untitled Jason Statham will star in the Warner Bros. shark action movie “Meg,” sources confirmed to Variety.

How to Quit Your Day Job and Live out Your Dreams

untitled I wanted to express my gratitude for your book, “How to Quit Your Day Job and Live out Your Dreams”… I love how courageous you were in your decision to chase your dreams. I live by the motto, “if you can fail at doing something you hate, you might as well do something you love.” I admire your passion and…look forward to hopefully working with you in the future! —Alexis Bloomer

Last Plane Out of Saigon

untitled Last Plane Out of Saigon is now part of the Special Collections Department in the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We are thrilled to be included in the USAFA McDermott Library and wanted to share our latest achievement with you.  More here.


Dark Money by Larry Thompson

Review by Red City Review     ★★★★★ Dark Money is a fascinating tale of dirty money, power, and an effort by an against-the-government group called the Alamo Defenders. Author, Larry D. Thompson, weaves back and forth between former Army man, Jack Bryant, law enforcement officers, the head of the Alamo Defenders, Colonel Van Zandt, and his daughter. Miriam Van Zandt followed her daddy’s orders and killed a local billionaire and seriously wounded the governor of Texas during a fundraiser. Once the law finds her, they face the difficult challenge of arresting her inside her father’s compound. Van Zandt has used his own dirty money to accumulate a ton of illegal firearms, and he has no intention of letting anyone stop him. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg and only one piece of the story. When Van Zandt’s compound is invaded and Miriam is ultimately taken into custody Thompson’s Dark Money takes quite a different turn. Larry Thompson does a great job keeping readers intrigued in the story as it continues to evolve. New characters show up as well as some falling away, but this unique aspect of Dark Money keeps readers turning pages. It is a very well-written story with underlying issues for many of the characters. For example, Sergeant Walt Frazier Jr., who is a key character throughout the story, has PTSD, and this shows up in numerous ways. Thompson’s ability to add such depth and sub-stories makes for a compelling read. And, not to be overlooked, the descriptiveness of the scenes flow elegantly allowing the reader to see clearly what is happening from one moment to the next. Thompson avoids gory scenes and heart-stopping moments that make readers need to leave the light on. Instead, he’s written a thriller that’s packed with mystery and intrigue and will make the gears of a reader’s mind spin. Dark Money is exciting, yet is also a great book to curl up with and enjoy the paradox of a relaxing thriller. To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.

Dark Money review

Exceptionally well written and an all too believable plot premise given the growing havoc that the Citizens United decision continues to have on American politics and traditional concepts of American democracy, “Dark Money” is a compelling read from beginning to end and very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections. Midwest Book Review



The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth Atchity, MD interviews Dr. Ken Atchity about his companies, his recent works and projects, and advice for writers. Interview

How I Became My Father…A Drunk by William G. Borchert

Over 100 news sites are currently hosting a press release for the riveting true-life story of Bill Borchert as told in How I Became My Father…a Drunk. See this great release on some of these notable sites:

Boston Globe


 The News&Observer NewsOK Daily News Los Angeles Wall Street Select

Entertainment Weekly Travel Weekly The News Tribune The Fix

The Lost Valentine

“CBS… found huge success with the Hallmark movie The Lost Valentine – which not only won its time period in viewers (14.3 million) but represented the most-watched Hallmark movie in four years (since Valley of Light).” —Entertainment Weekly   

Angels in the Snow

“You are amazing. Your determination to get Christmas Journey made into a movie means so much to me. We watched Angels in the Snow together at her house, along with our families, and it was so much fun. You absolutely captured the essence of the book, and I loved the casting. Also, choosing to tell the story through the youngest child’s eyes was brilliant, as was adding the baby Bella aspect to the story. Many, many thanks to you and everyone else involved in creating the movie.”

—From Rexanne Becnel, author of Christmas Journey, adapted into the TV movie Angels in the Snow in 2015 “I applaud the producers on their casting decisions. As a fan of Christmas movies, diversity, and color-blind casting, I think Angels in the Snow was truly great. There were no references to the ethnicity of either family so I think the casting worked beautifully. Keep doing what you’re doing!” -Kenya Branch, Screenwriter/Producer, MKB Productions

Dueling in Death’s Backyard by Thomas Jay Berger, MD

“I was a little skeptical about Dueling in Death’s Backyard, considering it was written by a cardiac surgeon. However, Dr. Thomas Jay Berger is an incredible writer and this story had me hooked. In the book, Dr. Berger tells the tale of a gifted heart surgeon who finds himself facing the big questions about death and a soul’s release. There is suspense, gripping details of what happens and could take place. Truly scary at times but thrilling too. This book is an incredible read and unlike any book I have come across. If you are looking for something a little different to keep you at the edge of your seat, I think you’ll like this. I have been bored in my readings but this one captured my full imagination as to what happens on the operating table.” —Amazon Reviewer


Deadly Impressions by Art Johnson

“This book surprised me. I felt it was going to be another simple mystery. WOW was I ever wrong. Mr. Johnson leads you subtly and carefully down a path of twists and turns. The intrigue and suspense is off the charts. While reading this book, I was certain I knew who dun-nit only to be proven wrong over and over. The writing style is terrific. The characters well defined and easy to understand. I also loved the history tie-in. This book is an easy read and perfect to curl up with. I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.” —Melanie Adkins, Top Amazon Reviewer Melanie’s Review Blog

  “The twists and turns in this murder mystery are many and varied–you will think you know who did it–then realize you were wrong. The real culprit? I know I did not guess who it was and it was a total surprise.” See the full review here: –Michele Bodenheimer, Miki’s Hope Book Reviews Melanie’s Review Blog

The Devil’s Violin by Art Johnson

Book Review –


The Sushi-Maker’s Daughter by Loren Stephens

Interview – Crack the Spine Literary Magazine


Nobody Walks: Bringing My Brother’s Killers to Justice by Dennis M. Walsh

Interview – Dennis Prager Radio Show


Through the Fire by Mary Ann and Joseph Anselmo

News Story – NBC News New Kind of Cancer Study Finds New Targets for Tailored Treatments

News Story – Fox News Researchers Treat Brain Cancer Patient With Skin Cancer Drug


Mrs. Mike by Nancy Freedman Editorial Reviews

“It is the personality of Sgt. Mike blowing through this account like a clear breeze that gives it a refreshing quality. Everyone’s dream of a cop, he was also a romantic and understanding husband, the fondest of fathers; a man of honor and humor.” —New York Times “This is a book the reader will be unable to put down until the last page is read.” —Library Journal “Mrs. Mike…is the story of the start of young love, its growth to maturity, and its acceptance of a dangerous, hard, but enthralling life. Its level of sheer entertainment is extremely high. —Los Angeles Herald-Express



by jerry Amernic

The Last Witness by Jerry Amernic

Review by The Tomb Tender Book Blog My rating: 5 stars ★★★★★

In a word, riveting. Let’s fast forward to the near future, where people are more concerned with the present than the pivotal moments in time that shaped the world and its people. The horrors of World War II are long forgotten, few are left alive that lived through the genocide performed by Nazi Germany on Jews at Auschwitz and other death camps under their reign of terror. Slowly, these survivors are dying from freak accidents, suicide, old age, or is it murder? Only one survivor remains, Jack Fisher, a 100 year old man, whose body may be failing, but his mind is intact. Within his memories lay the truth of what happened so long ago. But who will listen? Even the educators are saying the Holocaust was overblown, exaggerated. Any source of information has disappeared, but why? What evil has sprung up to end the lives of the last survivors?

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Article – Jewish Tribune History and The Lost Generation

Interview – Jerusalem Diaries With Judy Lash Balint Listen the the author interview

Article – Omnimystery News A Conversation with Historical Thriller Writer Jerry Amernic

Review – Historical Novel Society Jerry Amernic’s gripping historical thriller…

Review by Hidden Child Magazine – May 2015

Jack Fisher, who lives in a retirement home in New York City, is 100 years old and is celebrating his birthday. He has family— children and grandchildren—yet all is not right in Jack Fisher’s world. Fisher is the central figure in Jerry Amernic’s new book, The Last Witness. History also plays a central role in this engrossing narrative— the history of the Holocaust, of Jack Fisher’s survival in Auschwitz as a five-yearold child, and of what happens when society forgets the bitter lessons of the past. The Last Witness, set partly in the near future and partly in the past, unfolds as a powerful and multi-layered narrative. Its cast of characters includes an array of unforgettable characters, each driven by their own irresistible needs. Jack Fisher is working on his “second hundred years.” Fisher’s great-granddaughter, Christine, a school teacher in a midsized Ontario city, is trying to understand why her school board teaches a version of history which has no place for the Holocaust. Lt. Jack Hodgson of the NY Police Department finds himself investigating mysterious deaths. Amernic skilfully combines flashbacks, suspenseful episodic treatment, lively personality profiling and dramatic scene-setting in a book that keeps the reader involved to the last page. But it is more than spine-tingling storytelling that makes The Last Witness a memorable book. Amernic’s theory that society will one day soon forget the Holocaust ever happened may at first seem an unlikely prospect. Considered against today’s rise in anti-Semitism and the furor of extremist Islamic groups warring on Jews and Christians alike, The Last Witness poses both a challenge and a warning. Review by Ray Argyle, author of The Paris Game: Charles de Gaulle, the Liberation of Paris, and the Gamble that Won France.

Phantom Limb by Dennis Palumbo

Article by Mystery Scene Magazine

In my new Daniel Rinaldi thriller, Phantom Limb, one of the main characters is an Afghan vet who lost his leg to an IED while out on patrol with his unit. Now, stateside, he struggles with a growing substance abuse problem, as well as some of the predictable psychological aftereffects of such a life-changing trauma. Moreover, he often experiences the bewildering sensation that his missing limb is still attached to his body. It itches, aches, or feels cold. Often, at night, while his prosthetic leg is propped against the wall across the room, the former Marine tosses and turns in bed, maddened by the tingling, burning sensation in his “phantom limb.”

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Review from Spinetingler Magazine – May 2015

Daniel Rinaldi is a Pittsburgh psychologist and consultant to the Police Department, counseling victims suffering reactions to violent crimes. Somehow he also manages to get himself into all kinds of dangerous situations and probably could use similar help himself from some other professional. In this fourth novel in an excellent series, he outdoes his involvement and placing himself in death’s ways several times.

It all begins when Lisa Harland, trophy wife of a billionaire, keeps an initial appointment during which she informs Rinaldi that she intends to commit suicide at 7 pm that evening. The reason for her plan does not appear until later in the plot, but Rinaldi convinces her to postpone the effort by one day. But on the way out after their time was up, Rinaldi is knocked unconscious and she is kidnapped. Then begins a more complicated story, and one well worth reading. The author, a licensed psychotherapist, sprinkles the book with all kinds of perceptive observations, providing deep insights into the characters and their motivations. Written smoothly and at a crisp pace with few complications, the tale resolves itself logically and is most satisfying, leading this reader, at least, waiting breathlessly for the next chapter in the adventures of Danny Rinaldi.

Review – Portland Book Review Phantom Limb: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery

Blog Entry – America Reads Dennis Palumbo’s “Phantom Limb,” the movie

Article – Night Terrors In Adults: When Sleeping Turns To Terror After Dark

Article – Mysteryscene Magazine The Daniel Rinaldi book series is featured in article by noted mystery critic Oline Cogdill

Dennis Palumbo’s short story, “Blood Lines,” appears in a new anthology of mysteries: Destination: Murder

Hollywood DSM: Industry Shrinks Reveal What’s Wrong With Actors, Producers, Agents and More: The Writer: Yep, Self-Confidence Issues Here by Dennis Palumbo

Story Merchant Author Dennis Palumbo’s article appears in The Hollywood Reporter

Story Merchant author Dennis Palumbo on a segment of the author interview show Between the Lines on PBS for his non-fiction book for writers called Writing from the Inside Out: The Joyful Pain of the Creative Life – Barry Kibrick

Last Plane Out of Saigon

Article by Kat Hinson, Austin Bar Association Beyond the Practice by Kat Hinson In 1970, Richard Pena was enjoying his senior year at the University of Texas. He, like many of his fellow students, was carefully watching the global stage and coming of age politically. The expansion of the Vietnam war into Cambodia, the shooting of unarmed student protestors at Kent State, and the exposure of the My Lai massacre — a deliberate slaughter of at least 109 Vietnamese civilians, including children — prompted week-long protests throughout the country. Pena was one of thousands of students who marched across campuses and cities. While Pena was adamantly opposed to the war in Vietnam, he still supported his country. Much of the politics at the time focused on extremes, and Pena felt that this approach was too restrictive.

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Article – Texas Bar Blog Texans prominient at ABA Midyear Meeting in Houston

Article – ABA Journal Attorney’s book recounts how he helped bring US military involvement in Vietnam to an end

Article – AARP Magazine “A Decade in the War that Changed Everything.”

Amazon Best Sellers Rank – December 2014: Reached #1 in Kindle Store

Featured as a “Best Seller” for local Austin, Texas bookstore, Book People.


The Arousal Plan by Sarah White

“The Arousal Plan by Sarah White is a very good self-improvement program. It is hard work but it does work if you stick to it. It is a ten week program to help you achieve your life goals. There are 8 Pillars that the plan operates under, they are: Food, Exercise, Clothing, Living Space, Sex & Love, Work & Money, Culture and power Project. Sarah White shares with the reader, “Arousal is about having a balanced baseline of excitement and motivation that influences you positively in all areas of your life.” I recommend this book to everyone who are interested in making their lives better. I look for more from Sarah White.” —Amazon Review



The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity

Review by My rating: 4 stars ★★★★ To what lengths would the Vatican go to suppress the secret origins of its power? Current papal politics has made this thriller eerily prophetic! The Messiah Matrix is a myth-shattering novel whose protagonists delve into the secrets of the past—and expose the fundamentalists who hide them still. A renowned scholar-monsignor is killed in Rome while a Roman coin is recovered from a wreck off the coast of ancient Judea. It’s up to his young American protégé—a Jesuit priest—and a vivacious, brilliant archaeologist to connect these seemingly disparate events and unravel the tapestry that conceals in plain view the greatest mystery in the ecclesiastical world. Together they pursue their passion for truth—while fighting to control their passion for each other. What they uncover is an ancient Roman imperial stratagem so controversial the Curia fears it could undermine the very foundations of the Roman Catholic faith—much like the secrets emerging from the Vatican in today’s news.

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The Picture Kills by Ian Bull

Blog Review

Steven Quintana, an ex Army Ranger reconnaissance photographer witnesses something happen while on a mission which he can’t get out of his head–recurring nightmares stalk him. He is still a photographer but now is one of the paparazzi getting photos of movie stars in California and being paid really good money for it. He has saved up almost enough to retire when he is offered a really huge amount to get one more photo of Julia Travers, a up and coming movie star. The last photo he managed to get of her she managed to kick him in the mouth hard enough to break a tooth! He just can’t say no to the amount of money he is being offered for just one picture. He gets the picture and it is all too easy. That is when all hell breaks loose. Steven looks at the picture and realizes there is something wrong. He can not let it go and decides to follow up.

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eHuman Dawn by Nicole Sallak

Award-Winning Finalist “Fiction: Science Fiction” category of the 2015 International Book Awards


You’re Not Helping by Ryan Patricks

Preliminary Finalist of 2015 CWA Imagination Awards “TV Original Sitcom” category of the 2015 CWA Imagination Awards


Terry Stanfill (Realms of Gold) Featured in Le Chatillon Ai et L’Auxois



 CONGRATULATIONS to Atchity-Wong Client Alan Roth – Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting Winner!


Academy Reveals Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting Winners

The $35,000 prizes will be presented at a Nov. 7 event, which will include readings from the chosen screenplays directed by Rodrigo Garcia.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting to four individual writers and one writing team.
our editor recommends
Academy Names 11 Finalists for Nicholl Fellowships

The winners, listed alphabetically by author, are Frank DeJohn & David Alton Hedges, Santa Ynez, Ca., for their screenplay Legion; Patty Jones, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, for Joe Banks; Alan Roth, Suffern, N.Y., for Jersey City Story;
 Stephanie Shannon, Los Angeles, for Queen of Hearts; and 
Barbara Stepansky, Burbank, Ca., for Sugar in My Veins.

Each winner will receive a $35,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at an awards presentation on Nov. 7 at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  For the first time, the event also will feature a live read of selected scenes from the fellows’ winning scripts. Rodrigo Garcia is directing the event, which will include members of the actors’ branch and which will be produced by Julie Lynn and supported by Lexus.

The winners were selected from a record 7,251 scripts that were submitted.

Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that the recipients will each complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The Academy acquires no rights to the works of Nicholl fellows and does not involve itself commercially in any way with their completed scripts.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, chaired by producer Gale Anne Hurd, is composed of writers Naomi Foner, Daniel Petrie Jr., Tom Rickman, Eric Roth, Dana Stevens and Robin Swicord; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographer John Bailey; costume designer Vicki Sanchez; producers Peter Samuelson and Robert W. Shapiro; marketing executive Buffy Shutt; and agent Ronald R. Mardigian.



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