Finding George Washington

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Bill Zarchy and his historical time-travel baseball thriller Finding George Washington.

Author’s description

On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes. Walking away from the Valley Forge encampment, he takes a fall and is knocked unconscious, only to reappear at a dog park on San Francisco Bay—in the summer of 2014.

 

Washington befriends two Berkeley twenty-somethings who help him cope with the astonishing—and often comical—surprises of the twenty-first century.

 

Washington’s absence from Valley Forge, however, is not without serious consequences. As the world rapidly devolves around them—and their beloved Giants fight to salvage a disappointing season—George, Tim, and Matt are catapulted on a race across America to find a way to get George back to 1778.

 

Equal parts time travel tale, thriller, and baseball saga, Finding George Washington is a gripping, humorous, and entertaining look at what happens when past and present collide in the 9th inning, with the bases loaded and no one warming up in the bullpen.

 

When a sidekick’s sidekick takes on a major role

In my books I usually have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. I’m always curious as to whether other authors experience this, so I asked Bill Zarchy if he had such a character in his novel, Finding George Washington. I was quite impressed with the sensitivity and insight in his response!

A Foil for My Foil

Early in the development of my debut novel, Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale, I knew that I wanted to tell the story in the first person, from Tim’s point of view. I wanted to bring General Washington to the present, and I figured that I could show George’s personality and response to the 21st Century through his interactions with Tim.

Tim was George’s foil, a character whose purpose is to contrast with another character, often the protagonist, to bring out their differences. Think Sancho Panza in Don Quixote, Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, or Bud Abbott playing straight man to Lou Costello.

Having Tim as the foil certainly worked out in many ways, but pretty soon, I began to think that I needed to provide him with a sidekick. As I wrote the early parts of the story, it became apparent that the very fact of George suddenly appearing in Tim’s life was astounding, to say the least, and Tim needed his own foil to reflect his astonishment. That’s how the character LaMatthew Johnson came to be. Tim and Matt could have their own private conversations about George, particularly in the early stages of the narrative, where they weren’t sure if they believed his story.

That wasn’t all. As I deepened my research into Washington as a slave owner, I realized that I needed people of color in my story. So Matt is mixed race, descended on his father’s side from enslaved people in the South (the Johnsons), and on his mother’s side from Jews fleeing the Nazis (the Lefkowitches).

From their first meeting, Matt confronts George about his role as owner of many enslaved people, forcing him to acknowledge that slavery is cruel, evil, and immoral. These dialogues elevate Matt’s role in the story from mere sidekick duty. He never gives George a break about slavery, even rejecting the notion Washington was just “a product of his time.”

As I write this, it’s Passover, which commemorates the Exodus, the liberation of the Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt, and I wonder, “was Pharaoh just a product of his time?”

Despite their differences, George and LaMatthew do learn to trust and admire each other.  Matt, whose role at first was to help Tim understand and explain George’s momentous presence among them, later takes decisive and risky action to defend George during a surprise ambush. Originally intended as a mere sidekick, Matt thus forces his way into becoming a principal character.

About the Author

Bill Zarchy filmed projects on six continents during his 40 years as a cinematographer, captured in his first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. Now he writes novels, takes photos, and talks of many things.

Bill’s career includes filming three former presidents for the Emmy-winning West Wing Documentary Special, the Grammy-winning Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, feature films Conceiving Ada and Read You Like A Book, PBS science series Closer to Truth, musical performances as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and countless high-end projects for technology and medical companies.

His tales from the road, personal essays, and technical articles have appeared in Travelers’ Tales and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers, and American Cinematographer, Emmy, and other trade magazines.

Bill has a BA in Government from Dartmouth and an MA in Film from Stanford. He taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the EPIC Storytelling Program at Stagebridge in Oakland. This is his first novel.

Find the Author

https://findinggeorgewashington.com/
https://findinggeorgewashington.com/blog/
http://billzarchy.com/

Buy the Book

The eBook will be $0.99 during the tour everywhere it’s sold.

Paperback:    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0984919120/
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NXXNLBB/
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-george-washington-bill-zarchy/1138366946
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/finding-george-washington
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1053144
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/finding-george-washington/id1541743641
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Finding-George-Washington-A-Time-Travel-Tale-by-Bill-Zarchy-112403433952296

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

I had once kissed my old girlfriend Marnie on the Kiss Cam, a few months after we started dating, when things were still going well between us. I didn’t miss her, exactly. She had treated me badly. But the memory brought on pangs of loneliness. The camera focused on a young couple in the stands, who watched as their image came up on screen, then dove into a passionate smooch.

The crowd cheered. Though he still wasn’t sure what was happening, George was shocked by these indecorous public displays of affection. The camera cut to an older couple, who responded with a much more dignified buss. Light booing and laughter from the masses.

Sinatra continued to croon to “Strangers in the Night.” George was mortified.

“Timothy, this song and these people seem to be celebrating romantic liaisons of the most crude and casual type. How offensive!”

The screen cut to a pimply young guy, who practically leaped onto his cute girlfriend, attacking with a scary abundance of tongue.

“Ewww,” a girl behind us called out. Our whole section laughed.

The image on screen switched to George, with Rachel beside him. In that strong left profile shot, with his pale skin, high forehead, prominent apple cheeks, graying russet hair tied in back, and aquiline nose, he looked just like the guy on the quarter dollar.

The camera seemed to stay on them forever. Finally, with a good-natured grin, Rachel gave him a prim peck on the lips, then lingered an extra second or two. The fans screamed their appreciation.

I was speechless, overcome with dread, though not sure why. How had this happened? We had brought the Father of Our Country out in public to a baseball game in San Francisco.

And his iconic face was up on a giant screen, being kissed by a woman not his wife, as Sinatra sang about getting lucky.

I shared the moment with 40,000 of my closest friends at the ballpark. I hoped all their intentions were friendly.

Thank you!

Bill Zarchy — we appreciate your sharing your book Finding George Washington with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Mom & Dad’s Martinis

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Jacelyn Cane and her memoir, Mom & Dad’s Martinis.

Author’s description

Jacelyn Cane’s mom and dad liked their martinis dry: straight gin on the rocks with a dab of vermouth and a hint of water – and they liked them often. They also liked to party; they danced, socialized, and drank – they were good at all three. Sometimes this behaviour led to humorous situations – antics in the pool, at the club, the cottage or in the car, for example. Other times, however, the experiences were not so funny – family fights and times of neglect, trauma, and abuse. By weaving together a series of episodes that take the reader to light and dark places, author Jacelyn Cane tells a poignant cautionary tale for anyone affected by alcoholism and/or family struggles. The author is using a pseudonym and most of the names in the book have been changed to protect people’s identities. “Mom and Dad’s Martinis: A Memoir” is a great read for anyone who has experienced a childhood mixed with joy as well as sorrow. It is a story of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and hope.

About the Author

Jacelyn Cane was born and raised in Toronto. She lives with her husband, and near her three children and step-daughter. She is a retired elementary school teacher who also worked in social justice education with the United Church of Canada. She has worked in theatre and as a reporter. She was educated in Toronto, earning a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Canadian History from York University. Later, she earned a B. Ed. at the University of Toronto. She is passionately involved in numerous social justice issues such as climate crisis concerns and Indigenous rights. She loves meditating, writing, reading, music, laughing, and being around nature. She is motivated by a deep sense of spirituality. Her number one love, however, is being with family and friends.

Find the Author

Website: http://jacelyncane.com

Buy the Book

Amazon — https://amazon.com/dp/0228805104
Amazon –https://amazon.ca/dp/0228805104
Amazon –https://amazon.com/dp/B07T7Z818H
Indigo — https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/mom-and-dads-martinis-a/9780228805106
BN — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mom-and-dads-martinis-jacelyn-cane/1132123904
Kobo — https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/mom-and-dad-s-martinis
Smashwords — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/944724
Apple — https://books.apple.com/us/book/mom-and-dads-martinis-a-memoir/id1469160761

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

An Exclusive Excerpt Just For Us

My mom grew up on Tarlton Road in Forest Hill, Toronto. For many years, she lived a charmed childhood. Every day, my mother swallowed her molasses and cod liver oil and strolled to school with her neighbours and lifelong best friends, Mary and Sue. Off they went, down Tarlton West, onto Chaplin Crescent, through the park, over the railroad tracks and on to Forest Hill Jr. School. It was a long walk for little girls – and they came home for lunch every day.

In the evenings, after supper, Mom would bounce outside to play with the neighbourhood kids – hide and seek, cowboys and Indians, and red rover. Along with her girlfriends, my mother tried to master “double Dutch” skipping and threw a rubber ball against the house singing “Ordinary Moving”. On the lawn, the girls muddled through cartwheels, back bends, somersaults, and even some Russian dancing.

On rainy days, Mom and her girlfriends gathered in her basement to dress up in outrageous costumes – hats, high heels, and jewellery. Thanks to my grandmother, everything was packed in an old trunk and a dress up closet. One Sunday night, together in their dresses and high heels, my mother and her girlfriends paraded around to music played on a wind-up Victrola – “String of Pearls,” “Perfidia,” and more. And while they played, smells of my grandmother’s roast beef wafted to the basement.

“Dorothy,” my grandmother called down.

“Yes, Mommy.”

“It’s time for dinner. The girls need to go home now.”

“Already?”

“Yes, dear. You’ll see them after dinner.”

Every Sunday night, they had a scrumptious roast-beef dinner in the dining room with the family, including Aunt Geraldine, my grandmother’s sister.

“This plate is for you, Dorothy,” said Mom’s mother, as she scooped some roasted potatoes onto my mom’s plate. On Sunday nights, they always ate off Grandma Duncan’s good china – made in France with two exquisite blue and green birds sitting on branches. “Hold it carefully, dear.” Mom’s mother loved that china, and so my mom loved it too. They always had wonderful conversations in the dining room and Mom looked forward to those meals. Her mom was a great hostess and my mother became one too.

Soon, my mother and her closest girlfriends – Mary, Sue, and Helen – were labeled “the Tarlton Road Gang.” Eglinton Avenue was just beginning to be a place to hang out – and the soda fountain at Kresge’s discount store was a favourite destination.

“Let’s go to Kresge’s for a cherry Coke,” my mom said one afternoon.

“I’m gonna get a banana split,” Helen added, fixing the large bow in her curly hair. They’re the best in town.”

Thank you!

Jacelyn Cane — we appreciate your sharing your book Mom & Dad’s Martinis with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Forging Monsters

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Annie James and her Literary thriller Forging Monsters, Part 1.

Author’s description

A modern and beautiful Frankenstein’s Monster fights for the right to carve her own destiny in the human world of New York City.
A talented young dancer tired of witnessing violent crimes against women go unpunished and takes matters into her own hands.
A young woman tries to escape her past in the anonymity of New York but finds out that she cannot escape the scars on her soul, which drives her to shocking acts of violence.
Watch for Forging Monsters Part 2, coming soon.

About the Author

Annie is the author of the Tales of Origen series and several short stories. She lives in Kentucky with her husband and two fun-loving cats who inspired the feline characters Dirtbag and Scumbucket. She has an adult daughter who is also a writer, and a grandson. Her influences and favorite writers include: Frank Peretti, Mary Wollencroft Shelley, Apryl Baker, Dean Koontz, Alexandre Dumas, Linda Joyce, Mary Ramsey, and Lance Sheridan poetry.

She has lived in New York and Louisiana and loves Cajun cooking. She has had several people tell her that she should open a restaurant, but she loves writing too much to make time for it—running a restaurant is a TON of work. She has an associate degree in Administrative Assistance, majoring in writing, and business administration.

Find the Author

Website: https://anniejamesauthor.com/home
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/charmony777
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anniejamesauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annie.james.author/
Newsletter signup: http://anniejamesauthor.com/newsletter-sign-up-form/

Buy the Book

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1051176
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08Y565C3Z

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Zee was exhausted when she tumbled into bed. It seemed like no time at all had passed when she was woken up by a man’s hand over her mouth, and she found herself abruptly flipped onto her stomach, the guy’s knee in her back, pinning her down.

She felt his warm breath tickle her ear as he leaned down to whisper. “You have some explaining to do, Ze’Eva.”

“Jack?!” She tried to ask, her voice muffled against his thick hand pressed against her mouth. It came out sounding more like “Yack?”

He took his knee off her back and let her sit up. “What the hell are you doing?” She snapped as she pushed her hair out of her face.

“Did you know there is a hefty contract out on you?” Jack asked her. “Ten large.”

“Who…?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“Wait a minute, how do you know there’s a…?”

“Because I took the contract, Zee.”

“I don’t get it.”

“I’m a mercenary, Zee. It’s what I do. Contracts.”

“Oh. I didn’t know you were…”

“Well, I guess there is a lot neither of us knew. As I said, we need to talk.”

Thank you!

Annie James — we appreciate your sharing your book Forging Monsters, Part 1 with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.