#ReleaseBlitz “All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson” by Mark Griffin

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coverA Biography of Rock Hudson
Biography
Paperback Release Date: December 3, 2019
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
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SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

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The definitive biography of the deeply complex and widely misunderstood matinee idol of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
The embodiment of romantic masculinity in American film throughout the 50’s and 60’s, Rock Hudson reigned supreme as the king of Hollywood. As an Oscar-nominated leading man, Hudson won acclaim for his performances in glossy melodramas, adventure epics and blockbuster bedroom farces. Yet behind the suave and commanding star persona, there was an insecure, deeply conflicted and all too vulnerable human being. Growing up poor in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson was abandoned by his biological father, abused by an alcoholic stepfather and controlled by his domineering mother. Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Hudson was determined to become an actor. After signing with the powerful but predatory agent Henry Willson, the young hopeful was transformed from a clumsy, tongue-tied truck driver into Universal Studios’ resident Adonis. In a more conservative era, Hudson’s wholesome, straight-arrow screen image was at odds with his closeted homosexuality. Hudson was forever threatened with public exposure, not only by scandal sheets like “Confidential” magazine but by a number of his own partners. For years, Hudson dodged questions about his private life, but in 1985 the public learned that the actor was battling AIDS. The disclosure focused worldwide attention on the epidemic. Drawing on more than a hundred interviews with co-stars, family members, and former companions, All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson finally delivers a complete and nuanced portrait of one of the most fascinating stars in cinema history.

Purchase Links

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iBooks

IndieBound 

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About the author:

 photo All That Heaven Allows Author Mark Griffin_zpsqectja9d.jpegMark Griffin is the author of a previous biography, “A Hundred or More Hidden Things: The Life and Films of Vincente Minnelli” (Da Capo Press). Griffin’s interviews, reviews and articles have appeared in scores of publications, including The Boston Globe, MovieMaker and Genre. He recently appeared in documentaries focusing on Gene Kelly and Judy Garland.

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#GuestPost Giuseppe Cafiero, author of “Vincent Van Gogh: The Ambiguity of Insanity”

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 Five Things I’d Ask Vincent van Gogh if he Were Alive Today

By Giuseppe Cafiero

Van GoghVincent van Gogh died on 29 July 1890, but his enduring legacy will long continue. The historian, academic and acclaimed author Giuseppe Cafiero has studied the painter’s life and times for more than a decade. Here, Cafiero reveals the questions he’d ask van Gogh if he was around today.

In the Hollywood movie, Night at the Museum, the resident docent Rebecca Hutman (played by Carla Gugino) is writing a thesis about Lemhi Shoshone guide, Sacajawea. Hutman’s research is exhaustive but some questions will always remain unanswered unless she had the opportunity of questioning her heroine face-to-face.

In that movie, Hutman’s dream comes true when Sacajawea comes to life. Sadly for me, my own dream of meeting Vincent van Gogh will remain just that – a dream. But should the impossible happen and I had the opportunity of questioning my hero, here’s what I’d ask:

  1. How did you value the light in your paintings and what does light mean to you, if anything?
  2. How did you manage to create that wonderful yellow that appears in the Sunflowers series and in so many more of your paintings?
  3. What emotions did you feel before commencing a new portrait?
  4. How did you feel when you were in the sun of the Midi?
  5. How did you play with the prospects?

And yes, before you ask, I’d also ask him about his ear.

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Title: Vincent Van Gogh: The Ambiguity of Insanitycover

Author: Giuseppe Cafiero

An abrasive itinerary of the presence of women, the landscape and obsession. Such are the internal paradigms that went through the compelling life of the Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh.

Not flesh and blood women, but the woman as a guide: Mrs. Jones, the woman as a mother; Kee Vos; Christine Hoornik of Siena; Margot Begemann. The Portrait-women such as Augustine Roulin and Madame Ginoux. And then the backgrounds, endless, unforgettable in this genius’s works: Isleworth, Amsterdam, le Borinage, Arles, St. Remy, Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent his life trying to capture the colors, the atmosphere, the light.

The pain of finitude and his obsession with achieving redemption through art, with intimate and stormy religiosity, with brotherly love, with the French noon sun and, in short, with death. A hard-working and unwavering life where art interacted, in a painful gesture, with the iron will of a hand that never lost its way.

The life of a beloved and devoted man, silenced by the anguish and despair of creation, who could only find peacefulness when he found his own death.

Vincent Van Gogh: the Ambiguity of Insanity is a fictionalized biography and gripping novel of the life of the Nineteenth-Century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The author, Giuseppe Cafiero, draws a psychological portrait of the Post-Impressionist painter through the women that marked his life and the cities in which he lived.

Links

USA

Amazon.com

Audible.com

iTunes

Canada

Amazon.ca

Audible.ca

iTunes

Australia

Amazon.com.au

Audible.com.au

iTunes

UK

Amazon UK

Audible

iTunes

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Giuseppe CafieroAbout Giuseppe Cafiero

Giuseppe Cafiero lives in the Tuscan countryside, in Lucignano, in the province of Arezzo, Italy.
Born in Naples, he spent his childhood in several Italian cities. In Bologna he began to attend intellectual circles at Roberto Roversi ‘s renowned bookstore, “Palma Verde”. It was in one of the magazines published by this cultural center, that the first part of “James Joyce – Rome and other stories” was first published.

He later worked for various radio producers, especially Radio Capodistria and the Italian Swiss Radio so he moved to Tuscany. Finally he was able to devote himself to reading and to pursue his literary work.

His main literary influence is Calvin, author of extraordinary literary intellectual subtlety and intelligence. Giuseppe Cafiero continuously reads Borges, another great sublime, inimitable author who also worshiped Joyce.

Giuseppe Cafiero has written renditions, free adaptations, productions for radio and translations from French to Italian. The spectrum of names is extensive, from Shakespeare to O’Neill, from Raspe to Daudet, from Toller to Brecht. He has written for theatre and radio, collaborating also with the RAI, Radio Sveringes and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Cafiero favours the writing style “bio-fiction” and has completed three books in this literary style; James Joyce, Rome and other stories, Vincent van Gogh and The Unwary Shops on the Life and Work of Monsieur Gustave Flaubert, Writer.

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“Rabbit: A Memoir” by Patricia Williams

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Rabbit: A Memoir

by Patricia Williams

Genre: Biographies/Humor

9.99 at time of posting!

Nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work

“An absolute must-read” – Shondaland

“[Rabbit] tells how it went down with brutal honesty and outrageous humor” – New York Times

They called her Rabbit.

Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) was born and raised in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. One of five children, Pat watched as her mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior. By thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.

Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive. Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor. With wisdom and humor, Pat gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s really like to be a black mom in America.

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“Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan” by Elaine M. Hayes

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Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan

by Elaine M. Hayes

Genre: Biographies/Jazz

1.99 at time of posting! LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017

Washington Post Best Book of 2017

Amazon Editors’ Top 100 Pick of the Year

Amazon Best Humor and Entertainment Pick of the Year

Booklist Top Ten Arts Book

Queen of Bebop brilliantly chronicles the life of jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the twentieth century and a pioneer of women’s and civil rights

Sarah Vaughan, a pivotal figure in the formation of bebop, influenced a broad array of singers who followed in her wake, yet the breadth and depth of her impact—not just as an artist, but also as an African-American woman—remain overlooked.

Drawing from a wealth of sources as well as on exclusive interviews with Vaughan’s friends and former colleagues, Queen of Bebop unravels the many myths and misunderstandings that have surrounded Vaughan while offering insights into this notoriously private woman, her creative process, and, ultimately, her genius. Hayes deftly traces the influence that Vaughan’s singing had on the perception and appreciation of vocalists—not to mention women—in jazz. She reveals how, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Vaughan helped desegregate American airwaves, opening doors for future African-American artists seeking mainstream success, while also setting the stage for the civil rights activism of the 1960s and 1970s. She follows Vaughan from her hometown of Newark, New Jersey, and her first performances at the Apollo, to the Waldorf Astoria and on to the world stage, breathing life into a thrilling time in American music nearly lost to us today.

Equal parts biography, criticism, and good old-fashioned American success story, Queen of Bebop is the definitive biography of a hugely influential artist. This absorbing and sensitive treatment of a singular personality updates and corrects the historical record on Vaughan and elevates her status as a jazz great.

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“In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox” by Carol Burnett

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In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox

by Carol Burnett

Genre: Biographies/Memoirs/Comedians/Television

1.99 at time of posting!

In this New York Times bestseller, comedy legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of her iconic weekly variety series, The Carol Burnett Show.

In In Such Good Company, Carol Burnett pulls back the curtain on the twenty-five-time Emmy-Award winning show that made television history, and she reminisces about the outrageously funny and tender moments that made working on the series as much fun as watching it.

Carol delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and improvisations that made The Carol Burnett Show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. While writing this book, Carol rewatched all 276 episodes and screen-grabbed her favorite video stills from the archives to illustrate the chemistry of the actors and the improvisational magic that made the show so successful.

Putting the spotlight on everyone from her costars to the impressive list of guest stars, Carol crafts a lively portrait of the talent and creativity that went into every episode. With characteristic wit and incomparable comic timing, she details hiring Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway; shares anecdotes about guest stars and close friends, including Lucille Ball, Roddy Mcdowell, Jim Nabors, Bernadette Peters, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Betty White; and gives her take on her favorite sketches and the unpredictable moments that took both the cast and viewers by surprise.

This book is Carol’s love letter to a golden era in television history through the lens of her brilliant show. Get the best seat in the house for “eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in the sandbox.”

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“When I was Puerto Rican: A Memoir (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)” by Esmeralda Santiago

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When I was Puerto Rican: A Memoir (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)

by Esmeralda Santiago

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs/Hispanic & Latino

9.99 at time of posting!

One of “The Best Memoirs of a Generation” (Oprah’s Book Club): a young woman’s journey from the mango groves and barrios of Puerto Rico to Brooklyn, and eventually on to Harvard

In a childhood full of tropical beauty and domestic strife, poverty and tenderness, Esmeralda Santiago learned the proper way to eat a guava, the sound of tree frogs, the taste of morcilla, and the formula for ushering a dead baby’s soul to heaven. But when her mother, Mami, a force of nature, takes off to New York with her seven, soon to be eleven children, Esmeralda, the oldest, must learn new rules, a new language, and eventually a new identity. In the first of her three acclaimed memoirs, Esmeralda brilliantly recreates her tremendous journey from the idyllic landscape and tumultuous family life of her earliest years, to translating for her mother at the welfare office, and to high honors at Harvard.

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#Review “The Little Gate-Crasher: The Life and Photos of Mace Bugen” by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

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4/5 Stars!

Though a short read, The Little Gate-Crasher gives an insightful and in-depth look at the life of an extraordinary man.

Born with dwarfism in a time it was seen as a handicap to be hidden away out of shame or put on display for profit, Moishe Morris ‘Mace’ Bugen was born into a big loving family who didn’t treat him differently or coddle him.

With tenacity and sheer will, Mace would become a successful entrepreneur and businessman and a respected standout in community and civic groups, especially with youth and in sports, and in Jewish affairs.

Mace was also the king of self-promotion, staging more photo ops than a legion of press photographers. He had his photo snapped with luminaries from sports and stage and theater. He posed with politicians—and even a future president. While some subjects in the photos may look a bit surprised or caught off-guard, Mace Bugen is enjoying every second of it.

This read has some great photos—all property of the family—recapturing an era in modern history, with Mace front and center, of course. I didn’t read of any time Mace tried to use his disability for preferential treatment, but he had no problem using the shock value of his size to get his photos. Smart man!

But this leads me to my issue with the book. Photo and caption placement and formatting. Photo captions are listed at the beginning of the book. The photos are placed at the beginning of each section WITH captions. Many of the stories behind the photos are told throughout the story and it would have been less distracting to have photos with their stories, followed by a photo array at the end. And that list of captions in the front matter? It’s redundant, but I believe it should be part of the back matter. Future readers doing a Look Inside or downloading a sample will only get the copyright notice and the list of captions.

Life has changed much for individuals with special needs in the one-hundred-and-three years since Mace’s birth. Laws are in place protecting them and medicine and technology are now able to help alleviate some of the pain associated with dwarfism, and in some case, even give them additional height.

But Mace Bugen didn’t have those things and didn’t need them. He was forty-three inches tall… and larger than life. Pick up this unique bio today and meet the little gate-crasher.

Enjoy!

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Mace BugenMace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.

“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”

“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”

In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace BugenI remember my amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.

Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.

Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see.

The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.

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Amazon US        |       Amazon UK

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 Giveaway

Win a paperback copy of The Little Gate-Crasher (Open to US & Canada only)

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E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –USA / Canada entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BlogBlitz “The Little Gate-Crasher: The Life and Photos of Mace Bugen” by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

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Mace BugenMace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.

“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”

“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”

In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace BugenI remember my amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.

Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.

Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see.

The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.

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Amazon US        |       Amazon UK

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Gabrielle Kaplan MayerAuthor Bio – Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Gabby writes for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

 

Social Media Links

Website     |     Twitter     |     Facebook      

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 Giveaway

Win a paperback copy of The Little Gate-Crasher (Open to US & Canada only)

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E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –USA / Canada entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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“LOVE The Beat Goes On” by Lynda Filler

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LOVE The Beat Goes On

by Lynda Filler

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs/Women’s Health

99¢ at time of posting! Kindle Countdown!

When your cardiologist tells you to “Get your affairs in order, your heart condition is incurable,” what do you do?

Lynda shares her personal story in the typical fast-paced, edgy, in-your-face style she’s known for in her writing. She will walk you through her journey to self-love sharing her belief in journals, love, prayer, soul, spirituality and positive mindset.

She’s hard-hitting but compassionate. She writes about romantic experiences that may shock you but makes no apologies for her unconventional lifestyle. Nor does she hold back taking responsibility for the things that she believes created her dis-ease.

You will definitely question a woman who walks around in denial; then makes a decision to drive, all alone, from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to Whistler, Canada with undiagnosed Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Men and women are often self-care-challenged and Lynda was no the exception.

If you are fighting any kind of illness or dis-ease, you are not alone! Lynda has walked her talk, and after an experience in the summer of 2015 relating to Dr. Wayne Dyer, she is now ready to release her story

Lynda knows how it feels to be told you’re not healing or your condition is incurable. At no point will she undermine anything your physicians tell you to do. She is not a medical doctor. She will explain the powerful, yet simple concepts, beliefs, balance and faith that she believes led to her healing. Most of all, she will show you how she used these simple principles to design and live, the fully healed life she now enjoys in 2017.

You will shake your head in wonder, laugh, and maybe cry too. If you want less pain, worry, and stress about dis-ease and life in general, you will want to read this simple yet powerful story.

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#Review “Chasing Black Gold” by Robert Stone

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4/5 Stars!

Money is not the root of all evil, it’s the love of money that can distract you and lead you into some pretty shady and dark places.

That’s how a teenage boy who ran away from home—after decking his high school vice principal—at 15 to find adventure as a commercial diver ended up on the wrong side of the law for decades. Distracted by gold chains, fancy watches and an abundance of women, young Robert Stone was seduced into drug smuggling for the first time.

He was a millionaire by the time he was 17.

This memoir is fast-paced, intense, and detailed. Stone doesn’t absolve himself of wrong-doing, nor should he. But he and his friends are not the only criminals here. Were it not for rampant and widespread corruption in governments and police agencies, this book would have been a lot shorter! HA!

Stone doesn’t strike me as ruthless or hard-core, but that’s the type of people he was involved with on both sides of the law. I believe it was not only his entrepreneurship but also his enthusiasm for the game that drew people to him. Robert Stone made millions of dollars and lost them in a blink of an eye. But a change of name and a new operation and he’d do it all over again.

I am in awe he lived through most of his business dealings and being incarcerated on three different continents.

Without a doubt, Stone’s best asset was his late wife, Linda. She may not have known what she was getting into, but Linda Stone was no shrinking violet. If she was as strong as Stone writes her here, he would have been wise to heed her counsel.

Hard-hitting, Chasing Black Gold is an intriguing read on one man’s life of crime. Stone has not prettied it up. Some scenes are gritty and the language is graphic, but for me, those things worked to pull me into the story. True-crime readers, and lovers of crime fiction and suspense should take this adventure.

Enjoy!

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ROBERT STONE was a serial entrepreneur – an enterprising individual, mostly on the wrong side of the law, who spent twenty-five years operating all over the world, before being arrested in Switzerland as a result of an international manhunt led by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Over the course of his career, Stone earned and lost several lifetimes’ worth of fortunes, went to prison on three continents, used dozens of aliases, saw men die, and masterminded one of the biggest marijuana smuggling operations in criminal history. Fuel smuggling in Africa, trading fuel with generals, rebels and businessman, was both his career high and, ultimately, what brought him down.

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

The History Press

Waterstones

Ebooks.com

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Giveaway

Win 10 x signed copies of Chasing Black Gold (Open Internationally)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will pass to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.