Success Stories

The bookcase behind my desk is crammed to overflowing with novels and nonfiction books that I helped guide to publication over the years. Mainstream novels, suspense thrillers, historical novels, autobiographies, inspirational books – you name it, it’s there.

Here are just a few of those success stories.

Donalie Beltran

When I critiqued Donalie Beltran’s manuscript a few years ago, I had no way of knowing that it would go on to win awards and collect so many five-star reviews. All I knew for sure was that it was one of the best true crime stories I’d ever read. It was the story of a family harboring secrets, a family with murder in its past. And not just any family. This was the story of Donalie’s own family.

After owning her own web and graphic design firm for many years, Donalie has retired to write full time. Writing is her passion. Look for her additional works in the near future.

Pam Bingemann

During the 1960s, amid a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and the emergence of the civil rights movement, Pam Bingemann attended Florida State University, where she began writing. After college, her career path turned to real estate, and her creative writing skills focused on marketing and multimedia advertising. She spent most of her life living and working along the pristine beaches of Northeast Florida. In 2010 she retired to her country retreat in Southwest Georgia and completed her first novel, Common Justice, an intriguing tale of impoverished lives torn apart by racism in the 1960s segregated South.

Dr. Luke Brown

Like Essie, the protagonist in Dr. Luke Brown’s novel The Non-Silence of the Lamb, Dr. Brown’s roots are in Jamaica. He was born in Montego Bay, but moved to the US as a boy and attended high school in New York City. He graduated from St. John’s University School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, and became a licensed pharmacist in New York. He relocated to Florida and now travels frequently as he gathers information and inspiration for his writing.

David Bullock

When I first read Dave Bullock’s suspense thriller Forced Succession, I knew he had the knack for that genre. Not surprising, given his background. Born into a military family, Dave grew up living in many locales from Alaska to California to Massachusetts. After college, he served in the air force as a pilot, rising to become a squadron commander before his retirement. He continued wearing the uniform for another fifteen years as a high school AFJROTC instructor, and then retired a second time.

Dave now resides in Georgia with his wife, Dawn, where he writes full time. His novel The Last Rapier is about USAF pilot Major Jesse Hardin, who is selected as the first female test pilot for the X-66 Rapier Test Program. She is unnerved to learn that the first of the two top-secret planes has disappeared without a trace somewhere over the Pacific. You’ll have to buy the book to find out what happens next.

David C. Cassidy

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy is the twisted mind behind three best-selling novels of horror and suspense: Velvet Rain, The Dark, and Fosgate’s Game. I have to admit it: I love dark novels with a strong ambiance of horror. So I always relish the opportunity to read David’s latest offering. David is a talented author with a rare ability to bring horror to life in his fiction.

But I think David’s own words do a better job of describing him than I can, so here they are . . .

An author, photographer, and graphic designer – and a half-decent juggler – David spends his writing life creating tales of terror where bad things happen to good people. Raised by wolves, he grew up with a love of nature, music, science, and history, with thrillers and horror novels feeding the dark side of his seriously disturbed imagination. He talks to his characters, talks often, and most times they listen. But the real fun starts when they tell him to take a hike . . . and they Open That Door anyway. Idiots.

David lives in Ontario, Canada. From Mozart to Vivaldi, classic jazz to classic rock, he feels naked without his iPod. Suffering from MAD – Multiple Activity Disorder – he divides his time between writing and blogging, photography and Photoshop, reading and rollerblading. An avid amateur astronomer, he loves the night sky, chasing the stars with his telescope. Sometimes he eats.

Carlos Cisneros

When I read and evaluated Carlos Cisneros’s first novel, The Case Runner, I knew it was just the beginning of his new career as a writer. Carlos, a solo attorney in private practice on the Texas-Mexico border, sent me a cleverly plotted thriller packed with political intrigue, insurance fraud, and murder set against a backdrop Carlos knows well: the South Texas border culture. The draft I received needed work in a few areas, but Carlos was able to fix those problems with the help of my detailed critique.

Chris DeFazio

Chris DeFazio, a product of Quincy, Massachusetts, is a practicing ER doctor, a hack golfer (his words, not mine), and a minor league gym rat. When he’s not stitching up wounds or writing books, he also teaches physician assistant students at Northeastern University. He is a credited editor of the Manual of Emergency Medicine.

When Chris told me that his first novel, A History in Blood, was a finalist for the RONE Award, I wasn’t surprised. I read and worked through that novel several times as I evaluated, critiqued, and finally edited it, and I fully enjoyed every moment I spent with it. The second novel in his paranormal Blood Trilogy, Just Plain Blood, was a RONE Award nominee in 2014, and the final novel, Blood Future, has carried on Chris’s rare blend of horror, humor, and human drama. Chris has recently completed a crime novel entitled Last Chance and has begun writing a detective series set in New Orleans.

Randy Denmon

Randy Denmon has a stubborn streak a mile wide. He refused to give up his search for a literary agent for his first novel even after hundreds had turned him down. When he finally convinced an agent to take him on as a client, the agent almost immediately sold The Lawless Frontier to Kensington Books as part of a multi-book contract. The historical novel went on to win a fair amount of critical acclaim. It was a finalist in both the National Writers Association’s annual novel competition and the 2007 Golden Spur Award for best original paperback novel. Randy’s second novel, The Savage Breed, was released in 2009, and he has been writing and selling novels ever since.

Johannes H. Egbers

John Egbers has lived and worked in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and France, and he speaks the languages of those countries. He has been a US citizen since 1967, and from his engaging prose, I would have never suspected that English was not his native language. He said that the research and writing of his ambitious historical novel The Progressionists was one of the most rewarding experiences of his long life. In his words: “My present life is rather isolated, yet old men still can have dreams.”

Maggie Ferguson

My first venture into the Harlequin line of romance novels was with Maggie Ferguson’s intriguing novel Looks Are Deceiving. After getting her foot in the door with that novel, Maggie (a pseudonym) sold several more novels to Harlequin and established herself with readers around the world.

Barbara Fisher

Barbara Fisher called me late one afternoon to tell me about her first novel, Stolen Moments, and I knew right away that the love of writing was in her blood. I don’t think I know anyone who is more enthralled by the process of creating characters and wrapping stories around them. If you read a few of the many Amazon reviews for Stolen Moments, you’ll understand why the love story, which explores the depths of human emotion from joy to heart-wrenching tragedy, haunts its readers long after they’ve read the last page. You’ll also understand why they were so glad when the sequel, Just Out of Reach, was published. In addition to her novels, many of the popular Chicken Soup books include Barbara’s inspiring articles.

Jeff Geraci

Jeff Geraci grew up in the Coachella Valley in Southern California and still lives there with his wife, Briar, and their two children. He has a wealth of life experiences to draw on for his writing. He’s an environmental scientist, a graduate of the San Bernardino County Police Academy, and a graduate of UC Riverside with a BS in science.

Jeff’s first novel, Paramnesia, is one of those novels that can be enjoyed on more than one level. Young readers will love the story about Curia Coal-Pies, who tumbles into a mystical pond that transports her to another realm where animals talk, knights ride hybrid beasts, and animal and man alike are ruled by a tyrannical organization called the Circle of Nine. But I can say from personal experience that adult readers will also like this novel. And the symbolism and anagrams that Jeff scattered through the story add to the fun. Hint: Did I mention the Circle of Nine?

Van Graef

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered people who say, “Someday I’m going to sit down and write the story of my life.” The fact is, few people who are going to write that story “someday” get around to doing it. That’s because writing a book is one of those things that’s harder than it looks. But Van Graef did more than talk about it. He actually wrote that story even though his fingers couldn’t tap the keyboard. Van, once a gifted athlete, used speech-recognition software to write about his struggles with multiple sclerosis. His book, which holds a prominent position on my office bookshelf, is an inspiration to anyone who faces a crippling disease.

Willard D. Gray

Anyone who knows a Vietnam veteran knows that the war he fought decades ago still smolders inside him. His odyssey has been well documented in countless books and documentary films. But what of his family? What of those who continue to suffer, even today, alongside him?

When Willard Gray approached me with his concept for a book about the challenges faced by families of Vietnam veterans, I knew it was a book that needed to be written. Home Front: Viet Nam and Families at War tells the stories of thirteen Vietnam veterans, including Willard’s own son, and the lasting effects of the war on their families. Willard is also the author of End of a Silence: Full Moon over Fox Prairie, an historical novel based on true events.

Joyce Halvorsen

Joyce Halvorsen drew inspiration for her historical novel from family stories passed down through the generations. Her grandparents and great-grandparents immigrated to what is now South Dakota and Nebraska during the early 1900s. Their stories became the stuff of family legends. Ms. Halvorsen worked for the University of Wisconsin Madison Library System for many years and is a graduate of Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin. Upon graduation from Edgewood, she was presented the Class Human Issues award for her research and study of the Native American creation story: Coyote and Changing Woman. As a former teacher and librarian, she still enjoys researching genealogy and American history.

Mark Holbrook

Born in 1955 in Memphis, Tennessee, Mark Holbrook studied electrical engineering in college, earning a bachelor’s degree from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, followed by a master’s degree at the University of Southern California. His professional career culminated in a twenty-year stint subcontracting for NASA as a senior staff analyst.

Not surprisingly, Mark’s work designing and writing software for various ground systems for the Space Shuttle, Space Station, and Space Telescope systems forms the basis for much of the technology found in his novel Opposite Reaction. Inspired by authors like Michael Crichton and Philip K. Dick, Mark writes to entertain and edify his readers. And as someone who has been both a witness to and an implementer of technology, he hopes others will ponder where our interaction with technology is leading us as it changes our lives incrementally – with and without our permission.

Angus Munro

Another autobiographer with quite a story to tell is Angus Munro. Angus’s book takes the reader through personal tales that lead from his difficult childhood all the way to his career as a hospital administrator – a grade school dropout working side-by-side with Harvard grads. The lessons Angus learned along the way will inspire readers who, like Angus, dedicate themselves to taking the high road that leads to professional success.

Dennis L. Morrow

Dennis Morrow’s professional career spanned four decades, most of which was spent in middle and upper management of high-technology companies. His first novel, Alliance of the Quad: The New Alliance, was originally written as a screenplay. After several Hollywood production companies suggested the novel needed to be written before they would consider the screenplay, Dennis did just that, and discovered a love for novel writing. He retired from the business world and began a new career as a writer.

Andrea Perno

Andrea Perno is a science fiction author and full-time art teacher in Baltimore City, Maryland, where she lives with her husband and two cats. Her novel The Last Drop was named Best Science Fiction Novel of 2015 at the Authors’ Zone Awards ceremony in Pittsburgh.

Ed Plaisted

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ed Plaisted, a retired newspaper reporter and columnist, on four novels and one nonfiction book. Disaster Plan and The Impostor Wore #13 are sports-related novels that showcase Ed’s marvelous blend of drama, humor, action, and suspense. Terror in Berlin is a historical thriller that begins in 1943 London with the brutal rape and murder of an English socialite and builds into post-war intrigue guaranteed to keep the reader glued to the page.

Norm Spitzig

Norm Spitzig, MCM, is internationally recognized as an eloquent and visionary expert on private club operations and governance. His groundbreaking book Perspectives on Club Management – now over twenty-five years old – continues to inspire and challenge club directors, managers, and students around the world. Norm is also the author of four very funny and insightful books centered around the world of private clubs: Private Clubs in America and around the World; Murder and Mayhem at Old Bunbury; How Now, Norm’s Tao; and Soul on Nice.

Shane Stadler

Shane Stadler grew up in southern Wisconsin. After graduating from Beloit College in 1992, he earned a PhD in experimental physics at Tulane University in 1998. He has since worked at numerous government research and defense laboratories, and is currently a professor of physics at Louisiana State University.

He’s also a first-time author who took advantage of my evaluation and critique services. His debut novel, Exoskeleton, explores the story of a convicted criminal who opts to spend his time in a new year-long experimental corrections program instead of serving the conventional twenty-five-year prison term. However, he soon realizes that he’s made a horrible mistake in this dark tale of science spun dangerously out of control.

Sabine Sydney

Sabine Sydney was born in Haiti and grew up in Port-au-Prince. She earned a bachelor’s degree in science and minored in literature at Palm Beach State College, graduating in 2006. Inspired by authors like Nora Roberts and David Baldacci, Sabine writes to entertain her readers and to make them think. She has written a trilogy entitled Three Ten to the Bed of Roses. The first novel was published in October 2014.

Maureen Taylor

When I read Maureen Taylor’s autobiography, I knew its author was a woman of rare inner strength. Maureen suffered from a debilitating illness for years before it was finally diagnosed as scleroderma. Her skin became hard and Formica-like from head to toe, her lips disappeared, her front teeth protruded, and her purple hands and fingers looked more like claws. It wasn’t until she had lost nearly everything – her marriage, her health, her ability to get up and go to work every morning – that she found what truly mattered. A Place to Go: How Scleroderma Changed My Life is the inspirational true story of Maureen’s recovery from the disease and, even more dramatically, her discovery of self.

Want to find out how I can help you make it happen? Call me at 505-401-1021 or send me an email: