Showing posts with label Perfect Pawn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perfect Pawn. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The shots heard round the United States

I awoke this morning to the news that Louisiana Representative Steven Scalise had been shot, along with two officers from his United States Capitol Police security detail and two other persons, while attending practice for an upcoming Congressional charity baseball game. 

I would like to say that I am shocked, but I am not. In fact, I am honestly surprised that it has taken as long as it has to happen. I actually broached on this topic in my first book: Perfect Pawn.

While the shooter is ultimately responsible for his actions this morning, I lay the blame directly at the feet of both the politicians and media for creating the environment that led up to this attack.  An examination of the shooter’s social media account highlights all of the inflammatory talking points which most of us have become immune to. I say most because obviously some folks, like the shooter, take the hyperbole to heart and it is exactly why I say that the politicians and media both bear complicity in this heinous act. To be fair, I draw no distinction along either party line or news outlet, as this has been building for decades.

Maybe I take these issues more seriously than most because I spent five years doing dignitary protection in New York City.  I worked closely with members of the Secret Service, State Department DSS and the aforementioned Capitol Police dealing with potential threats to protectees. You learn early on in that business that it doesn’t take much to push some folks over the line. Many times it is a personalized affront; where they feel that the subject of their hatred has wronged them in some way. However, the alarming trend that I am seeing now is that people are being told, by both the media and politicians, that they have been wronged.

We have always been a politically divided country. In fact, I previously wrote about this topic regarding the problem with political parties and one excerpt in this post was written five years ago, almost to the day. It explains how they are dividing us for their gain.

While it is true that there has always been politically motivated incivility in this country, the direction we have been heading, over the last two decades, has sadly been all too clear for some of us. The vilification, and outright demonization, of individuals, for political gain or ratings, has created the world we live in today. What is changing is the level of inflammatory rhetoric that is being used.

Over the past few months we have seen some folks in the entertainment world blasting the President. Mock assassinations, beheadings, as well as a host of verbal tirades that are meant solely to dehumanize him. Because once you have dehumanized a person you can do anything you want to him with impunity. If you need a case study in this type of behavior look no further than Nazi Germany and their treatment of the Jews.

Now, I will be the first one to say that no politician should be protected from the people’s disagreement. We have a right to air our opposition to anything we might disagree with. I am a gun owner and fully support the 2nd Amendment. I also served in law enforcement for over two decades so I do have a significant understanding about crime and safety in America. But I also understand that, while there are around 55 million gun owners in America, there are around 325 million people in the United States and many of them do not. What is within our control is how we discuss the issue. If you simply choose to yell at me with nothing more than regurgitated talking points in all likelihood I will just walk away. That doesn’t mean you have won anything, it just means that I value my time and breath.

Spend longer than five minutes on any social media platform or the comment section of any online news organization and you will see just how ‘uncivil’ we have become to one another: Libtard, Teabagger, Left-Wing Loon, Right-Wing Nut Job, and these are the nice things, most is simply unfit to print.  What is truly sad to me is that we simply cannot have a difference of opinion. Once someone says they don’t believe in something they are immediately labeled and castigated.

So what is the purpose of all this vitriol? Well, at the end of the day it basically comes down to two things: Power & Paychecks.

The media sows the seed of discontent because it drives ratings. They want viewers or readers and you attract them with bold rhetoric or headlines. It doesn’t have to be true, or even address the real issues; it just has to be salacious. Ratings and readerships equal bigger paychecks for those involved. Politicians want power, so they appeal to their base. They vilify the other side as being hardliners, when they are in the minority, so that you will re-elect them. If you re-elect enough of them they get the power, but they still vilify the other side as being obstructionists. They count on you being too confused to see that each is only one side of the same political coin. Why? Because they really don’t have the desire to fix anything nor to address the real problems we are facing.

As I sit here writing this I wonder to myself if this is even worth it? Will anyone stop and actually listen?

The problem is that no one really wants to think they have been duped. We want to think we are smarter than that, but we are like the parents who refuse to believe that their child was really at fault for something, even when the cops bring them home. We make excuses for the bad behavior as we seek to blame someone else like the teachers, cops or the amorphous system, whatever that might be. Because God forbid we should admit that a) we didn’t raise them right or b) that they truly are personally responsible for their bad behavior.

So should we be surprised when the media and politicians wring their hands and feign shock when something like this happens. Neither group will take responsibility, even though they have been fanning these flames for some time now. No, now the blame game begins and first up is: Guns!!

Almost immediately the anti-gun folks, like Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, seized the moment and began re-directing the narrative by attacking guns. As if the gun, and not the shooter, was responsible.

Never one to lose a political opportunity, McAuliffe twice said "we lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence." Not exactly sure where he resides, but the United States would be devoid of life within a business week with those numbers.  I think the number is actually 93, but even that is political math. If you're interested, read this post on Stat's & Gun Control.

McAuliffe then went on to say "there are too many guns on the street," but then added that the issue shouldn't be raised today, after he himself had raised the issue today.

Hypocrisy…………Shocking, I know.

Now my news feed is filled with politicians saying: ‘An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us’ and ‘I pray we can resolve our differences’……. That’s so refreshing and wholly disingenuous. What’s spurring on this sentiment is that it hit too close to home and they realize that if someone on the left target someone on the right that those roles could easily be reversed next time and that is downright terrifying to them. Prior to today it was all rhetoric, today it is reality. Welcome to the world you have created.

My fear is that we have crossed a line that we cannot undo. It’s like opening Pandora’s Box and then lamenting how we should have left it closed. Too late.

The first shot in anger is always the toughest, the second and third become much easier. I pray that won’t happen, but the odds are not good. What needs to be done is for the folks to step back and apologize for the daily doses of enmity that they have been dishing out. They need to apologize to the American people that they have been fanning the flames for their own gain, not for the people, but that would take personal responsibility and I don’t think they are mature enough for that.


I pray that this was a one-time event, but in my heart I truly believe this was just the opening salvo.

Kudo's to the men and women of law enforcement who prevented this from being a massacre, by doing what they do everyday: putting themselves in harm's way and protecting the innocent. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Perfect Pawn - Free (Memorial Day Week)

Just in time to kick off your Summer Reading, I am re-releasing an updated version of my debut novel, Perfect Pawn.

From May 30th through June 3rd, 2017, you can add the e-Book version to your summer 2017 reading list for free.

Perfect Pawn tells the story of James Maguire a former Navy SEAL and a retired NYPD Detective who is faced with investigating the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend who went missing from a one-car accident.

The one thing you find as an author is that with each passing year and each new novel, you become a better writer. With this in mind, we went back and did a re-edit / update. While the story line is not affected, there are some additional 'conversations' between characters that enhance the book, as well as removing some of the inter-chapter 'head' hopping that took place. All in all I think this new edition will greatly appeal to the reader.

For this edition I also updated the cover artwork to make it readily identifiable.

If hope that you enjoy the book and I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to leave feedback when you are done.

You can check out all my books by clicking here: Other Books by Andrew G. Nelson

Thank you so much and happy reading !!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Uncommon Valor II - Challenge Coins of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit

Back in the summer of 2015, just as I was getting ready to publish: Uncommon Valor - Insignia of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit, the collecting world erupted with a new area: Challenge Coins. At the time I questioned whether I should be the book on hold and include this field, but the more I researched, the more I realized that I would need a lot more time.

I had already invested five years into the cloth insignia history, so I decided to publish that book and then devote the necessary time to properly investigating the coin phenomena. To give you an idea of just how quickly coin fever has gripped the hobby, consider that my first book documented nearly a century of ESU insignia history and comprised roughly 130 pages. This follow-up is nearly the same page count, but only goes back to the late 1990's, when the first ESU coin came out.

Like the first book, this has been a labor of love. At times it felt like I was investigating some deep, dark mystery and at other times banging my head against the desk seemed like a completely acceptable option. In the end it didn't take five years, but it did take almost two.

As much as I love writing these books on ESU, I realize that I much rather write fiction. It is much simpler to create stories in your head, as opposed to conducting research. In the field of non-fiction you only get one chance at being right.

Fortunately, the hard work has paid off and now I add another new book to the catalog. If you are interested in the NYPD ESU or challenge coins, I believe you will thoroughly enjoy this book. It contains over 100 photographs and offers collectors a glimpse at some of the rarest challenge coins produced by the various Trucks and Specialty Units, many of which have never been seen before.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to those members of ESU who afforded me the opportunity to ask innumerable questions and who provided photos of their coins. You are truly the Finest of the Finest.

It is amazing to me, as I submit the file for printing, that this will be my ninth book. It seems like only yesterday that I was holding Perfect Pawn in my hands for the first time. Now it is time to put my non-fiction endeavors to bed for awhile, as I take back up the further adventures of James and Alex.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Importance of Reading my Novels in Order

The other day I was having a chat with one of my readers and it occurred to me that she had not read my books in order.  

Does that mean that you have to read them in order? No, but you should, if you want to get the most out of them.

When I started out, I had a vision for the direction that I was going to take the books.  Unfortunately, and you can blame my wife for this, that vision took a sort of detour when I wrote SmallTown Secrets. That book was only intended to be a short story, sort of like what I did with Cold Case, but my wife fell in love with the main character and it took on a life of its own.

So instead of having just the James Maguire series, we now have the Alex Taylor series. Each series is their own, but their stories also converge into the world of the other. 

The reason I suggest that you read them in order is that, while each book has its own storyline, they also contain sub-stories and characters who, while they might not be significant now, will play a larger role down the line.

That’s the fun of story-telling, you’re telling a story.  Even though it is fictional life, we know that life doesn’t end at the last chapter, it just moves on to the next book.

So pick up Perfect Pawn and start where it all began. You'll get the most of them that way and isn't that what reading is all about? 

I hope that you enjoy the journey! If you do, please don't keep it to yourself. Kindly tell a friend and leave a review. I cannot begin to tell you how much it means to authors when they get feedback from their readers. After all, we write for you.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.



Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 2016 Update - The Importance of Reviews

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to the New Year. Despite all the busyness of the holiday season, I have managed to get some writing in. I can happily state that the latest installment in the James Maguire series is over 1/3 complete and I am currently brainstorming the next Alex Taylor one as well. 

The feedback coming in on the novella I wrote back in December: NYPD Cold Case - The Katherine White Murder, has been amazing and there will be more coming.

Creating stories is not what I consider work, as I enjoy the process very much, but I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't require work. There is a tremendous amount of effort that goes into creating, organizing, editing, and polishing a manuscript, as my esteemed editor, and co-author, aka: my wife, Nancy Nelson, will attest to. The finished book that you read over a weekend takes hundreds of hours to physically produce. I think I can speak for all authors, especially #‎indieauthors, when I say that the greatest thing you can do for us, besides reading our books, is to review the book and then
recommend it to your friends and families.

Sometimes it feels as if authors are pleading for reviews and the truth is, we are. In the case of indie authors, like myself, we do it all, including the PR work. A legacy publishing house like Ballentine, Putnam or Little Brown, have amazing PR departments who can get an authors book onto the desk's of reviewers for USA Today, the NY Times, etc..... Indies, not so much. 

I can certainly tell you that I much rather prefer writing a new book, for you to read, then I do trying to market them. When it comes to writing, it is truly a labor of love. The majority of authors are lucky if they make enough money to pay for the electricity usage to run the computer they write on. They don't do it for fame or riches, although I don't think that any of us are actually opposed to that concept, but because they have a story to tell. At the end of the day that is who we are, storytellers. Only a small percentage of authors actually make a living from it and it is an even smaller group, like the Martin's, Patterson's and Clancy's, who actually become famous. Once again, it is the readers who decide that.

Author's require readers and, while we appreciate each and every one of you, we really depend on you to review our books. Amazon, which most of us use to publish our print and #‎kindle e-books through, have a very stringent set of analytics which they use to rate books. You can have the greatest book in the world, but without reviews the book will languish because Amazon only showcases / promotes books that have good review numbers.

So if you enjoy books by indie authors, show them some love and take the 2-3 minutes required to write a review.

As for me, it's time to get back to work.

Remember to also follow me on #‎twitter @Andrew_G_Nelson where I tweet about some other great indie authors as well.



Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Christmas Gift To You !! - Perfect Pawn

To celebrate Christmas this year, I have decided to play the part of Santa Claus and giveaway a free e-book copy of my debut novel, Perfect Pawn.

To get your copy, simply go to my Amazon author page on Christmas Day and choose the graphic for Perfect Pawn. The book will be free all day December 25th.

Thank you to my amazing fans for your continued support over the years. May you have a very blessed Christmas and may 2016 be a healthy and prosperous one for you all.

God Bless,
Andrew G. Nelson




Friday, November 13, 2015

Interview by Elizabeth Simmons @ DigitalReadership

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Elizabeth Simmons over at Digital Readership.

I enjoy doing these interviews because they not only allow me to reach a broader audience, but sometimes they pose really good questions that allow me to connect better with my readers. This was the case with Elizabeth’s interview. She went outside the routine questions and I think you’ll enjoy reading it. Check it out here.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Enjoy the interview!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Reflections on my Technology Break

As some of you may recall my trusty computer developed a hard drive meltdown that caused me to be off-line for several weeks. It was quite cathartic.

Over those few weeks I found myself actually involved in ‘doing’ things, tangible things, like cutting down tree limbs, physical labor, and engaging with my family. It was an interesting experiment. I don’t even think I watched all that much TV, because, at the end of the day, I was too damn tired from working. Then I went and did something dumb.

I fixed my hard drive.

Suddenly I was immersed back into the world of social media. There were emails to answer, authors to tweet, mind-numbing posts to ‘like’, and a 24/7 news cycle that seems  to be bi-polar on a good day, especially when discussing  political candidates….. Suddenly I felt my soul being sucked away again.

Honestly, it has been infuriating.

Not that I don’t enjoy hearing about what is going on in everyone’s life……….and who went out for a spiced frappuccino venti macchiato vanilla latte…… really, doesn’t anyone drink real coffee anymore? But I don’t.

I hate to be brutally honest, but these damn computers and smart phones have replaced TV as the 21st century’s version of the idiot box. We sit here refreshing the page wondering if we missed anything critical in the last 32 seconds.  Here’s a news flash: You Did !!

32 Seconds of your life just went by, that you can never get back.

Heck, I’m getting posts from people I honestly don’t even know…….. Seriously, do I really have the capacity to take on someone else’s issues when I have my own to contend with?

Bottom line is that I’m a writer who isn’t writing, and that’s not good.

So here’s the thing, I’m going back to pretending that my hard drive is crashed again. I have a book to edit and publish this month as well as another I am working on. Then there is Thanksgiving and Christmas to get ready for, as well as a new year quickly approaching.

I’ll continue to write updates and post them on my blog, for those who are so inclined to read them. The way I look at it this qualifies as writing as well as giving me my computer fix.

Will I lose some friends / followers? Probably, that will fall under the category of C’est la vie.
To those who stay and actually check out the blog, I’ll try and keep it fun and entertaining.

Follow me on twitter: @Andrew_G_Nelson


I won’t be there, but when I am, you won’t miss anything new and exciting !!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Want to see Perfect Pawn made into a movie ?

There is a website called the IF List, which stands for the ImagineFilm list. The IF List is a platform for movie and casting ideas. Whether you are a fan, author, aspiring actor, or industry professional, The IF List lets you discover potential films and TV shows, make proposals, and gain popular support for the ideas you want to become reality.

The NYC based company was founded by life-long friends and business partners with a shared passion for movie ideas. Inspired by the concept of a universal database for casting, the founders spent over a year rigorously planning and developing the product that would become the Imagine Film List. The core team is made up of dedicated artists and thinkers who bring together experience from multiple disciplines, including product design, web development, filmmaking, storytelling, marketing, and brand strategy. The company is committed to building a valuable creative platform and resource for the arts and entertainment industry. In this role, they are backed up by a number of partners including Backstage and Studio 4.

My book, Perfect Pawn, is listed on the site and I am asking for your help. By visiting this link: Support Perfect Pawn, you are able to do three things:

  1. Support Perfect Pawn’s efforts to become a movie development.
  2. Select actors who you feel would best be suited for the main roles.
  3. Write an endorsement for the project.


We have all read books that were so good, we wanted them to be turned into a movie. Here is your chance to do just that.

I would really appreciate it if you would take just one moment to support my book.

Sincerely,
Andrew G. Nelson

Follow me on Twitter: @Andrew_G_Nelson

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Author Interview at Awesome Gang

I had a wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by the nice folks over at Awesome Gang, where readers meet awesome writers. 

It's a fantastic site, where readers can get some insight into new books and the authors behind them. 

If you have a moment, please check it out at: http://awesomegang.com/andrew-nelson/

Remember to follow me on Twitter: @Andrew_G_Nelson