Side Effects: What Candidates Don’t Tell You by Tomas Payne–guest author


Book Genre: Nonfiction (political)
Publisher: Finlee Augare Books
Release Date: July 1, 2016Buy Link(s):
Amazon: Description:
The book candidates don’t want us to see.
“A must-read guide to campaign promises.” “Facts everyone should see before they vote.”
Candidates rally for our support and appeal to our anger and frustrations, often offering radical solutions, but what aren’t they telling us? Sure they pitch the good times they’ll bring. What about the side-effects and costs of their medicine.
Side-Effects: What Candidates Don’t Tell You takes you behind the scenes on issues of the day and campaign promises. It focuses on consequences, issues, and options. It also challenges myths such as who are the wealthy, and what is the history of depressed wages. The emphasis is on shedding light, exposing myths, examining consequences, and exploring options, not on personalities. Sorry, no dirt on the people, just on their promises.
Side-Effects will answer questions such as:

  •   Will raising income and estate taxes hurt the billionaires and redistribute wealth?
  •   Why healthcare is broken and what options we have.
  •   Why wages are depressed and what we can do about it.
  •   What are the implications of immigration plans?

Side-Effects cuts through the BS to look at campaign promises on wealth redistribution, taxes, Social Security, healthcare, depressed wages, and many other topics and aims to bring facts to these issues.

Guest Post Request For Avenue Books – Does Hillary’s and Trump’s faith matter?

While a candidate’s professed faith may shine some light on their character, a better indication of how they will guide the reins of government are his or her actions over respective careers. It’s true that religion has always been an important part of the American character. However, our Founding Fathers were very much afraid of the active intervention of faith in governance that they saw in Europe leading to centuries of wars and strife. They believed that faith can take many forms, but that people of faith can work to build bridges or to create strife. That’s why they fought so hard to separate church and state and keep faith as a private matter. They did not want America to follow the example of religious wars in Europe.


Do candidates’ religious beliefs matter? It’s interesting that every four years, candidates trot out their religious devotion and then move on to act out their lives as they see fit. Those who profess and even act upon the most devout religious beliefs can still promote policies that will disadvantage voters who can be whipped up to support them strictly on religious grounds. That’s a dangerous way to vote. It leaves voters open to being manipulated into voting against their own best interests. Voting for a candidate who backs your beliefs on abortion yet promotes policies that will make your job disappear isn’t really supporting your best interests.


I would argue that a candidate’s character matters more than their religious beliefs or their faith when it comes to guiding this country. Look at what they do, not just what they say.

Author Bio:
Tomas Payne is a CPA and has an MBA in Finance, BS in Political Science and over 30 years of business experience. He is a longtime student of business, the ever-entertaining field of economics, and of the political shell game.Author Links – 
Twitter: – 
US Only: 1 signed print book of Side Effects plus $15 Amazon gift card
US Only: 1 signed print book of Side Effects
Worldwide: 2 ebook copies (mobi/epub) of Side Effects


The Can’t-idates by Craig Tomashoff — book excerpt

Date Published: January 2016
Publisher: Bobtimystic Books
 I’m not a political person by nature. Most of the time, it seems the political world plays out more like a lame ‘70s sitcom with all its predictable characters and routine storylines. However, last spring, I got tired of hearing friends and family complain about the lack of exciting, innovative candidates for president. Everyone seemed ready to vote for “None Of the Above.” So, I decided to take a 10,000-mile road trip across America in May 2015 to meet several of the more than 1600 “real people” who are legit candidates for the presidency. Including a couple in New England.
The Can’t-idates is about dreamers — not all of whom are tin-foil hat crazy — who just want to fill a hole in their lives by running for president. And as I drove to meet them all, I realized a lot about not just my life but also about the country. If we could all take time to believe in what our parents always told us — “Someday you can grow up to be president” — maybe we wouldn’t be in the shape we’re in.


As much as we love our children, the cold, hard fact is that we frequently lie to them in order to give them hope, which, in this world, is often in short supply. As far as I’m concerned, that’s totally ne. Adults recognize the harshness of a world that seems determined to discourage the next generation, so we manufacture comforting fiction to soften the blow and keep them in line (at least somewhat). How else do you explain countless fantastical tales throughout history, from stories of Greek gods to the annual appearance of Santa Claus to certain beliefs about what will cause hair to grow on your palms?

Most of these stories are innocent and well-intentioned. They tend to achieve the desired effect of keeping our kids believing in the unbelievable and living the good lives we want them to live. There is, however, one complete and total lie we have spun for years that may be doing far more harm than good. It has wreaked havoc on our entire democratic system. We tell America’s future leaders that if they work and study hard, any of them, no matter where they came from, can one day be President of the United States.

Presidential candidates want you to believe in this fiction because it humanizes them. They spend huge chunks of their day trying to portray themselves as men and women “from Main Street and not from Wall Street,” each one attempting to out- ordinary the next by sharing everything from stories of immigrant parents to childhood newspaper routes to their favorite barbecue recipes.

However, claiming they truly feel the plight of average Americans is like hearing them say they’re connoisseurs of Mexican cuisine because they’ve sampled the late night menu at Taco Bell. It’s pretty hollow reasoning and produces nothing but a lot of hot air. I’m reasonably certain this was not quite what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they set this whole democracy thing in motion.


In fact, they took great pains to keep the requirements for leading this nation as minimal as possible. It’s more complicated to get a Costco membership card than it is to make a run at the presidency. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution specifically states: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

And that’s it. Turn 21 and you can drink. Turn 25 and you get a better rate on your auto insurance. Turn 35 and you can be the Commander in Chief. It all seems so simple. Which is may- be why we constantly remind our kids that someday it could be them. It really does seem that almost no one is ruled out of this race. At least that’s how it feels if you spend three minutes viewing any cable news outlet once the election cycle starts spinning. I could swear that at one point, the only person not running for the Republican presidential nomination was that crazy old guy you see arguing with cashiers at the grocery store. And even he would have led if he weren’t so busy watching Clint Eastwood movies and telling the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn.



So what are voters to do? We’re stuck between a rock and some head cases. On one hand, we all say we want a leader who can personally relate to the struggles of low- and middle-income Americans. On the other hand, we don’t want to waste our votes on candidates who can’t win. I’m not gullible enough to fall for the aforementioned lie that any of us can grow up to be president. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to at least find some candidates you’d enjoy having a beer and burger with? There has to be somebody out there running for president with the compassion of FDR, the folksiness of Harry Truman, the intellect of Stephen Hawking and the straight talk of your college roommate.



          I knew that none of these people would ever get elected. But that wasn’t the point. The point was just to try. If we’re also going to stick with that other great political lie — that every vote is important — I was really just doing what we all fantasize we’d do if we could. I was going to find the best person to hand my vote over to, regardless of what the outcome might be. Somebody has to, right? It’s fun to complain about our broken political system. Yet if the final answer is to vote for the most likely winner, that’s not the best path toward any change. The only way to make a difference is to search for somebody capable of making a difference, regardless of what school they went to or how much money they have or what kind of fast food they order. We need candidates who are told they can’t do this.



          Finally, we get around to talking about what brought me to him in the first place — that whole thing about running for president because he’d failed the bar. Often. Each attempt had cost Emrit $1,000 just to take the test. But there was more than a financial cost to his repeated failures. He’d been married, but when it became clear that a career practicing law was most likely not in the cards, the marriage ended. His wife remained in Florida with their daughter (now 12). While the newly single Emrit eventually found his way to Las Vegas.

           “It’d be nice if I was president, because then I could go to my ex and say, ‘Hey, I’m the president now. Can I get custody of my daughter? She could come to the White House,’” he said. “I haven’t seen my daughter in a couple of years. It’s a sensitive issue.”




          He also had a duty that, in looking at this gruff, bearded, 6’ 4” wall of a man, was hard to imagine ever being assigned to him. His Hell’s Angel demeanor made him seem like the last guy you’d want knocking on your door to tell you your loved one had just been killed in the line of duty. And yet, Harley Brown did just that for nearly two years.

          “It loosened a few screws in me,” he admitted. “How could it not? If you don’t have a heart, you could do that job.  But I was supposed to say this blurb: ‘The Secretary of the Navy said…’ Fuck that shit! I wasn’t gonna say that. I’d walk up to the door and they’d see my uniform and start thinking about their son. Then they look into your eyes and see the expression on your face and say, ‘Oh, Jesus!’ You have to confirm their worst fear. I had a lady who had a heart attack on the stoop of her home. I didn’t know what the fuck to do.”

          For one of the very few moments in the evening, Brown sat silent. “That fucked me up in the head. It just changed my whole attitude. It completely stripped me of a façade of political correctness. After doing that shit, you don’t care.”

*   *   *

          “Business was lousy and I was depressed. [So I] cried out to God, ‘What the hell am I doing driving a taxi? You didn’t make me the youngest fleet commander in the Navy for nothing. How about putting me back on active duty and make me a battalion commander of 1,000 men to fulfill my wildest ambitions?’ I think I was 40 years old at the time.

          “And then God talked to me. Not audibly, but to my heart. He said, ‘Harley, I have a much higher rank in mind for you. Being an Irishman, I said, ‘What? Secretary of War? Being in charge of all the troops and planes and tanks?’ He said, ‘No, son, I’m gonna make you Commander in Chief!’ I said, ‘Wow!’ Then it hit me and I thought, ‘That’s the president of the United States. What the hell do I know about politics and protocols?’”

          Not much, clearly. “I said, ‘Besides that, Heavenly Father, you give someone like me that kinda power and I’m gonna have to take over the whole goddamn world! Because that’s all those assholes can understand.’ I was thinking about Iran. And then the answer comes back, ‘I know what I’m doing, son.’ I was like, holy shit! The next day I went out and got the Presidential Seal tattoo on my arm!”




          Nate sat outside the door getting jacked up on candy and soda from the courthouse vending machine while his father and I went into an office. Clearly I wasn’t the only one surprised by this meeting. So was Usera’s probation officer, who seemed shocked that a) he had a writer following him around for the day to document his presidential campaign and b) that he even had a presidential campaign.

          Upon hearing this news, she feverishly typed something into her computer and then announced, “Josh, you do realize that there’s a warrant out for your arrest, right?” As it turns out, he was not. She explained the he’d neglected to pay a speeding ticket and therefore, he was headed for jail again unless he took care of the ticket ASAP.

          We rushed downstairs and across the parking lot to the sheriff’s station, making it inside just before they closed for the day. Old Horse had left for home, so Nate entertained me with a failed magic trick involving a disappearing quarter. After a couple minutes, Josh motioned for me to come over. I reached into my wallet for my credit card, certain it was going to be up to me to bail him out of this. Instead, he had already taken care of the payment and just wanted to introduce the clerk behind the counter to the writer that was covering his presidential campaign.




          “Look around,” Lower instructed as we walked, constantly pointing at one empty structure after another with the same sighing recognition one uses when seeing high school yearbook pictures of friends who’ve died since graduation.

          “See the signs — ‘For Rent,’ ‘Available.’ That building’s empty. That one’s for sale. That one just switched hands again. See that green building? That used to be my in-laws, and it was a bar they ended up closing because of the economy. This whole corner building has been vacant for a decade. That one on the corner that kind of looks like a bank? That’s been vacant for a decade too. That one there? Empty. That one? Empty.” He stopped on a corner for a moment to take it all in. “Truck through downtown Ionia, and this is the rest of the country. The big cities are the big cities, but what you see here is the rest of the country.”

          Lower has a very personal relationship with one of the town’s drug abusers. When Nicole’s son was 16, she and Lower learned he wasn’t just using drugs. He was starting to deal them as well. A line had been crossed and Lower truly believed that “if you can’t hold people accountable in your own family, how can you expect to do it on a national or global level?” So, they turned their own child over to police custody.

          I had no idea how to respond. We’re so conditioned as parents to protect our children no matter what. The idea of handing them over to someone else for punishment seems unnatural. We preach tough love because it sounds good, especially when it’s about someone else’s children. I like to think that everything I’ve ever done for my son, this current journey of mine in particular, has been done to inspire him to do the right things—rather than scare him into avoiding the wrong things. And here was a man who felt the same way, yet still handed his oldest child over to the authorities.

          He had his reasons. The way Lower saw it, “when kids are under 17, you have a window where you’re trying to make a change that doesn’t end up hurting them the rest of their lives. He couldn’t follow the probation, so I finally looked at the judge and said, ‘He needs real consequences.’”

          Candidates talk all the time about their willingness to make tough decisions. Well, they don’t come any tougher than this one and Lower made it. He let his son go to a detention center for 90 days in order to start weaning himself off drugs. The decision definitely strained his relationship with the now 18-year-old. But I didn’t sense an ounce of regret from Lower.



          There was a pause that hung as heavy as the early afternoon humidity. “I tried to commit suicide.”

          At age 14, Fleming had become a pariah because of her sexuality. The girl she’d loved left her. Someone at school planted a stolen stereo in her locker, then alerted the authorities that she’d taken it. Couple that with her struggles at home with her father and constantly being held back at school, and Fleming decided she’d had enough.

          “It was just a really bad year and I got tired of it all. I took a bottle of about 200 aspirin out of my mom’s medicine cabinet. I went to the park, climbed to the top of the ladder and took every damned one of them. I don’t know what happened. I woke up in the hospital. They pumped my stomach, and then I had charges pressed against me because it’s illegal to commit suicide. If you don’t die, you go to jail.”

          They don’t necessarily agree on everything. Her mom has warned her a few times that she doesn’t have enough money to run for president—even though Fleming is certain that the mystery donation of a few thousand dollars that was recently given to her campaign was from her mother. And when she mentioned that she was going to talk to me, her mom warned her to be very discreet.

          “She told me not to let anybody know that I’m a dyke. And I said, ‘Why?’ It is not like this was 20 years ago, when I could have actually lost my children.” Fleming paused. She didn’t exactly choke up, but I sensed a sadness in her that hadn’t been there even when discussing Travis. She quickly glanced at Marc, who had moved to watch over something wrapped in foil on their small, rusty barbecue grill.

          “I would love to be able to have a female partner hold my hand and walk with my children without having to worry about if someone was going to call Child Protective Services. It has happened for me. That’s why I had to go back into the closet.”




          He’d already gone from being “a millionaire on paper” to being broke, courtesy of the 2008 stock market collapse. After she passed, he lived on odd jobs and food stamps, spending endless sleepless nights sitting in the same easy chair—“throwing myself into the news…local, state, national. I’d get one hour of sleep to get up and watch Face the Nation and all that stuff. Where most people are watching General Hospital and As the World Turns, I’m on cable watching BBC news from the UK. I am watching Japanese news. I am watching stuff all night long, I’m reading stuff. And I’m feeding on that.”

          In particular, he started following stories about the Occupy Movement. The grass roots protest against income inequality got its biggest media boost in the fall of 2011, when followers set up camp near Wall Street. It didn’t take long for the movement to spread to nearly 1,000 cities around the world, inspiring frustrated citizens everywhere—including Ferguson. Even though the Wall Street protest ultimately was broken up after a few months, he found a purpose in the movement’s ideals.

          “It was for my sanity, after being by myself in a prison,” he explained. “[Losing my fiancée] was really a kick in the balls. I was left alone to fend for myself. It wasn’t the surviving part. It is just that when you haven’t got anybody, no friends—I mean, I am away from anybody that I ever knew here.”

Craig Tomashoff is a freelance writer/producer based in Los Angeles. His blogs appear regularly at Huffington Most recently, he was a producer for The Queen cantidates2.jpgLatifah Show. Prior to that, he served as Executive Editor of TV Guide, and has also worked as Associate Bureau Chief for People. In addition, he has written for the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and Emmy Magazine. Prior to The Can’t-idates, he was the author of You Live, You Learn: The Alanis Morissette Story and co-wrote I’m Screaming As Fast As I Can: My Life In B-Movies with Linnea Quigley. He has also worked as a television writer/producer for such series as VH1’s Behind the Music, The Martin Short Show and The Late Show With Craig Kilborn.

Contact Information
Twitter: @The_Cantidates
Purchase Links


The Inconvenient Unborn — guest post by author

Title: The Inconvenient Unbornv1

Author: David Carter

Genre: Family Drama / Political Thriller

England in the near future –

Though you may not like what you see.


The Cazenoves and the Wilsons don’t get along, leastways the parents don’t – the teenage kids adore each other, but when the oldest Wilson girl falls pregnant, sparks fly.

Donald Cazenove just happens to be Fred Wilson’s boss, but Fred isn’t without influence himself, being the senior shop steward, and the business is struggling anyway, and a strike could play havoc with Donald’s figures.

“The Inconvenient Unborn” is set in England in the near future where after years of austerity, a left wing Labour Party has been returned to power with a huge majority, and they now intend to change Britain forever. They have a mandate. They have conviction. They have momentum.

And then there’s a state visit to Britain by the most powerful man on the planet, Yuri Premakov, the Russian President, and his precocious and very beautiful film star wife, Tamara, bringing gifts of gas and oil and energy, at a price, and he’s scheduled to visit Lymington on the south coast, where most of this book is set.

So who wins out? The Cazenoves or the Wilsons, and what exactly are Yuri Premakov and his vast entourage up to in Britain?

“The Inconvenient Unborn” will take you on a journey you can barely imagine.

Book Excerpt

To put this into context, Oliver Cazenove, the guy, is eighteen going on nineteen, and still at school, while the girl, Sue, is thirty, with a penchant for younger men. She works behind the bar at Olly’s local pub, which is where he met her. 

Oliver was the first to leave the house at twenty to eight. His big hair had dried, but it still had that just washed and fluffy look, but no matter how roughly he treated it, it always seemed to fall back into perfect place, and he was grateful for that.

He was standing self-consciously outside Bestdas Supermarket by five to eight and though he knew his father was not inside, many of the people who worked there were aware he was the boss’s son. The sooner Sue arrived and whisked him away the better, and it was five past when the cream and maroon Cayton Cerisa whizzed up and abruptly stopped before him.

The passenger window was open and she leant across and smiled through it and said, ‘Don’t I know you? Would you like a lift?’

‘Damn right I would,’ grinned Olly, as he jumped inside, as Sue hit the accelerator before he’d even had time to plug in his belt.

‘Where do you fancy going?’ she said, taking her eyes off the road, and glancing at the big kid with the newly washed hair beside her. He smelt good too, looked good and smelt good, what more could a young woman want, and she was still young too at just thirty, though nowhere near as young as him. There was no law against it, was there? He was old enough and perfectly legal and fit and able, and that was all that mattered

‘Don’t mind,’ he said, ‘you choose, but somewhere away from Lymington, eh?’

‘Oh yes,’ she said, ‘somewhere well away from here,’ and she headed across town and zipped onto the Brockenhurst road.

The radio was on, one of the local music stations, and The 27 Club came on.

‘Turn it up!’ he said.

‘Do you like these?’ she said, smiling and shaking her head.

‘They are brill, simply the best!’

‘Don’t see it myself, don’t see what all the fuss is about.’

‘It’s probably an age thing,’ he said, in all seriousness.

‘Oh, thanks, Olly!’

‘Sorry, Sue, I didn’t mean you’re old or anything, ’cos obviously you are not, but I think they appeal more to the teens and twenties.’

‘I’m not that long away from being a twenty,’ she pouted, and accelerated hard through the New Forest, slowing to avoid falling foul of the obligatory radar trap.

‘I know that,’ he said, ‘and you certainly don’t look old either, you look…’ and he left the sentence hanging in the air.

‘Yeah? I look what?’

He stole another peek at her.

‘You look absolutely fab actually, really beautiful,’ and she did too, in a low cut skimpy summer dress that showed off her breasts wonderfully.

Sue’s mouth fell open. Like most women she adored compliments, but one from a young kid like Olly, so sincerely said, well that was something else. She’d always known she’d liked him, but the way he spoke, and his appearance, and the way he looked at her, had an effect that was indeed special.

There followed a few moments of silence before Olly asked, ‘So, where are we going?’

‘There’s a couple of nice pubs on the Totton road from Lyndhurst,’ she said, ‘backing onto the forest. We could have a little walk too, if you want.’

A walk too, if you want, he pondered on her words, in the forest on a warm summer’s evening. What was there not like about that?

‘Great,’ he said. ‘Suits me.’

‘Have you eaten?’

‘Nope. You?’

‘I have not, thought we could get a bite to eat too.’

‘Sounds good, I’ve a huge appetite.’

‘I’ll bet you have,’ she said, grinning across at him, and they both laughed aloud.


For many scribblers the most enjoyable part is the actual writing, while the least enjoyable is the time spent marketing and selling one’s work, and even the most famous writers have to spend time doing that.

   Self published and small press authors have to devote a large chunk of their time to the marketing operation, for if they didn’t they wouldn’t sell any books.

   All marketing operations can be roughly divided into two sections: old technology and new technology. Old tech includes newspapers, magazines, posters, cards, and radio and TV, while new tech refers to Internet publicity and social media.

   Far and away the most successful for me, (so far!) has been through articles in old-fashioned newspapers. One large paper devoted almost half a page to me and my writing, and imagine how much coverage like that would have cost via paid for advertising. I sold several hundred books from that article alone, and I achieved all that by simply dropping them a line and telling them about my books.

   Similarly, a lady friend of mine, who runs a poetry club and had recently completed a book of poetry, rang up the local radio station and mentioned her club and her new book, and they immediately asked her round to talk about her book and club members on air, and that she did the very next morning. Again, imagine how much that kind of coverage would have cost in paid for advertising.

   It can often be a case of “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” – so if you have a book to publicise don’t forget to include old style media in your publicity campaign. Yes, you will be ignored and turned down many many times. Get used to it, develop a thick skin and keep at it, and on the occasions when you are featured, (maybe it just happened to be a slow news day that day, but you won’t care about that), then it will all be worthwhile.

   Of course the Internet and social media are very important too, and in many ways for the more timid amongst us they are the easiest to do, as anyone can sit anonymously behind a computer and send out tweets, or pay someone else to do so, and advertise on Facebook, but if you imagine that will simply being in hundreds of sales then you are destined to be disappointed. The easiest option is often the least successful.

   To achieve success you have to be more imaginative, you have to stand out from the very large crowd, by bringing something new and fresh to your publicity efforts, so be creative.

   Bookblog tours are certainly worth considering too, for the tour operators will save you oodles of time, for you only have send the information to the tour organiser once, and they will do all the rest for you.

   And don’t forget to make a list of all your local bookstores and visit them too. If you are a true bookhound you will probably know them already, and you may well be known in there too, and most bookstore owners will be only too pleased to stop and talk about your book, and space permitting, will be happy to put some copies on their shelves, especially if you are offering them on a sale or return basis. I find independent bookshops are much better for this than the big chains.

   Never lose sight of the end goal of making your work known and available to your potential readers. Yes, it will cost some money and a great deal of time, but without investing that effort and money you will be destined to keep hold of those precious books of yours for a very long time indeed.

   Books rarely sell themselves; you have to do that, so stick at it, and get in the habit of doing something to promote your work every day. Do that and you will be successful, just so long as you have written a good book in the first place!


Author Bio

I have been writing for longer than I care to remember. Even as a ten year old child I would design my own newspaper and fill it with family news, much to my mother’s amusement when she once found a copy containing a story that she didn’t fully approve of!

My writing started seriously when I was in business and I was approached to write a column, and that developed into writing columns for newspapers and magazines in many fields, including computing, commodities, farming, property, sport, philately, business and small business, many of which I have actually been paid good money for, and that always brings a nice feeling that never goes away.

My syndicated online articles have now been read by over 300,000 people across the globe and show no sign of slowing down.

It was a fairly small step after that to writing books and I have now written more than a dozen, both fiction and non fiction, and I try to write and complete at least one full length book every year.

Like most writers and aspiring writers I have many more in the pipeline, both part finished, abandoned, or in an unedited state, and finding the time to complete them is always the big enemy there.

Ideally, I would like to find a literary agent who could assist me in taking my writing to the next level, so if you are out there and you like what you see and read then do please get in touch.

Besides writing I sell books for a living and currently have more than 10,000 titles in the house and please don’t ask me where they all are because the simple answer is that they are pretty much everywhere!

I am currently working on a new Inspector Walter Darriteau novel and after that I may go back to writing a sequel to Gringo Greene, though ordinarily I prefer to write something completely fresh, rather than revisiting old ground.

It always amazes me that someone like Lee Child can write book after book featuring the same character and similar adventures, though all best wishes to him for he has been incredibly successful.



NOT BLACK AND WHITE: From the Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by G. A. Beller — author interview

Not Black and White: From the Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

By G. A. Beller


Chicago-style politics is front and center in G.A. Beller’s debut novel.

“This book is the Primary Colors of the Obama administration,” said Lori Andrews, law professor and author of the Alex Blake Mystery Series.

When a sitting president has his roots in this sullied political heritage, it makes for news and leads to speculation. NOT BLACK AND WHITE is a fictional account of many of the events that led to the meteoric rise of a local charismatic street politician to become America’s first African-American President, and the downfall and imprisonment of two consecutive governors of the State of Illinois, along with several of their most trusted advisors and cohorts.

This story puts the reader inside the campaign offices and smoke-filled back rooms where political deals are made. It depicts the rise and fall of a Syrian immigrant who made millions by pretending he had billions, while charming his way into the highest halls of wealth and power.


The perspective of a local attorney/businessman who found himself in a front row seat to politics-as-usual in The City That Works is reflected throughout the story. The cast of characters may appear familiar to anyone who ever read a headline or watched cable news and talk shows across the country.


In 1994, a freak traffic accident occurred, killing a family of six young children when their van burst into flames after being struck by a semi-trailer truck driven by a man unqualified to drive such a vehicle. The truck driver, a victim himself, had bribed an employee of the Illinois secretary of state’s office in order to procure his commercial driver’s license. The tragic accident and resulting exposé of corruption and scandal that followed changed forever the course of American History.


Inspired by true events, NOT BLACK AND WHITE leaves it to the reader to interpret fact from fiction.



Meet G. A. Beller

Author, NOT BLACK AND WHITE: From the Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

G. A. BELLER has completed his first novel NOT BLACK AND WHITE with a distribution date in November of 2015. G. Anton Publishing in Chicago is publishing the novel. The story is a Vivian_Craig_and_G_A_Beller__DSC_0670.jpgfictional account of many events that led to the meteoric rise of a local charismatic street politician to become America’s first African-American President, and the downfall and imprisonment of two consecutive governors of the State of Illinois, along with several of their most trusted advisors and cohorts.

G. A. Beller has been an executive in the investment business for over thirty-five years.  His mentor, and one of his closest friends, upon one of their first meetings, saw his initials on his leather briefcase and nicknamed him GABE.  The name has stuck since his early twenties.

For many years Beller desired to find the time to write his own stories and to inspire others to write as well. In 2013, he established GABE Advisors, LLC to invest in and encourage literary projects in creative collaboration with other aspiring authors.

He is currently co-authoring a second novel based upon the true story of a loving couple living in Southern California who see a television commercial soliciting sponsorship of needy children. The couple sponsors a young girl from India, and their decision leads to an unlikely story of love and a life-changing journey for all involved. The target publication date for this second novel is late 2016. This will be the first book to be published in the series known as DEFINING KARMA

Mr. Beller has identified a third and fourth project. His goal is to write and publish a book every twelve to eighteen months.

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Q & A with G. A. BELLER


From the Very Windy City to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

After 35 years in the investment business, what has driven you to become a debut author?

Throughout my career in the investment business, I advanced my knowledge of financial markets and the global political decisions which drive their directions and trends. I was determined to understand politics on not only the local level, but on the national and global levels as well. The more I read, the more I formed strong opinions, and those strong opinions fueled my desire to write. This passion to write had been on the back burner until I was able to devote the time to make becoming a serious writer my priority. Now that time has finally come, and I intend to become a relevant writer as my new primary career.

 So much of the material in NOT BLACK AND WHITE is ripped from the headlines and features actual events with real people. Why did you choose to publish this book as fiction?


I don’t believe the articles in newspapers or online are necessarily accurate. Additionally, many publications have their own agendas, and therefore the information in the articles may be biased. Though I primarily used these previous writings to formulate the basis for the story of Not Black And White, I was unwilling to accept the information as accurate or factual. I don’t think anyone is capable of telling this story as non-fiction. As an aspiring writer, when I started this book I wanted to create excitement and entertainment, which required a great deal of speculation. My creative juices took over, and I chose to fictionalize the characters and events with my goal to provide the reader with an entertaining novel. I also wanted to challenge the reader to use their imagination to determine fact from fiction.

How much of the action (and characters) in NOT BLACK AND WHITE is true and how much has been fictionalized?

Since the story is loosely based upon the true characters and events, and I question many of the facts as previously written, I am speculating on how the stories played out. I cannot say with certainty, nor am I willing to share my opinion, as to what events actually happened as written.

 In order to write this book, you must have had access to a wealth of inside knowledge and background information that the average “Joe,” outside the halls of power, would not be privy to. What can you tell us about your sources?


As I stated in the Author’s Notes, my resources for this book were the many articles written about this time in history. The story is totally speculation enhanced by my curiosity and imagination and applied to prior written accounts of characters and events.

“Some of the people and dialogue may be fictitious, but the corruption known as the ‘Chicago Way’ is all too real,” said Dick Simpson, University of Illinois Chicago professor and co-author of Corrupt Illinois.

 Many folks will compare your book to Joe Klein’s PRIMARY COLORS. How are the two books similar/different? Would you compare your novel to any other political thrillers?

Joe Klein’s Primary Colors was, in my opinion, a very entertaining book. Mr. Klein used the fictionalized accounting of characters and events to write his novel. Obviously, that strategy was the same for Not Black And White, and the subject content of both books is politics during a specific time in history. The similarity ends with that strategy for telling the story. I cannot think of another novel or political thriller that would compare to either book.

 You have stated publicly that you voted for Obama in the 2008 election. How has your view of President Obama changed since researching and writing NOT BLACK AND WHITE?


I did vote for President Obama in 2008. I did my best to avoid any personal perspective relating to my political views. My writing of Not Black And White did not influence my personal opinion of Obama. My views of Obama have, however, been formulated based upon the actions and policies of the President and his administration during the past six years.

 Do you associate with a particular political party? How has your affiliation changed over time, and, in particular, after writing this book?


My political affiliation was not affected by the writing of this book. I strongly believe that both major parties are too extreme. I do not affiliate with either party, and would like to see a truly credible candidate represent an independent third party. The independent vote is critical for either party to win a presidential election. Additionally, it appears that the size of that vote is growing, as more voters are becoming dissatisfied with the major party base and their political platforms. Hopefully, someday the political process will offer an electable third party candidate to represent the independent voters.

What does the phrase “Chicago-style politics” mean to you? What makes Chicago unique in the realm of politics and power?


Chicago is one of the most difficult cities to govern for a number of reasons. It might be the most diverse city in the country, as it became a melting pot for immigrants of all nationalities. Settlers from around the globe have established neighborhoods. The city became a major center for trade, creating labor and cultural challenges since the 19th century. To this day, labor unions dominate the political landscape. Additionally, organized crime has been associated with Chicago for as long as I can remember.


Although Chicago doesn’t stand alone in the challenges of crime and corruption in politics, its mayors have been challenged to make it “The City that Works.” The political machines in Chicago and Illinois have been at the center of media coverage for over a century. “Chicago-style politics” has earned its reputation by those in power playing by their own rules, which in many cases has landed numerous political figures in front of the cameras on their way to prison. Not Black And White depicts a prime example of just such an era in Chicago-style politics.

What would have to happen for our political system to change and corruption to lessen?

Obviously, power corrupts. In many cases, the temptation to participate is overwhelming, even for a politician who starts out with good intentions. My suggestions would not totally solve the problem of ill-intentioned power seekers, but they would not be influenced by the need to raise campaign funds from these special interest groups. First of all, I would overhaul the rules governing the funding of political campaigns at all levels. As idealistic as this sounds, I would eliminate all lobbyists. I would rewrite campaign finance law so that no one may contribute to any candidate. Political candidates would receive a fixed amount of taxpayer dollars, with every qualifying candidate receiving the same allotment. Debates would be sponsored by TV stations and paid for by the taxpayer. A specific program would be defined and apply to each election. If lobbying and campaign funding by individuals and special interest groups were altered, as I am suggesting, the cost to the taxpayers would be a small fraction of the cost which ripples through the economy when the special interest groups pass along the cost of their agendas to the consumers. A prime example is Big Pharma and the healthcare lobby. My suggested program would clearly mitigate the corruption to the great benefit of the citizens of the United States at every level.

What projects are on tap for G. A. Beller?

I am co-authoring a second novel, which is about a childless couple that sponsors a young girl from India through a national children’s fund. It’s based upon a true story, taking readers on a miracle ride spanning a thirty-five year period. The reader will experience the changes to the lives of the main characters and hundreds of thousands of others. This novel will be the first in the Defining Karma™ book series, and will be an ongoing program for G. Anton Publishing. (

 You have traveled extensively, but have chosen to live in Chicago for over twenty-five years. What attracts you to select Chicago as your home?

I have spent extended periods of time in many cities around the country.  There are a number of reasons I choose to make Chicago my home.  For anyone who has visited Chicago, and particularly in the spring, summer and fall, I don’t have to explain the attraction of the city.  The city life offers an affordable lifestyle in a beautiful, clean urban environment.  The arts, entertainment and dining options are extensive.  The city is known as “The City that Works,” and I find this to be true.  The transportation options throughout the metropolitan Chicago area, as well as its proximity to two major airports, makes Chicago’s accessibility to world travel second to none, in my opinion.  Additionally, I find the Midwestern attitude and mentality, as evidenced by the friends I’ve made, better than anywhere else in the country.  I love visiting New York and California, but for a home base, I choose Chicago.

You call yourself a political junkie, and you are obviously well read, tell us what you read regularly, and add to that books you find to be among your favorites.

I subscribe to about thirty publications a month.  I consider myself a serial reader of newsletters, both political and financial.  I regularly read the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times, USA Today, Chicago Crain’s as well as the two local Chicago newspapers.  I read The Economist, and alternate between a number of monthly magazines, roughly eight to ten when I am home, and more when I travel.  I read daily postings on many websites and from bloggers, and I subscribe to at least a dozen daily online newsletters.  I estimate I spend a minimum of two hours a day during the week and roughly three to four hours on weekend days.


To name a few books I enjoyed these past few years, I would include 2030 by Albert Brooks, Game Changer, The Amateur by Edward Klein, as well as a number of biographies, which I typically read when I travel.  My favorite novel is The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay.




I’m a political junkie. The idea for this book came out of the constant media reminders of political shenanigans – national, state, and local – as well as the nonstop negative campaigning filling the airwaves, our voice mails, and our mailboxes. This constant flow fuels my desire to write.


I was intrigued when a relatively obscure local politician raised his standing to the national stage almost overnight and was instantly embraced by the voters to become our first African-American president. I, too, was captivated by his charm and charisma as I enthusiastically cast my vote.


Living in Chicago, surrounded by a history of political corruption and incompetence in our state politics, my curiosity prompted me to research this specific era of rampant criminal behavior – a time when it appeared things couldn’t get worse. As our convicted politicians and their cronies were being released from prison, I decided to utilize articles that appeared in the press and on the internet to create a fictionalized accounting of the characters and events, and I depict, through my imagination, how things might have played out.