Thursday, September 6, 2012

Campaign-inspired thriller by West Hartford author

Running, a political thriller by West Hartford writer Patrice Fitzgerald, combines the appeal of a classic action thriller with the personal touch of contemporary fiction, opens at the Democratic National Convention when Vice President Young is nominated and finds herself in a two-woman race for president. Fitzgerald first conceived of the plot when former President Bill Clinton became infamous for sexual shenanigans in the Oval Office. The author wondered whether behavior acceptable in a male candidate would be more shocking in a woman… and a story was born.
Encouraged by her success as a self-published writer, the author formed eFitzgerald Publishing in West Hartford. The small independent press has released eight other books since being founded in the summer of 2011. Titles include Canton author Anne Kelleher's "How David Met Sarah," a gentle love story written from the point of view of a young man with Down's syndrome, which is the first of two novels currently available in the planned five-book series. 
Upcoming releases from the fledgling indie press include another thriller by a debut author, four paranormal romances, a historical fiction trilogy, a cozy mystery series, a book of poetry, and the sequel to Running.
eFitzgerald Publishing is particularly interested in hearing from previously published authors of genre books whose rights have reverted.    
Fitzgerald has been interviewed many times in connection with her self-publishing success, including by Colin McEnroe on National Public Radio, on Bill Thompson's DC-based podcast The Bookcast, by New York Writing Careers Examiner Tad Richards, and on West Hartford's own WHC-TV with "Camera's Rolling" host Marsha Howard.
The author, an attorney who practiced intellectual property law for 15 years, has lived in West Hartford since 1985.  Running is available in print and electronic formats via Amazon and online through Barnes & Noble.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Paranormal romance set In Middletown

One-fanged vampires, volkaanes breathe life into the vampire genre
San Diego, CA - Scott Prussing's Blue Fire Saga books, set locally in Middletown, CT, are not your typical vampire novels. In Breathless, book one in the four book (so far) series, vampires serve as the catalyst for the story, rather than as the main characters. For the male lead, Prussing created a new supernatural creature called a volkaane. Human in appearance, volkaanes hunt and slay vampires by means of a magical inner fire. Prussing also invented one-fanged vampires called grafhym who are crippled versions of the real thing. Though they possess the same thirst for blood as their two-fanged cousins, they are unable to impart vampire powers to their victims. A bite from a grafhym sets the whole saga in motion. The Blue Fire Saga books can be found in ebook form at, or readers can order signed print copies from

Shy college freshman Leesa Nyland has heard about one-fanged vampires all her life—her mother has long claimed she was bitten by one. No one believes the preposterous story, but her mother has refused to go outside during the day for many years. Her dysfunctional behavior and parenting has left Leesa a socially awkward young woman, but when Leesa's beloved older brother mysteriously disappears, she is determined to do whatever it takes to find him. She meets a gorgeous guy named Rave and is soon immersed in a world she never imagined existed. Leesa doesn't understand why Rave won't use modern appliances like cell phones and cars, and is even more puzzled by his refusal to kiss her. When Rave reveals his volkaane nature saving her from a rogue vampire, Leesa finally understands—the heat from Rave's kiss could kill her.
The Blue Fire Saga is a modern fantasy/romance in the mode of Twilight, True Blood and Vampire Diaries, but with enough new ideas to excite even the most devoted fans.
"There is a huge vampire fan base out there I wanted to tap into," Prussing explains, "but at the same time, I didn't want to write 'just another' vampire novel. That's been done and overdone. I think the creation of volkaanes and grafhym adds something totally new and exciting. As I moved into books two and three in the series, I added zombies and wizards to the mix." Prussing seems to have accomplished his goal of creating something original. One reviewer wrote that Breathless "breathes new life into the vampire genre." Another called the saga "a unique, creative, fresh approach to the vampire genre."
For additional information about Scott Prussing or his Blue Fire Saga books visit

Friday, August 3, 2012

The untold story of Princess Doe


Independent researcher and author Christie Napurano says new high-tech test could identify nameless teen girl brutally murdered 30-years-ago… and help convict two suspected killers

In the late summer of 1982, the mangled body of a teenage girl, her face bludgeoned beyond recognition, was found in a cemetery in the rural farm town of Blairstown, New Jersey.  Her brutal murder immediately captured the sympathy of the local townspeople, who dubbed the nameless young victim "Princess Doe." The case grabbed national attention and kept millions on the edge of their seats waiting for a resolution that never came. 
Today, thirty years later, Princess Doe remains as nameless and faceless as the day she was found, but investigators are hopeful that two new high-tech DNA tests may at last reveal her identity and that of her killer(s).
Christie Napurano, author of The Untold Story of Princess Doe, is one of the nation's top independent researchers into the Princess Doe murder and one of the only persons outside law enforcement who has been given access to the Princess Doe case files, which include three decades-worth of forensic data including interviews conducted in 1982 by Lt. Eric Kranz, one of the first Blairstown police officers on the scene after the body was discovered.
 "A new Free Form CT Scan of the skull by Smithsonian scientists recently revealed an up-to-date composite of what Princess Doe may have looked like," said Napurano. "In addition, the investigators are awaiting the results of the Isoscapes test, which will reveal where Princess Doe resided during her lifetime, and where she resided just before her death."
Napurano says she hopes her novel, based on the known facts of the case, will help bring attention to this 30-year-old unsolved crime.
 "With enough attention focused on the case, perhaps a witness who knew the suspects or the victim will step forward and provide new information sufficient to obtain a conviction and establish the identity of Princess Doe," says Napurano.
Napurano, along with the case's lead investigator, Detective Lieutenant Stephen Spiers of the Warren County Prosecutor's Office, was a keynote speaker at the July 15th Princess Doe Memorial Service held in Blairstown, NJ, which marked the 30-year-anniversary of the discovery of Princess Doe's body.


Christie Leigh Napurano was born in 1982, just weeks before the discovery of Princess Doe's body in Blairstown, NJ's Cedar Ridge Cemetery. While growing up and attending Blairstown Elementary School and North Warren Regional High School, Christie heard the tale of Princess Doe many times and it always haunted her.

Upon reading news articles in 2007 about the 25th anniversary of Princess Doe's death, Christie became fascinated by the fact that after two and a half decades, Princess Doe's identity still had not been discovered. She wondered how it was possible that no one, including family members, had ever claimed this girl or reported her missing; and was incredulous that after all this time, law enforcement was no closer to giving Princess Doe a much-deserved identity.

Christie hopes that the release of her novel, The Untold Story of Princess Doe, which is based on the known facts of the case, will help bring attention, justice and dignity to the girl that was found in the Cedar Ridge Cemetery all those years ago.

When not writing or researching cases of missing women and children, Christie works as a public relations executive in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

She is a 2004 graduate of Syracuse University.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Them: A Nook Farm Book Talk

Them, a novel by Nathan McCall, will be the topic of Nook Farm Book Talks at Harriet Beecher Stowe Center from 5:30-7 p.m. on Aug. 9.  The discussion will be facilitated by Michelle McFarland, or the Hartford Public Library.
Participants may arrive at 4:30 p.m. for free admission to the exhibit, THEM: Images of Separation, on loan from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. 
In McCall's story, 'Them' refers to both the black residents of an inner-city Atlanta community and the young white families who buy properties and move in, changing the character of the neighborhood.  Through characters that capture the country's struggles with the realities of gentrification, the book tackles the complex interplay of class, race and economics in urban America. 
Both the book and the Stowe Center's exhibit show how groups of people can be marginalized for being "different".  While McCall's book focuses on the separation of blacks and whites, THEM: Images of Separation shows artifacts that target Asian-Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Jews, poor whites, women, and people marked as "different" because of how they look, their body type or sexual orientation.   
According to Katherine Kane, Stowe Center Executive Director, the book discussion and exhibit are designed to call attention to intolerance, promote discussion and encourage action.  "We use Stowe's story to inspire positive change," says Kane.  "We hope to encourage tolerance and promote social justice." 
Note that the exhibit is appropriate for ages 13+.  Registration is suggested:  Call (860) 522-9258 ext. 317 or e-mail
The book is available for purchase in the Stowe Visitor Center. 

Battlegrounds: America's War in Education and Finance

Todney Harris
"...Those youngsters wanted to learn so badly that they risked life and limb to do it."

The name Todney Harris will resonate in history books for years to come. It will capture the life an educator who made a positive difference in the lives of young students in Hartford, Connecticut and many more around the world. Battle grounds: America's War in Education and Finance- A View from the Frontlines, written by Harris is a movement that mirrors marches led by strong, influential leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Mary McLeod Bethune, Benjamin Banneker and Ida B. Wells. As a leader of the march, he is ready and willing to fight for educational reform, a necessity amongst all students.

The pursuit of education has always been paramount in Harris's life. While attending Central Connecticut State University, Harris majored in United States
History and Business Management with dreams of becoming a corporate researcher in New York City. After graduating, Harris interviewed with companies throughout Manhattan, New York. Although, he was offered his dream job in his dream city, Harris declined the offer due to the city's high cost of
living. After declining the job offer, he continued working at the Hartford Courant as a customer service representative and a dispatch driver. During this
time he found himself weary about his future endeavors.

Due to Harris's uncertainty about his career goals, he addressed his concerns to his alma mater's History Department Chair and confidant, Dr. Felton Best. The conversation changed Harris's life forever, which developed an interest in teaching. Upon graduating from Quinnipiac University with Master of Arts
degree in teaching, his successful career began.

Throughout Harris's teaching career, he witnessed the students depreciation of education leaving them unmotivated to reach their highest potential. As a result, Harris shares his passion, love and quest for learning by emphasizing the Civil Rights Movement and the risks students took in order to receive an education.

Harris's ultimate goal is to increase both students and parents' interests and involvement in the educational curriculum. One step that has peaked students' interest to learn is incorporating technology and other effective methods into daily lesson plans. Students are constantly improving their technical, written and oral communication skills by presenting projects using PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher and creating mini movies using Windows software. Harris is a strong advocate for technology and believes that students who have a strong grasp on technology will be well equipped for society's competitive career markets. Parents are highly encouraged to play an active role in their child's education by attending project presentations and educational field trips.

Harris's uncertainty about his life's journey led to a conversation that would change his life and the lives of others forever. He is the epitome of an educator

and a pioneer who is wiling to go above and beyond the distance to improve our leaders of tomorrow, current and future opportunities and success.

Middletown author debuts fiction novel

Silver VengeanceWere-witches. These hybrid creatures stalk the earth with the raw, primal power of the werewolf and the cunning, dark magic of the witch. They're deadly hunters with the capability for both bloodthirsty vengeance and an unwavering loyalty to their own.

Gabrielle Gayle is an ambitious chef in one of New Haven's trendiest restaurants. Her concerns consist of getting ahead in her career, dodging barbed insults from her sharp-tongued mother, and dealing with the nagging certainty that she has always had powers. However, when the Clan of were-witches seeks revenge for her mother murdering one of their own, she and her sister are brutally attacked. With nowhere else to go, she turns to Nick, a Hunter of witches, werewolves, demons, and any combination thereof.

However, Gabrielle learns that she has much more in common with the Clan than she ever imagined. And, in order to save herself and her family from being destroyed, she must embrace her powers and become the very creature she fears the most.

See what others are saying about Silver Vengeance.
"This can't-put-it-down tale of magic and mystery will have you turning pages as fast as you can. The plot grabs you from page one and draws you into the story of Gabrielle Gayle and her sister as they fight for their lives against other-worldly creatures. The characters are memorable and the pacing of the story is damn near perfect. Scary, bloody, thrilling and fascinating, this is a first-rate urban fantasy. Highly recommended."
-JM Dattilo

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms traces incredible expedition

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa, written by Steve Kemper will be featured at the Blue Back Square Barnes & Noble store with an appearance by the book’s West Hartford author from 6-7 p.m. on Aug. 24.

The author says: The book recreates an incredible expedition by a 19th-century scientist/explorer of Africa named Heinrich Barth. He should be as well-known as Livingstone, Burton, and Stanley, but because of British politics and his prickly personality, he fell through a crack in history. Barth still has much to tell us about north Africa and Islam. To research the book the author spent time in northern Nigeria, Timbuktu, and London. 
You’ve heard of Burton, Stanley, and Livingstone and their Victorian-era adventures in Africa. But you probably don’t recognize the name of Heinrich Barth. His five-year, 10,000-mile journey through North and Central Africa in 1849 ranks among the greatest in the annals of exploration.

Told for the first time in A LABYRINTH OF KINGDOMS: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa [W. W. Norton & Company; June 25, 2012; $28.95 hardcover], the story of Barth’s survival and triumph rivals Burton or Stanley for excitement and surpasses them in scientific achievements.
For decades, Britain’s attempts to explore Africa were haunted by disaster, disease, and death. Gaps on the map were filled in by armchair geographers. To remedy this ignorance and to scout potential markets for British commerce, the Foreign Office commissioned an expedition to the central Sudan, a vast area south of the Sahara that today includes Niger, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, and northern Nigeria and Cameroon.
Barth was just the man for the job. The idiosyncratic German scientist meticulously, obsessively noted everything he encountered, from the number of trees in a palm grove to the types of roasted locusts served in the market. Unlike previous explorers, he did not assume that Africans were barbaric. Though Christian, his ultimate faith was in the power of scientific observation. Barth spoke Arabic and learned seven other African languages, which allowed him to talk to everyone from camel drivers to sultans, imams to slaves. He could discuss Ptolemy with a learned Muslim vizier and then join a band of marauders or a salt caravan for the next leg of the journey.
Barth mastered the complex economy of gifts, protection, and information necessary to pass through the kingdoms of Bornu and Sokoto and through the strongholds of the nomadic Tuareg, the mysterious “blue men” of the Sahara. He made the first accurate maps of the region as well as important geographical discoveries about Lake Chad and the Niger’s main tributary, the Benue. In the storied crossroads cities of Kano, Kukawa, and Timbuktu, he drew new cultural connections between disparate peoples that altered our understanding of Africa. He poured all this knowledge into his monumental, five-volume Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa.
But politics ran ahead of science. The age of European imperialism in Africa was about to begin, and Barth’s findings—and his thorny personality—were unwelcome in Britain. He has been almost forgotten. His discoveries are considered indispensable by scholars, but his great book is rare, even in libraries. Though he made his journey for the British government, there are no books about him in English. Suspenseful and sensitively told, A LABYRINTH OF KINGDOMS tells a forgotten story of survival, adventure, and scientific discovery by a remarkable man.

Photo credit: Robert Benson

Steve Kemper is the author of Code Name Ginger. His work has appeared in many national publications, including Smithsonian and National Geographic. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut.

“Steve Kemper’s elegant, richly rewarding biography should go a long way toward correcting that. On one level, the book is a superb chronicle of Barth’s travels, from the harrowing heat and physical danger to the dazzling diversity of people he encountered on his path. It’s also an astute character study of a relentlessly curious scientific personality.” --Kate TuttleBoston Globe
"Heinrich Barth belongs in the ranks of the greatest explorers of Africa. But unlike most of the others, he was less interested in imperial conquest and self-promotion than in the cultures, the peoples, the languages, and the ancient manuscripts that he found there. It's a pleasure to see a lively, readable biography of him in English at last."  --Adam Hochschild,author of King Leopold's Ghost and To End All Wars
“Sometimes a book grabs you by the throat and won’t let you put it down. I recently experienced that with Steve Kemper’s A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa. I got so wrapped up in the story that I broke my long-standing rule about traveling with hardcover books because I wanted to finish it. I read on the plane. I read whenever there was a pause in vacation activities (and sometimes when there wasn’t). I read on the train from the airport and was so engaged that I almost missed my stop.” –Pamela Toler, History in the Margins
“Mr. Kemper has written an enjoyable account of Barth's great journey packed with arresting details.” –Tim Jeal, Wall Street Journal
“If you have an ounce of historical exploratory curiosity in your veins, course through this forgotten tale. Timbuktu awaits.”  -Robert F. Wells, Expedition News