Hallelujah and Start the Presses!!

Well, maybe we can just go ahead and get the presses warmed up!!

I’m proud to announce that I have completed the latest James Maguire novel which is titled: Glass Castle. It has gone to editing and I am in the process of creating the cover artwork.

I want to thank all of you who have been so patient with this process; I know that it took a long time and I hope that you will enjoy the latest continuation of the Maguire series.

I actually started writing Glass Castle back in March 2018, but things got a bit sidetracked while I was convalescing after my surgery last year. If you have ever taken a protracted break from anything, you know that getting back into the groove is not always easy and this is especially true for the ‘creative’ process. That being said, I’ve been working hard to get this book finished in time form a summer release.

Fittingly, Glass Castle picks up nearly a year after Knight Fall (and roughly 6 months since Brooklyn Bounce, for those reading my books in order). Maguire has grudgingly accepted his new role as Police Commissioner, but soon finds himself questioning his decision when he is thrust into the middle of an investigation that threatens the very underpinnings of the city. As the case heats up, Maguire soon finds himself wondering who he can trust and reaching out to his past for help, but will that help come at a price?

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September 11th – Yes, they have FORGOTTEN

Update – I wish I didn’t have to write this update, but I do.

As a mystery author, I often include salacious political twists in my storylines, but I am finding that sometimes art doesn’t come close to matching the twisted machinations of what goes on in the back rooms of Washington, D.C.

Back in October 2018, I wrote a post titled: NEVER FORGET THE HEROES. It dealt with the need of Congress to address the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Act (S. 3591 / H.R. 7062), which is scheduled to run out of money in 2020.

If you are like me, you have to wonder why programs such as this are always facing financial peril, yet we never seem to run out of money to fund pressing issues like spending $15 million to study the effectiveness of golf equipment in space or a $43 million gas station in Afghanistan.  Hell, I recall reading one report where the Department of Defense purchased, and then left unused, approximately 270,000 commercial airline tickets at a total cost of $100 million. To compound the problem, the bean-counters over at the Pentagon never bothered to get a refund for the fully refundable tickets. Of course they didn’t and why should they? It is a clear case of: OPM – Other People’s Money, namely YOURS.

If Americans spent just one afternoon casually perusing the voluminous articles there are on wasteful congressional (and overall governmental) spending, Washington D.C. would be a charred, barren wasteland by morning. Yet, when it comes to funding a bill that would provide compensation and medical coverage for the victims of the deadliest terror attack in United States history, the congress seems to have a really hard time trying to find the money. But how much money are we talking about?

Well, the last re-authorization of the bill, in 2015, allocated just under $5 billion to fund it till 2020. Now, this might sound like a lot of money, and it is, except for when you consider some other interesting spending  facts. In 2016, the last full fiscal year analyzed, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) determined that the United States provided roughly $49 billion in foreign aid. So in just one year we provided nearly 10x the funding to foreign nations than we allocated to caring for our sick and dying first responders.  Yet even this staggering amount of $49 billion in foreign aid still only accounted for about 1.2 percent of the total annual federal budget.

If you think this is bad, consider the following.

Afghanistan, the country from where 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden orchestrated the terror attacks has received the following funding since 2001:

2001 - $92 million

2002 – $508 million

2003 – $984 million

2004 – $1.9 billion

2005 – $1.7 billion

2006 – $3.4 billion

2007 – $4.9 billion

2008 – $8.3 billion

2009 – $8.6 billion

2010 – $7.8 billion

2011 – $11 billion

2012 – $10 billion

2013 – $10 billion

2014 – $7.1 billion

2015 – $9.1 billion

2016 – $4.2 billion

2017 – $4.9 billion

(Source: USAID https://explorer.usaid.gov/cd/AFG disbursements)

For those mathematically inclined, that is nearly $100 billion in funding to the very same country from which the attack was planned. Now you can see why many of the victims feel as if we are being left alone to die. Victims have to beg for funding while money is being thrown hand over fist at our attacker. Hell, we even have to BEG for support from our own elected representatives; which brings me right back to my original post.

In October 2018, I reached out to my congressional representative, Rodney Davis (R-IL), through his official government website and asked him to co-sponsor H.R. 7062. It seemed like a no-brainer to me, since he actually represents a first responder who was directly impacted by the attack. I contacted him and I waited…… and I waited. In the three months since, my wife has contacted his office twice and received correspondence from his office.

Me? Not so much.

I guess an NYPD 9/11 survivor with cancer doesn’t merit a stamp.

Perhaps I am better off. The form-letter version I received from him, the last time around, pretty much made my blood boil.

Rodney has spoken out in the past about the attack, but, just like other politicians, he only seems to #NeverForget when the cameras are rolling. Unfortunately, I #REMEMBER every single day. Something else I will remember is Election Day 2020 and I will do my utmost, to remind everyone I know in the 13th Congressional District, to send a message to Rep. Davis. In fact, I still have a few local reporters on my speed-dial and I am sure they would love to do a timely piece.

To find out if your elected representatives have supported 9/11 victims, please visit the following link:

http://www.renew911health.org/take-action/take-action-contact-your-members-of-congress/

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Radio Interview: Your Book, Your Business, Your Brand w/ Daria Anne

I recently had the opportunity to do an interview with the incredible Daria Anne on her show: ‘Your Book, Your Brand, Your Business’ which aired on iHeart Radio Network.

We had a great time discussing my books, the general topic of mystery novels, as well as some of the perils and pitfalls of the publishing industry. I was also happy to answer some listener questions.

The episode is available by following the link below:

Interview with Former NYPD Cop and Author Andrew Nelson

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Cold Case: The Rosary Bead Murders

Well, I just made the final edits for the latest mystery novella Cold Case: The Rosary Bead Murders. I will be going through the E-Book submission process and hopefully it will appear on my Amazon author bookshelf before the end of the month.

This new book sees the return of NYPD Detective Angelo Antonucci who is called in to look at the murder of a young woman that was found clutching a pair of rosary beads and a tell-tale note attributed to a serial killer who terrorized NYC in the 90's. 

Of course there will be an appearance by James Maguire, and perhaps even a hint or two as to the direction where I will be taking these characters next.  

This is a perfect weekend read and one that I hope you will enjoy. When you're done, I'd kindly ask that  you please leave a review.