Tag Archives: political

The Culmination – now on sale!

Let’s all welcome Gwen Plano to Entertaining Stories. She’s an author friend and one of my partners over at Story Empire. She’s here to tell us about an incredible sale. Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons so your friends can get in on this, too. Take it away, Gwen.

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Craig, and for helping me launch The Culmination, a new beginning. It’s exciting to finally see it published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To celebrate, the Kindle edition is on sale at 99¢ through December.

So, what’s the book about? The Culmination can best be described as a military thriller. It tackles difficult topics such as denuclearization, the power struggles over oil in the Middle East, as well as the ever-present danger of war. Readers will find themselves sitting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walking in the historic Red Square, and laughing with children in an orphanage in Turkey. They will glimpse the horror of war and watch the give and take of a negotiated peace. Readers will also meet the two Heads of State who fall in love and subsequently commit themselves to creating a world in which all are family.

I never expected to write this book, but in some ways, I had no choice. The characters crowded into my office and insisted that I listen to them. In a very real way, they wrote the book. I simply tapped the keys.


The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.


The acting Russian President, Ivan Smirnov, is in Syria for the commissioning of a new destroyer. The President of Syria attends the ceremony, unaware of the plot to detain him. Once the ship leaves the port, he is arrested, along with a few of his men. The story follows:

When the vessel nears Cape Apostolos Andreas, the northern-most tip of Cypress, two Turkish military helicopters approach, accompanied by fighter jets. One lands, and the other hovers in place. The Russian guards gag each prisoner, put cloth bags over their heads, and take them to the chopper. Ivan watches as they clear the horizon and then gazes at the Commander. “Well done. Now it begins. Stay focused and alert.”

The second helicopter lands to collect Ivan and his secret service team.

Ivan’s helicopter reaches altitude, but a crackling voice from the destroyer’s communications system comes over the radio. The Commander shouts, “Incoming! Incoming!”

A loud explosion follows his warning. Sonic waves rock the chopper violently and send it into a spin. The pilots regain control but with zero visibility. Thick, dark red smoke blinds them. Another radio transmission reaches them. Though static breaks it up, they hear, “… missile … neutralized. Thank you, Israel.”

As soon as the chopper lands at Incirlik Air Base, Ivan rushes to the Command Center. The American Chiefs of Staff and Turkey’s military leadership focus on a large screen that shows a collage of camera feeds. President Ozdemir, the President of Turkey, stands to the side, talking on the phone with the Israeli Prime Minister. Ozdemir thanks the Israeli PM for his help.

Ivan signals he’d like to take the phone. Ozdemir gives him the handset. “You saved my destroyer, Prime Minister. Thank you. I’m ready to return the gesture.”

After the call, the two Presidents stand shoulder-to-shoulder and study the screen.

“It’s good we’re friends, Smirnov.”

Ivan offers a side-glance and a nod. “Da.”

“When this is over, let’s talk about the cabal.”

Ivan turns and faces Ozdemir. “You’re aware of them?”

“Of course,” Ozdemir snaps. “Their tentacles stretch far into the Middle East. And now is the perfect time to dismantle them.”

“Let’s include the President of the United States. Her CIA and other teams have information that could help us. Between our three countries, we’ll get the job done.”

An urgent phone call interrupts their conversation. The American Commander at the Prince Sultan Air Base tells the Chiefs of Staff that China’s subs in the Red Sea have crossed into the Saudi territorial waters.

“The Saudis ask that we deploy the Patriot missiles. They believe—and I believe—a Chinese strike is imminent.”

After a brief consult between the Chiefs, the order is given. “Deploy the Patriots.”

When the rockets strike the subs, an immense fireball lights the expanse of desert and sea. An iconic mushroom cloud rises into the blue heavens far above. The Commander takes a step back with a horrified expression contorting his features. He realizes what this means. The Chinese had planned a nuclear attack, so much worse than a third World War.

The Commander sends an urgent message to the Joint Chiefs. China intended a nuclear attack on the Saudis. Expect the same in the Persian Gulf.

Contact Gwen:

Blog:  https://www.gwenplano.com/blog-reflections

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/GMPlano

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmplano 

Amazon Author’s page:  https://amzn.to/3eAU2BtBook links:

Letting Go into Perfect Lovehttps://amzn.to/3bToO7t

The Contract between heaven and earthhttps://amzn.to/2U2Lgmv

The Choice: the unexpected heroeshttps://amzn.to/3lcz8eA

The Culmination, a new beginning https://amzn.to/3eEWkj9


Filed under Writing

SCROTUS, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you veterans and dirt cowboys, you Hog aficionados of all kinds. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you characters from the books you love. Today, my special guest is Shawna Kretchman, Chief of police on the Pine Creek Indian reservation. “Welcome to the show, Shawna.”

“Aww…thanks, Lisa. I’ve heard a lot about you. (From my other half, the one with the big mouth…) Really looking forward to meeting you.”

“Nice to finally meet you. We had your friend, Fish, on the show last year.”

“Oh, really? What did he say about me? Gotta tell ya, parts of me are afraid to ask…and I love the guy.”

“Nice things, I promise. He said something about a motor home in Twin Falls, and you putting him in jail, twice. But it was all really nice.”

“That’s right, Lisa. Locked him and his two buds up twice. First, for stealing a humongous RV. But we released them when we found out they had just repoed it. Then, we had to invite them back for another visit, after one of our guys found a stiff in the bus’s freezer. Turned out, it was the RV’s owner, who had gotten popped by his long-suffering girlfriend.”

“How did you wind up going from Twin Falls, Idaho, to the Sioux Reservation?”

“Well, after we cut Fish and his buds loose for the second time, I happened to mention that I ride a Harley, too – just like him. One thing led to another and he invited me down to visit him in Malibu for a few days of sun, good rides and some whatever. I showed up right when he and his two buds were getting ready to leave for a week-long blow-out in Sturgis, South Dakota—the biggest biker party in the biz. So, I rode along. And after three bar fights, a wrestling match in a ring full of chocolate pudding and a firefight with a bunch of hired killers, the rest is history.”

“So what does a week at Pine Falls look like for the Police Chief?”

“Well, it’s a long way from what you probably think. I mean, the Lakota Sioux are a pretty spiritual people in their own way. Treating each other with respect is huge on the Rez. And, since alcohol is banned there, drunks and bar fights are in pretty short supply. Now, we DID have a bunch of petroleum pipeline workers show up on their day off. And, hammered doesn’t even come close. They were inside the supermarket, tearing the place up and looking to pick up where John Wayne left off. Five beat-up store employees and a pair of huge, busted front windows later, I showed up. Tried to give them the choice of peaceably getting with the program, and ended up having to go all Godzilla on their hindquarters. Our visitors took home about fourteen busted teeth, a broken ankle, three crippled knees, one concussion, a dislocated shoulder, two broken jaws…and the grand prize winner got his own personal trache tube after I crushed his windpipe. I guess you had to be there.”

“Whoa…But listen, I heard you recently got involved with something even bigger. Set the stage a bit for us, if you will.”

“Ok, remember that petroleum pipeline that got bullied through a couple of states? Picture this—the president is due to fly out for the pipeline’s big grand opening celebration. I’m out at the state fairgrounds making sure my people are in place for the ceremony. Secret Service agents are running around checking ID’s and taking into their coat sleeves. All of a sudden, a parade of big black SUV’s pull onto the grounds…enough to make it look like a bigtime Mafia funeral. And in the center of the parade is the presidential limo. Before I know what’s happening, some little gerbil scurries over and tells me that President Tiny Fingers just HAS to meet me. So, while I’m walking over to the limo with him, our Liar in Chief tosses all of his Secret Service agents out of the car, because he needs some alone time with me.”

“But it all went off the rails. Tell our listeners what went down.”

“Lisa, off the rails doesn’t even begin to come close. First thing Orange Boy does is cough a whole container of chewed up Tic Tacs into his hand. THEN he shakes hands with me. Then, he gets my name wrong more times than you can count and informs me that he and I are going to have an affair to remember.”


“Right. Then, the party kicks into high gear. Naturally, I turn down his affair invitation. So, he unzips and whips out the teeniest little skin flute known to man and tries to get me to play a tune on it. As if! So, I tell him ‘no’ in terms any genetic throwback can understand. He sulks out his window for a couple of seconds, then pounces on me. Threatens to have his buddies in Russia pop a cap on me, and then tries to give me a pelvic exam through my uniform pants.

“Now, my momma always said that a lady doesn’t execute a sitting president. So, I did the next best thing. I subdued that idiot, slapped the cuffs on him, read him his rights, and charged him with a boatload of violent felonies, including attempted rape.”

“So is the President in jail right now? I know jurisdictional issues are a nightmare on a reservation.”

“Boy, is he in jail. And, thanks to a prosecutor and judge who agreed with my recommendations about him being a major league flight risk, that’s where he’s gonna stay until there’s a verdict.”

“There must be some political fallout. Did you get called out on Twitter?”

“Fallout? You have no idea. First, the White House sends the Attorney General out to drop the charges. Too bad the reservation is sovereign and separate from the U.S. government, so he has no authority. Then, he tries to bribe the prosecutor and me into dropping the charges, and ends up in the cell next to Orange Boy.

“Then, the White House Chief of Staff orders South Dakota’s governor to activate their National Guard, bust a lot of heads and free the prez. Too bad their commanding general decided to go rogue, and brought the entire guard down to the rez to fight on our side.

“Then, the pipeline company rents a couple of hundred security ‘contractors’ and has them try to break president Tiny Hands out of the slammer. Let’s just say, that puppy wouldn’t hunt.”

“Don’t leave us hanging. Testify, sister. What have they done to you?”

“Well, I did have a couple of days where things didn’t look good. One of the corrupt rocket scientists in Orange Boy’s cabinet talked to somebody. Who talked to somebody else. Eventually the word filtered down to the Republican Sheriff in the state capitol. He passed the governor’s orders along to the head of the county’s SWAT group. Next thing I knew, they grabbed me up in a bogus 911 call, and were going try to trade me for president Tiny Fingers.

“Ok, obviously, I made it out of that. But you’re going to have to read the book to get the whole story. I will say this: we were lucky the president’s cabinet and the Republicans in Congress were so corrupt, stupid and out of touch. They got really cocky when they thought they had us surrounded.

“Which was right where we wanted them.”

“Nobody should be above the law. Right or wrong, you have to trust the process here. Any closing remarks for our listeners today?”

“Well I kind of loved what Fish had to say after the dust settled on the whole thing. “I bet it’s gonna be a long time before another Republican president misbehaves on Shawna’s beat…”

“Shawna, I wish you all the best here. Stay strong and you’ll come out on top, maybe.

“Listeners can learn all about Shawna and how this shakes out in the book SCROTUS So-Called Ruler Of The U.S., by Jeff Lee. I’ll post all the pertinents on the website after I sign off.

“Make sure to use those sharing buttons on your way out today. Jeff and Shawna would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”


“Fish” Fishbein and his girlfriend, Shawna Kretschman, have a nice, quiet life. He’s L.A.’s repo man and bounty hunter to the stars, and she runs the police force on a South Dakota Sioux reservation.

Then, the President of the United States comes to town. And her quiet life turns upside down when she has to arrest him for trying to forcibly exercise his ‘executive privilege’ on her in the back of the presidential limo.

Shawna wants the tiny-handed prez to stand trial for his assault and a handful of other violent felonies. But first, she and Fish will have to take on a corrupt Attorney General who wants to dismiss all charges, and an army of private security contractors out for blood.

And down in the White House Situation Room, the supremely unqualified, corrupt and wealthy members of the president’s cabinet are negotiating with the Russians to invade the country and free their woman-groping boss.

If this goes on much longer, someone is going to have to step in and save Shawna, Fish and the American people from their own government.

They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows. In SCROTUS’ case, very strange. Very fast-paced and very funny, too. With more Alternate Facts than you can shake a White House Press Liaison at. Imagine All the President’s Men meets Jason Bourne and The Three Stooges.

It’s bigly. It’s beautiful. You’re gonna love it.

It’s a done deal.

Pick up your copy on Amazon: bit.ly/tinyfingers

Born in New York and raised near San Francisco, I’ve been a copywriter and creative director for some of the country’s most creative ad agencies. Won a lot of silly awards for my creativity and wise-ass sense of humor.

And I’ve been writing in L.A. since before KC even HAD a Sunshine Band.

So, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that, given half a chance, this city can be a never-ending cavalcade of rib-tickling fun — and funny — things, people and approaches to this thrill ride we call life.

Like phony televangelists who produce biblical-themed porn for the faithful.

Bat-shit crazy showbiz moms.

Defrocked talent agents posing as Reality Show producers.

The Rose Parade.

And on.

And on.

It never freakin’ ends with this place.

There’s always something — or someone — to gape at and giggle over.

I tell ya, you’ve just GOT to love this town!

It’s the law.

Amazon Author Page: amzn.to/ 20j8CQp    

Facebook Author Page: on.fb.me/1QPczqQ

Website: jeffleewriter.weebly.com

Twitter: @jfredlee


Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Unintended Consequences, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa BurtonWelcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. The world recently learned of something the Japanese call Karoshi. This is the situation where people are worked to death. Several deaths have been labeled as Karoshi in recent weeks.

What would it take to get to that point? What goes through someone’s mind as the symptoms take over? We’re going to talk to someone who is very near that point today. “Welcome to the show, Trish Clayton.”

“Hello, Lisa. ‘Karoshi’? Is that what they call this insanity? I guess having a label for it is rather handy for some. Make no mistake, Lisa; there is nothing about this entire situation that a sane person wouldn’t have problems dealing with. I’m not certain about my ability to step back from this on a personal level, and that’s hardly a point from which to assess anything rationally, is it?”

“Let’s not be too hasty here, Trish. You’re dealing with life or death situations every day. People are being tortured and murdered in some kind of sick cat and mouse game, and everyone wants to bring the game to a conclusion. Tell us the truth, how many hours are you putting in every week? When was the last time you took a vacation?”

“The images of the victims at their time of death haunt what little sleep I’m able to grab. How many hours a day do I work? That’s blurred now, one day seems to melt into the next. I guess I get around two, maybe three hours downtime every other day. As for vacation time …! The last time I took some time off was just before the FBI team was formed to investigate the ‘Countdown’ murders. So, that would be over five years ago now. I can’t take time out, not from this. It’s not just the victims now, we just lost a fifteen-year-old boy who went to help one of whoever the hell these victims really are. He was just a kid! A brave kid with a good heart who should never have died.”

“An abduction leads to a photograph with a cryptic message. Find this person by a certain time or they will be killed. When the time passes, another photograph of the person’s severed head. Followed by another abduction which starts the cycle over again.”

“Five years worth of this and you don’t have any leads?”

“No, Lisa, you’re wrong. I have leads! All roads lead me to hell. Sheila Harrington is involved up to her dangerous smile in this situation. The toxic Ms. Harrington is about to become the Governor’s fiancé, Lisa. And, if rumor is correct, the Governor is about to throw his name in the race for the Presidency. I guess suspecting the female most likely to become the new First-Lady of the United States could gain me a few interested parties. How is she connected to the ‘Countdown Murders’? I believe she is at the very least connected via someone powerful enough to have had eighteen men executed. She’s no serial killer, not this one. Oh, I do believe her capable of murder. I also believe that she is simply the well-paid puppet of someone very powerful. Someone else is jerking her strings.”

“If not Sheila, then who?”

“Let me run a few things by you, first, okay? First up, I don’t believe in coincidences when they occur on this kind of scale. So, you’ll understand my dilemma when we discovered that not ONE of the victims existed anywhere on record, prior to two years before their deaths.

I mean nowhere … no registration of birth, no driver’s license, marriage license, no social security, Facebook or other social links. No one came forward to claim them as family when their bodies were released for burial. Only one of them was ever reported missing, that was Quentin Hammersley, the first victim. The friend that reported him gone has since been untraceable.

“There were discrepancies in our records. Vehicle and registration details had been deleted. Passports were falsified in most of the cases, sending us on a wild goose chase that distracted us for far too long.

“You need to understand, Lisa … this information had to have been altered from the inside. The FBI security access is state of the art, and a sad sign of the dangerous times we now live in. We hadn’t been hacked. Someone I knew, perhaps someone on my own team was steering this investigation in a direction away from Sheila Harrington. I began to suspect everyone. It made me sick to my stomach thinking that one of these people whose lives I’d die to protect was bent in some way … or acting under duress.

“I’m sorry … this conversation is affecting me more than I thought it would, I’m wound up pretty tight.”

“Now, Trish could your stress levels be causing a little paranoia?”

“Am I paranoid? Jesus, Lisa … I hope so! I hope to be proven wrong every hour of every day. But it’s all adding up to a really bad equation here, and the recent assassination of Director Ted Prendergast was a professional hit. We have zero leads on the shooter. Ted was my friend, Lisa! We even dated for a while before he started moving up the ranks faster than anyone we knew. Why was he silenced, had he discovered something and was about to reveal it? Or, was he operating under duress? Was he being coerced into altering FBI files?

“I didn’t go to his funeral, Lisa. I took a couple of days and headed out to where the first victim had lived and died. I found things there; things … things that I can’t begin to believe are even possible. I had to speak to somebody. I was cracking under the weight of it. The acting Director Henry Weisman is the man I chose to share everything with. Henry and I discussed it at length. He helped me hold on to my sanity. The case is now closed. On record, it’s now a cold case. Henry and I have both resigned from the bureau, and we’ll be heading up a private security company … the staff will all be FBI trained. We plan on the private security income to provide us with an income to pay for all the time we will be investing in this case … that is, and will remain our prime objective. We–”

“Trish, I hate to interrupt, but we have a caller. Go ahead caller, you’re on the air with Lisa and Trish.”

“To say any more would be a mistake, Ms. Clayton.”

“Why are you altering your voice? If you have evidence you should come forward with it.”

“Let him talk, Lisa. Go ahead caller, I’m listening.”

“No good can come of pursuing this case. People are in danger. You are in danger.”

“Is that a threat?”

“I like the color blue on you, it matches your eyes. It would be a pity to cover that pretty blue dress with your own blood.”

“Trish, you need to get to an interior room away from windows.”

“Way ahead of you, Lisa. Shit! … I need to make a call…”

“Trish? Trish? Are you there?

“If you want to find out more about Trish, pick up a copy of Acts Beyond Redemption and Acts of Betrayal by Suzanne Burke. I’ll include the purchase links on the website.

“Please help Soooz spread the work by using those sharing buttons today. She’d do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”


Acts Beyond RedemptionActs Beyond Redemption:

Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly, journey.

Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.

The team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads.
Their nightmares are stripping them to the bone.

Nothing has prepared them for this.
Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from an incomprehensible and shattering truth.

Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?

Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive?

PURCHASE “Acts Beyond Redemption” here on Amazon.com

Purchase “Acts Beyond Redemption” on AMAZON.UK

PURCHASE Acts Beyond Redemption on AMAZON.COM.AU


Acts of Betrayal

Acts of Betrayal:

Can one powerful man ring mankind to the brink of extinction? Time’s running out …

In this powerful sequel to Acts Beyond Redemption Nigel Cantrell is back, and he’s out for blood.
One of his team holds on precariously to life, with no guarantees of recovery.

Can those responsible drag him into a nightmare he will struggle to contain?

In a complex dual where oaths taken are forsaken, and promises made are broken beyond repair; he must seek the help of the only people he can trust, people who revere him … and, those that despise him.

Cantrell is efficient and deadly, but even he has ghosts in his past, demons that must be exorcised. And nothing is more demonic than the peril he must now face, as a one man’s maniacal thirst for revenge is uncovered.

A man so enormously powerful, with a hatred so intense, so extreme, that the possible demise of his own species means nothing to him. He will dispense his revenge as his diseased mind sees fit.

Nigel Cantrell and his team do not have failure as an option.

The fate of their country and beyond now rests in their hands.

Can they prevent the final Acts of Betrayal?

PURCHASE “Acts Of Betrayal” on AMAZON.COM

PURCHASE “Acts Of Betrayal” AMAZON. U.K

PURCHASE “Acts Of Betrayal” on AMAZON Australia.

Suzanne Burke

Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds- of miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.

Suzanne had long wanted to write, life interrupted and she didn’t begin her journey into the world of writing until she was in her early fifties.

Suzanne has written her memoirs under the author name of Stacey Danson, both her non-fiction books have ranked in the top 100 paid in Kindle on Amazon. “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” continue to earn wonderful reviews.

Suzanne writes her powerful Thrillers “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts of Betrayal” and her Paranormal anthology “Mind-Shaft” as S. Burke.

Her Fictional works are written under S. BURKE.

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Filed under Lisa Burton Radio