On November 17 we had the pleasure of speaking at the Westport Center for Senior Activities about our two baseball theme books, Roberto's Return and The Rovers. Thanks to everyone who came out and purchased books, and special thanks to Program Manager Holly Betts, who has herself visited over 90 major and minor league ballparks!
On Sunday, Oct. 30, the T.J. Jackson Mysteries had the pleasure of taking part in the first Halloween on the Green, sponsored by the Fairfield Museum and many other local organizations. The event in general was an unqualified success, with thousands of Halloween revelers both young and old enjoying the numerous vendor tents, food trucks, and children's activities (including access to historic buildings decorated for the occasion) in and around the Town Green on a beautiful Autumn day. Our tent was situated near the site of Edwards Pond, used as an actual witch ducking pond in the 1600s, and portrayed in Curse of the Fairfield Witch: A T.J. Jackson Mystery as the scene of accused witch Charity Blessing's ordeal by water. And we are happy to announce that in addition to distributing over 1,000 lollipops to young trick or treaters, we completely sold out of our inventory of Fairfield Witch, as did the Fairfield Museum gift shop, with whom we hope to continue our partnership. Special thanks to Museum coordinator Christine Jewell for the invitation to this great event. See you next year!
Hi Everybody - T.J. here. As you know, during the past couple weeks two horrible hurricanes tore through the Caribbean and Atlantic - Matthew and Nicole. I just want you to know that Bortnicker's grandparents, Morty and Doris, came through Matthew just great. Boca Vista Royale, their retirement village in Boca Raton, sustained no serious damage, mostly some downed trees and branches, and flooding was minimal. As for our friend Ronnie Goodwin in Bermuda, Nicole, which was a category 3 hurricane by the time it passed over the island, never officially made landfall. But they were still hit with 100+ MPH winds, heavy rain and a big storm surge. Something like 27,000 people, over half the population on the island, lost power. But Ronnie's family and the Blue Lagoon Dive Shop, except for some minor damage to their Reef Seeker II dive boat, got through it okay. Let's hope this is the end of Hurricane Season for 2016!
And by the way, rumor has it that you'll be hearing from Paul next Spring about a new T.J. Jackson Mystery. Just saying.
We had a wonderful day at this year's Trumbull Arts Festival. The weather was perfect, and the crowd flow steady all day, helped by an impressive 5,000 motorcycle cruise commemorating 9/11 that passed through Trumbull town center, where our event was being held. For the first time we actually sold out on one YA book - Curse of the Fairfield Witch - and nearly sold out on our adult book, The Rovers: A tale of Fenway. Overall, it was our best selling day ever. Thanks to Emily Areson, event coordinator, for the invitation. We hope to be back in 2017 with a new T.J. Jackson novel to add to our table!
Congratulations to my friend, best-selling author Brad Meltzer, whose TV Show, Lost History (H2), prompted the return of the "Ground Zero Flag" from the iconic photo taken on 9/11 that mysteriously went missing shortly thereafter. There will be a TV special on its finding called America's 9/11 Flag: Rise from the Ashes this Sunday at 10:30 PM ET. You will find it surprising and uplifting.
On June 23 we spent an enjoyable evening talking baseball with the good folks at the Bigelow Center in Fairfield. Since baseball was the focus, our presentation focused on Roberto's Return and The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway. Our sizable audience really got into it, and the post-presentation Q & A session was lively and entertaining, with many audience members sharing stories about old time baseball. Everyone from Ted Williams to Babe Ruth to Joe DiMaggio - and even Marilyn Monroe - came up. And to top it off, we sold a bunch of books! Thanks to coordinator Margaret Andrews for putting this event together, and we hope to see you again.
I was excited to receive an advance copy of Finley Ball from my friend Nancy Finley, the niece of controversial A's owner Charlie Finley, whom I had profiled a couple years back in SCD. The book is her recounting of the time she spent as a front office insider during the A's dynasty of the 70s. Basically, Nancy's dad, Carl Finley, who was Charlie's cousin, was plucked from his existence as a high school administrator and put in charge of a MLB franchise by the mercurial owner, himself an insurance salesman in the Midwest. Together, on what what can be generously be called a shoestring, these men built and maintained one of the great teams of all time; and Nancy, ever at her dad's side, filled a variety of roles... while still a high-schooler! The story is as fast moving as it is improbable. Considering that the Moneyball regime, though much ballyhooed, has yet to produce a championship, this story is even more compelling. I highly recommend it. You just might come to the conclusion that crazy Charlie Finley wasn't so crazy after all. The publisher is Regnery History, and you can find the book on Amazon.
On Friday, February 19th, we had the pleasure of appearing at the Baldwin Center before the Stratford Senior Men's Club, and the subject was Baseball!
It was fun speaking about my longtime association with Sports Collectors Digest, the writing of Roberto's Return, and a preview of our new book to be announced VERY shortly. (I think you can probably guess the theme!)
Thanks to Mr. Nate Barsky for the invitation, and for the beautifully framed certificate of appreciation we were given. We sold some books, made some friends, and officially ushered in a new baseball season. Play Ball!
Because of all our loyal T.J. Jackson fans, Curse of the Fairfield Witch is this week's winner of Cover Wars at Author Shout.com. It wasn't even close! Artist Stephanie Flint's cover was, indeed, a winner. Thanks to all who voted.
Hi Everybody, it's T.J. On behalf of Bortnicker and LouAnne, I'd just like to thank everyone for their support in 2015. Whether it was writing an Amazon review (and PLEASE keep them coming, especially for Curse of the Fairfield Witch), "liking" the T.J. Jackson Mysteries on Facebook, purchasing the books, or attending one of our many promotional events, your interest in the series gives Paul the motivation to keep it going. This past year we've come in contact with so many people who have a connection to the stories, from Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, to baseball greats Ozzie Smith and Bobby Valentine, and other supporters such as politicians, historians, librarians, teachers, students, and anyone else who has become a T.J. Jackson fan.
A special thanks goes out to Nancy Schumacher, CEO of Melange/Fire & Ice Books, Paul's publisher; his wonderful editor, Denise Devine Meinstad, and the talented staff who bring it all together for us, including Caroline Andrus and Stephanie Flint, who create those great T.J. Jackson book cover designs. Of course, without Paul's personal support team, including his wife/agent/business manager Maria Simoes; daughter Carrie, who creates the promo videos; and sister Carol Young, who designs his bookmarks and promo cards; our stories wouldn't be half as successful.
Rumor has it that Paul is planning to tell you about another of our adventures in the future, but until then, I want to let you in on a secret: Look for an ADULT genre book from Paul in the spring of 2016, his first in that category. Until we see each other again, have a happy and healthy New Year!
My thoughts on past, present and future ideas relating to my writing.