Hopefully I can get this right, because believe me I want to, on so many levels. First to just get this out of the way, this novel just flat out ROCKS! Now I have had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Paul Levine on my blogtalk show The G-ZONE last week. I know I mentioned this yesterday in my John Locke/Vegas Moon post, but the reason I point this out yet again is this: The guy’s voice, as smooth, kind and silky as it is, was in my head the entire time I was pressing the buttons on my Kindle, narrating the story for me. I am not going to place the usual synopsis of the story in this post, instead I am placing something about the novel and the good this is going to be doing for some sick kids, kids that have cancer, and the generosity of Paul Levine, an author that has won just about every major award an author can possibly win. Am I smooching fanny here, maybe, but it is all the truth, let it be said. The guy is first rate, a Hall of Fame author and a man with a huge heart for the right reasons. Basically you download this novel and the proceeds go to The Four Diamonds Club @ Penn State, The Hershey Children’s Hospital, for children’s cancer research and care. Nobody loses here, an awesome read, a great cause, a win –win for everyone.
Back to the voice in my head, yes, it is said I hear many, but this was just over the top. Lassiter is one smart $%^ that is a fun read. Levine creates so many layers, so many rich characters, describes his environment so well that it makes this novel so irresistible it is not funny. The hardest part for me after reading this , is that during the interview ,Paul Levine said that the next novel he has coming out in the fall, his newest Lassiter novel is probably his best work .To be able to say that after reading this, that my friends is a statement. I will be glad to stand in the virtual line for that one; hopefully I will be able to get him back on the show before that. PLEASE READ THIS:
BACKSTORY: WHY AUTHOR DONATES TO “CONQUER CHILDHOOD CANCER”
“Flesh & Bones,” the last of the bestselling Jake Lassiter thrillers, is now an e-book. Author Paul Levine explains why he has pledged all royalties to childhood cancer treatment and research.
By Paul Levine
In the United States today, one in 300 children will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. All of us have friends or family members who have fought that grueling battle. These days, with great advances in medicine, there’s an increasing chance the fight has been successful.
Yet, progress seems excruciatingly slow for those on the front lines.
A few years ago, one of my dearest friends, the godfather of my son, lost his daughter Margaux to Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare but vicious bone cancer. Another friend, a well-known author, has lost both a child and a grandchild to the disease. The survival rate for Ewing’s sarcoma that metastasises is a disheartening 10 per cent.
Ten per cent!
In this age of medical miracles, how can that be?
After Margaux’s death at age 14, I dedicated a book to her. Such a feeble gesture. I wanted to do more. Still do. Here’s how.
“Flesh & Bones,” the last of the Jake Lassiter novels, was published internationally to wide acclaim in 1997. Out of print for many years, it’s now a $2.99 e-book, with all proceeds going to the Four Diamonds Fund, a charity that pays for treatment of pediatric cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. In addition to providing world-class medical care, the Fund supports research in immunotherapy, carcinogenesis, and several other fields I can barely spell, much less understand. I can’t imagine a better charity. I’m hoping that the e-book will sell for years, bringing enjoyment to readers and support to a life-saving cause. Hoping, too, that others will be moved to directly contribute.
This is my second venture into “publishing for charity.” Last summer, my first novel, “To Speak for the Dead,” was brought out of retirement as an e-book and produced thousands of dollars for the Four Diamonds Fund. That book introduced the world to Jake Lassiter, a linebacker-turned-lawyer who searches for justice but seldom finds it. The book facilitated my career change from lawyer to novelist and has always held a special place in my heart. Now, good old Jake can help a cause that’s also dear to me.
“Flesh & Bones,” priced at $2.99, is available on Kindle, Nook, and at Smashwords. More information at Paul Levine’s Website.
In between the two, I’ve published the rest of the Lassiter backlist plus two stand-alone thrillers, and a collection of short stories. But nothing gives me more pleasure than helping a good cause with my writing.
Here’s a little background about the Four Diamonds Fund. In 1972, a 14-year-old boy named Christopher Millard was an aspiring writer. Or rather, he was already a writer. He’d penned a mythic tale about “Sir Millard and The Four Diamonds,” in the tradition of Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot. What are those Four Diamonds? Wisdom. Courage. Honesty. Strength. All are needed in our daily lives, especially in children’s battles with a dread disease.
You have probably figured out that Chris wrote the story while in the throes of cancer. The diamonds of his story were allegorical. The quest was for life itself. After a three-year battle, Chris died, but his memory lives in the name of the Fund established by his family with the straightforward goal of “Conquering Childhood Cancer.”
Penn State students have contributed an astonishing $78 million to the Fund through their annual dance marathon. This year’s event raised more than $9 million alone.
One more thing. If each of us can contribute – just a bit – of courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength, maybe we can reach the goal of conquering childhood cancer.
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