Book Review: City of Promises

A story about Mexico, written by an American who lives in Canada; odd, but interesting.  Let me explain.  D. Grant Fitter has studied and worked in Mexico long enough to know and understand that place, which is very different from the United States, as we will learn.  He says he thinks he must have been Mexican in another life.  In his tale Arturo Fuentes, a young businessman moves to Mexico City in 1943 and opens a glass bottle factory using sand from his native region.  In short order he falls in with a famous Mexican dancer and some shady characters from the totally corrupt government of that nation.  The story winds through the headlines of the 1940’s as Perez Prado becomes internationally popular and the rumba sweeps the nation’s dance floors.  In the meantime corrupt politicians deal themselves in on every business transaction of consequence, with Fuentes swept along and becoming wealthy in the process.

This story reads like Gabriel Garcia Marquez was given a stack of old newspapers from 1943-1948 and told to write a mystery/thriller.  It has dreamy descriptions of rich coffee and aged rum served up in restaurants and night clubs of the period, then business deals, the development of Mexico City bus service, the presidential election of Miguel  Aleman, and the development of Acapulco.  It’s told in linear, first person prose eliciting more curiosity than tension or suspense until the end when it finishes up tidy.

So, interesting but not literature.  It’s a primer in how government corruption infects every part of life, and it isn’t unique to Mexico.  It’s happening in Egypt as we speak, and it’s always trying to happen in the United States.  That’s why our two party political system has stood the test of time.  Mexico now has a two party political system, and they’re a better nation for it.

Book club ideas

Road trip!  Author Ed Baldwin is planning a July promotional tour for his new book, The Devil on Chardonnay.  Put together a book group and let’s see if we can arrange a visit.  You provide a location and buy the books from Amazon in advance, to give members a chance to read it.  Ed will come to your location, read from his work, and sign the books.

If we can’t get together on the tour we could do it by Skype; not quite as exciting but still worth an evening.  Interested book clubs should contact me on the contact page of my web site.

Book Expo America 2013


Author Ed Baldwin will be attending the Book Expo America in New York City May 28-June 1 to promote his new book, The Devil on Chardonnay. BookExpo America is the premier promotional event for the publishing industry and will showcase bestselling authors (unfortunately, not Ed Baldwin this year), and newly released books. Agents, Authors, publishers, promoters, printers, editors, lawyers, marketers, advertisers, and anyone else wanting to make a buck off of books will be there hustling. Ed loves to hustle. Ed used to be a door to door salesman.

The Devil on Chardonnay, the second thriller in the Boyd Chailland series, takes Boyd to Africa and the Indian Ocean to kick off a page turner about a secret vaccine, and contains the inside dope on how America would respond to a biological threat, written by one who helped create part of that infrastructure. Like The Other Pilot, Boyd uses his brains to figure this one out, and flying various types of aircraft is his trademark, but The Devil on Chardonnay is also about a beautiful sailing yacht. Look for it in June.

James Patterson was wrong!

Best selling author James Patterson took out an ad in Publisher’s Weekly suggesting that the government “do something” about the decline in the traditional publishing industry.  Specifically, he mentioned the decline in bookstores and libraries, but he also suggested the major publishers needed some kind of government help to maintain their monopoly over what we read.  Not so!  There are more publishers today than ever before, and many of us who have published our own material are learning streamlined new ways to get our words out, and entrepreneurs are rushing to find ways to help us flank the big boys.  No longer can an editor in New York decide which dozen authors will publish thriller fiction, and which 50 will publish romance fiction, and which handful will get the chance to be read in literary fiction.  Today, it’s a stampede.

Here’s where I think it’s going to go.  Instead of wannabe authors wasting years submitting to agents who won’t even read their query letters, they will publish.  It isn’t that hard.  Avid readers eager to find something good are wading through the mass of new fiction and publishing reviews in hundreds of weblogs.  Some readers are reviewing more than one book a day.  It’s easy to flip through a book on a Kindle or Nook reader, and independent fiction is dirt cheap; 99 cents.  A lot of it is given away.  Much of that new fiction is terrible, but voices are emerging out of all that chaos; new voices.  E.L. James self published her Fifty Shades of Gray and managed to sell 50,000 books.  One of the big publishers picked her up under contract and she sold millions.  That’s happening a lot now.

The adventurous reader will scan the book review blogs looking for something fresh and new, or that certain formula they want, and find the independent.  The reader wanting a guarantee will seek out the name brand.  There will be more writers, more books, more variety, more voices.  Now about libraries and book stores; people are reading in coffee shops, on the bus, walking down the street, WHILE DRIVING CARS!  How can you say people aren’t reading?  Libraries are going to have to re-think what they offer, or people aren’t going to come in; they don’t need to.

Review The Devil on Chardonnay before publication!

DOC_Kindle_LayoutAuthor Ed Baldwin is offering FREE COPIES of The Devil on Chardonnay, the second story in the Boyd Chailland thriller series, to readers who will agree to read it quickly and post a review on Amazon and Goodreads.  The Devil on Chardonnay is scheduled for publication release on June 15.  Interested readers should send an email to with their request.

The Devil on Chardonnay is a sailing/flying/adventure novel in which Strategic Command orders Capt. Boyd Chailland back from his F-16 squadron to lead a team investigating deaths at a secret vaccine lab in the Seychelles.  He follows a trail of money, treachery and death from East Africa to Europe and then to South Carolina where he boards the century old sailing yacht Chardonnay for a transatlantic crossing during hurricane season with the notorious European merchant banker Michelle Meilland.  The action climax in the Azores will leave the reader breathless, and thinking about a trip there.  

New Book Release 2013! See cover art for The Devil on Chardonnay

DOC_Kindle_LayoutNew Book Release 2013!  The cover art for The Devil on Chardonnay is just in today.  Cover artist Steve Meosky has been working for months on this picture.  The 120 foot wooden sailing yacht Chardonnay is approaching the spent volcano Pico in the Azores.  This unique ship, more than a century old and seen in this exotic locale, promises the reader an adventure.  We’re building a brand here, and the cover matches the style of The Other Pilot, the first adventure in the Capt. Boyd Chailland series.

In The Other Pilot Capt. Boyd Chailland is plucked from his life as a journeyman fighter pilot to serve on an Accident Investigation Board, and is caught up in an action packed thriller that features old and new aircraft, flying, fighting, investigation, and lots of flawed, interesting characters.  Just as he’s recovering he’s hurriedly called back to a black ops, off the books mission in The Devil on Chardonnay.  

This New Book Release 2013 announcement previews the next Boyd  Chailland adventure, with a publication date of June 15th.

A secret vaccine?  The chance to “spread a little sickness” attracts criminals and revolutionaries; but they’re the small players.  Something worse broke out of the Congo basin, and Strategic Command’s Capt. Boyd Chailland’s fight to get ahead of the trail of death leads to Chardonnay,  sailing yacht of the notorious European merchant banker Michelle Meilland as they cross the Atlantic in hurricane season.  A kaleidoscope of characters arise to test Boyd’s wits and stamina as he chases this constantly evolving threat from the Indian Ocean to  America, and finally to a breathtaking action climax in the Azores.

New Book Release 2013 June 15 publication date for The Devil on Chardonnay, watch for it!

Wood Ducks

They came across the lake, a tight pair, and banked in front of my deck this afternoon to swoop down into the cove by the house where they landed by the dock; wood ducks.  They swam quickly to the point of the cove, to the left in this picture.  They went right up to the very point into shallow water.  He was resplendent in his bright mating colors, while she was just brown like any other hen duck.  She swam under a rocky overhang; really odd to see a duck swim under a rock.  They, or their parents raised a brood down there last year and the year before.  You can just see the hollow tree at the top center of the picture where they nested.  They’re a month later this year.

As recently as last week flight ducks were rafted up in the center of the lake paddling along against 40 mile per hour gusts, heavy rain and temps down into the 20’s at night.  I saw bufflehead, widgeon, shovelers, and pintail in one big clump.  They should have been gone a month ago.  The weather warmed up this weekend and they finally headed north.  But, the woodies nest here.

Bookman free today!

bookmansliderAuthor Ed Baldwin is having a free promotion for the next three days offering Kindle copies of his first novel Bookman.  


Bookman is the story of a door to door salesman traveling the Mid-South during the turbulent 1960’s.  It’s about small town police and their jails, fast talking salesmen, big city fancy women, moonshiners, and rednecks and blacks struggling to get along as the Old South fades away and the New America emerges.


Get your copy of Bookman now at Amazon!

Free books!

bookmansliderAuthor Ed Baldwin is offering free copies of his first novel, Bookman, now available in Kindle format to anyone who will read it and write a review in Amazon.  Bookman, first published in 1990 is Southern Fiction and the cover and a synopsis are available on this web site.  Simply reply to this message with your contact information and I’ll tell you how to get your free book.

The Other Pilot competing in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards!

Brasfield Books has entered The Other Pilot, the critically  acclaimed political action thriller by Ed Baldwin in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The 17th annual Independent Publisher Book Awards otherpilotsliderhonor the year’s best independently published titles.  The contest is presented by Jenkins Group and their book marketing website,, headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan.

The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. We define “independent” as 1) independently owned and operated; 2) operated by a foundation or university; or 3) long-time independents that became incorporated but operate autonomously and publish fewer than 50 titles a year.

  • 75 subject categories in National awards
  • Regional awards for the United States, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand
  • E-Book Awards with fiction, non-fiction, children’s and regional categories