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Today my guest is David Kushner, the author of University Red 24 Nike Fade Sting Poly Blend Performance Brief Male and the brand new look at the early wild west days of the Internet The Players Ball.

David Kushner book

Find David’s books on Amazon

“An engrossing microcosm of the internet’s Wild West years” (Kirkus Reviews), award-winning journalist David Kushner tells the incredible battle between the founder of Match.com and the con man who swindled him out of the website Sex.com, resulting in an all-out war for control for what still powers the internet today: love and sex.

In 1994, visionary entrepreneur Gary Kremen used a $2,500 loan to create the first online dating service, Match.com. Only 5 percent of Americans were using the internet at the time, and even fewer were looking online for love. He quickly bought the Sex.com domain too, betting the combination of love and sex would help propel the internet into the mainstream.

Imagine Kremen’s surprise when he learned that someone named Stephen Michael Cohen had stolen the rights to Sex.com and was already making millions that Kremen would never see. Thus follows the wild true story of Kremen’s and Cohen’s decade-long battle for control. In The Players Ball, author and journalist David Kushner provides a front seat to these must-read Wild West years online, when innovators and outlaws battled for power and money.

This cat-and-mouse game between a genius and a con man changed the way people connect forever, and is key to understanding the rise and future of the online world.

“Kushner delivers a fast-paced, raunchy tale of sex, drugs, and dial-up.” —Publishers Weekly

David Kushner is an award-winning journalist and author. His books include Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids: How a Gang of Geeks Beat the Odds, Stormed Las Vegas, Levittown: Two Families, One Tycoon, and the Fight for Civil Rights in America’s Legendary Suburb, Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto, and Alligator Candy: A Memoir. 

Kushner is also author of the graphic novel Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D, illustrated by Koren Shadmi, and the ebook, The Bones of Marianna: A Reform School, a Terrible Secret, and a Hundred-Year Fight for Justice. Two collections of his magazine stories are available as audiobooks, The World’s Most Dangerous Geek: And More True Hacking Stories and Prepare to Meet Thy Doom: And More True Gaming Stories.

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A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, Kushner has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, New York Times Magazine, New York, and GQ, and has been an essayist for National Public Radio. His work is featured in several “best of” anthologies: The Best American Crime Reporting, The Columbia Journalism Review’s Best Business Writing,The Best Music Writing, and The Best American Travel Writing. He is the winner of the New York Press Club award for Best Feature Reporting. His ebook The Bones of Marianna was selected by Amazon as a Best Digital Single of 2013.  NPR named his memoir Alligator Candy one of the best books of 2016. He has taught as a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

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Today I am joined by Chris Pourteau and David Bruns, coauthors of the The SynCorp Saga: Empire Earth series. Chris and David are some of my oldest friends in the writer community and I absolutely love their new series The SynCorp Saga. We talk about tackling the second of three trilogies in the saga and much more. Find their last visit to the show below.

From Book 1: The Expanse meets The Godfather in this Space Opera/Sci-Fi Noir Thriller about corporate greed, rebellion, and mankind’s survival among the stars.

Revolution threatens a longstanding peace…

Thirty years after the Syndicate Corporation saved Earth from climate-change extinction, SynCorp’s Five Factions rule the solar system with an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove. Food, entertainment, safety, security—SynCorp provides it all. In return, the Company requires complete loyalty and obedience to corporate law.

The Soldiers of the Solar Revolution claim life under SynCorp is slavery cloaked in comfort. They launch their rebellion, targeting the pillars of corporate production: sabotaging refineries on Mars, shattering Callisto’s orbital ring. Meanwhile, brutal pirates siphon off Company resources in the Belt, and hackers tap into citizens’ implants, addicting them to fantasies shaped from their own dreams.

Besieged on all sides, SynCorp’s Five Factions are in retreat. The rebels aim to destroy the Company to free mankind. But does mankind really want to be freed?

About Chris:

Who I am, what I do
I’m a writer of Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, and Fantasy speculative fiction who loves a good character-centered story, whatever the genre. I also edit anthologies in my spare time…

Writing is a calling
I’ve written stories all my life but only began pursuing it seriously in the mid-20teens. Classic television (Twilight Zone, Star Trek) has impacted me as much favorite writers (King, Tolkien, Cornwell) in how I approach storytelling.

Other stuff
I’m a player and producer for the podcast Sci-Fi Writers Playing Old School D&D and a frequent guest on Hank Garner’s Author Stories Podcast, among other podcasts. I’m also co-founder of Sci-Fi Bridge, a free subscription site aimed at bringing the best SF writers and most enthusiastic SF readers together.

About David:

I always knew I’d be a writer—someday.

I grew up on a small farm in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. We didn’t have a TV, so my reading habit gradually turned into a reading obsession. After high school, I was accepted to the United States Naval Academy where I earned a Bachelors of Science in Honors English (That’s not a typo. I’m probably the only English major you’ll ever meet who had to take multiple semesters of calculus, physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, naval architecture and weapons systems design just so I could get to read some Shakespeare. It was totally worth it.)

I spent six years as a commissioned officer in the nuclear-powered submarine force chasing Russian submarines. Then the Cold War ended and I became a civilian. For the next two decades, I schlepped my way around the globe as an itinerant executive in the high-tech sector, and even did a stint with a Silicon Valley startup.

In 2013, I took a break from corporate life and wrote a book. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote another (better) book, the first in a series. For the writer in me, my “someday” is today.

My wife and I are self-confessed travel junkies. We’re proud of the fact that both our children had to get extra pages in their passports in order to fit all their visa stamps. Together, we’ve visited over two dozen different countries and almost all fifty states, but Minnesota is home.

If you’d like to chat, you can drop me an email at david@davidbruns.com.

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Today’s author interview guest is Kirsty Manning, author of The Song Of The Jade Lily.

“Kirsty Manning weaves together little-known threads of World War II history, family secrets, the past and the present into a page-turning, beautiful novel.”— Heather Morris, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A gripping historical novel that tells the little-known story of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai during WWII.

1939: Two young girls meet in Shanghai, also known as the “Paris of the East”. Beautiful local Li and Jewish refugee Romy form a fierce friendship, but the deepening shadows of World War II fall over the women as they slip between the city’s glamorous French Concession district and the teeming streets of the Shanghai Ghetto. Yet soon the realities of war prove to be too much for these close friends as they are torn apart.

2016: Fleeing London with a broken heart, Alexandra returns to Australia to be with her grandparents, Romy and Wilhelm. Her grandfather is dying, and over the coming weeks Romy and Wilhelm begin to reveal the family mysteries they have kept secret for more than half a century. As fragments of her mother’s history finally become clear, Alexandra struggles with what she learns while more is also revealed about her grandmother’s own past in Shanghai.

After Wilhelm dies, Alexandra flies to Shanghai, determined to trace her grandparents’ past. Peeling back the layers of their hidden lives, she is forced to question what she knows about her family—and herself.

The Song of the Jade Lily is a lush, provocative, and beautiful story of friendship, motherhood, the price of love, and the power of hardship and courage that can shape us all.

Kirsty-21-7875.jpgKIRSTY MANNING grew up in northern New South Wales. She has degrees in literature and communications and worked as an editor and publishing manager in book publishing for over a decade. A country girl with wanderlust,

her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east and west coasts of the United States and pockets of Asia. Kirsty’s journalism and photography specializing in lifestyle and travel regularly appear in magazines, newspapers and online
.

In 2005, Kirsty and her husband, with two toddlers and a baby in tow, built a house in an old chestnut grove in the Macedon Ranges. Together, they planted an orchard and veggie patch, created large herbal ‘walks’ brimming with sage and rosemary, wove borders from chestnuts branches and constructed far too many stone walls by hand.

Kirsty loves cooking with her kids and has several large heirloom copper pots that do not fit anywhere easily, but are perfect for making (and occasionally burning) jams, chutneys and soups.

With husband Alex Wilcox, Kirsty is a partner in the award-winning Melbourne wine bar USB Electric Heated Vest, Temperature Adjustable Heated Jacket Body Warmer Dow Vest Thermal Waistcoat with 3 Heat Settings, Warming Unisex Jacket Winter Heat Insulate Waistcoat, and the Prince Wine Store in Sydney and Melbourne.

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Today’s author interview is with Stacey L. Tucker. Stacey returns to the show to talk about her new book UTG LT-ELP223Q-A Compact LED Pistol Light 400 Lumens with QD Lever Lock.

Vaevanhome Lightly Do Not Press The Hair To Cross The Hand-Woven Straw Hat, Adjustable, WhiteSkylar Southmartin is not the naïve girl she was a short year ago. She’s made some mistakes and learned a few secrets to life, all the while clinging to the faith her mother instilled in her as a child . . . in herself. And now that she has discovered her life’s purpose within the pages of the ancient Book of Sophia, she knows what she must do: restore a vital memory to the Akashic Library, located deep within the Underworld of Earth. This library is sought after by many who are aware of its existence, for they know the future of human potential rests at its core.

Meanwhile, Devlin Grayer has been elected as the 46th President of the United States and his wife, Milicent, is miserable in her new role as First Lady―especially because the Great Mothers have asked Milicent to use her new status to help their cause, and she has no interest in tackling that task.

With the help of friends in the unlikeliest of places, Skylar’s journey reveals the significance of the darkness within all of us, and its potential to save or destroy the most precious part of us all: our soul.

Stacey Tucker used her fifteen years of field research in women’s history, spirituality, and energy work to create her three book series, The Equal Night Trilogy. The romantic fantasy story combines science and spirituality in a relatable way for the modern reader. Tucker’s first book in the series, Ocean’s Fire, took Gold at the Living Now Book Awards, and she’s making magic again with Book 2, Alchemy’s Air. She has written for Women’s World, Working Mother, and Pop Sugar, and speaks to teen groups about self-empowerment and awareness in today’s saturated climate of social media.

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Today’s author interview guest is Jeffery Deaver, author of theValue-Smart-ToysBare Knuckle 3 Japan Cover with Box and Manual for Sega MegaDrive Genesis Video Game Console 16 bit MD Card, and the first book in a brand new series The Never Game.

From the bestselling and award-winning master of suspense, the first novel in a thrilling new series, introducing Colter Shaw.

“You have been abandoned.”

A young woman has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father has hired Colter Shaw to find her. The son of a survivalist family, Shaw is an expert tracker. Now he makes a living as a “reward seeker,” traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. But what seems a simple investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of America’s tech hub and the cutthroat billion-dollar video-gaming industry.

“Escape if you can.”

When another victim is kidnapped, the clues point to one video game with a troubled past–The Whispering Man. In that game, the player has to survive after being abandoned in an inhospitable setting with five random objects. Is a madman bringing the game to life?

“Or die with dignity.”

Shaw finds himself caught in a cat-and-mouse game, risking his own life to save the victims even as he pursues the kidnapper across both Silicon Valley and the dark ‘net. Encountering eccentric game designers, trigger-happy gamers and ruthless tech titans, he soon learns that he isn’t the only one on the hunt: someone is on his trail and closing fast.

The Never Game proves once more why “Deaver is a genius when it comes to manipulation and deception” (Associated Press).

Jeffery Deaver is the #1 international bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction law book. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He’s received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world, including Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers and the Steel Dagger Award from the Crime Writers’ Association in the United Kingdom. In 2014 he was the recipient of three lifetime achievement awards. A former journalist, folksinger, and attorney, he was born outside of Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University.

Audio excerpted courtesy Penguin Random House Audio from THE NEVER GAME by Jeffery Deaver, narrated by Kaleo Griffith.

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