We Got Him

THANKS to SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD for highlighting my novel, WE GOT HIM!

Snowflakes in a Blizzard

We Got Him by [Searle, Elizabeth]This week’s other featured book, “This. This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love.,” by Jennifer Wortman, can be found by scrolling down below this post, along with the First Tuesday Replay. Or, just click the author’s name on our Authors page.


THE BOOK: We Got Him.

PUBLISHED IN: Nov. 2016. (AudioBook version out in 2018 from Blunderwoman AudioBooks)

THE AUTHOR: Elizabeth Searle.

THE EDITOR:  The New Rivers Press team included Nayt Rundquist and Suzzanne Kelley, with special thanks to NRP founding editor, Al Davis.

THE PUBLISHER: New Rivers Press. New Rivers Press has been a proud independent book publisher since 1968. See: http://www.newriverspress.com.

SUMMARY: In WE GOT HIM, a longtime married couple face the premature birth of their long-awaited first baby on the night of the 2013 Boston Marathon manhunt, with the Boston area on ‘lock-down’ and a young terrorist on the loose. My title comes from the late Mayor Tom…

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TAMRA WILSON is the author of Dining With Robert Redford, a story collection, and the co-editor of IDOL TALK, a new collection of women writers on Teen Idols.  A list of forthcoming readings and events featuring Tamra and IDOL TALK follows this blog post, which is reprinted from with permission from the author.  Rock on, IDOL TALK!

Idol Talk sheds light on pop star crushes by Tamra Wilson

Out now from McFarlandBooks

Ladies, if you’re like me, you had a teen idol. Yes, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit that any of us “mature adults” once dreamed of meeting Elvis, dancing with Paul McCartney or breathing the same air as Bobby Sherman.

My idol (surprise!) was Peter Noone, Herman of Herman’s Hermits, the group that gave us such ear worms as “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” and “I’m Into Something Good.”   The Hermits’ bouncy, upbeat tunes had MGM Records whistling all the way to the bank. Herman and the lads outsold the Beatles in 1965. All said, Herman’s Hermits scored 10 Top Tens, 20 Top Twenties as one of the top three bands of the British Invasion with more than 60 million records sold worldwide.

Tammy and her idol, Peter Noone (aka, Herman of Herman’s Hermits)

In the fall of 1968, when I entered high school, Peter had the audacity to get married. There was no warning, just an announcement of the nuptials from London. I gave Herman’s Hermits the heave ho, though I kept the albums and posters. After all, you never know when you might need such stuff.

“When” came in 2013, the evening Herman’s Hermits came to J. E. Broyhill Civic Center. After the band rocked the house, I got in line and had Peter sign several of those old albums, which he politely did as I stood by like a giddy 13-year-old.

Later, I emailed my writer friend, Elizabeth Searle, telling her that it really was possible to become a teen-ager again. She understood because we have this thing about celebrities. I’d already written a book, Dining with Robert Redford, and she had penned the script for Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. Continue Reading »

Coming in July from McFarland Books!  Check this page for updates & more…

“IDOL TALK: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives.”

NOW AVAILABLE from McFarland & Company:

What began as a fun email exchange between writers Elizabeth Searle and Tamra Wilson has become the first-ever collection of essays about teen idols by some of America’s most fabulous female writers including Ann Hood, Marianne Leone, Leslea Newman, Hank Phillippi Ryan, BA Shapiro, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Susan Straight, Dolen Perkins Valdez, Stephanie Powell Watts, Oprah Book choice Breena Clarke and more.  

Foreword by Peter Noone, Herman of Herman’s Hermits.  BREAKING NEWS on PETER NOONE: Peter’s new song with Red Button — OOH, GIRL — has hit the charts in the UK!

IDOL TALK will invite readers to a Ya-Ya Sisterhood-type pajama party as authors share “true confessions” of their own celebrity obsessions. Included are deeply personal musings about such stars as Elvis, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson and Davy Jones as well as some nontraditional idols including Bobby Orr, Baryshnikov, Humphrey Bogart and Raymond Burr and more.

IDOL TALK will bring back memories, stir up new thoughts and trigger frank talk about many a woman’s “first love,” her teen idol.

Watch our IDOL TALK page here on the blog for more.   And See: McFarland Books 

Avenatti is a Hottie: And Other Reasons to Love the Guy Who Just Might Save America

Er, does anyone else think that ‘Stormy Daniels’ attorney is smoking hot?  Michael Avenatti, Esq. has Trump and co. on the run.




~If Avenatti ever gets the two-hour interrogation he wants with Trump himself, nothing will be left but the orange hair.

Even the New York Times thinks Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels), may be the one to bring down the Donald.  If so, she had an able assist from her telegenic ace Attorney.

Reasons enough to love the guy.  But I can think of a few more:

1. Avenatti is a Hottie.

Ol’ Blue Eyes has nothing on this blue-eyed Italian Stallion, whose law office motto is ‘Basta!’

2. Avenatti trumps Trumpsters  

Avenatti regularly outsmarts– and out-shouts– Team Trump.  Even Fake News purveyors acknowledge the guy is a ‘real lawyer.’


3. Trump can’t fire him

as Avenatti himself has pointed out–  one of M. Avenatti’s many quotable quotes. 

4. Anenatti spices up MSNBC

My diet of MSNBC comfort food is spicier these days thanks to frequent guest Avenatti.  Joy Reid wants him to be her personal attorney and so do I!

5. Avenatti just may save America

This dude races cars and he is heading toward Donald Trump at about 120 mph.

Avenatti likes to point out that Al Capone was not brought down for murder but for tax evasion.  Could it be that Avenatti and Stormy have found the route to bringing an end, at last, to Trump’s reign of corruption, terror and unsigned NDAs?


(photos: GoogleImages, msnbc.com, cnn.com, SI.com)


‘Tonya & Nancy’ rock opera songs rocked a packed house on Feb. 13th at 54Below in NYC.  The concert event starring Ashley Spencer and Lauren Worsham is forthcoming as a concert CD from Broadway Records in a few months.  New productions of the rock opera are also in the works; check for updates at www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Meanwhile, enjoy photos from the big night in the big city by Robert Pushkar.


***ABC showed a brief clip from TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA during its Tonya Harding special on JAN 11, 2018– The upcoming concert was featured in BroadwayWorld and more-

What better way to celebrate the 2018 Winter Olympics than with songs from from the rock opera Tonya and Nancy? Based on the Tonya Harding/ Nancy Kerrigan Olympic skating scandal, Elizabeth Searle’s and Michael Teoli’s rock opera has drawn national and international media coverage, playing in Boston, Chicago and LA as well as enjoying a sold-out run at NYMF. Tony-nominated Broadway star Lauren Worsham (A Genleman’s Guide To Love and Murder) headlines as Nancy, alongside Ashley Spencer (Rock of Ages, Grease) as Tonya. Onstage, Tonya’s and Nancy’s ‘Mom’ (embodied by one powerhouse actress) will MC- and occasionally referee— as Tonya, Nancy and knee-attack conspirator ‘Gillooly’ belt out songs including Tonya’s “Watch Your Back” and Nancy’s aria, “Why Me?” Critics on both coasts have hailed this show as “brilliant.” Let the games begin.
Who could forget the biggest Olympic ice skating controversy of all time? This critically acclaimed musical from Elizabeth Searle and Michael Teoli takes on that epic scandal with a blend of dark comedy and surprising depth. Protect your knees!
Jack Smart, Backstage

DeWitt Henry was the founding editor of Ploughshares. He’s published a novel, two memoirs, a story collection, and several anthologies. He is a Professor Emeritus at Emerson College and serves as a contributing editor to both Woven Tale Press and Solstice magazines. Plume Editions will publish a collection of his lyrical essays next year. For details see www.dewitthenry.com .



Sure, sure, we’ve got the star personalities of Kerr and Grant for starters (both English, both elegantly mannered, with a distancing wit perfectly poised with whole-hearted passion: Grant here will play the same charm he played in, say, Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief or in Bringing Up Baby with Katherine Hepburn; Kerr will play her repressed yet passionate King and I self).

Now for situation. We want the tension of adultery, of socially forbidden love, but a 1950’s mass audience will not celebrate adultery. We will tease the idea, to be sure, by using the word “affair” in the title. But let’s try this set up: both characters are engaged to publicly known rich fiances, while both themselves are relatively hardscrable and incompetent to earn a living (let’s make them both talented, but shy artists, she as a singer, he as a painter). We won’t press the matter, but both are freeloaders, planning to marry for money, social status, and security. The conflict, then, is that they fall in love, partly thanks to their ability to see through each other; two charmers charm each other; but if they indulge their love on ship board, like adulterous lovers, they will be witnessed and judged by society and lose their rich fiances and marital prospects. Let’s have them choose to pursue their true natures, not impetuously, but passionately. They will separate for six months, break with their fiances, and work hard as artists to separately earn a living. In other words, they give each other the purpose and confidence to fulfill their individual natures. Then they are to meet, compare notes, and marry. But, let’s see, what larger, O’Henry-ish obstacle can we contrive? Got it! How about if just as She is going to meet Him and is “looking up,” She is hit by a car, so He is left with the idea that she has decided against their marrying and has broken her promise. Yeah, yeah, the story can get away with this; cheap shot, yeah, but we’re not talking witty reparte anymore, we’re talking Love in the Hands of Fate (or perhaps an Angry God). Continue Reading »

Hanging out on the Virtual Verandah with Memphis Earlene and the gang, recuperating from Labor Day festivities, which involved Single Malt Scotch. Now I’m drinking penance–unsweetened cranberry juice. In a gesture of patriotism, Memphis Earlene has renounced White Russians and come back home to Southern Comfort and Coca Cola. She remains a beacon of clarity […]

via Boomer Geezer Blues — Memphis Earlene

Savage battle cries mix with thunderous cheers. Supporters in the live audience pump their fists. Barbed insults fly.

Is it one of Donald Trump’s over-hyped rallies of a few thousand fired-up faithful in a deep red state? No, it’s the other, funnier ‘Resistance Rallies,’ the ones that happen not every few weeks but every night, on live TV.

Everything else may be going to Hell under Trump, yet satire is thriving.  Nightly comic monologues from Stephen Colbert ‘rally’ millions of anti-Trump troops, plus millions more who just like a good laugh. Bold, bracing anti-Trump humor keeps many of us going.

Political comedy is soaring to new heights of what Colbert instructed doomed target Anthony Scaramucci to call ‘#sarcasm.’ Trump and co. always ‘make much’ of the boisterous response this failing President still draws among live crowds in selected states.

What about the equally boisterous and much more frequent cheers and jeers that arise nightly for Colbert and co.? Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Seth Meyer, Trevor Noah, Bill Maher and more lead the charge before rally-rowdy crowds- plus millions like me, pumping our fists in our pajamas.

Unlike Trump, these leaders get results. Melissa McCarthy’s brilliant comic takedown of Sean Spicer on SNL contributed to his rapid demise as surely as the gleeful group skewing of Scaramucci— that ‘human pinkie ring’ (Colbert) whose brief reign was likened to Jesery Shore’s “The Situation Goes to DC” (Maher)— led to the Mooch moving in and out of the White House “faster than Taco Bell” (Maher again, last Friday).

Of course there are live old-fashioned Resistance Rallies too, and I’ve attended several. They have their impact. But while oblivious narccissic Trump ignores his serious critics, he can’t take a joke.

Those of us who find the sick joke of his Presidency ‘hard to take’ turn our yearning eyes and ears to Late Night TV.  We’ll get the last laugh.

(Photos: GoogleImages, CBS.com, NBC.com, SamanthaBee.com)

DeWitt Henry was the founding editor of Ploughshares.  He’s published a novel, two memoirs, a story collection, and several anthologies.  He is a Professor Emeritus at Emerson College and serves as a contributing editor to both Woven Tale Press and Solstice magazines.  For details see www.dewitthenry.com .

ZUZU’S PETALS by DeWitt Henry

IT’S A WONDERFUL SCENE: You know the one. Six-year-old Zuzu is upstairs in bed with a fever. It’s Christmas Eve. The doctor has come and gone. Downstairs her mother is cooking, her eight-year-old sister Janey is practicing on the piano, her three-year-old brother Tommy making vacuum noises, and her nine-year-old brother Pete decorating the tree: everyone waiting for the arrival of her beloved father, George Bailey. Zuzu is sick because she won a flower at school and left her coat unbuttoned on the way home, fearing to crush the prize. She holds the flower now in bed, as Daddy comes upstairs and tip-toes in. She tries to get up, to give her flower a drink, but he tells her to stay. He sits beside her (in the background is Tommy’s crib, with a big flower painted on its railing), and asks for the flower, so he can give it water, but Zuzu shakes her head, pressing it close and causing petals to fall off.   She picks them up and asks George to “paste it.” The script reads: “She hands him the fallen petals and the flower. He turns his back on Zuzu, pretending to be tinkering with the flower. He sticks the fallen petals in his watch pocket, re-arranges the flower, and then turns back to Zuzu.” He tells her it’s good as new and she believes him. He puts it in a glass of water beside her bed and assures her: “just go to sleep, and then you can dream about it, and it’ll be a whole garden.” Of course, he then goes back downstairs, where his despair over losing the Savings and Loan breaks out as rage. He shouts at his loved ones, wrecks his corner workshop and slams his way out, heading for his suicide attempt off a bridge. Clifford Odets had a hand in writing this scene, surely the movie’s best. George can’t sustain magic tricks and protect the innocent from despair. Life’s petals have fallen. It will take an angel to convince George otherwise and Frank Capra to convince us. Zuzu would have been forty-six by the time a literary magazine called itself “Zuzu’s Petals Quarterly,” but “Zuzu’s Petals” could also have served as a fit title for the film.


It’s a Wonderful Life–George visits Zuzu

FOOTNOTE from BOOKSLUT: ”The list of literary journals reviewed in Library Journal that are no longer in publication could fill a full magazine itself. Included in the list are … Zuzus Petals Quarterly (1992-1994), only to reappear later as online-only publications by decades end.”

photos: GoogleImages, YouTube