Thursday, November 28, 2013

Forward to Camelot by Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn --Guest Blog, Review, and Giveaway

This review is in conjunction with a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions AND we have a special guest blog by one of the authors! Leave a comment or ask a question and you'll have a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. You can see the other posts on the tour (and get more chances to win) by clicking on the tour banner.

First, let's hear from Susan Sloate as she shares with us some little known facts about herself:

1) I was on CANDID CAMERA when I was four years old, and several times after that. I don’t remember a lot about the experience personally, but apparently my segments went over very well with audiences, and my mother got a lot of phone calls asking if I could be in commercials or feature films. A few years later, Allen Funt, the creator of the show, wrote a book called CANDID KIDS, featuring the most interesting children from the series, and I had twenty pages in the book! That was the start of my belief that I was born to be an actress. Fortunately I later found out I was really born to be a writer.

2) I got my first book contract by doing what you’re told NEVER to do—instead of bothering to write a query letter, I picked up the phone and called editors personally. (I guess they were so surprised to hear from an unknown writer that they couldn’t hang up on me!) I asked for work and was given the chance to audition by writing a couple of sample chapters—and got hired to write a girls’ series book about Olympic dressage (horseback riding). That was the first of eight books I wrote for one book producer, and indirectly led to my writing another 3 for another publisher shortly thereafter. I do NOT think you should always do what the experts advise you to do!

3) I collect Disney trading pins, which are some of the coolest collectibles in the world and give me an excellent excuse to keep going to Disney parks (not that I really, you know, NEED an excuse.) At one point I had over 200 pins that I was trading, which isn’t many at all—I’ve met traders who owned eight or ten THOUSAND. Look for the pins the next time you’re in a Disney park—they’re really amazing!

4) I stopped outlining books and became a ‘pantser’ when I read Stephen King’s ON WRITING (and yes, it IS the best book on writing I’ve ever read). He doesn’t believe in outlines, thinks you should just jump right in, and after thinking about it and comparing the two approaches, I agree. When I do Nanowrimo (and this month is the 8th time I’ve attempted it—have already won 6 times), it’s natural just to jump in without an outline. But I realize now that doing an outline tended to take me away from the emotional heart of the book, so it’s no longer worth doing.

5) I hadn’t realized how deeply I was affected by the Kennedy assassination for several years after it happened. Then my mother started baking bread and at one point in the process, she would have this log of dough on the kitchen counter, which she covered with a towel so it could rise. Well, her kitchen towels had thin horizontal stripes, and every time I saw that towel-covered log I thought of Kennedy’s casket lying beneath the flag in the Capitol. I began reading about it in the 80’s and more in the 90’s, after seeing Oliver Stone’s JFK. That was the genesis for FORWARD TO CAMELOT, though it took years after that for Kevin and I to do enough research to write it.

Thanks for hosting me today – it’s been great to be here!

Now, a little about the book, Forward to Camelot:


On the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination comes a new edition of the extraordinary time-travel thriller first published in 2003 with a new Afterword from the authors.

On November 22, 1963, just hours after President Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President aboard Air Force One using JFK’s own Bible. Immediately afterward, the Bible disappeared. It has never been recovered. Today, its value would be beyond price.

In the year 2000, actress Cady Cuyler is recruited to return to 1963 for this Bible—while also discovering why her father disappeared in the same city, on the same tragic day. Finding frightening links between them will lead Cady to a far more perilous mission: to somehow prevent the President’s murder, with one unlikely ally: an ex-Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition brings together an unlikely trio: a gallant president, the young patriot who risks his own life to save him, and the woman who knows their future, who is desperate to save them both.

History CAN be altered …

My thoughts about the book:

I could not put this book down. I absolutely loved it. Stayed up late to read it, and when I couldn't keep my eyes open, I went to bed, only to get up at 3 am to finish it. Couldn't sleep because I kept thinking of this story.

It made me wonder "What would our country have been like if JF Kennedy had not been assassinated?" I kept wishing this book was based on fact, not fiction. In fact, the two authors spent years researching every bit of information they could find before this story was written. So a lot of things mentioned in this book are not fiction.

I cannot remember when a story grabbed me like this one did. Our heroine, Cady, goes back in time, supposedly to find JFK's bible. But once there, she begins to change a lot of things. Not on purpose, but if one thing is changed, others are also changed inadvertently. She decides to find out what happened to her father who disappeared at the time of the assassination. Then she tries to stop the murder.

I found myself holding my breath sometimes, I was so tense. This story is not only a mystery, but a drama, a romance and because of the time travel, also a paranormal. There was absolutely no let up in the tension, until the very end.

I really loved this story, and recommend it to everyone. If you don't read this book, you will always be sorry. I give it a 5+++++++++ flowers.

About the Authors:
SUSAN SLOATE is the author of 20 previous books, including the recent bestseller Stealing Fire and Realizing You (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre: the self-help novel. The original 2003 edition of Forward to Camelot became a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in three literary competitions and was optioned by a Hollywood company for film production.

Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including the children’s biography Ray Charles: Find Another Way!, which won the silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Awards. Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz led to her 2009 appearance on the TV series MysteryQuest on The History Channel. Amelia Earhart: Challenging the Skies is a perennial young-adult Amazon bestseller. She has also been a sportswriter and a screenwriter, managed two recent political campaigns and founded an author’s festival in her hometown outside Charleston, SC.

After beginning his career as a television news and sports writer-producer, KEVIN FINN moved on to screenwriting and has authored more than a dozen screenplays. He is a freelance script analyst and has worked for the prestigious American Film Institute Writer’s Workshop Program. He now produces promotional trailers, independent film projects including the 2012 documentary SETTING THE STAGE: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, and local content for Princeton Community Television.

His next novel, Banners Over Brooklyn, will be released in 2014.

For updates and more information about Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition, please visit < href="">


  1. MJ, thanks so much for hosting us today and thanks also for the BEAUTIFUL review! Hearing that our readers couldn't stop reading is the best compliment we could ever get. Hope you'll post this on Amazon and Goodreads as well, so others can see it--and thank you again! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. This looks very interesting! Thank you so much for hosting this! Best of luck with your books. =D

    1. Thanks, Melinda - we're really proud of the book and hope lots of readers will give it a try!

  3. Am interested to find out if Cady finds out what happened to her father...this is definitely going on my "Must Read" list!
    Jill McHale

    1. Happy to hear it, Jill! When you've read it, please get in touch with us and let us know how you liked it!

  4. What a great review, MJ!
    I like the fun facts about Susan. Did you go on to be in commercials or movies after your times on Candid Camera?
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. I was actually tested for the movie PAPA'S DELICATE CONDITION (with Jackie Gleason) and introduced to agencies and advertising firms, but my mother decided she didn't want me to have a show-business career... though oddly enough, a few years later and completely apart from that experience, a film company made a commercial on my lawn and throughout my life I've continued to get on television. And years later I even ran into Allen Funt and yes, he did remember me, very well--now I'm FB friends with his son!

  5. Holy crap! It sounds like you are a downright celebrity! And you weren't even in your teens yet! I just love getting the chance to get to know you better!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Thanks, Andra - that's one of the cool things about the book tours - we get asked questions that allow us to spill our secrets ... :)

  6. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. Thank you, Natasha! Best of luck in the giveaway!


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?