GRANTHAM PRESS by Peter G. Engler
The Unselling of the President
From the Author
I worked on New & Improved, my first novel, now reissued under the title, The Unselling of the President, for over ten years. It was not until I joined a writers' group that I really hunkered down and finished the manuscript and began the process of getting it edited (very important!) and formatted on Create Space to be published on Amazon/Kindle.
Working with several smart people, I am very pleased with how my novel turned out. The cover is exciting and well, it LOOKS like a book!
I encourage anyone "with a book in you" to start today to create your book. You will be thrilled when it is "born" and begins to sell on Amazon.
Madison Avenue meets Pennsylvania Avenue in the political thriller, The Unselling of the President.
Can an ad agency creative superstar thwart a communist plot to take over the U.S. Government following the 1992 presidential election?
Ben Coleman, a successful forty-five-year-old New York City “Ad Man” and Vietnam War era Navy fighter pilot, is lured from his comfortable but predictable existence to Washington, D.C. to create the popular President Roger’s re-election campaign. Everyone wants to achieve a “landslide victory” in November, even the bad guys in high government positions.
Ben reunites with Chet Greenwood—his jet squadron wingman who heads the White House Secret Service detail, meets the gorgeous and brilliant Laura Sinclair—the President’s research aide, and gets up close and personal with the excitement and sudden dangers of the Washington, D.C. political circus.
Soon after arriving in the nation’s capital, Ben stumbles across a plot to assassinate the President upon his re-election, which will enable the Vice President—a deep-cover communist spy—and other highly-placed “moles” to take over the government. America’s 216 years of freedom are in jeopardy.
Can Ben Coleman, relying on his creative talents and combative instincts, outwit a devious plot unleashed in Moscow fifty years earlier, and avoid a tragic disaster before unsuspecting voters go to the polls in November to re-elect the President? Lots of romance, suspense, heroic acts, really horrible criminals and terror weapon, and insights into the deep secrets and political plots that were happening in the U.S. and the world in 1992.
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NOVELS UNDER DEVELOPMENT
While writing my first novel, New and Improved!, I got to like my protagonist, Ben Coleman, so much that I am creating a seven-book "Ben Coleman Chronicles Series" around his exciting life, from prep school to retirement. In some, he is the insightful narrator, in others he is the main character. In all of them, he is calm, cool, savvy and courageous.
We all had unique and memorable adventures as teenagers in high school. Ben attended Prentice Prep in the western environs of New Jersey. He lost a few hockey games, teeth and suddenly, his virginity, in the hallowed halls of The Prep. It is there that he finds his joy in words and sports. He edits the school newspaper and humor column ("no one is safe from me", such as it is, and captains the league record-setting ice hockey team, gaining his much coveted maroon and white letter jacket. It is this jacket that finally gets him laid.
Ben will mature, ever so slowly, into a handsome and clever graduate as he learns that elusive secret to life at The Prep.
THE FOUR OPTIONS
Ben narrates, from the perspective of a Pensacola-based Navy Flight Instructor during the Vietnam War, the gripping story of four young flight cadets who are among a class of forty-five brand new Ensigns vying for the Navy Wings of Gold as pilots.
They are giddy with the realization that they are finally getting a shot at becoming a Navy pilot as well as swapping stories of the brand new Corvettes, Mustangs, Austin Healeys and other hot dream cars that their new pay grade has made a reality.
Biff Draeger is a handsome and confident Yale graduate who is the only member of his college class of upwardly mobile youth to seek out a Navy wartime flight career. Dale Regan is a graduate of the Texas A&M, and a natural-born officer and pilot who unexpectedly learns that he suffers from a rare physical condition that threatens his flying hopes. Anthony Russo is a wise-cracking, street-smart Italian graduate of Rutgers University who does everything his way instead of the Navy way, yet emerges at the top of his officer training class with all the earmarks of a top pilot. Don Garrett is the only Jew in the class, a graduate of the radical U.C. Berkeley, and the most talented and socially-concerned man in the class, three facts that cost him dearly as he enters flight training.
Ben, in a dramatic chapter, describes their prospects in the months ahead as being "one of four options" that will befall them.
The first option is that many, well, most of these gifted men will win their "Wings".
The second option is that several will DOR, Drop Out On Request, having found flying not to their liking. Ben notes "No Problem, you go out the fleet for three not five years".
The third option is that several will fail the process and will be dropped from the program, and farmed out to the fleet, again for three rather than the five year flight commitment.
Of course, the fourth option is more ominous. Gauging their reaction, Ben notes this option may befall just a few of you. The fourth option is that you will die in training.
We are here to do all we can for getting you the first option. We have less control over the other three.
The novel follows four trainees or "Nuggets" as they make their hilarious, exciting and dangerous way through flight training. We will follow each of them through Ben's eyes as they train, sleep, eat, study, love and cavort as young men, under extreme pressures to survive and succeed at one of Man's greatest challenges, flying.
And we will be shocked and surprised as each of them is marked for one of the four options.
New and Improved! A Political Thriller
Now (2018) re-issued as The Unselling of the President!
My first self-published (2014) novel featuring Ben Coleman who is hired to re-elect the U.S. President in 1992 and stumbles into a plot to assassinate his new client which he has to employ courage and creative brilliance to defuse with the help of a beautiful woman, Laura Sinclair and his old Navy flying partner, Chet Greenwood.
It is 1994, and Ben Coleman has just received an important phone call. Harry Danforth, the 48 year-old son of Frederick Danforth, head of All American Cereals, has died and his son wants to meet Ben. Assuming that the major advertising account might be "in play", Ben hustles over to the lunchtime meeting.
Harry Danforth, six feet four and at least 220 pounds of energetic friendliness, quickly apprises Ben of the fact that this meeting has nothing to do with company's advertising account. Instead, Ben learns that Harry had stumbled into a technology conference on a business trip to San Francisco.
"It was about this thing they called the Internet. Smart people were shoulder to shoulder while technology guys talked about this Internet thing, Ben."
Finding himself unusually silent, Ben could only listen as Harry described his unique and powerful vision.
"There were people from all over the world, China, Japan, Europe. And NONE of them knows what its about, but they all are enthralled with what it might become."
"Well, I'm one of those excited guys. All American doesn't need me, even though I own it. We have great executives and the place runs like a top. I want my own business, and Ben, I want you to help me do it. You're a smart guy from what I've heard and think differently than most of Madison Avenue. I want you to help me build American Internet, and here's what will be special. Unlike these other guys who will create their companies in various countries, I want everything we do and create to happen in America....in American cities like Albany, Manchester, New Haven and Portland. What do you think?"
"It sounds like you want to join the space program. I always liked flying blind, so sure, why not! What do you have in mind?"
The two men turned to a light lunch that had been brought in by a liveried waiter, and began a twenty year relationship building a fabulously successful technology company that would be the subject of numerous television and Wall Street Journal articles.
The year is 1988, and Disney World has captured the imaginations of people around the world. Today, over 50 million people crowd though the gates of the multi-dimensional entertainment attraction conceived, like Disneyland, Walt Disney.
Among those millions are numerous drug dealers disguised as popular Disney characters whose mission is very contrary to Walt's beneficent vision of safe, happy fun.
Ben Coleman is engaged by Disney to direct the advertising account and to reinvigorate the somewhat dated image of the park. As he makes his rounds of the park and its four distinct resorts, he sees real potential to reposition and literally relaunch Disney World. Part of his idea is to "hire" children for a day and dress them up as Disney characters. The goal here is to build stronger bonds with visitors and make them life-long customers of the park.
Meeting numerous current "character players", Ben is struck with the fact that many of them are anything but wholesome people under the costumes. In fact, he realizes that many are thugs and low-lifes. Shadowing a few of them for several days, he notes the sudden disappearance of several at odd intervals. Donning a "Goofy" costume, he tracks one closely and he discovers a hidden underground room, empty except for three characters clustered around boxes of small plastic bags.
Ben soon realizes that a major drug ring is operating inside and outside of Disney World dealing a variety of drugs brought in from Cuba in a large submarine that anchors near the resort, operating right under the eyes of local law enforcement. Ben makes his concerns known to the police (avoiding Disney security who is in league with the plot) narcotics department, headed up by old flight instructor, Jake Riley. Ben, Laura Sinclair and Riley cleverly thwart the operation and disband the dangerous operation.
Ben follows Laura to her favorite city, Florence, Italy, for an impromtu vacation. Crossing the famed Pointa Veccia bridge, he sees one of the ring-leaders who is supposed to be in prison for the drug running operation that he discovered in Bad Mickey.
Suspecting that the man, Luca Pistolla, never actually went to prison compliments of his many U.S. government contacts, Ben takes the initiative, with the humorous help of a local private detective, Carmine Damore, to see that justice is done.
LADY OF THE LAKE
Narrated by Ben Coleman, this novel takes place in 2008, at a spectacular Adirondack location, Sagamore Lake, a thirty-mile long lake boasting pure water cleansed by undergound acquifers, over 100 islands, several small towns of summer cottages and one honky-tonk at the southern end of the lake for the motorcycle trade.
Amanda Bannerman Stuart, aged 80 and recently showing signs of losing a two year battle with cancer, waits patiently in the dimly lit library of her large and also aging lakeside mansion, happily anticipating the imminent arrival of one of her grandsons, Kevin. Kevin and his younger brother Brent, are 31 and 29, and are both returning for the first time in four years, one from a disastrous year on Wall Street working at the family investment concern, and the other from flying Navy jets in Iraq.
Both men need a rest and a scotch. Amanda ("Gramanda"), the warm family home, "Hearts Home", the people they meet and dramatic events that occur combine with the restorative magic of Sagamore Lake, and enable them to regain their energy and new sense of purpose, fall in love, make life-changing decisions, and rekindle their brotherhood.
Manhunt- My Search for Meaning
in a Complex World
Ben Coleman, at 78, looks back at a full and exciting life and offers a range of observations and pithy thoughts on subjects ranging from flying, writing, advertising, sex, travel, friends and relationships.
Due out when the other novels have been published, hopefully by 2023!
"Stay tuned" for publication dates!