Well it looks like they got both of the Boston Marathon Terrorists, but it’s a very long way from being over.

During the big war my ole man was in France. He got to know this guy Marcel, whose family was somehow involved in the Resistance.

Or at least the Germans thought they were, because they raided their house. His father and one of his brothers resisted and were killed outright. They took another brother away who was never heard from again. His mother and sister were beaten.

Marcel wasn’t much more than a boy at the time. He got hit in the head with a rifle butt, but somehow managed to get away...Later joining the Resistance for real.

He wasn’t Captain America, he was just a guy like you or me, but at that point he was in.

My father’s comment was:

“That guy was going to be a German hater for the rest of his life.”

I don’t know what was going on in the heads of those two young men here in Boston, or what events real or imaginary brought them to the point where they thought that somehow the tragedy they inflicted was somehow justified.

I don’t even know what their cause was...but the really sad part is, as long as there’s trauma, they’ll be tragedy...And they’ll always be trauma.

James Phoenix

Hey All,

If you’re a parent, a grandparent or a good aunt or uncle, what you end up doing is placing a higher value on the lives of your children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews than you do your very own.

Nobody in my family was injured in the horrible events of yesterday at the Boston Marathon, but all I could think of was the innocent children who were either killed or maimed.

I don’t care who was involved or what their cause was, this is all terrorism, plain and simple and there can be no justification.

My gut reaction was to get those guys and burn them at the stake and here I am, the guy who’s normally opposed to the death penalty.

The really scary part is, I’m having a serious problem getting out of that frame of mind.

It’s a cruel world out there. We’ve had Pearl Harbor and 9/11, but as Americans we are very sheltered.

If we were living with our families in Afghanistan, we would be in constant fear of death raining down on our kids from the skies from the drones, whether we were in anyway involved directly in the conflict or not. That’s terrorism too, or am I wrong?

I’m not a political person. I’ve always tried to stay above the fray, but terrorism in any form is pure evil and impacts us all.

Guys like me never volunteered for this conflict and are not in uniform, but we’re all in nonetheless.

We’ve been drafted.

But there is no cause, no matter how worthy, that can ever justify the death of the innocent.  

The problem is, until we fully accept that, all of us, no matter what side we take, will be forced to live in fear for the lives of our children.

James Phoenix



Hi there,

If you read my last blog, you know there’s all kinds of events scheduled locally to get the word out on “Frame Up,” the very first novel in the “Fenway Burke Series.” “Frame Up” has opened to nothing but FOUR and FIVE STAR rave reviews, (go to jamesphoenixnovels.com and click on to “Praise for the Author”.  You’ll get quite an eye full.)

The reader reaction has been even stronger.

Just as “Robert B. Parker” used his great hero, “Raymond Chandler” as his role model, so I’m using the late “Robert B. Parker” as mine.

As “Chandler was to “Parker,” so “Parker” is to “Phoenix.”

They’re billing me as “The Next Robert B. Parker” and the readers agree whole- heartedly. Before we got a single review in we heard back from 310 ribald “Parker” fans. After having read my work, they were asked just two questions:

  1. Is the work of “James Phoenix” on a par with his great hero, “Robert B. Parker?”

  2. Would you buy it?
I wimped out and cut the official survey off after the 310 on the grounds that somebody had to come around and spoil my perfect record, had to happen. But we went 310 to 0 in favor. We did not have a single “Parker” fan answer NO to either question...NOT ONE.

Based on that response, I got my publisher to go along with one hell of a special offer, never before seen anywhere.

“If you don’t love, love, love the work of James Phoenix, DON”T PAY FOR IT.” Here’s the link below for that offer.


So the big question is, why in the name of God, with a response like this, isn’t “James Phoenix” on the NY Times Best Seller List?

The answer’s very simple, because I came from completely out of the blue.

I had zero in the way of connections, no literary background at all, and to make matters worse, though I had offers from four of the biggest publishers in the world, I signed with a small publisher who offered a much higher royalty.

There’s only one reviewer that matters to a new author, and that’s “Publishers Weekly.” That’s because every book seller in the Western Hemisphere and beyond uses them as a guide to which books to buy.

Had I signed with “Random House” for example, I would have received a much lower royalty, BUT PUBISHERS WEEKLY WOULD HAVE BEEN FAR MORE LIKELY TO ACTUALLY READ & REVIEW MY WORK.

Live & Learn.

I don’t have that to do over again, but it doesn’t matter, because within the next 30 days, “Publishers Weekly” will have the ARC, “Advanced Reading Copy,” of “Loose Ends,” the second ‘Fenway Burke Novel in the Series,” in their hands.

We could not have hoped for a stronger reviews or reader reaction than we received for “Frame Up".

But I see “Loose Ends” as even stronger and so do my editors and the readers surveyed.

And now of course, I’m no longer coming from out of the blue. “Frame Up” made quite a splash with the other reviewers and on top of that, I have people now with me who’ve either themselves been reviewed by “Publishers Weekly” or are connected to writers who have, every single one of them making noise on the behalf of my favorite author, “James Phoenix.”

“Publishers Weekly” receives a thousand plus submissions a week...But even so, “James Phoenix” and “Loose Ends” are going to be very difficult to ignore.

And so my Grand Adventure continues...

James Phoenix

Hi there,

We continue to receive nothing but rave FIVE STAR reviews for Frame Up, the first of the Fenway Burke Mystery Series. Go to my site, www.jamesphoenixnovels.com for our video and click on to Praise for the Author. You’ll see one rave review after the next.

Lot of things in the works for the Phoenix Project, all of which are about just one thing: getting the word out. Our Facebook ads are getting a response you could only call scary, http://www.jamesphoenixnovels.com/facebook-landing-page.html
and April marks the start of a second round of benefit signings.

On the 11th,  I’ll be at the ARC Arts Center at the site of the old Post Office on Foster Street, Peabody, MA. That event starts at 5:30 PM with all proceeds from Frame Up, the first novel in the Fenway Burke Mystery Series signing, going to the North East ARC.

They do wonderful work, giving a hand up to people with developmental disabilities and I hope to see a lot of you there.

Then on the 25th there will be another reading of Frame Up. I’ll be at the Lynn Campus Library of North Shore Community College, NSCC, at 300 Broad Street. That ones at 2:00PM and once again all proceeds got to the College.

That appearance marks the start of a State Wide tour with the Community College System with an eye toward going National.

In my day the Community College System was all about second chances and geared toward late bloomers like myself. I’m a product of that system.

Today it’s all that, but so much more. Now with the economy and people thrown out of work, the MA Community College System has once again stepped up by offering a wide variety of courses for re-training which opens up all kinds of work opportunities people never would have had without them.

It’s a beautiful thing and if you were looking for a prime example of your tax dollars really do some good for us...Look no further.

I had a learning disability that was only diagnosed five years ago. No one had ever heard of it during any of my school days. At the age of 60 they found out I was high end ADD/ADHD. My main symptom was Hyper Focus, or in my case, off the wall, bonkers, out of his mind completely, beyond the pale, nutso, crazy Hyper Focus.

If I were interested in any given topic I did extremely well...But if the topic didn’t really grab me, I didn’t know it was there.

Though I was recognized as being extremely creative, my Hyper Focus did not make for a well-rounded student.

My English & Public Speaking Prof saw something special in me. His name was Roger Richards. As I was transferring to a four-year school he called me into his office. I’ll never forget what he had to say to me.

“Jim...Most students here do not have the academic wherewithal to make it in the Ivy league...You clearly have the wherewithal...But not the desire...I just thought someone should tell you that before you left this place.”

Professor Rogers got me to thinking.  Maybe I wasn’t such a dumb bell after all.

He’d be in his 80’s now. They’re trying to track him down to introduce me for my signing at NSCC in Lynn.

Here’s hoping he’s still kicking around. I want to tell him how much that little talk meant to me.