Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Forward to Camelot by Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn

Join authors Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn on their Virtual Book Tour for Forward to Camelot, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, from November 4 – November 29, 2013.  Susan and Kevin will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and their Super Book Blast Tour.   Please be sure to leave your email address with your comment, in case you are the winner.  You can follow the rest of their tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.

What Does The JFK Legacy Mean to Me?

I suppose I could take the easy way and tell you JFK’s legacy stands for hope, as it does for many people.  The promise of youth and what might have been...there’s always a strong lure for the road not taken.  

       What I keep from the JFK years is a trail of character.  That may seem odd, given the many indiscretions and controversies surrounding his presidency, but the one thing that always stood out about JFK was character.  From the first time I read John F. Kennedy & PT 109 when I was nine years old, I knew a man who had the courage to lead, through thick and thin, to the detriment of his own well being. Without knowing his life of privilege, I knew I wanted to be like him.

       John F. Kennedy was a leader, a man who stood up for what he believed in and made others stand up for it, too.  He certainly had his flaws as both a person and a leader, but his character always managed to shine through in the most difficult of situations.  A plethora of ailments including Addison’s disease threatened to kill or cripple him several times throughout his life,  forcing him to self-administer daily, painful injections to control his Addison’s. Physically unfit by any medical standard, Kennedy lied his way into the Navy and then combat duty (with his father, Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, exerting his influence where necessary), but that’s where privilege ended.  Kennedy engaged in front-line combat missions and fire fights with the enemy that were very real, very dangerous, and often required a reckless disregard for one’s own life to save others.  Few men exemplify courage and leadership the way Kennedy did after his patrol boat was rammed and sunk in the middle of the vast Pacific one dark August night during World War II.  Nearly disabled himself with a bad back re-injured in the crash, Kennedy swam miles to an island towing a more seriously injured crewman with the straps of a lifejacket between his teeth. 

       Devoid of food and fresh water, in the midst of enemy territory, a battered Kennedy swam out into shark-infested waters each night trying to flag down any passing American ships, to no avail.  Yet he never gave up hope and never let his men give up, either, rescued six harrowing days after being shipwrecked, more important than a medal, JFK earned the eternal respect of his men and the rest of the Navy.

       The valuable lesson President Kennedy learned from his blunder with the Bay of Pigs fiasco perhaps saved the world a year later. No leader has ever dealt with the imminent prospect of an active nuclear war as he did, and his resolve to peaceful convictions beat back the overzealous call to military action that would’ve led to global obliteration.  It took Jack Kennedy more courage and character to not push the button than it did to push it at the behest of all his best ‘advisors’.  Kennedy had the foresight to pass the torch of his beliefs to the youth of the times, establishing the Peace Corps as global ambassadors of good will.  Steadfast in his support of the Civil Rights movement, standing up to defiant governors who would deny students the basic right to education, JFK proved that doing the right thing isn’t always the popular thing.

       Jack Kennedy learned to be his own man, rising beyond the notorious shadow of his father’s backhanded, reprehensible ways. He wasn’t a saint, but he had a regard for people, for their rights and beliefs. Imagine how differently the Sixties take shape with JFK standing beside Martin Luther King at the forefront of the Civil Rights movements. Could the Women’s Rights Movement and eventually the breakup of the Soviet Communist Bloc have found smoother, quicker paths through Kennedy leadership? I wonder how JFK would’ve addressed the societal hot-topics of today, affordable health care and equal rights & marriage for gay and lesbian citizens?
John F. Kennedy challenged us as a leader and a man, asked us to redefine ourselves and what we had to offer the world.  More importantly, he showed us how to do it.  It’s what great leaders do.  It’s what character is built on.  

Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition
By Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn

Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Release Date: August 29, 2013
Genre: Time Travel/Political Thriller
Length: 436 Pages
ISBN: 978-1935970149

Add to Goodreads

About the book: 


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 …

Buy Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble 


… Outdoor sounds.

Cars driving past. Car horns blaring. A cool breeze on my face, and something hard underneath me.

Slowly, I opened my eyes.

I was alone, lying outside on a patch of soft grass, and it was growing dark.

My head felt like it was about to split right open.

My eyes were sore.

My body felt bruised and banged up, as though I’d fallen down a flight of stairs and hit a number of hard objects along the way.

Altogether, I had had better days.

For a moment, I couldn’t think what I was doing here… wherever here was.

It came to me slowly, as I lay there, that I had stepped through John’s DNA detector, that I’d sensed a flash of light behind me and heard the tapping of keys on his keyboard. And now… I was alone and outdoors. I could feel a fresh evening breeze on my face and hear the rustle of trees above me.

Where was I? And more important, when was I?

I took a deep breath, braced my hands against the grass, and pushed myself into a sitting position. My head hurt worse when I forced myself to open my eyes.

I sat on a slope of lawn facing a curved street leading down under a railroad overpass. To my left I saw a blaze of light and a cluster of taller buildings. In the distance to the right, I could see dingy, weary-looking freight cars sitting still on a railroad track. Directly behind me, in the darkening sky, I saw the outline of a classic-looking curved pergola. Behind that, on the corner, was an old-looking faded brick building. Wherever I was, it was a city.

I sat still for a moment, gathering my strength and assessing my condition. I did feel pretty beat up, as John had theorized I would. But it wasn’t really debilitating; I suspected I’d feel a lot better as soon as I had a good meal and a decent night’s sleep.

I lifted my eyes, painfully. The light hurt.

My legs, when I tested them, were sore but would hold me, so after a moment I got to my feet. I walked cautiously down the slope of lawn toward the street. I stopped on the sidewalk; cars continued to flow past.

Big cars. Unusually big cars. Some with… I peered at them… tailfins?

I turned to look behind me at the lawn I’d lain on.

… And knew, suddenly, where I was.

I was in Dallas. There could be no doubt about it… because the sloping lawn I’d been lying on was known in my world as the Grassy Knoll, and the entire pretty little park was better known as Dealey Plaza.

The place where Kennedy had been shot.

… Which meant that the seven-story, faded-brick building on the right could only be the Texas School Book Depository, the clock on the Hertz Rent-A-Car sign on the roof telling me it was 6:40 p.m. The curved street in front of me was Elm Street.

John’s program had transported me to precisely where he said it would. The question was… had he also transported me to another time? To the right time?

AUTHOR Bios and Links:

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 http://susansloate.com/CAMELOT.html.

Don't forget to leave a comment for Susan or Kevin as they will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and their Super Book Blast Tour  Please be sure to leave your email address with your comment, in case you are the winner.  You can follow the rest of their tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.


  1. Thanks for having us today! It's great being here!

  2. I enjoy history and JFK has always been an interesting historical figure to me. I did a paper on his death in college. This book seems to put an interesting twist on the event. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing :)

    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

    1. Glad you liked it, Lori.And I'll bet your paper was interesting! Hope you'll check out the whole book!

  3. I would like to thank both of you for this exciting novel about President Kennedy, especially now on the 50th anniversary of his death. I really enjoyed reading FORWARD TO CAMELOT and only wish it was true and he had been saved. I loved the fast moving action and the surprising twists. Best time travel novel I have read on this subject, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great read.

    1. Thank YOU, Mary Lou! Nothing makes us happier than hearing comments like this from our readers! I'm also happy you found the book now, given the ENORMOUS outpouring of new books on the subject--the latest one this morning (and this totally cracked me up) said that JFK was KILLED BY MISTAKE, that the real target was John Connally, because Oswald (the crazy lone nut) was furious that his Marine discharge had been downgraded to dishonorable, and when he asked Connally as the governor for help, Connally ignored him. I think that's my favorite new this-is-why-Oswald-did-it theory!

  4. Thank you so much for this guest post! I actually didn't know a whole lot about JFK...was a bit before my time....thanks for the excellent and informative post!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  5. Thanks, Andra Lyn! That was Kevin's post; he has extensive knowledge about PT-109 (which we do mention in CAMELOT). It IS a great story, and reminds us that JFK was not the lightweight his critics have tried to tell us he was. Research matters!

  6. Being Canadian - I didn't know all of that history about JFK. Fascinating man.
    Excerpt was great.

    1. Victoria - There really is a lot people don't about JFK that's very positive. He was a much better man than the media's let us know in the last few years (when they seemed intent on treating him with contempt). Whether or not he was a great president--and he wasn't in office long enough for a definitive answer--he did leave us way too soon.

  7. I really, really want to read this book. It sounds really exciting and different.

    1. Thank you, MomJane! We think it is. We're really proud of it, and of the comments from readers. Hope you'll be among them very soon, and would love to hear from you when you're done!

  8. Thank you, Rita! Hope you'll check out the whole book!

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

    1. Thank you, Natasha! We think it is a great read and hope you'll try it for yourself--would love to know what you think!

  10. Every time I read the description, I think of Stephen King's 11/22/63, which I LOVED.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Catherine Lee - Stephen King took a completely different tack than we did. We wrote about a conspiracy (something that to my knowledge no other JFK time-travel novel has done). He wrote about the lone-nut assassin, which our research made clear was not possible. But I'd be very interested to know your response when you've read ours - I think it might surprise you!

  11. Wow, this is great. I'm sorry I am just now finding out about this book. I've always had a fascination with JFK even though I was a small child when he was assassinated. The first thing I remember about JFK assassination was finding and reading, looking at pictures in Life Magazine and a few other magazines that my Mother had bought. After that, I always had a fascination with JFK and the Kennedy family. Looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway and please enter my name.
    Barbara Thompson

  12. Barbara -- As the book has just been re-published (after first being published 10 years ago), you haven't missed out on anything. Hope you enjoy it, and best of luck in the giveaway!