Blog

Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits – Excerpt

Vatican City

Helena Visconte first saw Father Matteo Pintozzi when he stepped out of the sacristy Archangels: Rise of the Jesuitsinto the deserted curved colonnade that led to the Vatican museum. She had no way of knowing that within a few minutes the priest would arrive at his destination, and both their lives would change.

By now tourists would normally be milling about, but a fluke June thunderstorm had just ended, leaving a vaguely musty smell rising with the vapor from the hot stone pathway. Father Pintozzi glanced to his right and then to his left and looked relieved, as if he were grateful no one was in sight. He quickly swept past the Vatican courthouse, the Eagle fountain and the Papal Academy of Science. Continue reading Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits – Excerpt

Wall Street Tale of Sex, Suicides, and Skullduggery

I fled the Islamic Republic of Iran with a suitcase, a thousand dollars, and no Decisions: Life and Death on Wall Streetregrets. But it wasn’t easy; I had to rebuild my life from scratch. Less than ten years later, I faced a decision that threatened to erase most of what I had accomplished, and I hesitated as I weighed the consequences.In 1988, I lived and worked in Manhattan as Head of Mortgage Backed Securities Marketing for Merrill Lynch. I analyzed financial products, accompanied salespeople on customer calls, and spoke at seminars. Every morning I used the squawk box to broadcast a trade idea to the New York trading floor and U.S. branch offices: “sell this callable corporate, buy this tranche of a collateralized mortgage obligation,” or vice versa. It was a great gig. Continue reading Wall Street Tale of Sex, Suicides, and Skullduggery

Unveiled Threat (Excerpt)

Iran: The White Revolution

No Country in the World Has a Worse Record on Human Rights
—Amnesty International on Iran, 1974

In the summer of 1978, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was the Shah of Iran. The iron Unveiled Threat: A Personal Experience of Fundamentalist Islam and the Roots of Terrorismcurtain was still drawn, and Jimmy Carter was President of the United States. Animal House opened in U.S. movie theaters. Bonnie Tyler’s It’s a Heartache and Abba’s Take a Chance on Me were at the top of the pop charts.

Poor Men Want to be Rich

When I arrived in Tehran, the palpable excitement of the upwardly mobile city hit me like a blast of hot dry air. Iranians enthusiastically embraced consumerism as the oil revenue-fueled economy flourished.

When I first walked down Pahlavi Street in 1978, young adults pored over foreign magazines at local newsstands. Jeans made in the USA were prized possessions. Continue reading Unveiled Threat (Excerpt)

Life Imitates Art Again: For the First Time, A Jesuit Pope

On March 13, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected Pope. Archangels: Rise of the JesuitsHe’s the first pope from the Americas. He’s the first Pope Francis. He’s the first Jesuit pope in the history of the Catholic Church. This is all the more extraordinary, because the Jesuits have been held in suspicion by many past popes.

The events that felled Cardinal Bergoglio’s competitors prior to the election are as shocking as my fictional conspiracies. The timing of those events couldn’t have been more perfect if they had been intentionally orchestrated. Continue reading Life Imitates Art Again: For the First Time, A Jesuit Pope

La Rebelión de los Jesuitas – Extracto

Ciudad del Vaticano

Helena Visconte fue la primera que vio al padre Matteo Pintozzi cuando salió de La Rebelion de los Jesuitasla sacristía en la desierta columnata curva que llevaba al museo del Vaticano. No tenía forma de saber que en pocos minutos el sacerdote llegaría a su destino y la vida de ambos cambiaría.

A esa hora los turistas normalmente estarían apretujándose, pero una repentina tormenta eléctrica de junio acababa de terminar, dejando un vago olor a humedad que se elevaba debido al vapor emitido por las piedras calientes del sendero. Continue reading La Rebelión de los Jesuitas – Extracto

Dan Brown Must Burn!

Dan Brown is well-known for his entertaining and controversial fiction books including The DaVinci Code and Inferno.

Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits by Janet TavakoliIn November 2012, I published a murder mystery, Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits. Jesuits blackmail the pope with secret documents and seize power to clean up corruption and financial scandals in the Vatican. The novel hit the stands before Pope Benedict XVI resigned and before the first Jesuit pope in the history of the Catholic Church was elected. Both my book and Dan Brown’s book offended some Catholics.

Thrillers are “Lethal”

How do I know Catholics are riled up about Dan Brown’s book? Amazon reviewers of Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits debated in comments. Continue reading Dan Brown Must Burn!

How to Promote Kindle Books to Hispanic Market (Update)

A couple of months ago I asked indie mystery authors how they are getting their books translated to Spanish. To my surprise, only a handful of authors were translating their books. I’ll explain why in a moment.

Prosperous Growing Market

US Hispanics represent $1.3 trillion in rapidly growing purchasing power. Average household income is over $50K and growing.

Of the 50 million Hispanics comprising 17% of the US population, 28 million speak fluent Spanish (15 million prefer Spanish to English), and another 13.5 million speak some Spanish. Continue reading How to Promote Kindle Books to Hispanic Market (Update)