Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Best Oscar Show Yet

As a reporter for UPI Radio Network I covered backstage and out front, nine Academy Awards Shows. I have watched dozens more over the years as it is one show I rarely miss. I have to say the 2016 show, with all it's backlash and controversy was THE Best I've ever seen.

Chris Rock nailed it. His monologue was balanced, right on and sound. It was also funny despite a missed opportunity. He failed only once or twice on the night and his epic Girl Scout Cookie sales push beat Ellen DeGeneres Pizza debacle by a long shot. He was sound.

The best sketch of the night though was not Whoopi Goldberg. The best sketch was the poignant and very funny "Black History Month Minute." Taking a solid shot at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith was heroic and more than that it was extremely funny. Wow.

Vice President Joe Biden was another highlight and it was great to see him get a standing ovation. When Lou Gossett Jr., stood up and was the first to acknowledge him, I felt it was heart felt. I sat with Lou a couple years ago at a fund raising dinner and found him a very sincere man. This is why I know he was being just that; sincere. Biden is a very likable man and it showed. His points were clear and sound and fell on waiting ears.

I was pretty much right on with my predictions although no one could see Sylvester Stallone losing out to Mark Rylance for Best Supporting Actor. Most thought the sentimental favorite Stallone for "Creed" was a shoe-in. Many were disappointed. I didn't see the film so I can't say yea or nay. I do know that of the other films I did see I liked Rylance the best despite not liking "Bridge of Spies" all that much. Rylance did deserve the honor but then again so did Stallone from what I hear.

Otherwise I did pick all the winners although my heart wanted some of the others. Leo D., certainly was deserving of the honor and made a very strong point in his acceptance speech. The fact they had to go to the farthest tip south to find the right snow for the film proved his point about climate change. It fell on a friendly crowd as did much of what was said during the night.

So all in all it was a great show and to my mind the best I've ever seen. It goes once again to prove, especially with the Best Picture Award; Film Matters.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Film Festival & More

For new followers of Lancer; Hero of the West, I wanted to mention some of the other things we're doing. Of course you can purchase our books on Amazon (links below) or you can buy directly from us at bob brill books. And this includes all our books including "Al Kabul; Home Grown Terrorist" and "Fan Letters to a Stripper; A Patti Waggin Tale."

There is some special news regarding the Patti Waggin book. My Screenplay "Major League Stripper," which is inspired by the book,  is a finalist in the 2016 (16th Annual) Beverly Hills Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. We are really excited about that. A win there would give me a solid chance at an agent and, the possibility we gain serious interest in a film. This is a project which realistically has been in the works since 1959. For the backstory you should go to the Patti Waggin website.

Our "Lancer; Hero of the West" music video performed by Ron Dante, is also entered into the Western Writers of America competition for Best Song. It's an Annual Award to go along with the Silver Spur Competition. Both these awards will be announced later in the year.

The new short film we produced and wrote is "Radio Play; An Homage to Old Thyme Radio."

And of course if you'd like to find out more about me you can go to

Amazon Lancer; Hero of the West - The Prescott Affair
Amazon Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lancer on FACEBOOK!!

Okay so we finally did it. Lancer; Hero of the West has it's own FaceBook Page. You can either click on the link in the Lancer title above or you can click this,

We invited all of our friends and right away the hits started coming. Thank you sooo much. making "Lancer; Hero of the West" a viable western book series which grows depends on promotion, readers and quality of the writing and stories. We've been told by readers the latter two are solid and we do appreciate this so much. We like the stories we tell and are currently involved in writing the third Lancer adventure; The Santa Fe Affair. it's due out later this year.
The rest is up to readers, friends and our own promotional skills. I try not to bug folks who may turn away if they are not really interested but get hit with highlights anyway. So we decided to make a Lancer; Hero of the West Business page on FaceBook, other than my regular FB Page.

If you like what you see, please Share with your friends and encourage them to share with their friends. It truly helps and is free to do...which is the best thing about promotions.

I really tried to bring Lancer to a younger audience with some of my writing, keeping the history of the Old West alive even with a Music Video, as well as entertaining my more mature readers with good stories and tales liken back to an earlier age. Reaching out to a younger audience is something every business tries to do. Radio and television stations. newspapers, restaurants etc., all want younger customers to make them grow. Hopefully they stay. We want the same for Lancer while at the same time maintaining that older audience who understands who Lancer is, and why he might be important.

Keep reading my friends. And I'll keep writing.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Santa Clarita Cowboy Fest April 2016

We will be there. We missed the opportunity last year by "THIS" much.

The dates are April 21-24, Thursday through Sunday. I will be there signing books with other western authors  on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I will be there after my KNX Shift both days. If you come by to chat or buy a book, look for me from 1pm until 6pm both days at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.

I'll do a special show price for the two Lancer books, $10 each. So a $20 bill will get you both books, tax included. C'mon out and enjoy a really great annual festival.

Cowboy Homepage

One of the coolest things at this event is something us foodies love; pan made peach cobbler. You have to wait in line for a long time but it's worth the wait. That and a cup of real cowboy coffee and you feel just like John Wayne in "Big Jake."

 "Been kinda partial to these since I was a yonker," he said. "Can't seem to get my fill."

Seriously, if you like the old west you really should come out. There is something for everybody. It takes place at Hart Park and there is a shuttle to and from several parking lots. Old Towne is pretty much blocked off so you can't park there.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Malibu Book Signing Success

The Malibu booking signing went well and despite a lower than expected turnout we can call it a success. For the first time we had many questions about the character and the books and the time period. Quality questions including everything from how I determined the lay of the land, to the introduction of  a female reporter in "Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair."

While I'm not sure everyone liked the Turkish Delight we shared on the day before Valentine's Day at the Bank of Books, everyone tried it. If you missed the signing the book store will be open into April and Pam, the manager, kept a number of my books on hand for sale. She sold some before the signing which was nice.

There was also a really neat article in the Malibu Surfside News and a nice photo and announcement in the Malibu Times.  A big Thank you to good friends Suzie (pictured), Joe Cala and Dave Rodriguez for taking the time out of their own busy skeds to drop on by and be a part of it. Ilana, a young girl who happened to be in the neighborhood and is a songwriter asked some very good questions about the character and the times. Her introduction to Lancer was the purchase of a new book.

Others did as well. It was a good time. We're sorry the store is closing in April, though.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Turkish Delight; Sweet Treat for Valentine's Day Lancer; or an aphrodesiac? Book Signing in Malibu on Saturday Feb. 13

It is Saturday, February 13, 2016. I know you are probably on your way to a sweet Valentine's Day dinner with your favorite person in the world.

"That's cool," as Charlie Sheen might say.

But before you go to dinner, or if you're going to actually do Valentine's Day on Valentine's Day (Sunday the 14th) come on out to the Bank of Books bookstore in Malibu. Drop by around say, 2pm to 4pm. I'll be there signing books, or just chatting, or having a cup of coffee (the book store doubles as a coffee hangout) and reach over and take and taste of piece of Turkish Delight. 

Yup, I'm bringing a couple of boxes and first come-first served, a FREE piece of the delightful and tasty treat is yours. Now why you might ask Turkish Delight? I'm Italian not of Turkish ancestry. Simple answer is my western hero and subject of my novels, "Lancer; Hero of the West" has a sweet tooth for, you guessed it; Turkish Delight. He carries it in his saddlebags. It has it's roots in the Ottoman Empire.

He has won the heart of a many a young lady with this sweet treat. In "The Los Angeles Affair" (my latest book) he offers some to his date for the night and the morning; a French fashion designer who is visiting Tombstone. Later on, during a train ride west going to Los Angeles, he serves up a morsel to a woman reporter who is going his way.

Both encounters end in, how shall we say it, a good time for all concerned. The truth of the matter is Turkish Delight is a romantic treat. It really is. It's sweet but not sickie sweet. It's covered in a sweet powder and you will end up licking your fingers to get it off. And it's slightly chewy and oh so delightful. Good before or after, right?

So maybe Saturday night is your night for V-Day. Maybe it's Sunday. Either way, test the waters with a taste of Turkish Delight. You won't be sorry and you may just get more than you bargained for.

Oh how sweet it is. 

Bank of Books Malibu is located in the Pavilion's Shopping Center on the west side of PCH and Heathercliff Road in the Point Dume Village. Actual address is 29169 Point Dume Village, Heathercliff Road, #109. If you are heading north, it's at the top of the hill before heading down to Zuma Beach. If you are going south, it's at the top of the hill on the right hand side.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Accepted into Beverly Hills Film Festival

It's super exciting when something cool finally happens after lots of hard work and promotion. It has finally happened. My script "Major League Stripper" which is based on my book "Fan Letters to a Stripper; A Patti Waggin Tale," has been accepted into the Beverly Hills Film Festival Screen writing competition.

During the course of a screenplay's life and a film's life, especially short films, the producers submit them to festivals and contests around the world hoping for acceptance. Acceptance means recognition and recognition may eventually lead to a film being made. Getting this film made has been a desire of mine since 1959, when I was six years old. That was when I opened my first pack of baseball cards and found a Don Rudolph card. The cartoon on the back featured his wife and read "Don's wife is a professional dancer." 

Patti Waggin was not just any professional dancer. She was one of the highest paid burlesque queens (you can read stripper here) in the country. At one point in the early 1960's, she was making $750 a week. Don was making $250 a week playing major league baseball! The back story is just as good.

There story is really cool, and a great love story to boot. My book is more of a coffee table biography published by Schiffer Books in 2009. The screenplay has been in the works for just as long. Finally refined, it is said it's the best screenplay I've written. We'll see, as I have 16 others.

To be accepted is an honor as they say in the Oscar's world (where actors state "it's an honor to be nominated") and truly it is tremendous to be accepted. Our short film, "Radio Play; An Homage to Old Thyme Radio" has yet to be accepted in any festival, nor has our music video "Lancer; Hero of the West," which has been entered in the Western Writers of America awards competition.

We hope we can eventually write a blog about gaining the top honor, or even announcing a deal to get the screenplay made into a film. For now, we'll accept being accepted. It IS that much of an honor.

Stay tuned!

Don't forget our book signing at the Bank of Books in Malibu on Saturday February 13th 2-4pm.

Book Signing in Malibu

Lancer; Hero of the West is on the move!

Several people requested we have book signing in Malibu or thereabouts, so this is exactly what we're doing on Saturday February 13th at 2pm. Malibu Bank of Books, located next to Pavilions along PCH (just south of Zuma) is the place. It's also a coffee bar so come on out. I'll be there from 2pm-4pm. You will purchase your Lancer books, as well as any of my other books through the store for this signing.

We're running some spots on the local Malibu Fm station, KBUU, which you can listen to on-line as well. Great sounding small station making big music in Malibu and via on-line.

The sad news is we will probably be one of the last book signings at this location. The store is closing in April. The company has another store in Downtown Ventura, on Main Street which will remain open. It is sad to see book stores closing, but as we move more toward a mobile platform and an internet society we knew it was inevitable.

It is a tough deal for authors. While we can potentially sell more books to a wider audience on-line, we don't make very much on these books. When you consider many books sell in the on-line version for 99-cents, it doesn't leave much on the table for the writer. However, we move forward. It also takes us away from any personal contact we might have with our readers. We must rely on forums such as this for feedback.

Free Turkish Delight for everyone who shows at the book signing by the way. Even if you don't buy a book, show up anyway. Authors really need all the support we can get and I'd love to see you. At the last book signing we met old friends we haven't seen in decades. That is always nice.