Saturday, July 22, 2017

Executive Actions by Gary Grossman Excerpt, Giveaway & Interview,

Executive Actions

by Gary Grossman

on Tour June 1 - July 31, 2017


Executive Actions
In the midst of a heated presidential campaign, Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke gets an assignment that turns his world upside down. His investigation uncovers a plot so monstrous it can change the course of America's future and world politics. Roarke discovers that presidency is about to fall into the hands of a hostile foreign power. The power play is so well-conceived that even the U.S. Constitution itself is a tool designed to guarantee the plot's success. With the election clock ticking, Roarke and Boston attorney Katie Kessler race at breakneck speed to prevent the unthinkable. But they also know that it will take a miracle to stop the takeover from happening.

Praise for the Executive Series:

“Executive Actions is the best political thriller I have read in a long, long time. Right up there with the very best of David Baldacci. [A] masterpiece of suspense; powerfully written and filled with wildly imaginative twists. Get ready to lose yourself in a hell of a story.”
Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author
“Break out the flashlight, and prepare to stay up all night … Once you start reading Executive Actions you won’t be able to put it down.”
Bruce Feirstein, James Bond screenwriter, and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor
“Executive Command mixes terrorists, politics, drug gangs and technology in nonstop action! Gary Grossman creates a … horribly plausible plot to attack the United States. So real it’s scary!”
Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Exit Plan, Cold Choices, Red Dragon Rising
“Moving at break-neck speed, Executive Command is nothing short of sensational … Executive Command is not just a great book, it’s a riveting experience.”
W.G. Griffiths, award-winning, bestselling author of Methuselah’s Pillar, Malchus
“Executive Command ramps up the excitement … A truly bravura performance from a master of the political thriller!”
Dwight Jon Zimmerman, New York Times bestselling co-author of Lincoln’s Last Days, Uncommon Valor
“Intricate, taut, and completely mesmerizing. Grossman expertly blends together globe-spanning locations, well-researched technology, finely crafted narrative, and intriguing characters to create a virtuoso tale. Highly recommended.”
Dale Brown, New York Times bestselling author
“Executive Treason is more chilling than science fiction … You’ll never listen to talk radio again without a shiver going down your spine.”
Gary Goldman, Executive Producer, Minority Report; Screenwriter, Navy SEALs & Total Recall

Book Details:

Genre: Political Thriller, Mystery
Published by: Diversion Books
Publication Date: January 13th 2012
Number of Pages: 556
ISBN: 1626811059 (ISBN13: 9781626811058)
Series: Executive #1
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

by Gary Grossman
Washington, D.C. Sunday 22 June
“Topic one. Theodore Wilson Lodge. Presidential material?” bellowed the host at the top of his Sunday morning television show. He directed his question to the political pundit to his left. “Victor Monihan, syndicated columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, is Teddy ready, yes or no?”
“Yes,” Monihan shot back. You had to speak up quickly on the lively program. There was no air between questions and answers. “If the cameras could vote, he’d be a shoo-in.”
“But they don’t. So again, will it be Mr. Lodge goes to Washington?” quizzed the host of the revamped McLaughlin Group. The reference to the Frank Capra movie was lost on most of the audience. Even AMC and Turner Classics weren’t running very many black and white movies anymore.
“Absolutely.” Monihan didn’t take a breath between thoughts. The host hated dead air. Pause and you’re dead. Someone else will jump in. “He’s totally informed, he’s had great committee assignments and he can do the job. Congressman Lodge comes off as a highly capable leader. Trustworthy. The all-American boy grown up. And he positively looks like a president should look … presidential.”
“So a tan and a good build gets you to the White House?” the host argued.
“It means I don’t have to worry about him taking my job.” The overweight columnist laughed, which made his belly spread his shirt to a point just shy of popping the buttons. The joke was good, but he lost his platform with it.
“Roger Deutsch, freelance writer for Vanity Fair, right now Lodge is trailing Governor Lamden. Can Teddy make it up?”
“No. With only two days before the New York primary, there’s no way Lodge can do it. He doesn’t have the votes. And there’s not enough time to get them. Henry Lamden will be addressing the Democratic Party at the August convention in Denver. But even when he gets the nomination, he’ll have a hard time against Taylor.”
The discussion expanded to include the other members of the panel. They talked about Montana Governor Henry Lamden’s qualities. About President Morgan Taylor’s rigid persona. About the voters’ appetite. And back again to the possibilities. “Is there any way Lodge can do what fellow Vermont favorite son Calvin Coolidge did: go all the way to the White House?” the venerable host rhetorically asked. The panel knew this was not the time to reply. Turning to the camera the host said, “Not according to my watch.”
This was the throw to the video package from the campaign trail.
Teddy Lodge smiled as he sat on the edge of his hotel bed to get closer to the TV set. He was half-packed. The rest would wait until the videotape report concluded. Lodge pressed the volume louder on his remote.
“It’s on,” he called to his wife, Jenny.
“Be right out,” she answered from the bathroom. Lodge tightened the knot on the hand-painted tie he’d been given the day before. The gift, from a home crafter in Albany, would go into his collection and eventually into his Presidential Library. But first he’d wear it for the cameras. She’d see it and tell everyone she knew. More votes.
Mrs. Lodge leaned over her husband and hugged him as he watched himself on TV. “You look great, sweetheart.” He agreed. The footage was perfect: Lodge in the thick of an adoring Manhattan crowd, the wind playing with his wavy brown hair, his Armani suit jacket draped over his arm. He came off relaxed and in charge; less like a politician than an everyday guy. An everyday guy who saw himself as President of the United States. And at 6’2” he stood above most of the crowd.
Lodge knew the unusual statistical edge his height provided. Historically, the taller of the two major presidential candidates almost always wins the election. And he was considerably taller than President Morgan Taylor.
The host obviously wasn’t a supporter. But the coverage counted. He hit the bullet points of Lodge’s career.
“Teddy’s been fast-tracking since college. He graduated Yale Law School and has a graduate degree in Physics at Stanford. The man speaks three languages. He worked on various government contracts until he decided to return to his country home in Burlington, Vermont, and run for State Assembly. Two years later, so long Burlington, hello Washington. Mr. Lodge went to Capitol Hill as a young, energetic first-term congressman. He distinguished himself in international politics and now serves as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security. He’s as close to a rocket scientist as they come in Washington. He heads the House Committee on Energy and understands the complexities of the issues. But is he going to the White House?” the moderator asked in his feature videotape. “New Yorkers will decide Tuesday.”
And with that set up came the obligatory sound bite. It couldn’t have been better if Teddy Lodge had picked it himself. It was declarative and persuasive. The producer of the video package must have been in his camp.
“Tomorrow the world will be different. More dangerous. More hateful. Different times need different leaders. Make no mistake, there are no more safe harbors or promised lands. Unless … unless we make better choices today than yesterday. Better friends tomorrow than today.”
As he watched, Lodge remembered the clincher was yet to come. Things like that just didn’t get cut. He was right.
“So come with me and discover a new America. Come with me and discover a new world.”
Thunderous applause followed; applause from the audience at a Madison Square Garden rally.
Eighteen seconds total screen time. Unbelievable on McLaughlin. But Lodge was not an easy edit. He’d learned to break the sound bite barrier by constantly modulating his voice for impact, issuing phrases in related couplets and triplets, and punching them with an almost religious zeal.
Like everything else in his life, he worked hard at communicating effectively. He punctuated every word with a moderately-affected New England accent. Whether or not they agreed with his politics, columnists called him the best orator in years. Increasing numbers of them bestowed almost Kennedy like reverence. And through the camera lens, baby boomers saw an old friend while younger voters found a new voice.
The video story ended and the host brought the debate back to his panel. “Peter Weisel, Washington Bureau Chief of The Chicago Tribune, What sayest thou? Can Teddy un-lodge Lamden?”
“Unlikely.” Weisel, a young, black reporter, was the outspoken liberal of the panel and a realist. “But he’ll help the ticket. He’s a strong Number Two. A junior pairing with Governor Lamden can work. The flip side of Kennedy-Johnson. Let the Democrats make him VP. Besides, his good looks won’t go away in four or eight years. TV will still like him.”
Theodore Wilson Lodge, 46 years old and strikingly handsome, definitely could pull in the camera lens. He had the same effect on women and they held far more votes in America than men. The fact was not lost on the show’s only female contributor of the week. “Debra Redding of The Boston Globe, is Lodge your man?”
Without missing a beat she volunteered, “There are only two problems that I see. One, I’m married. The other – so is he.”
What a wonderful way to start the morning, the congressman said to himself.
Excerpt from Executive Actions by Gary Grossman. Copyright © 2017 by Gary Grossman. Reproduced with permission from Gary Grossman. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Gary Grossman
Gary Grossman is a multiple Emmy Award-winning network television producer, a print and television journalist, and novelist. He has produced more than 10,000 television shows for 40 broadcast and cable networks including primetime specials, reality and competition series, and live event telecasts.
Grossman has worked for NBC, written for the Boston Globe, Boston Herald American, and the New York Times. He is the author of four bestselling international award-winning thrillers available in print, eBooks, and Audible editions: EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, EXECUTIVE TREASON, EXECUTIVE COMMAND and OLD EARTH. (Diversion Books, NYC) and two acclaimed non-fiction books covering pop culture and television history – SUPERMAN: SERIAL TO CEREAL and SATURDAY MORNING TV.
Grossman taught journalism, film and television at Emerson College, Boston University, and USC and has guest lectured at colleges and universities around the United States. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at Emerson College in Boston and he serves on the Boston University Metropolitan College Advisory Board. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Association and The Military Writers Society of America.


Thank you for inviting me to answer questions about the reboot/relaunch of EXECUTIVE ACTIONS.  Because of the never-ending, headline-making, head spinning news that comes at us 24/7, I really felt that EXECUTIVE ACTIONS could find new readers.  And so, with the help of DEAL SHARING AUNT, I think I got the best of the deal!  Thank you!

So here goes:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

    I’ll start my answer by sharing one of the stupidest things I ever thought. 
When I graduated Emerson College I remember celebrating by running up the stairs of the main building, taking them two at a time, and thinking “I’ll never have to write again!”
     In Twitter parlance today, OMG!  Never have to write again!
By the following week, I was working in local TV, launching a career as a documentary writer, producer, and director.  Never have to write again lasted all of one week. 
     Then came a teaching job at my alma mater and my first book, “Superman:  Serial to Cereal,” a history of the original Superman TV series, “The Adventures of Superman.” 
Then another non-fiction book, “Saturday Morning TV,” the definitive history on the first 30 years of children’s television.  …And freelance newspaper writing.  …And I became a newspaper columnist at “The Boston Herald American.”  …And then, in Los Angeles, a TV writer, producer, director again.  …And then a novelist.
Never have to write again!  I guess I realized I was a writer as soon as I understood how ridiculous that thought was.  Oh, and thank goodness!

How long does it take you to write a book and what is your work schedule like when you're writing?

     I’m getting quicker.  It used to take me about 18 months to write a thriller from start to finish.  Now I can get it done in about half the time.  Part of it is experience.  Another part, is because I let the characters do the heavy lifting.  I don’t force them to speak or act.  They reveal themselves.  They talk to me.  Literally.
     Sometimes they just come along and surprise me with plot twists.  Other times, they expand on something I had planned.  But all the while, Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke, Boston attorney Katie Kessler, President Morgan Taylor, and even my assassin in EXECUTIVE ACTIONS make it all so interesting for me.
     My writing goal is three pages a day.  That gets me through the first draft in four-to-five months.  Some days I’ll do more.  And days when I take a break, I can hear the characters impatiently knocking at the door!

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

     I’m a news junkie.  Big time.  I’ve also produced hundreds of TV documentaries for History Channel, A&E, National Geographic Channel and more.  So history and current events are always within reach and work their way into my plots.
     For example, EXECUTIVE ACTIONSis rooted in my Cold War-era listening to Radio Moscow as a kid on my shortwave radio.  Then flash forward to 9/11.  The actual plot evolved from the time I drove back to Los Angeles after having been in New York on September 11, 2001. 
I had a lot of time to think about how the horrible attack was planned and the patience behind it.  I began thinking about another plot that would require the same kind of patience.  Back in LA, I began researching Soviet KGB operations and discovered a facility called The Andropov Institute which trained Russian spies to pose as Americans.  In time, I came up with a dramatic plot, requiring decades of duplicity, which, if successful, could put the American presidency itself the hands of a foreign entity.
EXECUTIVE ACTIONS.  It’s a title and a story that resonates today no matter where you stand in the political spectrum.  I like to think the unthinkable, write the unknowable, and then witness with readers, what is plausible. I think it’s all there in this thriller.

What does your family think of your writing?

     I really have a creative family.  I think they’ve gotten a great deal of that from me, and my wife.  My daughter was a writing, literature and poetry major in college and is now a great makeup artist for movies and TV.  Our two sons are emerging creators, as writers, producers and directors.  My wife writes restaurant reviews and freelance articles.   All in all, I guess writing is in their DNA and not one of them has ever thought that ridiculous notion of mine all those years ago – Never have to write again!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

     I’ve learned the importance of bringing history into contemporary story-telling.  With history and civics sadly devalued in school curriculums, we are more likely to miss the lessons that could help us survive.  Although I don’t hit readers over the head with a club, I do call up historic parallels to make my point and to create a stronger narrative.  For example, I connect the hate speech from the 1930s and the McCarthy Era to today’s talk radio rants in EXECUTIVE TREASON.  In my historical thriller OLD EARTH, Galileo’s 17th century trial leads to a new earth-shaking discovery.  And getting back to EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, (no spoiler alert needed) history constantly weaves its way throughthe investigation.
     It sure makes the writing more interesting for me.  In turn, I hope the reading is more fun and more relevant.  You’ll have to let me know!

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

     My best advice for becoming a better writer is to 1) write every day; and 2) spend as much time re-writing.  Oh, there’s more.  3) Let your characters take over and speak for themselves.  4) Outline, but don’t feel as if you have to stay linear.  5) Research constantly.  Authenticity really counts.  6) Short sentences.  7) Really read your work aloud.  The good material comes alive.  The bad will be very obvious.
     I know I could keep going, but seven good tips is enough to chew on for today.  Write me for more!

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

     I love hearing from readers.  So please, please, please reach out.  I’m at or via Twitter @garygrossman1.   Connecting with readers, readers who become fans, and fans who become friends is the best!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

     As I mentioned, I listened to my shortwave radio growing up.  For those who don’t know what a shortwave radio is, it’s just a radio that pulls in special frequencies from around the world.  Long-range signals.  So I could hear stations from Russia, China, Australia, Ghana, England, France, Bulgaria, Italy, Cuba, and more.  It opened up the world to me.  In turn, I wanted to communicate out from my hometown in Hudson, NY.
     As a 12-year-old I became a ham radio operator, talking globally via Morse Code to people.  Then at 15, I got a job as a rock DJ at WHUC, our local radio station.  I thought that would be my calling until I moved into TV, and of course, writing.
     But it all goes back to listening to the world and developing my own voice. 

What would you like my readers to know?

     What a great final question.  I’ll bring it around to a practical concept called the Johari Window.  Johari for its two originators:  American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham.  In the mid-1950s they came up with a technique to help analysts understand relationships with themselves and the world.  It’s now a critical thinking technique and it’s central to EXECUTIVE ACTIONS and all my work. 
     The concept is simply this:  There are known knows, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.
     When you think about politics, we’re often dealing with known knowns, though the press and the intelligence community is diving deeper.
     As a writer, my goal is to create a terrific plot and have my characters live in and explore the unknown unknowns.  It’s fascinating and sometimes it’s even scary as I get close to, or land on, an inevitable truth.
     As you read EXECUTIVE ACTIONS, or jump into any book for that matter, you’ll work your way from the knowns to the unknowns, to the unknown unknowns.  Enjoy the journey!         

Thanks again!  I look forward to your reactions. 

All the very best,


Catch Up With Gary Grossman On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


Tour Participants:



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1 comment:

  1. Such an interesting and fun interview. I have seen so many great reviews on this book that it is a good thing "never writing again" was only a fleeting thought!