Book Groups

Let me be upfront about something: I love speaking to book clubs. I spend so much time at my desk writing that when my book finally hits the shelves, I am dying to get out in front of people and talk about it! It’s amazing what readers glean from your work. Often, I’ll find themes in my story I hadn’t intentionally written about, or facets of my characters I’d only subconsciously developed. I guess that’s a fancy way of saying that readers are always smarter than authors! (If you’d like me to come speak to your group, feel free to get in touch with me through this site.)

Rules of Vengeance

Rules of Vengeance Book Club Questions:

  1. If your spouse or partner lied about his/her job or income, how would you react? Would you hold yourself responsible for not having checked more closely? What could he or she do to win back your trust?
  2. Once trust is violated, can it be rebuilt?
  3. How certain are you that your spouse or significant other loves you? Would you bet your life on it?
  4. Can true love exist if just one party loves the other? Or must both parties be equally in love with one another? Do you believe in true love that lasts a lifetime? Are we all born with a soulmate?
  5. In Rules of Vengeance, Jonathan follows his wife across London as she picks up a “VBIED” – a vehicle born improvised explosive device – drives it into place and detonates it. Should Jonathan have figured out beforehand what she was up to? Should he have tried harder to stop her?
  6. At the end of the story, Jonathan confronts Emma inside “La Reine.” What are your feelings about Emma’s true intentions? Was the bomb supposed to go off or did Jonathan defuse it in time?
  7. Are Emma’s actions in service of Division and the United States more important than her love for Jonathan? At what point do personal concerns supercede one’s responsibility to his or her country?
  8. How far should a government go to protect is citizens? Gather information? Promote political parties with views similar to its own? Take active and or clandestine measures to eliminate potential threats? (this includes fomenting rebellion in foreign countries, extortion, blackmail, and murder.)
  9. Should the United States view itself as the world’s caretaker? Would you prefer the United States to adopt a more interventionist stance regarding world affairs or to become more isolationist?
  10. Will Russia and the United States ever be allies?
  11. Do you think Nuclear Energy is a viable long run alternative to oil and fossil fuels?

Rules of Deception

Rules of Deception deals with lots of hot button issues that are at the forefront of both our personal lives and public debate. Let’s start with the personal stuff:

  1. How well do you know your spouse or partner? As a test, ask yourself if you know his or her place of birth, names of parents and siblings, college or high school and year of graduation, major in college. Do you know what was his or her first job? Their best friend, favorite beverage, favorite band?
  2. How much do you know about your spouse’s or partner’s work? Do you know his boss? His co-workers?
  3. Does your spouse or partner travel for work? If so, do you check up on him while he’s gone – either by phone or e-mail?
  4. How often do you like to hear from your spouse or partner? If you didn’t hear from them for twelve hours, would you be worried? What about twenty-four hours?
  5. Do you ever look through your spouse’s or partner’s belongings? If so, have you ever found something there you didn’t expect? Did your confront him or her about it? What happened?
  6. In the story, Jonathan doesn’t discover the truth about his wife’s true profession until she dies in a tragic accident. Do you think he should have figured it out beforehand?
  7. Why are doctors the perfect “front” for spies?
  8. Would you volunteer to spy for your government?

Rules of Deception also deals with major foreign policy concerns confronting the United States and her allies, namely Iran’s drive to possess nuclear weapons. Here are some questions you might wish to discuss.

  1. Should Iran be allowed to possess nuclear weapons? If so, how many and in what forms? Bombs? Warheads?
  2. Should Iran be allowed to develop a “peaceful” nuclear energy program?
  3. Does the United States have an obligation or right to police other country’s nuclear programs, both peaceful and military?
  4. The current president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has spoken about his desire to “wipe Israel off the map of the Middle East.” Do you think that Iran would actually use nuclear weapons to attack Israel?
  5. In view of these provocative statements, do you think Israel has the right to take preemptive actions should they believe Iran to have nuclear weapons? Or is it enough if Iran is trying to make the weapons?
  6. What is your opinion about the United States intelligence community? Do you feel we should actively spy on our enemies? What about our friends?
  7. The U.S. government currently admits to spending approximately $40 billion a year on intelligence. Do you think this is enough or should they spend more? Do you feel that we are getting a good “return on our investment?”
  8. If you discovered information that you believed might impact the wellbeing of the United States, would you make an effort to contact the government and tell them? Or do you think they can take care of themselves?

Those are just a few questions to get you started. If you’d like some more, contact me by e-mail at my website.