Author, Teacher, Psychologist and Speaker

Posts Tagged "FBI"

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, FALLEN PREY!

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Blog, Featured | 1 comment

TODAY – The mystery continues!

 

FP Front 11.1.13

Twelve-year-old Junior Special Agent Sean Gray is in a race against time. Could there be a connection between his testimony in the trial of an international child kidnapping ring and his mysterious accident?

While the sheriff’s department and the FBI are investigating, his new friend, Gabby, gets caught in the web of an online predator and disappears. She’s been missing for more than 48 hours, and the authorities have not been able to find her.

Sean goes undercover to bait the mysterious hunter. But when he becomes the prey, how will he rescue her?

Enter to win in the FALLEN PREY BOOK GIVEAWAYa Rafflecopter giveaway

Click to read Chapter One of FALLEN PREY!

Purchase is not necessary to enter, BUT, when you order FALLEN PREY either online or at your favorite
local bookseller and send me the picture, your name is entered TEN TIMES forevery copy you purchase.

Check it out:

You can buy FALLEN PREY at Amazon!

You can buy FALLEN PREY at Peak City Publishing!

Soon to be available at all major bookstores!

Don’t forget:

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Amazon!

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Barnes & Noble!

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Indie!

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Books A Million!

You can buy HIDING CARLY at Peak City Publishing!

The FALLEN PREY contest runs from 12 Midnight on November 7 through December 7 at 11:59 PM. You have a chance to win signed copies of HIDING CARLY and FALLEN PREY.

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My Blog Tour Stop

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in Blog, Featured | 7 comments

I want to thank the very talented Sandra Warren, for inviting me along on this Blog Tour.
Sandra has a wonderful web site and blog, The Grateful Writer. Please stop by and read all about Sandra and her work.

Here’s what Sandra wanted to know about me and my work:

SW – What are you working on now?

AE – I am currently working closely with my publisher on the final launch preparations for the second book in the Sean Gray Junior Special Agent Mystery series, Fallen Prey. The release is scheduled for November 7, 2013.

 

Fallen Prey Web Cover 2

Twelve-year-old Junior Special Agent Sean Gray is in a race against time. Could there be a connection between his testimony in the trial of an international child kidnapping ring and his mysterious accident?

While the sheriff’s department and the FBI are investigating, his new friend, Gabby, gets caught in the web of an online predator and disappears. She’s been missing for more than 48 hours, and the authorities have not been able to find her.

Sean goes undercover to bait the mysterious hunter. But when he becomes the prey, how will he rescue her?

 

Sean was first introduced in Hiding Carly, book one of the series.

 

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Eleven year old Sean is in search of the truth. Someone murdered his father, Special Agent Max Gray, and the FBI has officially closed the case. Now it is up to him to find out who was to blame.

While investigating online, Sean stumbles upon a mysterious connection between his father and that new girl in his class. Now he has two puzzles to solve.  What really happened to his dad and what does Carly have to do with it?

In the face of danger, Sean sets aside his fear and finds the courage, compassion, and conviction to “follow the evidence.”

 

And, yes, the third and final book in the series is well underway! At least Sean is plotting and planning in my head! Untitled, the final installment, is already filled with twists, turns and tumbles. And the ending (yes, I do know how it ends) is a Sean Gray surprise!

SW – How does this book differ from other works in its genre? 

AE – The series itself differs primarily in that there are absolutely no zombies or vampires! Seriously, it centers on a young boy who helps to solve crimes and mysteries using the things he has learned from the FBI Junior Special Agent Program. I got the idea for Hiding Carly while mentoring a fifth grade student who was participating in the program. The FBI Agent that I interviewed for Hiding Carly, Special Agent Bill Malinowski, as well as others at the agency really liked the book. They suggested I write a series.

Malinowski said, “I believe any time you can reach out to young people and impress on them that doing what is right outweighs peer pressure, then we need to make efforts toward that end. The FBI’s Junior Special Agent – sometimes referred to as “Junior G-men” – Program does just that. After personally coordinating the program, I saw such positive changes in many of our youth.”

Though the books contain some universal themes, such as friendship, bullying, family, and separation and loss, they also deal with murder, kidnapping, and internet crime. These are things that affect kids today across the nation and the world. The Sean Gray Junior Special Agent Mystery series features events that strike at the core of children’s issues.

As Joseph Bowman stated in his review, Something New is “Elementary, My Dear Watson”:

 

From murder and disease to kidnapping and betrayal, Hiding Carly holds onto a tradition of dark content in children’s mystery novels – Nancy Drew, The Box Car Children and Sally Lockhart were all orphans – but it approaches the story in a way rarely embraced by children’s authors. Eisenstein chooses not to pursue the rain coat and magnifying glass, looking for footprints in the rain approach that is seen so often; instead, she focuses the narrative around the everyday crises and uncertainties faced by children poised before puberty.

The complications of losing a father, the confusion of watching a loved one slip into mental decline, a first crush, a bully, all of these take the main stage for the first two thirds of the story while the mysteries of Carly and of Sean’s father more so bubble to the surface. That bubble, though, proves indicative of something worth waiting for as the conclusion takes more twists and turns than is typical for this genre.

 

SW – Why do you write what you do? 

AE – I wish that I had some magical explanation that would dazzle and amaze. Truth is I just write the story that is in me. Most of what I write stems from my persona as an author, an educator and a psychologist. Though I didn’t start out writing for children, it has been the most natural beginning. My fiction works-in-progress encompass all genres, including picture books, middle grade, young adult and adult. I also write nonfiction and screenplays.

SW – How does your writing process work? 

Wow…let’s see. I have an overactive imagination. I pay attention to inspiration. I get an idea – or two – or three. Poof! Magic! Not really. I do add those three things together and often the character, or characters, enter the picture first. They usually bring some sort of agenda with them. Often resulting in conflict. Yea! As a teacher, I could do without the conflict. As a psychologist, I really need it to begin – but hope it’s not too troubling. As an author – bring it on! Once I have the start of story, I tend to research – a lot! I am concentrating on realistic, contemporary fiction right now, so it is important that my facts are – well – factual. As the story unfolds, I begin to plot and storyboard. I like the plan of it, the road map. My characters usually take some twists and turns that I didn’t count on, but that’s okay. I just move the scenes around or throw them out and add more. It’s a big giant jigsaw puzzle on my wall. And I love puzzles!

 

Next Monday, October 14, 2013, this Blog Tour train will stop at the pages of the following fabulous, imaginative, and gifted children’s writers:

Donna Welch Earnhardt

Holly Hughes 

Suzanne Warr

 

Please click on their links and climb aboard to discover new and fascinating things about these talented authors and what they write.

 

In the mean time, Happy Trails to you until we meet again!

 

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Quantico

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Blog, Uncategorized | 8 comments

The FBI Academy in Quantico

A few weeks ago I took a trip with the Columbia, SC FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBICAAA) to the FBI Training Academy.

The Carolinian

We boarded an early morning train in Charlotte bound for Quantico. This was my first trip on Amtrak, and even though our travel agent had sent us maps, time tables, menus and “Tips for Riding Amtrak”, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the journey itself! For me, riding the rails was a new way to travel. For one thing, I wasn’t in charge of the stops and starts! The Carolinian made a total of 14 stops at train stations along the way for passengers to embark and disembark.

Normally I am all about getting from point A to point B the quickest way possible. But this was a ride to remember. The rolling hills, farmland, and waters of eastern NC and VA are beautiful. There is a rich history and thriving population there. And the opportunities to discover, learn, and get to know other people were great.

At last, we arrived at our final destination! After we settled in at our motel, we shared a relaxing dinner and conversation with friends.

The next morning we drove to the US Marine Corps Base at Quantico, where the FBI Academy is located on 385 wooded acres. I was excited to explore and learn more about the FBI!

Even though I had been through the training with the Citizen’s Academy and learned a lot about the Bureau, most of my “knowledge” base was from seeing the agency portrayed in television shows such as Numb3rs, Criminal Minds, and FBI and films like Point BreakDonnie Brasco and Silence of the Lambs.

Unfortunately, I cannot talk about everything thing I saw and learned because…

What happens at the Academy stays at the Academy.

The FBI Academy is dedicated to being the premier law enforcement learning and research center and an advocate for law enforcement’s best practices worldwide.

One of the first things that I saw at the Academy was this 9/11 Memorial. This was originally a gift from one of the classes. The towers, held together by the outline of the state of Pennsylvania, sit on the frame of the Pentagon – the scenes of the 3 sites of terrorism on that date. At the base are 3 plaques which hold an actual piece of each of those sites. Subsequent classes have donated landscaping surrounding the memorial. The FBI was very involved in the investigation of 9/11.

Next, our tour guide told us about the FBI Ten Most Wanted List, which has been around since 1949. The day that we were there, a new fugitive, Eric Toth, was added. This list grew out of a conversation between J. Edgar Hoover and a newspaper editor to capture the “toughest guys” that kept eluding the FBI.

Being a psychologist, one of the programs at the academy that I was most interested in was the Behavioral Sciences Unit. Behavioral science is all about understanding the criminal mind. It’s not only important to know who criminals are, but how they think, what they want, and why they do the things that they do. Understanding these behaviors and applying these insights to criminal investigation is known as profiling.

The FBI Laboratory, which has been in operation since 1932, is currently on the grounds at Quantico.  The Lab provides forensic and scientific analysis, operational response, evidence control, and forensic science services to the FBI and other local and state law enforcement agencies.

This was one of the most interesting aspects of the program tour – to learn how the FBI utilizes technology and forensic science to profile, analyze, and solve crimes.

Another of the programs at the Academy is the International Training and Assistance Unit: ITAU, whose mission is to “develop effective law enforcement training programs for police in the international arena to successfully combat and prevent terrorist acts against citizens and institutions of the US both abroad and domestically.”

The FBI Tactical Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) was our next stop. This unit was formed in 1983 for the purpose of responding to any extraordinary hostage crisis or other situation that may occur in this country which requires law enforcement assistance. Currently, this team also responds to FBI and law enforcement cases abroad as well. The team operates quickly and often under extreme secrecy. They are among the most professional, fit and elite group within the Bureau.

After lunch, we made the journey to a simulated town know as Hogan’s Alley. It is in this fictitious town – complete with a hotel, a restaurant, a post office, a bank, homes, apartments, and other buildings – that FBI and DEA agent trainees learn investigative techniques, firearms skills, and defensive tactics.

Our last stop was the defensive driving course of The Tactical and Emergency Vehicle Operations Center (TEVOC). This group is responsible for teaching safe and efficient driving techniques to FBI and DEA personnel and other government and military personnel.

That about wraps it up because if I tell you anymore – well…

 

For more information –  FBI Academy

 

 

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WHY HIDING CARLY

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in Blog | 2 comments

FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association

FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association

I have always been a writer. I have always loved books. When I was three years old, my idea of writing a book was picking a bound book from the library at my house, opening it up and adding some illustrations, via crayons or a number 2 pencil. From there, I ventured into poetry, short stories, articles for school papers, and the senior class song and play.

My first piece of fiction was (is) an adult novel. I had never taken a novel writing course – so I was intimidated! My thought: I will start writing a children’s book! That will be easier! Ha! Was I mistaken! I stumbled into the vast wonderland of Children’s Books.

As a teacher of Language Arts and Social Studies, I was familiar with children’s books. Good books! Great books! Charlotte’s Web, The Wind in the Willows, Goodnight, Moon, Bridge to Terabitha, Little Women, Tuck Everlasting, to name a few. But talking about them after they are written is way different than writing one from scratch! I had a lot to learn about the field of Children’s Publishing!

As I said, I was a teacher for many years. Then I became a school psychologist. And although I had retired from my job as a school psychologist for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, I still wanted to work with children. I had been mentoring students at Logan Elementary in Columbia for several years. One of the students was enrolled in the FBI Junior Special Agent Program. A program for the fifth graders at Logan. As I closely watched his participation in the program, I was intrigued. The idea for Sean began to dance around in my writer head! I told the Special Agent in charge of the program about some ideas I had with Sean’s character development. He invited me to FBI Headquarters in Columbia.

I interviewed special agents at the FBI Columbia Field Office about their Junior Special Agent Program, which led to negotiations with the FBI Office of Public Affairs (OPA) in Washington DC about my story and an endorsement with them to collaborate on a series of at least 4 or 5 more books based on my protagonist.

I was then nominated to become a member of the FBI Citizens Academyand received training in all areas of the FBI, including terrorism, counter-terrorism, gangs, and hate crimes, kidnapping and cyber-crime. This has given me personal insight into the inner workings of the organization and a great trove of stories for the potential series! Storylines I wish to develop include bullying and hate crimes; chat room lures and cyber-stalking; kidnapping; witness protection; and violent gang and organized crime.

About the FBI Citizens Academies

Want to find out first hand how the FBI works? Hear how the Bureau tracks down spies and terrorists? Learn how to collect and preserve evidence? See what it is like to fire a weapon and put yourself in the shoes of a Special Agent making a split-second, life-or-death decision?

If you are a leader in your community, you just might be able to do that and more––through an FBI Citizens’ Academy, open for business in all 56 of our field offices.

Who attends? Business, civic, and religious leaders. You must be at least 18 years old (with no prior felony convictions) and must live and work in the area covered by the field office sponsoring the academy.

Who teaches? Special Agents in Charge of a field office, their senior managers, and senior agent experts.

For how long? Classes generally meet 10 times (eight on weeknights and two on Saturday) for three hours each session. Each session has around 20-30 students.

The curriculum? Fascinating!

  • Practical problems involving evidence collection and preservation.
  • FBI jurisdiction and congressional oversight.
  • Structure and operation of FBI field offices and resident agencies.
  • Fingerprint, forensic, technology, training, and other services
  • Policies and issues: ethics, discipline, communications, civil rights, and criminal trends.
  • Firearms training.

To find out more about Citizens’ Academies, contact your local field office.

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