Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Toppled Pawn-Tale of Corporate Greed

The Toppled Pawn by Robert O’Brien

I don’t watch reruns and rarely read the same novel twice, though there are a couple of all time favorite books that have enticed me to return. The Toppled Pawn is one of those intriguing stories that deserves a repeat performance and doesn’t disappoint the second time around.

Corporate greed. What really goes on behind the scenes? How much is covered up that most unsuspecting people will never begin to discover because the puppets continue to dance, and no one has a clue about the true identity of those responsible for pulling the strings?

During my initial read, I was mildly curious about the direction this story was taking as I finished the first chapter. By the end of the second chapter, I was firmly riveted and seeking spare moments as often as reasonably possible to continue reading. It is one of those books that when you absolutely must put it down, you can hardly wait to get back to it to find out what happens next. O'Brien paints his vivid scenes with clear precision, and perhaps his talent as an artist carries over into his writing.

In this book, the affluent Westerfields are in serious trouble, their lives endangered. Kristi (Marilynn) Christopher, a small town Chief of Police with an impressive big city FBI background, is on the case. Although a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails investigator, we find ourselves exposed to a caring, sensitive, private side of Kristi that one might not anticipate. Her expertise and contacts are pulled into action to do whatever is necessary to uncover the corporate culprits behind the frightening mystery taking place before their eyes. She is doggedly determined to protect the Westerfields and their interests. As the drama neatly unfolds, you have to wonder exactly how much of this story is fiction and what portion is based on factual information. Scary thought.

The Toppled Pawn reveals some facts about the well-known Bayer company that may be shocking. At the end of the book, O’Brien recommends a web site (, which continues to track issues involving Bayer.

I only hope that Robert O'Brien will find a way to take a vacation, temporarily remove his publisher's hat and write a few more books. I love, love, love this book and would be right there to purchase more works by this author.

In Robert O’Brien’s words:
The Toppled Pawn explores the extremes of courage and greed as a small group of dedicated people battle an international financial cartel orchestrating a grand conspiracy designed to re-establish BayerAG in the US pharmaceutical market.

Most US citizens are unaware of Bayer's history. They view the company as the wonderful people who created Aspirin.

Very few Americans realize that in 1918, Bayer was banned from doing business in Allied Countries for war crimes.  US citizens are unaware that BayerAG is the heir of the dismantled war profiteer, I.G. FarbenindustrieAG, or of their involvement in WWII. The Toppled Pawn attempts to reveal a few of those seldom mentioned facts.  

The Toppled Pawn will appeal to a wide range of readers, especially those who suspect powerful financial forces are working behind the scenes to control the events that shape our future. 

The book was inspired by Elie Wiesel's words honoring Holocaust victims, ". . . protect the future of humanity from such evil recurring."

About Robert O’Brien

Robert O'Brien: Artist - Designer - Author

Before moving south, Robert T. O'Brien owned O'Brien Design Inc., an advertising agency located in Elkhart, Indiana.  His company created marketing and sales programs specializing in new product introductions, packaging and promotional material.

In 2010, he created Prose Press, a publishing company dedicated to helping authors with quality work get their books in print.
Robert O'Brien uses his artistic talents to create exceptional book covers.  He uses powerful shapes, lively colors and well-balanced compositions to capture story.

Web site:
Book Description

 This “David vs. Goliath” plot features murder, industrial sabotage, and offshore banking to create a suspenseful tale sprinkled with humor and history.

The story matches wits between newly appointed South Station Chief of Police, Kristi Christopher, and the Painter Group, an international financial cartel orchestrating a grand conspiracy designed to take over a local pharmaceutical company.

Prose Press    843-237-9929

The Toppled Pawn can be ordered at the above email address or purchased at Litchfield Books, Harbor Walk Books in Georgetown, SC, Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats and at Barnes & Noble.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post featuring Robert O'Brien and The Toppled Pawn, and I would like to invite you to stop by for a visit at for some FREE tips from the experts on writing your life stories! 

As always, it has been a pleasure to introduce you to amazing books and their authors. 

Mary Anne Benedetto
Author and Certified Lifewriting Instructor

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Confederate Gold and Silver

The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg will be celebrated in July, 2013 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Author Peter F. Warren has been invited to participate in three separate book signings in connection with this event, and he is energized and honored to have been included in the extended invitations!

It is obvious from reading Confederate Gold and Silver that Warren spent considerable time and effort in researching the facts for this historical novel. The truth is that there is still much speculation about the possible locations of the gold and silver coins representing the Confederate treasury that was buried to withhold it from “those damn Yankees.”

Warren offers his own twist on this story and turns it into a mysterious page-turner that is written in an interesting format of alternating each chapter’s era from protagonist Paul Waring’s discoveries in 2011 to Captain Judiah Francis creating Civil War history in 1863.

Waring’s determination to utilize the clues he has stumbled upon to at last uncover this hidden Confederate treasury is laced with a perpetual reminder of the fact that this war was filled with such horror and philosophical impasse that should never have killed the estimated 360,222 Union soldiers and the 258,000 Confederate casualties of the Civil War. These numbers have been written in stone for many years, but in 2012 a New York Times article indicates that those statistics are understated and could very well exceed 20 percent more.

Being a Murrells Inlet, South Carolina resident, I appreciated the local setting where Paul Waring and his wife Donna have chosen to retire from their busy Connecticut lives and where Paul’s initial inadvertent discovery propels him on an insatiable path of research and treasure hunting.

One does not necessarily need to be a Civil War enthusiast or Reenactor to become engrossed in the premise of this book and the shroud of secrecy that is gradually exposed. Knowing that the story is based on an age in our country’s history that should never be forgotten, reading Confederate Gold and Silver is a solid reminder of exactly how deeply entrenched political and philosophical gridlock can turn a nation upside down.

It brought me back to a time in 1980 when my deeply Southern rooted family members met my New York born and raised husband for the first time. After chatting with my husband for quite some time, my uncle Jack pulled me aside and quietly whispered, “That Fred’s a really nice guy…for a Yankee!”

Hopefully, time has mellowed folks who viewed each other as Yankees and Rebels. We are, after all, proud Americans. And, by the way, I’d certainly like to unearth that gold and silver treasure!


A former resident of Connecticut, retired from the Connecticut State Police Department after serving for many years in several command assignments, Peter is a graduate of the University of New Haven, the FBI National Academy and an honor graduate of the Connecticut State Police Academy. He currently resides in South Carolina with his wife, Debbie.

Peter is a Civil War enthusiast and an avid golfer, choosing to combine those interests and his law enforcement experience into his first book,
Confederate Gold and Silver.

Recently, Peter, along with his co-authors, Roy McKinney and Edward Odom, have released The Journey North. This is a fictional story about the Battle of Little Round Top on Day 2 of the epic three-day battle at Gettysburg. While the book describes the actual brutal fighting that took place between the 20th Maine and the 15th Alabama, it also is a story of two opposing soldiers who accidentally met on the field of battle and became lifetime friends.

Visit Peter Warren at for more information, Peter’s upcoming events including The Moveable Feast on May 24, 2013 at Kimbel’s in Wachesaw Plantation in Murrells Inlet where he will feature The Journey North (call 235-9600 for details) and various links to purchasing sites and book formats.

See you soon with another opportunity to learn about amazing authors and their intriguing books!

Mary Anne Benedetto