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About the Authors

Daniel Kenner

Daniel Kenner rocked out to Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” while other infants sang “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” A proud member of Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and National Players Tour 60, Daniel was a Presidential Arts Scholar at George Washington University and Scholarship recipient at The British American Drama Academy. Directed the Washington D.C. premier of Sarah Kane’s Crave. Author of the manuscript, Roux. Winner of the Rhode Island Playwriting Festival for his World War II letters home drama, Fields of Sacrifice. Adapted Les Misérables for high school stages.

Maureen Kenner’s heart was in the classroom. For thirty-five years she was a Special Education teacher in the Providence Public Schools. Born and raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Maureen graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in education and later earned a Master’s Degree from Providence College. Maureen was a vital influence at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School at Fox Point, working tirelessly as a mentor for the betterment of all children and their families. Honored with many accolades throughout her career, Maureen was awarded Providence Teacher of the Year in 2003. Living with cancer, as a model patient, Maureen exemplified integrity, courage, grace, and hope. For thirty-one years, through sickness and health, Maureen was the beloved soul mate to the late Jacob “Buddy” Kenner, her intense love recognized in 2016 as a Rhode Island Caregiver of the Year.

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Room for Grace

About the Book:

Title: ROOM FOR GRACE
Author: Daniel Kenner & Maureen Kenner
Publisher: Silver Boot Imprints
Pages: 200
Genre: Memoir & Biography

BOOK BLURB:

Stage 4 cancer for her and a debilitating disease for her husband: life crashed down in an instant. Maureen Kenner found resilience, however, in the lessons she learned from her Special Ed students in Providence, RI. Her students lived with their hearts opened despite struggles of the highest magnitude. Through these students, Maureen gains courage, humor, and the strength of spirit to face her devastating realities, head on. Maureen’s oral history was captured by her son Daniel who tenderly wrought this book out of their recorded conversations. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace.

PRAISE:

“Maureen Kenner was one of those people who brightened every room she entered. Thanks to Room for Grace, that light is not extinguished. Although her story shares great sadness, Room for Grace is a book of hope and a celebration of life that sheds Maureen’s light on us all.” — Ann Hood, Author of The Obituary Writer and The Red Thread

“In these pages, you will find a story like no other. Maureen’s story is one of courage and love, a story that will move you to your core.” — David Flink, Chief Empowerment Officer, Eye to Eye

“The piercing light of Maureen’s compassion, love and intelligence, will leave every reader wanting to reach out in the spirit of service and live life to the fullest.” — Annie Lanzillotto, Author of Hard Candy: Caregiving, Mourning, and Stagelight

“Buddy Kenner was a big-hearted teacher, universally beloved by all, a warrior for the arts and their importance in the curriculum. Amazing and unique guy. Read this book.” — Tom Chandler, Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emeritus

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Book Excerpt:

STAGE 4

Mary Poppins was my nurse on Day 6. “Pretend you’re at summer camp,” she joked, encouraging every step I made toward healing and recovery. “We’ve got a whole bunch of activities for you to choose from.”

“But instead of Newcomb and color wars and collecting orange salamanders or dancing to Tommy James and the Shondells,” I said, “today’s activities at the hospital include pain med management, ice chip crunching, and Dammit! Doll whacking…”

“Don’t forget IV pole walking,” she teased. “I always know when you’re coming because your IV pole is the squeakiest.” She tenderly guided me back into bed.

“But instead of early morning skinny dipping,” I said, “someone signed me up for the johnny gown flash mob.”

That really made her laugh. “I wish all my patients worked like you.”

Well, you help make it easy,” I admitted. “I loved sleepaway camp. I’d pack my trunk with stamped stationary and Razzles, pick-up sticks and jacks. And my Magic 8-Ball. My bunkmates and I thought we could predict the future. Go figure. I could never have predicted this.” She wrapped a warm blanket around my feet. “One year,” I continued, “I was the last camper to be picked up and, on the way home, my sisters teased me that my parents wanted to leave me there.”

“That’s one of the reasons I love my job here,” she smiled. “The staff is a family. We’re planning a barbecue together this weekend.”

It was August 2013.

Dr. David Sanfred, our family practitioner, walked into my room at 6:45 a.m. and stood at the end of my hospital bed. “Maureen, we’re getting ready to send you home soon,” he said. And then, “It’s time to talk.”

It was time to face what I’d avoided all week.

“I’m sorry to tell you, but it’s very serious.” Though by our family’s side for many difficult situations, I’d never heard Dr. Sanfred’s tone this methodical. “We thought it was Stage 1 but the cancer metastasized from the colon to your umbilicus and has advanced to Stage 4.”

The hospital symphony went silent. I turned my head and watched the early morning sunlight peek through the window. “Is it curable?”

He gave my hand a soft pat. “No, it is not curable.”

I heard myself gasp.

I was in a panorama shot. I saw Mary Poppins outside the thin curtain share morning notes with the nurse coming on. They whispered, glanced sympathetically in my direction. I struggled for breath and gripped the Dammit! Doll.

“Will I be able to go back to my classroom?”

“No,” he cautioned, “you will not be able to teach right now. But soon. We hope.”

The tears kept coming. Mary Poppins came back into the room. She reached out and hugged me gently, with so much affection I could feel her heart break.

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Interview With Glen Aaron, author of The Prison Trilogy

 

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Hi Folks. Today I am chatting with Glen Aaron, retired lawyer, international business & banking consultant and author of several fiction & non-fiction books. Including The Terrorist, Broken Justice and his latest non-fiction release of The Prison Trilogy: The Ronnie Lee And Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story.

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Glen. Thanks for being my guest today. Please share with our readers about you.
I am a retired lawyer and international business and banking consultant. In the twilight of my 40 year practice, I came to represent an heiress of The Wall Street Journal, who later decided to marry another client of mine, an interior decorator. The name of the heiress was Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan and her new husband was Ronnie Lee Morgan. Jackie was 72 years old. Ron was 50. I had previously placed Ron in bankruptcy in that he owed about $1.5 million and couldn’t pay it. Jackie wanted to give him ample money outside of the bankruptcy. So I set up a blind trust and over the course of a half dozen years Jackie poured $40 million worth of cash and assets into the trust. When she mysteriously died, the Bancroft’s sued me and every member of my legal staff. Ultimately, the result was a two-year prison sentence for me in federal prison. The reason was quite technical. The Prison Trilogy starts with this book, The Ronnie Lee And Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation – even crime.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I actually look forward to getting out of bed each morning about 5 o’clock to start writing either on a book that I’m working on or my column for the local newspaper that reviews the works of West Texas authors. I am stimulated by the desire to write and to read the creative works of others.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would like to hang out for a day with Barney Frank and ask him questions about events that he has written in his new book. My reason for wanting to do so is to gain some understanding of how a person finds the strength to continue fighting in favor of unpopular causes, one after another.

What’s the story behind your latest book? 
Well, I have already mentioned how the book begins, but to understand Jackie one must understand the history of the ownership of The Wall Street Journal. Her husband, Hugh Bancroft, Jr, who was owner of the Journal, along with a sibling, died after only five years of marriage to Jackie, leaving her at their New Mexico ranch with three small children, but also as one of the wealthiest women in America, which she really didn’t realize for the first few years. In part, the book is her story, but it is also the story of Ron Morgan and a tale of greed and manipulation and what it can lead to.

Tell us your writing process.
I begin writing at 5 o’clock in the morning and write until noon. By this time, either the body or the muse has left me and I go on to other things. I do this six days a week. In nonfiction, as The Prison Trilogy is, I look at all of my research, cross index it, and then begin to develop an outline of chapters. In nonfiction, I allow myself to go with the flow of the plot, keeping in mind basic writing principles of fiction. Of course, this creates a lot of rewrites.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I graduated from Baylor University with an undergraduate degree of English literature and a dual degree out of the business school in macro economics. Even though I had business knowledge, much of which was handed down to me by my father, I was a bit of a romantic and loved literature. I thought that I would like to write. However, after graduation from law school at the University of Texas and entering law practice and business, there was no time for 40 years to write anything but legalese. As I entered federal prison and ended up with Colonel George Trofimoff as my cell-mate, I saw this as an opportunity to write. That story became the second book in The Prison Trilogy, which is about Colonel George Trofimoff.

Tell us about your main character.
As you’ve seen from what I’ve said about the Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Story, there are actually two main characters in the book, Jackie and Ron, as I viewed them through my eyes as an Observer. Interestingly, for someone who had the magnitude of wealth that Jackie had, she lived rather modestly but did immodest things, such as building what she called her “little Pearl,” the $23 million theater for the performing arts, nestled in the mountains of Ruidoso, New Mexico. She paid cash. Ronnie Lee Morgan, on the other hand, personifies just about every character defect you can think of. Of course, I represented both of them. Lawyers don’t generally sit in judgment of their clients. If they did, they would have no clients. However, this book takes liberty from that principal by simply telling the story.

What are you working on next? 
I’m currently working on what I believe will be called The Race To Destroy Life On Earth. The question is, which will win the race of destruction: nuclear proliferation or eco-destruction?

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I do not think so. I can’t paint. I can’t play a musical instrument. I can speak publicly and write.

Who are your favorite authors?  
In fiction, I have always been intrigued by the ability of John Grisham. In nonfiction, I look for those extraordinary authors who do credible research and take it to the level of telling an interesting story.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Sit with my wife in the evening, have a glass of wine, interesting conversation, and pet my dogs.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Well, as I mentioned I’m doing research on nuclear proliferation and eco-destruction. Surprisingly, I have for years done research on the biblical tenants of the New Testament. I have always thought it would be interesting if you took the English common law principle of proof, “by a preponderance of evidence” and applied it to the writing and teachings of the New Testament. I don’t know whether I will ever finish that are not.

Where can people find you on the web?
Either at GlenAaron.com or prisonobserver.com or Amazon.com.

Any final thoughts?
Yes, I want to thank you very much for having me and giving The Prison Trilogy and its first book, The Ronnie Lee And Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story exposure, and I would like to thank BK Walker for administrating the blog tour for me. Thank you

Observer: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story
Book genre: Biography of Wall Street Journal heiress; nonfiction intrigue and crime
Publisher: Glen Aaron using Create Space
Release date: April 1, 2015
Buy linkAmazon.com

Book Blurb

When Jackie Bancroft’s husband died in 1952, he left her an heiress to the income and value of The Wall Street Journal and one of the wealthier women in America. Almost 50 years later, Jackie would marry Ronnie Lee Morgan, a 50 – year old gay interior decorator. Morgan was one of many clients in the active law practice of author Glen Aaron. This unusual marriage lasted until Jackie’s mysterious death five years later. Throughout that period, Aaron became entwined in the personal lives and demands of the couple, along with handling many of their legal affairs. The huge money and property distributions made by Jackie to her husband, designed and handled by Aaron, resulted in a two – year federal prison sentence for Aaron. The first book in the Prison Trilogy is this story

Excerpt

Through the course of four years, Ron bought several million – dollar Puerto Vallarta properties, some for rental, some with an eye toward resale; all in the name of the trust I had set up for him. This was causing a problem. When Ron initially explained how he wanted the trust to work, or, at least, how he envisioned the goal, it was to be an income – generating entity protected from domestic creditors, the IRS, and Jackie’s children. Therefore, I envisioned never conducting business in the United States. I had never filed for a tax identification number, nor had the trust filed an income tax return.

However, throughout the first few years of the trust, Ron imported large amounts of artworks and furnishings from other countries and warehoused them in El Paso. He also took unreported, large cash distributions into the United States. This was not how to protect oneself within a trust. No matter how I might admonish him, I would find, after the fact, Ron paid no attention and threw caution to the winds. I could never tell, through many aspects of Ron’s life, whether he felt invincible or whether he just couldn’t perceive risk/reward exposure.

In following the goal of creating an offshore cash-cow for Ron’s future, I had established a corporation and office in Belize that headquartered an online casino. Acquiring the software through professional contacts in Vegas and setting up accounting and payment controls took about a year. Belize was ideal for an online casino because broadband T-1 connections were plentiful and the domain name address would be Belize. Additionally, the major Caribbean undersea fiber line connecting instantaneously to the entire world was within stone’s throw of where I had set up the online casino. In the second year, the casino was cash-flowing twenty – five – thousand dollars per month with hardly any overhead.

To diversify the activities and income of the trust, I retained a CPA and Hong Kong attorneys to establish a Hong Kong trade Corporation with an office in Shenzhen, China. The trade companies served multiple full purposes because of the myriad opportunities in China. Its primary purpose was to protect importations of artworks, sculptures, and furnishings from all the countries Ron had haphazardly imported into the United States.… Although Ron was as tight – lip about those details as he was about most other details, it was pretty clear he was stockpiling a high-end inventory for his post – Jackie future.

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