Friday, April 16, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale by Bill Zarchy

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale by Bill Zarchy. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale
Author: Bill Zarchy
Publisher: Roving Camera Press
Publication Date: November 19th 2020
Print Length: 284 pages
Genre: Historical Thriller
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On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes. Walking away from the Valley Forge encampment, he takes a fall and is knocked unconscious, only to reappear at a dog park on San Francisco Bay—in the summer of 2014.

Washington befriends two Berkeley twenty-somethings who help him cope with the astonishing—and often comical—surprises of the twenty-first century.

Washington’s absence from Valley Forge, however, is not without serious consequences. As the world rapidly devolves around them—and their beloved Giants fight to salvage a disappointing season—George, Tim, and Matt are catapulted on a race across America to find a way to get George back to 1778.

Equal parts time travel tale, thriller, and baseball saga, Finding George Washington is a gripping, humorous, and entertaining look at what happens when past and present collide in the 9th inning, with the bases loaded and no one warming up in the bullpen.

**The eBook will be on sale for $0.99 during this tour.**

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EXCERPT:
I had once kissed my old girlfriend Marnie on the Kiss Cam, a few months after we started dating, when things were still going well between us. I didn’t miss her, exactly. She had treated me badly. But the memory brought on pangs of loneliness. The camera focused on a young couple in the stands, who watched as their image came up on screen, then dove into a passionate smooch.

The crowd cheered. Though he still wasn’t sure what was happening, George was shocked by these indecorous public displays of affection. The camera cut to an older couple, who responded with a much more dignified buss. Light booing and laughter from the masses.

Sinatra continued to croon to “Strangers in the Night.” George was mortified.

“Timothy, this song and these people seem to be celebrating romantic liaisons of the most crude and casual type. How offensive!”

The screen cut to a pimply young guy, who practically leaped onto his cute girlfriend, attacking with a scary abundance of tongue.

“Ewww,” a girl behind us called out. Our whole section laughed.

The image on screen switched to George, with Rachel beside him. In that strong left profile shot, with his pale skin, high forehead, prominent apple cheeks, graying russet hair tied in back, and aquiline nose, he looked just like the guy on the quarter dollar.

The camera seemed to stay on them forever. Finally, with a good-natured grin, Rachel gave him a prim peck on the lips, then lingered an extra second or two. The fans screamed their appreciation.

I was speechless, overcome with dread, though not sure why. How had this happened? We had brought the Father of Our Country out in public to a baseball game in San Francisco.

And his iconic face was up on a giant screen, being kissed by a woman not his wife, as Sinatra sang about getting lucky.

I shared the moment with 40,000 of my closest friends at the ballpark. I hoped all their intentions were friendly.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bill Zarchy filmed projects on six continents during his 40 years as a cinematographer, captured in his first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. Now he writes novels, takes photos, and talks of many things.

Bill’s career includes filming three former presidents for the Emmy-winning West Wing Documentary Special, the Grammy-winning Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, feature films Conceiving Ada and Read You Like A Book, PBS science series Closer to Truth, musical performances as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and countless high-end projects for technology and medical companies.

His tales from the road, personal essays, and technical articles have appeared in Travelers’ Tales and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers, and American Cinematographer, Emmy, and other trade magazines.

Bill has a BA in Government from Dartmouth and an MA in Film from Stanford. He taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the EPIC Storytelling Program at Stagebridge in Oakland. This is his first novel.

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GUEST POST:
The Inspiration Behind Finding George Washington
by Bill Zarchy


I had the basic idea for Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale for many years, long before I ever got around to writing this (or any) book.

When I was a kid during the middle of the 20th Century, I loved the bits I learned about technology and how things worked. I was enchanted by cameras, cars, trains, planes, movies, and TV.

I was also fascinated by the presidents, probably spurred by an old set of president cards my dad gave me. The card set was nearly complete, every prez from GW to FDR (except Millard Fillmore, for some reason). Like baseball cards, they had a picture of each “player” and top stats on the front, detailed text on the back.

My president card set ended in the 1930s, but I studied it often and nearly memorized the contents. I was (and still am) that obnoxious kid who could recite the names of all the presidents in order. I was particularly fascinated by Washington, the only president at that time who had spent none of his life in the 1800s (he died in December, 1799). George’s life seemed so far away, truly the horse-and-buggy days, a pre-industrial world. Even simple machines like the cotton gin were in his future. There were no horseless carriages or trains, and only a few early experiments with steam engines.

As I learned how cameras and cars and all the rest worked, I often played a mental game: how would I explain this to George Washington, if he showed up on my doorstep right now?

For many years, this idea sat unrequited in the deep recesses of my brain. I always considered myself a writer, inspired by my dad’s authorship of over 30 published books. I wrote for my high school newspaper, served as managing editor of the campus daily as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, and did some writing as a grad student in film at Stanford. But once I began my long career as a cinematographer, I became obsessed with visual, not literary images.

Later in my career, I started to travel abroad for my work. Family and friends were amused by my stories about working on film shoots in foreign cultures, so I began to write them down and had several published. I joined a writers group that mostly concentrated on travel writing. After a couple of years, most of the members were writing fiction, developing long-form projects. Novels. I recalled my old fascination with Washington and decided it was time to bring George back to life.

I knew I wanted most of the book to take place in the present, or the near-present, in surroundings familiar to me. At the same time I was planning this, the Giants were experiencing a remarkable season, and I knew I wanted to integrate baseball into my story somehow. I still had to figure out how and why George would leave his own time, how he would be transported through space, what consequences would result from his absence, and how my characters would deal with all that. Oh, and I had to deal with modern Californians’ reactions to an actual slave owner, who happened to be a great hero and our first president.

Somehow, it all came together. I spent several years on Finding George Washington, and now I can share him with the world.
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GIVEAWAY:
Bill Zarchy will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

131 comments:

  1. How long was the writing process?

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    1. I started writing chapters of Finding George Washington in 2013, took a long train trip for research in the summer of 2014, and wrote and edited, on and off, for the next several years. The final edits took place last summer (2020). For much of that time, I was looking for an agent, a search which eventually proved fruitless.

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes, thanks so much for hosting me. Let me know if you have any questions about me or my work.

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  3. I'd never heard of Bill's works before - what a fascinating life!!

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    1. Thank you. This is my first work of fiction, and I'm delighted about how it worked out and by the response.

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  4. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you! The cover and book interior were designed by Matthew FĂ©lix. I took the photos that were used on the cover, but he put them together with admirable depth and vision. I love it too!

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  5. Sounds like a great book. Love any type of historical book. This thriller sounds great.

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    1. It's a funny sci-fi blend, with notes of alternate history, baseball saga, and action thriller. And it's got trains!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the book as well.

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  7. Thanks to All the Ups and Downs for hosting!

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  8. thanks this sounds like an amazing book

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    1. Thank you. It’s a lot of fun. Check it out.

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  9. This sounds like a very good book.

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    1. Thanks. I'm delighted by the responses I've gotten from readers.

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  10. I liked learning about the author and his travels to 5 continents

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    1. You might enjoy my first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. It’s a memoir about my work and travels.

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  11. Sounds like a great book. I love historicals and thrillers.

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  12. Thanks. It’s suspenseful and funny. And it’s got trains! What’s not too late?

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  13. I like the concept of George Washington time traveling. Sounds like it would be a fun read.

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    1. It is! Unexpected things happen, to say the least.

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  14. David HollingsworthApril 16, 2021 at 3:39 PM

    I really love the cover. It's pretty creative!

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    1. Thank you. I'll pass that along to the designer, who also designed the book interior.

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  15. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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    1. You're welcome!
      It is interesting, especially because I had to do a lot of research, to present an accurate and respectful portrait of Washington.

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  16. i actually liked learning about the author!

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  17. I liked the facts about the author the book sounds great.

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    1. Thanks! I hope you get to read and enjoy it.

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  18. I love historical fiction, so a historical thriller sounds interesting!

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    1. Well, imagine a historical thriller that mostly take place in the present, with humor and a baseball metaphor.

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  19. Neat book, had fun learning about it.

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    1. Thanks. It's interesting and fun and a good ride.

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  20. time travel has always fascinated me.. love reading books on it.. best of luck with the book tour..

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    1. Thank you. The idea of time travel has intrigued me for a long time, in all of its literary forms.

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  21. Replies
    1. Yup, me too. And that's the kernel of any time travel story. Even in Dickens' A Christmas Carol, where they didn't interact with the past or the future, the impact of observing those other eras had a huge impact on the present.

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  22. I enjoyed reading both the guest post and excerpt. Looking forward to reading this and finding out what happens when past and present collide

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    1. Thanks. The collision is gradual, in a way, not sudden and cataclysmic. Who ever said the consequences of time travel had to be immediate?

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  23. Replies
    1. It is. It's a lot of fun, with a strong serious theme. Enjoy!

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  24. Sounds like an interesting read!

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  25. This sounds like an intriguing novel. The artwork on the cover is awesome.

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    1. Intriguing is a good word for it. It's not like anything else. Thanks for the comment about the cover. I'll pass that along to the designer.

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  26. I really like the description. I'm excited to read this!

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  27. In any book review I always enjoy reading information about the author.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. I totally get that. My dad was an author and a fascinating guy!

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  28. Replies
    1. Thanks so much. Same to you. Stay safe and healthy.

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  29. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. Thanks. I always enjoy that chapter. It's followed in the book by much darker events, and I like including both those elements in the story.

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  30. Sounds like an adventurous life.

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    1. Well, yes and no. I've gotten to see the world and do some fun things, and that's been great and memorable. But not adventurous, really, not like camping in the jungle or climbing Everest. lol

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  31. Like the concept of a time traveling President.

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    1. I know, right? Imagine if this were all true?

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  32. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  33. I like that this is a time travel read.
    Thank you for sharing the review.

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  34. Hope you've all had a good weekend!

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  35. I liked the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I enjoy reading that chapter when I do author readings on Zoom. I like acting it out!

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  36. I loved that the post is about a time travel story.

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    1. Me too. It's such a broad topic, and almost anything can happen!

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  37. Do you have a favorite genre/topic you enjoy writing about?

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    1. This is my first attempt at fiction, and definitely not my last. My first book was nonfiction, about my work and travels: Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. I like the freedom to use my imagination in fiction and will probably writ another novel.

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    1. Thank you. I love it! I'll pass along your comments to the designer.

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  39. Ah well, that's Monday over - phew!

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    1. ... and now, as I write this, it's Tuesday. Time travel!

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  40. I admire your ability to write.
    It's a special gift.

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    1. Thank you! I probably inherited some of that from my father, who wrote and published over 30 books on crafts, hobbies, and the outdoors.

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    1. Thank you. It's got something for everyone ... and trains!

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  42. Oops, where did yesterday go? I've never heard of Millard Fillmore - Google here I come!

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    1. Clearly, you've traveled through time. Millard Fillmore was the 13th president, know mostly for pushing through the Fugitive Slave Law, which divided the country bitterly and a helped bring on the Civil War.

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    2. I live in Ireland & forgot about the time difference!

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    3. It's actually the Thursday the 22nd for me!

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  43. Tweeted about this -
    https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/1384911092183351301

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  44. Sounds intriguing! I like the addition of a baseball saga.

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    1. Intrigue, baseball, history. A little someone for everyone.

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  45. sounds like a fun one

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  46. Great excerpt! It looks like a good story.

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  47. I love historical books and the cover is awesome!

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  48. Will I have to understand the rules of baseball?

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    1. Nope. All you need is included in the book.

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  49. What an awesome concept! A new take on time travel..

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    1. Glad you like the idea. Check out the story. It's pretty unique.

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  50. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing.

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  51. Shared this on Facebook -
    https://www.facebook.com/barbara.montag.7/posts/10226026245898979

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    1. Thanks so much for helping to spread the word!

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  52. sounds like a fun one

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    1. It is fun! Also intriguing and unpredictable. Check it out.

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  53. What i like about todays post... the giveaway, the info i get from reading these blog post.

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  54. And that's it. Good luck everyone & have a great weekend!

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  55. Loved the excerpt. Made me chuckle as I envisioned George Washington looking around confused that the big cam is on him. The comparison to the time they lived to ours. What a wild ride.

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