Thursday, November 20, 2014

**Giveaway** Interview with Patti Sheehy & Frank Mederos - Stalked

Today I'm so happy to bring back author Patti Sheehy who spoke to me after the first book in her mini-series, The Boy Who Said No, was published. She's here today to talk to us about the sequel Stalked and I'm also excited to have her brave protagonist, Frank Mederos also answering a few questions.

It was Frank's words that especially in this turbulent time in our country for many reasons made me see that many of us really take for granted what this country stands for and the sacrifices of the many who made her the great nation she is today, when he says "This is the greatest and most generous country in the world, and I am so proud to be an American citizen." 

Read on to see what both Patti and Frank have to say and their publisher Oceanview is generously offering both novels in the series as a giveaway. US ONLY! See below for details.

  • ISBN-13: 9781608091256
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Series: The Boy Who Said No , #2
  • Pages: 310


Patti Sheehy continues Frank Mederos's true-life story of romance, suspense, and intrigue in The Boy Who Said No: An Escape to Freedom. After defecting from Cuba's Special Forces and making a harrowing escape from his homeland, Frank faces new challenges in America. With five dollars in his pocket and a boatload of determination, he rejects an offer to join the CIA and takes his chances on achieving the American dream. Frank and his sweetheart, Magda, want nothing more than marriage, children, and a nice life for themselves. Frank dreams of celebrating milestone anniversaries with Magda, but his dreams are dashed. Instead, the couple faces a challenge neither of them could ever imagine. Meanwhile, sinister forces in Cuba plan to avenge Frank's escape. Can Frank outwit Cuban operatives bent on killing him? Will he again overcome the forces of evil? A tale of tender love, devastating loss, and the life-saving power of friendship.

Oceanview Publishing is offering
both novels in the series as a giveaway
Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter
Thanks Oceanview!
Good Luck!


Patti Hi, Welcome Back to The Reading Frenzy
I Loved Stalked.

First tell my readers about your books without giving too much away.
The Boy Who Said No: An Escape to Freedom is based on the true story of Frank Mederos, who came of age in communist Cuba, was drafted into the army, promoted to Special Forces, and defected and escaped to join his girlfriend who had left Cuba for America.  Due to various childhood experiences and the influence of his grandfather, Frank had little sympathy for the Castro regime.  He voiced his opposition at a terrible price. It is a tale of romance, courage, and adventure.
Stalked: The Boy Who Said No, begins where the first book ends.  Speaking not a word of English and with only five dollars in his pocket, Frank makes his way in America.  His desires are simple: marriage, children, and a lifetime with his sweetheart.  But sinister forces in Cuba seek to avenge his escape.  Will they succeed? Or will fate intervene?  Stalked is a story about tender love, devastating loss, and the life-saving power of friendship.

Did you know there would be two books from the beginning?
No, I didn’t even know there would be one book in the beginning.  I started writing Frank’s story as a family history.  After several interviews with him, I realized the material was so compelling it deserved a larger audience.  I just hoped I could do his story justice.
When I finished writing The Boy Who Said No, I was intrigued about what happened to Frank in America.  I started to write Stalked: The Boy Who Said No before I had a publisher for the first book.  Frank’s experiences in America are as riveting as those in Cuba.  He has lived an incredible life, and I have been privileged to tell his story.

Patti, your books are based on a true story, but are still called novels.

Why are they not considered non-fiction?
With non-fiction publishers must be able to fact check everything, impossible with a stories that occurred behind the Iron Curtain or involved clandestine operations.  Also, some of the dialogue and scenes in both books were fictionalized according to what Frank believed would have occurred given the characters and circumstances involved.  Some names were changed to protect the privacy and safety of family members or those still residing in Cuba. But the skeletons of the stories are true, so I called them true-life novels.

Patti, during our first interview you mentioned that you met Frank through his daughter and then became friends during the writing of the first novel, The Boy Who Said No. Do you and the Mederos family still stay in touch?
I have come to know all members of Frank’s immediate family.  His wife, Chris, and other family members have attended many events to promote the books.  He has met my family, and I see him on a regular basis.  Frank has a great sense of humor and optimism, and I enjoy his company very much.  I couldn’t ask for a better partner.  

Patti, now that you’ve told Frank’s story are you simply enjoying your retirement or do you have more writing up your sleeve?
I am enjoying retirement and I have more writing up my sleeve.  The concepts are not mutually exclusive.  I love writing, and plan to continue.
Frank and I have also been very busy marketing our first two books.  We speak to book clubs, civic organizations, schools, church groups, and university classes two to five times a week.  The reception to both books has been incredible.  The Boy Who Said No has won several awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best New Voice in Fiction. Frank and I are having the time of our lives.

Are you touring with this book too? Can we find your schedule on your website?
Frank and I speak to groups in the greater metropolitan area and Skype with book clubs and organizations beyond driving distance.  Of course, we make exceptions.  My appearances are listed my website, I encourage people to email me at to schedule a speaking engagement.
Patti, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today.

Good luck with the book and all your future endeavors!


Frank, welcome to The Reading Frenzy.  I enjoyed both of your books very much. Have you read them?
Of course, I’ve read both books more than once.  Patti did a tremendous job in telling my story.  It was something I wanted to do for more than forty years. I had told bits and pieces of my story to my wife and kids, but I had never told it in its entirety.   For many years I had nightmares about the communists chasing me.  But working with Patti was a form of therapy for me.  Since the publication of both books, I seldom have nightmares anymore.  

You’ve been in the US since the 1960s.  Do you like keeping up with US politics?
I have a great interest in American history and politics, and I never miss an opportunity to vote.  As soon as I arrived in this country I started to read about the presidents, the Constitution, the American heroes, and wars.  This is the greatest and most generous country in the world, and I am so proud to be an American citizen.

During my first interview with Patti she told me that she met you through your daughter and that her objective was to write a family history for you. 

Whose idea was it to turn it into a novel?
Patti came to the conclusion that it would make a great book after three interviews with me.  I had always hoped my story would be turned into a book.  It’s important for people to know what happened to Cuba under Castro, and how we must safeguard our freedoms.  What’s great is that Patti tells the story in a way that appeals to men, women, and young adults.  It’s easy for everyone to relate to and to understand.

Frank, you've gone through some horrific experiences on your road to freedom. Are you still afraid of retribution from Cuba?
For years after I arrived in America I believed Lieutenant Pino would try to get me, somehow, some way.  But the nightmare is finally over.  I now enjoy all the protections of an American citizen.  Besides, after all this time, Lieutenant Pino is either dead or too old to harm me.

Frank, thank you for sharing your story with Patti, so she could share it with the world. Stay well, stay safe and thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Trailer for Stalked

My Review for Stalked
Frank Mederos finally made it out of Cuba and successfully escaped the dictatorship of Castro. When he landed in Florida he was as much a fish out of water as any refugee with one huge asset, his elite military career that the CIA was eager to learn more about. But Frank only had one goal and that was to reunite with his true love Magda who immigrated months earlier and who had actually precipitated Franks decision to defect when he did leaving his family and everything he knew behind. Frank follows Magda and her family to New Jersey where the weather is something else he must get use to, but as long as Magda is by his side he knows hes home and will make a success of himself.
Back in Cuba, life under Castro continues. Poverty and unemployment reign along with the Communists. However Lieutenant Pino, Franks bitter enemy has been severely punished for his part in allowing Frank to escape but even under the dire conditions he finds himself hes vowed to one day enact his revenge on Frank.

Stalked is the sequel to The Boy Who Said No that follows the early life of Frank Mederos up until the time of his defection. In Stalked Patti Sheehy follows Frank from his successful escape from the dictatorship of Castro up until the present. She tells it in a conversational style of narrative that lets the reader right into each room. She conveys the frustrations, the joys and the tragedies of this very special man on his journey from oppression to freedom. And while she may not have meant to she also tells the real story of America because Frank is what makes America what she is today, his is the story of every immigrant who left behind all that was familiar to be able to think, live, love and pray the way they choose without persecution or prosecution in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Its inspirational and informational and a book that should be required reading for all Politians.
In the end Frank did what a good friend he left behind told him, he became a good American.

Trailer for The Boy Who Said No

My Review for The Boy Who Said No
Frank Mederos was just a boy when the Batista reign ended and Fidel Castro took control of Cuba. He learned at the knee of his grandfather and his father and mother what was right and wrong and he could see with his own eyes and by his own experiences what was happening to his country and his people was not a good thing. He was a solider in Castro’s army as a young man without many choices until it became clear that there was only one clear choice to make. In a time when dissenting Cubans were disappearing at an alarming rate he along with the family of his beloved made the only decision they thought they could. Escape.

Ms. Sheehy brings us a true-life adventure of one man’s journey to freedom. She takes us through his very personal experiences, his feelings, his gains and his losses. Her narrative style is diary-esque yet with an on the edge of your seat thriller novel feeling that gives the reader the feeling of being there on the front lines with Frank, his friends and his loved ones. She tells it in words that anyone at any age can understand and appreciate and she gives us a hint at the end that this is just the beginning.
Patti thank you for a wonderful, eye-opening look behind the Cuban curtain I can’t wait to see where you take us next. Brava on a great debut!!

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  1. I love that these are based on real life people and actions, I think that is awesome! These sound fabulous and so does Frank!

  2. Fantastic interview Debbie. Fiction based pn real life events are always better.

  3. This would be for me since books are memorable, previous, and a treasure. Many thanks for this wonderful giveaway and post. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. How very interesting! As someone who's in Florida, we get plenty of people who try to capture bits and pieces of Cuba.... Unfortunately, sometimes I think that unless you've been there, certain parts are very difficult to translate to paper effectively. I bet this is a riveting read!

    1. It's great. Thanks for the comment theinnerwildcat!

  5. I was hoping to give this book as a gift to my mom if I were to win is definitely the type of book that she usually reads, and I really think she will like it a lot!

    1. Hi Kimberly. Thanks for the comment and fingers crosses X :)

  6. Congrats to the winner Anne and thanks to you all for entering!