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E.L. Burton

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$oft Money: The true power in our nations capital
by E.L. Burton   

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Category: 

Mystery/Suspense

Publisher:  1stbooks.com ISBN-10:  1588204030 Type: 
Pages: 

213

Copyright:  Jan 1 2000
Fiction

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E.L. Burton

$oft Money was inspired by the recent debate over campaign finance reform, and more specifically, the role that soft money has played in recent elections. Several questions arise when looking at the vast amount of money that flows into campaign coffers. What expectations exist behind the contributions? Are the motives altruistic in nature or are they motivated by a thirst for power, and the advancement of an agenda? Why are politicians resistant to change?

This novel explores those answers in a fictional account of one man’s rise to the Oval Office, and the men behind his transformation from attorney to politician. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Golden Rule states that he who has the gold makes all the rules. What happens when those who practice the Golden Rule align themselves with the absolute power of the Presidency? In Soft Money, one man finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Should he pursue the shocking truth behind the man who was once a business associate, and is now the President? Or should he stay loyal to the President and remain silent? His decision will change his life, and alter the course of the nation.

Lawrence Brazelton is the central character. Through a series of life choices, and the blind ambition of others, he has lost everything. At his lowest point he meets Kelly Ford, an attractive and ambitious woman. Armed with evidence that would topple an administration, he attempts to stay one step ahead of the men trying to silence him. With his newfound love, and desire to reclaim his life, he embarks on a journey to bring the truth to the surface. What starts as one mans desire to reclaim his life, cascades into a pool of deceit, greed, and an insatiable thirst for power.
Excerpt
Lawrence turned first to the window, then back to Jennifer. His stomach was in knots. Someone had found him, but whom? The card Jennifer showed him had only a name and a phone number on it. How had they found him? Did they trace Kelly’s call to the payphone? Did they have a tap on her mother’s phone? He figured that if they had come this far, they surely had to know where his apartment was. He began to go over what he had left in the apartment. Had he left anything behind that could be damaging, that could lead them anywhere? He checked his backpack, and everything important to him was there. The only thing he had left behind was his laptop and it had been infected with some sort of virus. The virus. He had thought the virus to be some sort of quirk. They had planted it, and that meant that they were closing in on not only him, but they had also found out what he had, and they had destroyed it. His mind was awash in chaos. If they felt like they had accomplished their goal of destroying his information, they would be comfortable with terminating him.

Professional Reviews

Barbara Buhrer of Myshelf.com & About.com....
MYSTERY: POLITICAL INTRIGUE..... Title: $oft Money... Author: E.L. Burton... ISBN: 1588204030... Publisher: 1st Book Library Jan 2001... paperback.... Clay Danvers,political strategist, is liaison between The Group and Preston Anthony Wesley, the President of the United States. He learns some unpleasant truths about the President's past and is in a dilemma. He must choose between his loyalty to the President and the dictates of his conscience and principles. The Group is composed of the heads of some of the most powerful conglomerates in the world. They have contributed vast sums of money to the President's campaigns so have gained favor and profit from their relationship with the President. They will stop at nothing to prevent their position from being jeopardized. Lawrence Brazelton, former law partner of the President, has incriminating evidence from the past that could bring down the President. Disturbing events occur which lead him to determine to bring down not only the President but also The Group. He wants to turn over the evidence to the Independent Counsel, who is investigating the President, but first must elude the forces set out by The Group who want the evidence and Brazelton destroyed. This is a timely subject of campaign finance. It presents a thought provoking and chilling scenario of what can happen when power rests in the hands of the unscrupulous. The set-up of the surveillance of Lawrence is graphic and mind-boggling. It confirms the knowledge that with today's technology no one is immune from scrutiny. The plot is well-constructed...a rapid pace is maintained with the feeling of suspense continuing to the end. The atmosphere of the politics and its machinations is very realistic. The characters are portrayed as real people with human emotions. This is a first novel by Burton, an excellent beginning. Hopefully there will be more in the future. Barbara Buhrer

Bob Bradt from Washington DC....
I finished the book this evening and really enjoyed it! If this is your first attempt at writing, congratulations. You did a wonderful job of creating the suspense at various plateaus. If the outcome of our real Presidential election had turned out differently, I'd be a bit concerned (tongue in cheek.) The story has an "inside the beltway" perspective which came as a surprise to me. You seem to have more than a passing knowledge of methods, techniques and technology, which perked my curiosity as to what you did in the corporate world. Some very interesting parallels throughout the book. I half expected to see on the very last page of the book, a picture of Joe Friday's badge with a disclaimer "the story you've just read is true, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent!" - ala Dragnet. Nice job E.L.. I'll be recommending your book to others for sure.

Author Anne K. Edwards Reviewer from eBooksN'Bytes
Lawrence Brazelton is left-over business for Preston Wesley, President of the United States and his cronies known as The Group undertake to resolve the problem. They call a meeting to deal with the matter of Lawrence and it sets in motion the machinery of change that rapidly goes out of control. Take an interesting and exciting trip through the minefield of intrigue and connivance that surrounds the Government of the United States. You won't want to put this book down as you are confronted with unexpected events that will leave you stunned and wondering what comes next. This book brings to mind the many scandals of past administrations that have rocked the nation and will have you wondering how it has survived. You will keep turning pages right to the end. This author has written a tightly constructed, insightful story that will hold your interest all along the twists and sudden turns it makes. I highly recommend this story to anyone who likes the unexpected in his reading as well as entertainment that makes you think. Read $oft Money and you'll be looking for the next book by this author! Review by Anne K Edwards, author of Death Comes Knocking


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Reader Reviews for "$oft Money: The true power in our nations capital"

Reviewed by Midwest Book Review 7/6/2002
I've heard it said that as long as the public has "theirs" - meaning the good life - they don't care how down, dirty, and lethal politics is played in our nation's capitol. In this fictional account of how money rules our government, the public doesn't get enough truthful information out of D.C. to make that decision either way. In $oft Money, power begats power, money begats more money, and only a privileged few rake in the bounty. And the American taxpayers, who closed their eyes while career politicians took over, are reaping the bitter harvest.

E.L. Burton has created a fast-paced thriller that entertains and intrigues. I couldn't put it down. It's packed from start to end with avaricious power hungry villains, the hapless folks they victimize, and idealistic men who take an honest stand. His characters are well-developed and defined.

Clay Danvers is the smooth talking, good looking spin doctor who serves a popular President. Clay considers himself to be a skilled, well-paid assassin. No, he doesn't actually KILL people, but he brings about their downfall until they might as well be dead. Whatever scruples Clay once had are long since buried by his crimes.

Preston Wesley is the people-friendly, charismatic President of the United States. A covert group of wealthy, powerful, and ruthless men stay busy day and night maintaining Pres. Wesley's front and ensuring all skeletons of the past stay hidden.

The undisputed leader of the covert group is Mike Baker, President and CEO of Bytes Technology. Mike is a billionaire many times over from his computer software business, but even billions are not enough to sooth his greed for more money and increasing power. Mike is vicious, a puppet master with a passion to control the President and all he stands for.

Lawrence Brazelton is one of the unfortunates the group has sacrificed in protection of the President. He's lost everything dear to him, but isn't quite the broken man he seems. He has the hope of loving for a second time and finding life outside the Beltway, if he can just live long enough to make it happen. Lawrence has a covert op of his own underway, and neither the President nor his cohorts will like it much. Paybacks will be hell if Lawrence Brazelton has his way.

I couldn't wait to see the bad guys taken down in this one, and held my breath in hopes that at least one good guy survived to make it happen. Mr. Burton does a fine job of holding the reader's interest, and introduces subjects that will keep you pondering after the book ends. For certain, I will never use a cell phone, telephone, or connect to the internet again without thinking of this author and $oft Money.


Reviewed by 10/12/2001
Wow! Looks like a great book.
Congrats to you!
Erika
Reviewed by Victoria Murray 9/29/2001
Good plot, characters, and a must read!
Victoria
Reviewed by al squitieri,sr 5/28/2001
Excellent first novel by E.L.Burton! Plot, dialog and charaters are beyond believable, they are plucked from daily headlines, which E.L. wrote long before they hit mainstream.I would suspect there would be a few nervious people in Washington wondering about his next book, and how much E.L.Burton really knows about the inner circle. His narrative, moving us between scenes, is smoothly done, void of that dizziness one feels with flash-back and scene changes. I understand he is working on his second novel, which should be even more exciting, since his "maiden voyage" was a winner.Write-On E.L.Burton. I for one of many, await your next book with anticipation.Your $oft Money was money well spent at twice the price.
Reviewed by Mat Ferguson 5/14/2001
Words as sharp and accurate as a rapier, a storyline as intriguing as a spider’s web. E.L.Burton’s $oft Money is a dazzling study of the abuse of power that has blighted America since Watergate and before. In it, he relates one man’s struggle against his conscience when a former associate is elected President.

More than just a florid use of words and a sharp sense of timing, Burton brings us a sense of realism that can best be described as on-the-spot. In dialogues, his choice of phrase says as much about his ability as a writer as his knowledge of political America. He doesn’t seem to feel the need for ‘he opinioned’, ‘she screamed’, or ‘he blustered’; the discourse does it for him. The sure sign of someone who knows how to wield a pen.

In his biography, the author claims to have worked in ‘Corporate America’. Methinks he stretcheth the truth a little. Only an insider could have written with Burton’s amazing breadth of knowledge. He is surely the Tom Clancy of political novelists and I look forward to his next book with eager anticipation.
Reviewed by Barry Firth 5/11/2001
WARNING, WARNING, WARNING !!
Beware - when you read this book, you'll think your reading a non-fiction documentary (and maybe you are). Eric Burton steals the show with this political thriller. What a beautifully written book. There's a strong plot, powerful dialog and sweeping emotions. If you thought politicians were corrupt, you were, according to Eric Burton, dead right. Don't go to bed reading $oft Money - you'll be turning the light back on to get another chapter in (and then, like me, finding that it's time to get to work!)
Reviewed by Graham Hamer 5/11/2001
I Just finished writing a review for this book on Amazon, then someone told me about AuthorsDen and here it is again! I wish I'd saved my Amazon review, it would have saved me writing it twice!

Eric Burton has written a cracker of a book - a real little beauty and this one's a keeper. If you plan buying just one book this month, buy $OFT MONEY. Full of political intrigue, back-stabbing, money-laundering and more. The characters are wholly believable (probably due to a fine balance between good dialog and well-crafted narrative), the plot is credible (too credible I suspect). The result is a book you'll not want to put down - I promise.
Reviewed by 3/28/2001
No need to repeat the glowing review give by Barbara Buhrer (see above). I will add that E. L. Burton has a gift. A gift for not only writing but for timing as well. Soft money if all over the news these days. Rush Limbaugh was talking about it all morning this a.m. You like Rush, E. L.?
Good plot, good characterization, good dialogue. I liked it. Go buy it!

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