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Reviews and News

The latest review of SWING is by Yahoo! Contributor Mary Beth Magee.

If you have Amazon Prime you can now 'borrow' the Kindle version of SWING for FREE!

Here's another book review, by Scott Eyman of the Palm Beach Post.  

The list of positive reviews for SWING continues:

I highly recommend this book. I usually listen to audio books, but this is one book in print that I couldn't put down. Don't even think about it. Just read it! This is a good one.  

"SWING" is a great read, and a more than impressive, heartfelt, first novel from this author. Bravo!  

A great read about perseverance and acceptance and a trip to the world of Swing.

Here is my recommendation...buy it for your IPad or eReader, download some Louis Prima songs, put your earphones in, turn up the volume and enjoy it.

Alan Gerstel's Blog
headshot of Alan Gerstel, author


Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

It is also available as an ebook.


Entries in Surprise (1)


Berkeley Square... a romantic fantasy

I admit that I am a hopeless romantic.  So it should come as no surprise that I would plan an anniversary gift for my wife that would be "over the top."  And I did.

Ronni and I had been married for 34 years at the time and hadn't worn our wedding rings in decades.  They were clunky rings that were in fashion when we married, but proved to be unwieldy for my puppeteer wife (who would put her hands inside foam creatures to manipulate them... and for me, a TV News Anchor who fiddled with it while on the air).

Ronni and I both loved Rod Stewart's version of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and we were headed to London on a business trip with our adult sons in tow.  But months before our trip, I went to a local jewelry store and picked out new wedding bands.  Ronni's friend, who was making costume jewelry, had her "try on" one of her rings (so that we could determine Ronni's finger size.)  I even withdrew money to pay for the rings slowly from the ATM so that Ronni wouldn't notice.  I did everything so stealthily that she didn't have a clue. 

I also downloaded "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" to my cell phone.  My vision was to take Ronni (and our sons) to Berkeley Square where I would play the song on my phone and Ronni and I would dance romantically before I presented her with the rings and ask if she would marry me again.

But it was not to be.

When we arrived in London, our hotel was not far from Berkeley Square (pronounced: Barkeley) and we had the cab driver drop us off.  It was evening by this time and we had to walk past rows of parked cars to get to the gate leading to the Square.  As we approached the gate, we could see that it was locked with a chain.  A sign proclaimed:  "Closed for renovations."

Months of stealthy preparation passed before my eyes.  "Closed for renovations?"  I spent months planning every detail, however this was one detail I had no control over.  But I salvaged what I could of the moment.  I played Rod Stewart on my phone and gave Ronni her new ring, with our sons (who were in on the surprise) applauding in the background.  Not quite what I had wanted, but a warm, romantic moment nonetheless.