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About Mark Flagel
I attended UCLA from 1976-1980, and in June 1980 earned my Bachelor's degree in Political Science, Magna cum Laude.
Even then I wanted to become a writer, but I suspected that earning a living as a writer would be difficult. So I took a safer course, went to law school at UC Berkeley, and in May 1983 earned my Juris Doctor degree, Order of the Coif.
It took a few years, but I found that I enjoyed practicing law, and felt I was good at it. So I stifled my desire to become a writer and practiced law for the next 31 years. I kept telling myself I was building a wealth of experience to draw upon when I finally decide to return - or, I suppose, turn in the first instance - to my passion.
So here I am. I pulled the trigger and retired from law at the end of March 2014. No regrets. I enjoyed most of the 31 years in which I practiced, and now I'm enjoying a new path. A new adventure. An unknown.
I admit to being a little sad and a little apprehensive. Sad because, having put pen to paper, I realize that the 56 year old man I am now can never write the things the 20-something me could have written had I chosen a different path those many years ago. Apprehensive because, after years of reasonable success practicing law, there are no guaranteed pathways to success as a writer, and I'm already starting to feel humbled by the experience.
That said, I have fastened my seatbelt, jumped in with both feet, and am eager to enjoy the ride, wherever it takes me and however it ends up.
Fortunately, my wonderful family has my back. My beautiful wife Sandra, who was worried I'd be spending too much time at home after I retired from law, is happy I have this passion and is hopeful it works out so I won't impede her independence! On a more serious note, she's always been supportive of my writing even to the point of encouraging me to do it in the past, when that choice would have led to financial hardship. I'm grateful for that kind of support and encouragement. My kids are all terrific and supportive in their own ways, and by living good lives they make me proud every day.
Check out my website, www.markflagel.com.
Peach Moments are about you. They’re about the best moments of your life, the moments that make life worth living.
Everyone knows how hard life can be. Pain, hurt, difficulty, complication surround us. Inequality and injustice abound.
Peach Moments are the great equalizers. They’re the blissful, euphoric moments that can arise from love, achievement, beauty, a spiritual experience, and so many other, simple sources (including, for example, biting into a juicy, succulent peach on a hot summer day). No matter who we are or how much money we have, our Peach Moments can take us to the highest heights imaginable. No one—not your boss, not the millionaires or billionaires of the world, not the royal families or politicians of the world—has ever experienced a higher level of bliss than you did in your Peach Moments.
Peach Moments describes author Mark Flagel’s original “peach moment,” then alternates between observations regarding some of life’s mysteries and other Peach Moments from Mark’s life, as food for thought and to remind you of Peach Moments from your own life—those moments, there for every single one of us, that take us to a blissful, euphoric, serene state of mind.
Ivy Johnson was an American swimmer on track for glory at the 1976 Montreal Olympic games. For years, Ivy and her family sacrificed everything in her pursuit of swimming success, and few doubted victory and lucrative sponsorships were in her future.
Halfway across the world, Hannah Eberhardt was a role model extraordinaire for her beloved East Germany. A devoted young socialist, she was an extremely talented swimmer who traded her youth for the rigors of training to become an Olympic champion. But unbeknownst to her, cabinet-level politicians in the East German government secretly put their young star athletes on steroid regimens in order to elevate the country’s athletic achievements on the world stage.
The two women met at the Montreal games, and Hannah walked away with three decisive victories. Devastated, Ivy was convinced she’d been cheated, but she had no proof, and she was labeled a sore loser. Price of Gold follows Ivy as she reclaims her life and searches for truth. Shattered lives are rebuilt, mysteries unfold, and dark realities are revealed.
Based on actual events but using fictionalized characters, Price of Gold: Two Women – Two Champions – Two Worlds is an explosive novel about one of the darkest chapters in Olympic history, and the heroic women whose lives were forever marred by this travesty.