November 2021 | Issue no. 40 | by mark shaiken

This is the first issue of  do :: or :: diso since the pandemic lockdowns of 2020. As the lockdowns began, I published my first book since hanging up my wingtips – And . . . Just Like That – essays on a life before, during and after the law. Since I spent most of my law career in Kansas City, the city necessarily influenced much of my life, and therefore AJLT as well. As AJLT went to press, I started writing my next book, Fresh Start, a legal thriller and first in my series, starring my new protagonist, Kansas City bankruptcy attorney Josephina Jillian Jones – 3J to her friends. Fresh Start is now for sale, and I am well into my next book, Automatic Stay the second in the series, also set in Kansas City and due out in late spring, 2022. My adult lawyer life, my family life, my photography life and now my writing life have all been so heavily influenced by Kansas City, that I thought it would be fun to write a piece for  do :: or :: diso about Kansas City featuring my shots of the city, many taken from a helicopter, with a nod toward Fresh Start.

Fresh Start is about 3J, an African American, female bankruptcy attorney at a large law firm in downtown Kansas City Missouri.

Whose offices overlook the Power and Light District

Kansas City’s downtown rises out of the Missouri River – the longest river in North America – just south of the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers.

Bankruptcy Judge Daniel Robertson gazes from his chambers on the north edge of downtown out toward the river for inspiration and solace.

3J’s client, Quincy Witherman, builds skyscrapers,

. . . and hides assets in Switzerland, just as his family did for centuries. Witherman lies to the banks, the Court, and the IRS, all felonies, and to 3J. Does Witherman get away with it? Will his banker commit a felony to try to catch a felon?

I set the book in the City of Fountains, as some call Kansas City. This is the Meyer Circle Fountain near the entrance to Romanelli Gardens where Judge Robertson lives.

so I could let the world know what a wonderful, textured, layered, place the city is. Historical,

and at times, even majestic.

A world class art museum,

Along with world class music and performing arts.

Home to Hallmark Cards

And the Country Club Plaza featured on the cover of this issue, and here is the mirror image of the cover shot reflected in Brush Creek.

Musically rich and, a Jazz capital of North America, which will be an underlying theme of my next book, Automatic Stay.

For those who’ve never been to Kansas City, no, it’s not flat at all. Some fly over it and never get to experience it. But I believe it’s well worth a stop over.

Home to the Royals,

the Chiefs,

and Sporting Kansas City, my personal favorite of the three,

with the best soccer fans in North America.

For Glory. For City.

3J ran track in college.

3J’s law partner, William Pascale, is partial to Wheat Beer grown from local Kansas winter wheat, just like the wheat beer from local favorite, Boulevard Beer.

The second busiest freight train hub in the United States.

The land where Prohibition was just a suggestion.

And to this day, KC retains its fun vibe.

So, from my heart, and the hearts of 3J, Pascale, and Judge Robertson and the other characters of Fresh Start – good guys and bad guys – thank you to Kansas City

If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Fresh Start, click on this link and make an author very happy!

Same for And, Just Like That!

If you’re on the fence, check out the Fresh Start and AJLT book trailer videos.


Shaiken1272seqnDenver based, mark shaiken :: photography
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