Welcome To My Website

Welcome To My Website


By Eric L. Terlizzi

The Best Interest

Thriller Fiction

You can purchase “The Best Interest” by clicking the link to my publisher “Words Matter Publishing” or the link to “Amazon”.

The Best Interest Trailer

1st Time Selling Author

Eric L. Terlizzi

Welcome to my author website! I’ve practiced law in Southern Illinois for over 40 years before now embarking on a second career (hopefully!) as an author. We’ll see how it goes.


“The Best Interest” is my first novel. A brief(very brief) description:


Nick Barnett, 41, small town divorce lawyer, divorced himself and trying to cope with being an every other weekend dad to his teenage daughter has his life changed when he agrees to represent the beautiful Livinia “Livie” Taylor in a bitter divorce and custody battle against her wealthy husband, Dr. Daniel Taylor, over their three year old daughter. At first Nick is confident of prevailing in the custody fight. But as he learns more about Livie’s past and discovers what she may be capable of, Nick is put to the ultimate choice; betray his own client or zealously continue to represent Livie and put lives at risk.


I’ll try to add fresh content to my website from time to time. And, of course, I welcome suggestions and feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Well, to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll welcome the negative feedback but as long as it’s civil, I promise to read it with an open mind and try to reply personally to all inquiries.


You can click on the link below to read a short story “The QT”. It’s legal science fiction…if there’s such a thing. Maybe I’ve invented a new genre? Hope you enjoy!

For Immediate Release 

Tammy Koelling Words Matter Publishing 
(618) 267-7404 
Announcing publication of attorney Eric L. Terlizzi’s first novel, 

The Best Interest 

Salem, Illinois September 9, 2021 
Long time Salem, Illinois attorney Eric L. Terlizzi has announced publication of his first novel, “The Best Interest”. The novel is set in small, fictional Southern Illinois Martin County and concerns a bitter divorce and custody case that becomes so much more than attorney Nick Barnett could have contemplated. Barnett, divorced, and trying to cope with being an every other weekend dad to his teenage daughter has his life changed when he agrees to represent the beautiful Livinia“Livie” Taylor in a bitter divorce and custody battle against her wealthy husband, Dr. Daniel Taylor, over their three year old daughter. At first Nick is confident of prevailing in the custody fight. But as he learns more about Livie’s past and discovers what she may be capable of, Nick is put to the ultimate choice; betray his own client or zealously continue to represent Livie and put lives at risk. 
The Best Interest is available through 
Words Matter Publishing at www.wordsmatterpublishing.com, on the author’s website at www.ericlter1izzi.com 
or on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. 



If “The Best Interest” is moderately successful, I have three or four more “legal thrillers” in the pipeline… all set in my fictional Southern Illinois, Martin County.

Browse my list of my ten favorite books of all time and see if any of mine are on your list. And feel free to submit your own list and I’ll try to post some interesting ones. Be sure to give me permission to post your list with your name if okay by you. Enjoy… and share… your reading pleasures, especially those hidden gems.












My Ten Favorite Books

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10. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. Published 1959 by Seeker & Warhurg.


This was required reading in 7th or maybe 8th grade. I remember being absolutely transported to Devon School, thinking I was Gene and wishing I was Phineas (at least until he fell from the tree). At that point, my fondest wish was to transfer to a residential boys’ prep school just like Devon. Alas, it was not to be. I finished out my secondary education at the local public high school. This book has stuck with me for over 50 years.
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9. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Published 1960 by J. B. Lippencotte & Co.

Again, required junior high reading that has stayed with me over 50 years. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck is on my Top Ten movie list (Maybe I’ll post that list later). In fact, part of the motivation for me to move to a small rural town to practice law was to emulate my hero, Atticus Finch. Pretty high bar, huh? No wonder Miss Lee never wrote a sequel. How do you improve on perfection?
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8. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer, Published 1960 by Simon & Schuster.

 You didn’t think the list would be all fiction, did you? We’re moving in to my high school years here. Of course, in my generation, all our dads and uncles fought in, or at least were part of, World War II. Our moms and aunts were almost all “Rosie the Riveters”. It’s hard to overstate how omnipresent the war was to someone born and raised in the 50’s. One could start on page 1 of this massive history knowing nothing about Nazi Germany and finish 1000 pages later and have a pretty passable understanding. Shirer was there and saw first hand how a supposedly civilized nation could descend into barbarity. Lesson learned? One can only hope so, although recent events give pause for concern.
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7. The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman. Published 1962 by Macmillan.


Another history written with a fine novelist’s craft. Again, I first read this in high school and was so enamored by the author’s skill. It tells the story of the month leading up to the outbreak of World War I in Europe and the literally unbelievable carnage that followed. Nearly as unbelievable as the stupidity, vanity and recklessness of the men who plunged the world into that disaster. Should be required reading of any world leader! Especially those old men threatening to send young women and men to die for their ego’s sake.
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6. Dune, by Frank Herbert, Published 1965 by Chilton Books.


Still in my high school years. The first example I can recall of reading a book (several were to follow, including a couple on this list) that managed to create its own entire universe. A universe so compelling and so alive! I recall numerous sleepy days in high school because I simply could not put this book down until long after my bedtime.
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5. Voyage, by Sterling Hayden, Published 1976 by Putnam.


Yes, Sterling Hayden, the New York Police Officer shot in the head, by Michael Corleone while eating a spaghetti dinner. Sterling Hayden was an author as well as an actor. I recently reread this book after 40 years plus. And I’m still not sure why this book affected me so profoundly. It just did. I got completely immersed in it when I read it at 25 and again when I reread it at 65. A good story is a good story. Enough said!
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4. The Liberation Triology, by Rick Atkinson, published 2002, 2007 and 2013 by Henry Holt & Co.


O.K. I’m cheating here. This is really three books published over 11 years (And I’ll cheat again in a couple of my final selections). An Army at Dawn (2002); The Day of Battle (2007) and The Guns at Last Light (2013). The story of the U.S. Army in World War II in the European/Mediterranean/North Africa Theaters. Like Tuchman, Atkinson writes with Shakespearian skill. So different from the history texts you may have labored to read in high school or college. The stories of individual soldiers, long forgotten to all but their families, will bring you to tears.
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3. A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin, Published 1996, 1998, 2000, 2005, and 2011 by Bantam Books.


Again, I’m cheating. Five books (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast of Crows, A Dance With Dragons,) with more promised.
I suspect, given that each of these volumes is about 1000 pages, I’ve read more words written by George R.R. Martin than any other author. And I don’t regret a single moment reading those words. Talk about creating your own universe! I will never understand how he kept all his characters, places and events straight. It’s hard to separate the books from the HBO series now, but I know the books caused me as many, if not more, late nights than any others I’ve read. One cannot read these books without becoming completely immersed in the world of Westeros… and certainly glad you don’t actually live in that world.
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2. The Gormenghast Trilogy, by Mervyn Peake, published 1946, 1950 and 1959 by Eyre & Spottiswoode.

One final multivolume cheat on my list. As an undergrad, I came across volume one (Titus Groan, later followed by Gormenghast, and Titus Alone) in the college book store at the University of Illinois. I was drawn to and intrigued by the artwork on the cover so I bought it. (In those days I’m guessing a paperback was about $1.95). Not nearly as well known as the much more famous trilogy by Tolkien, in my opinion it’s even more engrossing. (And if this list was stretched to 20, I’d certainly include The Lord of the Rings series). I remember a review quoted in my paperback copy described “… shimmering nets of language…”. Certainly an apt description of Peake’s skill as a writer. Again, one cannot help but become completely immersed in Peake’s gothic, bizarre, and fantastic world, all set in a crumbling castle called Gormenghast.
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1. A Soldier of the Great War, by Mark Helprin, Published 1991 by Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich.


So here’s my No. 1 all time favorite book. Before the internet and Amazon, there was a thing called “Book of the Month Club”. Every month you’d get a little booklet in the mail that included the editor’s selection of a “book of the month”. If you didn’t mail back a little card rejecting it, you’d automatically get that book a few weeks later. Well, sometime in 1991, I failed to mail back the rejection card… and, in retrospect, thank God I forgot. A few weeks later, “A Soldier of the Great War” arrived. 800 plus pages. I wasn’t up to the effort to mail it back and it looked half way interesting so I started reading. And I’ve reread it three times since.
Helprin is an author absolutely drunk on the English language. Not only is it a first class, rousing adventure novel, but it is also an amazing philosophy text with a heaping dose of absolute poetry for good measure. A book that will likely make you laugh, cry, and certainly ponder the meaning of life, love and beauty.
I could have included several other Helprin books… Winter’s Tale, or Refiner’s Fire for example, but A Soldier of the Great War stands out. If my sons had not already been born, at least one would have been named “Alessandro”.
I still can’t believe someone hasn’t made a movie out of it. (By the way, I wouldn’t waste my time on the movie version of Winter’s Tale. Unfortunately it’s one of the lesser adaptations of a great, great novel.)

So, that’s my list! As I said, I invite you to submit yours!