Thursday, December 27, 2018

They're calling it "Brilliant and Engaging" - what more could you ask?

Read more.   Now in Audible
"Worship Hollow Gods is an incredible book! A gripping, vivid portrayal of the human spirit through the eyes of a boy making sense of the world. Through beautiful language, the characters stepped off the page; each person's unconscious pain woven in with masterful craftsmanship. Sniechowski's writing is brilliant and engaging, at times poetic and always moving, brightly illustrating the bittersweet reality of life. Stunning every step of the way."
-- Kevin E

     In Worship of Hollow Gods, James Sniechowski bears witness to the world of a sensitive nine-year-old boy subjected to the underbelly of his Polish Catholic family in working-class Detroit. 

     The year is 1950. The family gathers for a Friday-night family poker/pinochle party. The outcome reveals a world no one ever talked about then and are forbidden to talk about now - the unspoken, the impermissible, the reality beneath every family's practiced facade - and what lies beneath when the front has been ripped away.  

     Sniechowski unsparingly yet compassionately evokes the temptations, trials, and tactics of the family characters while revealing the hollow gods they naively but fatefully worshiped. Listeners, no matter where in the world, will be prompted if not pushed to confront the hollow gods that reside, like living ghosts, in the unseen of their family's way of life, the invisible that sources and shapes their beliefs and behaviors.  

     Worship of Hollow Gods dredges up familial bonds that grip and hold tight, unconsciously dictating our destiny. It is storytelling at its caring and compelling best.  

PO Box 1223
Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Mindful methods create profound shifts

Mindful Methods + True Talents + Aligned Actions = Unexpected Growth

Embrace Your Feminine Energy
  • Are you struggling to find meaning and joy in your career? 
  • Do you wonder why we don't have more women leaders
  • Would you like to understand how to fully engage employees and develop high-performing teams? ​​​​​​​
    Lisa Liszcz, Ph.D. is a master coach and consultant who has coached executives and developed teams for over 30 years. Through personal stories, research, and cultural anecdotes, Lisa explains how individuals and leaders can support the emergence of feminine energy in organizations for individual success, employee engagement, and the development of high-performing teams. The results include stronger and happier individuals and more profitable companies.

    In her book, Feminine Emergence, Dr. Liszcz describes the need for balance between masculine and feminine energies within individuals, teams, and organizations. She outlines practical steps for bringing both strengths to life. Her insightful stories from her personal history, her interviews with forty-four women, and references to pop culture show the value of bringing more feminine energy into our world. 

    Feminine Emergence outlines what is missing from a life, a team, or an organization that is out of balance. This new and emerging view of life and work inspires the reader to engage divine gifts that are available to all of us. 

    The reader will learn how to: 
    - Find their own balance of masculine and feminine energy for increased career and life joy. 
    Engage employees more fully in their work. 
    Facilitate teams in a way that leverages more talents and skills of members.
    Enhance organizational performance through the development of balanced energy and corporate culture.

    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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    Tuesday, December 4, 2018

    Healing one layer at a time

    "Jackson is the most courageous man I have ever known. He has explored a childhood of horrific abuse and committed to offering hope and healing to others. —Sara Hays, LCSW, LMFT TX

               Despite the severe childhood abuse he endured, Jackson Hanks is considered an accomplished man, a successful attorney and a highly respected civic leader.
    In A Survivor's Surrender Jackson shares with you the lessons he learned from his highly traumatic childhood, in the hope that you may gain inspiration for your own healing journey.

           Jackson's message to you is that vulnerability isn't a weakness - it is a trait of courage and authenticity. His strongest desire is that as you read through the chapters of courage and determination,you discover how it is possible to mine important lessons from past experiences.

           Let Jackson's remarkable life journey, his pearls of wisdom and his joy for life provide you with hope and encouragement for your own healing journey, wherever that takes you.

    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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    Wednesday, November 28, 2018

    Ampersands: Pretty Is as Pretty Does

    By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers
    Have you noticed how ampersands turn to gibberish when they are entered into some blog services like Google's That is only the beginning of problems ampersands cause for editors, and publishers of all kinds. Many of the difficulties they cause go unnoticed except by the publishing pros we would all like to impress like agents, librarians, bookstore event directors, and the acquisition editors at Knopf! 
    That's why I added a new section to the second edition of the winningest book in my #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, The Frugal Editor. Because ampersands seem to be so popular these days, it's especially important for editors and authors who publish books to know a little about their history, how to use them, and how gatekeepers and readers of Lynn Truss's famous zero-tolerance approach to grammar might view them. So, I thought I'd share this excerpt from The Frugal Editorwith you today, even though it's only one tiny part of presenting ourselves and our books in the most professional light possible. 
    The ampersand is a real pretty little dude, but it isn't a letter nor even a word. It's a logogram that represents a word. Its history goes back to classical antiquity, but interesting history and being cute are no reason to overuse it in the interest of trying to separate one's writing from the pack. Better writers should concentrate on the techniques that make a difference rather than gimmicks that distract. Here are some legitimate uses for the ampersand.
    • The Writers Guild of America uses the ampersand to indicate a close collaboration with a writing (or other) partner--closer than a situation in which one writer is brought in to rewrite or fix the work of another. For those in the know, it is a convenient way to subtly indicate that one writer has not been brought in to rewrite of fix the work of another.
    • Newspapers, journals and others choose to use it when they are citing sources. That's their style choice, not a grammar rule.
    • In similar citings, academia asks that the word and be spelled out.
    • Occasionally the term etc. is abbreviated to &c, though I can see no reason for confusing a reader with this. Etc. is already an abbreviation of et cetera and the ampersand version saves but one letter and isn't commonly recognized.
    • Ampersands are sometimes used instead of andto distinguish the andwhen it is part of a name rather than the typical conjunction used when naming a series of items. Here, too, it feels like a stretch and more confusing than helpful. Wikipedia gives this example: "Rock, pop, rhythm & blues and hip hop." This also seems like an unnecessary affectation if we would but use the traditional serial comma like this: "Rock, pop, rhythm and blues, and hip hop."
    For a style guide from the point of view of academia go to
    Many of my clients tell me they use the ampersand to make their writing stand apart from others or "because it's pretty." As an editor, I discourage them from this choice. Used this way it is distracting for many. The first thing we want in our writing no matter the genre is clarity, the last is reader distraction. 
    Readers of my multi award-winning The Frugal Editor will find a free offer in the backmatter of that book—a gift from graphic and cover artist Chaz DeSimone ( His free poster series illustrates the creative use of the ampersand, one based on the authenticity of its simply being visually attractive. Maybe that's an ideal way to feed our longing for "pretty" and help us avoid the other traps ampersands can lead us into. 
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension's world-renown Writers' Program. Both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor are multi award-winners. The latter is her winningest book which includes awards from USA Book News, Readers' Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. Her third book in the HowToDoItFrugally Series is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. It was released to acclaim from The Midwest Book Review and others.
    Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature's Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community's Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of "Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen" and was given her community's Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. 
    The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Multi award-winning poet, fiction writer, and author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers
    Twitter: @frugalbookpromo
    Featured Author at 

    Finally a definitive guide to gorgeous home design

    In ​Designed Right, ​renowned designer Kelly Heaps​ ​not only shares the industry secrets behind her award-winning designs...she gives you the tools to do it yourself!  

    Kelly's guide takes the fear and uncertainty out of the design process, giving you a simple understanding of the basic formulas that every professional uses. 

    If you've ever wanted to design a home that reflects your personality, feels joyful to be in, and looks professionally crafted, Designed Right will help you make it a reality.

    Inside, you'll find:    

    ● Easy, start-to-finish formulas anyone can follow    
    ● Steps to choosing the right palettes for your home and personality   
    ● The logic behind design decisions, and the confidence to make your own!   

    You don't have to hire a professional designer to bring your dream home to life. You don't have to second guess your every decision. You can gain the confidence and know how to make your space your own.

    By the end of Designed Right, you'll see your home - and yourself - in a whole new light.

    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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    Monday, November 26, 2018

    Secrets, lies and denial

    "I found this compelling reading, almost more a novel than a memoir. AJ does a great job of getting her readers to turn pages, because they cannot wait to find out what is going to happen next."

    -Bill Worth - Editor, and Author of the novels: "House of the Sun: A Metaphysical Novel of Maui", "The Hidden Life of Jesus Christ: A Memoir",  "Outwitting Multiple Sclerosis: How Forgiveness Helped Me Heal My Brain By Changing My Mind."

    In the prime of her life, AJ seemingly has it all - a successful career, three thriving children and a marriage that spans two decades. Her hard-fought, adult life beams bright and in sharp contrast to the dark, gun-wielding, serial-parent changing, and starkly silent world she grew up in.      
    On the heels of her father's sudden and tragic death, AJ finds herself questioning the life she has so carefully architected. Estranged from her mother, she seeks comfort in the revival of her relationship with her two brothers, all that remain of her childhood nucleus. The three siblings find themselves in a sad, yet familiar place as they bond in the midst of their loss, and relive together similar times from the turbulent and siloed childhood they shared.      

    In the months following her father's funeral, AJ's reminiscences compel her to see her current circumstances through a fresh lens. Concerns that her husband is leading a secret life turn from suspicion to fact as the void in their relationship widens, creating a troubling likeness between her marriage and the dysfunctional relationships she witnessed as a child. She struggles with the decision to honor her intuition and end her failing marriage, but the consequences of divorce still loom ominously in her memory. She realizes that she can no longer deny her buried past, nor its implications on her current situation.      

    This is a fascinating true story of one woman's journey to overcome childhood trauma, and to listen to the inner voice that she has been ignoring for years. Written as a novel, her memoir traverses past and present, all the while painting vivid pictures of both her childhood and adult worlds, the similarities of which have become too numerous to ignore.                 

    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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    Border Crisis? Border Cities

    This book is more than a guide for project managers who must deal with governmental agencies but often face corruption at the very top levels.
    This book also offers a practical solution for the border crisis unfolding today.
    A manual describes how to detect and manage building projects hijacked by political agendas.

    Based on their own considerable experience, the Osmans (Buildings, Projects, and Babies, 2017) have written a book specifically designed to help the managers of construction projects undermined by furtive political schemes. For example, an undertaking can be commandeered by a surreptitious plan to embezzle government resources for private gain or redirect them to fund illegal activity. The authors provide concrete guidance regarding how to spot such ulterior motives that can potentially destroy a project; for example, irrational anomalies in spending or hiring, an inexplicable indifference to quality, and a penchant for gratuitous delay on the part of the client might be signs of political skulduggery. The Osmans also counsel readers how to delicately manage such a predicament should it arise. The crux of their advice is that managers, whenever possible, should satisfy their project obligations and adapt to whatever challenges might be produced by clients' unscrupulous intentions. The authors illustrate their lessons by fashioning fictionalized cases; for example, a massive project in Bolivia is hampered by a client's late-in-the-game demand for a two-story penthouse, a request specifically aimed at slowing down development. 
    The Osmans also persuasively argue that part of the problem is that project management is largely unregulated, bereft of the standard licensing requirements so common in other professions.They propose and describe a Federal Department of Project Investigation to devise and enforce standards and protect project managers from nefarious clients. The book is both clearly and cleverly written, crafted around an analogy between the primary players on a project and the team that delivers a baby (the project manager is the nurse and the father the client). The authors are veterans in the field, and their professional expertise is unquestionable...
    The Osmans have determined that the border crisis could be resolved by creating border cities protected on either side by a wall of sorts. These small towns would inspire the residents themselves to take pride of ownership for development and protection as they would have a personal stake in its security and success. 
    An indispensable resource for project managers. 

    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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    Friday, November 23, 2018

    Wow! The rave reviews prove this is what literature is all about

    I absolutely loved it. I felt each and every character, felt like I was part of the family that Jim described and I even could relate to the anti-semitism at the end. The further paradox of attitudes of both the police and the priest brought home what people must live with especially when the prejudices are hidden behind the uniforms of the church and law enforcement. The sadness of Jim and Ma were so real that I am certain it was autobiographical. It's truly a terrific read.
    -- Gary Goldberg, Financial Advisor, Suffern NY

    An Ambition to Belong, second book of the Leaving Home Trilogy, is an astute and insightful psychological journey into the inner life of Jim, an adolescent who is trying to forge his own identity. Trapped in two different worlds, he belongs nowhere: at one end his Polish immigrant inner-city Catholic family and its Eastern European peasant beliefs and terrors; and at the other a late-1950s upper-class suburban Jesuit college-prep high school in suburban Detroit where he is totally unprepared to deal with that world of money and arrogance he finds there. At home, raw gut emotion; at school emotionless intellect. At home he is a member of The Royal Lancers, a street gang where his life is threatened by Donny, a psychotically deranged fellow gang member; at school, because of his dress, especially his Ford Motor Company issue black work shoes, he is perceived as a non-entity, a non-being who has little or no existence. Confronted with racism and a savage incident of anti-Semitism, Jim rises to find the strength that forms the first layer of his conscience and his conscious sense of self.

    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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    Monday, November 19, 2018

    Jack Canfield loves this book

    "Gold in the Cracks is an invitation to pick up the broken pieces of your life, embrace your emotional scars, and transform your life. Your scars are proof that despite life's hard knocks, you have emerged strong and beautiful. It is time to embrace your imperfections and find happiness. Let Rani St. Pucchi be your guide as you go on your journey to find the treasure within by making peace with your past." 
    -- Jack Canfield, coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series and The Success Principles™ 

         In this inspiring book, award-winning designer and international bestselling author Rani St. Pucchi draws from the wisdom gained from having helped more than 20,000 women in her 30-year career as well as from her own life experiences.

         Using the principle of Kintsugi, a Japanese technique for repairing broken pottery with gold lacquer, Rani takes you on a journey to wellness and wholeness. Rani reminds us that all beautiful things have imperfections--not perfect is perfect. Wounds and healing are honest parts of our history and should be celebrated, not hidden. When you embrace your flaws and wear your scars proudly, that is when true beauty emerges.

         Gold in the Cracks offers you:

    • Insightful questions to help you reflect on your past and illuminate your path forward.
    • Beautifully presented analogies and stories that highlight key concepts.
    • Affirmations to use as a simple, powerful tool to invite happiness into your life.
    • Worksheets for journaling your thoughts.

    This is not a book to read, but a life plan to follow!

    By reframing your story, you can heal from your hurt and own all your parts. Your life is your story. There is beauty to be admired in broken things because they allow light to shine through like never before. Pick up your pieces one by one, then lovingly fill your cracks with gold and transform your life.

    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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    Thursday, November 15, 2018

    A beautiful Irish saga

    For those who've wondered about their roots or care to learn their origin...causing one to embark, if they desire, upon a path to discovery. For this particular "clan" one feels the stark living conditions, the familial pride or more often shame....which unfortunately is passed from one generation to the next but at the same time underscores the family psychology which returns again and again to one very strong willed individual within a family divided by secrets born of heritage.  ~ Lorie Carroll

    A truly remarkable account, Not Forgotten traces the growth of one family from a small Irish town to a wide network stretching across the globe. 

    In 1920s Ireland, a whirlwind romance ends in pain, heartbreak and poverty for one young woman. This pain will echo down through generations of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, leaving the family broken and scattered.

    This is the story of Kitty, a girl who suffered throughout her life and yet managed to grow into a strong, independent woman. It is also the story of the Irish diaspora: the lives, loves and losses of the thousands who left their homes and families behind to seek their fortune abroad. But most importantly, it is the story of a family.

    Russell Vann
    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    When dreams become nightmares

    "Fear of Dreaming mines a rich vein of material in the two-fisted confines of a fighter's life... a solid read!"  - EUGENE S. ROBINSON, AUTHOR OF FIGHT: EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ASS-KICKING... (HARPER COLLINS)

    Orphaned seventeen-year old Miro has found his life's purpose as a mixed martial  artist. His world revolves around his dreams of becoming an MMA world champion one day. To succeed, he trains day and night, pushing his body to the limits while scraping to get by on a meager income. Just a few months away from the biggest fight of his career, he now must face the single toughest opponent anyone has ever met inside a cage - an opponent that has turned his ambitious dreams to recurring nightmares. 
    Looming large before him is the question of his origin. Miro knows next to nothing about the circumstances of his birth. What happened to his mother after he was born? Who is his father? Can he track down clues long lost in the fog of history? The defining fight of his career dominates every second of his day, yet he finds himself increasingly obsessed and distracted from his training by a quest for the truth about himself. A truth that he must unearth before it destroys him. Who is he?
    Set in the year 2045, the tale is a blunt portrayal of a dystopian future that increasingly muddles reality with simulation and bots with humans. In this world, the question isn't whether one's dreams are worth dreaming. The question is, how does one cope when the day's dreams become nightly terrors?

    Russell Vann
    PO Box 1223
    Conifer Colorado 80433-1223

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