Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Four Noble Truths by J.D. Buxton Book Feature


Title: Four Noble Truths
Author: J.D. Buxton
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 397
Genre: Action/Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

 Dragon is a handsome, passionate and deeply devoted young man with a hidden, horrible past that haunts him into his present life. After suffering unimaginable abuse in a child pornography ring in Taiwan and an addiction to Heroin, Dragon’s only light on a path of darkness is his love, Raven, who more than fulfills his physical and emotional needs. United by the organization that found and ultimately saved Dragon, he and Raven happily bask in the love of an adopted family of lost souls touched by similar pasts that includes their mentor Sensei, and Wax and Sarge, Dragon’s right-hand men. As they execute their missions to explore the underbelly of the world of human trafficking and the sex trade, and serve the purpose of the organization: to right the wrongs, they have no idea the path they are on will lead them to unlock the door to their freedom. In this compelling story about redemption, love and fate, a young man, his love and his devoted team embark on a dangerous journey to execute vigilante justice for one purpose; to seek out and eliminate the perpetrators of the very crimes from which they all suffered.

 J D Buxton was born and raised in Southern Ontario. After graduating from college, she pursued a career in sales and marketing and lived in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta where she raised her family. She is married with three children and currently resides in Southern Ontario where she enjoys all things equine, country and western music and home cooking.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Writing, Caregiving and Alzheimer's Disease by Barry Tutor

ABOUT NEVER GIVING UP & NEVER WANTING TO

Like most, I knew about Alzheimer’s disease. It causes old people to forget. When my relationship with this disease began, it highlighted how little I knew. Following my widowed mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I researched this disease to gain insight about my new role as her caregiver and decision maker. What I learned and experienced during her affliction still left me somewhat unprepared for what was yet to come. Sixteen months following my mother’s diagnosis, my dear wife and best friend was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Though now I was familiar with this silent killer, my wife’s diagnosis set into motion many changes and challenges in our lives. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every sixty-eight seconds. Currently, Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the top-ten causes of death that is on the increase and has no means of prevention and no possible cure. Given these facts, support for those afflicted relies on increasing levels of caregiving as the disease progresses. Let me explain something about this “old folk’s disease.” Alzheimer’s affects more than just parents and grandparents. It is also the disease of siblings, spouses, and children. Alzheimer’s forces many families to decide between home versus institutional care. An estimated fifteen million caregivers provide some level of care to the Alzheimer’s victims still living at home. No matter what level of care you are providing, the importance of preparation is paramount. Arming yourself with knowledge begins that preparation process. I was unprepared for the roller-coaster ride my life became as the sole caregiver for two Alzheimer’s victims. To meet their varied challenges, I adapted and developed multiple techniques for targeted personalized care. If only I knew then what I know now. By sharing my knowledge and experience, I hope to better prepare you for your caregiving journey.

Purchase your copy:

Trafford Publishing

Writing, Caregiving and Alzheimer’s Disease
When you become a new author questions always arise from interviewers, publicists and readers: “Why did you write this book” or “What was your inspiration?” While I would have enjoyed writing about wizards, superheroes, spies or master detectives I chose instead to write Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To about the true heroes that often go unnoticed in the world of Alzheimer’s care. This is a world I know far too well as I have faced the horrors of Alzheimer’s twice; my late mother lost her battle in 2010 and my wife is currently in her fourteenth year fighting the disease. What sets my book apart from most who have authored similar books; I cared for both of them on my own and simultaneously until I was forced to put my mother into Alzheimer’s assisted living in 2007 because, even though I am talented at all things caregiving, I could not be in two places at once.

At present, there are some 5 million Alzheimer’s patients in the United States and most are cared for by approximately 15 million caregivers. What do the majority of these 20 million people have in common? When the newly diagnosed receives the bad news, they are essentially cast to the wolves with little more than a patient starter pack of medication and instruction to go to the Alzheimer’s Association website for assistance.

In Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To I assist caregivers in recognizing many aspects of caregiving and planning that are often overlooked when assuming the responsibilities of another adult’s life as the disease takes over. Along with addressing the activities of daily living I make the reader aware of facility planning, financial and legal preparation, hospice care, psychological issues, clinical trials, and evaluating institutional care facilities should home care become unrealistic or impossible. In my interactions with other caregivers, both professional and volunteer, I found that I was not alone in my “seek, and ye shall find” instructions from the diagnosing physician. While I am an experienced computer user, it dawned on me that so many of the people that receive this diagnosis and the “instructions” may not be computer savvy enough to access the necessary information for what’s next.

One of my inspirations for writing Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To came from another author. A few months after my mother was diagnosed my wife and I attended a health fair where an independent author was speaking about her husband’s diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s and his care. Being fairly new to Alzheimer’s care, like most others in my situation, I welcomed the chance to gain more information from someone who had been there before. By the fourth chapter, I realized this woman did not author a book about Alzheimer’s care but instead penned a book about Alzheimer’s care in Fantasyland. I occasionally think back to her book having spoken with hundreds of other caregivers, watched over my mother until her death and while I stand watch over my terminally ill wife of nearly 32 years and feel this woman must have had it pretty easy in caring for her Alzheimer’s patient.

 I did not set out to write the next bestseller but instead an unvarnished, no holds barred look at the real world of Alzheimer’s caregiving. While I would like to sell many copies; becoming the next longtime resident of the bestseller lists; I am a realist that understands that nobody, let me repeat nobody, expects this disease to come barging into their lives until after losses begin.

 When I began my “career” as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, I knew little more about the disease than it causes old people to forget things. In that regard, I feel I was as informed as the average person that has not experienced Alzheimer’s or the caregiving involved. Every 68 seconds someone receives the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It is imperative that the potential Alzheimer’s patient, as well as his or her caregivers, understand the disease, caregiving requirements and how to plan for the future.

 The purpose behind my book is to help current caregivers, especially those who are new, potential caregivers of which there are many and the Alzheimer’s patient who may not fully understand that Alzheimer’s is a progressive degenerative neurologic condition that is always fatal and there currently exists limited treatments to assist them through the course of the disease. I have written my book with an “I have been there, so I know what I am talking about” attitude. I wish for the reader to come away with an appreciation of what my wife and I lost when Alzheimer’s invaded our lives, but also the level of care that I render everyday from a knowledge-base of observation, in-depth research and the love and respect that I have for my best friend.

ABOUT BARRY TUTOR

As a lifetime problem-solver, I faced the challenges of caring for my two AD victims by researching the disease and developing caregiving skills to assure their comfort and care.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pieces of Me by Daron Kenneth


Title: Pieces of Me
Genre: Poetry
Author: Daron Kenneth
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Pages: 108
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-46852-289-1

Pieces of Me, is Daron Kenneth's newest offering of poetry that takes the reader on the real and often surreal ride through the mindscape of the author's soul. Pieces of Me is an electric journey into some of life's richest and most memorable moments.

Purchase your copy:

authorhouse

ABOUT DARON KENNETH

Author, Daron Kenneth, a teacher, writer, play wright and poet gives us his current collection of poetry and insightful observations about the things that mean the most: life, love, friendships and relationships.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Interview with Ed Grizzle, author of It's Your Decision


Title: It's Your Decision
Author: Ed Grizzle
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 128
Genre: Family Relationships/Parenting
Format: Ebook
 Purchase at AMAZON

 Children are gifts from God, but parenting those children can often be a difficult task. In It’s Your Decision, author Ed Grizzle shows how parenting can be successful when it’s carried out according to God’s plan. Using his life’s experiences as a guide, Grizzle explores the importance of making the right decisions in life—from choosing the right lifestyle and the right mate and to raising children according to what God has planned for you.

It’s Your Decision discusses
 • planning for children;
 • knowing what children need;
 • being aware of the important years in a child’s life;
 • understanding that children will test parents;
 • valuing the role of grandparents;
 • dealing with abused children;
 • communicating openly and honestly;
 • clarifying family roles.

 Grizzle presents a guide to strengthening lives and making your family life more enjoyable. He shows how this is possible when you accept Jesus Christ into your life; he will show you the way in the difficult times.

  amazon  

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

My upbringing was the main reason for the book.  It gave me the opportunity to share how Jesus Christ can make a persons life more worth living if they follow him.

When and why did you begin writing?

I believed that my wife Mary encouraged me to write the book.  I started it four weeks prior to her passing.

What do you consider the hardest thing about writing?

Since this was my first book, I can’t really answer this question.  I felt that there was nothing hard about writing it.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

I don’t consider it a career but instead a nice thing to keep me going since I am retired.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know other than it is they way I write and I have nothing to compare it to.

Ed Grizzle started a ministry called It’s Your Decision that helps addicts, prostitutes, and others who face difficult circumstances. He and his late wife, Mary, raised two children. Grizzle currently lives in Illinois

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Behind the Taffeta Curtain by Verne Castress Book Feature


Title: Behind the Taffeta Curtain
Author: Verne Castress
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 102
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

 Clair, a small-town girl attending Iowa State University in 1940, has her palm read for a laugh—and gets a surprisingly specific prediction about her career, marriage, and children. She laughs it off, with no idea of how accurate it will turn out to be. After a failed romance, she hastily marries a man named John, has two children, and very soon finds herself miserable. John is not only abusive and controlling, but also a compulsive gambler. In an effort to support their family, Clair finds work in a nearby department store, and her career in fashion begins. In the sixties and seventies, Clair works her way up through the industry, chipping away at the glass ceiling of a field with far fewer women executives than the ad firms of Madison Avenue at the time. As an executive buyer for numerous retail conglomerates, she travels the globe searching for innovative fashions and meets regularly with iconic designers such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Oscar de la Renta. Among the fashion elite living the high life, there are steamy affairs, drugs, and suicides, as tragic elements mark the lives of these women in fashion whose insecurity remains hidden beneath their stoicism. This novel tells the story of Clair’s journey through the fashion world, a single mother contending with the conniving wiles of men and women and facing obstacles in the devious, behind-the-scenes political struggle of those climbing to the top.

Verne Castress retired following a forty-five-year career as a fashion executive, for which she traveled the world in search of innovative fashions for the American market. The mother of two adult children, she currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

GIVEAWAY

Tom is giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins November 10 and ends November 21.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, November 24.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spin: How Words Become Reality by Glenn Bassett, author of Wordplay


WordplayTitle: Wordplay
Author: Glenn Bassett
Publisher: Organization Diagnostics
Pages: 270
Genre: Business
Format: Paperback/Kindle

 WordPlay lays out the functions of language as the foundation of what is loosely called mind. Studies of language in primitive cultures by anthropological linguists demonstrate the existence of a basic set of words called semantic primes in every cultural setting. Language is extended and elaborated on the foundation of semantic primes to construct a mental map of the perceived phenomenal world. Once in place, a rich culture of language is passed on from each generation to the next by example. Words ultimately become so ubiquitous and necessary that they take on a reality all their own. Mental maps become more real than the reality of direct experience. Establishment of a critical capacity for knowing truth demands a study of psycholinguistics. The fund of social psychological research made available through research over the past century offers a window on the way words are used to captivate, illuminate, intimidate, inform and imbue us with intelligence. WordPlay is a compilation of the most salient research that pertains to language use. It is a layman’s introduction to psycholinguistics. The emphasis is on how words shape behavior and become the substance of the mind. This is knowledge of those habits of mind that can interfere with straight, clear thinking. It is antidote to functional social ignorance of our rich language culture.

For More Information

SPIN:  How Words Become Reality


Words and language are so integral and indispensable to ordinary living that it is difficult to find some perspective on their use.  The remarkable thing about them is the simple reality of meaning that can be conveyed in spoken or written words.  This is not to overlook the prevalence of misunderstanding in their use.  But erroneous comprehension of meaning can be full of seeming reality.  Words have a life of their own under just about every circumstance imaginable.  Original language, those words and their usage patterns learned during infancy and early childhood,  establish personhood and community membership.  Lacking language, one is barely, if at all, human.

Linguistics, the study of language, takes a variety of forms.  It is the study of syntax, the structural devices used to achieve relative clarity of meaning.  It is the analysis of the physics of sound or the anatomical structures that allow the voicing of words.  It is the analysis of cultural influences on both syntax and word meaning.  Psycholinguistics uses scientific method to analyze the processes through which children acquire language.  Much mystery about these processes remains, nonetheless, and complicated, high flown theory abounds in the field.  Endless controversy pursues the questions of whether language is genetically pre-designed into the human brain or is largely or even wholly a cultural overlay on the un-programmed brain.    The greatest part of the literature of linguistics is philosophical argument based on arguments (grandly abstract words) that only a select few find meaningful.  Some linguistics are about the mechanics of use and acquisition of language, others are obscure , vague exercises in philosophical speculation.  As in many other realms of human activity, speculation is more interesting and popular than mere mechanics.  Those who argue for innate, even instinctive forces as ground-springs of language disparage the use of culture to explain something as awesomely mysterious and powerful as language.  

The present book seeks to find a middle ground where the useful  demonstrations of words as reality makers from can be found in the lore of social psychology, the social sciences and everyday experience of language in use.   Taking perspective on language requires first that one discover how words exert authority over him/her, and how they are used to attempt control over the events of his/her life space.  It is essential to gain a grasp of the tricks that words and word users play on us.

Part I examines the variety of ways that culture shapes language.  The common failure of many words to translate from one language to another offers illustration of cultural shaping of language.  The importance of words to understanding the most elementary aspects of cultural life demonstrates the centrality of words to thought processes themselves.   Words permit the identification and specification of discrete elements of the perceived world.  The written word further transforms one’s world view by extending knowledge beyond personal memory and reshaping the brain to flow through the fingers on a keyboard into symbolically coded form.

Part II is a summary of what is known about the tricks the brain and perceptual processes commonly play on us.  The locus of language in the brain and hemispheric specialization of language has potential to split word use away from other forms of experience.  Humans may, more often than they know, be of two minds.  Habits of conformity to authority have the power to evoke automatic behaviors  that are beyond conscious control.  Psychological self-awareness can permit reestablishment of personal choice in action and reshaping of the public persona.  Awareness of emotional processes permits use of emotion for intentional and productive ends.

Part III looks at the way words are employed to create a desired or preferred reality.   Alternative realities can be imagined or invented.  Social influence may be used to shape the perception of reality to the purposes of the influencer.  Simple influence is exercised routinely through the use of value loaded “power words”.   The welfare of society as a whole can be shaped by the words that drive governmental policy and decision making.

Part IV scrutinizes the power of mathematics and scientific method to create wholly new realities that go beyond  perceived experience.  The far-reaching influence of philosophy and philosophers to structure understanding of nature and society arises out of a constant invention, construction and revision of language at its far limits.  Unrealities like abstractions and essences can often take on a more urgent sense of reality than physical reality itself.  Science and philosophy are the incubators of new language as well as both great and weird ideas.

Part V accepts the fact of words as mystical icons and argues the importance of discriminating between spiritual and empirically real phenomena.

This is a pragmatically founded but intellectually rounded explication of applied social science and sensible linguistics.   It is intended as a tool for advancement of personal understanding of language phenomena, not as an argument for any linguistic theory or structure.  

Dr. Glenn Bassett is Professor Emeritus of Management and former Dean of Business at the University of Bridgeport.  A graduate of Berkeley and Yale, as well as a former corporate staffer at General Electric, Dr. Bassett’s career has focused on applied Social Psychology.  WordPlay is the result of exended research into the science of psycholinguistics. He is the author of numerous articles and published books, including The Managers Craft.

For More Information

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Book Discovered...by My Students by Randy Coates, author of More Precious Than Rubies


Title: More Precious Than Rubies
Author: Randy Coates
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 174
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Ebook
Purchase at AMAZON

 Paul Brager is twelve when his father tells the story of Iduna and her apples. Mr. Brager always tells stories before bed to entertain Paul’s little brother, Adrian—a ritual that has become even more important since their mother died. Iduna was a goddess who grew apples that made the gods younger and stronger, but one day she disappeared, along with her apples. Paul doesn’t think much of the myth; he has other things on his mind. Paul and his best friend, Chad Tremblay, are excited to start the school year as seventh graders at Dorian Heights Public School. Even when they hear about the new principal, Mr. Theisen, they aren’t worried about ending up in his office. When Paul finally meets the principal, however, he finds him to be strange, mysterious, and extremely fond of apples. That’s when things start going wrong. Theisen develops an uncomfortable interest in Paul, claiming he once knew Paul’s father. It becomes apparent to Paul and Chad that Theisen is after something, maybe some kind of treasure—and it involves the Brager family. Paul believes his family must be protected and that Theisen must be stopped. Still, he can’t get the story of Iduna’s apples out of his head; there seems to be an odd connection to the tale his father told. He and Chad want to know the answers, but learning them may put their lives in danger.

  amazon  
My Book Discovered...by my Students

Almost a year has passed since I self-published my children's fantasy novel.

When I finally had the hard copy in my hands,Idecided to give it to immediate members of my family and told them not to tell anyone else about it.

My intention was to establish myself with social media first: set up a website, for example. I wanted to see the true power of social media; to see if others I knew would recognize my book without being told by my family.

One advantage I have is being a teacher in a middle school where students are using social media not only at school but also inside and outside of their homes. I figured that one day, one student would stumble upon my creation. And students do not shut up about these things, as if they have just unveiled a crude secret about their teacher and want to be the first to clue in their friends.

So, with much interest, did I discover how my grade 8 students learned.

This past week, one of my more difficult students passed me in the hall and spluttered, "Hey Mr. Coates, I saw you on Google Images."

This, in itself, is not surprising. This boy does not care about me. Obviously, he wanted to "dig up some dirt" on someone. My name was probably one of the many he looked up and he happened to find the picture that is on the book's back cover.

"Yes," I grinned, "but do you know why it's there?"
This was probably the cleverest thing I could have said: I wanted to create some mystery, some suspense.

He, or perhaps others, pursued their investigation. Maybe because they were curious to see what crime I had committed, or what had made me famous. Perhaps they were wondering if I had been on Dancing  With the Stars.

It does not matter. The fact is their hard work led to their finding that I had written a children'sbook.

One student said, "You actually wrote a book?" in that dumbfounded way that students often sound when they don't believe their teachers have lives outside of school.

Uh, the power of the Internet.

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.