If you’re picking up this book in the hopes that it provides you with recipes for cooking in a teacup, you’ve picked up the wrong book. However, if you’re looking for a charming, self-reflective exploration of not only a life in food but an era, as well as a commentary on the societal experiences to be had within that era, then Cooking In A Teacup Before and After: An Autobiographical True Tale is here for you.
Nowadays, it seems hard to believe that a 21-year-old with no cooking experience (or even much life experience) would be left to her own devices in a kitchen in the Australian outback. But in 1952, that’s just what happened to Lesley J Mooney. Thankfully (for both Mooney and us, the reader of her autobiographical tale), she accepted the opportunity, acknowledging it, even subconsciously, for what it was: really interesting. So, here we are, in 2020, unpacking a book which lays out the experiences which unfolded before and after.
Mooney is really funny, and writes with a wry tone that makes each phase of her life joyful to hear about. While using the phrase “Ignorance is bliss” isn’t usually employed when it comes to the skill of cooking, and one book entitled “Country Woman’s Cookery Book” isn’t considered the overarching manual when it comes to culinary mastery, they certainly facilitated an hilarious starting point for Mooney’s attitude when taking on the challenge set out by her father to take the cooking job.
The structure of Mooney’s cooking experiences make a strong backbone to what, at the fleshy center, is a heart-warming autobiography of her life and becoming a woman in a conservative time in history. Having this structure in place gives the book good pace, and contextualizes the elements of experience and storytelling well.
Though perhaps a mild spoiler – it all goes well enough that Mooney thinks it appropriate to write about it all these years on. Even at the expense of a few bandaged up thumbs along the way…
Pages: 120 | ISBN: 1925959317
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Good Life to Perfection Perception is an autobiography detailing the hardships of living with mental illness. Why was this an important book for you to write?
It was essential for me to write this book because my writing explores the depths of the human psyche and could serve as a historic guide into the core of people. My life stories are there to help the ideal readers to experience lessons they need to learn and feel the emotions they need to contact with to reap the benefit from the uninhibited discourses on my psychology, philosophy, relationship, and the hardship of living with a mental illness. And I choose empowerment over shame and stigma.
I thought your views on dealing with mentally ill people were really enlightening. What do you think is something the medical field can change that will make life easier for patients?
I think they can encourage equality between physical and mental illness and have more honesty about treatment. Change the over-prescribing of medicines and there use on patients for far too long to cure all social ills. People who have a chronic illness related to stress, anxiety, social and economic deprivation, alcohol and substance misuse may feel hopeless and lost.
More extensive use of treatment and therapy can work best and make life easier for the patient who adds more daily goals challenges as they start to feel better. People gain back their purpose, self-esteem and self-worth.
What do you feel is a common misconception people have about schizophrenia?
Commonly believed myths about people with schizophrenia are that they are dangerous, unpredictable and unintelligent. Those misconceptions must get busted over time with education and from stories from people with lived experiences of schizophrenia.
Although the patient may be more aggressive and violent during acute episodes, multiple factors make symptom exacerbate precipitate aggressive behaviour. People with the condition have more trouble with mental skills, learning, and memory, but that shouldn’t mean they are not intelligent. Also, at times, perfectly normal responsible people may feel, think or act in a way resemble people with schizophrenia.
I found your book to be enlightening. What do you hope readers take away from your book?
I hope readers remember my profound views on the understanding of the role of Jesus as a symbol of love, truth, and hope and learn from their human spirit of God within their soul. Get inspired by my fantastic outlook on living life with integrity and ponder on my thought-provoking narratives, which covers many relevant subjects, such as religion/spirituality, and acts of terrorism which instill a sense of fear into humanity.
Good Life to Perfection Perception: An Autobiography gives insights into the aspect of my life, non-falsifying stories, and the ethics applied upheld truth, fairness and ethical values and obtained knowledge that can be trusted are the facts without biases. Personal records of the author have given birth to two books. The Memoir of a Schizophrenic offers a glimpse into the life and struggle that took place before the world learned who I am.
The second book called, Good Life to Perfection Perception: An Autobiography is memories now about the present experiences that include mental illness and future, what to do next. The science of the author’s voices in his head has a divine mind, and his body consciousness was in agony has a hell and the art in writing communicate the emotions. And the verbs of the brain gave him creative information to process and processing power.
If you’re browsing and this is the paragraph you happened to glance at sincerely consider to buy this book. It’s a necessary piece of non-fiction that promises at the end of chapters you’ll be better for reading it. I am addicted to doing the right thing, and my conscience is always saying to itself do the right thing and asked itself the right way not to get it the wrong way. So, word gets understood by everyone at any level of ability, and the truth will affect people, and lies would affect the people too.
If the things that I wrote is perfect, and the words agree with other people’s, but may not sound the same, its rule is original, and nobody will have the ability to change them, but to agree.
Karl’s future assumed a bleak outlook after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at the age of twenty. For many, at this age, life was just beginning, the world was at their feet and their dreams were there for the taking but for Karl, the disease he was diagnosed with was a likely precursor to a life of pain and struggles. He would later find himself popping anti-psychotic pills for forty straight years in an attempt to douse the incurable effects of schizophrenia and live the closest thing to a normal life. Tired of having to still deal with the symptoms of the disease and the side effects of the drugs, he chooses to slowly get off his medications in the hope of finding healing elsewhere. How will this decision affect him and his family?
Good Life to Perfection Perception by Karl Lorenz Willett is the autobiography that reveals the hardships involved in living with a mental illness and also shows the humanity of a man plagued by something beyond his control. Karl is downright honest and raw as he uncovers his thought processes, ideas, failings and victories. This book is definantly emotional, or at least I was emotional when reading this book. Emotions like passion, pain and pleasure are some emotions explored in this spirited book. I was both touched and intrigued by his candor and courage.
Karl doesn’t simply present himself as a victim of circumstance, rather, he shows that despite his limitations, he can think critically and hold personal views. For instance, in the book, he shares his beliefs about the possibility of there being a better way to handle mentally ill individuals without placing them on anti-psychotic drugs for the rest of their lives. He also expresses his thoughts on religion, societal ills and world peace. At a point, I nearly mistook him for an ancient Greek philosopher, no kidding.
While I appreciated the story, and the courage with which it is told, the book could benefit greatly from a thorough edit. A good editor could clean up the grammar errors and organize the story so that it is more coherent. As is, I had to reread some sections to ensure I understood what was being said.
While the author touched on many issues, his major focus was on telling the story of how schizophrenia impacted his life. He shed light on the difficulties he had like how it was impossible for him to hold down a job, the constant pain he felt, the cognitive limitations he had and many more. I was moved the most by his struggle with empathic distress, a condition that made watching the news and seeing all the sad events unhealthy for him. All in all, seeing these issues from the perspective of a patient of schizophrenia increased my ability to empathize with patients of mental illnesses.
Pages: 293 | ASIN: B084GZT9BP
Georgina Kemm is a woman driven to rediscover herself and heal the deep-seated wounds from her past. Her journey of self-examination leads her to Peru and to the somewhat beguiling arms of one shaman named Puma. After enduring the contemptuous complacency of her husband and battling the demons continuing to rise within her own psyche, Georgina finds herself almost inexplicably drawn to return to Peru following her best friend’s final fall from grace and admission of a friend’s ultimate betrayal. Her connection to Puma and the rituals in which she participates while visiting Peru haunt her and, in the end, pull her back to the place where her life actually began.
The Spell: The Shaman’s Lover Trilogy Book I is an autobiographical account by author Georgina Kemm. Georgina lays out her experiences in a simple but spellbinding manner. As she retraces her steps during the most painful years of her adult life using first person point of view, the reader is slowly absorbed into the events of those weeks in Peru and feels present in each of the mind-bending ceremonies.
Georgina weaves the most intricate details into her descriptions of the ceremonies and the intense and overpowering sensations she feels during each session with the shaman who seems to see right into her very soul. At times, I was left wondering how Georgina was able to survive her time in the wilderness of Peru, and I was always amazed as each new day began and she was still alive to tell about it. Though her tale is one of self-discovery, it is also one of endurance and immense amounts of physical and emotional strength.
One of the most effective portions of Georgina’s story is tucked neatly within the descriptions of her apologies to her husband and the inner battle she wages when she faces her own infidelity. Though she is angry with herself, she can’t seem to understand why. Georgina has communicated her own self doubt and feelings of inadequacies eloquently and powerfully for her readers.
Another powerful aspect of her tale is the relationship she has with her best friend, Sandy. As the weeks in Peru progress, Sandy and Georgina find themselves bouncing back and forth between confidantes and strangers. I was amazed at the way the two could seem to distance themselves from one another in the jungle thousands of miles from home. It is a true testament to the spell placed on both of them as the weeks went by. After seeing the way Book I ends, I fully expect to hear more of the strained relationship between the two women in subsequent installments.
Not often enough do we find individuals willing to come forward and bare their souls and show their battle wounds the way Kemm has done with this first in a trilogy. For her eloquent self-expression and her bravery, she is to be commended.
Pages: 308 | ASIN: B07D2N66WM
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One Love is an emotional novel that explores the different lives of people struggling with their own challenges in life. Why was this an important book for you to write?
This is the book I identify with most of all the books I have written. It is a book that enables me to share my life experiences with others and, hopefully, shows people the pain and passion in life as well as the complexity of love and human desire. I needed to tell this story for my own personal reasons as well. I believe the family element of the story is also very strong and easy to relate to.
I enjoyed the truth behind many of your characters and how I could relate to them. Is there anything you took from your own life and put into this story?
Yes. The book is semi-autobiographical. There are real people behind all the central characters. I, of course, am Timothy. I met someone many years back, almost 20 years ago, who I fell instantly in love with. All the prior people I had met just didn’t matter after I met this girl. She’s called Melody in the book. I imagined the consequences of meeting her later in life and starting anew despite the fact that we’ve both moved on. Of course, I moved on not by choice but because of rejection. All the main characters in the book have identical counterparts in real life.
This book is filled with a cast of interesting characters. If Hollywood came knocking, who would you cast as the leads in the movie?
Good question. I was thinking Oscar Isaac and Reese Witherspoon initially. Reese Witherspoon, definitely. She has the charm and charisma that Melody would need to have as an on-screen character. Maybe Giovanni Ribisi instead of Oscar Isaac, though, because Reese and Giovanni are closer in age. For Cindy, Carey Mulligan for sure. Cindy is the love of Timothy’s life and Mulligan would capture the essence of Cindy to a tee. I would want Vince Vaughn to play Louie if possible.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I put my sci-fi series, “The Separation” books on hold temporarily to work on a new book for my Truly Moving Book series which “One Love” is a part of. The new book is going to be my best yet! It’s due later this year.
One Love begins as a young man named Timothy meets a girl named Melody. She seems to be the girl of his dreams but when things don’t go as planned, he moves forward and settles down with another girl named Cindy. As years pass, Timothy reconnects with Melody who is now married with children. He begins an affair with her that will change both of their lives and force him to evaluate the decisions he has made in his life. One Love is a story of family, romance and heartbreak. It will make you search your soul to discover what the right thing is for the characters to believe in.
Posted in Interviews
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Damaged Beyond All Recognition follows a man who is unwilling to accept an afterlife that provides nothing more than eternal self-awareness. What was the inspiration behind the idea for this novel?
I finally got around to reading The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut just before I started my novel. I was blown away by Vonnegut’s masterful handling of such a complicated story. It was the type of book that I had always wanted to write. So, I thought I would give it a try and see what would happen. I had a short story idea about a fractured afterlife, and I took it from there.
I enjoyed reading about your unique take on God and how the Creator is dependent upon others. What were some themes you wanted to capture while writing about this topic?
I always found it interesting that humans have such wide-ranging views about God. Some think that God controls our every action while others think He doesn’t even exist. We read about how God created man in His own image, but I haven’t run across too many who see him as another guy. What if He just has the necessary job experience that would come from living countless lives through the Planes of Existence?
I loved Paul and Maggie Mae’s relationship and admired their dedication to one another. Did their relationship develop organically while writing or was it planned?
That relationship is based on a college romance that I had with the real-life Maggie Mae. She is the subject of a chapter (“There’s A Little Black Spot On The Fun Today”) in my first book, Damaged Right Out Of The Box, a humorous and wistful autobiography of sorts. The description of how Paul and Maggie Mae met and how their relationship flowered tracks what really happened. And it was my girlfriend’s career drive that prompted me to walk away. I couldn’t see myself playing second fiddle at the time.
But now I regret what happened and how it happened. So, I thought I would extrapolate the what-if. What if Paul and Maggie Mae said goodbye, but not a forever goodbye? What if he would wait for her while she proved to herself that she could be all that she could be?
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m working on the sequel to Damaged Beyond All Recognition. It’s entitled Damaged And No Longer Under Warranty, and it continues the story of whether the Paraverse was really the answer to preserving eternity. I hope to have it out in about 18 months or less.
Paul Tomenko is no stranger to the improbable. He became a magazine sweepstakes winner and celebrated counterculture writer by age 19. Now, after reaching for a can of Chef Boy-ar-dee spaghetti and meatballs, he’s traveling to and from God’s library somewhere outside the Universe to prevent the end of eternity.
Because of a DNA flaw, humanity no longer can ascend through the Planes of Existence after they die. They can’t access memories from countless past lives in previous versions of the Universe or acquire new recollections. That means no one will have the needed expertise to replace God when He dies. And, to complicate matters, Paul must enlist the help of his two lovers–Maggie Mae Monahan and Allie Briarsworth–because of their unique abilities. But the trio discovers the preservation of forevermore can turn someone’s soul inside out. Literally.
The novel chronicles the life of an ordinary man under extraordinary circumstances. Paul is unwilling to accept a broken Afterlife that provides nothing more than eternal self-awareness. He is also reluctant to choose between Maggie Mae, a brilliant geneticist who has the uncanny ability to “connect the dots,” and Allie, a novelist who inexplicably senses past and future events in the cosmos. The unexpected is to be expected from an unusual cast of supporting characters: Cher the Gatekeeper and Katharine Ross the Librarian, figments patterned after two celebrities for whom Paul has lusted; Gronk and Grita, two “resurrected” six-year-old neo-Neanderthals who are the most intelligent humans on Earth; Tsutomu Yamaguchi, an innovative bioengineer named after a Japanese man who survived nuclear bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and Dr. Peter Lexington Townshend, the head of a genetics laboratory that already has prevented the Russians from stripping politicians in Washington, D.C., of all their memories.
Be prepared for a book that examines our metaphysical questions with a mixture of mind-bending possibilities, laughter, and tears.
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Executive Hoodlum follows the true life story of John Costello where he uses his harsh upbringing to move up the corporate world. What inspired you to put your story into a book?
Ultimately there were three reasons I wrote the book:
1. I wanted to pass on the story to my kids so they have an appreciation of their legacy. Why they enjoy certain privileges, and to make certain they remain humble knowing the sacrifices that sometimes need to be made to succeed in life and for the next generation.
2. As a volunteer boxing trainer for under-privileges kids I was able to give something back to my community. It was personally rewarding to me so I wanted to give something back in a bigger way. That is to reach a larger audience of would be under dogs to demonstrate they have the opportunity to succeed no matter what the circumstances.
3. I wanted to relieve the burden of my own guilt pertaining to the last words I spoke to my mother before she died. Those words haunted me for decades. I never reconciled my differences with my father prior to his death either. We were at terrible odds as usual but he was alive long enough to make an attempt at reconciliation but chose not to, not with me anyway. Consequently I do not carry the same guilt as with my mother. I did write most of the book and long overseas plane trips and found myself crying writing a couple chapters. Now that the truth is out there, I somehow feel better.
A little background will put the situation into better perspective:
Best Selling author Larry Elder is the one who put the book idea in my head as he is a friend for about ten years. In fact, he was originally going to be my ghost writer. However, it was decided the book had to be in my words due to my slang and other vernacular to be authentic. With my busy work schedule, I was going to drop the whole thing. Problem being, I hate to start something and not finish. Technically Larry inspired me to write as he brought up the original deal as described in my acknowledgements. Prior to beginning the effort in earnest, I contemplated the above three reasons.
Note – I never intended on writing a book because I would have to relive things in my life I was successful in suppressing. However, age and maturity helped me become more open with my early family life.
Additionally, there are individuals in Chicago, New York and New Jersey that I did not want to have to deal with when it comes to some of the content. These are friends I have maintained and kept in contact over many years. I personally spoke to each person, mob boss, made guy, associate and the outlaw biker leaders individually to let them know my intention. To my surprise, to a person they noted they respected my street savvy enough to give the thumbs up.
The characters in this book were well developed and interesting. How close did you stay true to real events and what did you take liberties with?
Thankfully, I did not have to manufacture any drama. The one upside to being born a Costello!
I took no liberties because my street and business credibility are important to me. I played down certain events due to statute of limitation consideration. Most of what is in my book can be authenticated via documents I kept (murder investigations, police reports, death certificates, pictures,letters. newsreels and other documents I collected when fact checking. Additionally, there are third parties I contacted that were with me during certain events I consulted to make certain my recollections were as accurate as possible)
I’m not a big fan of fiction. Truth and authenticity are of utmost importance. This stems from certain things I know that have been portrayed in both books and movies about people I personally know or knew, that were embellished.
John finds himself surrounded by constant turmoil with gangs, members of the underworld, murder, suicide, and drug addiction. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?
The ugly truth of my own family, especially the circumstances of deaths of my mother, brother and cousin.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
There are many entertaining stories I was reminded of by friends I did not include in this book. Consequently, there may be a part two.
Meet John Costello, Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations for Microsemi Corporation, a $6 billion leader in the advanced-semiconductor market. Well known and respected in the industry, John Costello graduated from college in 1983 with a degree in Business Administration. John’s social circle includes high-level corporate executives, politicians, military leaders and movie stars. As a young boy he played Little League baseball and Pop Warner football, and went on to become an outstanding track and cross-country runner in high school, captain of his college rowing team, and an accomplished boxer in the Golden Gloves and other tournaments. With this wholesome All-American resumé, most would think that John Costello emerged from a solid middle-class family with all the usual privileges pertaining – though nothing could be further from the truth. Costello was born into a working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s north side and grew up under quite difficult conditions. His father was a talented Italian tenor with mob connections and a proclivity for violence; his mother, the daughter of an Irish street cop, was a straight-laced Catholic girl till she took to the bottle after falling victim to that violence. Surrounded by constant turmoil and hardship involving gangs, members of the underworld, murder, suicide, drug addiction as well as physical and emotional abuse, John eventually transcended his circumstances to obtain a higher education and pursue a profitable career that entailed all the perks of an executive lifestyle inclusive of the Hollywood party circuit.
Readers who might enjoy this book are those interested in true-crime stories, mob activity, murder and mayhem, as well as anyone seeking a no-holds-barred story that describes the resilience of the human spirit. Spiced with wit and humor and distinguished by the inimitable voice of tough-talking John Costello, his story touches our hearts while keeping us on the edge of our seats.
Other comparable books include The Truthbook: A Memoir by Joy Castro, which describes a similar childhood fraught with abuse and dysfunction. The theme of destructive behavior and personal downward spiral in the fight game and mobster milieu is also taken up in Raging Bull by Jake La Motta. Then there is the true-crime and gangster activity to be found in Family Secrets: The Case That Crippled the Chicago Mob by Jeff Coen, as well as in The Neighborhood Outfit: Organized Crime in Chicago Heights by Matthew Luzi. All these works taken together give some idea of the scope of John Costello’s life as recounted in his own book.
And that is what makes our book “unique” – John Costello’s life is unique. It has been a strange blend of two distinct worlds, but with one foot firmly emplaced in each. The fact that he is comfortable meeting with Senator John McCain in the morning to discuss government business, and can then enjoy the company of old friends from the streets of Chicago in the evening, is indicative of his parallel lives and will certainly be something readers find highly intriguing. We have an extensive collection of family photos, newspaper clippings, death certificates, court papers, and other supporting documentation for all claims made, as well as music recordings and video that would introduce the amazing voice of Johnny’s father to a whole new generation.
Posted in Interviews
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Walking Over Eggshells is an autobiography about your life and how you survived growing up and living with mental abuse. What inspired you to put your experiences into a book?
Originally I never intended to publish my experiences of growing up, I wrote about my life solely for my children to explain my parenting skills, or lack of them and to give them a greater understanding of me as a person. I was aware of the effects of the fraught relationship I had with my mother but totally unaware of the cause. As I recount in the closing chapters, it was only after her death that quite by chance I read about Narcissistic personality disorder and my mother’s reactions, behaviour and responses ticked all the boxes. I was over 60 when she died and only then I learned that no matter what I’d done, I would never, ever have been able to make her love me. If only I had walked away decades earlier I could have saved myself years of heartbreak. From talking to other victims in various forums I realized there were thousands of people out there in a similar position and that’s when I decided to publish my story. From the huge number of emails I’ve received, I know it has helped many others and that has been the greatest award of all.
In this book you talk about many of your life experiences. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?
The way my mother behaved towards me, belittled, mocked me and hurt me. I was also aware that many people would not understand why I was so stupid and returned time and time again only to receive more abuse. Only those who have been conditioned and brainwashed from birth to revere parents and respect families would understand this, many other people wouldn’t. As I wrote it opened the wounds, but at the same time pouring it all out on paper helped the healing process.
The novel covers the entire span of your life including your childhood. What is one common misconception you find people have about child abuse?
The media is full of stories relating to sexual abuse. To the outside world I was an only child, with all the comforts, food, nice clothes, private school, even the hated ballet lessons, living in a beautiful area in England. But what went on behind closed doors was ongoing mental abuse, and I think this has a more damaging effect that any other kind of abuse. It strips away your sense of worth, your self confidence, destroys any chance of achieving your potential. It doesn’t stop the day you are old enough to say ‘no this is not right’ because you can’t rely on your own judgement you have been taught that you are the problem. It follows you through life and while some simply give up, others will try again and again to be the perfect person and will fail again and again. I grew up in the days when there was no such thing as Child Line, no one to talk to, all adults stuck together, no one criticised the older generation. I was totally alone in an ongoing nightmare.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
I published Walking over Eggshells in 2013, and since then, I had written two further memoirs about my career in writing for radio and television full of funny and tragic stories.
I have also written four action/adventure books set in Africa featuring my heroine Amie and the latest of these is Cut for Life published in October 2017.
I am taking a month off to co-ordinate my marketing strategies (which are a disaster!) and then I will begin the next Amie book.
Walking Over Eggshells is an autobiography that tells the story of a mentally abused child, who married a “Walter Mitty” clone who took her to live in many different countries. They moved from England to Kenya, from Libya to Botswana and on again to South Africa. It took all her courage to survive in situations that were at times dangerous, sometimes humorous, but always nerve wracking. She had a variety of jobs, different types of homes, and was both a millionairess and totally broke. At one end of the scale she met royalty, hosted ambassadors, and won numerous awards for her writing and for her television programmes. At the other end, she climbed over garbage dumps, fended off the bailiffs, and coped with being abandoned in the African bush with a seven week old baby, no money and no resources. She admits to being the biggest coward in the world, but her survival instincts kicked in and she lived to tell her story. This book will make you laugh and cry, but also it also explains the damage being brought up by a mother with a personality disorder can inflict on a child. However, it is not all doom and gloom, and hopefully it will inspire others who did not have the best start in life either. All names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent – and that includes the author as well!
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