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Best Friends Forever: A Puppy’s Tale

Getting a new pet is an exciting time for a family, especially children. When four-year-old Scoopie wants a puppy for her birthday, her parents agree it is time to get a pet for the family. When the day comes to pick up their new family member Scoopie is filled with anticipation and excitement to meet her new puppy sister. It is love at first sight, and Sandy and Scoopie instantly become best friends.

One day it comes time for Scoopie’s family to move. Sandy has to ride in the cargo area of a plane. After this trip, Sandy is not the same. It turns out Sandy has Epilepsy, and the family must learn how to care for her when she has seizures. Scoopie still loves her best friend and enjoys all the good times they have together because she never would know when the next seizure would be too much for Sandy.

Author Portia Yvette Clare has written an emotional children’s book about love, loss, and friendship. Best Friends Forever: A Puppy’s Tale shares a realistic story about how sometimes life is not fair and does not go the way we want. Lossing a beloved pet is hard, and trying to explain things to young children can be a challenge. But, they need to know they are not alone, and this heartfelt book gives kids the reassurance that their feelings are valid and normal.

Illustrator Lisa Alderson brings this story to life with her vibrant and beautiful images. Scoopie’s emotions are realistic and capture the story’s pivotal moments helping younger readers follow even if they don’t understand all the words.

Scoopie’s character is strong, accepting that her best friend is sick and defending her against her cousin’s insensitive behavior. She shows maturity when Sandy dies and acceptance, and rather than running right out and getting a new pet, she takes time to grieve. Teaching children how to accept death

Best Friends Forever: A Puppy’s Tale is a beautifully written children’s book dealing with the emotions surrounding friendship, love, and loss. Through the story of a girl and her puppy, children will see that feelings of grief are a normal part of life.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09M6KD3XY

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I Infuse Raw Emotion and Honesty Into My Work

Author Interview Michele L. Sayre

Guiding Spirits: (Veritas) is a collection of poetry from your mid-twenties. What made you decide to publish these poems now?

Frankly, I decided to publish now because the conditions were finally right. In regards to poetry, there are only two ways to get published – a publishing company or self-publishing. Most publishing houses don’t really want to deal with poetry unless it comes from a well-known person because then they have a chance for their endeavor to be cost-effective. Self-publishing, until at least fifteen years ago, was always done at great cost to the poet/author. You had to publish so many books, and if they didn’t sell, then you ate that cost and were stuck with a lot of books.

Self-publishing today is completely different. The only cost to the poet is their time and effort to complete their work, and then get it published on platforms like Amazon Kindle Publishing. Only a book that gets ordered gets published and the poet gets a percentage of the royalties that would have gone to the publisher or their agent otherwise. An author can take their destiny into their own hands. They don’t have to face dozens of rejections from publishers who often let writers like J.K. Rowling slide through their fingers because their opinions are subjective. Independent, self-publishing allows that book to get out into the universe to be bought by readers based on their preferences – not what the publisher thinks readers may or may not like.

I’ll take my chances on the readers. My books will either sell or not sell depending on their own merits . . . and authors and poets like me can now get their work out into the universe when they would never have been given that opportunity before with the technology that hadn’t existed until about fifteen years ago.

What was it like going back and reading these poems at this point in your life? Do they still resonate with where you are currently in life?

One of my greatest concerns was that I had been self-delusional in my youth and maybe my poetry wasn’t as good as I remembered it to be. My poetry style today is much more complicated and definitely less repetitious. I was really surprised at how well the poetry had held up over time. I think it was because of the raw emotion and honesty I was able to infuse into my work. It definitely was like a diary entry for me. My stepfather had died around this time period, so it made me question everything, including my place in the universe. I could still relate to the poetry because of that emotion.

What poem from this collection has held the most meaning for you and why?

My favorite poem in the book is “Sweet Music.” I just love the rhythmic movement of it and the imagery. It’s about the ultimate expression of a woman and a man’s love. Lovemaking is more than about the physicality of the act – when done right, it is the blending of two souls into the closest thing human beings can attain towards bringing Heaven to Earth.

Do you plan to publish additional collections of poetry written from this stage of your life?

Yes, there will be many more poetry books to come. By the end of the year, I’ll have two more poetry books published. They still have a simplicity and emotional honesty to them, but they cover stages in my life throughout the years. Guiding Spirits was about opening myself to the universe. The next book is about the anger of realizing I gave away my power to others and taking it back. The third poetry book is how my journey of self-discovery transforms my life.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

GUIDING SPIRITS (VERITAS) . . .

The beauty of poetry is that we try to express with the fewest words possible the entirety of life and our natures and what it is like for us to live upon this planet. Words become a song that we sing out into the universe, trying to reach out to like-minded souls. It is our nature to express ourselves and share who we are with the cosmos. There’s a certain fearlessness attached to a poem when it’s presented to the world. There’s always that one iota of fear where the poet feels that they are alone in their views and someone else will not get them at their most basic level of humanity. Poetry is saying, “Here I am universe. Take me as I am. I hope you love me, but, if that cannot happen, I will be satisfied if you just don’t ignore me.” To be heard is to matter, and that is all any of us want – to fulfill the wish that our lives matter. That what we think and feel and hope matters to someone other than ourselves.
This book is an exploration and experiencing of the world around us through the poet’s eyes when she was much younger than she is now. Through any age, we all experience the same emotions, desires, wants, dreams, and just a heart-felt wish that we matter to someone in this universe – even if it’s ourselves.

Guiding Spirits

Veritas is a Latin phrase that stands for “Truth is mighty and will prevail.” Guiding Spirits by author Michele L Sayer is a compilation of poems exploring the constant truths in life like love, family, God, emotion, and change. The poems were written at a much younger age in the author’s life. A time when her life was filled with dynamic changes, her mid-twenties. This is a point in life where you are figuring out who you are and where life may take you. While we all are still grappling with the idea of being adults, there are a lot of critical life-altering decisions that we make. There is no one to tell us what to do, and whatever we do at this stage decides the trajectory of our lives. Sayer talks about these very timeless issues in these poems.

The poems are written in a very personal tone, as they were once in Sayre’s diary. A significant tone of the book is relatability and connection. From a literary point of view, the poems are very basic. The poem style varies across the book, with repetition being the dominant literary device. The poet uses repetition to highlight the all-encompassing nature of these emotions, like loneliness in the poem “I am Lonely.” The themes covered and the messages conveyed are straightforward without a lot of symbolism. I found it interesting that the book’s format looks raw and basic, almost like reading a personal diary filled with poems. It made it seem like the author was sharing a piece of her writing that is close to her, making the poems very relatable.

Throughout the book, there is artwork done by three different artists: Brycen Pancrazio, Isabel Sayre, and Gabriel Sayre. What is unique about these artists is they are all children. Each of them is special in Sayer’s life and adds a special touch to the poems included in this collection.

Guiding Spirits: (Veritas) is a thought-provoking collection of poetry. Written when the author was in her mid-twenties, the topics are highly relatable to that age group. however, anyone that is at a stage of life undergoing significant changes will find this collection meaningful.

Page: 214 | ASIN : B09SZ9LZWH

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The Facets of Death – Book Trailer

The Facets of Death
Death can be uncertain.
For our loved ones who have passed away, this can be extremely heartbreaking. But there is one question that I’m sure most of us have pondered in our minds. Where do we go after we die? Some say in the ground, while others might say to a better place. This book will provide us with the answers to these questions.

Death can also be mysterious.
What I mean is, how many times have we questioned God as to why He didn’t heal a loved one from a life-threatening illness? I’m sure we have wondered why He allowed a friend of ours, a relative, or a son or daughter to die at a young age. This book will give us examples of some instances where God has chosen to heal so and so and what might be the basis for such a decision.

Death can also be prevented.
Is it possible that certain conditions might influence God to intervene and prevent a loved one from impending death? This book will unveil to us what decisions we could make to bring about divine protection and prolonged life.

Death is inevitable.
This book will teach us how to receive a new life that will provide spiritual blessings in time and a new destination when the end of our time here on earth has come.

Look Inside Yourself for Healing

Ashley Bernardi  Author Interview

Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission to Feel offers science-based facts and solutions that help readers start their personal journey towards healing. Why was this an important book for you to write?

This is the book I wish I had when I was going through my health crisis of Lyme disease and postpartum depression. I also felt called to write this in the early days of the pandemic when I found myself faced with familiar feelings: Anxiety, grief, confusion, despair, and more. Yet this time around, I gave myself permission to feel all of those messy critters, and felt called to write about my healing journey in hopes to inspire others to move through and process their feelings in healthy ways. The pandemic was a collective trauma for our world, and we as humans need to give ourselves permission to feel all of the feelings from these past two years because that is where healing and transformation will happen.

I appreciated all the references and research that went into this book. Was there anything that surprised you during your own research?

I interviewed several experts about the science behind stress and how chronic stress takes a toll on the body. Dr. Marianne Teitelbaum, an ayurvedic practitioner, discussed that stress particularly takes a toll on the immune system. Stress was a constant element in my life as a journalist, and when I look back now, it’s no surprise that the stress on my body from my career and previous life circumstances such as witnessing my father’s death later continued to my impacting my immune system, leaving my body unable to fight Lyme disease.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There are so many important themes that the book explored, including grief, connection, feelings, spirituality, empathy, and more.

The theme of grief was a very important subject for me to explore because I had spent most of my life burying the loss from my father at the young age of eleven years old. In chapter 6, I interviewed renowned grief therapist Edy Nathan, discussed how we can lean into the power of grief. When Lyme disease hit me on the head and death felt near, I began to revisit losing my father in a way I never had before. Instead of ignoring my feelings of grief as I had done so for more than twenty years, this was the first time I allowed myself to feel, process, and move through my grief. What I discovered was profound healing, peace, and discovery of a way to have a relationship with my father, even in death.

Another theme I felt very important to address was the importance of the power of connection to heal our lives. When I was in the throes of my health crisis, I was isolated and alone, and preferred to stay that way. But something called me to reach out to my loved ones and friends and get vulnerable about what I was experiencing. What happened next will forever be with me: I was met with open arms of compassion, love, and understanding. My connections with people deepened. I found that when you get honest and vulnerable with what you are experiencing and how you are feeling in your life, you open yourself up to deeper and more powerful connections with others.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

As a society and culture, we are taught to look outside of ourselves for answers, especially when it comes to healing. Yet my hope is that by reading Authentic Power, readers will feel empowered and inspired to discover that we already hold those answers inside of us. We are the experts of our own lives, and when we get quiet and still, and turn off the outside noise, therein lies our Authentic Power, which is the wisdom we have within each of us. We need to learn to trust that wisdom and once we do, profound healing and transformation happens. My story and journey is a testament to that.

Author Links: GoodReads | Instagram | Facebook | Website

WHAT IF YOU ALLOWED YOURSELF TO TRULY FEEL?

Whether it’s grief, despair, or anxiety, society will always find a way to label feelings as “messy.” But burying these reactions only leads to greater emotional turmoil. In the past, we have looked to self-help gurus like Gary Zukav, whose Seat of the Soul inspired Oprah Winfrey to help America process trauma. So why did that book resonate with her, and what does everyone still love about Oprah? It’s not that she’s rich or that she’s successful…it’s her authenticity. She taps into what she has described in her SuperSoul Sundays as Authentic Power: uniting all the pieces of herself so that she’s always bringing her whole self to everything she does. Oprah didn’t ignore her messy feelings: she shared them with America, and she processed and integrated them in order to tap into her own authentic power. She became her authentic self, which exudes from her in every second that you see her.

In Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission to Feel, accomplished entrepreneur, journalist, publicist, and award-winning podcaster Ashley Bernardi continues the brave work of these great thought leaders by teaching you that your darkest hours are disguised opportunities to uncover and process, feel, heal, and grow.

Bernardi’s personal journey began when she witnessed her father’s sudden death at age eleven. Years later, a mysterious illness began a personal quest toward healing and taught her that trauma and adversity can be sources of strength and self-discovery. Through daily affirmations and writing prompts, you will discover Ashley Bernardi’s F.E.E.L. Framework:

Focus
Enter
Experience
Learn

You will explore chapters such as:

Embrace the Waves of Emotions

Lift the Emotional Fog

Make Space for the Brave Conversations

The F.E.E.L. Framework

Balanced Body, Balanced Heart

Discover Your Deeper, Powerful, Self

Exercise Your Empathy


As the founder of a national media relations and publicity firm, Ashley has the privilege of access to many of the world’s leading experts in health and wellness who offered healing and hope with her personal challenges—a rich collection of top doctors, neurologists, psychologists, nutritionists, coaches, spiritualists, and others. She shares their profound wisdom so that you can build hope during your times of struggle.

Bernardi searched for true healing and growth for more than twenty years; Authentic Power equips you with the tools to ignite your own journey now.

Authentic Power

Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission to Feel, is a thought-provoking self-help book by author Ashley Bernardi. This inspirational collection of anecdotes and affirmations is compiled in a book that is part journal and part self-help, providing information on how to handle trauma and the overwhelming emotions that go with it.

The author draws on her hurtful past experiences of witnessing her father lose his life to a fulminating heart attack when she was nine years old. She also opens up about the long process of searching for a diagnosis for a mysterious chronic illness that left her severely debilitated. Bernardi offers readers different insights and strategies that they can use to navigate stress and trauma in their lives.

This helpful book is a unique work that is different from traditional self-help books. The layout is in the form of a journal, where each chapter begins with a small introductory text and includes a paragraph with a positive affirmation to be said aloud, a quote, and a blank space where the reader is encouraged to put into practice the proposed exercise. Some examples of the exercises included are to make a list of objects for a self-care kit or to express their thoughts after their first attempts at meditation. This organization and structure makes for a safe environment where anyone can express their emotions freely, away from third-party judgments.

It should be noted that the author’s strategies and tips are validated with evidence-based data, and she makes sure to cite the sources in between pages. This makes her work stand out from other self-help books that might rely more on religious doctrine and be as adamant about following scientific guidelines.

The book includes approaches to challenges that have arisen amidst COVID-19. This updated work is another differential that will lend a hand to those struggling with social distancing and losing loved ones during the pandemic.

Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission to Feel is a secular, science-based self-help book for those that are looking for a fresh approach to dealing with grief and trauma. Readers will learn how to build emotional wellness through the steps set forth in this well-researched book.

Pages: 195 | ASIN : B09FTLLSLM

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NO ONE walks alone!

Author Interview
Nina Norstrom Author Interview

Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoeprints That Matters is a very personal story for you. How hard was it to put this story out in the world for people to read?

Firstly, you must know that I grew up in a house full of secrets. Whatever went on in the family, we were taught to keep it in the home. So, as an adult and a single parent, I was compelled to live a secretive and private life. I made a practice to rarely reveal what was happening in our lives. Even back then, those that knew of me had very little knowledge about me.

Secondly, for many decades, my journey with toxic relationships was deep seated, raw, and buried inside me. What you have to realize, I kept it all in a diary. Never realizing I was exactly telling a story about our life that would one day become an opened book to others. Unknowingly, this writing was a healing medium that many may have called writing therapy.

Initially, during the editing phases, all I could do was cry, cry, and cry while trying to relive those painful and hurtful events. There was an instance, I recall when the editor and I had bumped heads; since I could not break through those raw emotions to express my thoughts clearly and precisely. It was extremely bad that the publisher had to intervene. After the conversation with her, she had me to take four days off to recover from that ordeal.

Finally, once we’d gotten back to the writing, I still couldn’t break through those unsettling emotions. It was then I came up with a conclusion to take the portion out. Therefore, I wrote in its chapter titled, Finding Peace and Comfort.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

Truly, there were many challenging moments. The pain was just overly great and hurtful, I wanted to scream in an octave range; to the top of my lungs. But, I’ll share with you these crucial ones . . .

The challenges surfaced when writing about the guilt and steps taken into being someone’s mistress. Knowingly, the pain I had ‘cause another with the interference I’d made in their lives. And how horribly I’d abused myself by giving up my self-worth; self-dignity; and all those other self-dimensions one possesses. Through it all, I’ve come to realize we can be our worst abuser.

The most sharpening and piercing piece was writing the horrible news about my child. Being that parent and having to watch one so young go through a grown folk’s disease ─ can be the most devastating experience ever endured. It even breaks my heart (now) to write it here. You know, life can be so unfair? Yes, then again, whoever said life was fair?

You have to remember, I was reared in a Christian environment. So, once I let go of my religious and spiritual beliefs, there I was holding on to that poison of unforgiveness. It took decades to find my way through the darkness that kept me in a fixed space with an inability to move forward.

Finally, those years of experiencing losses took its toll traumatically, and overpowered me mentally. I had become a basket case. Surprisingly, I didn’t see that until it was on paper! To become housed living inside a world of trauma was not only terrorizing, but horrifying. Perhaps, that may be difficult for one to understand what it’s like − unless he or she has walked that journey.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

Unfortunately, that’s a tough question, I can’t clearly say there is one thing but many . . .

It’s story speaks about the good, the bad, and the ugly stuff life throws at us. Not only that, it was raw and canned. Thinking about relationships, there’s no way to prevent an engagement with them. Every integral piece is a vital part of living, period.

Ultimately, it’s message will reveal the importance that life brings many challenges; with each there are lessons learned along the way. And with each relationship, one can learn to recognize whether it has a toxic or non-toxic impact. Flipping through those pages, it illuminates the beauty of love, compassion, courage, determination, and strength.

As an end result, I can only hope readers reach an enlightening height from the lessons learned while walking on the journey. And realize that the engagement of toxicity affects everyone in one form or another. But, know when walking, NO ONE walks alone!

What is a common misconception you feel people have about toxic relationships?

In many cases, it could be that some feel they’re making the wrong choices or poor decisions when it comes to unhealthy relationships. However, they fail to realize you don’t chose a toxic person, they chose you.

In another instance, some are failing to realize the dangerous effects their interactions play out. But first they must understand what is a toxic relationship? “A toxic relationship occurs when two or more people interact in a way that is detrimental to their life.” Or, “Anything that is poisonous and capable of causing sickness or death.” In either case, all one has to do is think about how deadly COVID-19 has impacted our lives, daily. With that in mind, it’s evidence that a toxic relationship becomes nothing to play.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Website

Allowing us to learn lessons, let go of toxicity, and gain insight, relationship can play a powerful role in our lives. They are formed with people, alcohol, animals, battlefields, diseases, drugs, environments, and even our emotions. Whether toxic or nontoxic, relationships are an integral component of daily living. Author Nina Norstrom lost her child to a disease, but that wasn’t the only toxic relationship she endured. In this book, she explores the effects that her relationships with grief, pain, trauma, and forgiveness have had on her life. This tale exposes a mother’s struggle to escape her world of toxicity, her journey out of the clutches of diseased relationships, and the shoe prints the experiences have left on her family’s history. This story in its raw form projects a remarkable voice to the heroic fight, courage, and bravery gained when striking back to wipe out toxic relationships. Its message reveals that life brings many challenges and that each challenge provides lessons to be learned. This book is not intended to be a blueprint for dealing with diseased relationships. It’s about the shoe prints: those symbols of life’s journey that are left by our experiences. “Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter” is an insightful and inspiring personal story of one family’s journey through toxic relationships.

Not a Blueprint; It’s the Shoeprints That Matter

Relationships play a significant role in human experiences throughout life’s journey. Nina Norstrom, in her memoir Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoeprints That Matters refers to the toxic relationships she lives, endures, and learns through as a daughter, mate, mother, and working woman. The reader is taken on the author’s journey as they follow the shoeprints she leaves along her life path and those left behind by many others in her life. By going along with these shoeprints, the by-products of her life, readers learn about her battle against toxic relationships in various forms.

There are seventeen chapters in the memoir, which begin with an account of the author’s life. In the first nine chapters of the book, the author describes her experiences and struggles with domestic violence, both as a child witness it and in her own personal relationships. Throughout the remaining chapters, the author vividly recalls, her experiences while dealing with the toxic relationship with cancer that invades the life of her angel, her daughter.

In addition to expressing the author’s diverse emotions, the book pays homage to Nina Norstrom’s daughter, who tragically succumbed to a diseased toxic relationship in her life. My experience as a reader was emotional, and I commend the author for being open about her feelings while letting the readers inside the usually restricted area of a person’s psyche. The poems written for the departed soul of her daughter are beautifully expressed, seeping out the multitude of emotions of a parent. Moreover, the other feelings expressed in the book, whether it’s grief, anger, or resentment towards certain people, fate, or God, are raw and genuine.

This inspirational non-fiction story recounts Nina Norstrom’s journey of grief, guilt, and anger at God, to the path of finding peace with the will of God. Apart from providing solid shoes with which one can walk the hard paths of life, God also accompanies His children as they leave their shoeprints along the life journey. In the end, four appendices provide support resources, centers, and reading materials for those who are caught up in toxic relationships and would like support.

Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoeprints That Matter is a deeply personal memoir that is recommended for those who want motivation from a genuine account of a battle with toxicity and self-reflection in the aftermath of trauma.

Pages: 179 | ASIN : B016X198SO

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