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Move Forward And Find Healing

Wilda Rodriguez Author Interview

Being Transparent tells your story about dealing with your son’s drug addiction and how you found the strength to move forward in life through your faith in God. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was important for me because I wanted to reach out to someone in a similar situation and bring hope and encouragement by letting them know that there is light at the end of the tunnel if you don’t lose hope and faith. I also wanted to share how important has been my faith in God to be able to move forward and find healing.

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

I think the hardest part to write about was how I felt like a failure as a mother and my mixed feelings at that moment about raising my grandson.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

Take one day at a time, yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promise.

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

With God all is possible!  And by this I mean that we might not get what we want at a specific moment or for a hard situation to be change the way we want to, but God will provide at the moment what we need if we put our trust in Him. And as we put our trust in God, we will be change for the better.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

Being Transparent
My Story: Facing my son’s drug addiction
Are you facing what seems like an impossible situation in life that has had you asking, “Why, God?”
Do you feel like screaming or running away just to escape from the challenges you face everyday?
Are you wondering if you will ever see the other side of the situation and finally find victory in your season?
Facing her son’s drug addiction, Wilda has asked herself all these questions and more. In excerpts from her journals, she shares the raw truth of her experiences with denial, anger, and depression, as well as the steps she took to find peace in trusting in God’s plan for her life. Acknowledging that God’s ways may not be her ways, Wilda shows us that being transparent with God, others, and most importantly herself, is an important step in the journey of healing.
What Wilda offers here is more than just a timeline of events and series of facts that may feel familiar to those who have watched a loved one battle addiction. She gives us an unfiltered, honest and vulnerable account of her thoughts and feelings as she navigated through one of the most difficult seasons of her life. And she leaves us with a simple but powerful truth that has been one of her core convictions-God never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is with us through it all, present and working in every moment. Those of us that know and love her are deeply appreciative that her readers will have the opportunity to benefit from the powerful life lessons she has conveyed to so many of us.

To Honor The Good Times

Craig Ohlau Author Interview

Kings of the County League is a stirring and fun story sharing your experiences as one of the members of The Kings of the County League. What inspired you to write this sports memoir?

I gave a large part of my life—18 summers—to the league immortalized in this book. When my playing days ended, I felt the proper way to honor the good times, the guys, and my long-time manager—a man who gave his life to the game—was to write this book. The process a labor of love and I couldn’t be more proud of the product.

Was there any research that you had to do to ensure you got the facts of the story correct?

It is a work of nonfiction and based primarily on the accounts of the characters. Where archival information was available, I relied on it for information, quotes, and the foundation of parts of the narrative. While I relied upon a number of sources, most of the research came from revisiting in memory those not-so-long-ago events.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

Set against the backdrop of a small German town in Illinois just minutes from the big city, the story charts the history and fortunes of one manager, one baseball club, and one summer in mid-western county league baseball. It is a funny and poignant story that reminds us of the real meaning of summer, friends, and America’s favorite pastime. The book also contains over 100 pages of pictures and stats encompassing the 60-year history of the club.

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

I want readers to be entertained and at the same time appreciate the down-to-earth characters and unadulterated brand of baseball depicted in the story.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

Author Craig Ohlau’s first hit, The Sons of Chester, was a home run, immortalizing a group of brothers from a small, death-row river town growing up in the 90s. In his next at-bat, the bases are loaded, and he does it again with Kings of the County League.
Kings of the County League presents baseball unadorned, a game sweet enough to lure ex-big leaguers, grown men married with kids still living for the occasional square-up, college upstarts dreaming of the pros, and the blossoming high school hopefuls looking to hang with the “big boys” every summer to the scorched, dusty sandlots in the middle of America’s heartland.
Set against the backdrop of a small German town in southern Illinois just minutes from the big city, the story charts the history and fortunes of one manager, one baseball club, and one summer in town vs. town, you versus me mid-western county league baseball. The funny and poignant story reminds us of the real meaning of summer, friends, and what was America’s favorite pastime.

Being Transparent

In Being Transparent, Wilda Rodriguez tells the heartbreaking story of how she dealt with her son’s drug addiction. This emotional book is a collection of journal entries that she wrote over the years, and it depicts the raw and honest nature of her emotions. Rodriguez struggles to cope with the most challenging season of her life, unsure of where she went wrong as a mother. In her hopelessness, she finds refuge and relief in religion. Wilda focuses on reminding people that there is a God out there. You also gain internal peace and tranquility by being transparent with him and trusting him to do the right thing.

Wilda Rodriguez has bared herself in front of her readers by sharing her brutally honest story in Being Transparent. Her intimate thoughts are openly written so that people can connect with them and feel less isolated. Through this inspirational book, she illustrates how being transparent with herself, God, and others gave her journey a head start and eventually led her to heal. Furthermore, Rodriguez has shared in-depth the steps she took that gradually helped her gain inner peace and acceptance. Finally, she has written her realistic experience in a raw and honest tone which exhibits how discombobulated and tangled she really was.

Rodriguez has written this book authentically from the core of her heart in hopes of reaching out and helping those in similar situations. The author also discusses how addiction affects not only the victims but those around them too. She narrates the events that took place over the years while offering truth, answers, and comfort as well. People usually feel suffocated and helpless in such situations, which is why she advises them to embrace reality and trust in God’s plan; by doing so, she rekindles their hope and helps them through an impossible time. 

Being Transparent: My Story: Facing my son’s drug addiction is Wilda Rodriguez’s heartbreaking and inspiring memoir. Her true story shares the pain she experienced the questions she had no answers to, and the path she took to self-healing and acceptance.  

Pages: 57 | ASIN : B0BMRVVBZ1

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Change Your Destiny And Return To Power

Wanna Choy Author Interview

Return to Power tells your inspirational story of overcoming adversity and stepping out from the background after years of feeling insignificant. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I wrote this book because I wanted to give those who feel like they are stuck in the background a voice. To those wonderful people who, even with success in their lives, have for whatever reason been relegated to the background or are once again voiceless, those are the ones I want to help EMPOWER. I want them to feel their power and be on TOP of their game, becoming their most authentic selves.

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

The hardest thing to write about was the painful memories of feeling alone and not fitting in with all my classmates. My shyness held me back from pursuing my dreams. I wanted to be a journalist but without the proper support from my teachers it took me in a different direction. I settled for whatever was comfortable for me because I didn’t think I was good enough to do anything significant.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

Some of the ideas I wanted to share in my book were of confidence, self-love, and compassion. Even though I went through a lot of challenges in life, I always hoped that one day I would conquer my demons feeling confident enough to prevent that negative inner voice from taking over. I did not grow up in a family that hugged so it was hard to feel love in that tactile way. When my dad told his friends my sister and I were not beautiful, I took that literally. For most of my life I felt shame and embarrassment when people complimented me because I couldn’t accept it. Having great teachers and mentors who were loving people helped me realize that I had to love myself first before I could love others unconditionally. If they weren’t compassionate and didn’t see potential in me, I would not have been able to see potential in others. This compassion brought me wisdom, gratitude, and an abundance of love to pursue my dreams, contribute to great causes, and pay it forward.

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

The one thing I hope readers will take away from my book is to practice self-love and self-care daily so they can feel empowered to do anything their heart desires. I invested a lot of time and money into self-development so I could pursue my dreams. It took me many years. It is important to learn how to grow from a place of hurt, scarred by negative epithets, into the great human being you were meant to be by finding that inner love, removing the walls that have protected you for so long. No matter where you started in life, you can course correct and change directions any time to change your destiny and Return to Power!

Author Links: Facebook | Website

RETURN TO POWER is Wanna Choy’s story, an inspirational tale of overcoming adversity. It’s a story about stepping out from the background after so many years of being made to feel inadequate and insignificant. It’s a lesson about recognizing—returning to—the power we already possessed. To be seen. To be heard, once more, by creating a pathway to finding our own voice.

The Transformation of America

William Hynson’s The Transformation of America begins with an interesting memoir starting with his birth in 1932 up to the 1960 election. He spends much of this section contrasting his childhood with today’s world, for instance, how his family’s doctor charged just five dollars for house visits, or the huge popularity of radio shows which are now largely forgotten. The second part of the book focuses on the many changes in American society from the 1960’s on, both good and bad, like women’s liberation, the booming drug culture, and the influx of illegal immigration. The last chapter discusses American demographic changes, particularly how Whites are en route to becoming a minority within the US.

Hynson provides readers with a lot of thought-provoking ideas and information that I would love to have seen expanded on. For example, he mentions having traveled around East Asia while in the Army during the Korean War. This part alone make a great travelogue or memoir because I found what was given to be fascinating and I wanted more details. Later, the author discusses his company hiring women for roles beyond secretarial work for the first time in the early 1970’s. I would have loved to have understood the mindset of the men and women in those situations because those changes were culturally important.

In the section on demographic change, Hynson cites various statistics about the declining number of Whites compared to other racial groups in the United States. I was fascinated by this and I wanted to understand the implications of this demographic shift. This is a serious and sensitive subject and Hynson provides readers with an intriguing overview of the topic. The Transformation of America provides readers with a stimulating read and a sketch of growing up in pre-1960 America. Readers interested in history, politics and sociology will find this book of great interest.

Pages: 82 | ASIN: B0B8F3BYNF

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Life Is A Grand Adventure

Mallory M. and John A. O’Connor Author Interview

The Kitchen and The Studio: Memoirs of Food and Art is a unique blend of memoir, cookbook, and artwork that all combine to tell the story of your marriage and life together. Why was this an important book to create?

John is an artist. I am a writer and an art historian. Our mutual love of good food and wine initially played a role in bringing us together and it has continued to be a mutual passion for more than sixty years! So, our collaboration on “The Kitchen and the Studio” is a true legacy of our life together throughout all the places we’ve been and the people we’ve known. It’s been a constant anchor for us through good times and bad and has sustained our love of life and of each other.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

In the first part of the book, I wrote about one of. our visits to John’s artist friends, Bill brown and Paul Wonner. I had just finished my sophomore year at U.C. and was pondering what direction to go. Should I stay a fine art major or move more toward art history? I had a long conversation with Bill and at the end he told me, “The most important thing is to live the artist’s life.” For a long time I tried to figure out what he meant. What did you have to do to “live the artist’s life?” I finally realized that he was telling me to “open my eyes and see what was there.” And to build my life one stroke at a time, as an artist would create a painting. Our LIFE was meant to be a work of art and we needed to approach it with care and delight and make it as beautiful and as significant as possible. That’s the message imbedded in our book. “Live the artist’s life” and make your LIFE a work of art. And always remember that an artist can take humble materials and transform them into something beautiful and unique. Just as you can with food.

If you had to pick one recipe for your readers to try from your book, what one would it be and why?

I think I’d choose John’s Crab Louie for two reasons. 1. It was the “beginning” of our mutual love affair with food (and with each other) and 2. Even if you’re not a meat-eater, you can enjoy this wonderful mix of fresh vegetables ad seafood. Or even leave the seafood out and enjoy it as a lovely salad. It’s pretty, it’s delicious and it’s healthy. Great combination!

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

Life is a grand adventure. Accept. Learn. Experiment. Enjoy. You don’t need lots of money or expensive surroundings to create a beautiful and meaningful life. Find out what/who you love and let that be your guide. By following the path, you will co-create your destiny.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Kings of the County League: One Summer, One Team, One Dynasty

In a story that will touch the heart of the readers, Kings of the County League: One Summer, One Team, One Dynasty is a feel-good story that makes one glad to be American. This impassioned story is all about the “Great American Past time,” but not in the way that most would expect.

Author Craig Ohlau has done a marvelous job of immersing the reader into the world of semi-pro baseball; which is his world. In sharing his experience as one of the members of The Kings of the County League, Mr. Ohlau has not only opened up an entirely different perspective of one of our beloved games, but in the process will more than likely convert even some of the most loyal fans of MLB to the semi-pro aspect. He does on excellent job of painting a vivid picture of the differences between the two levels of the game and illuminating the supposed “lower” levels of the game, that most people think players go to die or that they can’t quite cut it in the big league. I beg to differ, and you will too after you read this rousing book.

As this is a real-life story, I can say that the story reads like a good fiction novel. The author does a fantastic job of fleshing out the characters in the story, which were his real-life teammates. The story is a first-hand account of one summer that is told from a first-person perspective, but I suspect that Craig Ohlau is simply speaking from his heart when writing this book, as readers will be able to tell that it came from a place of love.

I highly recommend Kings of the County League to readers who want a feel-good story that shows what amounts to the triumph of “the little guy”. This spirited story may in fact change one’s view that the “little guy” is actually the coolest.

Pages: 259 | ASIN: B08KWQXB74

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Red Cagle: West Point’s Three-Time All-American

Christian Keener Cagle was a born athlete. Nicknamed “Red,” Cagle was destined for greatness. From a rural upbringing in Louisiana to college at West Point, Cagle excelled at any sport he tried. His competitive nature followed him throughout his short but fascinating life.

Red Cagle: West Point’s Three-Time All-American, by Cathy C. Post, is a riveting biographical account of an extraordinary athlete. Cagle never set out to be a nationally known athlete. He grew up as a true cowboy on his family’s ranch in Louisiana. He loved the sport of football like he did all other sports. He was a natural, despite his relatively small stature for a football player. He was lightning-fast, and colleges picked up on his prowess. Southwestern Louisiana Institute and the prestigious West Point vied for his attention and won. The National Football League came knocking, and Cagle answered. He gained an extraordinary level of fame while representing his chosen schools and then the NFL, but it did come at a price. Should he stay true to his sweetheart, Marion? Should he break a code of honor? What about all his fans flocking to arenas to witness his amazing athleticism? How can one person keep everyone happy?

Author Cathy C. Post is a master at drawing in the reader with her smart inclusion of details and the way in which she is able to give readers a look at the inner workings of West Point. This compelling biography will appeal to readers that have a love of football because of her play-by-play recounting of Cagle’s football games in which he participated. The games offer so much: danger, camaraderie, and fierce competition, and readers are able to understand and appreciate this due to the authors fantastic writing. Post puts the reader right in the middle of it all. The author also provides an interesting look at the history of football such as when President Theodore Roosevelt “slammed down the hammer”. He vowed to abolish the game unless “major changes were put in place.” This insistence from President Roosevelt led to the creation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It’s things like this that make this book enlightening as well as entertaining.

Fans of sports biographies will delight in the details of a young hero out of the South in the 1920s playing “America’s game.” Readers of all kinds will enjoy Red Cagle: West Point’s Three-Time All-American because of Cathy C. Post’s engaging storytelling.

Pages: 208 | ISBN: 1455625159

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