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American’s Misconceptions

John A O’Connor Author Interview

White Lies Matter: Decoding American Deceptionalism explores issues facing America and provides thought-provoking commentary using art. What inspired you to write this book?

I have previously stated that, “Years ago, noted art critic Robert Hughes lamented the fact that America had never had a Goya. That notion apparently remained in my subconscious because by 2013, I realized that my art was focused more and more on revealing the lies and misconceptions that were abundant in American history.

In addition to that motivation, my education includes minors in mathematics, foreign language and art history. And, my professional background goes well beyond teaching classes in art and art history. I have also taught in the University of Florida College of Engineering, created and taught in the Master of Business Administration degree program in UF’s College of Business Administration, and taught Art Law at UF for fifteen years along with Distinguished Service Professor of Law, E. L. Roy Hunt. And, for more than ten years, I worked with Professor of Medicine, Dr. James Cerda studying and writing about the health hazards affecting actors, artists, dancers, and musicians. I was also made quite aware of all of the issues beyond the arts that face our society through my founding of the nation’s first arts policy center, the multidisciplinary UF Center for the Arts and Public Policy and its many subsequent diverse programs.”

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

The book primarily deals with American’s misconceptions of their country’s history––especially in the areas of politics, law, and journalism.

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

Far too many people today, and Americans in particular, have no real sense of history––theirs or their country’s. I hope that the reader of this book will finally begin to rethink what he or she really knows about the United States. This issue has become far more important in the 2020s than, perhaps, ever before. Both the text and the plates provide a new and different way of approaching this objective.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I began working on White Lies Matter Two: Myth America in April 2021. I hope that it will not take eight years to complete as the first book did, and I am enough of an optimist at almost eighty-two years of age to think that I can complete it by December 2022.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Artist/art professor John A. O’Connor characterizes his series White Lies Matter: Decoding American Deceptionalism as “a history of American hypocrisy.” Using the image of the slate as a consistent base, White Lies Matter ranges across historical and contemporary America, touching down at flashpoints of inequality, misunderstanding, and conflict. From the gradual decay of national institutions to more immediate political crises, O’Connor’s project traverses a list of illegalities and cover-ups, oppressions and suppressions, tracing links between individuals and institutions in positions of influence. It begins with Christopher Columbus and the First Thanksgiving-mythologies that crumble very easily by now-and moves on through the contradictory and belated embedding of religion in the nation’s founding documents, to the calamitous installation of Donald Trump as its 45th president. White Lies Matter: Decoding American Deceptionalism reveals the deceptions, lies, and cynicism of America and the “fake news” and “alt- facts” that permeate contemporary society. Note: Michael Wilson is a New York-based writer and editor and the author of How to Read Contemporary Art: Experiencing the Art of the 21st Century (New York: Abrams, 2013).

My Welcome Book : A Children’s Book Celebrating the Arrival of a New Baby

My Welcome Book : A Children's Book Celebrating the Arrival of a New Baby by [Diana Smith ]

My Welcome Book is a delightful and heartwarming children’s book that tells the reader how special they are, how wonderful the world is, and to be kind to others, all in simple but lyrical rhymes that are sure to capture your child’s imagination.

There is no story in this book. I suppose the story is life, and the celebration is you. This book is splendid, the poetry is exquisite and potent in its simplicity. This picture book sends a heartfelt message of inspiration to readers and does so with easy to understand words. I can easily imagine reading this book to a newborn baby, rocking them to sleep as I read them this melodic story. Nearly every page has brilliant sketch artwork that kids will be able to relate. All of it was eye catching and fit the tone of the story.

This is a fantastic picture book for parents with young children or babies as this is a wonderful book to read to them and send a positive message of diversity, kindness, and self-acceptance.

Pages: 24 | ASIN: B09HBMNX47

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Thiago the Tiger and the Light Within

Thiago the Tiger and the Light Within by [Vanessa Caraveo]

Thiago the Tiger and the Light Within is a charming children’s story about a tiger that is born with colorful stripes that glow. Although he is a cute and magnificent little cub, the children at school make fun of him. But when things get dark on a school trip, only Thiago the tiger can save the day.

This is a very colorful and bright book, which suits the idea of Thiago the tiger having multicolored stipes that shine. This story reminds me of Rudolf the Red Nose reindeer and how he was shunned because of the very thing that made him special. Author Vanessa Caraveo has a written a simple story that easily conveys a powerful message of acceptance.

This is a fun and educational children’s picture book that shows kids how to recognize the differences in others and see the beauty in those differences. Children will surely be drawn to all the colorful art throughout this book and they will easily be able to pick up on all of Thiago’s emotions as well.

Thiago the Tiger and the Light Within is highly recommended for parents and teachers with children that are learning about diversity and inclusion.

Pages: 37 | ASIN: B07L9FW7K1

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Redemption Versus Revenge

Malcolm Tanner
Malcolm Tanner Author Interview

Redemption 2 finds Mike Parsons facing a vengeful person who has crafted and intricate plot to exact revenge. What inspired the riveting setup to your story?

I always wanted the story to be a trilogy. Making the story into three parts was a challenge but what inspired me was the complicated relationship between Mike Parsons and his antagonist, Allison Branch. They both have psychological issues, which really makes it interesting. It reveals how each chooses to resolve their issues. Allison uses revenge and violence, Mike uses logic and dreamlike experiences to seek redemption. So, it was more like redemption versus revenge in a three part series.

This is book two in the Mike Parsons trilogy. What were some ideas you wanted to explore in this book that were different from book one?

I wanted to delve into the cartel’s relationship with Branch and her low level dealers as well as the high level members of the cartel and how they control the others. I wanted for Mike in book 2 to develop more as a person and start to get better, not totally of course, but to edge closer to his recovery as a human being. I also wanted to explore Andy Marx as a detective trying to struggle with the idea of wanting to retire or to keep going. It is something that I really get into in book 3 of the trilogy. I was also hoping to explore the world of of low level dealers and how they are caught with the idea of staying in or getting out of the drug business. The characters Jake and Carrianne are very conflicted with that issue.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

The first one I really enjoyed was the dance scene when Mike and Joanna were out to dinner. Allison being there in disguise to view them as she did was spooky, yet realistic in the way damaged minds can see things that others don’t. Having visions, per se. The second scene I liked was the big man, Andres Montoya taking care of business outside of the hotel. I wanted to make that scene very spine-tingling, raising the hair on the neck of the reader. I think I did that.

What can readers expect in the final book in the Mike Parson trilogy?

This book is the final chase and hunt for Allison Branch, or for that matter her hunt for Mike and Andy! It is a cat and mouse game that goes back and forth like a ping pong match. Marx will be at his most skillful, Mike at his most self-aware, and Allison Branch at her deadliest. This was a great mix for book three, and my innermost description of all the characters came to life. I think the reader will enjoy the fast pace of the action.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The quote goes, “Revenge is a dish best served cold”. However, the minute the prison door clanged shut behind Allison Branch, she began to plot her revenge. Allison knew she would need a new face, a new identity, and new friends to carry out the intricate plan she was forming. She would eliminate all the people who had wronged her and her list was getting longer.

With a new face and identity, she could be anyone, anywhere, even your neighbor next door.

The reader will be gasping at the lengths that Allison will go against Mike Parsons and his friends.

Who We Are and Who We Become

PAUL BURGOYNE
Paul Burgoyne Author Interview

Two Seasons relives the two years that shaped the narrators life and explores questions of identity and belonging in a quickly changing world. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

One thing we all share is the need to belong, a need which is especially acute in childhood. I have uncomfortable memories of trying to fit in, believing I could make that happen through sports accomplishments. The story grew out of the sense of disappointment when my best efforts failed to produce the desired results.

Boone is an intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

Boone is not simply a sports-obsessed child, he is an observer. He notices when things aren’t going right but he has no outlet. He is a reader, and as an only child, books are his companions. They open his eyes to a bigger world than the small town where he lives. He is also curious and resourceful. When adults won’t provide answers to his questions, he keeps prodding for and assembling the scraps he receives into a coherent version of “the truth”. This question emerged: would Boone become insightful enough to take the steps that would help him cope with his life-situation?

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

The most important theme was identity. How do we develop our sense of who we are and where we fit in the world? Does our sense of identity shape our choices or do our choices shape our sense of identity? By observing the life of a young boy struggling with a confusing family dynamic, I hoped to consider how family, friends, mentors (in person or in print), along with our own mental processes, help shape who we are and who we become.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on another novel this time focused on a young adult. I want to examine the idea of character change. My protagonist will be a fault-filled person beginning to recognize his failures and working hit-and-miss on becoming a better person. He will need a great deal of help along the way! It’s still early but I hope to have the first draft finished by summer 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Is it like father, like son?
His father is growing more erratic every day and 11-year-old Boone Martin wants to know – is it true? Like father like son? As his twisted family breaks apart, Boone clings to baseball, his one foothold in life. But it’s winter when his father moves out.
In summer, his best friend Rocky expects him to pitch Omak Little League to a third straight State championship – no pressure there – and former big-leaguer Lou Debrunes shows Boone a way out, the perfect curveball. His mother becomes more friendly with Coach as each game passes – is it Boone’s job to keep her trust issues from messing up a good thing?
Set in the fruit-growing town of Omak, Washington, Two Seasons is narrated by an adult Boone Martin reliving the two years that most shaped his life. More than a baseball story, Two Seasonsexplores the questions of identity and belonging in a shifting world rocked by the assassinations and anti-war movement of 1968.

Experienced True Grief

Author Interview
Fivos Panayiotou Author Interview

User follows a man who struggles with depression and falls for a woman who comes from a similarly dysfunctional family. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I was inspired to write the book User because I felt that at the time I was struggling to grasp what I as a man had endured, the past was haunting me, i recall back in 2014 mid year that I had reflected on what was happening in the relationship, and how I could easily write a book on what I had endured, though I knew that I could not do so, I was still in the relationship, so I let it go, it wasnt until 2018 when my Grandfather who I loved dearly passed, I had known humiliation, isolation, abandonment, rejection and many other conflicting emotions, but I had not ever experienced true grief.

When my grandfather passed, I went to Cyprus and while at the funeral in extreme heat, in my pain I fell to my knees and it dawned on me that I had something to say, and I decided that I would not let anything stop me from talking about what many other men hesitated to discuss. Upon returning I made it my personal mission to frequent the local library every weekend and start writing.

This book is based on true events. What were some aspects of the novel that were fictionalized and what were some aspects you felt had to stay close to the truth?

The aspects of the novel that were fictionalized were very few, but those that were altered were small parts, such as the birth of my brothers first two daughters, the celebrations were made to bring out the Greek culture and bask in the joys of Greek tradition, other examples of fictionalized parts of the story were the relationship with Brondo and his mother that at times may have been on the med and repairing itself, they were always at odds, but to bring some warmth to the story, it needed a nice family touch to bring some strength of support at times.

There were many aspects untold as I did not want to make the story into a personal journal, but rather more a story of interest to keep the reader intrigued.

There were not many elements that were fictionalized unfortunately I laid the bones bare and used the harsh truth bearing the brunt of it all.

The aspects that needed to stay true were the degrading moments in which the character was constantly mocked and lied to, the mind games and manipulations that were relentless, as well as the criminal activity that pursued.

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

The themes that were important to explore in the book were mostly touching on the reality of the situation, reliving the entire story as I wrote it, I was transfixed and caught up in the moment, I got to explore key moments and what they meant to me as I went through the motions and experienced many different emotions, this time more on a deeper level because I was able to identify from a writers perspective, and see it differently, rather then the man living it, caught up in a diabolical plot, unable to see from the outside in.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book I am working on are two at current, I recently released a second book which was launched in August, its called beyond the ruins and its based on a true story on the life of me with fictional romance brought in, it is very flexible and has much versatility, with the first book I kept it as harsh true and brutal and one dimensional, the second I decided to test my creativity as a writer and use more imagination, it is currently available through amazon and making magic happens press.

The third and fourth books, one will be a new genre similar to 50 shades of grey and I will test my writing skills writing up on erotic stories as I was encouraged to do so.

The fourth will be a backstory to user as many questions were raised in reference to the decision making of Brondo.

The two new books will be available as early as January 2022 God willing all goes well.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Brondo Violaris was just a good little Greek church boy who grew up on the outskirts of Melbourne in a traditional Greek family full of loving, but dominant women. On the morning of January 15, his thirtieth birthday, he had decided to kill himself because he suffered from depression and low self esteem, thought he was just a loser with nothing left to live for. Everyone else had the great careers, big houses, flash cars and marriages by the time they were thirty, while Brondo still lived at home with his grandmother Yaya and Uncle, barely able to hold down a job or get a date. That was, until he met and fell for the beautiful, confident Sheena Baxter, who, like him, had come from a family of diabolical dysfunction. He thought he’d won the lottery; life was finally giving him a chance at love. There was just one problem. Sheena Baxter was married. To a gangsta.

This is Fivos Panayiotou’s debut novel and work of truth, based on his shocking real life story.

Fivos Panayiotou grew up on the outskirts of Melbourne in the 80s in a traditional Greek family. As a first generation born of AustralianGreek heritage hailing from Cyprus, he was raised in the multicultural area of Brunswick and ate meat pies and was a devout fan of Carlton football club like any normal kid in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. He has a particular interest in working with the elderly in aged care and is a dedicated uncle, family man and man of God. He is a survivor of domestic violence and strong advocate against psychological abuse and wishes to speak out on this largely unrecognized aspect of men’s mental health. Fivos is currently at work on his second novel, due for publication in 2021.

The Lodgers

The Lodgers by [Annette Creswell]

The Lodgers by Annette Creswell is a historical fiction story set in the early 1950’s. Therese O’Brien, a young girl from Dublin Ireland, finds herself pregnant and unwed and she is sent to Brighton England to hide her shame. While her mother tells everyone the story that Therese has gone to London to work in a fancy hotel, in fact she is supposed to stay at a convent until the baby’s birth and then give up her child and return home as though nothing had happened. But Therese wants to make up her own mind about what to do and she takes a room in Mabel Dawson’s lodging house rather than following through on her mother’s plan. Hiding the truth from her family, she struggles to figure out what decision she can live with. Will any of the other lodgers be able to help her determine the right choice?

The residents of the lodging house were an interesting cast of characters, which included Irene, a recovering alcoholic, Irene’s sister Judy, who had not spoken since she suffered a traumatic event and was committed to a mental asylum, Arthur, an old retired army major, Mabel, the landlady who was a former vaudevillian, and a parrot who revealed the true identity of a killer. I liked learning about the various characters’ pasts and the insights that were given in to their thoughts and feelings.

One of my favorite parts of the story was the way that Irene befriended Therese and helped her, and I enjoyed seeing the bond developing between the two women. I also liked seeing what happened to the lodgers after they left the boarding house one by one and moved on with their lives. The author did not leave any unanswered questions at the end of the book, and I enjoyed reading how things turned out for Therese and Irene, who had both suffered through strife in their past.

While I heartily enjoyed this thought-provoking novel, I thought that there were areas with no transitions between scenes, which made these sections of the story feel like there were pieces missing. In contrast, there were areas where there was a repetition of information, with details that had already been revealed through internal dialogue and then repeated again in conversations with other characters. I think the flow of the story would have benefited from the events being retold in a more linear timeline.

The Lodgers is an emotionally resonant novel that follows some intriguing characters. This is a story that will appeal to fans of historical fiction that enjoy a character driven story with a satisfying ending.

Pages: 210 | ASIN: B092MVKKRT

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Build Their Careers to New Levels

Roger Darnell
Roger Darnell Author Interview

The Communications Consultant’s Foundation explains and educates readers on various topics that will help them excel in their personal and professional lives. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I feel very lucky to have found my way onto this career path unintentionally. If I had known about it earlier in life, I think I could have been even more successful sooner – so, I wanted to get the knowledge out to others as quickly as I could. However, I didn’t know what the most important aspects were to focus on, before I started outlining the content. The more I thought about it, the more I added, and I shuffled things around until I felt like I had a pathway that would bring others along constructively. What you’ve read is the first half of the book I originally conceived. The companion “Master Plan” volume will be out by year’s end, and it gets even more specific with proprietary contract language (thanks to the illustrious Michael Terpin, my former boss) and what amounts to a blue-print to operating a successful PR consultancy. I hope a lot of people will follow your lead and use what I’ve written to build their careers to new levels, even if they are starting out from scratch.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about public relations?

There are quite a few colorful and widespread misconceptions. Many years ago at a trade show, I saw an older gentleman in a crowd, shaking everyone’s hands as fast as he could grab them and passing out his business cards like a machine. I think I still have the business card: The logo was two hands shaking, and the headline read “Mister PR.” There’s that classic “Flim-Flam Man” version, and now, you can watch PR aces working magic on TV, like those advising the Roy family on “Succession.” A lot of people don’t understand that much of the work of PR has to do with writing. There is a skill set that can be learned, especially for those willing to exercise their writing abilities and commit to ongoing learning to stay sharp. There is a lot of overlap with “Influencers,” and when a PR person is especially successful, that’s what they become.

What is a recent trend in public relations that you feel has the potential to change things?

Things are always changing. One of the things that is encouraging to me about this field is, I feel there are a lot of layers to it (and everywhere, smart practitioners helping themselves and others be more successful). My book references this article I love, from publicity expert Joan Stewart: “How to Publicize a Garden Walk and Other Local Events.” (http://ow.ly/pOhH30dHOuv) That article teaches people exactly how to use the PR skill set very productively – which is potentially life-changing for those who read it. I mentioned Influencers … they are an immense force at work in marketing communications worldwide. As you know, I am optimistic ; I have a sense of a growing population of smart communicators who are going to unite superpowers for good.

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

There are a few – all are addressed in your review. I’m hoping people will see a new way to work, pursue it, and own it. As those sparks fly, a new communications consultant will start shaping their own success, then another, and another. I will be celebrating each one like a proud papa.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

For all professionals and students who want to improve their prospects in business, this book prepares and positions them to build dream careers, giving them the education and guidance required to develop vital soft skills, and work remotely and independently.
After establishing a foundation for solid professional communications on a personal level, it quickly opens doors to business insights and opportunities that are exciting, inspiring, and highly sustainable. Immersing readers into the key realms of business success and exploring the full spectrum of essential communications practices, they gain knowledge and trade skills of immense value, including:
• The basics of positive, proactive, strategic communications for individuals and organizations
• What it means to be a PR expert in the creative industry and to do great work
• An introduction to essential business imperatives, with high-level instruction on creativity, strategy, leadership, management, marketing, and much more
• Customer service and all it entails
• Extensive exploration of the PR toolset and its application in real-world marketing scenarios
This book brings home all instruction with sophisticated questions and challenges, ensuring readers have every opportunity to comprehend and grow, step by step.
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