Blog Archives

Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After

Fairy tales are a deeply ingrained part of our world’s culture. From Disney adaptations to childhood bedtime stories, very few people haven’t been exposed to the witches, princesses, children, and fairy folk that make up these ageless classics. Good defeats evil, and all live happily ever after, but…are these stories really as wholesome as they appear? Unfortunately, many of the most well-known fairy tales send a wrong message when placed under the microscope with strong undertones of misogyny, ageism, cruelty, and subservience. “Happily ever after” is exposed to a dose of reality as beloved stories become the subject of deeper scrutiny.

In Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After, author Anne Beall uses her doctorate in psychology to put traditional fairy tales under critical and academic analysis. Throughout the book, she addresses all the absurdities and questions that eventually occur to all reasonable adults about the stories we grew up with. Then, she proceeds to examine each of them, presenting a plethora of research about the formulaic ways they are constructed. Whether intentional or not, much of the shared information deals with the disparity between the sexes throughout fairy tales. In addition, the author provides statistics in various areas such as who holds the most power most frequently, which demographic of characters endure the most suffering, and a basic breakdown of what kind of characters are good vs. evil- just to name a few.

Beyond the deeply analytical nature of the book, it also serves as a fascinating deep dive into some of the lesser-known fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers. (Their collection of stories specifically was mined for the detailed results as shown here.) Beall repeatedly references the most commonly adapted fairy tales. Such tales are deeply ingrained in cultures worldwide and use frequent excerpts from stories that are not likely to be recognized. It provides an eye-opening look at the wide variety of stories that made their way across Europe at one point in time and also creates a starting point for anyone who wants to know more about a more extensive selection of “classics.”

Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales is an excellent study on the history and the psychological impact of fairy tales. The research is top-notch and backed up with numerous graphs and charts. It’s clear that a great deal of time went into the work here, and the result is a body of work that simply can’t be contested. Readers that want to take a deep dive into the message of fairy tales past and present and look at an in-depth analysis of them will find this book fascinating.

Pages: 127 | ASIN : B07KJHZF2H

Buy Now From Amazon

The Stress Book

In The Stress Book Dr. D. Foster addresses different kinds of stress, how to avoid stressful situations, manage stress, and everything in between. What I really enjoyed about this book is how the author gets straight to the point. Every topic in the book is comprehensively covered and discussed in depth. In The Stress Book poses questions that compel the reader to mentally answer and reflect as one reads on, ensuring readers stay engaged throughout this enlightening book.

One outstanding trait about Dr. D. Terrence Foster is that he shows compassion in his writing. Reading this book was much easier because of how understanding the author was while narrating. While going through the chapters, you get a sense of belonging and feel like you are having a conversation with someone that shows concern. Going through the notes the author listed is therapeutic. There is something charming about Dr. D. Terence Foster’s writing. He breaks down intricate terms to the reader’s understanding. One gets to learn how broad mental health is, and the different terms that define stress and mental disorders.

If you are looking for a book that will help you manage and prevent stress as you deal with personal issues, then The Stress Book is ideal. Some of the most significant topics that the author covered include knowing the physical and mental actions to take to prevent stress, destructive behaviors, setting daily goals, getting professional help, understanding yourself as an individual, toxic relationships, and spirituality. I was surprised and delighted to see that the author included a piece on the money factor. What is your relationship with money? How do you budget your money? The author highlights the effect our finances have on our mental health and briefly discusses how to handle one’s finances. I found this section to be proof that Dr. Foster has modern adults in mind as money is often a big issue for most.

The author divided the book into four sections, with each section containing a variety of related topics. The author starts with the basics and then graduates the reader to more complex topics.

The Stress Book: Forty-Plus Ways to Manage Stress & Enjoy Your Life is a must-read if you are constantly battling stress. The solutions the author provides are practical and actionable, and can work for most individuals experiencing continuous stressful moments. This informative book provides readers with the tools they’ll need to manage stress so they can starting enjoying their life.

Pages: 263 | ASIN: B09CGKN5PG

Buy Now From B&N.com

Andrew’s Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain 

Children with ADHD fight battles most of us will never understand. Each day finds them experiencing a constant barrage of thoughts, all competing to find their way to the forefront. Parents and teachers alike can benefit from truly listening to a child’s account of an average day living with ADHD, especially Inattentive Subtype. The Inattentive Subtype of ADHD is a prevalent but often not recognized. Andrew is a child living with ADHD, and his journal-style account of his life is the focus of his mother’s book. Kristin M. Wilcox’s book describes both the child’s and the parent’s experience with this incredibly challenging disorder.

Andrew’s Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain is a unique account of a family’s understanding of the disorder that is a part of their day-to-day lives. Wilcox artfully divides the book into two main parts–one from her son’s perspective and one from her own. She has handed parents and teachers a thorough look at what a child hears each day as he tries to focus and time and time again loses sight of the last thought he had as easily as he breathes.

I more than appreciated Andrew’s perspective. As a teacher, I have seen many students over the years fighting their own inner battles. Only those who live with ADHD know the inner banter, and Andrew’s very thorough commentary allows readers to gain a true understanding of the chaos that can ensue and the emotional toll ADHD can take on the entire family. This is a must-read for any parent of a child with ADHD.

Wilcox manages to give readers a guide that is not only informative but simple to read. There is nothing worse than actively seeking information on a topic only to find the resources dry, boring, and incredibly difficult to understand. Wilcox bypasses all of those issues and hands readers valuable information on one of the least understood types of ADHD. I found the Wilcox family’s story to be immensely helpful in the elementary classroom. Wilcox’s appendices are a wonderful resource for families and educators. This easy-to-follow list of questions and answers regarding symptoms and signs is especially beneficial to families and educators.

I highly recommend Andrew’s Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain to any parent who has a child dealing with the symptoms of ADHD. Schools would benefit greatly by adding this to their teachers’ resource rooms or to their recommended reading lists. This is the book families and teachers have needed for decades.

Pages: 114 | ISBN: 195735402X

Buy Now From Amazon

Posttraumatic Stress Is Very Common

Dr. Peter Salerno Author Interview

Fit for Off-Duty is a self-help book targeted at firefighters but is a useful resource for anyone dealing with PTSD and their families. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Having been raised by a firefighter, and having a brother who is a firefighter, I experienced the impact that work-related trauma exposure had on my family members and how even subtle changes in thought, feeling, and behavior impact the family system. This book was inspired by that as well as the thousands of first responders I treat in my practice, and I wanted to offer a resource that could help first responders and their families make sense of some of the conflicts that arise as a result of traumatic stress.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about PTSD?

That it is not common. Posttraumatic stress is very common, not just in first responders, but within the general population. People refer to it as many other things, but we certainly underestimate how many people are living in survival mode as a result of unresolved traumatic stress.

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

I hope the book will help people give themselves permission to heal from the unnecessary suffering that posttraumatic stress causes.

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

I published a Law Enforcement version of the Fit For Off-Duty book which is currently available on Amazon, and I will be publishing another self-help/self-improvement book that is aimed more toward the general population that will be available sometime in May or June of this year.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Every firefighter is a trauma survivor. Even veteran firefighters may not realize this. But constant exposure to traumatic events takes a serious toll. The body is affected, so is the nervous system, and so are the firefighter’s personal relationships. Off-duty days can become something to dread rather than look forward to. It doesn’t need to be this way. This book— written by a trauma therapist from a firefighter family—is a definitive manual for healing from trauma exposure for those who serve in the fire service and for those who love them. Feeling fit, healthy and unburdened by the effects of trauma can be a short-term therapeutic process. And there are steps firefighters can take on their own, immediately. This book is a good place to start.

A Lack Of Being Connected And Present

Author Interview
Author Interview Alyson Nerenberg

No Perfect Love is a self-help book designed to help couples communicate and work through common relationship issues and concerns. Why was this an important book for you to write?

As a psychologist who has been counseling individuals and couples for the last 30 years, I have found myself struggling to find a book to recommend to my patients which addresses many of the challenges we all have in our relationships, in particular the disappointment that occurs when we realize that our expectations for a perfect partner are let down. In the past there have been many books written about the challenges of overcoming our own perfectionism, as well as many books that address couples therapy issues. However, there has not been a book that addresses the perfectionistic expectations we put on our partners, our children and the other important relationships in our lives. This book encourages us to let go of our perfectionistic expectations of others in order to be more authentic and present in our relationships.

What do you feel is the most common pitfall in a relationship that couples struggle to work through?

The most common pitfall in a relationship is not communication problems. It is much deeper than that. It is a lack of being connected and present in our relationships. What this looks like is when a husband doesn’t look up from the game when his wife enters the room. It is when a couple is on a date and they both spend the whole time scrolling on their phones. It is the man saying that his partner is in front of him but is looking past him.

What is one piece of advice you would give couples that are struggling to make things work?

We all want to know that our partners see us, care that we are here and believe that we are enough for them without needing us to be better in some way. We want to know that we are special by the way they look at us.

My advice is simply that we take an extra second to look at the other person. We allow our eyes to sparkle as we smile. We truly connect. Connection is not based on the amount of time we spend with someone but the quality of our presence. Being present does not require meditation, deep breaths or any mantra. It is simply a decision. “Ok, I’m going to be present now. I will smile with my eyes and listen to what the other person is saying. I will do my best to communicate that I am happy the other person is here.”

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

I am not working on a new book currently. Instead, I am just catching my breath in order to slow down and be present in my own life. I am showing up to clap loudly at my oldest daughter’s college graduation. I am laughing wholeheartedly at my younger daughter’s escapades. I am watching my son play tennis matches and enjoying sharing all of the little moments, and the ups and downs of life with my husband.

Perfect couples do not exist; nor do perfect families. Yet, in our photoshopped, Instagrammable world where we only present flawless versions of ourselves, we are easily tricked into believing they do. Clinical psychologist, Dr. Alyson Nerenberg has spent 30 years listening to couples, families, executives, celebrities, and professional athletes, and is here to share the truth. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, every one of us experiences challenges in our relationships.


While many books have been written about overcoming our own perfectionism, rarely has one described our tendency to expect perfection from others. How do we cope when our illusions of flawless relationships are shattered? What do we do when we discover extra-marital affairs, addiction, financial betrayal, or dishonesty from our partners? What happens when we realize our children are in crisis? In those moments, we have several decisions to make: we can face our loved ones, we can deal with our own vulnerabilities, or we can run. 


With wisdom and compassion, Dr. Nerenberg thoroughly explores the origins of perfectionism and how it keeps us stuck in a cycle of disappointment, anger, and resentment. Expertly combining psychological theory, popular culture, her patients’ life-changing moments, and her own challenges and growth, Dr. Nerenberg transforms trauma into triumph. Through case studies and powerful tools, including 12 clarifying questions that help us decide whether to stay or leave our relationships, she helps us write a new story where we overcome our adversities and find meaning in our heartbreaks.

Major Depression and the Woke Government

Major Depression and the Woke Government by author Daryl V. DeMarco is an interesting book that focuses on people’s experiences with major depression, just as the title itself suggests. It mainly focuses on DeMarco’s personal fight with depression, its beginning, the ups and downs he went through, the time it took for him to get a diagnosis, and outside influences that affected him while fighting a major depressive disorder.

The author talks about how his illness first became a problem after he purchased property, which is supposed to be a happy life event for his personal life. However, it turned his world and health upside down. He discusses how the way we are taught to think impacts how we perceive the world around us, which can lead to depression. DeMarco also discusses the part that Serotonin plays in depression while keeping it on a level that ordinary people can understand.

He also covers many political topics, such as how the government is abusing its power, leading to the rise in mental health issues, especially depression. The author also includes his thoughts on what causes so many young people to be diagnosed with this disorder.

The author dug deep into his soul and past to create this book, and it shows. Sharing something as difficult to go through and yet still be so raw and uncensored is truly brave and powerful, and yet the book is written in a tone that everyone can understand, empathize with and grow from. The book is very raw and covers topics that might still be considered taboo to talk about.

Major Depression and the Woke Government is a thought-provoking book and an excellent read for anyone interested in psychology or for a person fighting depression. This book can serve as a reminder that people are not alone struggling with this or other disorders. I would also highly recommend this enlightening book to any students studying psychology. 

Page: 134 | ASIN : B09QVJJQT6

Buy Now From Amazon

Fit For Off-Duty: A Manual for Firefighters

I love how Dr. Peter Salerno has tackled the subject of mental health in his book Fit for Off-Duty: A Manual for Firefighters: Healing from Work-Related Trauma, Restoring Personal Relationships, and Thriving at Home. The author goes above and beyond to discuss the various kinds of trauma, dealing with someone who has undergone traumatic experiences, post-traumatic stress disorder, how mental health affects our physical health, and much more. The author uses firefighting as an example to discuss the many traumas we face without knowing. While written as a book for firefighters and their families, this book can also help others who deal with trauma.

I like the statement that “Every firefighter is a trauma survivor.” Firefighters save lives every day while simultaneously battling other issues. The matters could be personal or work-related, yet they offer their services nobly. Dr. Peter Salerno digs deeper into the lives of firefighters, talking about their day-to-day life in the profession and appreciating the work they do. As a trauma specialist, Dr. Peter Salerno takes the reader through the definition of trauma, the different stages of trauma, and how we unknowingly enable trauma amongst ourselves. I like that the author uses real-life situations to expound on the topics he is talking about. Dr. Peter Salerno makes the reader understand that firefighting takes more than just physical strength. In his book, he extensively covers all the elements that good firefighters have and even extends grace to them as the selfless work they do is more than honorable.

What every reader will take from Fit For Off Duty is that we all need to be kind to each other. Dr. Salerno preaches kindness throughout the book. I appreciate the stories he shares in the book and his knowledge and advice about trauma, including things to look for in off-duty behavior that may be signs of trauma. As a trained trauma therapist, Dr. Salerno has pointers on handling individuals haunted by past trauma.

Fit for Off-Duty: A Manual for Firefighters: Healing from Work-Related Trauma, Restoring Personal Relationships, and Thriving at Home is a book for everyone concerned about their mental well-being, learning when to ask for help and how to improve personal relations. The author’s step-by-step approach when writing about a particular topic and how he gives practical solutions are invaluable.

Pages: 61 | ASIN : B09NCCD8VM

Buy Now From Amazon

I Am A Healer At Heart

Jason A. Merchey Author Interview

Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought takes a secular approach to explain what wisdom is and how to obtain it. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Wisdom, values, ethics and so on are very important to me personally, and of major importance to what I consider to be an ailing America. Yes, I believe that America (and of course many other countries) are in serious trouble nowadays. If we do not begin to quickly value wisdom as a society, our institutions will continue to fail, Americans will become increasingly politically polarized and violent, and the promise of the American dream will slip further and further from the grasp of all but the wealthiest individuals. People who are wise have been advising us to listen to our better angels, or our gods, or our inherent potential as human beings, for millennia, and yet here we are…. As it stands, human beings will likely destroy ourselves through nuclear war or global warming in the foreseeable future. This is of great concern to me because I think of all the good and decent people who have come before me–they didn’t work so hard and reach for the stars simply to see the world implode.

But also, I am a healer at heart. I see the power of philosophy and the potential of philosophy to engender personal growth, critical thinking, and moral values in the hearts and minds of people. I did my very best with the book because my overarching goal was to be helpful to people.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about wisdom?

I personally think it is amazing that wisdom is this age-old virtue that every significant civilization has had some interest in, which can be of unparalleled use to us as individuals and as members of society, and yet most people never think about it. Wisdom is behind truth, justice, and love in regard to how highly it is regarded–and it is certainly behind money, power, beauty, popularity, and significance on the list of those things to which Americans aspire. This is tragically misguided, because wisdom is that which can most accurately guide us through all the trials and tribulations, all the mountains and valleys life throws at us all. It can even save your life, as anyone knows who has had an accident involving gasoline, hurt someone while drunk driving, or been faced with an agonizing decision to carry a child to full-term or end the pregnancy! I have also made some dumb decisions in my life, either as a person, as an investor, or in my relationships, and it is only through wisdom that I can hope to do better in the future!

Another element that seems interesting to me is that wisdom (to the degree that folks even really ever think about it, as I said…) tends to be associated with those who are excellent in some attribute or social status, or even simply more advanced in age. I live in a part of the country with more than a few Confederate flags flying on the porches and trucks of folks who are well over 50. So it is a bit of a paradox as to what engenders real wisdom, and what has merely a superficial appearance of wisdom.

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

We each have the capacity to make wisdom our greatest strength. And in a world some say has gone mad, character strengths and worthy virtues are of the highest value. These things, like love and peace, cannot be bought with money, but they can be worked toward, cultivated, prized, and loved. Indeed, the word philosophy comes from the Greek for “the love of wisdom.” So, to philosophize is to seek out, care about, and take seriously wisdom. That is amazing! To succeed in this high aspiration and worthy goal, we ought to make a habit out of taking a broad, deep look at large numbers of individuals throughout history (and from different cultures) who have lived wise, successful, impressive lives. What I call living “a life of value.” I have a free quote search engine on my website that has over 35,000 wonderful quotes about wisdom, values, virtues, ethics, personal growth, etc. Some are just plain truth (in my opinion) that I read in some magazine or heard someone say. In the present book, I bring in many philosophers, thinkers, artists, freethinkers, and spiritual exemplars to the fore. Even one quote about wisdom can make a difference in a person’s mindset, which is why I love quotes and have been thinking about these issues for almost twenty years. If we heed the lessons the wisest people have learned and then taught in many millennia of civilization, struggle, creation, cooperation, and thinking, we will surely benefit as a species.

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

I really left it all on the field with this book! It took me hundreds of hours of reading, thinking, and typing–dear God, THE TYPING!! I have issues with my eyes due to the side effects of glaucoma medications I take daily, so often to stare at a computer screen is hard to do. Further, I have to promote this book for the next year or so–and that is no easy task since I don’t have a publishing house behind me and I really don’t like book promotion. Frankly, I am not a full-time author and I don’t even think I am that great of a writer, so the thought of yoking myself to a computer for another 300 hours sounds frankly abhorrent to me at present. I also feel like I had a certain wind in my sails for this project because the Trump years were very hard on me, and the present moment causes me trepidation, and I am not sure I could replicate that “fire” for a subject such as meaning, compassion, or success. Wisdom is a thing of beauty, and I was transfixed by it, indeed!

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Will a deep appreciation of wisdom lead to more happiness, flourishing, and success in life?

Why is America increasingly plagued by tribalism, elitism, materialism, and ME-ism?

What do philosophy, psychology, and personal growth have to say about wisdom?


Are the Bible and other religious texts legitimate and useful sources of human wisdom?

Wisdom is not able to be bought — no matter how much money a person has!
And philosophy has typically discouraged many who find it difficult, abstract, and boring.
Modern psychology and age-old personal growth principles are given a bad name by many social media personalities who oversimplify modern psychological science in an effort to make money.
 
 
What is wisdom, how can it help me, and is this book authentic, reliable and useful?
 
Four-time author Jason Merchey believes wisdom can be developed and acquired and improving your understanding of wisdom will certainly lead to living a better life! Wisdom is one of humankind’s oldest and most prized virtues, yet it is not much respected nowadays. . .

This new book has the potential to assist readers to live a life that harnesses the power of philosophy, critical thinking, and applied psychology. These secular sources of wisdom are not as complicated as they may seem, and indeed are road maps to a better life.
 
 
Greater wisdom leads to improved personal growth, happiness, and success.
Wisdom is not simple or plug-and-play, but it will yield its secrets to those who love it.
In fact, the word philosophy is Greek for “the love of wisdom.”
 
Wisdom is a comprehensive, transparent exploration of ancient and intriguing concepts combined with critical thinking, compassion, and other aspects of wisdom. Brimming with examples of psychological principles, careful analysis, and insightful quotes from many cultures and civilizations, it provides a basis for authentic intellectual, emotional, spiritual and moral growth.

The author deftly combines digestible psychological research findings, compelling personal stories, and useful quotations about wisdom.

Anyone aiming to build a life of value—one that yields purpose and happiness—should consider wisdom to be their basis. Wisdom has been one of humanity’s highest aspirations for millennia.

Jason Merchey has dealt with mental illness most of his life, but also earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology and trained as a psychotherapist. No stranger to “the big questions” and the difficulty of life, he has studied wisdom, values and virtues for twenty years.

In addition to personal benefits, this book sheds light on some of America’s significant social problems. The great philosopher Socrates himself knew that ancient Athens, Greece was in serious trouble. If we were all wiser and we had more enlightened and humane priorities, many of the problems that mark communities and nations would give way to more love, fellowship, and prosperity.

This deep and eclectic book is full of ideas and insights that will assist you to:
 
 
Discover and prioritize wisdom in your personal life and relationships
Achieve greater fulfillment, happiness and self-confidence
Bring about true success based on self-knowledge and values
Make a positive difference in your community—and the world as a whole
 
One cannot buy wisdom per se but investing in this affordable book provides a refreshing opportunity for self-improvement and intellectual growth. It has the potential to assist you to make wisdom your greatest strength!
%d bloggers like this: