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Blackface, by Pamela D. Smith, is a celebration of African American’s success in politics, art, and culture. For the longest time, black faces have been associated with mockery, misery, pity, and everything negative. Pamela D. Smith, however, brings positivity to the words and gets readers to revisit the misrepresentation of the term. Smith is not trying to forget history but she wants readers to use these experiences to become a leader. The Author shares painful memories of African Americans, the impact slavery has had for generations, race dynamics, the struggles Black people have gone through, and how African Americans rose up, and are shining.

Smith has written a powerful and inspiring book sharing her experiences as an African American woman and asks the reader what they would do if they were in her situation. Many of the situations the author describes are some that many readers don’t face that often so this was an eye-opening read for me. I also admired that the author debunks the stereotypes given to African Americans, some of which I wasn’t even aware of.

The author writes in a conversational tone that is not out to point fingers but instead to educate us. I feel this book can be relatable to people of different races, not just African Americans. Smith inspires and provides tips on how to be a leader for yourself and how to be the best version of yourself no matter what you face in the world.

The author is honest and open with the reader and she does not hold back about what African Americans have gone through and still go through today. The author’s vulnerability is inspiring and a remarkable feature of her writing.

Every chapter in Blackface has a lesson that will benefit the reader. My biggest lessons were on how to brand and package yourself for more visibility. By creating an exemplary brand with your name, you will be able to skillfully sell whatever product or service you have, impact lives, sub-consciously mentor future leaders, and live a fulfilling life. Apart from the wise teachings, I also loved the quotable texts in various chapters. One of my favorite quotes from Blackface is ‘To become internally self-aware, we must be open-minded’. This quote is powerful and helped me change my perspective.

Blackface: An African American guide to building a personal brand, developing as a leader, and serving with excellency is an insightful look into how African Americans can grow in their professional lives. It gives a realistic look into the struggles and roadblocks that People of Color face.

Living Now With Eyes Wide Open

Bailee Walker Author Interview

If I Only Knew provides readers with critical life skills not taught in school that will help them improve themselves and protect their family. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The information was my therapy/journal that took on a like of its own. After a 30+ years I wanted to share what I’d learned, as a former sheltered individual, living now with eyes wide open.

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

Knowledge is power.

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

Open your eyes, and look around you, and understand that if you want to hit the ground running in the right direction, you need to have a plan of action. I left home 45 years ago without a clue about life skills, I bumped my head several times, but luckily was smart enough to not lose my freedom or my life along the way.

What is a common misconception you feel many high school graduates have about life today?

That you can do what you want, when you want without consequences.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Amazon

If I Only Knew: Life Skills Not Taught In School

There is a lot in life that isn’t taught in schools. Yes, we get our basic education in school, but what about life skills? Understanding how the real world works is a skill that needs to be learned in order to become a strong, well-functioning member of society. Those leaving high school, sometimes even college, are shocked at how the world works because they were not prepared. Knowledge is power. Learning these important life skills will prepare you for the real world. It will help keep you safer and may help protect those that you love and care for.

This book is a collection of stories and news from around the world set out to show you and teach you the skills you were not able to get from school. Learn about ways to protect yourself and your family by reading tales of those who didn’t know better. Better yourself, be stronger, be aware, and stay diligent.

Some of the topics covered:Critical Thinking
Healthy Relationships
Better Research Skills
Street Smarts
Basic Life Skills
Manners and Etiquette
Domestic Violence
Living In Bad Neighborhoods
Avoid Being A Victim
Black-on-Black Violence
This collection includes 3 books for the price of one. If I Only Knew is broken down into three separate books with tons of information, stories, and news.

Doctorate 101 A Concise Guidebook For Your Doctoral Journey

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In Doctorate 101 author Dawn McLucas shares her personal journey pursuing her doctorate degree. Along her journey she shares tips and things to consider when pursuing a doctorate degree. McLucas starts off by sharing what she had to overcome to obtain her doctorate. The author continues on to provide in-depth information on what is needed in order to earn a doctorate.

I found a lot of the information in the book to be very helpful and pragmatic, like the authors recommendation to list out your goals prior to pursuing your doctorate. This is similar to creating a vision board and will help readers keep themselves on track. I also appreciated the emphasis on motivation when times get tough. The biggest pieces of advice that the author provides is in the lessons learned section, as she shares with readers that this journey is not a cake walk and to expect some roadblocks.

Dawn McLucas provides the reader with insightful and encouraging information. I believe those who are pursuing their doctorate will benefit from reading this informative book as McLucas sets the reader up for success by creating clear expectations and then diving into how to overcome them along with handling moments of doubt.

The writing comes off as conversational and encouraging, which makes the reader feel like they are listening to a friend or a mentor. The book is setup in an easy-to-read format and flows smoothly between sharing the author’s experience in pursuing her doctorate and her lessons learned as well as tips to stay motivated and how pursuing your doctorate can be rewarding.

This step-by-step guide will mitigate any surprises prospective students may encounter when pursuing their doctorate. The author shares exactly what to expect from planning your classes, scheduling your time, research and presenting your data.

Doctorate 101 shows readers that even though this is a difficult task, it is not unattainable. With hard work and perseverance it is possible. Doctorate 101 is an important book to read when pursuing, or even considering pursuing, your doctorate. McLucas sets the reader up for success and provides the motivation needed when you begin to doubt yourself.

Pages: 33 | ASIN : B09VY96N1G

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Reading Vultured was an enlightening experience not just because of the lessons shared by author Adam Starks but also because of his encouragement to readers about entrepreneurship. The book is part memoir and part business development book. It tells the story of Adam Starks, a business owner in the service industry who has seen it all.

The author journals his experiences, engaging the reader in every topic that touches on the significant challenge or wins he encountered. This book is an excellent read if you are passionate about starting a small business and you are looking for pointers from someone with extensive experience. The author uses a unique phrasing as he chronicles his business journey, family, dealing with finances, and friendships.

The book is divided into three sections, with each section covering various related topics. Adam Stark has written a captivating book that includes his personal story about running his business, personal life, lessons learned, the ups and downs of the service industry, and how to navigate the waters of entrepreneurship. The author is open and applies his frankness throughout the book.

The author is straightforward and rarely uses complex jargon in his narration. As a result, the text in the book flows naturally, and the reader can grasp the subject matter with ease. Some of the topics that I found invaluable touched on the real vultures in business and their greed, contractors, food distributors, COVID19, trademarking, and music licensing. When discussing a concept, like the expenses incurred when running a business, the author lists the key points and dissects the subject matter in detail.

The author also goes into specifics when discussing issues, not generalizing topics. Topics related to entrepreneurship include marketing, labor, sourcing for more capital, legal, dedication, and consistency when running small and medium-sized enterprises. One of the critical lessons I learned in the book is that the government is involved in small businesses indirectly. Good policies created by lawmakers will make your business flourish. This book is about entrepreneurship, but the author also educates the reader on politics’ role in running a business. 

Vultured is an eye-opening self-help book for entrepreneurs that is filled with actionable advice and tips from someone that has been there. The author shares his lessons learned from running a small business with readers in hopes they can avoid the mistakes he made.

Pages: 148 | ASIN : B09QQMQW7T

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The Kid Code

If you learn nothing else as a parent, you quickly learn some powerful lessons about time. Time is of the essence when you have children. So time-saving tips are always welcome, from getting enough sleep to knowing just what to say and when to say it. Brenda Miller has given parents a handbook that will save them precious hours of research and conferring with friends and family. From handling the everyday chaos of parenting to dealing with tantrums and how to effectively say “no,” Miller covers each and every dilemma, a parent could possibly encounter.

The Kid Code: 30 Second Parenting Strategies, by Brenda Miller, contains some of the best advice I have come across in 20-plus years of parenting. So many parenting books tend to be filled with a narrative that doesn’t necessarily apply to the advice readers actually crave. Miller’s book is everything we need with as little extra filler material. She gets to the point quickly and efficiently, offering short, one to two-page snippets of advice that address each parenting issue directly and without lengthy introduction sections. This is a book I wish I had when my son was born.

As a teacher, I find many of Miller’s strategies applicable in the classroom. I was especially taken with her advice on dealing with conflict and saying “no” with heartfelt words. I am finding this comes in particularly handy when it comes to the classroom and teaching students to deal with conflict and how to say no to each other in a much kinder manner. Surprisingly, Miller’s advice on saying “no” applies to older children as well. Overall, most of her 30-second strategies can easily be adapted to various situations, making this a must-read for a much wider audience than just parents of young children.

The Kid Code: 30 Second Parenting Strategies is the self-help manual parents wish they had when walking in the door with a newborn. Any parent or teacher feeling lost when it comes to dealing with rebellion, their own confusion as to the adult in charge, or learning how and when to apologize effectively needs to read the strategies contained in this eye-opening book. This insightful book offers advice that is brief, solid, and to the point.

Pages: 318 | ASIN: B097GXSD54

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My Personal Growth Path

Nate Thurgood Author Interview

REACH helps readers find their potential by focusing on five key areas to improve in order to live their best life. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I’ve learned through my own winding journey that your personal growth is capped unless you look outside yourself and help others to grow too. So I’m very focused as a part of my personal growth path to help others to become their best and live meaningful lives. But that’s not where REACH first started.

I came up with the concepts in REACH to help improve my own life during an unexpectedly difficult period. Initially, I thought I was alone in my struggles. But as I was more open about my difficulties and the success I was having with the concepts in REACH, I found that many people, maybe even most, faced similar struggles and were looking for help. Some other people started using the REACH framework with similarly positive success, so I decided to more formally write down the REACH concepts. It wasn’t until my REACH partners encouraged me to keep writing that the idea for a book emerged.

You include personal stories in this book, what was the hardest one for you to write about?

The story about my mom and reference to her in the acknowledgments section were the most emotionally difficult for me to write. My mom and I were very close and she was always there for me when I needed her. For most of my life, she struggled with debilitating health issues and wasn’t able to participate in life the way that she wanted. And I always admired her ability to endure her challenges and keep pushing to become better.

A few months before I started writing the book, my mom passed suddenly and unexpectedly due to a health issue. Her passing was devastating and I thought about her frequently during the writing process. I didn’t initially expect to include anything about my mom in the book, but as the manuscript evolved, I found that her story fit perfectly. Writing about her was difficult, but it meant a lot to me to be able to honor her in that way.

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

I’ve been fortunate to have received fantastic advice from many people, including my dad. Ever since I was a kid, my dad has encouraged me to find ways to create optionality in my life. Options give you flexibility and that flexibility often has tremendous value. While there have been times throughout my life where I haven’t done a good job of creating optionality, having that mindset instilled in me from an early age has helped me on many occasions. I often fallback to this advice when I’m having difficulty, whether that be with a work or personal challenge.

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

I have ideas for a few other books in the personal development and business genres. But right now, I’m focused on creating supplemental REACH content that I’m distributing through the REACH website ( and building a community around the concept. I believe there is so much opportunity for REACH to have a positive impact on the lives of many and I’m on a mission to help make that happen.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

Now is the time to recognize the massive, untapped potential within you, to discover what is possible in your life, and to take meaningful action to maximize your full potential. Now is the time to follow the pathway to become truly exceptional and begin living your best life.
REACH provides a holistic, customizable framework to maximize your personal growth and development across all areas of your life. Centered on five personal development focus areas and the formation of a tight-knit support group, REACH enables you to accelerate your growth beyond what you thought possible.
Using the step-by-step guidance offered in REACH, you develop a bold, aspirational view of what you want your life to be in the future and take action to harmonize your growth around what matters most to you. But, achieving your full potential is difficult to do on your own. This is where your group of trusted advisors comes in, as they regularly hold you accountable, provide support and encouragement, and advise you on your growth journey. You do the same in return and in the process develop meaningful and lasting friendships.
With personal insights from the author, REACH is a real-world, “been there, done that” take on self-help that’s designed to help you maximize your potential and live your best life.
You have so much to look forward to and your future is far brighter than you can see today. So prepare yourself, choose your traveling companions wisely, and REACH.

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.

Literary Titan Book Awards May 2022

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and writing talent of these brilliant authors.

Gold Award Winners

Poems for the End of the Age by Hanz Peter Zell

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Bible, God and Free Will by Vasile Ghiuta

On a Fallen Wave by Benjamin Anderson

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.

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