Friday, October 24, 2014

First Chapter Reveal: Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships by Eve Picquette

Title: Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships: 10 Shift Keys – What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries
Author: Eve Picquette
Publisher: Enchanted Eve, Inc.
Pages: 78
Genre: Self Help/Inspiration
Format: Paperback

Purchase at AMAZON

How many times have you read or seen something that made you want to change your life and relationships – but you didn’t know how? Introduced by two angels, Hope and Impatience, Open Your Heart for Happy Relationships – What Your Angels Have Been Trying to Tell You for Centuries… answers the “how” question. Eve Picquette shows readers how to:
  • Open their hearts to love
  • Shift their lives, using 10 keys—how-to-do-it ideas created with the help of angels of inspiration—to change in real and satisfying ways.
In this lighthearted, uplifting, and beautifully illustrated gift book, each chapter opens with images of the author’s angels and quotes she believes were angel-inspired sometime in history. Readers may also download companion MP3 Mini Meditations available on They are “Dared to Shift” their thoughts and behaviors and these shifts will improve lives and relationships: • Shift 1: Always Connect to Love • Shift 2: Just Stop It, Really • Shift 3: It’s All About You • Shift 4: It’s Not About You • Shift 5: Give Up on the Past • Shift 6: Expect the Best Future • Shift 7: Appreciate Everything Now • Shift 8: Re-Choose Your Relationships • Shift 9: Handle Conflict with Grace • Shift 10: Love So it Can be Felt.

If you are ready to try these simple shifts, the results will amaze you. Every encouraging and comforting word in this beautifully illustrated self-help book will lead you to the path of peace, happiness, and fulfillment. A treasure to own, it would also serve as a thoughtful, caring, and loving gift.

First Chapter:

You probably would like some magic stardust to change your life and your relationships. You may have been trying to be loving, light hearted and to live a happy life, but it has been less than a success. Perhaps you read something and decide to change. But you don’t know exactly how and quickly fall back into the same patterns, just as I did. This book will give you practical shifts you can make in your life. I will be showing you what the angels had been trying to show me for years: how to shift to love, open my heart, and have happier relationships. If you make these shifts, you will become more relaxed, have more fun, and draw in the very best from your relationships. You will have the magic stardust.

There are only two reasons to make these shifts:
  • You will feel lighter and happier.
  • You will attract people, places and events, which are also lighter and happier.
When you are feeling lighter and happier and have attracted the same, you will find that your relationships have evolved, as well. They will be fixed in amazing ways. The easiest way to explain this is to think about each of your relationships as a teeter-totter. You are on one end and your partner, child, boss, or friend is on the other end. When you shift to lighten your heart, it is like lightening the weight on your end of the teeter-totter. The person on the other end must change, as well. But you cannot control what choices the other person will make. Sometimes the other person may change in ways that are happy and pleasing and keep things in balance. Sometimes the other person will refuse to play and will move away from the relationship. If so, it will be OK. Because you are shifting your life to happiness and love—another partner, friend, or job will show up to take their place. They will have lighter hearts and be in balance with the changes you are making to lighten your heart and enjoy your life.

It would be nice to just ask your angels to sprinkle some stardust on all the difficult people in your life—swish! But, unfortunately, all those people have free choice, so you can only hope to influence them in a positive way. The very best way to influence the difficult people in your life is to connect to love, yourself. Whenever you are not feeling light and happy, just stop whatever you are doing or thinking and connect to love and ask for an open heart. When you do this, it will be like magic stardust for you—your vibration will raise, you will feel better, and this transformation will influence everyone around you in a positive way. The first Shift Key is learning that there is always magic stardust for you. You can always connect to love at any time, in any circumstance.

When I was learning this—I had it all backward. I wanted to get more love from others. But I did not have my own connection to love. I thought if I could change everyone else, I would be happy. As it turns out, I could not get anyone to change even one little bit. I had read many of the self-help books published in the last twenty-five years and become an authority on why I was sabotaging myself, and why my childhood or other experiences might be causing my pain. Everything I learned was helpful, but most of what I learned just made me want to change other people and circumstances beyond my control.

I also thought that working on my own education and accomplishments would make me more lovable and happy. I consistently chose with my head, then second-guessed my choices. I was accepted into medical school, and then chose not to attend. Later I became an attorney, not because I really wanted to be an attorney, but to make up for my “mistake” in not going to medical school. I was mostly concerned with how others would view me. My accomplishments were not from my heart. I am glad for all I accomplished as nothing we learn is ever wasted. But I was mostly operating out of worry and fear, not love.

I later found that I was making two major errors and even though the results were poor – I didn’t know what else to do.
  • First – I was trying my best to be and do what I thought everyone wanted me to be and do.
  • When that didn’t seem to be working out, I often made a second mistake. I waited and hoped that others would change to be who I wanted them to be.
I was trying so hard to do it right and be good enough – I wasn’t really being myself. Then, instead of moving on when a relationship, job or situation did not meet my needs – I waited and waited – hoping that others would somehow change (despite strong evidence to the contrary!).

I wanted to stop wishing and hoping that others would change, so that I could be happy. I asked my angels to show me an answer: How could I love and respect myself and have harmonious and happy relationships, at the same time? This book contains the answers I found. The secret was to connect to love and then shift in the only areas where I had some control – my own thoughts, feelings and actions. When my own heart was right, then everyone and everything around me sorted out with the law of attraction. When I connected to love and my inner world (my heart) was right – so was my outer world.

Our angels have been trying to tell us this down through the ages. However, in the last few years, science is confirming the importance of connecting to love and its impact on our world. Joe Dispenza in his book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, notes research indicating that we are each part of a vast, invisible field of energy, which contains all possible realities and actually responds to our thoughts and our feelings. We can use our minds and emotions to create our reality. The neuroscientist, Dr. Newberg, in his book, How God Changes Your Brain, explains how just thinking of the word God and contemplative practices enhance the neural functioning of the brain in ways that improve physical and emotional health, no matter the religion or belief – as long as it is based on peace, love and compassion. The Institute of HeartMath research shows that positive thoughts actually add energy to our system and negative thoughts dissipate our energy. Our heart energy extends out three feet and more, influencing whatever is around us, as well as connecting to those we love around the world.

Opening our hearts and feeling love, appreciation and compassion have a powerful beneficial effect on how we relate to life. I learned from Dr. David Hawkins’s book, Power versus Force, that we all vibrate on an energy scale that ranges from low vibrations of despair, loneliness, and sadness up to the higher vibrations of hope, peace, happiness, and joy. Further, whatever level we are at determines what we attract—like attracts like.
  • High vibrations —Happiness, Peace, and Joy
  • On the way up —Hope, Expectation, and Contentment
  • Low vibrations —Despair, Guilt, and Shame
Our emotions are based on how we interpret events and what we are thinking about. Our energy or vibration level is determined by the emotions we feel. Our vibration then determines what we attract and the outcome of our interactions with others and our world. So why don’t we all just move up to joy? Usually because most of us grew up learning unhappy behaviors from our parents, who also wanted to live happy lives, but didn’t know how. Unless we connect to love – it is difficult to
break these unhappy patterns.

So no wonder I was not getting what I wanted! My attitude, emotions, and vibration were often fearful and worried or critical and negative. When I was critical and negative, that was the type of experience I was going to attract. I realized why the Law of Attraction wasn’t working for me. I began to think of my thoughts as a flock of ducks flying through the sky. I could say some nice affirmations about what I wanted – that gave me three or four ducks going in the right direction. However, I had habitual thoughts and feelings of doubt, fear and unworthiness. Those twenty ducks were circling or going the wrong way, so chaos reigned. The universe responded not to my affirmations, but to my primary energy and vibration of fear and doubt. Law of attraction sounded good, if I could just stay in peace and joy – and attract that! But I didn’t know how to shut off the anxious, negative perspective. I found that the easiest way was to simply ask for help and ask to be filled with the energy of unconditional love.

I had signed up to go to an Angel Conference presented by Doreen Virtue, but was hesitant to go. The universe knew I sincerely wanted help—when I ask I always get assistance. I usually recognize the angel’s hand only in retrospect. But this time, I actually heard a voice in my heart say, “Atlanta, Atlanta.” Since the conference was in Atlanta, that helped me find the courage to go. At that time Doreen had recorded a beautiful short meditation. I found the best way to get out of my negative thoughts was by listening to this. All I needed was a few minutes of quiet time. I felt the peace the first time I tried it. Later, if I found my thoughts drifting into negativity, I just paused a moment and asked for help again. I opened my heart to the energy of love and gratitude. I began connecting to light and love this way about fifteen years ago, and it has made a profound difference in my life.
No matter what you are facing, connecting with the source of love and light in the universe (the power running the universe) will help. You may wonder how this will improve your relationships, but when you connect to the power of love, you can see yourself and others with a love that creates miracles. There is a power that spins the world and holds the stars and planets in place. That same power is available to you at all times. You may call it Source, you may call it God; you can think of it as delivered by angels of unconditional love or the power that created the galaxies. It truly does not matter. It is light and love flowing to all of us, no matter what our belief or religion. The power is love, and it does not discriminate. You do not have to believe in it; all you have to do is hold out your hands. It keeps you alive, and you cannot turn it off. You can only temporarily cut off part of the flow—the part that would make you fully alive, vibrant, happy, and at peace.

So your first shift key is to quiet your mind and open your heart. I want to emphasize—I am not recommending some formal meditation practice; often, just five minutes will move you up the emotional scale from fear to hope. The secret is not long meditation, but repeated requests throughout the day and a change in your emotions and vibration. You will receive help and see your situation with the eyes of love. If you ask, you will receive that magic stardust.

When you walk in nature, listen to uplifting music; close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply, your heart responds. When you ask for help from Source or the angels of unconditional love, or when you repeat a comforting phrase, you are slowing down enough to notice and connect to the light and power of the universe. If you ask to be filled with the energy of unconditional love, you will feel your vibration rise, and you will feel better. If you are fearful or upset, you will become calmer. If you’re angry or frustrated, you will move up to hope and see answers more clearly. It will help you with the rest of the Shift Keys. It will raise your energy and vibration and make it more likely that you will attract what you want and reach your dreams. But even more important, it will connect you to love. You will see that everything, no matter how it appears, is really working out for you—right now.
You may be thinking that if that worked, it would be a miracle. It is.


You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars guides you too.

If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts.
—Alan Cohen

So many mornings I have chosen email over meditation…. I override the call to feel myself—the call to pray, or meditate, or be fully awake. Prayer comes in all forms and each one spoken brings grace to the day. —Danielle LaPorte

Love stretches your heart and makes you big inside. —Margaret Walker

You don’t have to go looking for love when it’s where you come from. —Erhard

You are today where your thoughts brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. —James L. Allen

Everything that exists, … is vibration in motion—and all of it is managed by the powerful Law of Attraction. —Abraham-Hicks

And my favorite:

If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.  —Ani Pema Chodron


Shift and connect to the energy of love and gratitude every single day. Put five to ten minutes on your calendar today. I cannot urge you more strongly—try it for a week and prove me wrong! I am not talking about long meditation – I believe that most of us are here to live our lives, rather than sit in contemplation. But we need to pause long enough to stop the negative thoughts and emotions, which are cutting off our supply of loving energy. We need to ask to be filled, here and now, with the energy of life, light and the power of love. We need to take the time to be lifted with the energy of love, to raise our vibration and open our hearts.
  • If you feel you have no time, just take a few minutes in the car in a parking lot. I have done some of my best connection in the car, or waiting for an appointment in a place where I could close my eyes and relax. If I am in a really stressful situation, I excuse myself for just five minutes (even if I have to retreat to the restroom). I breathe deeply and ask for calm and clarity or whatever I need. I ask to be filled with light and to see the situation with love. This has helped me respond and make decisions in a clear and positive way.
  • Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply; ask for help and repeat a soothing phrase. I like the phrase All is well. If you have time, you can use a short meditation or soothing music without words.
  • Ignore any negative thoughts or your to-do list—repeat your request to be flooded with love and light and continue relaxing, breathing slowly.
  • Once you feel some peace and love, if you want, you can also ask for specific help. You can ask for clarity on a problem at work; the ability to see your partner or children with more loving eyes; or the ability to see your own goals clearly, without worrying about everyone else. Then let it go, and continue the day.
  • Do not ask for predictions on the future, because both you and others have free choice. You can choose again at any time, and change your future. The angels do not predict the future, but angel messengers of unconditional love or the love and light of the universe can help you recognize what makes you light and happy and help you move toward the best next step for you. So ask to clearly know what choice will bring you and others the most love and happiness now.
  • Note – This is asking for help in living your life. This is not about channeling, predicting the future, or connecting with anything other than the light of love or Source. The Source of unconditional love and light only wants you to choose and will help you follow your choices – Source, angels or the light of unconditional love never dictates your path, you have free choice. But connecting to love will lighten any path you choose, increasing your freedom and joy.
  • Only accept loving thoughts that lighten your heart. If a thought makes you feel heavy or burdened, it is a lie. Ignore it and expect positive inspiration later. Ask to be raised above critical vibration. See all negative thoughts fade away with the stardust of love. Ask to connect to the loving truth of unconditional love and that loving truth will make you feel light and free.
  • Note: Sometimes you will know that you must do something, like apologize, that you don’t want to do – but thinking of completing that task will lighten your heart with relief and you will feel that it is right and true. Sometimes what is best for you won’t make everyone else happy, but it will make your heart lighter.
  • You will receive help. You may get an immediate thought or idea when you ask and open your heart to unconditional love—or, at a later time, you will hear a song or snippet of conversation, speak with someone, or find a book or magazine article that seems meant to open your eyes to new possibilities or gives you a new insight. But remember – if it is the true direction for you – it will make you feel lighter and happier – not burdened, guilty or fearful. Your inner knowing is from light and love – learn to trust it.


Purpose and Peace

When I first moved to Arizona, I had a job I enjoyed and was living the life I thought I wanted, but life still felt like a daily struggle. I decided to make the drive to work a sort of prayer for help and an appreciation of my blessings. I repeated soothing phrases, over and over, asking my angels and the source of unconditional love and light to lift my energy and give me the grace to enjoy the day and bring good to all I met. By the time I got to work, I was feeling a sense of purpose and a light heart, ready to face the day. I had connected with love and begun to understand that the connection to love, not any external events, was what made me happy.


I wanted to find an interesting program for my daughter when she was going through some difficult experiences. I asked for help, and within a few days I got it. On a flight for a conference, I was seated right next to a woman who was part of an organization that did wonderful weekend programs for teenagers. She was able to tell me all about the program. I took my daughter to this weekend program in Seattle the next week. It was a life-changing event and helped her to come to terms with some of the unhappy things in her life, such as the recent death of her great-grandfather. I knew I had connected to love and had received a wonderful answer.

Deep Happiness

You are so loved, and you will find that when you connect to love, you can feel happiness and peace, no matter what is happening around you. This will help you see your relationships with eyes of love and respond to your partner, family, and friends from a stronger, happier, heart-centered place. You will begin to expect blessings and miracles. You will see the difference in how you relate to everyone when first you open your heart and connect to love.


Childre, D. (1999) The HeartMath Solution, NY HarperCollins
Dispenza, J. (2013) Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, Hay House
Dyer, W. (2012) I Am: Wishes Fulfilled (CD)
Newberg, A., Waldman, M. (2010 ) How God Changes Your Brain, Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist, NY, Random House
Schmidt, J. (2003) Still, Still, Still MP3
Tabell, R. (2012) The Lord’s Prayer MP3
Picquette, E. (2012) “Connecting to Love,” track on Mini Meditation—Shift Keys MP3
Virtue, D. (2004) Chakra Clearing (book and CD)
For an easy click on book list of all the reference books – go to

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Interview with Margay Leah Justice, author of 'The Scent of Humanity'

Descended from the same bloodline that spawned the likes of James Russell, Amy and Robert Lowell, Margay Leah Justice was fated to be a writer herself from a young age. But even before she knew that there was a name for what she was doing, she knew one thing: She had a deep and unconditional love for the written word. A love that would challenge her in times of need, abandon her in times of distress, and rediscover her in times of hope. Through her writing, Margay has learned to cope with every curve ball life has thrown her, including the challenges of single parenting, the harsh realities of living in a shelter, coping with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the roller coaster ride of dealing with a child who suffers from bipolar disorder. But along the way she has rediscovered the amazing power of words. 
Margay currently lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, two cats, and a myriad of characters who vie for her attention and demand that their own stories be told. In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, knitting her way through a stash of yarn that almost rivals her tbr pile!
Her latest book is the romantic suspense/women’s fiction, The Scent of Humanity.
For More Information
About the Book:

Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. In theory. But in one small town, in one family, that theory is put to the test. 

Growing up in a rural town in
Massachusetts was supposed to be safe, but for SILVIE CHILDS, that safety was shattered by a kidnapping attempt that forever changed her life. Now, nearly twenty years later, that sense of safety is challenged again by the kidnapping attempt on her young niece, and Silvie is left struggling with one question: How can something like this happen twice in one family? 

It is a dilemma shared by NICK FAHEY, the detective assigned to the case. Arriving on the scene of the abduction attempt, Nick expects to run a routine investigation. Until he meets the victim, the niece of a woman he once considered a dear friend. Unfortunately, these days Silvie Childs can barely stand the sight of him. 

Once there was a time when Silvie Childs worshipped Nick Fahey, believing he could do no wrong. Until the accident that nearly killed her brother; the accident that Nick reportedly caused. Coming on the heels of her own near abduction, the accident skewed Silvie’s ability to trust men – especially Nick. But now, with the attempt on her niece’s safety, Silvie finds herself in the untenable position of having to trust Nick to bring the kidnapper to justice. 

That trust is severely tested when, after only two months, the case is closed for lack of new evidence. Feeling betrayed by the system in which she works as a paralegal and by Nick, Silvie takes matters into her own hands. Contacting local news stations to generate interest in the case, allowing herself to be filmed hanging sketches of the suspect on telephone poles, she will risk her own safety to protect that of her niece. When her efforts re-open the wounds of her past, she is once again forced to put her trust in the one man who still has the power to hurt her – Nick 

For More Information


Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Thank you for having me! I read a lot (no surprise there), but I also love to knit. I am a creative person through and through, so I love making something out of nothing and seeing the end result. I also love spending time with my family.

When did you start writing?

As soon as I could hold a pencil – or a crayon, as the case may be! I think I always told stories, in one form or another. I don’t remember ever not writing; it’s just something I always did.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Probably the first time I saw my name on a book cover. That’s when it hit me that this was real; I am now a published author.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I’ve always wanted to go to Paris, ever since I was a kid. So I’d love to go there, sit by the Seine, and just write.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Work on my current WIP.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Oh, good question! I think it’d be fun to set something in Australia or Japan.

Back to your present book, The Scent of Humanity, how did you publish it?

I went the self-publishing route for this one.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

No, because it was set in a small town loosely based on the one I grew up in, so a lot of it came out of my imagination.

Why was writing The Scent of Humanity so important to you?

Because the core of the story (the attempted kidnappings) is based on events that actually happened to me and my niece and I just felt compelled to write the story. When I first started putting it down on paper, it was like it was writing itself – like it wasn’t even me writing it. I couldn’t not write it; this story wanted to be told.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

My ideas spring up from everywhere. It could just be a certain turn of phrase or something I saw on the news. It’s almost like I don’t choose my ideas so much as they choose me!

Any final words?

I just want to thank you so much for having me here today. It has been such a pleasure visiting with you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Transformational Dentristry by Zack Zaibak, author of The Hidden Truth Behind Beautiful Smiles

Title: The Hidden Truth Behind Beautiful Smiles
Author: Zack Zaibak
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 152
Genre: Medical/Dentristry
Format: Ebook
 Purchase at AMAZON

 We are often judged by how we look, and the first thing people notice is a smile. In The Hidden Truth Behind Beautiful Smiles, author Dr. Zack Zaibak tells how modern cosmetic dentistry can transform ordinary smiles into stunning gorgeous ones. Dr. Zaibak, honored by the Consumers Research Council of America for the last five years as one of America’s top dentists, discusses important issues relating to dental health and improving your teeth, your smile, and your self-esteem. Dr. Zaibak has been featured on national and local media outlets including ABC, WGN Superstation, Fox and Univision, and has served as an expert commentator for the Chicago Sun-Times. He is also a provider of cosmetic dental care to winners of beauty pageants. People with bright, beautiful, and healthy looking smiles are seen as more attractive, competent, and happier. In fact, a dazzling, radiant smile can make all the difference in romance – as well as career success. In only two visits, you can gain a sparkling white, perfectly shaped, celebrity smile as modern innovations make your dental visit a satisfying, comfortable, and even enjoyable experience. Dr. Zack Zaibak’s all-inclusive book unveils the hidden truth about today’s state of the art choices in cosmetic dentistry for creating smile makeovers and gorgeous Hollywood Smiles, including Lumineers porcelain veneers, Invisalign metal-free braces, teeth whitening, bonding, implants, crowns, bridges, Snap-On Smiles and gum lifts. The health of your teeth and mouth affect the well-being of your entire body. The Hidden Truth Behind Beautiful Smiles reveals the secrets to enhancing your teeth to produce an exquisite, engaging smile that will positively transform your self-image and your life.

Transformational Dentristry

Modern dentistry is not what it used to be, and that is extremely fortunate. In today's competitive fast-paced world, first impressions are more important than ever. We instantly judge people by their appearance and the first thing we notice is their smile. Studies show we tend to believe attractive people with beautiful, healthy smiles are more intelligent, competent, trustworthy, and enjoyable to be around. On the other hand, we form immediate negative opinions if a person's smile is unattractive with misaligned, yellowed, or even chipped or missing teeth. Fair or not, this is reality.

Fortunately, today's leading-edge cosmetic dentistry can transform nearly anyone's teeth into a gorgeous, engaging smile more easily and in more ways than ever before! 

It is truly miraculous.

That is not the only significant change. Most people avoid going to the dentist for one primary reason: fear. Specifically, fear of anticipated pain. Yet modern dentistry is practically painless, with all types of new technologies, including lasers instead of scalpels, the Wand- a pencil-like device (rather than traditional syringe) that applies anesthetic so a patient doesn't even feel it, conscious sedation, and even ultrasonic cleaners employing sound waves to clean teeth, instead of scraping.

But most importantly, modern dentistry goes far beyond simply correcting problems such as cavities. Today, we can give you back the beautiful smile of your youth, or a much more exquisite smile than nature ever bestowed upon you.

Leading edge technologies such as Lumineers porcelain veneers, Invisalign metal-free braces, implants, bonding, Snap-On Smiles, gum lifts, and power whitening have advanced cosmetic dentistry to an art form. The results are remarkable and reach far beyond a person's attractiveness. People who have been shy, quickly gain confidence and self-esteem. Many start eating better, exercising at the gym regularly, dressing more stylishly, paying more attention to makeup and hairstyles. Plus, people respond to them better. Top cosmetic dentist report patients often getting long-sought after promotions at work, greater results with clients, and vastly improved romantic lives.

A radiant, dazzling smile is truly a life changer. 

 Zack Zaibak, MS, DDS, is a licensed general dentist in the state of Illinois and one of the top practitioners of advanced cosmetic dentistry in that state. Honored by the Consumer Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Dentists, Zaibak has the latest advanced training and certification in Lumineers, Invisalign, and laser surgery.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Interview with Juan Carlos Marcos, author of Warriors at the Helm

Warriors at the Helm Title: Warriors at the Helm
Author: Juan Carlos Marcos
Publisher: Elie Press
Pages: 174
Genre: Business
Format: Hardcopy/Ebook

 In Warriors At The Helm: A Leader’s Guide To Success in Business, Juan Carlos Marcos shares his almost four decades of experience regarding people dynamics in the corporate World. Whether you’re just getting started in business, or you are a thirty-year warrior, nothing is as valuable to your growth, and in preparing you for success, as learning through trial and error. However, modern-day corporate America can be very unforgiving or impatient through your learning process. This book represents the next best thing to being there, which is learning from others’ experience. Juan provides the reader with a practical tool that offers valuable insights into the distinctive and real differences between effective leaders (those that people eagerly follow) and those who lack the self-awareness to understand that they may be barriers to progress versus a catalyst. To further add texture to his insights, Juan elicits and shares thoughts from veteran executives who share personal experiences and perspectives derived from years of trench warfare. In Warriors At The Helm you will learn about the traits that make Leaders and Individual Contributors successful in business and how to manage the Dumb Asses and Egomaniacs (AKA Barbarians) that roam the corporate landscape. The book will provide you with the awareness and knowledge of the life “on the inside” that will help you emulate and demonstrate the behaviors that will keep your career on a positive and productive track.

Purchase Your Copy At:

Could you please tell us a little about your book? “Warriors at the Helm” is about the good, bad and ugly of people in corporations. Specifically it:
  • Defines the traits and behaviors that make individuals and leaders successful (The Warriors)
  • Defines the traits and behaviors that make Dumb Asses and Egomaniacs (The Barbarians) so challenging to their colleagues
  • Provides career guidance for people interested in successfully navigating through complex organizations infested with Barbarians
  • Provides straightforward recommendations about how to seek mentors and have productive relationships with them
  • Provides recommendations about two dynamics of corporations (Communications or “Corporate Speak” and the potential “People” related perils of companies that grow too fast) that can be very challenging
  • Concludes with lessons I (Author: Juan Carlos Marcos) learned during almost four decades in business, about the things that work or don’t work for individuals in corporations
The book is complimented by stories and perspectives from 19 executives about their experiences in the trenches of Corporate America. Among these executives are Mike Andres, recently named President of McDonald’s USA, Brian Unger, Former Chief Operating Officer of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. and Dave Daniels, Principal, Double D Consulting and Former VP of Operations for Sport Clips Inc.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

Over my 37 years in Corporate America, mostly in Human Resources, I personally experienced a significant number of painful experiences and also observed the painful experiences of hundreds of other colleagues. I was also very fortunate to, witness first hand, the traits that successful people demonstrate every day in the work place. Over the years I literally had thousands of discussions with colleagues and mentors about the lazy, duplicitous, mal-content, blame-oriented people that exist in most complex organizations. Often, these discussions would end with a suggestion that I should write a book about these “People” dynamics. Accordingly, when I retired I decide to write “Warriors at the Helm.”

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

The inspiration was to, in some way, help individual contributors and leaders to be better at how they conduct themselves in the work place. Specifically, I wanted to provide my insight and those of other colleagues as a way to help others to stay on the Warrior path. I was also inspired by trying to help others manage the challenging relationships with the Barbarians.

Who is your biggest supporter?

Without a doubt my wife of 37 years, Randi is my biggest supporter. Not only was she very supportive in my writing and getting the book published, but more important, she was supportive of me every single day of my 37 years in the corporate world. I have also been fortunate throughout my career to work with many Warriors who made my journey through Corporate America tolerable and successful.

What is the most important thing in your life right now?

My family is the most important thing in my life, especially my 6 month old granddaughter. Most people work very hard throughout their careers with little to show for it and many, wind up with broken families. I have been fortunate to reap the benefits of working that allowed me to retire at age 59 and blessed with a supportive family. It is also a lot of fun to get to be silly and have fun with a beautiful 6 month old.

Do you have any advice for writers or readers?

 “Warriors at the Helm” being my first book, I would call it my perspective rather than advice. First, to the writers, is to have thick skin. After being edited by family, colleagues and then professional editors and proof readers it can be easy to get discouraged. Second, don’t compromise what you believe is important to include in your book. You can’t be all things to all people. Listen to and evaluate the perspectives of people you respect, but be true to yourself. You are the author. The buck stops with you for better or worse. To the readers, I encourage you to be reflective as you read the book and open minded about the traits of both the Warriors and the Barbarians. As important is to be brutally honest with yourself about what path you are on. Is it the Warrior or the Barbarian path? If it is the latter, what do you need to find your way to the Warrior’s path?

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

 First, I wanted the content to be real and if at times that meant raw, so be it. There are too many business books or self-help books that are plain boring. Second, I thought it was important to include stories and perspectives from proven and successful leaders about their experiences. Some of these are also raw and to the point. In short, they are real. Finally, I tried to reinforce some points throughout the book and make them come to life by using well known historical events.

 Juan Carlos Marcos was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1962. He spent almost four decades in leadership roles in human resources in the corporate world, including experience in multiple industries. Among the companies he worked at included Saint Mary's Hospital Medical Center, in Madison Wisconsin, Graber Industries Inc., Boston Market and McDonald's Corporation. Now retired and working as a consultant, he took the time to fulfill his dream of writing his first book. Juan holds a bachelor's degree in business from Northern Illinois University and a master's degree in business from the University of Wisconsin. Juan lives in Evergreen, Colorado, with his wife Randi.

My Book My Students by Randy Coates, author of More Precious Than Rubies

Title: More Precious Than Rubies
Author: Randy Coates
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 174
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Ebook
Purchase at AMAZON

 Paul Brager is twelve when his father tells the story of Iduna and her apples. Mr. Brager always tells stories before bed to entertain Paul’s little brother, Adrian—a ritual that has become even more important since their mother died. Iduna was a goddess who grew apples that made the gods younger and stronger, but one day she disappeared, along with her apples. Paul doesn’t think much of the myth; he has other things on his mind. Paul and his best friend, Chad Tremblay, are excited to start the school year as seventh graders at Dorian Heights Public School. Even when they hear about the new principal, Mr. Theisen, they aren’t worried about ending up in his office. When Paul finally meets the principal, however, he finds him to be strange, mysterious, and extremely fond of apples. That’s when things start going wrong. Theisen develops an uncomfortable interest in Paul, claiming he once knew Paul’s father. It becomes apparent to Paul and Chad that Theisen is after something, maybe some kind of treasure—and it involves the Brager family. Paul believes his family must be protected and that Theisen must be stopped. Still, he can’t get the story of Iduna’s apples out of his head; there seems to be an odd connection to the tale his father told. He and Chad want to know the answers, but learning them may put their lives in danger.

My Book my Students

Almost a year has passed since I self-published my children's fantasy novel.

When I finally had the hard copy in my hands,Idecided to give it to immediate members of my family and told them not to tell anyone else about it.

My intention was to establish myself with social media first: set up a website, for example. I wanted to see the true power of social media; to see if others I knew would recognize my book without being told by my family.

One advantage I have is being a teacher in a middle school where students are using social media not only at school but also inside and outside of their homes. I figured that one day, one student would stumble upon my creation. And students do not shut up about these things, as if they have just unveiled a crude secret about their teacher and want to be the first to clue in their friends.

So, with much interest, did I discover how my grade 8 students learned.

This past week, one of my more difficult students passed me in the hall and spluttered, "Hey Mr. Coates, I saw you on Google Images."

This, in itself, is not surprising. This boy does not care about me. Obviously, he wanted to "dig up some dirt" on someone. My name was probably one of the many he looked up and he happened to find the picture that is on the book's back cover.

"Yes," I grinned, "but do you know why it's there?"
This was probably the cleverest thing I could have said: I wanted to create some mystery, some suspense.

He, or perhaps others, pursued their investigation. Maybe because they were curious to see what crime I had committed, or what had made me famous. Perhaps they were wondering if I had been on Dancing  With the Stars.

It does not matter. The fact is their hard work led to their finding that I had written a children'sbook.

One student said, "You actually wrote a book?" in that dumbfounded way that students often sound when they don't believe their teachers have lives outside of school.

Uh, the power of the Internet.

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.

Some Things Asteroidal by Tony Taylor, author of The Darkest Side of Saturn

Title: The Darkest Side of Saturn
Author: Tony Taylor
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 492
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Ebook
 Purchase at AMAZON

 It’s 1997 at a mountaintop observatory in Southern California where spacecraft navigator Harris Mitchel and astronomer Diana Muse-Jones discover a dangerous asteroid which may hit the earth within two decades. As the asteroid tumbles through space towards an uncertain impact, Harris and Diana fight bitterly over how to announce their discovery. When Harris goes public to a skeptical world—at the cost of his and Diana’s careers—he sends their already turbulent relationship into a blaze of conflicting passions. As his notoriety builds, a fanatical preacher and his unhinged followers stalk him while an obnoxious radio personality provides disruptive help. Harris becomes an unwilling Pied Piper for his own overzealous followers hungry for belief and eager for guidance into an uncertain and tumultuous future. In this science fiction drama the characters battle each other in contests of Damn your world view! against a background of hard science, religion, romance, metaphysical speculation, and the forces of nature versus human passions and dreams. Meanwhile an asteroid hurtles through the solar system and global salvation or disaster hangs in the balance. “A courageous and visionary work … an instant classic.” —BlueInk Reviews

Thanks very much for the opportunity to participate in your blog. I appreciate the effort and hard work you put into this site.

About Some Things Asteroidal

The Darkest Side of Saturn is, among other things, an asteroid story—an astronomer and an engineer co-discover a two mile wide asteroid that might or might not hit the Earth in 16 years. Their conundrum (besides the potentially illicit affair between them that the asteroid exacerbates)  is how to announce it without making jackasses of themselves.

Since the story is about a fictional dangerous asteroid, and since we know that real asteroids present the Earth with problems now and then, I’ll say a little about them here. If you want to either put your mind at ease or scare the b’Jesus out of yourself—depending on how paranoid you are—read on.

Do we need to worry about an asteroid collision?
In a word—NO.  It’s not something you need to lose sleep over. If you allow a few more words, it’s a very low probability but very high consequence event. It’s like that old fighter pilot’s saying about flying: “99% boredom, 1% stark terror,” except for large asteroids it’s more like 99.999... (and a lot more digits) boredom, and a teeny tiny little bit of really stark terror.

If a two mile wide asteroid like the one in the book hit, the explosion would be like detonating the whole world’s nuclear arsenal, except nearly a hundred times larger. It would likely induce “asteroid winter”, causing crop failures and 100 times more deaths than from the direct blast alone. Hundreds of millions—maybe even billions of people—including you and everyone you know—could die of starvation and wars because of the collapse of civilization.

So, it’s not likely to happen, particularly in the short term, but over the long term the odds go up. If we wait long enough, we will be hit, the question is whether it’s in tens of years, or thousands, or millions, or longer. For the big ones, it’s millions, like the six mile wide asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. But then, that was 65 million years ago. Are we overdue? To paraphrase Ray Bradbury, “Does something wicked this way come?”

Regardless, if we find one with our name on it in the short term, small or large, we better do something about it. That brings up the next question:

If an asteroid impact is predicted, what could we do and how much time would we need?
We’d need lots of lead time. It takes a few years to build and launch a spacecraft and a few more years to get there and do something. For some asteroids, like Bennu (500m wide), we already know the risk more than 150 years out. It’s about a 1:1000 probability of impact in the last part of the 22nd century. We won’t have to worry about it, but the children of our great-great-great grandchildren might.

Others might pop up with less warning. If it were a really big one, say over a kilometer diameter, we’d probably need at least 15–20 years to do something about it—even earlier would be better. We’d want to deflect it. We’d want to send a spacecraft out, or maybe even a fleet of spacecraft to nudge it a little bit. Not much, just a few millimeters per second. That’s enough, over a decade or more, to cause it to miss.

One way to nudge it is the old tried and true method of the movies— nuke it! But nuke it very carefully! Some asteroids turn out to be rubble piles of rocks barely held together by weak gravity. If you’re not careful, you could turn what would have been a rifle shot into a shotgun blast and be worse off than before. Nuke it, but a little distance away so that it vaporizes some of the surface rather than blasting it apart, and the reaction drives it in the opposite direction.

If it’s smaller, say around 100 meters wide like the Tunguska asteroid of 1908 that leveled most of a thousand square miles of Siberian forest, we might do with a little less warning time to mount a mission with nuclear devices, or we could do other things if we had more time, like hit it with a massive spacecraft going as fast as we could make it go. That would be like the Deep Impact spacecraft that we deliberately drove into Comet Tempel 1 in 2005. You might need to hit it with more than one to get it moving enough.

If it were still smaller—like the 20 meter asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia last year (generating an explosion 25 times the Hiroshima atomic bomb)—and we had plenty of time, there are other methods like zapping it with lasers from a fleet of spacecraft to vaporize surface material and depend on the reaction to nudge it. Or we could even hover a spacecraft nearby and use the mutual gravitational attraction to pull it, like a gravity tractor but a very weak one.

If you want more information about asteroids, I suggest Googling names like “Asteroid impact” or “Asteroid deflection,” or going to Wikipedia for the same topics. There’s also the NASA Near Earth Object Program web site at that has great detail on potentially hazardous asteroids, but maybe too technical for some.

One last thought:

Why should I read The Darkest Side of Saturn: Odyssey of a Reluctant Prophet of Doom?
Why wouldn’t you if you want to know the fate of the universe, the meaning of life, and the answers to other religious, philosophical, and metaphysical questions, all of them asked and answered in an alternate universe? That’s not even to mention the illicit romance between Harris and Diana, the co-discoverers of asteroid Babylym, and the ballet thrown in for added entertainment. You know, all those things like asteroids, religion, sex, metaphysics and dancing that just naturally go together.

Tony Taylor spent a long career navigating NASA spacecraft—including Voyager, Cassini, Mars Polar Lander, Galileo, and MESSENGER—to every planet in the solar system. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and earned an MS in physics from the University of Arizona. Tony and his wife, Jan, live in Sedona, Arizona.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Interview with Ed Grizzle, author of It's Your Decision

Title: It's Your Decision
Author: Ed Grizzle
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 128
Genre: Family Relationships/Parenting
Format: Ebook
 Purchase at AMAZON

 Children are gifts from God, but parenting those children can often be a difficult task. In It’s Your Decision, author Ed Grizzle shows how parenting can be successful when it’s carried out according to God’s plan. Using his life’s experiences as a guide, Grizzle explores the importance of making the right decisions in life—from choosing the right lifestyle and the right mate and to raising children according to what God has planned for you.

It’s Your Decision discusses
 • planning for children;
 • knowing what children need;
 • being aware of the important years in a child’s life;
 • understanding that children will test parents;
 • valuing the role of grandparents;
 • dealing with abused children;
 • communicating openly and honestly;
 • clarifying family roles.

 Grizzle presents a guide to strengthening lives and making your family life more enjoyable. He shows how this is possible when you accept Jesus Christ into your life; he will show you the way in the difficult times.


How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

My upbringing was the main reason for the book.  It gave me the opportunity to share how Jesus Christ can make a persons life more worth living if they follow him.

When and why did you begin writing?

I believed that my wife Mary encouraged me to write the book.  I started it four weeks prior to her passing.

What do you consider the hardest thing about writing?

Since this was my first book, I can’t really answer this question.  I felt that there was nothing hard about writing it.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

I don’t consider it a career but instead a nice thing to keep me going since I am retired.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know other than it is they way I write and I have nothing to compare it to.

Ed Grizzle started a ministry called It’s Your Decision that helps addicts, prostitutes, and others who face difficult circumstances. He and his late wife, Mary, raised two children. Grizzle currently lives in Illinois