The Painting and The Piano, by John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo, is an improbable story of survival and love. It was released in February 2016.
Genres: Literary Nonfiction / Romance / Memoir / Addiction and Recovery
The childhoods of Johnny and Adrianne couldn’t have been more different. Not only were they born more than one-thousand miles apart, but the cultural and financial contrasts between their respective childhoods are equally as stark.
Old-money wealth and privilege defined Johnny’s childhood in Ladue, Missouri, which is to St. Louis what Scarsdale is to New York City or Beverly Hills to Los Angeles. From the moment of his birth, Johnny’s world was private clubs, private schools, private jets, high-society etiquette, and a loving nanny named Lizzy.
Middleclass Jewish values, bickering but loving parents, and the distinct character of Long Island defined Adrianne’s early life. It was public school, public transportation, Jones Beach, and Lawn Guyland rather than Long Island or tawk instead of talk.
However, Johnny and Adrianne’s childhoods share a tragic parallel that damaged each to the core of their psyche, their emotional well-being, and brought both to the brink of death.
Where their story diverges from so many others is that rather than fall into the darkness, Johnny and Adrianne reached for the light. Thus began their respective journeys of healing, which led from the slow death of addiction to a serendipitous meeting, falling in love and building a shared life dedicated to the service of others.
Told as a tandem narrative, Adrianne and Johnny pass their respective stories of childhood trauma and abuse, addiction, healing, and final triumph of love back and forth in alternating chapters. Their stories are unique, but share parallels that create a taut and emotionally compelling narrative.
Filled with hope, inspiration and humor, The Painting and the Piano is an unforgettable story of pain, loss and the undying human quest for happiness.
Praise for The Painting & The Piano:
“Two adults overcome damaging childhoods and addictions to find each other and rebuild their lives together in this affecting debut memoir.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Have you ever read a book, that upon finishing, you just knew would be a story that would stay with you for a long, long time? Well, that certainly was the case for me when I finished the last words of The Painting and The Piano… Authors John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo have done a splendid job in telling their unique stories in a wonderfully intertwined way that pulls them both together. The stories, though difficult, are told delicately, and will grab readers from the very beginning. I was unable to put down this book until the very end…” – Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite
Excerpt from The Painting & The Piano:
I’m in an office in Manhattan. There’s a large mirror embedded in one wall. The furniture is small, a table and two chairs built especially for children. There are a few toys, but none of them are very interesting.
The room is bare and cold, even though it’s mid-summer in Manhattan.
Honey, we have to go, but we’ll be back soon, okay? Mom says.
Where are you going? I feel fidgety and kick at the kiddie chair next to me.
Just for a little walk, not too far.
My tummy hurts and I don’t want to be there.
Okay, Ady Maidy? Dad asks.
We’ll be back in a jip, Mom adds.
Jiff, Dad says.
Jiff! We’ll be back in a jiff.
Good grief. She knows what I mean, don’t you honey?
Mom and Dad look at the woman who brought us to this room. I don’t remember her name, maybe it was Ms. Abramsky, but she’s wearing beige polyester pants and a sky blue short-sleeved blouse with a ruffle running along either side of the buttons.
Her arms are folded across her belly. It’ll be okay. Your mom and dad will be here in a minute.
I look at my parents. Mom and Dad are right here.
Mom’s eyes are sharp, head tilted, arms across her chest, purse grasped tightly in her right hand. Dad’s eyes are soft, moist. His hands are in his pockets.
I guess I mean Mr. and Mrs. Schoenowitz, Ms. Abramsky says.
Can we step out into the hall? Mom asks.
Yes Mrs. Cahn, replies Ms. Abramsky.
Will, why don’t you stay with Ady, Mom says to Dad. She and Ms. Abramsky step into the hall. The door shuts solidly behind them.
I couldn’t hear what they said, nor do I think I wanted to, but when I was older Mom rehashed the conversations she’d had with the agency.
Everything was fine until I called to say we wanted to adopt Adrianne, Mom remembered saying.
I know, responded Ms. Abramsky.
When we first came into this agency we were very clear that we were looking for a baby girl that we could adopt—
I wasn’t here then—
I know that, but it should be in the file because when we were called we were told that you had a little girl from drug-addicted parents and that it would be a long-term foster parenting opportunity that probably would turn into an adoption.
At that time the mother was in jail and the father was nowhere to be found, said Ms. Abramsky.
Right…and all the time your agency is telling us, ‘Don’t worry, everything is fine—’
And it was. When you asked about adopting Adrianne we had to try and contact the biological parents, which we did—
—When Adrianne was born Mrs. Schoenowitz voluntarily put Adrianne into foster care, so we had to try to speak to both Mr. and Mrs. Schoenowitz—
So that’s why we’re here now—
—and they wanted to meet Adrianne.
What about adopting Adrianne? Is that still in the picture?
Mrs. Cahn, we’re a foster agency and in no way an adoption agency. We have certain guidelines.
Does one of those guidelines include telling Mrs. Schoenowitz she has the right to take Adrianne back?
It took a long time for Mom to get an answer to that question.
Johnny and Adrianne reside in South Florida with their Yorkie, Holly. Both are involved in the AA/Recovery community. Adrianne currently works at a recovery house and Johnny continues speaking, sponsoring and helping others in recovery.
To learn more, go to http://www.paintingpiano.com/
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Johnny and Adrianne, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at email@example.com or 805.807.9027.
The Quest for Integrity, by Jaswinder Singh, is a work of literary fiction dealing in the socio-political climate of modern-day India.
A novel of ideas in the spirit of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, The Quest for Integrity pits the heroic Purshottam Gill against the forces of greed plaguing modern society. As Purshottam diligently works to improve performance and raise morale at the Bank of the Nation’s Amlawar branch, his attempts are hindered by an intricate conspiracy involving trade union officials, politicians, and some of the bank’s senior officers, whose ambitions are threatened. Among those who align against the reformer is Neki Lal, whose rise from a life of poverty to become a union leader and vicious attack of Purshottam vividly illustrates how success all-too-often comes to be valued above ethics and morality in Indian society.
A riveting tale of power, corruption, and the need for social change, The Quest for Integrity is a thought-provoking and inspiring story that illustrates the importance of dignity, morality, and social responsibility.
The Quest for Integrity takes philosophical fiction to the cross section between banking and politics, a vicious environment where ambitious rivals use deceit and manipulation as their route to success.
Purshottam mused about the crowd below. Well-dressed people shopped in the bazaar—rich people got proper nourishment, good medical facilities, and a good education. They were active and intelligent and therefore more productive. They aspired to and achieved success.
The industrialists of Amlawar were well known in the commercial circles of the country and their products, primarily hosiery, bicycles, machine tools, and machinery parts had a reputation for high quality all over the world. Chartered accountants, company secretaries, and engineers contributed greatly to the growth and prosperity of this industrial city.
He’d always taken an interest in Amlawar and had spent two years in the city during his college days, fifteen years earlier, when he’d received his master’s degree in English from Government College. Back then, he’d lived in a rented room along with a fellow student.
Looking down on the city now, Purshottam thought back to the time he’d once spent in this city and contemplated his future in Amlawar—to spend the next several years here among the fortunate and unfortunate, the good and the bad, the workers, preachers, saints, pickpockets, and armed dacoit thugs.
I am now part of this city and all its diversity. I must share my life with people who have different sets of values, who believe in different religions and worship different gods. I will live with and interact with these people, happy or sad, high or low. I am now part of the crowd.
Lost in his thoughts, he went back to his room and switched on the TV. A few minutes later, he heard a knock at the door, opened it, and beckoned the visitor inside.
A dark man, frail and wrinkled, stepped into the room. “Sahib, I am your room servant. I have come to tell you that whenever you need anything, press this button.” He pointed to a switch on the wall near the head of the bed. “I will immediately come to serve you, sahib.”
Purshottam switched off the TV and asked, “What is your name?”
“Ram Chander, sahib.”
“Ram Chander, where are you from?”
“I am from Ayodhya, sahib. It is in the Uttar Pradesh state.”
“How long have you been in Amlawar?”
“I have been in Amlawar for the last thirty years, sahib. I was sixteen years old when I first came to this place and started to work as a casual laborer. After ten years, I began pulling a rickshaw. I pulled the rickshaw for eighteen years before I fell ill and it became difficult for me. By God’s grace, I got this job. It is very comfort- able. God is very kind, and I am happy now. Pulling a rickshaw is also very nice, sahib, but now my body does not cooperate with me enough to pull it. I worked very hard and made a lot of money by rickshaw.”
Surprised, Purshottam quickly did the math. If the man had come to the city at age sixteen and that was thirty years ago, he must be forty-six. From Ram Chander’s appearance, Purshottam would have guessed seventy. He suppressed a sigh.
“What did you do with that money?” Purshottam asked.
“Sahib, I go to home almost every year and take so many gifts for my children.” A spark of excitement lit up Ram Chander’s face, and he gave Purshottam a wide smile. “One time I bought a radio for them, the next time a bicycle and then a watch. I gave them so many things, sahib. This city of Amlawar has given me so much money. All these thirty years, I have been supporting my family. Now they have a bicycle, a radio, and a watch. God willing, I will buy a TV for them one day.”
Though his eyes rested on Ram Chander’s beaming face, for a moment Purshottam pictured a stooped gardener he’d known here during his college days. About ten migrant laborers lived near his room then, and Purshottam often sat and talked with them in the evening. After a year’s hard work, a migrant laborer would be overjoyed when it came time to go back home on vacation. He’d dress in his best clothes and spend his entire year’s savings on gifts for the family. Bicycles, radios, and watches were important possessions and made the families happy, at least for a while. All workers aspired to buy at least one such treasure after a year of hard work.
During a recent business trip to California, Purshottam had come across some Mexican laborers who worked in the strawberry fields. They earned more than a hundred dollars a day, at a time when the cost of a decent brand- new bicycle was $139.99. An ordinary day laborer could buy a bicycle, a radio, or a watch from two days’ pay. What was the difference between laborers in the United States and these laborers? Was it a difference in productivity, or could it be some kind of exploitation? Or was it merely fate?
After Ram Chander left, Purshottam turned the TV on again and channel-hopped but found nothing of interest. He tried reading a book but couldn’t get interested in that, either. He went to bed, then found it difficult to sleep.
About the Author:
Jaswinder Singh worked as a senior manager of a bank in India for over eighteen years. He holds a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, and currently resides in Edmonton, Canada.
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Jaswinder Singh, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.807.9027.
12 Simple Steps to Loving Life, by Robert Radcliffe, is a guide toward improving the quality of your life; to be more loving, happy and peaceful.
Millions of people worldwide, including Dr. David R. Hawkins, established therapist and author of “Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior,” have called the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous the most beneficial self-improvement program in history and finally these Twelve Steps has been adapted for everyone to benefit!
If you desire a more compassionate and healthy approach to life’s most challenging moments, then this is the perfect book for you. It is intended to be a quick read with results that will last a lifetime.
12 Simple Steps to Loving Life is for anyone who would like to see a positive change in their life.
To learn more, go to 12SimpleSteps.com
Praise for 12 Simple Steps to Loving Life:
“The author includes personal anecdotes, his struggles, and successes as he explains each of the steps. This offers the reader to connect on a more personal level with the author, which makes the narrative readable and relatable.” – Red City Reviews
“I found it an enlightening read and the Steps are easy to practice and incorporate into one’s life. The author’s words are profound and help readers to be honest with themselves. The book takes readers on a path of self-discovery and healing and makes life better than ever before.” – Readers’ Favorite
Step 1 is about admitting what is wreaking havoc on our lives. For me, it was drugs; and while I wasn’t ready to admit powerlessness, I was willing to concede that my life was unmanageable. I couldn’t deny my life was a mess, a nightmare, in fact. I’ve since learned this is often the case with the first step. People will admit one part or the other, but seldom do we grasp it entirely until we’re in a great deal of pain. Pain is the trigger for most change.
We don’t have to wait until our situations are unbearable to take the first Step toward a better life. Anyone can take this Step at any time regarding any matter. This Step is appropriate for the ordinary, primarily healthy people who allow traits and behaviors to interfere with their well-being. Often, we know things could be better but we are accustomed to things as they are. We aren’t uncomfortable enough to do anything about our impediments to true happiness. We may be powerless over feelings of anger, fear, resentment, insecurity, anxiety or depression. We may be powerless over bad habits like over-eating, gambling, procrastinating, or worrying. We may be addicted to sugar, caffeine, tobacco or sex. Possibly we’re strapped with irreconcilable differences in relationships or at work; maybe we suffer from an inability to commit, or to complete tasks or goals. We’re stuck in a proverbial rut. Let’s insert any one of these obstacles or Life Liabilities into the first step and make a start toward overcoming it.
These bad habits and negative feelings are handicaps, hindrances to the life we are meant to live. They can get out of control and cause stress, conflict and related health problems. They prevent us from reaching our potential and deter us from our rightful purpose. “Life Liabilities” as I like to call them, pull us off course like a flat tire does a car. The flat has to be changed before we can successfully continue our journey.
Once we identify which aspect of our lives is creating a problem for us, we simply acknowledge it. If we determine it is within our power to fix it, great; but the chances are we would have done so already if we could. We embark on the 12 Simple Steps because it is beyond our capacity to overcome this difficulty on our own. So, we take Step 1. We admit we are powerless over our problem, that it is making our lives unmanageable.
We got honest with ourselves; this is the crux of Step 1. Leading us to the next step we concede to our innermost selves that we need help with this issue whatever it may be because it is too much for us to handle on our own. We are powerless to change it and our lives on our own. We enjoy immediate relief from this quiet act of admitting our powerlessness and surrender, from relinquishing control. We free ourselves from the struggle.
Our dilemma is that we are powerless without help. The solution is to find a Power greater than ourselves who will help.
After seven years of considerable struggle, at the age of twenty-two (March 11, 1991), Robert made the choice to be sober from drugs and alcohol by applying the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, enabling him to turn his life around 180 Degrees and as a result of his commitment to living the twelve steps in his life, his recovery and self-improvement has led to his massive success spiritually and financially; once being a homeless drug addict to a self-made millionaire by the age of thirty.
“I went from being a daily-using drug addict, eventually, a home-less addict living on the streets to today, a completely sober, self-reliant, self-employed husband and father. I was able to miraculously transform my life before I turned thirty. The Twelve Steps presented in this book are credited to mine and millions of others success.”
Eternally grateful to everyone who helped him become and remain sober, Robert felt compelled to reach out to others with both of his books; “180 Degrees” www.180book.com and “12 Simple Steps” in hopes that his story would inspire others to find their own success.
Robert continues to be of service as a philanthropist and active community member. He has shared his fascinating story on panels, in high schools, juvenile detention centers and throughout his community. He continues to be an active participant in the twelve-step community.
Robert resides happily with his wife Tara in Malibu, California. They are one of the couples on season 3 of Bravo’s hit series “Newlyweds: The First Year.” To learn more, go to: http://www.bravotv.com/newlyweds-the-first-year
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Robert Radcliffe, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at email@example.com or 805.807.9027.
October 22, 2015 (Weston, FL) – Eric Matheny announced today that he will be at the Starbucks in Weston, FL on Sunday, November 8th from 4-6pm to discuss and sign copies of his latest legal thriller The Victim.
Eric is a criminal defense attorney that lives in Weston, FL. He has handled everything from DUI to murder. Eric writes crime fiction, drawing from his experience working in the legal system.
His latest novel The Victim tells the story of Anton Mackey, a criminal defense attorney in Miami whose life was altered drastically at the age of 21 when his decision to get behind the wheel despite being in no condition to drive claimed the lives of two people. When Daniella Avery, the beautiful wife of a man accused of a heinous act of domestic violence, comes into Anton’s office seeking his services, Anton thinks he’s landed a great case with a great fee. But when he succumbs to temptation, he realizes that Daniella is a figure from his past.
Anton finds himself caught between the possibility of being exposed and the fact that his client – Daniella’s husband – may be an innocent pawn in the victim’s attempt to carry out her revenge against Anton. As Anton struggles to balance defending his client while concealing the secret he has sought to forget, he uncovers the truth behind what really happened on that highway eleven years earlier.
BestThrillers.com calls The Victim, “a staggeringly well-crafted mystery…you’ll hear your own heart thumping loudly as Anton begins to lift the veil on his curious client.”
Michael A. Draper says, “[Anton] Mackey is a character who could be taken from one of John Grisham’s excellent novels…It’s a thrill to find a new author who stands out and Eric Matheny is an author with a bright future.”
If you are a fan of John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Harlan Coben, The Victim may be your kind of novel.
The Starbucks is located at 310 Indian Trace, Weston, FL 33326. Copies of The Victim will be available for sale at the signing event. However, personal copies may be brought for signatures as well.
To learn more, go to: EricMathenyBooks.com.
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 5, 2015 (Chicago, IL) – The Chicago Public Library announced today that it will be hosting a discussion with Michael Alan Peck – winner of the 2015 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Contest – and branding expert David Vinjamuri on October 16, 2015 at 12:15pm.
Not only did Michael win the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author contest, but he also represents a new brand of author, one that wants to retain ultimate control of his work. After Peck wrote the compelling award-wining book “The Commons,” he did not seek a traditional publisher. He retained control and sought out professionals to assist him with the traditional publishing work.
When asked about the upcoming event, Peck stated, “I’m very excited about this opportunity to discuss the writing and publishing process. I hope my experience as a self-published author sheds some light for others who may be trying to do the same.”
Michael Alan Peck won the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Contest for his contemporary fantasy novel, The Journeyman. The Journeyman tells the story of three people who board a bus and – following a horrific accident – must band together as the last hope for the afterlife, known to them as The Commons.
David Vinjamuri is a Forbes.com contributor and adjunct assistant professor of marketing at NYU who inspired the libraries to create the Soon to be Famous contest that Michael Alan Peck recently won. He has always had a love and respect for libraries, and was quoted in a recent interview saying, “I think that libraries are one of the best sources of recommendations and discovery for books, that they’re greatly under-used by publishers to develop backlists for authors, to introduce new authors to book groups and communities and to generally develop books.”
As an author, David Vinjamuri writes both fiction and nonfiction. His works include Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands, Understanding Self-Publishing, Operator (Michael Herne Book 1), and Binder (Michael Herne Book 2).
Michael Alan Peck will speak with David Vinjamuri about his work and the process of becoming a successful self-published author.
The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project, now in its second year, is the brainchild of library marketing professionals who were inspired after listening to a presentation by brand expert and NYU professor David Vinjamuri. Vinjamuri spoke at the American Library Association’s 2013 annual conference about the importance of libraries in the era of e-books and self-publishing. He challenged libraries to wield their collective influence to lift a self-published author to success to create a measurable indicator of the power of libraries and librarians to affect books and reading. This project received the prestigious John Cotton Dana Award by the American Library Association in 2015.
The Chicago Public Library is located at 400 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60605. The lecture will take place in the video theater on the lower level. This event is open to the public with no admission charge. For more information about the library, go to http://www.chipublib.org/
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or email@example.com.
October 5, 2015 (Jackson, MS) – Kathryn Rogers will be at Books-a-Million in Jackson on October 8, 2015 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. to read from and discuss her latest novel Memphis Hoodoo Murders, an occult horror mystery, published by Sartoris Literary Group.
Memphis Hoodoo Murders tells the story of young Addie Jackson who has witnessed people trying to kill her family her entire life. Now she must use her strength and wits to understand why she’s being hunted by a witch doctor named Hoodoo Helen and solve the mysteries surrounding her family’s past.
As a licensed therapist, Kathryn Rogers holds her Masters in Counseling and Psychology, and as a licensed educator, she holds her Bachelors in Education. Her experience providing counseling services to the community prepared her to expound upon the psychological issues her characters wrestle with in her stories.
“Dripping with grisly spells, wry humor and a distinctly southern brand of magical realism, you’ll be quickly mesmerized by this magnetic paranormal thriller. A home run for author Kathryn Rogers.” – Reviewed by Best Thrillers
“I was captivated from page one. Memphis Hoodoo Murder is a fast-paced mystery thriller that you simply can’t put down once you started reading. The writing is as lively as it is eloquent, the characters are believable and the storyline is suspenseful from beginning to end. I highly recommend the book and I can’t wait to read more from its author Kathryn Rogers!” – Reviewed on Amazon
Books-a-Million is located at 4950 Hwy 55 N., Jackson, MS 39206. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. Paperback copies of Memphis Hoodoo Murders will be available for sale at the event.
Kathryn Rogers currently resides in Jackson, MS. To learn more, visit https://bookpublicityservices.com/memphis-hoodoo-murders-kathryn-rogers/.
For media inquiries, contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 23, 2015 (Amery, WI) – The Amery Area Public Library announced today that it will be hosting a book signing with Sarah M. Johnson, author of the memoir Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God.
While on a mission trip in Guatemala, a small Cessna Caravan’s engine fails while carrying 14 passengers. The Cessna crashes in a remote village, leaving 11 of the 14 passengers dead. Amery native Sarah Johnson shares her story about the deaths of her father and brother, her mother’s extreme physical and emotional injuries, and her own process of self-discovery.
Life is Beautiful, however, is more than a story about an airplane crash. Life is Beautiful shares the personal struggles of Sarah’s father’s drug use, his recovery, and redemption to be a better person. He gives back by doing missions work in Africa, takes in Sarah’s aunt dying of uterine cancer, and eventually leads their family to the mountains of Guatemala. Sarah also discusses her struggles with alcohol use and depression; where she eventually hits rock bottom. It is not until she starts seeking God through prayer, books, and therapy, where she starts to turn her life around.
“I am so glad Sarah shared her story. Life is Beautiful proves that even the most tragic situations and ‘ugly’ life circumstances help shape who we are, and are ultimately ways we can share a deeper relationship and dependence on God” – Amazon Review by Itsy Bitsy Book Bits
“a very inspiring tale and a very interesting read for anyone who has ever experienced loss, been depressed, or turned to an outside source for momentary comfort. Excellent story, very well written, it was a joy to read!” – Reviewed by Janelle Fila at Readers’ Favorite
Johnson will be reading a chapter from her book and signing copies. The event will be held from 12pm – 1pm and is free and open to the public. Copies of Life is Beautiful will be available for purchase during this time.
Amery Area Public Library is located at 225 Scholl Court, Amery, WI 54001. Further information about the library can be found at http://amerylibrary.org/
To schedule Sarah M. Johnson for a book signing, an author appearance, or to lead a book discussion at your library, contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or email@example.com.
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