‘Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob’ by Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author Paul Haddad

Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author Paul Haddad (10,000 Steps a Day in L.A.;High-Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania) has announced the upcoming release of his new book Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob, a hard-boiled noir crime fiction set in Los Angeles. As a native Angeleno himself, Haddad has leveraged his deep knowledge of the city to inform the book’s historical fiction, with many scenes based on real-life locations and events. Paradise Palms will be released on July 8, 2021, published by Black Rose Writing.

Recommended for readers who enjoy family sagas and crime fiction – fans of Elmore Leonard, L.A. Confidential, The Godfather, and The Sopranos. Paradise Palms is driven by a gangster underworld and a family with dark secrets emanating from a Jewish family patriarch. Though it takes place in the ‘50s, its themes resonate today. Systemic racism and LGBTQ stigmas form important subplots. It would appeal to readers who appreciate more depth and humanity in their characters.

“Author Haddad is a skillful storyteller who weaves an intricate tale. His characters vividly come to life on the page as he provides illuminating insights into their histories while simultaneously dramatizing their hijinks. His evocation of the post-war era in The City of Angels rings with authenticity. While a degree of sleaziness is part and parcel of his narrative, there resides an unobtrusive optimism in the way he tells his tale. Humor and irony are never far from one chapter to the next. Even with all the inherent chaos, one just might find oneself longing for a short stay at Paradise Palms.” – The US Review

Synopsis: 

It is October 1957. A time of Eisenhower conformity, police and mob strongholds, and Red Scare paranoia. A relic of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the aging Paradise Palms Hotel is on the brink of change. David Shapiro – eldest son of recently widowed Max Shapiro – has assumed a leadership role. But the more he digs into the hotel’s business, the more he questions who his father is. It’s not just the tenuous ties to gangster Mickey Cohen, who is trying to commandeer ‘The Palms,” but also the sudden appearance of a mysterious African American guest named Rae Lynn, who improbably rises in stature. As long-buried secrets come to light, David’s battle to keep the family intact takes a tragic turn. His actions mirror an America lurching from the surface simplicity of the ’50s to the turmoil of the 1960s in this riveting neo-noir family saga.

Book Trailer: Available on YouTube

NOTE: This book contains a criminal character who, on very rare occasions, utters ethnic and racial epithets in a manner consistent with social mores of the time (America in the 1950s). Please be advised the book is not for children or those who may take issue with reading offensive language.


Praise:

“A neo-noir flash bang with heart and dark humor… the Cohen Brothers meet James Ellroy.” — Donald H. Hewitt, Screenwriter, Oscar-winning Spirited Away

Paradise Palms is a hopeless hotel located at the bitter end of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  The story hums, the historic setting shines, and the colorful cast of characters keeps the pages turning.”— S.W. Lauden, Author of the Greg Salem PI series

“A finely-detailed story that recalls the period aesthetics of Mad Men and mixes it up with a noirish vibe… The read goes down smooth as champagne and leaves the reader wanting more.”— Slamdance Film Festival, Writers’ judges

“The setting is ‘50s L.A., but it plays contemporary. Racial prejudice, LGBTQ stigmas, and law/order corruption are among the themes effortlessly woven into this coil-tight yarn.”— Jake Gerhardt, Author, My Future Ex-Girlfriend

“A very strong historical period drama, revealing just enough compelling information without deflating the suspense with too much too soon… A lot of intriguing characters, placed in a clear moment of Hollywood and U.S. history.”— Austin Film Festival, Writers’ judges


EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 7:

The Shapiro family’s declining Paradise Palms Hotel is a microcosm of late-1950s Hollywood, renting out to hangers-on and misfits amidst a sea of vacant rooms.  And things just haven’t been the same since the death of MARTA SHAPIRO, who ran the hotel’s small dinette, The Easy.

But The Easy gets an unexpected shot in the arm with the arrival of a mysterious 18-year-old African American guest named RAE LYNN.  Longtime tenant DIRK HAVENHURST is the first to notice, putting LEO, one of Marta’s adult sons, in an awkward position.

The dining room is sparsely filled with the usual cast of characters. Dirk peruses the Daily Variety between sips of a Bloody Mary while Elron regales a doe-eyed betty with his Hollywood misadventures as a “can’t miss” actor. Leo pores over receipts on the bar counter, nursing a glass of milk. Squinting over his specs, he asks Art, “How was the birthday party?”
Franny returns with a large salad for Dirk, a scotch for Art. “Everything was peachy till I got to the balloon animals,” Art asserts, taking a satisfying sip. “The mom accused me of making a penis and kicked me out!”
“What were you trying to make?” Leo asks. “A dachshund?”
“A penis.”
The room breaks out in dirty laughter – all except Dirk. Chewing on his first bite of salad, he works the lettuce around his mouth and furrows his brow as if discovering a hair ball. He drops his fork with dramatic flourish.
“What the hell’s eating him?” Art says, drawn by the fork’s clank.
Dirk peers down at his plate, slack-jawed. All heads are now turned in his direction.
Leo drops his pencil. “Dirk?”
Dirk slides out of his booth and decamps for the kitchen.
“Shit,” Leo says, taking off after him, Franny on his tail.
Dirk swings through the doors and ambushes the food prep station, where Francisco is chopping onions. Seeing the excitable Dirk come toward him, he steps away from his stall, butcher’s knife between them. Leo and Franny linger at the doorway, ready to pounce if need be.
Dirk lifts his walking staff and shakes it at Francisco. “What did you do to the Shrimp Louie?!”
“W-what do you mean?”
“It hasn’t tasted this good since Marta died. She was the only one who did it right. You always use too much mayo and not enough lemon zest.”
Francisco lowers the knife, visibly relieved. “Heh. Must’ve just gotten lucky.”
Dirk’s not buying it. He thrusts his stick at Rae, who watches the stand-off from her post at the sink. An epiphany dawns on Dirk’s face.
“It was… yoooouuu,” he says slowly to the part-time dishwasher. He turns to Leo. “She did it. She brought it back to the way it was.”
Rae returns to her dishes. For a long moment, no one says or does anything. Finally, Francisco places his knife on the counter and walks over to Rae. He gently spins her around to face the others – a united front.
Leo looks confused. “Rae? Are you… cooking?”
Francisco slings an avuncular arm over her shoulder. Rae gazes at the floor, toying with her apron strings, embarrassed by all the fuss.
“I needed help,” Francisco maintains. “We never replaced your mother, y’know. I kept telling you” – he looks at Franny – “me and Franny, we can’t do everything. I was overwhelmed!”
Leo, ignoring his cook’s protestations, says to Rae, “You’re not even earning anything close to cook’s wages…”
“It’s okay.” She looks at Francisco. “I wanted to prove myself first.”
“Last few weeks, I’ve had more customers than usual complimenting my dishes,” Francisco attests. “But it’s been all her.”
“Not so sure I’d want to admit to something like that…” quips Dirk to no one in particular.
“You should try her desserts,” Francisco raves. “Word is out among the guests. We can barely keep up with the to-go orders.”
Leo scans the kitchen’s takeout counter. His eyes feast on an array of culinary treats that have heretofore never passed through these kitchen doors – blueberry muffins, peanut-butter cookies, lemon squares and sweet potato pie.
“Where’d you learn to make all this?” asks Leo.
“Val Verde Residential,” Rae says.
“What is that, like, a group home?”
“Yes, sir. I learned to cook for sixty-five kids. Ran the whole kitchen by the time I left.”
“Why’d you leave?”
Rae shrugs. “Turned eighteen. I had no choice.”
Leo bobs his head, lost in thought. “If we hire you as a full-time cook, you’d practically be living in the kitchen. But understand” – he winces in embarrassment – “living at the hotel… that would be problematic.”
Francisco gives Rae a squeeze. “She’s not looking to move in. She’s got a place at Nickerson Gardens.”
Rae offers Leo a tight-lipped smile. Leo forces one back, still trying to process it all. Once again, Dirk breaks the silence.
“Well, hell… someone hire this young lady, because if you don’t, I’ll make her my personal chef.”


About the Author:

Paul Haddad is a Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author and multiple-Emmy nominated television writer/producer. Paradise Palms: Red Menace Mob, his third novel, was inspired by dark family secrets that coincided with his obsession with old Hollywood. Also the author of several nonfiction books about L.A., he can found at www.paulhaddadbooks.com and on Instagram and Twitter: @la_dorkout

To request a copy of Paradise Palms to review or an interview with Paul Haddad, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

 

A Sea of Troubles: Pairing Literary and Informational Texts to Address Social Inequality

Rowman & Littlefield recently released a new book A Sea of Troubles: Pairing Literary and Informational Texts to Address Social Inequality by Elizabeth James and B. H. James. Written for educators at the middle-school, high-school, and college levels, A Sea of Troubles pairs iconic, often-taught works of literature (Shakespeare, Animal Farm, Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird) with nonfiction works to address the pressing social issues of today.

A Sea of Troubles has been designed for classroom teachers struggling to address the overwhelming issues facing our world today. By embracing the Common Core’s emphasis on the inclusion of more nonfiction, the authors have demonstrated how to incorporate meaningful informational texts into their favorite units of literature. A Sea of Troubles shows teachers how literature and informational texts can work together, to enhance each other, and, by extension, enhance student’s abilities to critically think and respond to the sea of troubles that pervades society.

As high school English teachers themselves, Elizabeth James and B. H. James, have included concrete activities, assignments, and discussions ready for the classroom. A Sea of Troubles is a timely and much-needed look at social, racial, and gender inequities – in both literature and society today.

A Sea of Troubles

 


Excerpt from A Sea of Troubles:

The Way Forward: Final Words on Our “Sea of Troubles”

Romeo and Juliet and To Kill a Mockingbird: two books that demonstrate the tragedy of growing up in a world that is not as it should be. A world in which the adults have failed to create a world, for their children, that is safe and that is just.

But, two books in which the children, initiated into that world, move it forward.

On the morning of February 14, 2018—for the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL—it was just Valentine’s Day. By the end of the day, for those who survived, it was a new world. A world in which the adults had failed to keep them safe.

And for several of those surviving students, it was a coming-of-age, and a call to action. They organized. They marched. They changed minds. They changed laws. They are still going, moving their new world forward.

Just over two months later, the Parkland students—specifically Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, and Alex Wind—were featured on the cover of Time Magazine as part of the 2018 Time 100, with an accompanying essay by former President Barack Obama.

President Obama said the following:

America’s response to mass shootings has long followed a predictable pattern. We mourn. Offer thoughts and prayers. Speculate about the motives. And then—even as no developed country endures a homicide rate like ours, a difference explained largely by pervasive accessibility to guns; even as the majority of gun owners support commonsense reforms—the political debate spirals into acrimony and paralysis.

This time, something different is happening. This time, our children are calling us to account.

The Parkland, Fla., students don’t have the kind of lobbyists or big budgets for attack ads that their opponents do. Most of them can’t even vote yet.

But they have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom.

The power to insist that America can be better.

Seared by memories of seeing their friends murdered at a place they believed to be safe, these young leaders don’t intimidate easily. They see the NRA and its allies—whether mealymouthed politicians or mendacious commentators peddling conspiracy theories—as mere shills for those who make money selling weapons of war to whoever can pay. They’re as comfortable speaking truth to power as they are dismissive of platitudes and punditry. And they live to mobilize their peers.

Already, they’ve had some success persuading statehouses and some of the biggest gun retailers to change. Now it gets harder. A Republican Congress remains unmoved. NRA scare tactics still sway much of the country. Progress will be slow and frustrating.

But by bearing witness to carnage, by asking tough questions and demanding real answers, the Parkland students are shaking us out of our complacency. The NRA’s favored candidates are starting to fear they might lose. Law-abiding gun owners are starting to speak out. As these young leaders make common cause with African Americans and Latinos—the disproportionate victims of gun violence—and reach voting age, the possibilities of meaningful change will steadily grow.

Our history is defined by the youthful push to make America more just, more compassionate, more equal under the law. This generation—of Parkland, of Dreamers, of Black Lives Matter—embraces that duty. If they make their elders uncomfortable, that’s how it should be. Our kids now show us what we’ve told them America is all about, even if we haven’t always believed it ourselves: that our future isn’t written for us, but by us.

It’s worth repeating: “Our history is defined by the youthful push to make America more just, more compassionate, more equal under the law.”

Romeo and Juliet, through their deaths, ended the feud between their parents. Their tragedy healed the rift that had caused so much violence.

Tom Robinson was dead. Atticus wanted to appeal, but Tom was shot seventeen times in the back, desperately trying to escape a world that he knew would offer him no justice.

But after her brother had been already hardened by the fact of that injustice, Jean Louise Finch looked at the novel’s other Other—deemed “Boo” Radley by the society that had decided he was a monster—and called him by his name: Arthur.

And in the novel’s final image, she stands on the Other’s porch and sees the world—her world—through his eyes.

If Boo Radley is a metaphor for the dehumanizing effects of Otherness, it takes Scout to move it forward.

It is our children who will guide us through the Sea of Troubles. And we have the honor and the duty, as teachers, of preparing them to do so. That is the true work of an educator.

In order to dismantle historically ingrained patterns and systems of oppression and inequality, our students must recognize them.

So the only way to, in good conscience, allow students to meet the Sea of Troubles that they will inevitably inherit, is to show them—to arm them against those systems and those patterns. Perhaps then, they’ll have the chance to do better than we’ve ever done…and write the new book.


Praise for A Sea of Troubles:

“Are you keen to explore contemporary issues with students but more than a little bored with the titles in your curriculum? Sea of Troubles offers a model for re-envisioning how traditional texts are taught. Elizabeth and B.H. James describe instructional moves designed to demonstrate how literature “reflects the world and the world is reflected in fiction.” Whether you teach online or in person, their lessons integrating informational readings with literary works are sure to enliven classroom conversations.” – Carol Jago, past president, National Council of Teachers of English; author, “The Book in Question: Why and How Reading Is in Crisis”

“Elizabeth and B.H. James have written an elegant, sophisticated, and eminently useable text that English teachers will find energizing to read, even if they don’t teach the texts under consideration. Not only do the pair offer us new ways to both think about some of the most commonly-taught texts (Merchant, Raisin, Mockingbird) and teach these texts in conversation with nonfiction, but they do so in a way that is respectful and deeply optimistic about the possibility that English teachers might use literature to arm students with the skills to meet the sea of troubles that is our world and write the new book that we all need.” – Audrey Fisch and Susan Chenelle, authors of the “Using Informational Texts” series

“This book is designed to begin a very needed conversation in our classrooms today about social, racial, and gender inequities, done in the hope to help heal our nation of its acquiescence toward injustices that surround us today, guiding teachers to help students articulate and connect their own lived experiences to find meaning and relevance in the textbooks on the shelf. As we hope students forge their own ‘brave new world,’ the lessons in this book will activate the innate student and teenage desire to question and challenge the world around them, to state what goes unsaid about power and control in their own lives, to see the function of literature as more than an academic exercise, but as a call to embrace the full humanity of every human being.” – Natalia Trevino, author of VirginX and Lavando La Dirty Laundry

“Always student-centered, Elizabeth and B.H. James marry their cutting-edge call to pair literary and informational texts with concrete activities and assignments that are ready for the classroom. Activating old texts canonized in Common Core Standards for of-our-moment conversations, they show othering—where one gender, race, religion, or identity is stigmatized—to be a central, troubling feature of both literature and life. That agenda-setting insight opens doors for students to learn of bigotry today via Shakespeare, redlining in Chicago via A Raisin in the Sun, authoritarianism in 2020 via 1984, and structural sexism via The Handmaid’s Tale.” – Jeffrey R. Wilson, author of Shakespeare and Trump


About the Authors:

Elizabeth James is the author of 2016’s Method to the Madness: Creating Critical Thinkers through the Study of Literature and 2021’s A Sea of Troubles: Pairing Literary and Informational Texts to Address Social Inequality. She has spent the last thirteen years teaching English at the high school and college level, as well as working with classroom teachers across the nation.

B.H. James is the author of Parnucklian for Chocolate and co-author of A Sea of Troubles: Pairing Literary and Informational Texts to Address Social Inequality and of Method to the Madness: A Common Core Guide to Creating Critical Thinkers through the Study of Literature. He teaches high school English in Stockton, CA, where he lives with his wife and two sons.


A Sea of Troubles is available for sale on Amazon. To learn more, go to https://teachinglit.org

To request a copy of A Sea of Troubles to review or an interview with the authors, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

 

 

The Ms. Flygirl Series by Miho Madarame


Ms. Flygirl and Sky Daisy is the first book in the Flygirl series by Miho Madarame. 
This collection of short fantasies for kids (ages 6-8) as well as kids at heart chronicles the adventures of Ms. Flygirl and her yellow helicopter Sky Daisy. She saves a big tree in a tricky card game, helps a red hippo (a moving mail box!) deliver pink lemonade, and makes a deal for land with a bossy fox. When she is stranded on an uninhabited island, she is saved by a bottlenose dolphin. These witty but warm stories celebrate the spirit of adventure in all of us.

Ms. Flygirl’ s adventures continue in Ms. Flygirl’s Fantastic Five Daysthe second book of her successful series. As in the first book, independent and creative Ms. Flygirl, who lives in a helicopter named Sky Daisy, is ready to bravely embark upon new escapades. She bakes pastries with letters inside, takes part in a chorus contest with creatures in the forest, helps a kitty to look for his twin brother, and plants a remarkable flower garden. Readers will enjoy her happy, warm personality and getting to know a variety other interesting characters in these witty short stories.


About the Author:

Miho Madarame was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan.

She graduated from Tokyo University of Education (now Tsukuba University) and then studied in graduate school in Humanities at The University of Chicago. She holds a BA in English literature, MA in Humanities, and ABD in History of Culture.

In 1984 she won a literary competition of children’s literature, and her first book Princess Flies in the Sky was published by Poplar Publishing, one of the biggest publishers for children’s books in Japan. Subsequently, she wrote 30 more books. She also translated many children’s books from English into Japanese, including Peter Pan and the Thomas the Tank Engine series.

After she moved to the United States, she studied drawing at the Glassel Art School in Houston, TX.

She currently divides time between Scottsdale, Arizona and San Diego, California.

 

The No Sugar Baker’s Cookbook of Healthy Living & No Regrets

On her 44th birthday, Jayne got deathly sick and landed herself in the emergency room with stunning vitals. After numerous tests, the ER physician diagnosed her as a severe diabetic who was minutes away from having a stroke. Jayne lost her vision/eyesight for 15 days. After that she changed her diet and eliminated all sugar, fruit, flour and snacking. Today, Jayne has lost 60 lbs, is medicine free and her eyesight is now 20/20. All accomplished by pure lifestyle change. She started a blog, the No Sugar Baker.  That blog now has over 95,000 followers and typically every Saturday, her live Facebook cooking demos get about 40,000 views. In March 2021, Jayne released her first cookbook of No Sugar recipes including desserts, entrees, soups and treats. The No Sugar Baker’s Cookbook of Healthy Living & No Regrets is available for sale on Amazon. To learn more, go to www.nosugarbaker.com

 

Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose

Chris Olsen, the Owner of My Founder Story and author of Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose, empowers womxn business owners to clarify their WHY, developing their purpose-driven brand story, and confidently sharing it with the world, providing a foundation for entrepreneurial success.

Inspired by her clients (at My Founder Story) and her own personal WHY, Chris Olsen published Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose. This guidebook includes dozens of exercises and examples to developing your Whyography, plus the inspirational stories of more than 30 female founded businesses who are leading with their WHY.

Synopsis:

Every day in America, women business owners are denied access to resources to achieve success. But a growing community of fierce founders are refusing to settle for the status quo. They know what they stand for and they want everyone else to know too. Rather than focusing on WHAT they do, they’re leading with their WHY. A Whyography combines the principles of storytelling and the power of purpose to honor your journey and what it took to get where you are today. This guidebook to developing your Whyography includes dozens of exercises and examples, plus the inspirational stories of more than 30 fierce founders who are leading with their WHY. Author Chris Olsen also shares outrageous moments from her 12-year radio career and how the moments that tested her values ultimately led to the launch of her purpose-driven business.

Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose is available for sale on Amazon. One hundred percent of proceeds from book sales benefit the Fueled by Purpose micro grant fund for womxn business owners.

To read an excerpt from the book, go to: https://www.myfounderstory.com/introduction-basic-or-beyonce/


About the Author:

Chris Olsen is a strategic storyteller who has devoted her career to connecting individuals and organizations using the power of words, images and experiences. After more than a decade working in broadcast media, Chris launched a communications consultancy and began leveraging her behind-the-scenes media expertise to benefit clients.

Through her work as a consultant, Chris realized her WHY–to support women-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.

A Minneapolis, Minnesota native, Chris now enjoys life in the country surrounded by organic veggie gardens and her art teacher partner’s overflowing pottery studio. She spends her free time writing and volunteering as a youth mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

To learn more, go to https://www.myfounderstory.com

Thrive State: Your Blueprint to Optimal Health, Longevity, and Peak Performance


Dr. Kien Vuu is one of the most sought-after anti-aging physicians in the country. At his VuuMD Longevity and Performance Clinic, Dr. Vuu regularly works with celebrities, top corporate executives, and high-functioning professionals to optimize their health, performance, and vitality. As someone who has overcome two chronic diseases himself, Dr. Vuu is passionate about empowering people to reclaim their health and live with fulfillment, abundance, and purpose.

Dr. Vuu is the author of the upcoming book “Thrive State: Your Blueprint for Optimal Health, Longevity, and Peak Performance.”

Synopsis:

When asked what surprised him most about humanity, the Dalai Lama replied, “Man! Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”

Over the last few years the average American lifespan has been decreasing, and the chronic disease epidemic continues to skyrocket. For many striving to pursue the American dream, the traditional path of no sleep, hard work, and an unconscious lifestyle, depletes them of the health and vitality needed to be their best in their businesses, relationships, and life’s mission.

The fact is, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Kien Vuu MD, better known by his friends and clients as Dr. V, is a medical doctor who wants to redefine the relationship between health and success.

At the heart of Thrive State is a time-tested approach to achieve optimal cellular longevity and performance. You will learn all aspects of Dr. V’s BioEnergetic Model – a scientific, yet practical framework for being free of chronic disease, having optimal physical, emotional, mental, sexual performance, and extending healthspan.

The BioEnergetic Model draws not only on years of Dr. V’s first-hand experience as a doctor, but also as a patient formerly suffering from chronic diseases―diabetes and hypertension. Dr. V cured himself, and is now smarter, happier, fitter, and more successful than ever before. It turns out that YOU are your best medicine.

Dr. V envisions a world where humans embrace a standard of health that enables us to be happier, live longer and more fully, and contribute our gifts to humanity with joy and intention. Thrive State is the blueprint for you to move towards that vision. By time you finish this book, you will be armed with a wealth of new practical knowledge about your own health and wellness, a roadmap for greater well-being, and a more optimistic outlook on our human potential.

The Fountain of Youth is at our fingertips and Doctor V is handing you the key. Doctor V has spent his career on the forefront of anti-aging unlocking the door between new discoveries and technologies and your body’s ability to harmonize with them. In Thrive State, Doctor V reveals how you can unlock that power to achieve optimal health and performance while loving the process.” George Bryant, New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Kitchen

“ A must read. Thrive State is an empowering framework that reminds us We Are Our Best Medicine.” –Keith Ferrazi, New York Times bestselling author of Never Eat Alone

Thrive State is currently available for pre-sale on Amazon. It will be released on April 6, 2021, published by Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press.

 

About the Author:

Kien Vuu, MD— popularly known as Doctor V—is an assistant professor of Health Sciences at UCLA, speaker, media expert, and founder of VuuMD Performance and Longevity. Dr. V has been practicing medicine for over 14 years, and combines his knowledge as a doctor with his personal experiences overcoming chronic disease.

Dr. V has survived remarkable odds to be here today. As an infant refugee, he survived dysentery, living on a boat for eight months when his penniless parents traveled to America. As an adult, he struggled with diabetes and high blood pressure, until an encounter with a patient changed his life and set him on a new course.

Dr. V was first trained in Interventional and Diagnostic Radiology, and became an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of disease using state-of-the-art medical imaging and non-invasive surgery. Dissatisfied with the disease-based model of modern medicine, Dr V sought out additional training with world experts in nutrition, personal development, spirituality, as well as performance and longevity medicine.  He also pursued fellowship training and board certification by the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine.

Today, Dr. V directs a concierge practice to help his clients optimize their health and rediscover their unique contributions to the world through time-tested, science-driven protocols that combine ancestral wisdom and modern medicine. Dr. V’s clientele includes corporate and professional athletes, physicians, c-suite executives, as well as known celebrities and TV personalities.

When not working with clients, Dr. V is a health media expert and speaker, sharing knowledge to raise health consciousness on various platforms, including ABC News, TEDx, The Doctors, and Access Hollywood.

Readers can connect with Dr. V on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://kienvuu.com

To request a copy of Thrive State to review or an interview with Dr. Kien Vuu, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

 

 

 

Thinking: A Memoir by Richard E. Nisbett

Richard E. Nisbett is one of the world’s most respected psychologists. He recently released his memoir Thinking, published by Agora Books (on February 3, 2021).

Thinking: A Memoir is both an intellectual autobiography and a personal history. It describes Nisbett’s research showing how people reason, how people should reason, why errors in reasoning occur, how much you can improve reasoning, what kinds of problems are best solved by the conscious mind and what kinds by the unconscious mind, and how we should think about intelligence in light of answers to such questions. It shows that self-knowledge can be dramatically off-kilter and points to ways to improve it. The book shows that different cultures have radically different ways of reasoning, some of which are demonstrably superior to typical Western ways. The book starts with the author’s early experiences, many of which directly influenced his subsequent research.

 

“Richard Nisbett is one of the most influential psychologists on the planet.  But he’s not just an important psychologist, he’s an important thinker, full stop.  This memoir chronicles a truly extraordinary life of scientific discovery, interdisciplinary dialogue and public engagement. It’s astonishing how many of Nisbett’s remarkable discoveries resonate far beyond his home field: in philosophy, no psychologist, with the possible exceptions of Freud, Skinner, and Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, has had as much impact on how foundational issues are conceived.” –John Doris, Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, author of Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior

“Nisbett’s vivid anecdotes provide an insider’s view of social psychology and the characters who have created the field, including him. While worth reading as a memoir, the book provides an ideal introduction to social psychology.” –Randolph Nesse, author of Why We Get Sick and Good Reasons for Bad Feelings

Thinking is available for sale on: AmazonAmazon.co.UKBarnes and Noble.


​Excerpt:

Preface

Why “Thinking” as a title for a memoir? Doesn’t everyone think? Yes, but not that many people think a lot about thinking, or so I think. Also, only a tiny handful of people have spent a lifetime doing scientific research on thinking.

I have studied how people reason and make inferences about the world, how people should reason and make those inferences, what kinds of errors in reasoning are common, why errors in reasoning occur, how much you can improve reasoning, what kinds of problems are best solved by the conscious mind and what kinds by the unconscious mind, how important IQ is compared with other kinds of cognitive skills, and how we should think about intelligence in light of answers to such questions. In trying to answer questions like these, I have built on my training as a social psychologist by collaborating with other social psychologists, as well as with cognitive psychologists, developmental psychologists, personality psychologists, neuroscientists, behavior geneticists, economists, philosophers, statisticians, computer scientists, a psychiatrist, a political scientist, and a legal scholar.

I couldn’t have learned as much as I have about the human mind without collaborating with such a wide range of people. Collaboration made it possible to develop a view of intelligence very different from that of the scientists who specialize in that field. I have come to believe that the consensus about intelligence that existed at the end of the 20th century was largely wrong in crucial respects. Essentially, I think the consensus placed too much importance on heritability and too little on the environment, and utterly failed to recognize the importance of the interaction of genes with the environment. I think the consensus was also wrong in emphasizing IQ-type talents to the exclusion of valuable cognitive skills and knowledge that don’t help you get a high score on an IQ test. And the consensus was decidedly wrong in concluding that genes might play a role in the difference between blacks and whites in IQ.

Working with so many excellent people was possible only because I spent most of my career at the University of Michigan. There are terrific academics in virtually every field there. Equally important is the character of the university, which encourages collaboration among faculty. I believe collaboration in the behavioral sciences is more common at Michigan than at any other university in the U.S. This book offers some speculations about what it is that makes collaboration likely in a university.

As a consequence of the collaborations, this book is unlike any intellectual autobiography you’re likely to encounter. Though personally I’m pretty independent and individualistic, as a scientist, I’m very interdependent and collectivist. The intellectual diversity of these research teams has made it possible to work on an extremely wide range of topics, some rather distant from the topic of thinking, including the proper way to understand the contributions of personality to social behavior, the application of microeconomic principles to decisions we make in everyday life, why the typical job interview is worse than worthless, the fact that there is a “culture of honor” that accounts for the violence of the U.S. South, how members of different cultures perceive different aspects of the world and why it is they literally perceive them in a different way, and how ecologies dictate economies which dictate characteristic social relations which dictate ways of perceiving and thinking.


About the Author:

Richard E. Nisbett is one of the world’s most respected psychologists. His work focuses on issues in social psychology and cognitive science. He has received the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions from the American Psychological Association and many other national and international awards. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. His book The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently . . . and Why won the William James Award of the American Psychological Association. That book, as well as Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count and Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking have been translated into multiple languages. His newest book is Thinking: A Memoir. 

To learn more, go to RichardNisbett.com

To request a copy of Thinking to review or an interview with Richard Nisbett, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

 

Inspired by Real-Life Events, Kathryn Schleich’s latest Book ‘Darkness and Grace’ is a Compelling Family Saga / Domestic Thriller

Kathryn Schleich has announced the release of her latest book, Darkness and Grace, a family saga / domestic thriller.

Inspired by real-life events, Darkness and Grace is a compelling story of the Pierson family as they discover that neither their money nor their considerable influence can keep them safe from one woman’s malicious intent.

SYNOPSIS

Even the strongest of families aren’t immune to malice, betrayal, and deceit. Supportive, loving, and affluent, the Pierson family is delighted to celebrate the marriage of sensitive middle son Paul Pierson and his wife, Pamela. Everyone rejoices that Paul has finally recovered from the tragic loss of his beloved first wife and looks forward to Paul and Pamela’s new life together. But just as family members are celebrating his happiness, they start noticing that his beautiful bride may not be what she seems.

As the strain between siblings and spouses worsens, the Piersons discover that neither their money nor their considerable influence can keep the family safe from one woman’s malicious intent. When the true nature of this family member is revealed, each of the Piersons is confronted with the quandary of human conduct and moral responsibility.

Darkness and Grace is a compelling story of the classic struggle between good and evil, as well as the violent undercurrent running beneath the illusory serenity of a close-knit Midwestern family.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

Darkness and Grace was inspired by real-life events involving my family in the early 1990s. Each time I would discuss the true occurrences, people would comment, “This is a great story. You need to write a book.” After initial trepidation, I recognized this was not only a story worth telling, but it was one that comes to an author only once in a lifetime.

Originally published in 2007 under a pseudonym with the title Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace, this book is a work of fiction. To write the narrative, I employed aspects of historical fiction, using authentic news accounts, world events, settings, and descriptions involving entirely fictional characters. Darkness and Grace is of the domestic thriller genre in which familial relationships can prove to be far more dangerous than the world at large.

 

Excerpt from Chapter 2:

“You know, I still feel guilty about what happened and how I reacted. But that night, all I saw was a drunk gold-digger who was not in love with Paul but in love with his money. I’m grateful you were so persistent that I hear Pamela’s side, but even then, it wasn’t easy to forget.”

The incident had been an agonizing experience that had caught everyone off guard. Paul and Pamela had announced their engagement on New Year’s Day, and soon after that, Jack and Michelle, along with Tim and I, took them out for a celebratory dinner. We chose the Lake Elmo Inn. It had been the setting of many Pierson family special occasions, from Easter brunch to anniversaries, and was our first choice for such happy circumstances. The inn was tucked along the main street of Lake Elmo, a small Minnesota town that retained a rural charm while surrounded by sprawling cities and burgeoning suburbs. Only a few miles from the Wisconsin border, it meant driving from one side of the Twin Cities to the other. Even so, the food, service, and memories made it well worth the trip. We would toast Paul and Pamela’s happiness and hear their plans for the wedding.

The evening had started out well, the couple asking each of us to participate in the ceremony. Paul and Pamela had both been through major life traumas, and as their gift, Mother and Dad had offered to pay for the wedding. Pamela started drinking the moment we were seated, ordering a double shot of Jack Daniels. Within thirty minutes, her manner transformed from charming to surly; her voice grew louder and more obnoxious with each drink.

As Pamela was in the middle of describing her designer gown, the custom bridesmaid dresses, the invitations, and the flowers, our waiter appeared, carrying a tray of lemon sorbet. “What the hell is this?” she demanded.

“It’s a sorbet, ma’am, to cleanse your palate before the main course.”

“I don’t want this! Just get me another drink!” She swatted at the waiter as if he were an annoying fly.

“Pamela, please keep your voice down,” Paul said, his tone colored by embarrassment.

“Don’t tell me what to do!” she snapped. “I just need to relax, and you’re being an asshole.” We were acutely aware of the other patrons staring at our table, but Pamela was indifferent. “Has Paul told you about our honeymoon? Three weeks in Paris, London, and Rome, staying at the best five-star hotels.”

“Wow. That sounds expensive,” Jack commented.

“It’s not like your parents can’t afford it, Jack,” Pamela sneered. “Mom and Dad are paying for the honeymoon, too?” I asked. Pamela was undeterred. “Of course they’re paying for it,” she shot back. “They said we could have the wedding and honeymoon that we wanted, and this is what I want.”

“What about what Paul wants?” Michelle asked.

Our waiter had returned, preparing to serve dinner. Pamela demanded her drink. “Where the hell’s my drink?”

“Ma’am, if I could just serve the main course—”

“I want another drink and I want it now!” she shouted. A second waiter intervened, saying he would bring her cocktail right away, the five of us watching in silence, appalled by this side of Pamela we hadn’t seen.

Under the influence of large amounts of alcohol, Pamela was oblivious to her surroundings. She continued talking, blithely describing the trip she and Paul had made to Dayton’s department store to choose their bridal registry items. The list seemed excessive: Waterford crystal in the Lismore pattern, Irish linens, a sterling silver coffee service. The china and sterling flatware were special-order. Even the ordinary items needed to start a home—cookware, appliances, sheets, towels—were top of the line. Pamela relished describing the list, chattering on about our family’s wealthy friends and whom she expected to “pony up” expensive gifts.

As the celebratory dinner continued to deteriorate, I excused myself to use the ladies’ room. I rose from the table and Michelle was suddenly at my elbow. “I’ll go with you,” she said, and we made our way across the crowded main dining room, conscious of the stares. It was the bridal registry that had sent Michelle into a tailspin. As we entered the ladies’ room, she threw her evening bag across the white-and-green-tiled lounge in a rage, the contents spilling across the floor.

“This is not the girl we want Paul to marry!” she shouted. Michelle’s outburst caught me off guard and left me gasping for a response. She slammed her fist against the vanity, continuing her angry rant. “We’ve all been duped! Pamela Schaeffer is a world-class gold-digger!”

I couldn’t deny that Pamela’s behavior was inexcusable, but as a recovering alcoholic myself, I knew firsthand about the stinging consequences of being drunk in public, talking too loudly, stumbling across a room, and making an all-around fool of myself. I also knew it could have been an isolated incident fueled by stress. It didn’t necessarily point to deeper problems. Even as the older sibling who’d always been protective of both of my brothers—but especially Paul—I thought we owed Pamela a bit of grace.

We replaced the contents of Michelle’s purse, and I suggested we give Pamela a second chance. We returned from the restroom just as the evening was ending abruptly. Jack was asking for the check, though desserts were only partially eaten. I hoped we could depart without Pamela making any more of a scene than she already had, but a discreet exit was not to be. We’d been seated in the center of the room, which meant we had to navigate a maze of diners. Pamela stumbled and lurched hard into the nearest table, clinking china and spilling wine as she slammed into it.

“Look what you’ve done!” one of the diners said angrily. “Fuck you!” she retorted, and the dining room grew eerily still. “I am so sorry,” I said, mortified. “We will make this right.”

From the corner of my eye I saw Jack motion to a waiter, handing him a credit card. He whispered something, no doubt giving instructions to purchase a new bottle of wine for the upset patrons.

Tim and Paul each grabbed Pamela by an elbow and guided her out of the restaurant as gracefully as they could. She was spewing venom at everyone. “Let go of me! You are such fucking assholes!”

Every pair of eyes followed us. In the throes of embarrassment, I felt as if I were burning up. Outside, despite the January cold, I tore off my wool coat.

“What are you doing?” Michelle asked in alarm.

“I’m so hot,” I panted, the cold air sharp against my lungs. “This whole evening has been a horrifying mess.”

“And you think we should give her a second chance?” Michelle seethed.

In her wobbly condition, Pamela slipped on the icy black street. Tim and Jack caught her before she fell, but she flailed wildly. The men supported Pamela until they could get her into the back seats of the SUV, where she passed out almost immediately.

We reached Paul and Pamela’s colonial-style home in Edina— an affluent suburb of Minneapolis—45 minutes later. It took both Jack and Tim to carry Pamela’s dead weight into the house, Paul guiding them to the bedroom. Paul was visibly shaken, confessing he had never seen Pamela exhibit this kind of behavior. I did my best to comfort him. On the drive home, Michelle remained insistent that the wedding must be called off.

The next day, Pamela paid a heavy price for her overindulgence. She suffered a head-pounding hangover and couldn’t recall much of the evening, particularly the end, and it caused her great shame. I hoped she did not have a drinking problem, but I knew all too well that blacking out was a sign of trouble ahead. Pamela apologized to each of us, contrite in her quest for forgiveness. She said she had let the stress of her job and planning the wedding get to her and recognized her behavior had been abominable. As I thought about how happy she made Paul, and the transformation that had occurred since they met, I was willing to forgive her. She seemed genuinely sorry. Jack and Tim also accepted her apology, believing this was an unfortunate instance of poor judgment.

Michelle, however, would not be so easily convinced. Her response to the apology was chilly, an attitude Pamela sensed immediately. I implored Michelle to give her an opportunity to redeem herself, reminding her of how far Paul had evolved due to her.

To regain Michelle’s trust, Pamela began by asking for her input. Michelle and Jack had held their wedding reception at the Lafayette Club, and Pamela consulted her for ideas on the menu, seating, music, and decorations. She asked if they would allow Ruthie and Sam to participate as the flower girl and ring bearer. Michelle felt Sam might be too young, but Pamela explained it was important to her to have the children included in what she viewed as a family affair. Michelle began to waver, realizing she was not being fair in holding one unpleasant evening as a benchmark for ending the relationship that had brought Paul so far.

Watching Paul and Pamela’s wedding dance cheek to cheek across the polished hardwood floor, Michelle patted my arm and smiled. “I was wrong to be so judgmental. Paul is happier than I ever thought possible, and Pamela is the reason.”

“Don’t be hard on yourself,” I said. “It was a difficult situation for everyone, but Pamela made amends. That’s what counts.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathryn Schleich has been a writer for more than 30 years. She is best known for her crime novel, Salvation Station, which was published through She Writes Press in 2020. Schleich has also published the short story “Reckless Acts,” featured in After Effects: A Zimbell House Anthology, and “Grand Slam,” published in The Acentos Review. She is also the author of the academic book Hollywood and Catholic Women: Virgins, Whores, Mothers, and Other Images, which evolved from her master’s thesis. Her guest posts have been featured on the Women On Writing blog, The Muffin, and she writes for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s volunteer newsletter. When she’s not writing, Schleich is likely volunteering in the education and arts communities in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, where she lives. Friends, family, good food, wine, and traveling are important aspects of her life.

Darkness and Grace is available for sale on Amazon and on Kathryn’s website: https://www.kathrynschleich.com/product/darkness-and-grace-by-kathryn-schleich/

For more information about Schleich, and to read her latest works, visit KathrynSchleich.com.

To request an interview with Kathryn Schleich or a copy of Darkness and Grace to review, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com