Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama of Friendship is a new book by Robin Delnoce. Recommended for fans of Bridesmaids, Desperate Housewives, and Bad Moms. Bunco was released in August 2020 and is available for sale on Amazon. Genre: Women’s Fiction / Women’s Humorous Fiction
We all have “those” friends. Maybe you’ve known them since childhood, or met in college, or while waiting for a child’s practice to end. Maybe you found yourself living on the same street. There’s no single path to friendship. Relationships don’t follow a script and neither do the lives of smart, funny, complicated suburban women.
Jill, Anne, Mary, and Rachel met years ago through a neighborhood group that regularly got together to play a dice game called bunco. Although players have come and gone, they continue to use bunco as an excuse to abandon their day-to-day responsibilities and enjoy food, drinks, and the company of their best friends.
When new neighbors move in under the cover of night, the foursome sees an opportunity to expand their bunco circle. But within hours, suspicions run rampant as the odd behaviors of the newest residents are interpreted differently. Are they quirky, or kinky? Diabolical, or misunderstood? Time after time, as the truth sheds light on some secrets, more emerge. Each woman finds herself shocked by the friends she thought she knew.
Through the friendly banter, intimate confessions, and tongue-twisting insults, you may see yourself or your friends in these characters. Wipe away tears of laughter and loss as you join the four metaphorical rounds of bunco, and feel part of the conversation. Whether engaging in playful exploits, providing unconditional support, making uncomfortable sacrifices, or winding up in handcuffs again, these ladies are those rarest of friends who become true family. Of course, families don’t follow a script either, unless it is a plot-twisting, slightly off-color comedy about the drama of friendship. And bunco, sort of.
EMERGENCY AREA WAITING ROOM – DAWN
The early morning daylight begins to fill the foyer of a hospital waiting room packed with police officers.
ANNE HUTCHINSON, an athletic, petite woman in her early 40s, is sitting dazed and exhausted in bloodstained clothes.
JILL MICHAELS stands behind Anne with her phone to her ear. Over a decade has passed since Jill’s tenure as Miss South Carolina ended, but she currently reigns over the local elementary school as parent council president. She masks her anxiety with her polished manners and pleasant southern accent.
Good morning Miss Lowe, this is Mrs. Michaels. I hope your morning is going well. Would you be a dear and let Mrs. Kaiser know I won’t be able to attend today’s parent council meeting?
A police officer watches Jill closely as he patrols the room. She reads the judgment on the officer’s face.
Actually, I may not be able to attend tomorrow’s fundraiser either. I’ll call y’all back as soon as I know. Thank you so much, Miss Lowe.
Jill ends her call, sighs heavily, and takes a seat next to Anne.
RACHEL EASTON, a mid-40s, Midwest-born, and Irish-proud woman, is asleep on the opposite chair. Handcuffs dangle from one of Rachel’s wrists. When awake, Rachel harbors a deep and painful secret that manifests itself in belligerent and self-destructive behavior.
A NURSE passes by the three women. The aroma emanating from Rachel’s general vicinity stops her in her tracks.
How long has this homeless woman been sleeping here?
She’s not homeless. She’s with us.
The nurse shakes her head in disgust and continues on her way.
MARY HUESTON approaches the women with coffee in her hands. Now in her early 40s, Mary has traded her Hollywood acting auditions for youth soccer games, and her figure has become less “soap opera star” and more “community bake sale.” She hands Jill and Anne the steaming Styrofoam cups.
Here. Should we wake Rachel?
Mary begins to take a seat next to Rachel but quickly pivots to allow more breathing room. They each deeply inhale the cup’s contents to mask the aroma.
She’s been through a lot. Let’s let her sleep.
We’ve all been through a lot.
Mary notices Anne staring off in the distance.
How ya doing Anne?
Anne slowly brings her attention to Mary.
Anne silently examines her bloodstained clothes, contemplates her predicament, and shakes her head in disbelief.
(Under her breath)
About the Author:
Robin Delnoce has the kind of sense of humor that would crush any political aspirations. Her off-color humor amuses most but offends a few, and she has been known to issue a post-party apology or two. After twenty years of being caught in her verbal crosshairs, her husband kindly suggested she shift her energies to a more constructive outlet.
To learn more, go to https://buncothebook.com/
Huqua Press announced the upcoming release of a new children’s picture book ‘When We Stayed Home’ for Fall 2020 publication. Written by Tara Fass, a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist, and Judith A. Proffer, ‘When We Stayed Home’ was inspired by Proffer’s five year-old nephew, who navigated the quarantine with imagination, adventure, heart, and tears.
“We hope to help children ages 3-8 deepen the capacity to see themselves in our hero, to cheer themselves on to get out of their own way, and make the most out of a bad situation,” says Tara Fass, who currently works with families and individuals via telemedicine to maintain mental health during this complex time.
“We know that when a child experiences any kind of trauma, and this pandemic certainly qualifies as such, the best action is to create an environment where they can openly share all they are feeling. We wrote this book for children to help them navigate these great big emotions. And to remind them that they’re resilient, and they’re not alone,” says co-author Judy Proffer. “We’ve included some whimsy and reminders that the creativity, indoor fun and abundance of family time have all been a salve in a sea of uncertainty.”
When Covid-19 traveled the globe, we were prompted to stay home, wash our hands frequently, socially distance and wear masks to remain safe and help the helpers. For children who don’t yet grasp the concept of time and haven’t weathered enough life to understand the art of endurance, it’s been a particularly complicated and sometimes trying time. When We Stayed Home looks at one young boy’s pandemic journey and through colorful illustrations and heartfelt prose we see how he has used his trusty imagination and childlike creativity to navigate the trials of staying home day after day, becoming a super-helper in the process while missing family, friends, school and the “normal” life he once knew. From decorating adorable toilet paper-shaped sugar cookies, building forts, painting and doing puzzles to frequent screen dates and dance parties with family and friends, young children will relate to his joys and sadnesses and how they too found connection and even serene moments of happiness while isolating. The book will comfort, entertain, and stir conversation about feelings and experiences the youngest stay-at-homers have experienced during these improbable times. Written by Tara Fass, LMFT and Judith A. Proffer, the book was inspired by Proffer’s five year-old nephew, who continued to find big moments of mirth in home, nature, adventures and activities while at times tearfully longing for the virus to go far, far away. Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist Fass has worked with families during the pandemic to navigate its bumpy road with tools, optimism and hope. This is their second book collaboration.
About the Authors:
Judith A. Proffer founded Southern California based and award-winning Huqua Press in 2010 as an independent publishing house to nurture talent and creativity. Previously Proffer spent twenty-five years in newspaper publishing, including nearly two decades with the alternative press (LA Weekly, OC WEEKLY, VILLAGE VOICE MEDIA) where she was Associate Publisher and Publisher, followed by co-ownership of the Sun Community Newspaper chain in the San Fernando Valley. Huqua Press publishes a diverse catalogue that includes culinary, juvenile, fiction and popular culture titles. Proffer seeks authors and works that uplift, inspire, inform and engage.
Featured titles include Caroline by Brandi Carlie, Dog & Butterfly by Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), The Wit and Wisdom of Gracie by Patti Davis, Our House by Graham Nash, The Lotus Kitchen by Gwen Kenneally and Places by Thaao Penghlis. She is the editor of I Hope You Dance, The Power of Spirit and Song (and co-produced the I Hope You Dance documentary), and is also the Vice-Chair of Meteor 17, overseeing literary and charitable efforts for the media company.
Proffer was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the leading “Women Who Make A Difference” in the Southern California Community. Additionally, she was honored by Friends of The Family for her many charitable endeavors. In 2010 she teamed with Hollywood caterer Gwen Kenneally to create Magpie Mini Pie Gourmet Pies, a pop-up bakery with proceeds from the artisanal pies going to charity. The pies remain part of the event menu for Gwen’s Back to the Kitchen Catering Company. Proffer has taught writing workshops to children, adults and incarcerated at-risk youths. She is launching The Word Garden in 2021, a non-profit writing resource for non-writers. She’ll host monthly writing workshops, offer templates and writing tools on The Word Garden website and will provide writing workshops for at-risk students in underserved communities.
Tara Fass, LMFT has treated the walking wounded of Los Angeles for twenty years as a therapist/mediator and co-parent educator through her clinical work and private counseling. She was a Huffington Post contributor for six years and blogs for “It’s Over Easy,” an online divorce support resource. When We Stayed Home is her second book.
“The work I am doing during covid through telemedicine is an attempt to sharpen inner listening, to accurately name and express pain, and thereby better regulate emotions. The impact of Covid and quarantine on families and children today is something we’ll be discussing for decades to come, attempting to make sense of it all. It’s essential to talk about the ‘tough stuff,’ about real feelings. If we’re having awkward conversations, chances are we’re acting out less that which is not understood. By not shutting down what feels unspeakable we get out of our own way sooner and are the better for it.”
To request a review copy or an interview with the authors, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.
LESS EGO, MORE SOUL, by Janet Ioli, is a modern reinvention guide for women to search their soul make changes in 21 Days. It was released in July 2020, published by JI International, and is available for sale on Amazon. Genre: Women in Business / Self-Improvement / Motivational
As a Women’s Leadership Expert & Executive Coach, Janet Ioli has been helping people and organizations make changes and maximize their impact for over 25 years.
In her new book LESS EGO, MORE SOUL, Janet helps women make changes to reinvent themselves in just 21 days.
“With what is going on right now (with Covid-19), what better time than now to reflect and reinvent yourself,” says Janet Ioli.
Janet Ioli was recently featured by Women to Watch Media. In her interview with Sue Rocco, Janet shared that after the death of her Father, she was prompted to ask herself this question – “Am I living my life in alignment with what is important to me?” This is a question Janet poses to readers in her book LESS EGO, MORE SOUL. Through 3 weeks of exercises, Janet encourages readers to – Embrace Yourself (Week 1), Find Your Inner Wise Woman (Week 2), and Create Your Personal Manifesto (Week 3). Search your soul and make changes in 21 Days.
LESS EGO, MORE SOUL is written for women who have achieved success in their careers— but are questioning if that is all there is.
“Ioli presents a different model for approaching life, focused on intentionality, exuberance, curiosity, and, above all, self-care. Interweaving autobiography with practical advice, she provides a functional toolkit for implementing real change in her readers’ lives through practices like writing, visualization, and creating a personal manifesto… Ioli has years of experience in leadership and executive coaching, and her background is evident in the clarity and compelling nature of the writing in this volume. Her advice is valuable because it is concrete. Rather than abstract concepts and ideas, Ioli offers step-by-step instructions that literally walk readers along the path to self-transformation. In addition to providing a clear road map for initiating change, this volume also uses personal narrative to both engage readers and illustrate the ideas being discussed. The result is a text that is enjoyable as well as transformative. There are so few self-help texts that give women permission to put themselves first and trust their instincts about who they want to be. Ioli not only grants that permission but shows how it can lead to real and meaningful change for the better. ” -Reviewed by The US Review
When you feel stuck or fixed in your ways, reinvention seems unimaginable, even unattainable. But what if you could define your life to be more fluid, curious, and exuberant?
What if you were gently led through activities of introspection and empowerment in the setting of your choice, without an audience or need for any preparation?
Deep, impactful change toward the breath of new life.
Ultimate alignment of heart, mind, soul.
It sounds breathtaking, doesn’t it?
Your guided journey in this book will prompt you to let go of incessant pleasing, proving, and polishing. You will integrate the voice of your inner wise woman into a declaration of who you are, what you believe, and what you are committed to. The personal manifesto you will create here is a decision-making and alignment tool for the actions of not the person you are now—but of the person you are becoming.
You will commit to live and lead with LESS EGO and MORE SOUL.
As of this writing, in the Spring of 2020, you and I have been hit with a gargantuan thunderbolt impacting everyone around the world. We are experiencing a global health crisis, a pandemic that came out of nowhere and is impacting everyone. Most of the world is in some sort of stay-at-home quarantine period due to this crisis. We cannot comfortably and freely leave our houses due to the high risk of getting sick or spreading the illness, except to get food or medicine or attend to absolutely essential business. We wear masks when we do venture out for essentials, or if we are still going to a workplace that is considered “essential” during these times. Many of us are sick with this unfamiliar virus that is spreading. Some of us are hospitalized; some are even in critical condition. An unexpected number of us are eventually dying from this threatening organism.
Who could have predicted that the year of 2020 would bring this sudden, cataclysmic upset to our daily lives?
Everything “non-essential” has halted as we are ordered to stay inside the safety of our own homes to avoid continued spread of this invisible virus moving stealthily and steadily among us all.
Millions are filing for unemployment as their financial livelihoods have been severely impacted by the shutdowns.
I had no idea that this notion of a thunderbolt experience and subsequent soul searching I was writing about (in LESS EGO, MORE SOUL) would become so relevant. I never thought that we would be hit by a massive, global thunderbolt of unprecedented proportions. That it would strike so suddenly and shake us to the very core of our beings.
You may be now sitting back during this thunderbolt experience and facing questions that are bubbling up in the midst and resulting aftermath. You may be having an identity crisis of some sorts as you are brought face to face with your own fragility as a human—and the fragility of those around you. You may be wondering if what you thought was important before all of this is really that important. You may also be questioning your own choices and behaviors.
Your wise self may have been thrust forward and your ego identity mask has been cracked. Your wise self may be speaking much more loudly now than that muffled whisper when your mask was securely in place.
Those designer handbags you covet and display as status symbols may feel pretty unimportant to you. Being impressed by people’s titles and their social status may seem superficial and unaligned to your deeper sense of values. You watch people show sides of themselves that involve compassion, empathy, and kindness. None of these attributes you admire and resonate with in these moments have anything to do with material wealth, social status, goal achievement, fame, or other measures of success you may have become accustomed to using as metrics to judge yourself and others over the years. You may be embarrassed when you are faced with what might appear to you to be the shallowness your own surface identity. Yes, yours. That superficiality that you could perhaps spot in others but didn’t see in your own self. The things that impressed you that really were meaningless but were prescribed to you as important from those around you or from the conventional thinking you were socialized with—and had become your own.
This self-evaluation can be a scary, disorienting place to be. It makes you challenge and question what felt neatly normal and in order throughout your life. Yet it is also a time of renewal. An opportunity to discard the stories that no longer resonate with you or make sense. Maybe they never made sense, but you didn’t stop to question. You didn’t stop to go deeper and listen.
Maybe the aftermath of an event like a pandemic isn’t a strong enough jolt to cause you to do this sort of complete reset and re-evaluation. Perhaps a different thunderbolt like the ones I mentioned earlier have shaken you to the core instead. Perhaps you have lost your job. Maybe you have lost a loved one or ended a relationship. Whatever the case, regardless of what kind of thunderbolt you have been hit with, I believe it is time for us all to wake us up to our deeper, wiser selves. That yearning for something more that you feel deep down from your core has always been trying to get your attention. It has been calling you. The thunderbolt experience just serves to knock your ego identity upside down and aside so that you have no choice but to listen. You are no longer immune to change.
Simple questions may be coming up for you as you’ve experienced this total loss of control and a staunch recognition of the commonality and fragility of all of humanity. Now is the time to reconnect to that neglected place and learn to listen to the deeper, wiser self that resides inside of you, that knows exactly what you need. It is time to find your wise self and come back full circle. It is time to become whole.
Upon your last thunderbolt, whether the pandemic or something else, did you take time to reflect on the situation and dig around for your feelings?
Is the person you are being on a daily basis really the person you are or want to be at a deeper level?
What actions do you take on a regular basis that are not consistent with what you truly value?
Do you love, admire, respect the same things as before?
Are you focused on the right things for your wellbeing?
About the Author:
Janet Ioli has been helping people and organizations make changes and maximize their impact for over 25 years. As a former leader inside four Fortune 200 companies, she understands first-hand the complexities and realities leaders face leading their organizations.
Grounded in real experience working with thousands of leaders in different industries and countries and having provided over 10,000 hours of coaching, Janet has earned a reputation as an extraordinarily talented, highly results-oriented and sought-after leadership coach, change strategist, speaker, and organizational advisor. Forbes has recognized Janet as one of the country’s leading business coaches with membership in the Forbes Coaches Council.
Janet’s wealth of practical experience is backed by continuous and robust educational substance and focus, in addition to thousands of hours of self-study in psychology, leadership, change, neuroscience, and human development. She has master’s degrees in both Public Administration and Business, an undergraduate degree in Business, and has extensively studied Human Development and Adult Learning at the Doctoral academic level. Janet also holds a certification from the National Board of Medical Examiners as a health and wellness professional. Janet is certified as a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation and has an Advanced Executive Coaching Certificate from the Smith School of Business and a Certificate in Positive Psychology and Well-being Coaching.
Janet partners with major universities as an industry expert in women’s leadership— she is on the faculty of American University’s Key Executive Leadership Program for government leaders and is a designer and speaker for the University of California at Irvine’s Women in Leadership Certificate Program. As a recognized thought leader on leadership, self-development, and change, Janet is a contributor to Forbes and Thrive Global. She is the author of The Cure, Power Presence for Women, and Less Ego, More Soul.
To request an interview with Janet Ioli or a copy of her book LESS EGO, MORE SOUL to review, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.
Hekla Publishing recently announced the release of – On with the Butter! Spread More Living onto Everyday Life by Heidi Herman. Genre: Non-Fiction / Retirement & Aging / Self-Help / Motivational
This new book is filled with encouragement and ideas to add more vitality and activity into your everyday life.
What makes Heidi’s new book unique is her inspiration and – in 2018, her 93-year old mother, Ieda, undertook a challenge to have 93 new experiences before her 94th birthday to prove you’re never too old for something new. After Heidi helped her Icelandic mom with that year’s adventure, they were working on turning the experience into a book when Ieda passed away. Heidi finished her mother’s photo journal of experiences but was inspired to go one step further and inspire others to live life with that same vitality. Heidi herself learned to be what she calls a ‘life adventurer’ and her new book “On With the Butter!” provides insight for readers to add vitality to their own life. It also incorporates her Icelandic heritage and the unique Scandinavian life philosophies.
Carry on, keep doing what you’re doing, forge ahead, and keep moving. Icelanders have a saying for it: Áfram með Smjörið – on with the butter!
If you’re looking for new ways to add zest to your life or have free time in retirement, this book offers a wide variety of activities and challenges, along with inspiring and heartwarming stories. Discover ways to explore, play, take, chances, try new things, make a difference, and have more fun in life. You’re the activities director, and On with the Butter! is your guidebook.
So keep moving, keep doing, and keep spreading more living onto everyday life. After all, everything’s better with butter.
“This book was inspired by my mother, who lived her life to the fullest,” says Heidi Herman. “After my mom’s recovery from a stroke in 2016 at the age of 92, my mom began promoting the message of living life with vitality no matter what your age. I helped her achieve and log 93 new activities between her 93rd and 94th birthdays, just to show you’re never too old to have fun. ‘On with the Butter’ is one of the countless things I learned from my vivacious Icelandic mother. “Just keep moving” was her favorite mantra. She taught me by example to embrace life and live in the moment.” I thought of Mom as a life adventurer. She taught me to embrace life with exuberance. Well into her nineties, she inspired those around her simply by the way she lived. She was constantly active: writing books, traveling, visiting friends and family, and living each day to the fullest. And she was just one of the great role models I was blessed to have.”
Praise for On with the Butter:
“On with the Butter is a delight to read. There are so many good suggestions for anyone considering retirement or already retired. This is not a book like so very many that only consider money and financial matters. Just the opposite. A good retirement is about so much more and this book addresses that.” – Del Lowery, RetirementTalk.org
“A sunny self-help guide that aims to reveal the secret to an active and exuberant lifestyle.” – Kirkus Review
“Herman’s inspiring work offers a fresh perspective on living well at any age.” – RECOMMENDED by the US Review
“An inspiring book for us “retired” people. Fifteen chapters explore many avenues of life where we can find new challenges to enable us to: “Keep Moving, Keep Doing, Keep Living.” It’s a delightful, fun read… Everyone who is about to retire or is retired should read this book. You won’t regret it.” – Vic Broquard, Author & Retired Professor
“The book exemplifies many ideas on living an ordinary life yet finding unexpected pleasures and sometimes a daring adventure along the way. I resoundingly recommend On With the Butter for everyone who wants to consciously live their life and experience it to the fullest.” – Sunna Olafson Furstenau, Icelandic Order of the Falcon Recipient; Icelandic Culture & Heritage Advocate; President and Founder of Icelandic Roots; Past President and Founder of the INLUS; Past President of the INLNA
“On With the Butter” is a wonderful and inspiring book! Through Heidi’s Herman’s vibrant and engaging, and often humorous stories, intertwined with unique ideas and helpful information, she encourages curiosity, connection, and a call to action. This is an excellent book for those who are looking for an exciting next chapter, or even just a little more flavor, to their life! – Laura Haw, Adjunct Instructor in Aging Studies, University of Indianapolis
Excerpt from On with the Butter:
“Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.” —Epicurus, Greek philosopher
On with the butter (Áfram með smjörið) is an old Icelandic expression that means “carry on,” “keep doing what you’re doing,” “forge ahead,” or “keep moving.”
That sentiment was one of the countless things I learned from my vivacious Icelandic mother. “Just keep moving” was her favorite mantra. She taught me by example to embrace life and live in the moment. I have witnessed firsthand how people respond to that ideal and how they became motivated to do more themselves. Now that I know it’s something that many people strive to achieve, I’m even more grateful that this spirit is engrained in me.
We’ve all heard the popular expression YOLO—you only live once. We’re reminded to take advantage of the days we’re given, but how exactly do we do that?
Some people focus on finding happiness, and while that’s not a bad idea, the definition of happiness is different for everyone, so we have to figure out what makes us happy. To do that, we need to experience life in all its glory—the exciting and the mundane, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. The search might lead to peace and contentment, purposefulness, action and excitement, higher knowledge, or caretaking.
We all seek these things to one degree or another, but there’s often one desire that becomes the primary focus. Before retirement, that focus is often our job or career. But after we retire, we discover that life changes and our primary focus seems to disappear. And that’s when the exploration begins again. That’s when we find new things that challenge us or just make us smile.
As we get older, it’s easy to become consumed with our health and taking care of ourselves. We may change our diet, take prescriptions to treat medical conditions, and focus more on physical fitness. But while we’re working so hard to increase our life span, what are we doing to appreciate and make the most of that time? Those are the questions On with the Butter invites us to entertain.
There are many books that offer advice on how to live healthier, how to be happier, how to age with grace and become physically fit. But while they’re all worthwhile pursuits, I’d always felt like one was missing. I now know that it’s the philosophy that my mom instilled in me—the curiosity and desire to experience life and the creativity to find many ways to do it.
I thought of Mom as a life adventurer. She taught me to embrace life with exuberance. Well into her nineties, she inspired those around her simply by the way she lived. She was constantly active: writing books, traveling, visiting friends and family, and living each day to the fullest. And she was just one of the great role models I was blessed to have. My father, who had his own version of living every day to the fullest, was another. He’d dropped out of high school, lied about his age to join the U.S. Navy, and was stationed in Iceland before his nineteenth birthday. Although he never had any higher learning or formal education, he became an ordained minister, general contractor, and self-taught architect. To me, he was a brilliant thinker and problem-solver.
So after Dad was diagnosed with stage three esophageal cancer, I was staggered. I struggled to accept that the larger-than-life dynamo had been knocked down to life- size. I was forty-six at the time, and as I watched one of my heroes undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy in an aggressive battle to survive, my commitment to making the most of my own life became stronger. For six months, he fought to stay alive, and shortly after he turned eighty-nine, we got the incredible news that his cancer was in full remission. The energy that Dad had put into healing was now channeled into living, and it gave me a different perspective. I had always thought life is too short to be taken for granted, but I realized that life is also far too long to be squandered on unhappiness or boredom.
Although my life was full and I was content, I wanted to experience more. I wanted to revisit some of the things I once enjoyed and try things that I never thought I’d try. Thanks to my role models, I’d always been a “doer,” but my new view of life made me realize that I had also let a lot of fun opportunities pass me by. And I decided to stop that. I decided to take the “on with the butter” approach to my everyday life. And after I retired, instead of buying a rocking chair, I learned to fly.
My sincere hope is that this book, which is packed with ideas for embracing life with zest and exuberance, will arm you with what you need to do just that. You don’t have to live every day to the fullest, but I’m challenging you to live fully every day, whatever that means to you.
On with the butter!
About the Author:
Heidi Herman was born and raised in Central Illinois, but her passion and a common theme in her writing is her Icelandic heritage. After a 30-year career in business, where she authored magazine articles, white papers, and technical assessment reports, Heidi turned to fiction writing full-time, inspired by her mother’s example. In the winter of 2012, her mother, Íeda Jónasdóttir Herman, published a childhood memoir, which featured some of Iceland’s folklore. Heidi was immersed in childhood memories of the Scandinavian legends, lore, and imaginative stories. The myth of Iceland’s troll-like Christmas characters – Jólasveinar – sparked the imagination of many readers and led to Heidi writing her first book, “The Legend of the Icelandic Yule Lads.”
It was followed by two more books on Icelandic folklore: “The Guardians of Iceland and Other Icelandic Folk Tales” and “The Icelandic Yule Lads Mayhem at the North Pole.” In 2017, she co-authored and Icelandic cookbook, “Homestyle Icelandic Cooking for American Kitchens” with her mother, Íeda Jónasdóttir Herman, which won a US category in The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards that year. Heidi published her debut novel, “Her Viking Heart”, in 2018 and it was named the 2018 Foreward INDIES Book of the Year Gold Winner – Romance Category.
Her newest work, “On with The Butter: Spread More Living onto Everyday Life” was inspired when Heidi worked to complete her mother’s final work, “Never Too Late.” Íeda Jónasdóttir Herman (1925-2019) was 94 years old and had completed a year of new experiences to prove a person is never too old to enjoy life. That message, along with her mother’s example, led Heidi to write this new motivational book with ideas and encouragement on how anyone can find those activities and experiences.
Heidi currently lives in South Dakota but snowbirds south in the winter to Arizona. In addition to writing, she loves Scandinavian festivals, cooking, photography, travel, and exploring the outdoors. She is a member of the Women Fiction Writers Association and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
For more information, to request a review copy or an interview with Heidi Herman, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.
Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, the second book in the Thomas Wildus series, will be released in Spring 2020, published by Elandrian Press. Through a fresh voice, genuine characters, and a unique storyline, Thomas Wildus and The Wizard of Sumeria is destined to appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and young adult readers who enjoy books about magic and adventure.
Since it’s release in February 2019, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows, the first book in the series, has received rave reviews with reviewers likening it to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson –
“I am always so excited when I come across a book series that I KNOW my middle schoolers will LOVE! I hit the jackpot when I had the opportunity to review the book, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen. It is exactly the type of book my students are always interested in! … If your students love the likes of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, they are sure to be equally obsessed with The Book of Sorrows Series!” – Lit with Lyns
“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a charming, chummy tale that will instantly draw in any reader who has secretly (or not so secretly) wished for a little more wonder in their world. Parallels will of course be drawn to the Harry Potter series—and rightfully so—but this book also shares much in common with Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.” – 5 Stars, Red City Review
“Middle graders will find Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows a compelling story… and an adventure tale that proves hard to put down.” – Midwest Book Review
“Reading this truly well-written novel was a lot of fun… It had plenty of exciting moments, funny parts, intriguing developments, and characters you just have to love… Harry Potter fans would love Thomas Wildus too. And while the story is aimed at younger readers, adults can also enjoy it.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite
“An exciting story about family, friendship, magic, and good versus evil.” – KidsBookshelf
“For fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I would definitely recommend this book as a must-read…” – Alliee Reads
“This is a wonderful fantasy tale well-told by the author. The character development is good, the friendships Thomas has are heart-warming and the magic is unpredictable.” – Long and Short Reviews
“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is an enchanting foray into a fantasy world where stories can become realities, science and magic intersect, and crystals hold the power to destroy. If you’re looking for an enthralling and thought-provoking read, this is the book for you!” – Middle Grade Minded
“This was a wickedly fun and richly imaginative middle-grade urban fantasy with a compelling plot and endearing characters… From the moment Thomas enters the bookstore I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find out the mysterious book’s secrets. This little gem of a story has magic, action, mystery, intrigue and rollicking adventure, and held my interest until the wild ending… there are more adventures yet to come so I can’t wait to delve into the next book.” – Roger’s Reads
“In Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, J.M. Bergen has created a marvelous fantasy/sci-fi story for children and teens. With all the qualities a great book should have, the story holds your interest and offers a pleasing blend of legend and modern-day problems. Thomas must choose between good and evil… and accept the consequences of his actions. J.M. Bergen provides a wonderful tale that anyone can enjoy.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite
“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M Bergen is a stunning fantasy novel… The book was very descriptive and incredibly well written. The plot was intriguing and well thought through … This book will entertain readers of all ages. I would definitely recommend this book.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer) for Readers’ Favorite
In Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, three months have passed since Thomas and Enrique faced off against Arius Strong and prevented an all-out apocalypse. Three long, glorious, summer months – months filled with friends, family, magic, and Thomas’s first real kiss.
Unfortunately, the good times are coming to a rapid end. With a cryptic message from a mysterious hacker, Thomas discovers that his nemesis is pursuing an object even more powerful than the crystals. Arius will stop at nothing to find the treasure and destroy his enemies, and this time he’s not alone. Dark creatures with darker powers are flocking to Arius’s cause: shapeshifters, warlocks, even a sadistic killer in a schoolgirl outfit.
The forces of good are gathering as well, but with so much darkness at Arius’s disposal, the prospects for Thomas and his friends look increasingly grim. Will time run out before he sees through the lies and uncovers the next level of his destiny?
About the Author:
J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five.
When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping, or dreaming up new adventures.
If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).
For further information, to request a review copy or an interview with J.M. Bergen, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.
Kathryn Schleich (a local author from Minneapolis, MN) will be at Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, MN on Saturday, May 23, 2020 from 12:00PM – 2:00PM to discuss her new novel Salvation Station.
Salvation Station is a mysterious crime thriller, published by She Writes Press on April 14, 2020.
When committed female police captain Linda Turner, haunted by the murders of two small children and their pastor father, becomes obsessed with solving the harrowing case, she finds herself wrapped up in a mission to expose a fraudulent religious organization and an unrepentant killer.
Despite her years of experience investigating homicides for the force, Captain Linda Turner is haunted by the murders of the Hansen family. The two small children, clothed in tattered Disney pajamas, were buried with their father, a pastor, in the flower garden behind a church parsonage in Lincoln, Nebraska. But Mrs. Hansen is nowhere to be found—and neither is the killer.
In St. Louis, the televangelist Ray Williams is about to lose his show—until one of his regular attendees approaches him with an idea that will help him save it. Despite his initial misgivings, Ray agrees to give it a try. He can’t deny his attraction to this woman, and besides, she’d assured him the plan is just—God gave her the instructions in a dream.
Multiple story lines entwine throughout this compelling mystery, delving into the topics of murder, religious faith, and the inherent dangers in blindly accepting faith as truth. While Reverend Williams is swept up in his newfound success and plans for his wedding, Captain Turner can only hope that she and her team will catch the Hansens’ cunning killer—before more bodies surface.
“Salvation Station is your next must-read mystery. Kathryn Schleich perfectly blends together a taut tale of murder in the church. A devilishly good tale.” —CARA LOCKWOOD, USA Today best-selling author of I Do (But I Don’t)
“Salvation Station is an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning thriller that might possibly leave you unable to sleep. This book is what we need in the world right now—a killer we can hate and a model cop we can get behind, showing us that women are as fierce as men and then some.” —MARGO DILL, Managing Editor, WOW! Women On Writing
About the Author:
Kathryn Schleich has been a writer for thirty years. Her most recent publications include the short story “Reckless Acts,” featured in After Effects: A Zimbell House Anthology, and her story “Grand Slam,” published in The Acentos Review in May 2017. She is the author of two editions of the 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, where she lives. Friends, family, good food, wine, and traveling are important aspects of her life. Salvation Station is her first novel.
For more information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview with Kathryn Schleich, please contact Book Publicity Services at email@example.com or (805) 807-9027.