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Archive for February, 2011

From Public Enemy to reality TV, iconic star Flavor Flav tells all in his no-holds-barred memoir

Born William Johnathan Drayton in Long Island, NY, Flavor Flav is now acknowledged as the greatest hype man ever – inventing the role as a member of the ground-breaking rap group Public Enemy.

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Known for his unique persona and flamboyant style, Flav has created slangs, sayings and styles that make him one of the most-sampled voices in music, as well as one of the most well-known celebrities in America.  His television series have shattered records for viewers of reality television, especially Flavor of Love, a spinoff of The Bachelor.  While he spent most of the 1990’s addicted to crack cocaine, he has since cleaned up his life.

Flav signed with publishing mogul Farrah Gray to promote Flavor Flav: Icon that takes readers on a journey into the truth behind his larger-than-life image – revealing all and sparing no one.  Flav exposes the tensions within Public Enemy, his bitterness over his treatment by Def Jam Records, his struggles with addiction and the many visits to both rehab and jail, before re-inventing himself in reality television as VH1’s most eligible – and most watched – bachelor.

Flav holds back nothing in sharing his experiences with other hip hop royalty – from Jam Master J to LL Cool J to Run DMC, and lashes out at critics who lambast him as little more than a ‘clown.’

Told with the gritty, compassionate and often-hilarious style that has made him a legend, his memoir is a thrill ride from the heights of stardom to the depths of despair and back again.  Fans get to share not only Flav’s unique perspective on music and reality TV, but will learn more about the man himself; an accomplished musician proficient in fifteen instruments, an experienced chef, an avid bowler, and a deeply spiritual human being.

This media magnet attracts fans from around the world in every age group– from his older Public Enemy following in the late 80’s to early 90’s, to his millions of younger fans who know him from his appearances on The Surreal Life, Strange Love and Flavor of Love.  In fact, the 2006 season two finale of Flavor of Love grossed 7.5 million viewers – the highest ever in the existence of the VH1 network!

This father of seven openly admits ‘I’ve been down some pretty dark holes – but somehow I always found the strength to climb back out of them.’  In his book, Flav shares not only his struggles but the lessons he learned that changed his life and set him on a new path.  Adorned with his signature clock, glasses, hats, and gold-rimmed teeth, Flavor Flav is one of the most recognized faces in America today.

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HLN’s Issues host Jane Velez-Mitchell puts the red-hot spotlight on our nation’s addictive culture

In her New York Times bestselling book, iWant, Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of HLN’s Issues, detailed how her addictive personality infiltrated her life and led her to over consume everything from alcohol to food to work to spending. Now, in her latest book, Addict Nation: An Intervention for America (HCI Books — $24.95 – February/March 2010), in her trademark no-holds-barred style, Velez-Mitchell targets our entire culture, calling it a Nation of Addicts – arguing that Americans have collectively become dependent on and devoted to certain dysfunctions (including obsessive cleanliness, cruelty, sexual exploitation, food addiction, prescription drug dependency, overpopulation, overconsumption, war, incarceration, and crime).

When enough people are hooked on the same substance or behavior, it crosses the line into a cultural addiction. According to Velez-Mitchell, media, government, and the private sector are also culturally hooked on these destructive customs and therefore justify, romanticize, and promote them—in essence, becoming “pushers.”

In Addict Nation, Jane Velez-Mitchell calls attention to the collective denial society lives in about its addictions and overconsumption and confronts America to look at its bad behavior for what it really is: compulsive and self-destructive.  In orders, Addict Nation is an intervention.  It will shock addicts out of denial and inspire them to get help and get well.

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The story of a woman’s shame and atonement and her choice to live out the rest of her days in the very country she betrayed

Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany (Casemate Publishers ISBN: 978-1-935149-43-9) by Richard Lucas is the true story of Mildred Gillars, the Maine-born, Ohio-bred woman who went to Hitler’s Germany in 1934 to study music and fell in love with a German citizen.  At the outbreak of war in 1939, while the last Americans returned home, Gillars elected to stay in Germany hoping for marriage. Although her fiancée died during the war, a charming former Hunter College Professor stepped into the breach.  However, Max Otto Koischwicz already had a wife and much bigger plans for Gillars.  He enlisted her in the German overseas radio in Berlin where, under his leadership, her position as a simple announcer escalated into master propagandist—becoming the messenger of Nazi propaganda and doom to the American GI.

Gillars, a failed Broadway actress, learned fast and used her sexy, soothing voice to taunt troops about the supposed infidelities of their wives and girlfriends back home, as well as describing the horrible deaths they were about to meet on the battlefield.  Backed by German military intelligence, “Axis Sally” was able to convey personal greetings to individual US units that naturally caused anxiety among the troops who felt the Germans knew exactly who and where they were. 

At the end of the war Gillars was captured by the Americans after a failed attempt to pose as a refugee.  She was returned to the U.S. to stand trial for the crime of treason.  Her 1949 trial captured the attention of a nation whose memory of the horrors of war was still fresh. After a three-month trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to 10–30 years. Paroled in 1961 after serving just 12 years, she quietly spent the remainder of her life as a music instructor in a Catholic Girl’s school in Columbus, Ohio until her death in 1988.

Richard Lucas leaves no stone unturned in telling this rich and compelling story of Axis Sally—a woman who attempted to rebuild her life in the country she betrayed, after she had become one of the most notorious Americans of the 20th century!

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TIP SHEET:

• The first-ever non-fiction biography of this famous yet little understood figure.

• 16 pages of photos cover Axis Sally’s life from her childhood confirmation through her days as a showgirl, to Germany, and finally her prison in the US.

• An appendix with actual transcripts of Axis Sally’s broadcasts.

• A selection of the Military and History Book Clubs: “… Mildred Gillars was one of the most notorious Americans of the 20th century. With Axis Sally, Richard Lucas has written a fascinating biography of this reviled disseminator of Nazi propaganda.…Axis Sally is a detail-rich, compellingly readable look at this mythologized figure of World War II.“

For more information please contact Tara Lichterman at Casemate Publishing (610) 853-9131 Email: tara.lichterman@casematepublishing.com.

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Multiple Emmy – winning journalist Don Lemon pens a searingly transparent memoir

Since his shocking revelations of childhood sexual abuse, the world has waited to hear more from CNN’s Don Lemon. Now at last, in Transparent (Farrah Gray Publishing), a poignant new memoir from the multiple Emmy-winning news anchor, Lemon reveals the horrific details of his experience with sexual abuse, its long term effects on his relationships, and how he found the courage to put that devastating chapter of his life behind him to become one of America’s most recognized and successful journalists.

Through compelling storytelling and rich detail, Lemon reveals his own painful youth as a lonely and isolated child who knew his abuser had made him “different” from the other children to his current position at CNN. This unique memoir offers readers a frank look at the triple impacts of childhood trauma, colorism and racism, and then soars to inspirational heights as Lemon narrates how he beat a gauntlet of low expectations and daunting odds to rise to become one of the most prominent African American men in television news.  He digs beyond the surface and exposes his history with both wealth and the lack of, with family secrets and their painful revelations, and explains how enduring those early experiences shaped his ambitions and gave him the tools of empathy and courage that he brings to his work.

Lemon applies this same searing honesty to the news industry; taking the reader behind the scenes of September 11, 2001, the DC Snipers, the African AIDS epidemic, the death of Michael Jackson, Hurricane Katrina, and the election of Barack Obama.  His personal experiences with Barack and Michelle Obama long before the Presidential campaign began, and his conversations with the Jackson family after the death of Michael, are all recounted in a lively, engaging and personal style.

Lemon draws upon many years of broadcast journalism experience during his extensive volunteer work and journalism lectures at Brooklyn College.

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Gangs – where the ultimate cost is usually your life

Homeboy’s Soul: Pride, Terror, and Street Justice in America (Publish America) invites readers into the vicious, unforgiving heart of street gangs to reveal the truth about life as a gangbanger.  In this amazing book, which has garnered two national literary awards, Don Armijo, former shotcaller for one of LA County’s most vicious street gangs, puts the true story of his turbulent rise to power, downfall, and resurrection on display with the hope that young people will learn from his mistakes. 

Despite more than 30 years of attempts to wipe out street gangs, they still thrive in nearly every community in America and have become increasingly violent.  Why?  Homeboy’s Soul frank revelations provide young people, parents, school officials, civic leaders, and anyone interested in the future of America’s youth answers to why so many young people are easily attracted to the homeboy’s lifestyle and ultimately to gang warfare.

Moved by the positive response to Homeboy’s Soul, co-author Fred Stawitz is organizing a national initiative to eliminate the impact that street gangs have on school-age children.  “Education is the key,” reports Stawitz.  “Keep children on a path to success in school and chances are good that they will not join a gang.”
“Young people need developmental resources, support structures, opportunities and acceptance to develop successfully into contributing members of society,” says Stawitz, who has extensive experience working with at-risk children.  “High dropout rates are an indicator that society has failed children in these areas leaving an opportunity for gangs to attract young recruits with the illusion of acceptance, power, respect, and ready access to wealth from drug sales.”

Homeboy’s Soul neither blames nor defends barrio youth for their decisions, but rather provides a basis for understanding the culture and influences that lead them to the choices that have devastated so many lives.
“Increased policing and counseling alone will not solve the gang problem that plagues communities throughout America.  Any long term solution,” Stawitz emphasizes, “must address the conditions in the community that impact the ability of children to complete a secondary education.”

Homeboy’s Soul is currently available at all major book stores, online booksellers, and from the publisher at: http://www.publishamerica.net/product89738.html.

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TIP  SHEET:

Danny De La  Paz, actor (Boulevard  Nights): “Homeboy’s Soul deserves to take its place among the best literature available today on the complex and fascinating subject of what draws a promising young life to such self-destruction.”

Richard Reyes, Pancho Claus and Gang Prevention Activist: “This book should be required reading for students, parents, school administrators, police officers and community leaders.”

Joel Valenzuela, Former Teacher: “It gives ammunition to parents waging a painful war for the souls of children caught in the deadly culture of street gangs.”

Elizabeth Rhone, First Lady, Mount Sinai Church of God in Christ: “You won’t want to put this book down!”

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Live life to the max by learning how to de-clutter using this writer’s comically motivating ideas

Barbara Tako is the author of Clutter Clearing Choices (O-Books), an exceptionally motivating and witty book that is filled with great advice on how to get organized.  At this time of the year it is especially helpful as many of us get ready to switch out summer clothes for autumn and winter, but no matter what time of the year – Tako has it seasonally organized to make our lives easier; clearing out at the end of the year for goal setting in January, organizing papers at tax time, and so on.  Realizing that we are all unique, she offers many choices for readers to pick from.

Barbara Tako is no stranger to audiences and is well-recognized by corporate giants, such as 3M, Medtronic, Target and Securian, who use her expert speaking skills and her humorous, common sense advice to help their employees take control of their lives – knowing that a cluttered worker is rarely as productive as an organized one.  She reinforces that ‘feel good factor’ that comes from donating cast-off’s and helping someone else out.  It seems we can all relate to how clutter seems to develop a life of its own and Tako’s entertaining writing style offers readers motivating ways to ‘take their life back’ and pick which mode of de-cluttering works best for them.  
 
Not nearly so organized in her earlier years, Tako believes she could have been related to Oscar in ‘The Odd Couple.’  She kept everything forever, believing that ‘you never know when you might need it!’  She credits her ‘so clean you could eat off the floor’ mother-in-law with her metamorphosis.  Witnessing time and time again the boundless energy this amazing woman always had for family and friends was an inspiration for Tako to get organized in order to have time left over for what she really wanted to do.  Clutter Clearing Choices is a humorous, authentic, entertaining, and informative book on clutter clearing, home organizing, and simple living. 

A former columnist, television and radio guest, and writer, Tako has definitely ‘done her part’ to give us the tools to  simplify and reclaim our lives – and it’s all wrapped up in a hilarious and amazing little package called Clutter Clearing Choices!  This entertaining writer has a hidden agenda where her readers are concerned; she hopes that by making them more organized they will take more time for themselves and their health.  Tako is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer and has taken on the role of advocate, never missing an opportunity to encourage women to get regular mammograms.  In fact, she is donating a portion of the proceeds from book sales to cancer awareness and research.  Please visit this inspiring woman on her website at www.clutterclearingchoices.com.

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TIP SHEET:
Victoria Moran, author of Creating a Charmed Life: “Funny, thorough, and not the least bit intimidating, this book is a godsend for the organizationally-challenged.  It makes keeping the clutter manageable seem manageable after all.”

Barbara Hemphill, author of Taming the Paper Tiger at Home: “When I began my organizing business 30 years ago, it was based on four simple words: Clutter is Postponed Decisions®.  Few of us…ever reach the point of being satisfied with their ability to get rid of clutter.  Tako has done a wonderful job of giving her readers practical suggestions for getting rid of the clutter in their lives.  Less is more!”

Barb Szyszkiewicz of Family Corner.com Magazine, Inc: “A step-by-step, concrete solution to overcoming household clutter, this book is full of helpful hints and resources…easy-to-follow program is designed to take readers through a whole year of clutter control…Tako’s book is loaded with common sense, humor, and good advice.”

Toi Duckworth, www.WAHM.com The Online Magazine for Work-At-Home Moms: “Tako’s common sense approach to de-cluttering your life is simple and easy to follow….simple, easy-to-adopt advice such as letting go of items that you no longer use yet keep for sentimental value.  Tako’s book gives real, practical advice to help streamline your life.”

The Reverend Michael Mortvedt, Co-Director of Alternatives of Simple Living: “Tako has a warm and personal style of writing which helps the reader identify with her and with her struggles and successes at organizing and clearing clutter…a series of conversations with a friend about things that matter – about clearing away what weighs you down, taking care of the people you love, and living what you believe.  A book I will come back to many times as the seasons change, as the cleaning bug strikes, and as a reminder about what is truly important in life.”

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Help stop instant electrocution of stray dogs and cats on the streets of Mexico

Isla Mujeres, The life of cats and dogs on this idyllic island is bleak.  The local government has a despicable solution–population control by electrocution!  Her organization has become one of hope; dedicating itself to rescuing and caring for these abused and discarded animals through spay and neuter clinics, fostering, and adopting.

Alison Sawyer Current  has spent ten years working with and supporting other rescue groups in the Yucatan. While continually addressing the big picture she has re-housed over four thousand animals, placing them with individuals and rescue groups in the US and Canada.  In 2005 she received the Doris Day Animal Kindred Spirit Award and was invited to the first ‘Forum on Small Animal Over-population’ in Mexico City.

Isla Animal’s programs are run totally on donations. It’s Alison’s goal to educate pet owners and provide them with free services and basic supplies, such as food, flea and tick medication, shampoo, collars, leashes and medical supplies.  On a typical day she has thirty to forty dogs at her house; most of them are sick and scared from a life on the streets – and these are the strong ones!  Islanders drop the dogs off or tie them to her gate, or tourists find them by the side of the road.  It takes time and love to get these animals ready for a good home but Alison is prepared to take care of each and every one until she can send them to a better place.  Isla Mujeres is a tourist destination so the animals are considered unsightly and are eliminated in an effort to create a more pristine vacation destination.  Alison is sure that if tourists knew what was truly going on they would want to do something about it.

Isla Animals desperately needs additional funding so that they may continue their wonderful work.  Please visit their website at www.islaanimals.org for more information on this incredible organization and how to alleviate the plight of these desperately mistreated animals.

Alison Sawyer Current is also the author of an intriguing novel, No Urn For The Ashes (Bayfire Press Publishing), and generously donates the proceeds from her book sales to further the care of her extended feline and canine family. 

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TIP SHEET

Ascot Media Group is providing public relations services to this humane organization at no charge in their attempt to help these animals in Mexico.

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