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Archive for January, 2021

The Home Stretch: Uplifting Coming of Age Story Explores Complex Themes of Mortality and Forgiveness

The Home Stretch: Uplifting Coming of Age Story Explores Complex Themes of Mortality and Forgiveness

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The diagnosis of leukemia at age 43 laid bare a brief flirtation with escape for Bill Smith. After all, he had battled depression and suicidal thoughts from a young age; mortality was really nothing new for him to grapple with. To put it bluntly, for Bill Smith, the end had always been in view. But that life-defining moment — that brief descent into darkness — triggered a profound fight for survival.

The Home Stretch, from award-winning author Wayne M. Johnston, features everyman Bill Smith (loosely based on Johnston himself), who, throughout his life, is confronted with extraordinary circumstances. His is a coming of age story in which the peace that allegedly comes with maturity is often shunted aside to make room for yet another crisis. It is also an uplifting story in its candid, reality-based portrait of a man struggling to find personal integrity through challenging conditions.

From an early age, Bill grapples with depression. Raised in a religious cult, he cannot reconcile his own experience with the worldview of his parents, and although he’s bound to them by love and obligation, he rejects their beliefs. His father’s palpable disappointment in Bill leads him to contemplate suicide and to provoke his father into a confrontation with a surprising outcome that would redefine their relationship and alter the course of both of their lives.

Given to a physical, adventurous life, Bill becomes the chief engineer on a seagoing tugboat, and his tales of weathering gale-force winds and violent storms at sea provide metaphorical undercurrents for his fraught relationship with his father, his failed early marriage, his father’s descent into Alzheimer’s and his own battle with leukemia, which he is told will kill him. Just when Bill has come to believe he has put the worst of it to rest, he learns something more about his father that opens everything up again, except this time, Bill’s sister is the victim.

The Home Stretch is a poignant, ultimately inspiring coming of age story that weaves themes of mortality and forgiveness through life-defining moments of reckoning that many adults have to face head-on and learn to overcome.

Wayne M. Johnston taught English, Creative Writing and Publications at La Conner High School for 19 years. Prior to that, for 22 years he worked on tugboats, usually as chief engineer, towing freight barges between Canadian and West Coast American ports. In 2011, he won the Soundings Review First Publication Award for his essay, “Sailing,” and has published other essays locally. For his debut novel, North Fork, he drew from years of experience reading student journals to reproduce the way kids voice serious matters to a trusted adult. The Home Stretch is book two in a planned trilogy. North Fork was released in 2016 as a YA novel. The story is told through the voices of three 17-year-olds as journal entries for their English class. Bill Smith, the protagonist in The Home Stretch, is their English teacher, and The Home Stretch is his back story.

Johnston lives with his wife, Sally, on Fidalgo Island in Washington State where he is working on another book length project. Connect with the author on Facebook (

The Home Stretch
Publisher: Black Heron Press
ISBN-10: 1936364344
ISBN-13: 978-1936364343
Available from Amazon.com, BN.com, Target.com and anywhere books are sold

Trish Stevens
Vicky Rockwell
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone

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Post-Traumatic Thriving

Post-Traumatic Thriving

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Is there a science to survival, or are some people simply born with elastic emotional exoskeletons that bounce back readily following even the most traumatic of experiences?

To uncover the answer, world-renown expert on disasters and trauma Dr. Randall Bell undertook un-precedented research, juxtaposing outcomes of scientific studies with stories of real people who have not just survived, but have used their trauma as their fuel to thrive to uncover common denominators. He shares his remarkable insights in his new book, Post-Traumatic Thriving: The Art, Science, & Stories of Resilience.

Dr. Bell sits down with survivors of the Holocaust; murder-victim’s families; crime victims; suicide survivors; and those who’ve experienced homelessness, disasters, addictions, depression, death, divorce, disabilities, defeats and disease to explore the rare mindset of the post-traumatic thriver.

He shares with readers stories of remarkable resilience, including the following:

• A deaf man with a glass eye invented the electric guitar and became a household name, remarkably wealthy and most importantly, happy.
• A convicted murderer took responsibility for the damage he caused, graduated with honors from college, became a minister and turned around the hearts of the most hardened criminals.
• A girl born with cerebral palsy landed the world’s first starring role on national television and spoke at the White House three times.
• A woman hid in a basement for years and lost her entire family in the Holocaust. She eventually found true love and paints stunning artwork.
• The sister of a murder victim helped millions of women in toxic domestic relationships.
• A woman’s car crash resulted in an addiction to prescription drugs, a divorce, a loss of her children and a cot in a homeless shelter. She has rebuilt it all back and more.
• A man set to go to the Olympics had his hopes dashed by Jimmy Carter and went on to build a worldwide business empire.

Ultimately, Dr. Bell documents the science of happiness, as well as the individual styles and common thread that all post-traumatic thrivers have to emerge with a fulfilling life. When trauma hits, your most significant decision will be to dive, survive or thrive. If you choose to thrive, this book is for you.

As an economist, Dr. Randall Bell has consulted on more disasters on earth than anyone in history and is widely considered the world’s top authority in the field of post-traumatic thriving. His clients include the Federal Government, State Governments, International Tribunals, major corporations and home-owners. Dr. Bell believes that “the problem is not the problem — the problem is how we react to the problem.”

Often called the “Master of Disaster,” Dr. Bell is squarely focused on authentic recovery and resilience. His research has been profiled on major television shows and featured in numerous magazines and the international media. More information can be found at www.posttraumaticthriving.com.

Post-Traumatic Thriving: The Art, Science, & Stories of Resilience
Publisher: Core IQ Press
Release Date: January 1, 2021
ISBN 978-0-9967931-7-9
Available from Amazon.com and all bookstores

Trish Stevens
Teresa Hinojosa
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
832.569.5773 Direct
281.333.3507 Phone
teresa@ascotmediagroup.com
www.ascotmedia.com

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Now, More Than Ever, Fighting for Our Children’s Needs Must Come First

Now, More Than Ever, Fighting for Our Children’s Needs Must Come First

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)

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Children dream without boundaries; they aspire to become paleontologists, astronauts, doctors and teachers without considering socioeconomic barriers, discrimination, disease outbreaks, violence or any one of a host of other challenges impacting their likelihood of success. It’s up to us, as a society, to help each and every child fulfill his or her potential. In fact, the future of our nation depends on it.

NBC/MSNBC public health analyst, pediatrician and activist Dr. Irwin Redlener delivers a potent wake-up call that compellingly underscores the urgency with which we must work toward fulfilling the potential of all children in his inspirational call to action, The Future of Us: What the Dreams of Children Mean for Twenty-First-Century America, which contains a new preface and afterword addressing COVID-19 and its impact on kids.

Inadequate education, barriers to health care and crushing poverty make it overwhelmingly difficult for many children to realize their dreams — and these issues have been dramatically compounded by the pandemic. Finding ways to alter these trajectories is serious, grown-up business, Dr. Redlener emphasizes, and it’s time for us to act.

“We need heartstrings to be tugged by the folks who work on the front lines … But we also need the hard-core, take-no-prisoners types who demand that those empowered to determine priorities and allocate resources understand and respond to the needs of children,” he writes.

In The Future of Us, Dr. Redlener draws upon his four decades of professional experiences to examine our nation’s health care safety nets and special programs that are designed to protect and nurture our most vulnerable kids, but that too often fail to do so.

The book follows Dr. Redlener’s long, colorful career, from his work as a pediatrician in the Arkansas delta, to treating child abuse in a Miami hospital, to helping children in the aftermaths of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. He has served on the board of USA for Africa, cofounded the Children’s Health Fund with Paul Simon (and persuaded Joan Baez to play a benefit concert) and dined with Fidel Castro. He once sat across the table from Michael Jackson, and he has traveled with presidential candidates. But his most powerful source of motivation remains the children who face terrible adversities yet dream of becoming paleontologists, artists and marine biologists. Their stories are his springboard for discussing larger policy issues that hinder us from effectively eradicating childhood poverty and overcoming barriers to accessible health care. Persistent deprivation and the avoidable problems that accompany poverty ensnare millions of children and impact the health, prosperity and creativity of the adults they become. Dr. Redlener argues that we must drastically change our approach to meeting the needs of children ― for their sake and to ensure America’s resiliency and influence in an increasingly complex world.

It is Dr. Redlener’s hope that readers will emerge optimistic about our future, with a deeper understanding of how investing in children today will increase our chances of a successful tomorrow. Fighting for our nation’s children is far from a lost cause, and nothing could be more important.

Author Irwin Redlener, M.D., is a pediatrician and founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, which works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. In 2020, Dr. Redlener created the Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative at Columbia. He is a public health analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and recently partnered with Cher in CherCares, a new program that assists communities struggling with COVID-19.

Dr. Redlener is also President Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Children’s Health Fund, a philanthropic initiative that he created with singer/songwriter Paul Simon and Karen Redlener to develop health care programs in 25 of the nation’s most medically underserved urban and rural communities. He currently serves as a special advisor on emergency preparedness to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and regularly communicates with leadership in U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, as well as Homeland Security.

He is also the author of Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do Now. For more information, please visit www.irwinredlener.org.

The Future of Us: What the Dreams of Children Mean for Twenty-First-Century America
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN-10: 0231177577
ISBN-13: 978-0231177573
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Chris Johnston
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone

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Fool’s Errand an Action-Packed Adventure that Poignantly Explores Complex Father-Son Relationship

Fool’s Errand an Action-Packed Adventure that Poignantly Explores Complex Father-Son Relationship

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The love between a father and son is often complicated, and John “Blackie” Rinaldi’s relationship with his son was no exception. Blackie was a charming rogue who circled the fringes of organized crime, endlessly pursuing “The Big Deal” but always coming up short. His son had long suspected his father’s ties to the mob and had adeptly avoided the pitfalls of his father’s vocation, choosing instead a safe, respectable career. But when an enigmatic letter describing a cache of stolen money surfaces six years after Blackie’s death, his son feels compelled to pursue his father’s ultimate dream, and he embarks upon the adventure of a lifetime.

Fool’s Errand from Jeffrey S. Stephens is a fast-paced, mob-inspired mystery that follows Blackie’s son on his life-altering pursuit to unravel the decades-long mystery his father left him to solve. Why hadn’t his father simply told him about the hidden treasure before his death?

Blackie’s son reluctantly begins his quest, but his conviction builds as he finds there are other secrets that his father has buried. He follows the breadcrumbs from the mean streets of New York, to the Las Vegas Strip, and ultimately to the South of France. Along the way, he is confronted by dangerous mobsters, dishonest relatives, suspicious friends, a mysterious woman and the perils of a journey his father may or may not have planned for him.

Fool’s Errand is poignant and entertaining, humorous and exciting, romantic and mysterious — an adventure that explores the relationship between a father and son, and the events that will eventually lead a young man to discover both the treasure and himself.

Author Jeffrey S. Stephens lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is also the author of the Jordan Sandor espionage thrillers, beginning with Targets of Deception and, most recently, Rogue Mission. He is also the author of the recent thriller, Crimes and Passion, the first in a planned series featuring Lieutenant Robbie Whyte.

For more information, please visit www.jeffreystephens.com.

Fool’s Errand
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Release Date: December 8, 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1642937381
ISBN-10: 164293738X
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Teresa Hinojosa
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
832.569.5773 Direct
281.333.3507 Phone
teresa@ascotmediagroup.com
www.ascotmedia.com

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Make ‘Go on a Diet’ Resolutions Obsolete with the Whole Person Integrative Eating Program

Make ‘Go on a Diet’ Resolutions Obsolete with the Whole Person Integrative Eating Program

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)

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What if you never again need to make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or “go on a diet” because your most-of-the-time way of eating empowers you to eat and weigh less? Original, pioneering research by holistic nutrition researcher Deborah Kesten, M.P.H., and behavioral scientist Larry Scherwitz, Ph.D.—authors of the award-winning Whole Person Integrative Eating: A Breakthrough Dietary Lifestyle to Treat the Root Causes of Overeating, Over-weight, and Obesity—reveals that replacing the complex reasons you overeat— called “over-eating styles”—with the scientifically sound Whole Person Integrative Eating (WPIE) dietary lifestyle (meaning, WPIE is a way of life; it’s not a traditional diet) may make weight-loss resolutions obsolete.

“Now is the time to ‘reset’ and rethink what and how we eat; to replace traditional dieting with a scientifically sound way of eating that lessens overeating and that leads naturally to weight loss, health and healing,” says Kesten.

Kesten and Scherwitz share a simple yet powerful premise: Identify the reasons you overeat (your overeating styles) and gain weight—with the illuminating self-assessment quiz—then overcome overeating and lose weight by replacing your overeating styles with the antidotes: the elements of the Whole Person Integrative Eating program.

By shedding light on the root causes of overeating, Kesten and Scherwitz present a program that empowers readers with a personalized plan, and in turn new hope and new choices to help them reduce overeating, lose weight and keep it off.

WPIE is not a diet that a person goes on … then off. It is a scientifically sound, dietary life-style designed to be practiced for a lifetime.

“If people follow the revolutionary program outlined in this game-changing, insightful book, it may be the most helpful step they can take toward losing weight and keeping it off,” says bestselling author Kenneth Pelletier, M.D., Ph.D., clinical professor of medicine at University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.

The authors’ paradigm-shifting message is that food influences not only the physical dimensions of health, but also our emotional, spiritual and social well-being. Their dietary lifestyle can build bridges between the millions who struggle with overeating and weight issues and the medical community. And it can inspire us all to re-envision our relationships with food, eating and weight, so that each time we eat, we are nourished … for life.

Deborah Kesten, M.P.H., is an international nutrition researcher, award-winning author and health journalist, with a specialty in preventing and reversing obesity and heart disease. She is also an experienced, expert speaker and presenter—from TV and podcast interviews to large conferences and small-group workshops.

Kesten served as Nutritionist on Dean Ornish, M.D.’s first clinical trial for reversing heart dis-ease through lifestyle changes, the results of which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. She was Director of Nutrition at cardiovascular clinics in Eu-rope and on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, San Francisco.

Kesten has published more than 400 nutrition and health articles. Her first book, Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul, received the first-place gold award in the Spirituality category from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Whole Person Integrative Eating has been honored with the No.1 gold, best-book award in the Health category by Book Excellence Awards and is a No. 1 Amazon best seller. Kesten is a VIP Contributor at Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, and is married to behavioral scientist and co-author of Whole Person Integrative Eating, Larry Scherwitz, Ph.D.

For more information, please visit www.IntegrativeEating.com. You can also connect with the author on the following social media sites: https://www.instagram.com/integrativeeating/;
https://www.facebook.com/WholePersonIntegrativeEating; https://twitter.com/IntegrativeEat1.

Whole Person Integrative Eating: A Breakthrough Dietary Lifestyle to Treat the Root Causes of Overeating, Overweight, and Obesity
Publisher: White River Press
ISBN-10: 1887043543
ISBN-13: 978-1887043540
Available from Amazon.com and integrativeeating.com

Trish Stevens
Helen Cook
Senior Publicist
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
903.654.0938 Direct
hcook@ascotmediagroup.com
www.ascotmedia.com

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Powerful True Story Inspires Others to Seek Adventure, Turn Each Day into a Gift

Powerful True Story Inspires Others to Seek Adventure, Turn Each Day into a Gift

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)

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Brittany Moser’s short life was not defined by how she died, but rather, by how she lived each day to the fullest and the profound impact she had on those around her. Brittany died from a rare condition, Addison’s disease, in 2017 at the age of 32. She had been a happy-go-lucky flight attendant, soaring high above reality, when her diagnosis suddenly brought her down to earth.

Rather than buckle under the weight of fear, she chose to be fearless and embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime with her best friend — her father. Free and Fearless: The Amazing Impact of One Precious Life is Brittany’s unforgettable story as told by her father, Philip Moser.

“This book is not about the grief of losing a child, but about making the most out of what we are given and living our lives positively and not out of fear,” Moser writes. “Brittany inspired me, an ordinary farm boy, to explore life, to climb mountains and to write a book.”

Free and Fearless is an honest, poignant account of Brittany’s legacy and the ripple effect that her outlook on life had on everyone who knew her. Philip hopes that by hearing her story, readers will be inspired by Brittany’s contagious spirit and unwavering desire for new adventures and experiences — even in the shadow of an incurable illness.

Among Brittany’s valuable life lessons that Philip shares with readers are:

  1. How precious life is and how we can affect the people around us;
  2. How an open mind and a positive attitude can inspire us to do things we never thought possible;
  3. How to move out of our comfort zones and into a challenging existence that can turn each day into an exciting gift to be explored;
  4. How to not let fear control us, and to use our abilities to seek unique, positive and inspiring adventures;
  5. To embrace change as a natural part of life;
  6. And finally, that we won’t be remembered by our things or our savings accounts, but by how we made other people feel.

“I want to share the same inspiration that I received for 32 years,” Philip added. “In the end, love truly does conquer all, and Brittany wanted us to know that.”

Author Philip Moser grew up on a farm in Angola, Indiana. After high school, he began working in different aspects of the grocery business, a career that continues to this day. He and his wife, Marilyn Wells, raised two incredible daughters, Camille and Brittany.

For more information, please visit www.freeandfearlessbook.com or connect with the author on social media at https://www.facebook.com/philip.moser.73?ref=bookmarks. A portion from the sale of each book will be donated to the National Adrenal Disease Foundation.

Free and Fearless: The Amazing Impact of One Precious Life
ISBN-10: 1733086404
ISBN-13: 978-1733086400
Available from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, BooksaMillion.com and other online retailers

Trish Stevens
Beth Hanner
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone

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Slay Your Goals in 2021: Journaling Can Give Your Dreams Clarity

Slay Your Goals in 2021: Journaling Can Give Your Dreams Clarity

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)

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Whatever your hopes and dreams are for the new year, writing down your thoughts in a safe space free from outside opinions and constructs can help you crystalize your goals and chart a path toward positive change.

“What we envision becomes what we have,” writes award-winning, best-selling author and licensed psychotherapist Michaela Renee Johnson. “Have you ever noticed that when you are considering getting a new car, you start to see that model of car everywhere? The same is true for our goals. When we start to visualize them, our actions subconsciously move us in the direction of our dream.”

Johnson gives women the tools to do just that in Empowered: A Motivational Journal for Women. Designed to help you connect with your deeper self and visualize your intentions through creative exercises, Empowered contains inspirational writing prompts and thought-provoking quotes to encourage you to open your mind, manifest your goals and reflect on your dreams.

Organized around the themes of dream, believe and achieve, Empowered includes exercises that ask you to explore your feelings and thoughts through writing, while others encourage you to go beyond the book to meditate, listen to music or enjoy nature―and return to contemplate your experiences. There’s no right or wrong way to use this motivational journal; the important thing is to begin.

Empowered: A Motivational Journal for Women provides:

Creative freedom―Explore out-of-the-box ideas like drawing and coloring, creating a vision board, or crafting a reflective poem.

Your own space―The colorful, beautifully illustrated modern layout gives you abundant room to express yourself directly in the pages of this motivational journal.

Inspiring words―Cultivate a positive mindset with quotes from influential women like Alice Walker, Amelia Earhart and Michelle Obama.

You can unlock your true potential and create positive changes in your life―and journaling is a powerful way to start.

Michaela Renee Johnson is an award-winning, best-selling author, licensed psychotherapist and host of the top iTunes podcast, Be You Find Happy, which encourages people to speak their truth with grace and live a courageous life of authenticity. Her initiative, Be You Find Happy, holds workshops and conversations on finding happiness in spite of life’s setbacks and has landed her speaking opportunities across the nation. She is an avid adventurer, having traveled to more than 20 countries, and self-proclaimed “Boho Mom” who loves all things metaphysical as well as poetic quotes. She is a Sagittarius and an ocean-lover who lives in Northern California with her husband and young son, and a homestead full of animals. In her spare time, she’s often hiking, doing yoga, gardening, golfing or reading.

Connect with her at www.MichaelaRenee.com or on Instagram @MichaelaReneeJ.

Empowered: A Motivational Journal for Women
Publisher: Callisto Media
ISBN-10: 1647390524
ISBN-13: 978-1647390525
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Anna Butler
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone

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