Ascot Media Group Blog
Welcome to the Ascot Media Group BLOG! Visit our main website at www.ascotmedia.com

Reality TV Star Toya’s Rough Road Becomes ‘Priceless Inspirations’ In New Cautionary Tale of Sex, Motherhood and Growing Up

She’s found enviable fame and fortune, so Toya’s new memoir surprises readers with its unexpected message to young girls: Don’t do it my way.

Antonia Johnson Carter – best known by the mononym Toya and star of the hit TV reality series “Tiny and Toya” – has written a life story that honestly faces the tears, fears and insecurities that rode shotgun on her drive to stardom.
 
“Priceless Inspirations” (Farrah Gray Publishing) offers Toya’s own life choices as a backdrop for advice to young girls on sex, relationships, motherhood and growing up. Getting pregnant at 14 gave Toya valuable perspective on the perils of growing up too fast.
    
Rap music star Lil Wayne fathered Toya’s daughter, Reginae, and wed Toya seven years later, but the marriage lasted only two years. Another lesson learned.
 
“That relationship has brought me a lot of love and a lot of pain.” Toya said. “Right now, my main focus is family.”
 
The protective cocoon of family is something Toya spent most of her life without. Abandoned by her parents as a child, she was passed from family member to family member as her mother sank deeper into drug addiction. Feeling unloved and unwelcome, Toya fell into the arms of a 15-year-old rising musical star – Dwayne Michael Carter, now known as Lil Wayne – and soon was pregnant.
 
In “Priceless Inspirations,” Toya takes the reader through the pain of struggling to raise a child while still a child herself, without the benefit of guidance from her own mother. Using words she recorded in journals as a teen – and the wisdom she has gained in the years since – Toya bares her own soul for the benefit of today’s young girls.
 
Toya’s roller coaster saga continues: While her mom is now a recovering addict, ex-husband Lil Wayne is serving a one-year prison sentence at Riker’s Island for gun possession charges.
 
When not writing or performing in her TV series, Toya volunteers to help at-risk teens and teen mothers. She is also developing a children’s clothing line inspired by her daughter Reginae. The clothing line will feature fashion-forward, affordable loungewear and accessories for teens.

Farrah Gray Publishing will be publishing Antonia “Toya” Carter’s “Priceless Inspirations” in February 2011. Grammy Award-winning rapper Lil Wayne is writing the Foreword.
 
###

TIP SHEET:

Book Foreword by multi-Grammy Award-winner Lil Wayne

BET Television: “The memoir, which is dedicated to all women, is an inspirational and encouraging read. Toya’s hope is to inspire women with similar struggles and those that can somehow see themselves in her narrative.”
 
“Tiny and Toya:” On June 28, 2009, the reality TV series drew more than three million viewers, the highest-rated series debut in BET history. “Tiny and Toya” returns to the air in 2011 for its third season.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Son of Bob Marley Isn’t Just Blowing Smoke: Ky-Mani’s New Memoir, ‘Dear Dad,’ Hits Heart

Time Magazine called Bob Marley the Artist of the 20th Century, but to Ky-Mani Marley he is “Dad.” The reggae superstar died when Ky-Mani was just 5, but nearly 30 years later, Marley still looms large in his life, as seen in Ky-Mani’s new memoir, “Dear Dad” (Farrah Gray Publishing).
 
“I told my story from my heart and soul. After writing the book and reading over the first edit, I didn’t realize some of the stuff I had bottled up inside of me. So this book, for me, became therapy,” Ky-Mani said. “If I was to follow in my father’s footsteps, then what would they say? ‘Oh, he’s trying to be like his dad.’ Then if I take a different path, they say, ‘He’s supposed to be like his father.’ So you can’t please everybody. I just have to be true to myself and true to my art and do what comes naturally to me.”
 
“Dear Dad” is an arresting narrative of a son who was locked out of his iconic father’s estate after his death. Ky-Mani and his mother Anita Belnavis left Jamaica for the United States, where he was forced to survive the poverty-stricken, predator-infested streets of one of Miami’s most violent ghettos, Liberty City. Ky-Mani was initially estranged from his siblings and cut off from any financial benefit by the Marley estate executor.
 
From that crucible came the Ky-Mani Marley you see today – musician, actor, author, philanthropist and a father himself.  He has recorded four studio albums (ranging from reggae to hip-hop), was nominated for a Grammy Award, performed to sellout crowds (one concert was beamed live to 36 countries), and has been cast in several major feature films, including “Haven,” which starred Bill Paxton and Orlando Bloom. Ky-Mani  and his good friend Julian Lennon were jointly named Philanthropist of the Year by Prince Albert II of the Monaco Foundation, Better World Awards.
 
Some of Bob Marley’s words echo through the years with new meaning for Ky-Mani: “The harder the battle, the sweet of jah victory” … “One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain” … “Don’t forget your history nor your destiny.”

“Dear Dad” is available online and in bookstores everywhere.  For additional information visit the website http://www.kymani-marley.com .
 
 
###
 
TIP SHEET:
 
BBC:  “Fascinating book.”
 
Washington Post:  “….an arresting narrative about life as the exiled child of a musical and social icon.”
 
AOL: “…an absorbing read.”
 
Miami Herald: “The book details Marley’s complicated relationship with his half-brothers and -sisters, some of whom enjoyed lavish lifestyles.”
 
USA Today: “Ky-Mani Marley incurred favor with the crowd…”

Fortune Magazine: Richest dead celebrity: Bob Marley (2009)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Former NFL Wife: It’s time the ladies had their say – and they do, oh so well, in this rip-roaring, how-to guide that empowers women to get what they want

Shanae Hall’s experiences from being married to Cory Hall of the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons, as well as dating regular guys, makes up a virtual how-to and how-not-to guide for women with its straight-shooting advice.  In Why Do I Have to Think Like a Man? How to Think Like a Lady and Still Get the Man (Farrah Gray Publishing), Hall and Frost have no problem saying it like it is and they do it well in their abundantly clear, no-nonsense approach that gives readers the benefit of their inter-generational perspectives.  They remind us that the persistent ‘player’ mentality in today’s men is fashioned, nurtured and created by the very women who hate it so much.  Their book is a categorical retort to Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and they give readers what Harvey’s book could not – an uncensored, woman’s view on dating!

Taking umbrage with Steve Harvey’s best-seller, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, this unique mother-daughter perspective on relationships takes it one step further by including a bonus chapter in their book that is devoted totally to rebutting Harvey’s follow-up book Straight Talk, No Chaser.  Readers will be privy to a woman’s viewpoint of Harvey’s philosophy on commitment as to why men cheat.  By following their impressive advice in Why do I Have to Think Like a Man? readers will learn how to think like a lady when it comes to finding, keeping and understanding a man and how to date with boundaries and rise above any form of violence and cheating.

There is no doubt these two amazingly vibrant women have done their homework.  Why Do I Have to Think Like a Man? is based on more than three hundred interviews with men and women over 25, and on the authors’ own dating dramas.  The book reveals no-holds-barred truths on deal breakers, commitment, baggage, intimacy, and what men really want and getting what you want in return.   Using their own real-life experiences with marriage, divorce, cheating, single motherhood and  being the other woman, they hope to empower women to stop ‘selling themselves short’ by hearing, but not really listening to, what their men say that makes them blind to the obvious red flags that pop up and they ignore.

Frost and Hall have undoubtedly ‘walked the talk’ when it comes to love, sex, dating, marriage and divorce and they cover the gamut in their funny and sincere, common sense advice on men and relationships by stressing that ‘getting the guy isn’t about knowing how they think; it’s about dating smart – knowing what you want and raising your standards.’

As a Sirius Satellite Radio personality on Jaime Foxx’s ‘Foxxhole’ and a former NFL wife appearing on ‘E! True Hollywood Stories – Sports Stars, Private Lives, Shanae Hall is never one to shy away from life’s difficult conversations.  If it has to be said you can count on her to say it – and she does in her ‘can’t put it down’ page-turner that leaves readers gasping with surprise from the first paragraph.

Both survivors of emotional and physical abuse, Hall and Frost are donating a portion of the book proceeds to battered women shelters and other agencies that help women in distress.  Please check out their great new book at:
http://www.hcibooks.com/p-4056-why-do-i-have-to-think-like-a-man.aspx

###

TIP SHEET:

Cedric the Entertainer, One of the Original King’s of Comedy and well-known television star.: “Shanae Hall is a candid and witty personality who has a unique way of telling you the truth just how she sees it.  Read this book and you’ll know what I’m say’n. “
   
Gena James Pitts, Founder – Professional Sports Wives Assn: “Are you ready for a real self-help relationship book that is an eye-opener, and will leave you speechless?”

Rita Ewring, best-selling author & ex-wife of Patrick Ewing & Partner in Hue-Man in Manhattan:
“Thank goodness for Shanae Hall being a voice I can relate to! God forbid the moment when women believe we have to think like men in order to be in relationships with them. What is this world coming to?”

Frank Ski, V103-FM Atlanta: “From the first time I met Shanae, I knew she was a no nonsense person that would give it to you straight-up holding nothing back. This book has proved me right!”   

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Tour Guide shares thousands of stories on Hollywood legends – the good, the bad and the oh, so funny…

After collecting literally hundreds of vintage tales of Hollywood legends over the years, Stephen Schochet not only wrote a book that everyone could enjoy on the glamorous, and not so glamorous, stories of Hollywood icons, but also created audiobooks.  As explained in an interview with Reuters, this entrepreneur told two kinds of stories on his tour bus; origin stories – telling how things we take for granted came to be, and funny anecdotes.  He not only read a lot of books to find his material, but also tried to meet people who were connected to the famous – like housekeepers – that he could garner some tidbits from!  His book is a special blend of biography, history and legends and covers scandalous yarns on some of Hollywood’s greatest characters – from Shirley Temple and Lucille Ball to Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney and Michael Jackson.

Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! (Hollywood Publishing) is packed with wild and wonderful short tales on many famous stars, movies and directors – anyone who has been a part of the world’s most fascinating and unpredictable industry! 

Schochet is also the author and narrator of two audiobooks. The first is Tales of Hollywood which started as a way to highlight the origins of how famous things in Hollywood began, combined with humorous tales about the stars – for which he masterfully provided background music and sound effects to add realism.  The second project, Fascinating Walt Disney, was a huge hit – telling stories of how Walt created Mickey Mouse, Disneyland, Snow White and all his endearing characters, causing the host of one radio show to dub Schochet ‘The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard.’ 

The author covers the gamut when it comes to situational stories; from the one about a bus full of tourists at Universal Studies who were viewing the famous motel from the movie Psycho and who screamed in terror as a tall man, dressed in drag, carrying a large knife and looking remarkably like Norman Bates, charged the tram with a convincing maniacal expression– only to find out it was actor Jim Carrey having some fun – to the story of how Walt Disney overprotected his two daughters from the limelight in fear of their being kidnapped, to the point that when one daughter found out from a classmate that her father was THE Walt Disney, she went home and asked for his autograph!

Hollywood Stories truly has something for everyone.  It is a thoroughly entertaining book that features a remarkable cast of Hollywood’s legendary characters and icons and is jam-packed with surprising and funny tales with often unpredictable endings.  No matter which page the book is opened on, there will be some fascinating part of Hollywood history to be savored!

Schochet has appeared on television talk shows – please view one here at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXsWrwVnoFo, as well as on numerous radio interviews.

Please read the LA Times article at:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-trivia-tour-20100804,0,3645826.story and check out his website:: http://www.hollywoodstories.com to read the many reviews on his book.

Stephen Schochet is willing to do in-studio interviews as well as on location at famous Hollywood sights, such as Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Chateau Marmont Hotel, etc.; places that will serve as the perfect backdrop to some of his best stories.

###

TIP SHEET:

Jan Wahl, KRON TV San Francisco: “A wild, fun ride through Tinsel Town, past and present!”

The Midwest Book Review: “Hollywood Stories is packed from cover to cover with fascinating tales.”

Tim Sika, Host of the radio show Celluloid dreams on KSJS in San Jose: “The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Creative artist brings passion, conviction and a unique voice to everything she undertakes

Understanding that all great artists never get the recognition or reward their craft deserves was the inspiration for Lisa A. Miles to write This Fantastic Struggle: The Life & Art of Esther Phillips. This biography but unique cultural essay creatively weaves together a fascinating, multi-faceted story from graphic long-hand letters, interviews with aging bohemians and from art work– giving readers an absorbing glimpse at just what it means to be an artist.

Raised in Pittsburgh by a family that could not appreciate her artistic identity, Esther Phillips headed to Greenwich Village in the 1930s and never looked back. Though she achieved early critical success, she would find herself institutionalized for over six years as a result of starvation and stress; fortunately, correspondence with close friends kept her art alive. When she returned to the Village, her struggles continued and she gradually fades into obscurity once again– but not before stating she lived the best possible life. This Fantastic Struggle is a remarkable story written to educate and captivate general audience.

Lisa A. Miles’ Resurrecting Allegheny City: The Land, Structures & People of Pittsburgh’s North Side was sponsored by the PA Historic & Museum Commission and tells the tale of Allegheny City, forcibly annexed by the City of Pittsburgh one hundred years ago. Allegheny’s identity remains indelible to land owners today, and Lisa paints a portrait of a place from earliest time through modern transformation– connecting the history of this lost city to the work of every current resident, employer and visitor. Resurrecting Allegheny City was written to educate and entertain general audience of ways to stimulate their communities via history.

Lisa Miles has been interviewed on NPR and East Coast radio, as well as television across Pennsylvania. Besides being a highly praised author, she is also sought-after as a teacher and keynote speaker on a variety of cross-disciplinary creative and entrepreneurial topics.

Especially unique is that Lisa Miles is also a musician and conceptual artist who writes original music with classical and punk influences. She composes and performs on acoustic/electric violin and mandolin, collaborating with film, theater and movement artists. Her music, as well as performance piece Presence (on ‘finding authentic self’) are heard and viewed on her site. Lisa has gotten funding from Meet the Composer and the Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music and looks forward to her national upcoming release on the PARMA recording label.

Please visit Lisa’s website at www.lisamilesviolin.com  to learn more about her body of interconnected work. She is an extremely talented woman who would make for an engaging interview!

###

TIP SHEET:
On This Fantastic Struggle:

Robert Henkes, author of American Women Painters of the 30’s and 40’s: “A remarkable book…both educational and provocative…(it) will arouse attention.”

On Resurrecting Allegheny:

Jerry Ellis, PA State Archives: “What is true of personal papers is equally true of those of a community…Miles has opened the trunk…like papers in the attic, (it) resurrects this partly forgotten city, progressive in its era, and deserved of remembrance.”

On Lisa’s Original Music:

Bill O’Driscoll, Pittsburgh City Paper: “Original compositions for solo electric violin and mandolin [that are] ‘intense, edgy and ethereal’… drawing on both indie-rock and classical influences…, [they’ll] send your night off on a different tack.”

Anne LeBaron: “Compositions inventive and richly textured… Lisa possesses the motivation and energy to continually realize her visions.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Mix together the biggest egos, the most ambitious personalities and the glitz of Manhattan and you get one hot new Reality TV Show

Devorah Rose came to the United States from Venezuela at the age of five, not knowing a word of English.  Yet this accomplished, down-to-earth young woman went on to graduate from an Ivy League college, earned a position as Editor-in-Chief of a fashion and luxury lifestyle publication, rose to the upper echelon of the New York social circuit, and has made herself a familiar face on the CW, Bravo and MTV networks.

Devorah hopes that the new show, with all its personalities, drama, and tongue-in-cheek humor, will give viewers a hysterical, behind-the-scenes look into the New York City social scene, enabling them to make their own judgments and determine what is real and what is a myth.   

For more information on this vibrant, accomplished young woman, please visit her website at: www.devorahrose.com and check out just a couple of past articles on Devorah at:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/menaces_to_fBNqP0TdcVg8O5acibXQ6K/1#ixzz0js43Hqv8

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/menaces_to_fBNqP0TdcVg8O5acibXQ6K

###

TIP SHEET: Talking Points are available upon request.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather