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Finally, a Diet That Really Works – as Long as You Spit

Murphy, Texas – Come up with a diet that really works, and the world will beat a path to your door. Author Diana Estill found just such fortune-maker, which she calls the Flavorless Diet:

“Insert the morsel into your mouth, and if it doesn’t taste good, then keep eating it. If it does taste good – spit it out and start over.”

Maybe she should write a diet book, since one of those can almost always be found on a bestseller list, but instead, Estill has written Deedee Divine’s Totally Skewed Guide to Life (Corncob Press). In a weird, Dave Barry/Erma Bombeck sort of way, she makes sense.

Other nuggets from Estill’s alter ego, the legendary Deedee Divine:

“I’m allergic to sweating. Every time I perspire, I develop a bad attitude.”

“At my house, the earliest signs of spring arrive in the form of weeds.”

Deedee also says: It’s hard to live among do-it-yourself types when you’re a get-somebody-else-to-fix-it person. Do-it-yourself turns up in my vocabulary only during conversations like this:

Husband: “I need this shirt ironed.”

Me: “Do it yourself.”

Deedee Divine is on a mission to help readers find fun in their daily trials and frustrations. She encourages them never to take themselves or their circumstances too seriously. Deedee tackles aggravations and annoyances shared by women who are emotionally overstretched, and she hands out advice that drifts toward the absurd.

Deedee Divine’s Totally Skewed Guide to Life is one part family therapy, one part social satire, as the author informs her readers that the “family that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Estill/Deedee finds levity in everything – from roadways to the kitchen. Nothing is sacred as she takes literary punches at anyone who thinks they have no imperfections.

Having been a teen mom and tenth-grade dropout, Diana Estill knows how difficult life can be and how important it is to find comic relief in the morass of daily challenges. Her goal is to turn failures, quirks and frustrations into theater of the absurd.

Check out her somewhat eccentric website at www.totallyskewed.com.

Deedee Divine’s Totally Skewed Guide to Life is a ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year finalist and has been, together with her first book, Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road (Brown Books), on Amazon’s top 100 bestsellers list of books categorized under parenting humor/essays.

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TIP SHEET:

Midwest Book Review: “Utterly entertaining reading.”

American Chronicle: “A fine balance of quirky humor, sometimes absurd…”

Bookreporter.com: “Bust a gut funny!”

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Dead Fred is alive and well and plotting revenge in sunny South Florida

Palm Beach, FL – There is no doubt that Frank McKinney is an extraordinary man.  From his oceanfront treehouse office, perched 23 feet above the Atlantic and accessible by suspension bridge, McKinney promotes near fantasy lifestyles for the very wealthy by creating and selling one-of-a-kind mansions for tens of millions of dollars.  A true American original who never lost touch with the childhood thrill of playing super hero, he recently made a grand entrance costumed as a pirate king, propelling 250 feet down a flaming zip line before unveiling his latest masterpiece and donating profits from the spectacular event to charity.

If creating multimillion-dollar masterpieces and writing successful business books perched in a tree is McKinney’s reality, then what would his fantasies be? 

Readers have the chance to peek inside the head of the man who makes millions with his imagination in Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle, (Health Communications, Inc.).

Since his daughter, 11-year old Laura, was in pre-kindergarten, she and her dad have walked to school every day, rain or shine. The thousands of one-mile trips through a dense grove of trees, past an eerie nature preserve and over a rickety drawbridge on the Intracoastal Waterway, spawned wild tales that became the basis of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle.

“I have the joy of walking to school with my daughter and her friends every day. It means I never lose touch with the little boy inside,” McKinney says.  “Not every child or parent is so lucky, but I hope to pass along the sense of wonder and possibility that fuels children’s imaginations and inspires me so profoundly.”

Ppeekk (pronounced ‘Peekie’) Rose Berry is the thirteen year-old heroine in McKinney’s ride-of-your-life adventure.  Forced to walk to her first day of school after moving from rural Indiana to sunny Florida, she has a chance encounter with a mysterious little man who leads her to find King Frederick the 9th, a flattened, 3-inch, dead shiner fish who comes to life in her hands.  She aptly names him “Dead Fred,” and is soon introduced to his brilliant underwater kingdom of High Voltage – a place where manatees talk and practical-joking clownfish encourage children to launch their lunchboxes off the bridge!

Ppeekk soon discovers that Dead Fred has been dethroned by Megalodon, a fiendish 50-foot prehistoric shark that has returned from extinction and uses his entourage of vicious crabs and blood-red remora fish to threaten and extract the imagination and joy of children everywhere – and bring the kingdom of High Voltage to an abrupt end.  As she and Dead Fred learn to love and trust one another, he enlists her help in trying to save High Voltage from the evil beast.  Ppeekk and her friends use all their resources to lure Megalodon and his rogue army into the fight of their lives in a heart-pounding adventure that takes place in the middle of a fierce and deadly Category 5 hurricane. 

Frank McKinney does nothing second-best.  As profiled on CBS Evening News, 20/20, USA Today and Oprah, his seemingly bottomless well of creativity and imagination is testament that Dead Fred is no exception.  He is a five-time international best-selling author, philanthropist and visionary.  Dead Fred is charged with fairy-tale wonder, enthralling magic and page-turning suspense. 

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TIP SHEET:

Steve Alten, NY Times best-selling author of the MEG series:  “An engaging and uplifting tale with more interesting characters than a Narnia adventure.”

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Being Your Own Boss to Control Your Own Destiny – What a Wonderful Place to Be

Phoenix, AZ – During this time of recession when most people are barely clinging to their jobs and possibly hate what they are doing but happy to get a paycheck, along comes a man who advocates ‘chucking it all in and doing your own thing’ – believing that you will never look back!  Jeffrey Taylor is this man.  He worked in corporate America from 1975 to1984 when he decided he had had enough and changed his life forever by becoming an entrepreneur.  His latest book Going From W2 to 1099 (Executive Caliber) is not a textbook for starting a business (there are way too many of those out there already) but is an informative guide for the days when you run out of ideas and are tempted to give up.  With twenty-five successful years under his belt, Taylor knows and shares how to stretch dollars in order to stay in business.

Taylor understands first-hand the fears and problems that arise when owning a business and offers help to get started, with advice on handling problems in a no-nonsense, common-sense way – adding his philosophy of taking charge and not wasting time worrying about things you have no control over.  Instead he believes in getting success from paying as little as possible for services, thus gaining the most revenue for your time and efforts.  He stresses the importance of taking basic business courses and the need for a good business plan, knowing that even during a bad economic climate there is money to be made.  It’s a matter of finding the right combination of what the public needs and what you have to offer in order to build a successful business.  In his latest book he outlines some of the key issues that entrepreneurs face, including transitioning from a job to ownership, finding clients, defining the business, looking for where people need what you have to offer, and deciding who you can trust. 

Jeffrey Taylor is a man who has walked the talk.  He is the founder of Jeffrey Taylor Group, a holding company for various operating businesses that range from film and TV production advisor to operating a luxury cruise agency.  He is also no stranger to the self-help book market and has previously published two textbooks on the equipment leasing industry, as well as a fascinating autobiography on his life as a recovering alcoholic (A Gentleman Drunk).  In between his busy business schedule, he finds time to give back to the community by teaching commercial real estate courses.  Visit his web sites at: www.jeffreytaylorgroup.com and www.goingfromw2to1099.com.  

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TIP SHEET:

Readers rave about Taylor’s book:

“The book boldly and clearly benefits everyone.  It’s got ‘Joe Six-Pack’ attitude yet also appeals to people higher up the corporate ladder who have been downsized into unemployment.”

“Although the book suggests ‘reading in one setting doesn’t make sense’ – I couldn’t stop myself.  Timely material – timeless advice.  Looking forward to reading it again and again.”

“Really enjoyed reading your book.  It was informative and entertaining, and as a recent 1099-er myself, I found it very helpful.”

“Very funny and educational.  Another winner.  Way to interject recovery with everyday life laced with personal experience and knowledge backed up with research.”

“A clever, compelling, and entertaining guide for those transitioning to self-employment…as easy to read as A,B,C.”

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Life’s Most Meaningful Journey to the Ultimate Destination – Heaven on Earth

Fox Island, WA – Every person on this planet wants to experience Heaven on Earth and be able to look at normal, everyday things and find beauty and absolute joy in each and every one of them.  Finding Heaven Here (O-Books) is the latest extraordinary book from John C. Robinson, a man who has devoted his entire life to getting answers in order to find this Heaven on Earth.  Robinson’s credentials speak volumes: he is a psychologist and an ordained interfaith minister with doctorates in both psychology and ministry, and he is an author, teacher and mystic.  He has spent the better part of his personal and professional life exploring the relationship between psychology, spirituality, mysticism, and religion, and knows that the presence and experience of Heaven on Earth is the greatest secret on the spiritual path.

Heaven on Earth – the ordinary world transfigured in enlightened consciousness – represents the ultimate destination of humanity’s greatest journey.  To mystics the pathway is obvious, but in the minds of the majority it is believed to be inconceivable.  The layman’s consciousness is so obstructed with thoughts that they cannot grasp that Heaven on Earth is the ordinary world around them transformed in awakened consciousness.  It means opening minds to explore the beauty in everyday things the way children are able to do, when innocence and acceptability are not blocked by thoughts or preconceived notions.  It means that as a child, pretty much what we see is what we get!  As adults, we become too busy to stop and really see the divine world; we only see what we think.  In this thought world, we allow concepts, beliefs, stereotypes and prejudices to filter our experience so completely that we have totally stopped witnessing the beauty of what is right there before us.  If the scene or subject is not instantly visually appealing, we see hardship, struggle, danger, and anything else negative that our thoughts can conjure up.  Finding Heaven Here offers hope for anyone who truly wants to be able to find and enjoy life in a Heaven that really is here on Earth!

Robinson’s amazing book does not suggest a change to any particular religion in order to make this possible; instead he is offering the hope of waking up each day and discovering that we are already in Heaven – what a wonderfully appealing idea: it’s cost-free, it’s always here, and it makes us incredibly happy to be alive – plus it just happens to be consistent with every religion out there!  In this heightened consciousness, people and things become incredibly beautiful, infinitely precious, and imminently holy.  What an instrument to cure the world’s ills and take out evil once and for all!

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If you didn’t cause it, and you can’t cure it or control it, you better make darn sure you understand it

Chicago, IL – How many women have been told by mothers and grandmothers that they have to “kiss a lot of frogs to get to the prince?”  What they neglect to add is that the prince might be more in love with himself than with the woman he professes to adore.  This is why all women should read Lisa Scott’s compassionate and informative new book It’s All About Him:  How To Identify and Avoid the Narcissistic Male (Cedar Fort Publishing).  Definitely not another ‘girlie’ story but a knowledgeable account based on the author’s first-hand experiences – she says it like it is and shares the tell-tale signs to look for (and run from), with advice on how to cope if you are already involved in such a relationship.

What woman hasn’t been involved at some point with a man who doesn’t understand her, avoids communication, or is basically obsessed with himself and his issues only?  He can be charming, fun, and exciting in the beginning but once he knows he has her heart his true colors will eventually emerge and his façade will crack – leaving her in the unenviable position of wondering what happened to that incredible man she fell in love with.  Remember, narcissists have two things in common: they depend on a significant other to provide the ego-stroking they crave, and they are addicted to attention.  Fear not.  Help is on the way! 

It’s All About Him is an informative, quick-read that helps women understand what makes these men tick!  Given the right tools, women will be better equipped to avoid such involvements in the first place.  Visit Lisa’s inspiring message-board on her website at www.lisaescott.com that acts as a support group for women trying to break free from a narcissistic relationship, and check out details of her blog talk radio show at: www.blogtalkradio.com/allabouthim.

A Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Loyola University and working full-time in the role of human resources’ professional gives Lisa an opportunity to observe first-hand human behavior, but it is her own personal experience in falling for two pathological narcissists that gives her credibility as evidenced in her book.

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TIP SHEET:

Candace V. Love, PhD Clinical Psychologist: “Lisa Scott absolutely grasps the essence of narcissism…was continually amazed how she was able to take this very complicated psychological construct and distill it down to its fundamental nature-illustrating it in a way that was easy to understand.  She provides a practical and hopeful approach for any woman dealing with this type of man.”

Sam Vaknin, PhD, Author of Malignant Self-Love – Narcissism Revisited: “Awareness of the pernicious epidemy of pathological narcissism has been steadily growing over the last decade and resulted in a prodigious and copious output of self-help guides, textbooks, and personal memories…it is difficult to find something akin to Lisa’s work: part textbook, part self-help tome, part personal and painful memoir…only way to effectively defend against a narcissist is to learn from the harrowing experiences of those who fell prey…Lisa has gone to great lengths to acquaint herself with the latest scholarly literature and scrutinize her own encounters with brutal honesty.  The result is a compelling narrative…makes for a riveting tour de force of the tortured landscapes of the la-la lands of malignant self-love.”

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As Civilization Teeters, a Women’s Group Leader

Cypress, Texas – Whether you believe the world has been smote by The Great Depression Part Two or just another recession, folks are suffering, and it’s clear to author Mindy Ferguson that we all need a hug.

Unable to wrap her arms around everyone, Ferguson offers a different kind of hug – one made of uplifting words. Her new book, The Hugs Bible Reflections for Women, is part of the best-selling “Hugs” series from publisher Simon & Schuster.

The author sees her book an antidote to selfish ambition.

While previous books in the series offer targeted, prose “hugs” to children, grandparents and others, Ferguson specializes in stories for women. She is founder of Fruitful Word Ministries, a non-profit corporation dedicated to encouraging women of all denominations to develop an intimate and fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ through the study of God’s word.

Part of her duties with Fruitful Word Ministries is to address women’s groups.

“As I traveled and spoke at women’s events,” Ferguson said, “I often met women who would tell me inspiring stories about God’s activity in their lives.  I began to feel a burden to give these women a means of sharing their stories.”

She lifted that burden by finding a connection with the Hugs book series.

“I began asking women to share their stories with me and later came up with the idea of coupling those stories with short Bible lessons,” she said. “My thought was that the combination would not only inspire women to greater faith, but also help them to discover the relevance of God’s word for their lives today.”

Ferguson says she “stumbled her way into the arms of Christ” at the age of 26. When she speaks at national women’s events, she does so “as one who understands the tug of worldly passions and the emptiness of selfish ambition.”

Her writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul, the P31 Woman magazine, Just Between Us magazine, and the One Year Life Verse Devotional. Ferguson is the author of Walking with God: From Slavery to Freedom; Living the Promised Life, an in-depth Bible study for women.

Ferguson lives in a suburb of Houston with her husband of 22 years and their two children.
 
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TIP SHEET:
 
Here’s what readers have said about previous books in the Hugs series:

H.A. Dudley: “This book was just what I needed … Each story was uplifting, each paraphrased scripture really felt like an embrace.”
 
Abby Angers: “When reading this, you will be reminded of how lucky you are to have people you can share your problems with …  The book is great for people of all ages.”

K. Bailey: “One day a friend of mine was feeling blue, and the Lord just took me to one of the stories in Embraced by the Savior. By the end of me reading the stories, she was crying and saying ‘Thank You Lord, you know I needed that.’

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You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ’til It’s Gone – Unless

Torrance, CA – What we have is not ours forever – that sounds like simple and obvious wisdom during economic times when so many have lost so much. But Buddhist teacher Kentetsu Takamori wants everyone to know the message is far more important when it comes to human nature.

In his new book, Something You Forgot…Along the Way, Takamori relates 65 short stories that bring his philosophy to life. He cautions us that nothing is permanent.

“Once this reality sinks in,” Takamori says, “we cannot help treasuring each moment of our association.”

The stories focus on such basics as the importance of perseverance, the real meaning of honor, and how success is not gained by chance, but by the fruit of our efforts. The stories aim to give guidance and help the reader see deeper into life.

As the world struggles to emerge from a prolonged recession that has affected jobs, housing, businesses and entire governments, a stark and personal toll has been taken. Individuals looking for answers may find them in Something You Forgot…Along the Way. Those who accept the inevitability of change may have taken their first steps toward a brighter future.

Takamori has lectured worldwide and serves as chair of the Buddhist organization Jodo Shinshu Shinrankai in Japan. The depth of his thought is belied by the simplicity of his prose. He writes with a clarity that is accessible to children but profound enough to stir adults.

The lesson of each story is honest, the frankness unforgettable. Opened at any page,  Something You Forgot…Along the Way: Stories of Wisdom and Learning will draw the reader in with its direct and unapologetic message. Takamori guides the reader like a beacon toward doing better and becoming better. A sense of goodwill and sincerity radiates from the pages.

Released by Ichimannendo Publishing, Inc., Something You Forgot…Along the Way follows on the heels Takamori’s previous self-help bestseller in his native JapanYou Were Born for a Reason. Translations by Juliet Winters Carpenter have brought the author’s wisdom to English-speaking readers.

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TIP SHEET:
 
Your Were Born for a Reason, Kentetsu Takamori’s 2006 bestseller, has sold more than 650,000 copies in Japan alone. Co-authored by Daiji Akehashi, and Kentaro Ito, the book considers the many ills that plague modern society – suicide, murder, angst, a constant sense of futility – and guides us to
the enduring truths that can renew our hearts and provide real happiness.

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