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Black Sheep: A Blue-Eyed Negro Speaks of Abandonment, Belonging, Racism, and Redemption

Black Sheep: A Blue-Eyed Negro Speaks of Abandonment, Belonging, Racism, and Redemption
(This press release may be reprinted in part or in its entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet or used by any means of social media sharing.)

With an afterword by My Haley, PhD, widow of Alex Haley, famed author of Roots and Malcom X

Ray Studevent walked hesitantly toward the door of the nursing home and prayed that his Momma, now in the throes of dementia, would recognize him. Surely, the blue eyes would give him away. The blue eyes that his Momma originally equated with hatred and brutality.

White on the outside, Black on the inside, Ray grew up on the eastern side of the Anacostia River, the Blackest part of the Blackest city in America not long after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the D.C. race riots. There were guidelines if you were Black; different rules if you were White; but only mixed messages for mixed-race children like Ray, who had to fight for acceptance and struggle to find his identity.

Black Sheep: A Blue-Eyed Negro Speaks of Abandonment, Belonging, Racism, and
Redemption is the unforgettable true story of Ray’s struggles as a mixed-race boy learning to fight the ghosts of his past to find trust and love. Abandoned by his White, heroin-addicted mother and Black, violently alcoholic father, Ray found salvation at age 5 when he was adopted into a loving, stable home by his father’s uncle Calvin and his wife, Lemell. But that is just the beginning of the story.

Lemell is suddenly widowed and must raise Ray and her two daughters as a single mother in Chocolate City. Each time she looks into Ray’s blue eyes, she sees the Klansmen who tormented her family as she grew up in segregated Mississippi.

Ray and Lemell must navigate the minefields of society’s outward racial tensions while inwardly, Lemell does her best to overlook her emotional scars and suppress her justifiable resentment toward White people when she looks into Ray’s blue eyes.

Black Sheep takes readers on an emotional journey and reveals universal truths through faith and great humor. It is a search for who we are, where we fit and who we can become. Imagine a book where The Notebook meets The Help.

About the Author
Ray “Ben” Studevent was a mixed-race child whose unique look led him to fight a racial identity crisis his entire life. Each time he entered a room, he had to decide whether it was better to be Black or White. His personal and career journeys ebbed and flowed, taking him to prison, fatherhood and gigs in comedy clubs, modeling and stock-market research. In all these varied experiences, he realized that race played a critical role. Visit his website at: raystudevent.com.

Black Sheep
Publisher: HCI Books
Release Date: May 4, 2021
ISBN-10: 0757323812
ISBN-13: 978-0757323812
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Available wherever books are sold

Trish Stevens
Lindsey Mach
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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Secrets Threaten to Unravel Family Ties in The Wool Over Their Eyes

Secrets Threaten to Unravel Family Ties in The Wool Over Their Eyes

(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.)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

At 18, Natalia Foster knew seven things about the biological father she’d never met: he was tall, dark, handsome and Italian. He was also married to someone other than Natalia’s mother, had three children and, clearly, no morals. Now, at age 28, Natalia knows something new: her father is dying.

The Wool Over Their Eyes, from Dione Martin, is an authentic, heartfelt story about complex family dynamics and the emotions that must be unpacked when long-buried secrets push their way to the surface.

Illegitimate and bi-racial, Natalia is the secret that her father, Joe, planned to take to his grave. His wife and family know nothing of Natalia’s existence — or that her mother is Black — but when word spreads that Joe has only months to live, Natalia feels compelled to meet him and salvage what little time with him she has left. But at what cost to Joe’s devoted wife, Rosa, and their grown children?

In the midst of Natalia’s family drama and pain is also a love story. Natalia must choose between two loves — a long-lost one and a new one. Her ex-boyfriend, Tyler Davis, who captured her heart and connected with her soul, resurfaces. But she meets a handsome doctor, David Duplessis, who’d cared for her father. Just as the relationship begins to blossom, David commits an act that severs her trust and sends her spiraling further into her dark abyss.

The Wool Over Their Eyes is loosely based on Martin’s personal experiences. She drew upon her own memories and insights of growing up without her biological father and being betrayed in her own marriage to inform her narrative and give her characters depth and authenticity.

“I wrote The Wool Over Their Eyes for fatherless girls, for women who have been betrayed, for those who have been rejected because of their race (or otherness) and for families that have been torn apart by secrets, lies and deception,” Martin reflects. “Healing is possible – through change, through empathy, through faith and through forgiveness.”

Author Dione Martin was born and raised in New Orleans, where she spent much of her childhood and teen years reading. She earned her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Minnesota-Morris and her Master’s in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a senior communications director at Brinker International. She lives in Dallas with her two daughters and enjoys running, cooking, performing arts and attempting DIY projects. The Wool Over Their Eyes is her debut novel, and she is working on her next one.

For more information about the author, please visit www.dione-martin.com or follow her on Twitter (@DioneMartin30), LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/dione-martin/) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/dionehmartin).

The Wool Over Their Eyes
Publisher: Inspire on Purpose
ISBN-10: 1948903539
ISBN-13: 978-1948903530
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Chelsea Smith
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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Shock and Denial Consume Parents of Addicts

Shock and Denial Consume Parents of Addicts

(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.)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“About Natalie is groundbreaking. It doesn’t preach or pretend to offer a panacea. Instead, it offers a refreshing, authentic look at one family’s struggle with addiction, easily the most powerful book published on the subject in the 21st century.”
— Dr. Maryel McKinley PhD, Addictions Expert, Former Co-Host, “All Talk Recovery Radio,” Los Angeles, Ar-bitron rated No. 1 in Southern California

Like the band that played on as the Titanic sank, Christine Naman unpacked the groceries and made a meatloaf — the simple act of normalcy distracting her from an unthinkable reality: addiction was pulling her daughter under.

“Even with the picture of the situation coming more clearly into focus, I clung to denial like a kayaker who has been thrown from his boat would cling to a branch lying across the water,” Christine says. “It is amazing how deep into denial a person can go and how strongly they can hang onto it before reality smacks them around enough so that they let go.”

Christine traces her daughter’s years-long battle with addiction in About Natalie, a gripping, cautionary tale of how, in spite of a loving family and a comfortable life, a child can end up on the wrong path, meet the wrong people and get lost in the unthinkable.

About Natalie takes readers deep inside Christine’s emotional and mental turmoil as she grows into her new, unfortunate role as the parent of an addict. She steps on syringes left on the floor and wrestles one from the family dog’s mouth. She lives the nightmare of finding an unresponsive child on the floor and uses Narcan to revive her. She chases away a drug dealer and stays up all night waiting for her missing child to come home. She rejoices during periods of recovery and hope and is devastated during relapses. When her daughter suffers, Christine suffers right along with her.

Interwoven with Christine’s reflections are Natalie’s compelling poems that share her personal pain and the unvarnished truth of her struggle.

At its core, About Natalie is a story of fighting for — and right alongside — the ones we love, no matter how difficult the circumstances. It is a story of keeping the faith, battling hard and never giving up.

Bestselling author Christine Pisera Naman is a wife to a beautiful man named Peter and a mother to three fantastic kids named Jason, Natalie and Trevor. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting, which she does poorly; painting, again poorly; and volunteering at her local hospital, which she hopes she does well. She is the author of the Faces of Hope series of books that are now housed in the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City. Her other works include Caterpillar Kisses, Christmas Lights, The Novena and The Believers. About Natalie is her heart poured onto paper.

She hopes that by sharing her family’s difficult story she can bring understanding and knowledge to those who do not know the problem firsthand as well as provide comfort to those who know the nightmare of addiction all too well.

For the About Natalie Addiction Comfort Community, please visit www.aboutnatalieaddictioncomfort.com.

About Natalie
Publisher: HCI Books
Release Date: May 2021
ISBN-13: 978-0-7573-2385-0 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-0-7573-2386-7 (ePub)
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Lindsey Mach
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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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.)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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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Spirit of Christmas Shines through in Uplifting, Small-Town Romance

Spirit of Christmas Shines through in Uplifting, Small-Town Romance

(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.)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Build a crackling fire, pour a cup of cocoa and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy, a heartwarming, small-town romance from Hallmark Publishing author Janice Lynn.

Set in the charming little town of Pine Hill, Kentucky, Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy introduces readers to quilt shop owner Sophie Davis and former Marine Cole Aaron, whose lives intersect at Pine Hill’s Christmas festivities.

The story begins when Sophie finds Cole’s journal among a box of books that had been donated to her church. She can’t help but peruse the personal entries, finding herself drawn to the stranger on the pages. As the daughter of a veteran and a seamstress who sews Quilts of Valor, she feels a deep connection to the former soldier who wrote the emotional entries, and she longs to heal his heart.

As a former Marine, Cole battled to find peace after returning to civilian life, and his journal was the conduit toward a truce with his past. Always needing to protect others, Cole now fights fires and is embracing his new life in Pine Hill. When Sophie shows up at the fire hall with his journal, he fears digging up the demons from his past and tells her to trash it.

Their paths continue to intertwine, with both Sophie and Cole volunteering for their commu-nity. But it’s hard for Cole to let down his guard, and he doesn’t need anyone’s pity. After all he’s been through in the past, can he find faith in a more hopeful future — one touched by joy?

Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy is the perfect small-town Christmas romance to warm readers’ hearts during the holiday season. It is the sequel to Janice’s first story, Wrapped Up in Christmas, and can also stand alone.

Janice Lynn is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She strives to write characters who evoke strong emotions and make readers want to go along on their journeys.

Her first sweet romance, Wrapped Up in Christmas, was a bestseller on Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Amazon (hit No. 13 overall in paid fiction in Kindle) and ibooks (hit number No. 1 paid ebook fiction); was Hallmark Publishing’s first release to hit the USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal’s bestseller lists; and was a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award. Janice also writes contemporary Medical Romances for Harlequin, and her books have won numerous awards, including the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Golden Quill for Best Short contemporary Romance and for Best First Book, Romantic Times Magazine’s American Title, and the Holt Medallion Award of Merit.

Janice lives in Tennessee with her Prince Charming, their seven kids, her vivid imagination, an adorable Maltese named Halo who’s the true princess of the house and a bunch of unnamed dust bunnies who took up permanent residence after Janice started her writing career. In addition to writing romance, Janice is a nurse practitioner, a quilter, an exercise queen, a military mama and a member of and an avid supporter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Just kidding on the exercise queen.

For more information, please visit www.janicelynn.com. You can also connect with the author on social media at: https://www.facebook.com/janicemarielynn;
https://twitter.com/janicemarielynn; or https://www.instagram.com/janice.lynn.author/.

Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
ISBN-10: 1952210038
ISBN-13: 978-1952210037
Available from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Walmart.com

Trish Stevens
Joy Berkley
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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Know Your Identity in Christ and Become the Champion You Were Meant to Be

Know Your Identity in Christ and Become the Champion You Were Meant to Be

(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)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and wondered who you were staring at and why you’re on this earth, you are not alone. What if you looked at your reflection and saw a champion? And what if you could display the qualities of a champion wherever you went, and everyone in the world would stop and listen?

Linda A. Olson, an international bestselling author, tells you how in her newest release, Love Your Story: Let God Define Your Story To Be The Champion You Were Meant To Be.

“Loving your story is what allows you to rise above your circumstances regardless of how painful they are,” Olson writes. “You need to know you are made for something more. You were created to be a champion.”

Olson bounced back from profoundly difficult circumstances in her youth. It wasn’t an overnight transformation; it took weeks, months and years of dedication for her to discover the tools she needed to overcome the obstacles standing in her path.

“Because of my brokenness, it took me a long time to grasp my value and discover the gifts and abilities I had been given,” she explains. “After a lengthy journey to healing, I discovered you don’t have to wait for someone to tell you who you are and what you have to offer. God has already defined your story; it’s a matter of embracing it and being the champion you were called to be.”

Olson’s Love Your Story gives you everything you need—tools, strategies and practical tips—to harness the potential of your greatest power: knowing your identity in Christ.

You will discover:

  1. How to grasp the true gift of reflection, the mirror to see your true self
  2. A simple pathway to your true identity, who you are in Christ
  3. How true champions are created
  4. Strengths you didn’t even know you had
  5. The favor on your life
  6. Practical tools to rise above every challenge and soar

Love Your Story is a must read for anyone who wants to truly understand what it means to be a champion in God’s eyes and how true champions are created. Tucked inside the book are value-added resources, including a coupon toward Wealth Through Stories LIVE, a two-day Story Retreat for those who are serious about finding the wealth in their story. Love Your Story, and the world will listen.

Linda Olson is the go-to story expert who helps authors, speakers and entrepreneurs impact millions with their stories. She is a TEDx speaker, multiple bestselling author and founder of Wealth Through Stories. Her mission is “To Impact a Million People a Year Through Story.” Linda and her husband, Rick, reside in sunny California. They enjoy their two married daughters and their spouses and five adorable grandchildren, who are the best part of their story.

For more information, please visit wealththroughstories.com.

Love Your Story: Let God Define Your Story To Be The Champion You Were Meant To Be
Release Date: August 25, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-9819014-4-2
Available from Amazon.com

Trish Stevens
Claire Downing
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone
800.854.2207 Fax

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Gifted Storyteller’s Journey with Parkinson’s and Other Challenges of a Long Life

Gifted Storyteller’s Journey with Parkinson’s and Other Challenges of a Long Life

(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)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

When Parkinson’s disease descended like a dense fog on master storyteller John J. Clayton, he was forced to pivot his perspective, change his expectations and write from a place he calls “… both alive and not alive. Like a kind of ghost …”

Parkinson’s Blues: Stories of My Life begins with the arrival of the dark unexpected. In a Monty Python skit, someone in a drab living room complains about being nagged by ques-tions. “I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition,” he complains. Suddenly Michael Palin, in red 16th century costume, bursts into the room. “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!” he shrieks.

Who expects the onset of Parkinson’s? Or cancer? Or stroke? Or the loss of a child? The terrible surprise—the life we didn’t expect—isn’t limited to Parkinson’s. It’s the existential condition of everyone’s life. In fourteen sketches, John J. Clayton links the experience of PD with the experience of childhood sickness, family battles, the struggle to make a good life out of a painful life. The sketches express the hope that we can grow spiritually in the midst of the terrible.

Through 14 eloquent stories — all of which underscore that Clayton’s gift and spirit remain fully intact — Clayton links the onset of Parkinson’s disease with other unexpected, and challenging experiences.

Parkinson’s Blues explores the anticipated pain and unexpected comedy of Parkinson’s in a manner that is deep, graceful and dignified.

Author John J. Clayton has published nine volumes of fiction, both novels and short stories. His collection of interwoven short stories, Minyan, was published in September 2016; his collection Many Seconds into the Future in 2014. Mitzvah Man, his fourth novel, arrived in 2011.

Clayton’s stories have appeared in AGNI, Virginia Quarterly Review, TriQuarterly, Sewanee Review, over twenty times in Commentary, in Notre Dame Review, Missouri Review and The Journal. Two personal essays have been recently published in Jewish Review of Books. His stories have won prizes in O.Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. His Radiance, a collection of stories, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.

Clayton grew up in New York City; received his B.A. at Columbia, his M.A. at NYU and his Ph.D. at Indiana. For much of his career he taught modern literature and fiction writing as professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has also written two books of literary criticism: Saul Bellow: In Defense of Man and Gestures of Healing, a psychological study of the modern novel.

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

Parkinson’s Blues
Publisher: Paragon House
Release Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-155778943351895
Available from Amazon.com and Amherst Books

Trish Stevens
Karen Anderson
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com
281.333.3507 Phone
800.854.2207 Fax

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